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PostSubject: Re: Politicians   Sat Mar 05, 2016 11:56 am

Being the center of this debt and banking, the US has become the core of the whole world-economy as you said- the world, especially China, is relying on our economic growth. This one point is Trump's whole deal, it puts us in a position to be able to demand a lot more from our allies than we do. Trump's goal is to repatriate, but bringing more manufacturing into the US is just a secondary point in comparison to utilizing our integral position to exploit the dependency of nations like China. He knows that our economy is our greatest weapon, not our nukes.

" For example China must deliberately devalue its currency through converting a lot of it into dollars in order to buy US treasury bonds; thus China holds a lot of US treasury bonds some of which come due continuously and pay out in dollars. If the yuan were valued more highly then cashing in those bonds would result in less yuan for China when it converts the dollars back into its own currency. "

Yes, that is one of Trump's gripes with China.


If the US does collapse economically under that strain, then there will be no recovery. It will be greater than any depression. And this collapse is already happening to my mind. The possible consequences of entering a trade war with China and Mexico like Trump wants to do is nothing compared to the consequences of letting this continue. As you point out:  "The US can take on an arbitrarily high quantity of debt provided its economy is growing from one year to the next, but once growth stops debt becomes unmanageable. US GDP now matches its national debt almost 1:1"

True, but deceptive. The GDP you mention contains things like government programs that are just illusory, economically. Those programs under Obama have come to inflate the value of the GDP drastically- we are much worse off when you exclude that kind of thing. If I steal 10 dollars out of someone's wallet, that doesn't reflect economic growth, it's just shuffling money from one place to another. And with government programs that is all that's happening. We are already at the unmanageable level I think. We are collapsed. Less than 60 percent of working age Americans have a job. And a lot of the jobs that people do have are in those kind of government programs, they're economically null. That isn't going to work. Because we are collapsed and debt has exceeded the rate of economic growth, the big companies are not willing to risk loss and re-invest surplus wealth in the next wave of technology- that is why the 1 percent exists now. If the stages I pointed out where not messed with by government, if our economy wasn't so dead, there would certainly be rich people, but not this rich. The 1 percent are keeping their money in the banking system instead of re-investing it in the next wave of technology. It doesn't matter how much, like Sanders wants to do, you utilize government programs and redistribute wealth- until economic expansion is restored to the US, it will not equalize capital. The more we have attempted to equalize wealth distribution artificially with government intervention, the worse it has got, because it takes away from economic growth and capital expansion, which is the only incentive the big companies have to take their money out of the banks and re-invest it in new tech. Now that our economy is already collapsed and in an exponential decline, we must do something drastic to restore economic expansion, rather than re-distribute wealth in order to lighten the burden on consumers.



One of the other things Trump is going to accomplish is also integral- compromise our country's two-party system. The whole Republican-Democrat thing, the Left and Right, is a Hegelian hypnotic instrument used by people who have no other value than making money to delude the public, and Trump is neither. When he is nominated for the Republicans, most of them will break their oath to support the nominee of their own party, and this will lead to a massive re-alignment or a split of the party into several smaller groups, some supporting, others rejecting trump. The democrats will realign in response. The republicans are creating a plan to prevent Trump from winning, even if he gets the majority of votes- they are planning to give the election to the democrats, to willingly surrender themselves rather than let Trump win and cause all that to happen- some even said they will vote for the Democrats if he gets the nomination. If Rubio fails, who they are hoping will win enough delegates to continue in the race, then they are putting that asswhipe Romney in- so that they can collect enough delegates through him to prevent Trump from getting enough to secure nomination- it doesn't matter if Trump gets the majority of votes, they will use this tactic to deny what their own party constituents clearly want. All the other Republican candidates have quit attacking each other, teamed up, and they and the media are all attacking Trump as one now. It's amazing, never seen it before. This party won't exist anymore if he wins, it's splitting up. But despite them concentrating all attacks against him, he is still leading in all the polls. They've set up whole multi million dollar PACs with the singular purpose of producing negative advertisements on him. You can't turn the TV on without seeing a negative Trump ad, none of which are about anything he said, it's just shit about his past, ad hominem stuff. Trump recognizes there is not going to be any economic recovery and no amount of bullshit policy papers you can write up will change it, we need something drastic, even if it compromises the stability of international relations. We have to use our economy as a weapon- and because there will be short term negatives as a consequence to entering a trade war, no other politician will admit that's what must happen.

Florida and Ohio are coming up. In order to avoid this broker convention plan the Republicans are going with, Trump must win these two states, or at least one of them. He's up 20 points above the second place guy, Rubio, in Florida, and up by 5 or 6 points in Ohio.

 

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Euryale, an sua cuique deus fit dira cupido?"

Have the gods set this ruling passion in my heart,
or does each man's furious passion become his god?
- Virgil.


It is not opium which makes me work but its absence, and in order for me to feel its absence it must
from time to time be present.-- Antonin Artaud
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PostSubject: Re: Politicians   Sat Mar 05, 2016 3:35 pm

Yes, other than during WWI and II we've basically maintained a gradual climb of government spending as a percentage of GDP. Right now we're at around 35-40%. People like Trump want to run government like a business, but that is unrealistic as there are many economic functions that will never turn a profit, and philosophically speaking don't need to or ought not turn a profit- healthcare, transportation infrastructure, education, food safety and inspection, licensing of all forms from issuing driving to building permits to waste disposal, water treatment, the court and prison systems (actually prisons could and probably should produce at least no net financial loss, as potential prisoner labor could be further arranged to produce economic value), police and fire dispatch, all of these things are important social functions that aren't really setup to be run in a way that produces profit, simply by virtue of how cost and payment works. To have profit one must continually convert existing resource arrangements into surplus value, either through innovation or finding ways to extract more value per unit worked over time (surplus value), but that is counter to the whole idea of a social service system that exists only to ensure a functioning infrastructure need. It is always going to be unprofitable to pay for people's health care costs or to run a food, drug and water safety and treatment and regulatory system, but these are essential needs. Anarchists envision a society were you need to pay for police and fire protection, or where all roads are private pay, or where people who can't pay for life-saving healthcare are turned down at the hospital doors, but in reality that just doesn't work, nor do I think most people would want to live in such a society. The bottom line is that a complex system like ours moves around and splits costs as much as possible to find the most efficient way of managing system needs without resorting to one extreme polarity or another (i.e. we can't simply give out healthcare and shit for free but neither can we charge 100% of the cost to the direct consumer). The reality is in the gray area middle, and points of view by black and white thinkers such as pretty much all conservatives or anarchists run on slogans and talking points and are philosophically inadequate to even capture the basic structure of how our social institutions work.

Granted there is a lot of government overspending and waste, but much of that comes from the inevitable bloating of institutions and infrastructure over time, there is really no incentive or force to reduce the size of social administration over time and quite natural reasons why that would all grow over time, become more complex and redundant and wasteful. Putting the primary value for social institutions to be cost cutting or to simulate a profit model only ends up giving us shit like the water situation in Flint, MI -- we want our water systems to be primarily focused on ensuring water safety and availability, not primarily concerned with if those systems are generating a profit or not.

And if there exist many social sectors and public needs and goods that are by their very nature not amenable to profit making, and this is the case, then this represents a section of economic life that can't be treated as a private business. This is a major contradiction of capitalism, the difference between economic activity that is possible or necessary to be profitable and that which isn't. Even health insurance companies only make profit through A) taking advantage of government spending such as Medicare, which actually reimburses something like 70-80% only, B) cutting or limiting services and procedures to patients, such as negotiating special contracts with certain providers only and eliminating the natural market forces that would otherwise help keep health costs down, C) adding further layers of bureaucracy and intermediaries that need to be paid and generate some marginal profitability, or D) jacking up the cost of health insurance for everyone else in order to compensate for massive losses elsewhere (those losses being, again, caused by the fact that providing for someone else's health care needs is not something that can be inherently profitable in the large picture).

Health insurance, private student loans, these are examples of attempts to privately capitalize on public goods, which only serves to fuck everything up even more. The real problems with government spending exist at the federal level because unlike state and local levels the federal level doesn't need to balance budgets; well at the federal level the government spends say 3.9 trillion dollars and takes in 3.4 trillion in revenues (almost all through taxes), so that leaves a deficit in 2015 of half a trillion, which we make up through borrowing. It is true that government spending is economically null but only from the perspective that those dollars would have otherwise been spent with net economic gain compared to how they were actually spend AND also in terms of failing to avoid costs that would have been incurred had that government spending not occurred. Such examples of the latter include spending on social services that alleviate physical and mental health problems before they exacerbate into people moving through the court and jail systems or in and out of hospitals and state treatment institutions, all of which are highly expensive. Not all government spending is a net loss or null economically speaking. If you tax $10 from person A and redistribute it to person B but person B spends that money just as efficiently or perhaps more efficiently in a sense of economic gain, then the only loss involved in the taxation is the opportunity cost of transferring the $10 from A to B. Actually that isn't even an opportunity cost, is just basically an administrative fee cost of moving the money through the system.

And that isn't even counting the indirect gains produced by government spending on such things as education, obviously if you invest in education your typical lifetime output on that investment pays back many times over in economic terms by having a better educated workforce. Plus there is intrinsic social and civilizational value to having people be more rather than less educated, which value cannot be directly quantified into economic terms of profit and loss.

I think views like those espoused by Trump are dangerously ignorant of how society actually works, of what government actually spends money on and why, and what true human values really entail. Marx knew that capitalism produces a value-set that over-emphasizes certain kinds of activity over others, such as concrete-immediate profit over indirect or intangible social gains. Society is a kind of social contract whether or not we like that fact. Yes government spending and wasteful spending is a problem just as it is a problem of opportunity cost every time you take money from one person and give it to another person, but note that isn't a net loss, the loss comes only in the form of that opportunity cost as well as actually inefficiently spending the money after it had been transferred from one party to another (such as via taxation). Plus it's important to remember that the federal government funds a huge percentage of all scientific research and research institutions such as large universities or private companies doing R&D under military contracts, which activity ends up flowing into the larger economic system as a whole to some degree as well as keeping the technological edge of the military and encouraging further investment and work in scientific research.

 

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PostSubject: Re: Politicians   Sat Mar 05, 2016 6:36 pm

Of course in terms of using our economic leverage as more of a "weapon", I can't disagree with that in principle, it would just depend on the means and ends involved.

 

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PostSubject: Re: Politicians   Sat Mar 05, 2016 10:51 pm

To the point specifically about high unemployment, lots of public sector jobs that are not based on creating profit (they have other values as I mentioned before, but making profit (quantitative increase in surplus value) isn't their main function), and the collapse, yes things seem dire from a certain angle-- unemployment numbers that are "officially" touted are essentially meaningless, since they don't count people out of work who stop trying to work, and I see that kind of double-speak a lot in the news and from politicians, it's basically Keynesian stuff to try and keep the image of success going, "fake it until you make it" psychology. Of course to a certain degree that is exactly how it works, our economy is driven to large degree by speculation and expectations of future states. There is an interesting feedback loop there between present reality and expectations of the future, which expectations actually can exert real effect to bring about that future.

In other words, hope. Self-valuing seeking to interpret things in its own terms, even if that involves increasing falsifications of the present reality, even if it involves questionably accurate predictions. But we play with fire in that approach, its very power can also burn us. The present global economy is certainly based on sublimated warfare into economic warfare, and probably we can go farther in asserting ourselves in that direction, against China for example, but the tenuous nature of intertwined markets based so much on speculation creates a huge obstacle to that; we risk collapsing our own markets (stocks, commodities or bonds) by fucking too much with the system at this point. Economy is global now, and hardline nationalists like Trump are old news so long as this current global schema continues.

So the question is both "will globalism continue" and also "ought globalism continue?" My own answer to those questions is probably yes on both counts, as far as I'm able to tell so far anyway. And in Lenin's terms then, we should note that if the present global economic system falls apart then the surplus value will once again cease being able to be exported from one country or bloc to another and simply lead us back into actual armed warfare... WWIII most likely. So to avoid that and keep humanity progressing toward more unified and uplifted modes, hopefully toward space travel and greater mastery of our own planet and other planets eventually, thus allowing open-ended economic expansions in potentia, I think we should try to continue the present system while trying to fix it where possible. Either way there are going to be a lot of casualties, but I think a globalized world stands better prepared to tackle real challenges that could threaten civilization as a whole, such as nuclear war, environmental catastrophes, incoming asteroids, energy production crises, etc. If anything the global state of affairs could be theoretically justified by the total uplift and continued development of the peak possibilities of human civilization, which peak is probably greater with a global world of economic warfare rather than in a nationalistic world with actual warfare. But who knows, maybe not. In any case whatever happens, happens.

 

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"Do you hold out hope, then?" ... "I hold out dignity." ... "She will need opiates before long, for the pain. She will cease being who she is." ... "Then I will love who she becomes."  --Penny Dreadful

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PostSubject: Re: Politicians   Sat Mar 05, 2016 11:18 pm

And this also brings up another interesting conceptual dilemma for philosophy: the divide between valuing humans or "humanity" either in terms of only a select group of the best examples of these or in terms of the entirety of all humans as an abstract whole group. Philosophically speaking thought moves toward the more universal form; I'm reminded here of Peter Singer's "expanding circle of compassion" example although I despise his utilitarianism otherwise, also I heard that he ripped off that concept from someone else. In any case the problem of how to think about what in humanity and civilization is valuable and what is not valuable must be front and center one of the most important issues philosophy needs to address. We should really devote time to outlining both positions in great detail so they can be compared side by side, and so we can also examine in greater depth the true psychological motivations and existential underpinnings of each perspective. I think this is one case where the idea must be allowed to and forced to split into polar extremes, if only to make clear the vague half-formed gray areas in the middle that refuse to be themselves, that are unable to coherently affirm their own self-value. But it isn't so much that this middle-space isn't itself of value or philosophical interest, and more that with the increasing power of human civilization to globalize and totalized itself in space and time we must seek the rational absolute basis in each such view, so that the half-formed stuff doesn't end up over-determining the future at the expense of greater truths.

Globalism is a power and 'technology' like any other, that like any other power demands to be mastered by human civilization.

 

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"Do you hold out hope, then?" ... "I hold out dignity." ... "She will need opiates before long, for the pain. She will cease being who she is." ... "Then I will love who she becomes."  --Penny Dreadful

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PostSubject: Re: Politicians   Sun Mar 06, 2016 1:41 am

"The bottom line is that a complex system like ours moves around and splits costs as much as possible to find the most efficient way of managing system needs without resorting to one extreme polarity or another (i.e. we can't simply give out healthcare and shit for free but neither can we charge 100% of the cost to the direct consumer)."


Trump's actual policy proposals aren't that bad. He understands points like this- his healthcare plan actually resembles what was used in the ancient world. Rich people pay a lot for the given operation or medication, the middle class pays less for the same thing, and people that are poor pay nothing- what you pay is proportionate to what you make.


"we risk collapsing our own markets (stocks, commodities or bonds) by fucking too much with the system at this point. "


Yes, but I am simply convinced that our markets are already in the process of collapsing, so it doesn't matter anymore, the only remaining option is to fuck with the system.


"of what government actually spends money on and why"


Not even the government knows what it actually spends money on and why. The Space Shuttle had 10 trillion parts each seemingly produced by a different company, more different kinds of nuts and bolts than you can count,- a metaphor for the needless complication of everything the government gets involved with. No private company would have constructed such an elaborate and needlessly expensive monstrosity.


To keep up with the rate of population growth, we need to create about 150,000 jobs a month. We lose 500,000 to a million a month. Of the few jobs that get created, a lot of them are government jobs. Then we have millions of immigrants flocking here, they take the low skilled jobs that young people used to use as a springboard to get into the work force; those jobs are supposed to be constantly vacant, some kid gets them and then moves on very quickly to something better, and now we have a class of immigrants that is constantly occupying them. Raising the minimum wage will worsen that problem. In 2000, 25 percent of the jobs here were manufacturing, now it hovers from year to year at 6-10 percent. 60 percent of the jobs lost in the last recession were mid-wage jobs, while 58 percent of the jobs created since then are low-wage jobs. Very few people in this country even have 10,000 dollars in savings. Most are living paycheck to paycheck. Mark my words, if this system is allowed to continue, if there are no drastic changes, then it will get worse and worse, there will be no economic recovery.




"And that isn't even counting the indirect gains produced by government spending on such things as education, obviously if you invest in education your typical lifetime output on that investment pays back many times over in economic terms by having a better educated workforce."


Sanders for example is going to make classes free, but that doesn't apply to technical schools which is were people learn how to do things that are actually economically viable. So what will happen is, the latter will simply be de-incentivized. There will be a whole generation of people with free gender studies degrees and nobody that knows how to weld something together. The reality is, having a well educated work force is meaningless if the education is bullshit.


I don't advocate a state-less society, I am not an anarchist because it's not possible, but I can tell you at this rate the future for the USA isn't good. Our debt can be added on infinitely as long as our economic expansion is steady as you mentioned- but that expansion is not steady anymore, in fact its completely shot, and that is the problem. There is nothing the government can do to fix it. Until that economic expansion is brought back up the 1 percent will continue hoarding their wealth, if the government attempts to redistribute it they will just do what they're doing already anyway, and move all their infrastructure to China. A Bernie Sanders can't just get into office and demand the 1 percent give up their piles of gold, they'll simply say no.



The Great Depression had none of the issues we have now: in 1929 the US wasn't 20 trillion in debt; in 1929 most of the states weren't bankrupt and dependent on federal handouts and government services to survive; in 1929 we didn't have 25 million government employees with bloated salaries and free health care for life; in 1929 Social Security and Medicare didn't exist, threatening to consume the entirety of the federal budget. Not only are we right where the country was before the Great Depression- we are a lot worse off. We're going to go off a precipice there is no coming back from. Trump understood this more than 25 years ago, as in this interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbzTyhIv2B8

Why go through this bureaucratic nightmare of redistributing wealth in our own country in order to support things like education and medical care, taxing our citizens, when we can just tax our allied nations? It may instigate a trade war and destabilize things, but that doesn't matter anymore because we're going to descend into a great depression that is irrecoverable and have to deal not with a world war between ourselves and other nations, but with a civil war. Personally I'd rather us go through a world war instead of a civil war.

 

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Nisus ait, "Dine hunc ardorem mentibus addunt,
Euryale, an sua cuique deus fit dira cupido?"

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or does each man's furious passion become his god?
- Virgil.


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PostSubject: Re: Politicians   Sun Mar 06, 2016 4:22 am

Trump admitted a lot of this in that interview 25 years ago:


" They want to keep it [the economic system] the way it is. The problem I have with that is, I don't believe you can keep it the way it is. I don't believe that a country can continue to lose perhaps 200 billion dollars a year, I really don't. Now, nobody knows what's going to happen. Who knows, really? The economists? I think that's a wasted profession as far as I'm concerned because I've never seen one that's consistently right. Nobody knows what's going to happen. But I am someone who has a good instinct financially... I know from a common sense financial standpoint that something has to burst. When a country is losing hundreds of billions of dollars a year while other countries are making the same- something is going to burst and it's going to start here. To me it's not a question of if, it's a question of when. Unless we solve the problem- and the problem is caused by our "allies." "

 

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Nisus ait, "Dine hunc ardorem mentibus addunt,
Euryale, an sua cuique deus fit dira cupido?"

Have the gods set this ruling passion in my heart,
or does each man's furious passion become his god?
- Virgil.


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PostSubject: Re: Politicians   Sun Mar 06, 2016 2:08 pm

Pros of protectionism are as you say we bring in extra revenues, but cons are that we damage trade relationships and actually reduce overall trade, instigate trade wars where all countries start enacting increasing tariffs against each other as more tariffs are imposed on them, with the total effect of discouraging cooperation and good will amongst nations. Globalism is a fact of our world, I don't think in the overall context of globalization and cooperative trade today (not just trade in products but also in ideas and innovation, for example talent in scientific and tech fields flows to the US and Europe from around the world) that enacting huge tariffs is going to solve the problem. Yes we should obviously not give our shit for free, and relatively small taxes and fees can be used to buffer the effects of outsourcing and to recoup some costs associated with maintaining military presences around the world, I agree. But that is different than saying we are going to impose a 35% tax on all foreign-made goods coming into the US. Rather than that, to combat extensive outsourcing and capital flight we could use tax credit incentives and grant incentives to keep businesses here in the US. Instantiate it in the law that domestic businesses can apply for certain tax breaks and choice contracts or investment grants over businesses that relocate to foreign lands. I agree there is a problem of outsourcing and that free trade and globalism is the cause of that problem, but I don't see the answer as simply abandoning the game of globalization and free trade (but yes free trade has its own big problems, and I think those could be tackled separately by addressing the structure of free trade agreements directly; simply enacting tariffs isn't going to do that). Also, another problem is that taxes on businesses only ends up increasing product their costs, so consumers pay that tax and the company pays it in the form of reduced demand, which reduces supply and has an overall negative economic effect in that way. I certainly agree that in theory we should have some way to impose added costs on US businesses that move manufacturing and operations to foreign countries, in order to dis-incentivize outsourcing, but the reality of such added costs (taxes) is that even corporate tax rate increase would largely funnel down into increasing on prices of goods and services, so the corporation isn't do much paying directly but indirectly as their own goods and services become less competitive relative to domestic goods and services. So yes that makes sense to some degree, but we would need to be very careful about not making such taxes too extreme or generalized; imposing a small tax on US companies who move oversees is one thing, but imposing massive tariffs on all foreign goods coming into the US is quite another.

Imposing sweeping tariffs would result in increased prices in the US, which would decrease overall economic activity here and abroad. For instance, if they sell a Mercedes in the US and the price of the car just increased due to charging Germany huge tariffs on their exporting of cars to us then this reduces incentive to trade, which reduces investment and impacts overall economic activity negatively. The general impetus for business in a global world is to expand markets, not to contract them. Again, taxes on goods/services and on corporations directly tend to be passed on to the consumer via higher prices. Yes this would incentivize buying American cars over foreign cars as in the example of Mercedes, which is part of the point, but when this is taken from limited circumstances like luxury vehicles and applied broadly to all foreign goods coming into the US it would result in an overall increase of prices, which would discourage consumption, reduce profit margins and also therefore discourage investment and reduce overall trade. A tariff is basically just a tax, and works in that same way. The net effect of sweeping tariffs would likely be a brief surge in revenues for the government followed by a return to normal or even reduced revenue levels as overall spending and trade decline proportionately to the increase in prices, so this would negatively impact GDP because despite that now domestic goods would be competing for those same dollars consumers aren't spending on foreign goods and would need to be spending on "made in America" stuff it only increases prices of domestic goods as increased demand leads to increased prices, and contracts supply and also increases prices. But this contraction of supply would spur increasing domestic manufacturing, so yes that would be good. Trump says that 35% tariffs wouldn't really affect total imports into the US, but I disagree. There are plenty of other markets around the world for goods to flow into; if the US raises huge tariff barriers then plenty of goods and services from other countries are going to flow away from the US and into other economies. Not only that but there are political effects too, when those like Trump tout their brazen unconcern for how other countries and leaders see us, calling the Chinese a bunch of motherfuckers and the like, that is not helpful when mutual cooperation and economic interdependence -- and political will not to enemy-bash one nation against other beyond a certain point of acceptable political rhetoric -- is basically what has kept conflicts from spiraling into major wars. Ever since WWII we have been engaged in this globalism game of mutual interdependence and increasingly open markets, to spread wealth around the first and second world in the hope that there can be overall progress and avoid war. I agree that our economic pressures are greater weapons than bombs and armies, but the reason for this is the very globalization and economic interdependency that Trump and Sanders despise. A protectionist return to less mutual interdependence and cooperation is going to scale back that power differential and only create less incentives for avoiding major military conflicts. The economic independence of nation-states is a primary factor increasing the likelihood of war. But interdependency is a difficult and complex game to maintain.


Yes I agree the economic situation is not good. In fact it is so bad that central banks are now moving from QE to negative interest rates, in their desperation to kick-start things. But you're right, people just hold their money and especially the 1% do this, they have no reason not to at this point. A modest tax on savings and static assets rather than on income and transactions could be a temporary solution to that problem, and that tax could be repealed once the economy gets back to baseline again; not an annual income tax but an annual wealth tax, a progressive tax on total assets. Negative interest rates isn't going to work, just as QE dumping money into the economy didn't work, obviously since injecting trillions of fiat currency that way didn't even undermine deflation that much, so clearly that money isn't really being spent in any meaningful way. As for the 1% fleeing to China or wherever they can keep a slightly larger pile of their gold, I don't see that as very likely-- we could supplement income and transaction (sales) taxes with a modest and progressive wealth tax designed minimally to bring in enough revenue to shore up spending, stop deficits and begin funding public works projects such as after WWII, and I don't think an abundance of the super-rich are going to run away to live in China. Paying down the debt can start once we no longer need to run deficits (i.e. once economic activity returns to baseline growth and we no longer need to run deficits). But the US, EU, UK and probably Japan too would need to enact this "wealth tax" at the same time, to prevent capital from simply jumping around the first world. The problem with sales taxes is that they often just drive up prices, and the problem with income taxes is that they directly reduce spending and investment capital; so we can have a wealth tax which would simply mean increasing taxes on existing holdings of portfolios, and a tax on deposits and securities, which would actually incentivize spending and investment. This makes a lot more sense than negative interest rates, and is no more irrational than an income tax or any other kind of tax; even a 0.5-1% tax on saving and assets would probably bring in far more money than Trump's tariff plan, and without damaging international trade and weakening globalization, which we depend on, in the process.

I just don't see any way around the reality of globalism. And I don't see Trump's rhetoric of painting whole nations like Mexico, China or Japan as "enemies" or motherfuckers or the like is going to help things. That kind of crude in-group vs. out-group mentality runs expressly counter to the philosophical basis of globalization. And maybe globalization sucks, but again I can't see any way around it; and in fact I think we need it as a species, but again it's a power that is going to take a long time to learn how to master effectively. A return to nation-state dominance doesn't seem viable to me, I think practical solutions can be found within a global context.

 

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PostSubject: Re: Politicians   Sun Mar 06, 2016 7:03 pm

Trump is only focused on the USA, and he doesn't give a shit about any other peoples, nations, cultures nor does he care for greater philosophical values or for the general climb of progress of the species extra-nationally-- he is simply interested in the continued prosperity and capitalistic growth of America, everyone else could go to hell for all he cares. It is pure nationalistic myopic focus, which to me is the antithesis of a philosophical politics. He is the ardent conservative valiant in his defense of the old ways and the old society, trying to preserve against "change"; but I am far more interested in change, in meta-perspectives and I personally don't care so much about America or even US+EU, my concern is for the future and human civilization as a whole. Of course I would prefer not to have the country collapse around me, and that what is good about western civilization in its present form be maintained and find a way to secure lasting economic stability; but the situation today strikes me a bit as Rome must have felt before their own collapse, that anyone situated in Rome at the time would have absolutely no way to know what was to eventually come after them, no comprehension of what their dying culture would contribute itself to.

I want to achieve that greatest perspective, and I want politics to be fueled by that kind of thinking and long-seeing passion. I realize Trump has some decent ideas and he is touting a return to individualism and "go fuck yourself" attitude which I certainly can find refreshing. But that sentiment is fundamentally disconnected from philosophy and political understanding and values, at least for me anyway. As I notice Louis CK saying recently, "People, stop voting for Trump. It was funny at first. It isn't funny anymore." Ha.

 

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PostSubject: Re: Politicians   Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:21 am

"Trump is only focused on the USA, and he doesn't give a shit about any other peoples, nations, cultures nor does he care for greater philosophical values or for the general climb of progress of the species extra-nationally-- he is simply interested in the continued prosperity and capitalistic growth of America, everyone else could go to hell for all he cares. It is pure nationalistic myopic focus, which to me is the antithesis of a philosophical politics. He is the ardent conservative valiant in his defense of the old ways and the old society, trying to preserve against "change"; but I am far more interested in change, in meta-perspectives and I personally don't care so much about America or even US+EU, my concern is for the future and human civilization as a whole. "



Our point of contention is this: I don't think economic recovery is possible (for the US) in this system, and I simply do not believe in either the value or the possibility of even physically maintaining what is called multiculturalism. All of those other cultures- those beyond the US+EU, are to my mind quite shit. Every culture has something to offer in terms of its food and music, but when you get past that, not much else. What is Mexico's great life-ideal it wants to offer the world? In what respect do you want human beings to become more "Mexican"? What is the philosophic genius of Middle Eastern culture? What is Germany's?- Turn around and let a bunch of Syrian immigrants throw a rape party and then release press statements urging your own female citizens that they should dress less provocatively? What would even be the point in having a nation where in a class of 20 kids, half of them each had their own native language, and there was no shared religion or value system? How would that benefit the process of learning or make anything easier? What do we have to learn from the Japanese? Their whole "saving face" thing? Just pretend like everything is OK after you have three nuclear meltdowns and lie to your citizens about the danger just so they don't think you're incompetent? Maybe we should lower our age of sexual consent laws to 12 years old like they do. The Chinese? Rip off everyone's intellectual property even to the extent of reconstructing within your own nation complete replicas of other cities, like Paris? The Chinese have a fake Paris they made, a complete reproduction of the real one down to brick, it's hilarious. I'm not going to pretend like there's anywhere in the world besides the US and some places in Europe where I'd rather live. It's not my intention to be harsh, but the fact is some cultures are superior to others, and I care less about the inferior ones than I do the superior. At this point, the US is just sacrificing itself to keep lesser nations afloat that despise everything we value. Everything required for the kind of philosophic and scientific future you want is already possessed by the US; freedom of speech, the kind of economic system that at least used to foster technological progress, before the government intervened on it, etc. The only thing preventing that futurity is other cultures and our own government which has been hijacked by international corporations in this globalized landscape that now have enough power to sway the will of nation states.  


As I said in an earlier message, cultures don't just blend together and create a hybrid; the path of history doesn't lie in throwing everyone's culture into a box, shaking it up, and then going with whatever comes out. One culture must rise above the others and re-ground them, and the one that does so should be the one that offers the greatest potential of fulfilling human nature. In order for humanity to progress, the nation with the greatest idea must not only survive but conquer those with lesser ideas. If there was a nation with a greater potential and vision of human life than the US, I'd move there and advocate its ascendancy. The idea of cultural relativity is an obstacle to human progress, because most cultures are pieces of shit that should be purged from the planet. Not the people- this isn't about race, but rather their way of life. If you have 10 cultures and two of them are good and the other 8 are antithetical to everything we think is valuable, why would you fuse them all together and call the resulting multicultural combination "progress"? The Romans conquered Greece- but the resulting culture was not half-Roman and half-Greek; it was entirely Greek. Rome simply became Greece. That is the organic course of civilizations; the greater culture colonizes the lesser ones, even in defeat. Philosophic politics is, to me, raising yourself to sufficient height to judge the world; to put hundreds of millions of lives on the scale of justice and weigh them against one another; to affirm a life-idea against other ideas, in which to re-ground the hierarchy of cultures from basest to noblest. To see the whole of humanity (philosophy) you must will the whole of humanity, (politics) for the whole does not exist here before it is willed- that is why the love of wisdom or the whole and the love of man are deeply connected as political philosophy, as the question in the [Lampertian Nietzscheanism and related matters] was searching for.


As far as the negative consequences of a trade war, yes I accepted that those will happen, but in the long term it is irrelevant given the fact that I don't think any economic recovery is going to take place in the current system. Unchanged, we will face a Civil War, and if we go with the Trump-ian approach we risk a World War, and because I value the US more than other nations I'd like us to avoid a civil war and class conflict. We're in a trade war now, we're just losing it. "Imposing sweeping tariffs would result in increased prices in the US, which would decrease overall economic activity here and abroad." People are under-estimating how stunted economic activity already is here. There is no international trade for the US: we buy everyone's shit, nobody buys any of our shit, because we don't have any shit to buy. Free Trade would be great, if it existed; what is happening now isn't what I would call free trade. When Trump disrespects the Chinese, I find it hard to care, given the fact that their constant devaluation of their own currency is a much greater spit in the face to us then Trump calling them motherfuckers, and the only reason they do it is because they know we won't do anything to stand up for ourselves because our country is run by corporate interests (as globalization gives international corporations about as much power as nation states have themselves) and political puppets with about as much economic insight as a land-snail. I am convinced that in 20 years, at the rate we are going, if nothing changes drastically, we will be in a Great Depression and have a civil war, that is, an actual class conflict. The US and EU now represent the conclusion of 4,000 years of history; the traditions of philosophy going back to Plato, the scientific and industrial revolutions, the greatest cultural freedom ever attained, etc. and we risk sinking it all into the ocean of bullshit like the little dot of an island that was named Atlantis. I'd like to know who Louis is voting for, the corporate puppet Clinton or the elderly Jew who honeymooned in the Soviet Union and wants to take every problem we have and crank it up to 10. Just raising the minimum wage to 15 dollars alone is retarded enough to not even need to read any more into his policy proposals.

 

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Nisus ait, "Dine hunc ardorem mentibus addunt,
Euryale, an sua cuique deus fit dira cupido?"

Have the gods set this ruling passion in my heart,
or does each man's furious passion become his god?
- Virgil.


It is not opium which makes me work but its absence, and in order for me to feel its absence it must
from time to time be present.-- Antonin Artaud
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PostSubject: Re: Politicians   Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:51 am

Also, it speaks to how out of touch these media douches are on both the left and right with regard to the people in this country. The people haven't put Trump in the lead as a goof, a thesis on which a leftist like Louis CK is in agreement with pundits on the right: they have done so because they have grown completely distrustful of the political class and are aware that the whole thing is a matter of donors and corporate robots, and they know that the more the Chinese export their ripoff products to us, the more we export our owns jobs to them, and they also know of the cultural incompatibility between ourselves and the uneducated parasitical mobs flocking across the border, the Mexican immigrants who often don't even speak English and have no understanding of American politics but who almost universally vote Democrat and hijack our electoral process for no other reason than it's democrats who promise all the free shit to them-- to speak nothing of the hordes of Muslims that are having their way with Europe but which have not yet really started on the US. Half of Louis CK's act is devoted to ripping on how evil the white people are, as if we invented slavery; black Africans enslaved each other for thousands of years before the white man, and in fact they are the ones who sold slaves to us- we didn't run around Africa bagging them ourselves like Elmer Fudd chasing after Bugs Bunny, they were already bagged up and chained for us before we got there. Every race on earth has both been enslaved and enslaved others at some point, because it is a part of human nature, not a part of white nature. The only reason he is allowed to get away with ripping on white people to the extent that he does is because everybody thinks he's white- in his act he presents himself as such, "you know we're gonna have to pay for this shit," he doesn't say, "you know the white people are gonna have to pay for that shit." In reality the guy's a Mexican. That's where he was born and spent his childhood. Spanish is his first language. Which is fine, I have nothing against Mexicans, I just find it distasteful for one of them who looks remarkably white to present himself as being white in his act in order to more freely enumerate the various evils and crimes of white people. Tell me how evil my ancestors are, while the ancestors of Mexicans killed themselves as human sacrifices in record numbers and played football with human heads. I have native american ancestry in combination with my white ancestry, and neither side was more evil than the other- the tribe of natives I share some blood with practiced a form of slavery arguably more vicious than what was carried out on blacks by whites. The equality of races to me means the equality of evil. That fuck-white-people shit pisses me off almost as much as the black lives matter movement and the America hating Noam Chomsky politics.


All these nations that call themselves our allies now are building up their military force and infrastructure while our economy bleeds, and after we have our collapse, depression, and civil war, they won't be too interested in an alliance anymore, plus China will fuck us up the first chance they get after the floor falls out from under us.

 

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A sik þau trûðu


Nisus ait, "Dine hunc ardorem mentibus addunt,
Euryale, an sua cuique deus fit dira cupido?"

Have the gods set this ruling passion in my heart,
or does each man's furious passion become his god?
- Virgil.


It is not opium which makes me work but its absence, and in order for me to feel its absence it must
from time to time be present.-- Antonin Artaud
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PostSubject: Re: Politicians   Tue Mar 08, 2016 11:45 am

I understand your points and agree with many of them. Will write more later when I have time.

 

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"Do you hold out hope, then?" ... "I hold out dignity." ... "She will need opiates before long, for the pain. She will cease being who she is." ... "Then I will love who she becomes."  --Penny Dreadful

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PostSubject: Re: Politicians   Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:17 pm

Two other points:


Nationalism is giving priority to your nation just because that's where you live and you wish to benefit from its ascendancy; I advocate the US' ascendancy in power, not simply because I live here, but because at the present moment it has in its possession all the instruments for building the kind of philosophic and scientifically enlightened future for humanity that you wish to be created. Europe to a lesser extent. Our economy and technical capacity, freedom of speech, our political system- the only polis ever designed scientifically on the basis of the separation of power into the different branches of government, etc.- this is how that future is created. A lot of nations outside of the US and EU don't agree. We have nothing to gain from them. If people want to immigrate here they need to get on board with these concepts and values, they can fuck off if they want to form their own little Muslim micro communities where they patrol each other checking if anyone's violating Sharia law. This kind of thing should remain intolerable here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ra45nX9JmW4

There's a difference as well between the polis- the state or nation itself, and the culture it breeds. A state as a system produces certain cultures, that is, an ethos or an image of man.

The educational policies imposed now by the State, as products of governmental bureaucracy, end up stifling culture, and pander to the brain-dead masses. That's why it's all multiple choice questions and standardized tests- because the majority of people have minds sufficiently minuscule that this is all they can be measured by. Because culture and the state are at war with one another and are in fact, sociologically speaking, opposites, the idea that a multicultural world could be brought into existence through the combination of state intervention and the polis with education ridiculous. The state should have no sway over education: that is the core of ancient Greece's approach. This distinguishes the Greeks. They understood the need for an intellectual aristocracy. People who think like Sanders and wish to dispense free education to everyone must deal with the fact that, in order to do that, the government will in the process be given extreme control over the educational process. So instead of combining the polis, state, and the educational process, the Greeks combined education with culture, and through a shared vision or ethos encouraged the production of geniuses as the goal of education. You must wed education with culture- a specific culture, as exists at the micro community scale, not the State, which exists at the macro scale of multiple cultures and governmental bureaucracy. The state does not create genius, it simply creates the landscape within which genius can take shape. It is a culture that produces genius- some are better at it than others.

 

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A sik þau trûðu


Nisus ait, "Dine hunc ardorem mentibus addunt,
Euryale, an sua cuique deus fit dira cupido?"

Have the gods set this ruling passion in my heart,
or does each man's furious passion become his god?
- Virgil.


It is not opium which makes me work but its absence, and in order for me to feel its absence it must
from time to time be present.-- Antonin Artaud
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PostSubject: Re: Politicians   Thu Mar 10, 2016 2:46 am

Oh, and I also came across a quote that refers back to what we were talking about before, with politics simply serving economy:


"War is a continuation of politics by other means. Politics is a continuation of economics by other means." - Carl Von Clausewitz

 

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Nisus ait, "Dine hunc ardorem mentibus addunt,
Euryale, an sua cuique deus fit dira cupido?"

Have the gods set this ruling passion in my heart,
or does each man's furious passion become his god?
- Virgil.


It is not opium which makes me work but its absence, and in order for me to feel its absence it must
from time to time be present.-- Antonin Artaud
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PostSubject: Re: Politicians   Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:17 am

(I really appreciate this conversation, these are very rich and complex issues and ideas, I've been thinking about it all for the last three days almost non-stop, trying to get to a place in my thinking that can really contextualize all this in an adequately philosophical way. Here's the highest point in my thinking so far:)

Yes, however there is a danger to be aware of by placing economy first in priority over politics or war, which in "everyday life" just means placing economy over life: I liken it to an analogy of the body and mind, economy is the body and all its physiological processes of respiration, caloric consumption, cellular division, distribution and use of oxygen and nutrients throughout all body systems and the smooth operation of those systems in terms of each other, whereas the mind is analogous not to that kind of strict economy of consumption and production (reproduction of the physiological basis of life) but is instead analogous to, in human social terms, the political and in a broader sense the sphere of existential meaning and human life as such. Reducing society, politics or human meaning to the economic sphere, as basically most conservatives do, is akin to reducing the mind to the body, basically saying that the mind exists only to serve the needs and wants of the body's consumption and production. Anything excessive beyond those strictly linear-flattened physiological requirements and derivatives simply has no meaning or purpose to that perspective, except as just that kind of empty excess that is "tolerated" only so long as it doesn't interfere with the more "fundamental" concerns of economy.

The genius of modern global capitalism is that it combines "body and mind" within the economic sphere itself; or rather, under capitalism Economy becomes distributive and complex enough to begin to enfold the non-economic within itself, and to over-code that non-economic; what is this "non-economic"? Simply whatever does not operate on the principle of profit and capitalizing efficiencies, does not reduce its meaning or existential reality to market-based operations of gain and loss in purely quantitatively-reductive terms, so things like philosophy, politics, culture generally, human values and interpersonal or social interaction, art and creative enterprise, religion (as a subset of the philosophical)... Just about every aspect of human life, value and meaning is extra-economic in the sense that its existential, ontological imperative and "sufficient meaning" lies entirely beyond the economic principle and cannot be reduced to that economic principle. It's the same with the mind to the body: you can't reduce mentality to the principle needs of the body, despite that they are obviously inter-connected.

Saying economy is the primary concern of human society or human life (I realize that's not what you're saying, but it is essentially what Trump and most conservatives are saying or at least what they believe) is simply to say that the body must factor as most important compared to all that comes from the mind or the sentiments/passions, in effect to de-value any human activity other than putting nutrition into the body and exercising the body to burn those nutrients and entirely for its own sake, "the body for itself". The obvious error in that perspective is that the body is not and cannot be entirely for itself, the body is in fact always for the mind, just as in socioeconomic parallel the economy is always for the non- and extra-economic.

The political, philosophical, arsitic-creative, valuing-sentimental, cultural, these aspects of human being always rank above the economic in terms of logical and moral primacy. The economic serves the rest of human being just as the body serves the higher state of existence of mentality and consciousness/subjectivity. The problem therefore of capitalism is how capitalism at first confuses the one for the other and then later actually reverses the priorities, placing Economy as logically prior to Human Being. This results in all kinds of madness and insanity, needless destruction and death, collapses of social, psychological, cultural and environmental fields, etc. and not even to mention delivering the work of philosophy to a pathetic and merely analytical methodology and vision, so that while the theory of modern capitalism makes sense, as requiring massive concentrations of all social wealth upward in order to re-invest to surplus in pure capitalistic profit-making schemes, and therefore denigrating attempts to distribute social capital to the mass of society itself or to keep that capital wealth distributed at the expense of wealth upward concentration, the risk is to capitulate to the inversion of the basic logical relationship between mind and body, or Being and Economy. Human life requires Economy in the same way that our minds require our bodies, and likewise the greater and healthier our bodies are the more possibly greater and unburdened can be our minds from bodily concerns or weaknesses, just like a society with a strong economy is more unburdened of economic concerns and problems and can therefore engage more with the proper tasks and activities of human living. Economy is important but is never the most important, a functioning and healthy economy is simply like water and food, something we just need in order to survive, but hardly our raison d-etre for existing.


Now we have modern capitalism having created an image and justification for the inversion of the basic relationship between Man and Economy that I outlined above; this justification mechanism is simply the idea of the elite and their moral, ontological and existential priority. If we convince ourselves that some sort of "elite class" had the moral/ontological/existential primacy then the inversion of the Man-Economy (or "mind-body") relationship appears quite justified: the relationship can be inverted and man placed below economy because quite simply there will always be and require (so the assumption goes anyway) a small minority of super-elite people at the top of world capital, benefiting and managing the wealth concentration and therefore either steering or at least reaping the benefits of that worldwide upward concentration of wealth. So these humans at the top become the false image of justification by simply capitalizing upon the true man-economy relationship by generating the image of Man above Economy, despite how the basic relationship has already been reversed in total. And it isn't only that the elite become beholden in practice and in theory to the forces of global capital and to the basic inversion, but also that the entirety of human being having been falsified by the inversion cannot in fact become a mere appendage and benign extension of the body, of the economic. The mind rebels, being rebels, this has been the story of human history that plays out whenever elitism surfaces and attempts to transform the society itself into the empty image of servitude to whatever the highest ideal of the moment happens to be (I.e. to whatever momentary justification of tyranny is most useful given that moment in history). Every elitist has his little bag of ideals and justifications for why his particular brand of tyrannical oppression is correct, never suspecting that his very elitism itself is only a secondary product of the attempt to invert the basic relationship of Man to his World, man to economy, or mind to body. A mass flurry of so-called intellectual and technical work takes place at the upper edge of the economic-becoming-elite not only to continue operating the basic system of oppressions but also and more essentially to create and expand the image of justification of the inversion or in this case of whatever brand of elitism happens to be dominant at the time, which is simply to say that this intellectual work creates the false image of mentality and human being in order to attempt to complete the daemonic inversion and place something human above the world-behemoth of absolute capital.

So, at best a quite Nietzschean struggle, and at worst a gross misunderstanding of the reality of human existence and of the basic nature of life/consciousness as such, and a misunderstanding rooted in more fundamental pathologies and anti-philosophical being. Yet the struggle isn't even a Nietzschean one really, because even Nietzsche in his greatest moments of struggle never attempted to truly overturn the basis relationship, he never sought to enslave Mind to Body, his attempts to elevate the body were always and more essentially attempts to elevate the mind through the elevations of the body, taking full advantage of the subtle and complex interconnections between them and trying to dig to expose those connections more into the light of understanding; but always for the sake of actual human being, the ends of life and the existentia. It's why Nietzsche despised anti-semitism and nationalistic sentiment he saw rising in Germany.  Nietzsche understood there is something profoundly banal, un-philosophical and insane about that way of thinking, if perhaps he couldn't quite articulate it. Nietzsche was by far no elitist, if anything he wanted to cultivate in the elite the capacity for a proper and true relationship to existence and human being, to basically save the elite from itself and for the sake of that which is in fact the true reality and existential justification of not only the elite but of us as well. The most universalized being-human.


In a certain sense the liberal progressive philosophy is a servant to capitalism, and in another sense it is a subsidiary of the radical Left; liberal progressive philosophy today acts as a fluid medium allowing transactions between the core of capitalism and its most removed edges and limits, for example we have political correctness or things like the black lives matter protests playing two different roles, one for capitalism and one for the Left: on the one hand these sort of phenomena are smoothing the gears of capitalism by grinding down allowable differences within human being, functionalizing that human being to a standardization in order to allow more efficient capitalizations and social controls, while on the other hand these phenomena serve to highlight oppressive implicit conditions of our societies such as "institutional racism" as continuing substantial imbalances between human beings based simply on where in society those human beings happen to be born; therefore a fundamentally irrational circumstance and representing a social irrationality and area of possible improvement in the conditions of society in so far as society is that which makes individuals, and totally separate from any capitalistically beneficial advantages that the improving rationality of society might have. A pluralistic, tolerant and secular society always holds the moral high ground simply because it's pluralism and tolerance flow from its overpowering strength, from the fact that such a society is able to be tolerant of outside cultures, religions, beliefs and ways of life-- this strength is a real application of the principle of freedom, of which free speech rights are only one expression.

The difficulty and trick is to expand our valuation as far as possible to include marginal and external elements which do co-exist with strength, but not so far as to begin actively undermining the real conditions of that strength itself. This task has a parallel in political economy that we've been talking about above, namely the balance of capitalism with the political, or with properly non-capitalizable human life. The highest form of society is not based on exclusions and imposed tyrannies of conformity to a given values-set of elite commandments, that sort of society is quite simply logically limited in how large and powerful, and globally relevant, it can be. Those kind of societies can never be based on principles of freedom or daemonic subjectivity expansion, but rather exist to hold tight to a given model of closure and limitation. In this sense what Trump advocates and what neoliberal apologists like Sanders and Clinton advocate (yes I think Sanders is still a far cry away from a genuinely Left thinker) is the same thing, a narrow values-set conformity pressure on the basis of de facto exclusions and non-thinkings. Sanders wants to align himself more with Left and less with neoliberalism, but that is a fine line to walk, whereas Clinton is simply the image of neoliberalism itself and Trump wants to impose his one pre-emptive closure set of values at the expense of the actual lived reality of a free and morally superior society. But your points about the problem with pluralistic society are certainly relevant, and these concerns reflect areas of need that must be addressed and continually improved upon. Precisely where to set the limits of tolerance and multicultural inclusion is a hard problem because there is no absolute line, not even in a Trump universe can one say with certainty where lines of acceptance vs rejection are to be rationally set. There is always an imprecision element, and rather than will away that uncertainty a more developed society full of its one strength and inherent-structural "moral superiority" tries to avoid absolute prescriptions in favor of a more nuanced, situational approach that as Deleuze noted allows for a more philosophical and meaningful form of judgment...: "Herein, perhaps, lies the secret: to bring into existence and not to judge. If it is so disgusting to judge, it is not because everything is of equal value, but on the contrary because what has value can be made or distinguished only by defying judgment. What expert judgment, in art, could ever bear on the work to come?""

Regressive forms based on exclusion, pre-emptive limitation, closed-absolute principles and tyrannize for anti-freedom-based embedded social values-sets are, in my view, more of a danger and limitation of humanity than is the present model of a pluralistic, tolerant and secular society. The philosophical principle of freedom is based in the reality of universality upon the tectonic climb of the highest continuum of ideation and mentality, which most reflects reality as it actually is (daemonic, self-valuing, Heraclitean), and the highest possible sentimental expressions and actual lived and momentary/"physical" values flow downward from that factuality-real accordingly. It is possible to bemoan weakness yet appreciate the kind of strength from which those weaknesses are even able to flow at all, as points of as-yet limitation and continual development. It matters little to me if "US society" has little to gain overtly or directly from other cultures coming here, I recognize more fear-based and reactionary political talking points and pathological excess in that than I do actual real threats to our society. Rather, these marginals present new challenges and spaces of expansion, new 'small limits' that society uses to grow and overgrow itself, to become more and always on the ascent in terms of the historical evolution of human progress and subjective-existential and phenomenological reality. It used to matter in America if you were Irish or Italian, German or Jewish, Catholic or Protestant, these distinctions no longer matter whatsoever, and in however many generations it's going to be the same with distinctions like Somali or Syrian, Muslim or Christian. No cultural or racial differences can withstand the awesome power of a pluralistic-tolerant-secular liberal society, they may hold on to their cultures for a few generations but every generation more and more young people will escape into broader society. I don't see any kind of existential threat from Muslims or Africans or any other group coming to the west, at best it is a complex challenge to be navigated and a test of our own convictions and our own overflowing and non-anxiety/fear-based resolve and strength. We are being tested the true worth of our values and convictions, which in this case simply means our character and our intellectual comprehensivity and Nietzschean-esque overflowing joyousness and "lightness". This also shows part of the value of public education, since public education along with popular media culture is the primary way that children of immigrating people of different cultures will get integrated over time into larger society. And in any case I don't think there is any going back, no matter how we feel about it. Capitalism demands the most far-reaching, deepest and creative integrations and powers. We must fight for the philosophical expansion of society and ideas such that capitalism can be properly contextualized to true human being, an "existential capitalism" as I've been working on.

Marginals represent repressed excesses, distributed locales of potential novel reality by which society at large can evolve itself always in new directions. It doesn't mean we're going to shred our Constitution and adopt Sharia law, thinking that would only be based on anxiety, although perhaps an understandable anxiety. Trump's racism and ignorant exclusionism is reflective of a lack of strength that must attempt to cling desperately to a narrow scope of reality rather than embrace the reality as it is, with all its subtle complexities and philosophical nuances and 'imperfections'. I understand his perspective and his anxiety; but that is no basis for adopting a sweeping restructuring of society toward a model of exclusion, fear and intolerance at the behest of that anxiety and of a thoroughly un-philosophical demand for certainty; no less is the crucial point that Trump and conservatives like him misunderstand the basic relationship between Economy and Human Being as I indicated above, and would like to inverse that relationship thus continue expanding capitalism without developing the capacity for contextualizing and conditioning capitalism's power to a more universal-real existentia and true human power. Capitalism and money are tools, that is all. They are technologies that we must master rather than capitulate to, even when attempts at that mastery are sometimes ugly, imperfect or uncertain. Global capitalism is inherently neoliberal in its march to capitalize all cultures and human realities, in that sense I agree with Trump that the global aspect of capitalism ought to be resisted (not overcome or stopped entirely, but just resisted rationally), but I obviously disagree with Trump on the reasons why it needs to be resisted in that way.

 

___________
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"Do you hold out hope, then?" ... "I hold out dignity." ... "She will need opiates before long, for the pain. She will cease being who she is." ... "Then I will love who she becomes."  --Penny Dreadful

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PostSubject: Re: Politicians   Fri Mar 11, 2016 4:33 pm

Also, while I am ripping on the state I might as well do some women bashing, because nobody benefits from the state as much as girls do.



The intervention of the State on gender relations and the family reveals the stunning lack of any really definable sexuality on the part of the females. The State takes out all the balances of power between the genders and leaves women to their own sexual devices, and, because they don't have a sex drive for the sake of having sex like men do, they just degenerate into a purposeless fuckfest to see who can out-whore the other one, with no real standard anyone can figure out for who they decide to sleep with. Women don't even go for the most attractive males anymore, let alone the most well off or the most virtuous. With abortion, the state allows women to get that genetically defective bastard fetus sucked out of their used-up festering womb so that it can be promptly flushed down the toilet much like the nachos-and-tequila-shit they likely took the night before after having taken their third dick in a row while celebrating their "liberation" during girl's night out at the local bar; the state will of course give them food stamps after they've been left all on their own and, after each miserable failed attempt at marriage, the state will also take a chunk out of the pitiable guy's wallet for child support who was somehow convinced into marrying them: the state is the enabler of this whoreish behavior until the girl hits about 30 and that dumb-cunt brain bouncing around somewhere upstairs finally reboots and they decide they want someone who will actually support them and their gaggle of fucked up mentally damaged kids. Without the State they'd be forced to draw back on their genetic heritage- something collectively much wiser than any woman is on her own- and start selecting mates that were genuinely beneficial to them.

 

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Nisus ait, "Dine hunc ardorem mentibus addunt,
Euryale, an sua cuique deus fit dira cupido?"

Have the gods set this ruling passion in my heart,
or does each man's furious passion become his god?
- Virgil.


It is not opium which makes me work but its absence, and in order for me to feel its absence it must
from time to time be present.-- Antonin Artaud
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PostSubject: Re: Politicians   Fri Mar 11, 2016 5:08 pm

I agree that capitalism and the economy do not create the core of value of human life, they do not create the ethos. Your thesis though seems to suggest, along with Marx's in his own way, that we should endeavor to construct the capitalistic regime and the economy, the various social conditions themselves, so as to produce genius, that is, this core of value- that is, liberated humanity. This is not possible. As the Greeks recognized, only culture can produce genius; neither the state, economy, or social conditions can. The economy and social structure is established only to provide power to the state; the state creates the space for culture to exist in, that is, a specific culture- culture being the organic expression of a specific ideal of human life, an ethos. My formula is: economy empowers the state; the state empowers culture: the economy produces material freedom, culture produces genius, that is, intellectual freedom. I do not believe any political system or economic system will ever be able to shape human existentia; that task is a cultural one singularly. The elite class controls the political power; writers control moral and philosophic power. To combine these two classes seems impossible to me.


Trump's never conveyed any racist statement. Being hard on illegal immigrants or even legal immigrants- every other nation is, especially Switzerland, is not racist. Despising Islam is not racist, as it's an ideology not a race. Those who hold to the Islamic religion also hold to a political theory that is contradictory to the secular law and to the freedom of thought and speech practiced in the US, as sharia is an integral feature of it: without Sharia, Islam would be like Christianity without Jesus. The Jews used to have a similar thing, but their priesthood was shattered, and the priests controlled the ancient courts so they can't exist anymore. The Muslims call their hybrid religion-political system sharia, it is an all embracing system that extends from personal life to the structure of the courts. Either a Muslim stops being a Muslim after he gets here and rejects sharia, or he continues to believe in this concept and remains antithetical to our culture. There is nothing Islam can morph into that isn't shit. Plus their spiritual leader was a pedophile serial killer. To incorporate one group in our society you have to let a small amount in at a time, you can't just open the flood gate like Europe has done with Muslims to the extent that your population goes up to 35 percent in a blink of an eye.


As it is culture through which genius is produced, rather than economy and social conditions, it is integral that a specific culture be created, an ethos of the given nation, and that this culture is protected. The multicultural, secular, open, and liberal society you envision will never produce a genius, it is incapable of it for it lacks the pathos of distance which Nietzsche talked about; through the splitting up of man into classes, some lower and some higher, through the recognition of different grades of humanity- basically the opposite of the liberal philosophy of de-emphasizing difference, one culture is distinguished from another and an ethos or vision of human life of sufficient clarity is created, a goal for humanity is articulated, through which the intellectual capacities of man can be encouraged and developed into genius. The ideal man which the specific culture points toward is that goal, and in orienting the intellect toward that goal, genius emerges. So the elite class is an economic structure, they are simply a function of the movement of capital, whereas the genius is the cultural analogue, a function of the movement and concentration of the intellect and cultural-historical legacy. The elites and the genius classes are separate, the former belongs to the economy, the later to the culture; one controls political and state power, the latter controls moral and philosophic power- value.


Genius weighs the lives of millions against one another and wills all wills to will as it wills: genius is that will. Philosophy is a kind of judgement, contrary to Deleuze. I will that all men love as I love, and love what I love, and experience what I experience. Why? Because I have taken that experience of mine and posited it as the goal of humanity, I have judged humanity through this judgement over myself; I love my own love and my own experience enough to wholeheartedly posit it as the goal of human nature, and by doing so I have established a cultural mandate, an aim through which the splintered ranks of humanity can be recombined. All philosophers have done this- this is what philosophy is. In order to affirm you must negate, that's one basic Nietzschean principle I accept.




"This also shows part of the value of public education, since public education along with popular media culture is the primary way that children of immigrating people of different cultures will get integrated over time into larger society."


Integrated through a mutual download of the freshly minted government propaganda, with a side order of peer pressure and bullying, as the only way public schooling exists is through government power. This is an example of what I am talking about, the State getting into the business of manipulating culture, which should be firmly outside its scope. And I would simply dismantle the whole popular media conglomerate if I could, as the media and the state are now working together in a lot of ways, and supporting one another's bullshit. We both lament the degradation of human existentia, the degradation of philosophy's role in society- but philosophy was powerful in the ancient mode of life, it has only been weakened and degraded by the rising liberal, pluralistic society, starting in the 18th century, and with the state's influence over culture. Look at WW1. Why did so many people willingly go to war, out of the civilian ranks, and essentially commit suicide in a roundabout way? Because of the state controlling education and manipulating culture. The schools programmed that generation with an adoration of military virtue. Public schools even today operate like military camps, they breed military virtues in kids. You pledge allegiance and learn to raise your hand for things as basic as going to take a piss.




I look at the ancient world and what they produced- their geniuses, and I look at this new one and see very little worth admiring- mostly just adult kids whining about micro aggressions. I at least admire myself, but I was created in a hole outside of society, in solitude, and I have more in common with ancient Greeks than I do with modern humans. As I was saying, to collapse the pathos of distance to the extent that this new pluralistic society is attempting to do, and to weaken the ethos, the aim through which all humanity is weighed and judged, which is what an ethos is- I cannot see how the possibility of the philosopher, the genius, can be socially maintained. A philosophy is a goal set before the whole of humanity, as in Phaedrus; in striving for it, men are separated into a rank of nobility, they are judged. A culture is just the living structure of that judgement, while the economy is the system whereby the state gains the power to physically impose itself on other states that would disrupt that culture.


Philosophy is an affirmation, and you cannot affirm without first negating. Judgement is a part of this. Bringing something new into existence is only possible after you've judged everything that presently exists to be inadequate; creation and judgement are two sides to one process.



The capitalistic system has not yet been perfected. There are ways in which the State utilizes it to influence culture, as it also does through the media. Also, the depression of our rate of economic expansion has dissuaded the elites from reinjecting their surplus back into the movement of capital so that they are instead hoarding it up in the international banking system. The perfect economic system would be one that firmly separates the power of the state and culture. This is the way forward, as I see it. Take capitalism to the fifth stage, beyond the fourth banking stage I pointed out, and create a new cultural renaissance, founded on a new philosophy, the next goal for humanity- which I posit as my own philosophy of course, though it is irrelevant as long as it is truly a philosophy, a goal. As in my latest essay on alienation, the problem of the death-anxiety and the alienation of human nature cannot be traced either to Marx's material conditions or to Freud's unconscious id confronting the "repressive" strictures of civilization: finding their true source and truly dealing with them will accomplish more for liberating humanity than any amount of political correctness or socialism would. It is important to examine capitalism's role on human existence as you are doing, but I would do this so as to know where to untie the knot between capitalism and human existence, so that culture can take the thread back up. Obviously Trump won't do any of what I recommend, but he will at least collapse the two party system, deal a blow to the power of the media which has done nothing but brand him a racist, and he will also work on getting the Chinese back in line.

 

___________
A sik þau trûðu


Nisus ait, "Dine hunc ardorem mentibus addunt,
Euryale, an sua cuique deus fit dira cupido?"

Have the gods set this ruling passion in my heart,
or does each man's furious passion become his god?
- Virgil.


It is not opium which makes me work but its absence, and in order for me to feel its absence it must
from time to time be present.-- Antonin Artaud
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PostSubject: Re: Politicians   Fri Mar 11, 2016 7:43 pm

The separation of culture from politics, or rather of politics from culture, with politics as the supportive arm of economy and mediating the economic and the cultural, yes I like this insight a lot. This ties up many things very well. Our task then should be to find a way to empower culture directly, which would include philosophizing well and injecting more philosophy and its own conditions and requirements into culture generally, which of course does include judgment. I do not want to do away with judgment, and I don't believe Deleuze did either; I want to condition one judgment to another, the lesser judgments to the greater ones, all the way up the chain of being. Judgment should operate as the handmaiden of truth, and not attempt to co-opt truth's position, role or primacy in power-relations.

Writers and artists as purveyors and creators of culture, yes I agree with this and see it this way too. Culture differs from society in an interesting way, I am seeing now: culture extends backward in history like a deep root-structure, and necessarily distances itself in that historical darkness of inheritance from any extant or existing sociopolitical form. The society as political entity serving culture by protecting culture from that which would destroy it, political as mediator, this seems right to me. I wrote in the last part of my book something on politics and its function as intermediary, between economy and human being, I think we're hitting the same idea here.

The key is the split-off of culture, the fact that political society ought not seek to re-write culture directly, which of course it is already doing. Back in the 60s it became trendy to oppose the war, for example, and protest against irrational wars became itself an affair of irrationality, same with all the Che t-shirts and shit. Rebellion as an image produced and consumed, and who benefits but the political-social class system that wants to reproduce conditions of cultural segmentation and classism. The divides are pushed into the economic-political-social so as to prevent a real cultural distinction from developing, or at least that seems to be the effect. Just like now we elect leaders based on how well they smile and brand themselves as an "outsider" and a rebel against the system, all the while people know in the back of their mind they really want the guy to make the political system work for them, and not actually collapse the political system as he pretends to want to do. But culture itself is what politicians only take advantage of when they need something to grant them some semblance of justification, personality and interesting quality, just an economic hook; other than that, politics seems indifferent to or wants to do away with culture which means to re-make culture in the image of the political-economic.

I like your idea of a fifth stage, a new renaissance of culture as such and against the political-economic and "fourth stage of the international banking system". This is a tremendous insight. But how would this be accomplished? Writers and artists abound already, many of them crap but some quite good, and I see the work of the good ones as already uplifting whatever is good about this society at all. I've seen it that way for a long time, this world needs good writers and artists and film-makers because these are the people doing the real work of actually giving to the rest of the people in society something of meaning and value, teaching them how to value and how to create and respond to the meaningful. I agree that your philosophy works toward this end, that is probably something about it that I have always liked very much, the direct uplift to cultural work and meaning.

In the sense of judgment already mentioned above, a revaluation along the lines of a more elevated or universalized vantage would find, I think, high value in tolerance of marginal and fringe elements, in allowing differences and "non-judgments" (allowing the escape of low judgments for the sake of greater judgments) for the sake of the fact that the society+culture which could produce such a vast 'pluralistic hegemony' would already be de facto expressing a very high level of cultural power of integration, separation and implicit or institutional-systemic judgments: that in order to even be and want to be in a nation like ours one must default to our laws, the a priori existence of our own culture and ways of life, all of the conditions and effects that flow from this kind of society and culture we do have, and ought to be truly improving upon as you note. There will be many people who do not want to step onto that line of development, do not want to contribute to the progress of culture, truth, creative work, or social functioning and simply want to participate in economy and keep their little bubbles of meaning and worth as they have them, perhaps from their cultures or nations of origin. To me, that is fine, and I welcome that in so far as the mass of such externals or marginals is actually going to be contributing to the overall development of the society and culture indirectly, not only by providing work and economic labor but also by adding diverse perspectives, customs, points of view that all should merge together and blend into an active 'war of values' out of which many people will shoot off in many different directions, able to contribute differently to the whole work. As it is said, over-specialization breeds weakness, and the diversity in the genetic pool can mirror the importance of a sociocultural diverse model of citizenry, ideas and customs. Even the small contribution is effective, and even the person who contributes nothing is at least providing a limit-point and test case at which society at large, either culturally or economically, can determine the range of its powers and intentions. The real problem is when these marginals become too numerous proportionate to the rest of productive meaningful society, which I think is obviously the case we are facing today. But I see very little value in trying to dump on various minority groups or different ethnicities as if they were the problem; they are perhaps one sign among many signs of the real problem, which is as you put it the collapse of culture to the political-social and as I noted also the inversion of the relationship between economy and human being, combined of course with the fact that as I just said there are proportionately just too many marginals and low-contributing elements out there right now.

 

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"Do you hold out hope, then?" ... "I hold out dignity." ... "She will need opiates before long, for the pain. She will cease being who she is." ... "Then I will love who she becomes."  --Penny Dreadful

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PostSubject: Re: Politicians   Sat Mar 12, 2016 10:23 am

To the point about trump being "racist", yes his disparaging an entire religious and cultural group isn't technically racist because Islam isn't a race, but there isn't really a term for "cultur-ist" or "religion-ist" so racist can at least fit the meaning generally. The point is his grouping all Muslims into one category and refusing to admit any distinctions in that category, thus as I remember reading somewhere he commits the error of refusing the same level of nuance and difference and individual consideration that he demands for himself and for members of his own 'group' (white people, or Christians, or westerners). Similarly to his comments about Mexicans, after going on about Mexican immigrants being criminals and rapists and murderers he throws on at the end "I assume some of them are good people". The priority of his values is what counts here, and it is the implicit and generalized nature of his beliefs about people of other groups that counts as "racist". I'm not trying to be all touchy-feely politically correct unthinking liberal here, it is possible to oppose the kind of thinking Trump displays from either ignorance or knowledge, from lower or higher states of thought and understanding. Philosophy mandates that we move our ideas as far as possible within truth, be ruthlessly honest, and demand the highest level of honesty and intellectual standard; on that count any form of racism or basically targeted de facto or a priori negative beliefs about every or even most people who could fall into a group classification of one kind or another is only a low form of thought that cannot co-exist with philosophy, at least as how I see it.

The reality to Trump's statements is the sentiments behind them, which is his anxiety about jobs and he economy, and his value to wanting the US to be more culturally homogeneous and economically productive. He associates Mexicans and Muslims implicitly with low cultural and economic productivity, this is the same implicit belief-set or value that motivates disparagement of poor people or black people, the idea that these groups are necessarily and generally low producers of culture and economic value. Including that members of these groups are more prone to criminal acts. Statistics hold up that low income and/or being black is statistically significant to commit more crimes, and this is an example of the feedback loop within society which remains deliberately ignorant about how society as a larger whole constructs individuals and creates the circumstances, incentives and opportunities or lack thereof which all contribute to criminality or to low economic or cultural productivity. Being educated is usually required to become moderately or highly productive in an economic or cultural sense, we all read some of the classics in school and learned about the great writers, thinkers, artists and cultural achievements of the past, or at least we should have. Blaming the victim is irrational in the sense that we are all products of our circumstances, and one of Deleuze's points is that a rational morality would need to account absolutely for individual circumstances of all kinds when examining a life or an action. That isn't realistically possible much of the time, so we resort to black and white models of thinking where people are grouped into in-group or out-group modalities, allowing implicit value judgments upon anyone who falls within our established categorical distinctions.

Again, if the poor, or blacks, or Muslims, or Mexicans tend to be lower producers of culture or economy then the larger society and culture and economy itself needs to look at this not with a finger-shaking moralistic judgment and blame, but simply as a sign of where and how society itself is irrationally constructed to allow these discrepancies to continue. I know or have known some great black people and Muslims, and I'm not at all prepared to validate the lumping of these people into groups as Trump and other conservatives do, and it's the same with other minority types, such as sexual minorities like gays or whatever, that once you get to know people on a personal level it humanizes the group-type and breaks down the "racist" (or bigoted) category. I am sure that were I to travel abroad and spend time in other nations and cultures I would gain a further distinction in my thinking as to positive and negative, human values and realities that these different peoples represent or are faced with. At the point of actually getting to know people of different types than oneself is, one becomes able to introduce degrees of separation into the category and to find deeper explanation for those differences, such as low SES or poor education or failing economies or bad integration policies, and including bigoted belief-sets on the part of dominant culture, all of which contribute to the realities of actual differences in outcomes that, ironically, then feed back into bigoted belief-sets and perpetuate the problems. This is a part of the value of multiculturalism, and not to diminish the detriments that can also come from it, but multiculturalism encourages real-world connections between people and the breaking-down of belief-sets and implicit sentiments that aren't actually based on the reality of those people which are targeted by those beliefs or sentiments, and in fact lead to perpetuating the closed-loop feedback of poor outcomes-->racist judgment-->poor outcomes-->racist judgment... Most people just want to have a good life and be given the opportunities that afford their personal growth, financial independence and positive contributions to the world and to people or values they hold important; as I said before, even low contributions count, not everyone is going to be able to be a genius or supreme contributor to the building of culture or economy. There are plenty of blacks or Muslims or Hispanics who contribute to scientific work, for instance, and better education and social options will only increase those numbers. I would not blanketly defend public education as it is right now, I realize it is a joke and a terrible thing to impose upon a person for many reasons, but I do defend the idea of a good quality public education. One more focused on the classics and on logical and philosophical thought, the arts, and science for example, which there are small charter schools that are structured more like this. And yes the obvious militarism of children in school institutions is stupid and dangerous, I agree.

The Athenean city-state had a relatively low population when compared to the US today, even all of Ancient Greece was much smaller and also far simpler in terms of infrastructure needs and geographic size; I wonder if the Greek model of high culture and philosophical leadership or values could be emulated in part as the high example to the rest of the US, a system constructed like a pyramid where high culture supports society as a whole in gradations of progressively lower-producing but still relatively high culture-inspired and supportive population. Public education and social structure doesn't need to guarantee the creation of millions of geniuses or cultural titans, that might simply be impossible, but a society and nation-state as massive as ours can at least encourage the right kind of values and more philosophical, non-bigoted thinking that could allow such a massive society to exist with all the differences internal to it and without undermining the conditions for the growth and upward thrust of high cultural, philosophical and scientific work, a collective work that would draw from all areas of society and all racial and ethnic groups and lead naturally to the uplift of those groups and the distribution of wealth and social goods downward to these areas of society, feeding back the increasing possibilities that more people from any section of society become more culturally or economically productive over time. I certainly agree that liberal thinking has a tendency to undermine skills for making good and accurate judgments, I suppose this is why only a highly educated philosophically-thoughtful person can make something good and true out of what for most other liberal-thinkers is simply an emotional unthinking reactionism. And yes, a huge and secular-scientific and pluralistic society such as ours should not make extreme concessions to harmful or backward-medieval cultures and ways of life, and we don't need to do so in order to hold up a standard of general inclusion and tolerance of differences, as Deleuze was getting at; and again, this doesn't mean the end of judgment, it means the conditioning of judgment to its highest and most philosophical, accurate and differentiated standard of reality. Basically I think all other things being equal, high culture and that culture and social type which represents the greatest truth and philosophical substance will always over-code and condition or forcibly integrate into itself the lower cultures, societies and ways of life, but it is a long-term, many generational process. High culture ought to be able to forcibly integrate lower cultures into itself, not by force traditionally conceived but by sheer power of its conviction and its own greater reality-standard and capacity of higher subjective creation.

I like the idea of the separation of culture and politics, but I'm also thinking there is an inevitability to how these blend together-- politics naturally tries to construct society in such a way as to further those values that are considered highest by politicians or by the people who vote politicians into office, and likewise culture naturally tends to push for politics that further the high values of culture, namely freedom to create and all the conditions that would encourage rather than discourage positive cultural development and dissemination. The culture and the politics meet in the exchange of values-productions. A high culture would try to support a politics that creates and protects the social and economic conditions that allow culture to flourish and grow.

 

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"Do you hold out hope, then?" ... "I hold out dignity." ... "She will need opiates before long, for the pain. She will cease being who she is." ... "Then I will love who she becomes."  --Penny Dreadful

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PostSubject: Re: Politicians   Sat Mar 12, 2016 11:28 am

It seems to me that the question "What ought not be tolerated?" is best posed from within a framework of generalized tolerance as a default state, similar to how the law works, namely that everything is legally allowed so long as there isn't a law declaring that specific action illegal. Within such a context we become able to make the most effective judgments, it would seem, because freedom ought to be the default state, as philosophical principle, and exceptions to that principle must be justified therefore in terms of the principle itself.

 

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"Do you hold out hope, then?" ... "I hold out dignity." ... "She will need opiates before long, for the pain. She will cease being who she is." ... "Then I will love who she becomes."  --Penny Dreadful

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PostSubject: Re: Politicians   Sat Mar 12, 2016 11:56 am

" ... comments about Mexicans, after going on about Mexican immigrants being criminals and rapists and murderers he throws on at the end "I assume some of them are good people". "



Your concept of racism or bigotry is not racism to me. Whenever someone goes to point out problems in social class dynamics, everyone immediately calls them a racist which is not befitting the honest dialogue you and many others invite. Groups exist. The group, the general case, is the important feature when you want to diagnose and treat a problem. The word racism to me means one very specific thing: considering one group of humans genetically inferior to another. Anything besides that is not racist and may in fact be a valid admonishment. In the quoted example his comments are about illegal immigrants, not Mexicans- which were accurate comments, as many studies and polls indicate that criminal backgrounds, specifically rape, are more common with them than with the general population of either Mexicans or US citizens. One study indicated 45-60 percent of female illegals are raped along the way over here. As far as Islam is concerned- the Koran is a piece of shit. You can be a Muslim and believe in other things besides the Koran like maybe quantum physics or Shakespeare- in that regard you may have something to offer the world, but with regard to the Islamic religion I doubt you have anything to offer besides the most vicious religion ever concocted by the human race. Philosophy indeed demands honesty, and the Islamic religion is honestly shit, based simply on its own foundational texts. You can of course find barbarities in the Old Testament, but they were specific cases of one group going to war with another, they weren't actually part of the doctrine. The defense of Islam and Muslim culture has always been bizarre to me. Has nobody read the Koran or looked at polling on what most Muslims actually practice and believe in? Do a large percentage of Muslims believe or not believe that leaving the faith should be punished by execution?

[The majority of modern Muslim scholars continue to hold the traditional view that the death penalty for apostasy is required by the two primary sources of Sharia - the Quran and the Hadiths,[12] ]

[In the South Asian countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan, strong majorities of those who favor making Islamic law the official law of the land also approve of executing apostates (79% and 76%, respectively). However, in Bangladesh far fewer (44%) share this view.] Wow, only 44 percent want to kill you for leaving the faith.

I say let's not tolerate shit like that. Unfortunately for Muslims it's an integral feature of their religion, as Sharia law is accepted by the vast majority of them as the revealed word of God, which is what covers the death penalty for apostasy.



"He associates Mexicans and Muslims implicitly with low cultural and economic productivity"

No, not Mexicans: he associates illegal immigrants with low economic and cultural productivity, and he does so for the reason that they are statistically associated with it. Muslim immigrants are not a problem in the US yet, but just look at how fucked Germany is now because of it. The reason for their criminality as you point out isn't their fault, but nonetheless their social class possesses that element of criminality. I've used the example before, that children who get raped grow up and become rapists themselves, because through this they re-live their trauma and experience a cathartic release and a feeling of control. It may feel bad to blame the victim- but the victim is usually the perpetrator. So in my personal life I avoid ever getting close to or even interacting with a girl who I know was raped in childhood, because there's a 99 percent chance she's fucking crazy, an abuser, and incapable of emotional connection to anything.



"Again, if the poor, or blacks, or Muslims, or Mexicans tend to be lower producers of culture or economy then the larger society and culture and economy itself needs to look at this not with a finger-shaking moralistic judgment and blame, but simply as a sign of where and how society itself is irrationally constructed to allow these discrepancies to continue. I know or have known some great black people and Muslims, and I'm not at all prepared to validate the lumping of these people into groups as Trump and other conservatives do, and it's the same with other minority types, such as sexual minorities like gays or whatever, that once you get to know people on a personal level it humanizes the group-type and breaks down the "racist" (or bigoted) category."

Neither me nor Trump nor any sane person is suggesting that blacks and Muslims can't rise to whatever level of productivity the given white guy has.  It does not change anything about what I've said so far. Rather you want to lump them into a group or not, the group exists, and the group is always more important than the exception or individual when you're analyzing objectively a given problem in society. Male and female nature exists, for example. If there's one male out of every 100 that, instead of fucking, likes to be fucked, and for his girlfriend to strap on a dildo and sodomize him, that still doesn't change anything about the general sexual dynamics of males. The whole point of having an intelligence is to form generalities and analyze things in terms of groups and the larger picture, doing the opposite just leads to a degeneration into nonsensical postmodern gender studies and the analysis of non-existent hypothetical power structures like patriarchy or institutional racism, which never produce any result that can actually benefit any black people or anyone else for that matter. Analyzing only the exceptions and individuals is simply misguided. If cancer studies, science, or medicine was conducted by focusing on the exceptions, than we'd have never even got to the germ theory of disease. The focus of scientific study is the general, the group, and the exceptions mean basically nothing when it comes to producing knowledge about the specified problem.


The real problem with the quoted statement as I see it is the "how society itself is irrationally constructed to allow these discrepancies to continue..." Society is not constructed either rationally or irrationally- it isn't a construction. Culture is the organic production of a lot of people getting together and uniting under the banner of a particular aim for human life. The only way society and culture can be systematized and become a construction is through state intervention. The reason blacks for example are in the situation they are in here, is because the State has attempted to intervene and collapsed the family structure- I joked about this when I bashed on women a message or two ago. The lack of fathers has left generation after generation to raise themselves in effect, and they are dealing with the lord-of-the-flies-esque result of that. Combine that with their fucked up anti-culture, the low education, (and since education is now an affair of the state, it is the state's failure when it goes wrong) etc.

 

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Euryale, an sua cuique deus fit dira cupido?"

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or does each man's furious passion become his god?
- Virgil.


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from time to time be present.-- Antonin Artaud
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PostSubject: Re: Politicians   Sat Mar 12, 2016 12:54 pm

Yes I agree, I'm not defending black sub-culture that advocates destroying the family, or selling drugs, fetishizing money and street status and whatever else. State intervention in the form of welfare and other such programs has attempted to be a surrogate family for black people, giving handouts in many forms to try and encourage moving people into the middle class, but often results only in removing people's natural incentives to develop their own culture and community and family on their own effort. Also I'm not advocating illegal immigration, obviously there needs to be a legal context for immigrating to another country and standards for that, and those laws ought to be enforced. But neither do I side with rhetoric bashing illegal immigrants or poor blacks or Muslims. I see a sharp difference between on the one hand not defending illegal immigration, or sharia, or excessive welfarism and on the other hand supporting rhetoric that basically casts the people in those groups as part of the problem, or the problem itself. In the example of welfare and social policy toward blacks and the inner city, this is a clear case where political-social policies are creating or contributing to the continued degeneration of an entire group; in this sense the society is a construct, as the sum of all these policies and laws and handout programs and poor education, all of that acting as one and as if it were one system constructing a coherent effect and outcome upon a given group of people. It is in this sense that I believe it makes sense to speak of society as a construction, and how in this case that "construction" is irrational for perpetuating and creating the very conditions in black and inner city groups that it purports to be trying to mitigate.

Also applicable to that is social-political "construction" or systemic effects of having a shit law enforcement around people sneaking into our country. Millions of people shouldn't just be able to walk right in, and then stay here even after they're caught. ICE and local police should obviously be proactive in enforcing immigration laws, and if people want more immigrants or softer policies around them then they should write new laws and try to get those passed. But again, this is different than saying "illegal immigrating Mexicans are the problem". Obviously if you or I lived I Mexico and had the chance to sneak into the US we would probably do so. And I've seen stats on immigrants and rape and crime, I'm not disputing there are higher instances, as you said before in this topic it has to do with the relatively lower quality of their own culture and way of life, which they internalize. For that very reason we should of course have immigration laws and standards, not excessively burdensome ones but at the very least excluding criminals from eligibility to come here. Any sane country would do that, intentionally select out criminals from eligible immigration status.

As for Muslims and Sharia, if it is true that a majority of Muslims believe an apostate should be beheaded, that doesn't change my point about religious tolerance in the US, because obviously we have laws against beheading people and you don't get a pass on that simply because you're religion says so. I don't really care how they do it in Islamic nations, I'm sure there is all kind of terrible shit going on over there all the time in the name of Islam. I wouldn't defend Islam as a religion, I agree it seems detestable based on the relativel little I already know about it. But as I said in my book, one cannot properly judge or know another person based on the other person's beliefs, as beliefs are impressed unconsciously and do not absolutely define a person's character, intellect, or quality in general although of course neither are beliefs immune from contributing to the overall forms of personality, subjectivity, etc. Beliefs are secondary factors, in my view, until a person becomes philosophical and actually critically examines their beliefs over a large period of time and thus re-creates belief into something not passive but active, not secondary but primary. Even if Muslims in the US want to kill people for leaving their faith, they generally aren't going to act out on those beliefs. And further education and integration into larger secular culture is only going to have a positive net effect on those kinds of archaic belief-systems here. However, I agree there does seem to be an impasse between Islamic beliefs and western secularism, more so than there is between westernism and Christianity for instance.

As for "racism", I accept your definition of it as tied to genetics alone, and I also agree that the cry of "racist!" has simply become an empty gesture these days, an excuse to not think and to simply exercise an emotional disturbance. But that very form of crying racism, which many protesters at Trump rallies are doing, is actually operating on the same premise as is the Trump-like belief-system of labeling people and judging that entire group; "Islam hates us" is basically motivated by the same emotional disturbance-like anxiety or ignorance as are the cries of "racist!" made against Trump for saying that. Again, I fall back to the definition of "racism" or rather perhaps just bigotry, that it is denying to others the same nuance and individual consideration that one demands for oneself. Under that simple logical definition Trump is bigoted and so is any sweeping generalization that flattens other people to a commo mean low value in the basis of denying them equally the level of consideration and individual treatment and understanding that we ourselves would want or give to ourselves and our own groups. Also I don't really care if people are gay or feel an inclination to cut off their genitals and try to become the opposite sex or gender, as you said such feelings in a minority of people don't actually change the general meaning or feeling of male or female. I don't believe that gender is entirely a social construct, and neither do I believe that gender has nothing to do with social expectations and oppressive-limiting atavistims and norms continuously imposed upon the present. I think there is something inherently strong and vital in being able to sustain the high level of self-criticism and revaluation impulse that takes form as opposition to gender identity assumptions, assumptions about sexuality or race, for example. "Postmodern" sentiments in these areas aren't a threat in my view, I agree that they can't actually change the deep landscape of the realities on which sex or gender differences are based, but can increase degrees of freedom and differentiations available. I suppose being able to laugh at and critique oneself can either come from a place of strength or weakness, just as being unable to laugh at or critique oneself can also come from a place of strength or weakness. In any case lots of intelligent, productive and genius thinkers and writers and artists have been gay, whatever that might say about the nature of gender or sexuality itself I'm not entirely certain. (I think we lack and need a comprehensive theory on gender and sexuality, in philosophical terms, and the lack of this explains the attempts by feminists and gender identity theory to fill the void of understanding; maybe I'll undertake the task of working toward that theory after I'm done working on understanding capitalism and political economy).

 

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"Do you hold out hope, then?" ... "I hold out dignity." ... "She will need opiates before long, for the pain. She will cease being who she is." ... "Then I will love who she becomes."  --Penny Dreadful

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PostSubject: Re: Politicians   Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:20 pm

One important thing to note in terms of an eventual adequate philosophical theory of gender and sexuality, is how bodies and in particular female bodies are fetishized and turned into commodity objects of desire; and not only bodies but also personalities, attitudes and behaviors. This has obviously been noted many times already, but the "capitalization" of gender and sexuality which is to say the transforming of gender and sexuality into commodified objects able to become functionalized to processes of desire is an important thing to understand. Sexual attraction for men at least is based on image-response, that is an image is encountered (the body/shape of a female, or can be a sub-image within the larger image of her, i.e. her face, legs, etc.) and this image-encounter produces a physiological response in the brain-body, leading to sexual arousal. For men, arousal is based primarily on image-encounters, which lends male sexuality to be particularly susceptible to capitalistic intrusions since after all capitalism is if nothing else the prevailing power of the image, of image consumption and production. There are subtler orders of responsiveness operating also, such as in the emotions and therefore more existentially-rooted being, but I do think these are at best secondary and parallel to image response and often subservient to the image response; perhaps in women the existential-emotional sexual arousal trigger plays a more primary role compared to strict image-encounter, I'm not sure because I'm not a woman, but it does seem a bit intuitive that women associate emotions and larger spheres of meaning to sex than men typically do, although I recognize that runs the risk of over-generalizing. If we follow the assumption that female sexuality is indeed more based on subtler emotional cues then it follows that the modern capitalistic world is increasingly masculinizing female sexuality by attempting to convert it more toward an image responding modality.

I read once somewhere that pornography is basically the principle of necrophilia, the sexual arousal toward the dead body. This makes some sense in so far as the image-encounter taking place in response to not an actual other person but rather to just an image of another person, a lifeless screen. I wrote in my book that images contain no actual content and are more alike to pure forms, which voids of content actually draw in our own contents and cause a momentary uplifted feeling as we experience our own contents projected vicariously and secondarily through an external form. But I'm not yet sure the full extent to which this is important or dominant in the experience. Obviously that is only one part of the larger phenomenological reality and experience.

 

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"Do you hold out hope, then?" ... "I hold out dignity." ... "She will need opiates before long, for the pain. She will cease being who she is." ... "Then I will love who she becomes."  --Penny Dreadful

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PostSubject: Re: Politicians   Sat Mar 12, 2016 3:02 pm

Anyway back on point, I think the most interesting things about a person have nothing to do with their nationality, race, religion or gender, which is really the point I'm trying to make by opposing the kind of rhetoric used by Trump and other conservatives who label first and ask questions later, if ever. I just find that kind of approach uninteresting in the extreme.

 

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"Do you hold out hope, then?" ... "I hold out dignity." ... "She will need opiates before long, for the pain. She will cease being who she is." ... "Then I will love who she becomes."  --Penny Dreadful

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PostSubject: Re: Politicians   Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:44 am

You acknowledge most of the points I made but seem to disagree mostly with the negative rhetoric around them, but I don't even think saying that immigration for example is itself a problem is that inflammatory. It would be inflammatory if Trump said we need to round up all the immigrants and Muslims and gas them in concentration camps. Regardless of the rhetoric, it comes down to the simple matter that we must limit the amount of immigrants that come here, the objective remains unchanged. When you reject a big mob of people at the border it doesn't matter if you turn them down with a smile, they're still going to hate you.


Female sexuality exists as a balance of power with males. The reason men are so immediate and visual is because we're all supposed to be trying to have sex with as many women as possible, while they on the other hand do the opposite, as nature tasked them with being the "selectors." Men all offer themselves, while the woman chooses the "best" to reproduce with, "best" meaning something different depending on the circumstance- in the cavemen era it was who had the hardest club and who could best protect her. Because women have to be the selector and throw a huge gamble toward choosing only one mate, and because they will need to carry a child in their womb for a long time and risk their health, that is why they experience far more emotion when it comes to sex than men do: sex for women can potentially kill them, if it leads to reproducing, a fact that was especially true for most of human history, before advances in modern medicine- that is simply why they can be so emotional when it comes to sex. Also, women know what entices men, so they participate in and mostly control the fetishizing of sex, this "masculinizing."


However women are visual as much as men are in terms of attraction, but its a different kind of visual excitement. For men, we look at the body as one thing, a complete package, whereas women focus in on one or two defining characteristics in a man, and this makes him attractive to them. That's why you see very good looking girls with not so great looking guys; if the guy has eyes that are beautiful to her for example, that single characteristic can make him attractive, whereas a male needs to be attracted to the body as a whole. And with regard to something like height, which women are very focused on, women behave the same as men do towards a nice ass or pair of breasts, while height for males is mostly a meaningless feature- if the girl isn't a dwarf it doesn't even register to me what her height is, I don't care, it doesn't add or take away anything with regard to my level of sexual interest toward her. They just value different visual features than we do, they are still very motivated visually.


I disagree with the porn comment though- if porn is necrophiliac, then so is just sexually fantasizing and jerking off with your imagination. Men have two sexual lives. One sexuality is like an itch, you just want to blow a load so it will stop and you can get back to doing something more productive, its hormonal and chemical, while another sexuality is about expressing intimacy to someone you're romantically involved with; women don't really have the first kind, whereas men simply have to deal with having both most of the time, and the two contradict and interfere with one another obviously.

 

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Euryale, an sua cuique deus fit dira cupido?"

Have the gods set this ruling passion in my heart,
or does each man's furious passion become his god?
- Virgil.


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