Author Topic: Picking Cain's Brains  (Read 17830 times)

Nephew Twiddleton

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #90 on: April 20, 2012, 01:18:15 pm »
Marxism. 

You ever read Marx?  By German standards of writers, he is relatively good.  But those standards include Kant and Hegel.  "Revolutionary Dictatorship of the Proletariat" is a relatively succint phrase and understood concept, compared to "But the other side of its Becoming, History, is a conscious, self-meditating process — Spirit emptied out into Time; but this externalization, this kenosis, is equally an externalization of itself; the negative is the negative of itself."

I read the Communist Manifesto, which was kinda hard to get through and seemed rambly at points.
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Doktor Howl

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #91 on: April 20, 2012, 02:33:12 pm »
I occasionally try to figure out for myself whether I am for or against some sort of united Earth government (probably in the form of a confederacy or a beefed up UN).

We - as a species, that is - cannot even run governments for a few million people.  Try the complexity of a government over 7 Bn + people.

The Johnny

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #92 on: April 20, 2012, 02:36:38 pm »
i tink that the problem with bigger and wider governments is that it homogenizes local communities that dont necessarily have the same needs and in a certain way alienates them from their laws.

the problem with the counterpart of local governments and autonomy is in part the infrastructure like water, energy, food, etc and the self defense needs that always arise due to human warmongering, so i think were stuck on our current political boundaries

sorry im in a bit of a rush if it sounds too vague

Lenin McCarthy

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #93 on: April 20, 2012, 03:09:31 pm »
I like the subsidiarity principle (that matters ought to be handled by the lowest competent authority), and if a world government were to follow that principle, IMO there wouldn't be many tasks left for the federal level that couldn't be dealt with more effectively on other levels. I can see it dealing with extraterrestrial affairs, war, peace and climate change, but not much more, just a slightly beefed up UN basically. And even then it would be difficult to keep it from doing too much/extending its own mandate.

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #94 on: April 20, 2012, 04:15:26 pm »
I like the subsidiarity principle (that matters ought to be handled by the lowest competent authority), and if a world government were to follow that principle, IMO there wouldn't be many tasks left for the federal level that couldn't be dealt with more effectively on other levels.

Problem is, higher levels of government invariably begin to interfere with lower levels.

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #95 on: April 20, 2012, 05:02:09 pm »
I like the subsidiarity principle (that matters ought to be handled by the lowest competent authority), and if a world government were to follow that principle, IMO there wouldn't be many tasks left for the federal level that couldn't be dealt with more effectively on other levels.

Problem is, higher levels of government invariably begin to interfere with lower levels.

which makes sense, as the higher level beauracracy is going to judge competency from the context of a different viewpoint.  and since the power distribution is uneven, it is only natural that the tasks drift ever upward.


Cain.  Do you have any suggestions or have you written any analyses on the city state form of governance?  I've always been fond of the notion.

Cain

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #96 on: April 20, 2012, 05:12:12 pm »
I haven't written any in depth analyses on them, but my general feelings are thus:

I like city-states.  They tend to be more politically involved, cosmopolitan and egalitarian than the citizens of nation-states, and they are of just the right size to get the balance between accountabilty, acessability and viability correct (note: may not apply to mega-cities), going by European history at least.

On the other hand, they tend to lose wars with distressing ease to nation-states.  And they tend towards financialization of their economy, which can turn out rather badly for them.

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #97 on: April 20, 2012, 07:19:46 pm »
I haven't written any in depth analyses on them, but my general feelings are thus:

I like city-states.  They tend to be more politically involved, cosmopolitan and egalitarian than the citizens of nation-states, and they are of just the right size to get the balance between accountabilty, acessability and viability correct (note: may not apply to mega-cities), going by European history at least.

On the other hand, they tend to lose wars with distressing ease to nation-states.  And they tend towards financialization of their economy, which can turn out rather badly for them.

Until very recently, Tucson functioned very much like a city state, as nobody else in the state cares about us, and they keep all the federal money for Phoenix.

Recently, however, we have been getting more and more mandates from the state which are harder and harder to ignore.  We still don't get any money, though.  We get back about $0.40 in services for every dollar paid in state taxes, and no federal money for anything besides armored vehicles for the police.

Our roads are falling apart, but clearly it's more important for the cops and the DHS/ICE assholes to have tanks.

This is why I agree with Cain.  City states are the best solution.

Cain

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #98 on: April 20, 2012, 07:30:23 pm »
As I think I've said elsewhere, the rulers in city-states also tend to be more responsive to their citizens needs.

Normally because their citizens know where to find them in order to string them up, should they fuck it all up, and organizing a city-wide mob is not as hard as organizing a country-wide mob.  It's at just the right level for a lot of things when it comes to organization, economic viability, democratic governance and so on.

Unfortunately, the trend seems to be towards super-states, 1990s secession-mania nonwithstanding.

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #99 on: April 20, 2012, 07:34:43 pm »
As I think I've said elsewhere, the rulers in city-states also tend to be more responsive to their citizens needs.

Hell, until last year, the cops carried a crate of bottled water in their trunks to hand out to homeless people.

But Mayor Walkup is gone now, and the new regime is trying to be Scottsdale. 

But Tucson knows how to deal with that sort of thing.

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #100 on: April 23, 2012, 02:32:31 pm »
Considering Japan is economically destabilised, politically incoherent, perpetually dealing with the crisis that never ends in Fukushima and an Iranian conflict away from losing their ability to provide power to their people... is this sending a message that a policy of nonviolence is not pragmatic? Or is it just bad luck?

I guess I mean, if Japan had post WW2 been able to remain militarily strong and had activly participated in conflicts (in greater capacity than the Iraq involvement I mean) would they be facing the same problems now, or would they better equipped to deal with them?
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Cain

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #101 on: April 23, 2012, 02:44:59 pm »
Well, I don't exactly see how a military could have helped in any of those situations.  Japan's always going to be an island with no natural resources of note, in a tectonically unstable region, reliant on outside fuel sources.

If you want oil, the cheapest way to get it is to buy it.  Unless wanting oil isn't the issue, and controlling it is...but as things stand, buying it is the cheaper option.

And for a country with "no military", they sure are spending a lot on military procurements.  Fifth biggest spenders in the world, according to the CIA.

I'm not entirely sure how you're getting that the economic and political crisis, as well as Fukushima and the Iranian crisis could have been prevented by a strong military.

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #102 on: August 14, 2015, 08:03:53 am »
Could you offer your Cainite wisdom on the situation in Rojava?  Are they, as some have suggested, the ideological successors to the Spanish Anarchists?  are they, as the Turkey seems to think, just one ore brand of Muslim terrorist?  Or are they something else entirely?

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #103 on: September 15, 2015, 10:33:42 pm »
Could you offer your Cainite wisdom on the situation in Rojava?  Are they, as some have suggested, the ideological successors to the Spanish Anarchists?  are they, as the Turkey seems to think, just one ore brand of Muslim terrorist?  Or are they something else entirely?

Sorry, totally missed this.

Their ideology is, broadly speaking, left-libertarianism.  The PKK is the largest and most well organised of the Kurdish resistance groups, and they are, without a doubt, Marxist to the core (Ocalan, the leader, was a well known Marxist agitator and student of political science in Turkey).  Their offshoots, like the YPG, are very progressive by most Middle Eastern standards.

That said, they're also vulnerable to the less attractive aspects of leftwing ideology, notably cult of personality (Ocalan assassinated several PKK members he suspected of being insufficiently devoted to the cause) and political authoritarianism in the areas they control.  However, they are by far the most progressive groups in the Middle East when it comes to democracy, women's rights, separation of church and state and similar issues.

Turkey hasn't a leg to stand on when criticizing the PKK though.  It was their harsh, wholesale repression of Kurdish culture, which they tried to completely destroy, which led to the emergence of the PKK and their war against Ankara.  You can still be arrested in Turkey for performing "Kurdish dancing" for example, and any expression of Kurdish culture is seen as propaganda for the PKK - regardless of how innocent it may actually be.

With regards to the Islamic issue, many Kurds have resisted Turkish heavy-handed attempts to promote the version favoured by the ruling AKP in Kurdish majority areas.  They're definitely opposed to Salafism, Wahhabism and similar, and while a good number of Kurds are still Muslim, they usually consider themselves to be more culturally Muslim, or vague believers, than involved in definite creeds.  The strong influence of the PKK and Marxism on Kurdish groups means that religion, as a rule, is seen as the opiate of the people, and in particular responsible for the repression of women in the Middle East (the YPG has its own female only battalions, and both the YPG and PKK sites regularly post articles on feminism).

They're not perfect, but in many ways I would say they are some of the only few good guys fighting in the Middle East currently.  They've been dicked over by everyone, including most recently ourselves, but they're keeping a valuable and worthwhile struggle alive, with mostly reasonable means.

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Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #104 on: November 05, 2015, 10:13:41 pm »
So... what's the internet saying about the Russian plane explosion being a false-flag attack by the CIA, to get the Russians to focus their Syrian bombing attacks on the people the US would prefer they bomb?