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Messages - Cain

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« on: July 02, 2008, 06:38:54 pm »
You say that people could live off of wild plants, but there would be be never enough to sustain a large population without some people starving

And therein is the most important objection.

« on: July 02, 2008, 02:09:41 pm »
Sure, but half the fun is knowing you can have a steaming hot shower once you're finished in the woods.  If it just went on forever and ever and ever until you died....

Or Kill Me / Re: Knowing we are Free
« on: July 02, 2008, 11:52:11 am »
I have no problem with a third gender pronoun per se....I just have problems with people who use ones they made up, or use them when the person in question is identifiably male or female and identifies themselves as such.  I'd like a standard term and convetion for its use, basically.

Or Kill Me / Re: Nothing Profound
« on: July 02, 2008, 11:49:47 am »
Not an alt, stop being paranoid.

Hi downspiral.

« on: July 02, 2008, 11:48:34 am »
Oh and FYI downspiral, a furry is someone who dresses up as an anthropomorphic animal (which they believe represents their true self, and is almost always a vixen or wolf) and often proceeds to meet other people who do the same and have sex with them.  Or sits on the internet drawing sexually explicit drawings of their chosen creatures.  And so on and so forth.

« on: July 02, 2008, 11:46:29 am »
As a scout, back in the day, I was expected to be able to survive in the woods.  Which I can, with a little preparation.  I wouldn't want to try it, however, for more than a few weeks at a time and especially without a return ticket.  The forest lacks many things, not least:

Much in the way of human interaction
Places to charge my laptop
Season 5 of Lost
All night pizza delivery

It does contain plenty of wood, weeds, rain and annoying little bugs.  If that's your thing, of course.

Cain, I applaud your legendary temper, but if you'd actually read the OP here you'd see that my concern is how to go about addressing a potential clash of civilizations without sacrificing the Liberalism that has come to define the West over the course of the past 200 years.

Why?  Its not going to happen without some sort of cataclysmic Black Swan which I can't predict anyway.  Since I can't predict it, and those seem to be the only conditions under which it could happen, I can't see any cause for concern from that direction.

Now, whether Muslims will outnumber Western Europeans in Europe sometime in the next century or so may or may not be up to some debate. I haven't actually seen the numbers for either side of the argument, hence I said "according to some sources," and not "oh god lock your doors and windows." And as for your attempt to pidgeonhole me as a spontaneous Racist and Eugenecist, I can only wonder whether your motivation in this discussion is to cover factual ground or to get into a fight. But, to humor you, I will offer a couple of small points.

Its not up for debate.  Every statistician worth his or her salt says it isn't going to happen.

And I didn't say you were a Eugenecist or a Racist, only that you were using arguments that they also used.  Usually about Jews, as it happened, which is why all of this is mightily suspicious.  Have you ever read Orwell's Antisemitism in Great Britain?  Replace certain stereotypes and the word Jew with Muslim and it could have been written last week.  The arguments are the same boring, stale, factually inaccurate and racist-enabling crap that was being spewed 20, 50 or even 100 years ago.  "All Jews are the same, they have a foreign, alien culture...their bonds and duties towards each other undermine the traditional rule of law" blah blah blah, all of it bullshit.  This is the same crap with a modern lick of paint, and has never been any different.

1. I am not proposing a regime of strict cultural or ethnic cleansing. Obviously, if my aim is to protect the ideals of the Enlightenment and of open societies, then such a thing would be counterproductive and ultimately self-defeating.

2. I am not saying that ALL MUSLIMS ARE BAD. Jesus Christ. Look, sometimes there are uncomfortable realities with which we must contend. The fact that there is a growing unease between the West and the Middle East is one of those realities. That it happens to exist along ethnic and religious lines is unfortunate, mainly because there are people on both sides who are completely unable to see the point I am trying to make, which is that we have two very large, powerful, cultures that do not see eye to eye coming up at the same place at the same time, and if we don't at least acknowledge that there is a potential for cultural strife here, we are going to get broadsided by it.

So how is a Muslim culture a threat if all Muslims are not bad?  What are you advocating instead, brainwashing them until they accept liberalism is the One True Political System of Organization?  Forcing them at gunpoint?

If anything, there has been greater political cooperation between Europe, America and the Middle East than there ever was before 9/11.  Its strained by Iraq, but its there.  There are also some random nutcases trying to kick off a clash of the civilizations in some countries, but 99% of the people they are supposedly trying to wage that war on behalf of are embarassed to be even grouped in with the same people.

You still haven't explained why Muslims are any more a danger than, say, the proto-Fascist Patriot Movement, by the way.  Where are your concerns about your fellow countrymen who believe everyone who isn't white, insanely fundamentalist Christian and male isn't worth shit and is at best to be tolerated as a slave, at worst a menace to be wiped out?  They're just as illiberal as any Muslim fanatics, and they have a better base of support than any of them do over here.

I cannot simply ignore the fact that political and cultural tensions are growing, just because somebody might misunderstand you and get offended because they think I'm talking about race or religion. That is not my point, and it is not the point of this discussion. Some things are difficult to separate from the issue at hand, and those are two of those things.

Well except for the fact that only the crazies are causing tensions to grow with their reckless actions, and virtually everyone else knows its only the crazies who seem to have a problem getting along with people who disagree, GREAT POINT!

That's why the West is in such trouble now -- because there are so many topics we won't talk about, because they are too "sensitive." Issues like warhawks on both sides of the issue trying to provoke attack by the other side. Issues like the belief that Liberal, Western Democracy is -- God forbid you say it -- superior to the backward, repressive, oppressive, theocratic despotism of the Middle East, at least where it concerns Westerners. I know I don't want an Imam signing permission slips for me any more than your average Saudi wants a strip club across the street from his house.

Really?  Gosh, all those Daily Mail, Sun, Express, Telegraph, National Review, World Daily Net and Townhall articles about how Muslims are taking over the country must be my imagination then.  And yet when a Muslim expresses a viewpoint considered a little crazy he's automatically labelled a terrorist - even if they haven't committed a single violent act or shown any inclination to do so (cf; "Lyrical Terrorist").

And I doubt anyone gives a shit if you think your system is better - most people do, or they wouldn't support it - its when you decide to enforce your belief on everyone else at the threat of extreme violence is where people get worried.  Well, normal people anyway.

Also, I find it more than ironic that apparently forcing over a billion people to conform to your ideal political position is somehow considered liberal.

Lets see what John Stuart Mill has to say about this, children.

"A recent writer, in some respects of considerable merit, proposes (to use his own words,) not a crusade, but a civilizade, against this polygamous community, to put an end to what seems to him a retrograde step in civilization. It also appears so to me, but I am not aware that any community has a right to force another to be civilized. So long as the sufferers by the bad law do not invoke assistance from other communities, I cannot admit that persons entirely unconnected with them ought to step in and require that a condition of things with which all who are directly interested appear to be satisfied, should be put an end to because it is a scandal to persons some thousands of miles distant, who have no part or concern in it. Let them send missionaries, if they please, to preach against it; and let them, by any fair means, (of which silencing the teachers is not one,) oppose the progress of similar doctrines among their own people. If civilization has got the better of barbarism when barbarism had the world to itself, it is too much to profess to be afraid lest barbarism, after having been fairly got under, should revive and conquer civilization. A civilization that can thus succumb to its vanquished enemy must first have become so degenerate, that neither its appointed priests and teachers, nor anybody else, has the capacity, or will take the trouble, to stand up for it. If this be so, the sooner such a civilization receives notice to quit, the better. It can only go on from bad to worse, until destroyed and regenerated (like the Western Empire) by energetic barbarians."

Also, that well known Commie Adam Smith says that the flow of trade and cultural exchange of ideas spreads liberalism, whereas war only spreads profits for a small economic and political elite.  I can't seem to find the exact quote, but I'm sure someone with too much time on their hands could volunteer.

Wow, great thread.   I wish to endorse this discussion as well.  I even enjoyed Cain's input up until...

If you're going to claim we should give up civil liberties to somehow save liberalism, then I'm going to put that in my sig and laugh at your every post from now on

You are such a fucking spag.  Just STFU.

I'm with Old Ben Franklin on liberties myself, but I don't need to make infantile threats just because I feel someone may have stepped on that ideal. 

Hey, Daruko, remember something about jokes you said earlier?  Shame you can't recognize them when others do them.

AKA, The West's BiP tendencies and the Islamic BiP tendencies seem quite different.

There is no "West" except as a geographical location and there is no "Islam" except on certain census forms.

What there is social liberalism, neoliberalism, conservativism, Sufism, neoconservativism, fascism, secular Shiites, communism, monarchism, Catholic theocracy, National Socialism, Arabic Pan-Nationalism, National Bolshevism, Falangism, environmentalism, Salafism, Libertarianism, Islamic feminism and a whole host of other ideas which only have tenuous relationships with each other.

Islam, as a monolithic block is as believable as France and the USA being mistaken for the same country.

My defense of Neoconservatism is limited to its beleif that the best way forward is in Westernizing the Middle East. I do not like Executive Exceptionalism, because it undermines the foundation of Liberal democracy to begin with, and it's my position that we ought to be enacting policies that protect that system at any cost. I also don't like concepts of unending war or continuous self-propagandizing. So my defense of Neoconservatism is not an all-or-nothing package, but I don't think we ought to write off every idea we hear just because it is proposed by an asshole. We'd do ourselves a disservice at this point not to consider every course of action.

How?  By drawing a dividing line between those who support the USA and its enemies?  Westernizing the Middle East has been THE battle cry for the international Islamist Jihad.  Trying to shove something down peoples throats is one sure fire way to get them to reject your proposals.  And guess what?  War abroad always leads to executive power grabs and problems with democracy and civil liberties at home.  Without exception, and especially in the case of terrorism.

Of course, this is all assuming democratizing the Middle East isnt wingnut code for "breaking open previously unreachable markets using military force, selling off foreign owned assets at cut-rate prices, THEN letting the locals take over once we've established the current economic order to our favour."  Which it is.  And we call that "colonialism".  Historically speaking, colonialism has led to a backlash based on ethnic and nationalist grounds.  Which does nothing for democracy but a hell of a lot for the arms industry and wartards everywhere.

Western societies were based on theocracy in the past, but they aren't anymore, even if there are some people who wish they were. Socialism and Fascism did grow out of the Enlightenment just like Liberalism has, but I think those two extremes have proven themselves to be ultimately useless. The fact remains, however, that Western society is, as it stands now, basically at odds with the existing power structures and social norms of the Middle East -- as it has been with other systems in the past.

The existing power structure of the Middle East is the Peace of Westphalia, a system that grew out of...The Thirty Years War.  Almost all local systems of government are military dictatorships, many in close alliance with the USA.  Four nations in the Middle East stake their claim to rulership based on Islamic law, and two of those aren't even worth mentioning because their influence, or lack thereof, makes them impotent little rump states who are about as threatening as Belgium, and with considerably less soft power.

And Socialism, Fascism and Communism aren't as dead as you think.  The far-right has surged in Europe and America, and a new anarchist/marxist movement is emerging from the anti-globalization movement.  Just because so far the west hasn't regressed to one or another of these doesn't mean they wont.

In fact, the subjects you bring up about the supposed "incompatibility" of Oriental Despotism, Stalinism, and other systems to liberal Western democracy are key ingredients in my own contention that Westernizing a dangerous system is a (fairly) effective means of diffusing a culture war before it begins by creating cultural bridges between two systems without completely destroying either one.

What culture war?  The one going on in your head, and between small groups of relatively isolated extremists?  Guess what, if more than 0.01% of Muslims wanted the West in flames, they could do it - right now.  It doesn't take a genius to strap on a bomb.  Hey, would you look at that, the deaths in the UK from Islamic extremists are below that of the IRA.  Are we in a culture war with the Irish catholics then?  And my point was the borders of a supposed culture war have been drawn back and back and back and back and back and every single time the thesis for the Clash of the Civilizations has failed to be substansiated.  Al-Qaeda had their shot from 2001-3 to cause what Bush referred to as "Arab street" to rise up against the West.  They failed.  Opinions of Western concepts such as democracy, freedom of speech and haebus corpus are still outstandingly popular in the Middle East, which is rather amazing given how the events of 2003 played out.

The last half century has seen the spread of Liberalism effectively end the Cold War without a third World War; it has seen stubborn regimes throughout the world be practically cut off from the rest of the world without as widespread military engagement as might have otherwise been necessary.

Nukes and a shitty economy effectively ended the Cold War.  Imperial overstrech kills everyone, even Communists.

There is, of course, always a give and take to these things. Russia is sliding back toward Stalinism; America is losing its advantage over other nations in education and human dignity. But overall, I think the strategy of Westernization is vastly more successful and unquestionably more humane than allowing conditions to fester to such an extent that outright war is the only way to resolve the situation.

Russia never evolved from a form of crony capitalism, the only difference is the current cronies don't like American companies as much.

And how kind of you to decide what is best for everyone else.  I'm sure 60,000 Iraqis are now praising your magnaminity in deciding they should be liberated from their lives for the sake of colonial adventures their countrymen.

Yes, war is an excellent way to get people to accept your point of view.  I've found killing people really helps with my philosophical arguments as well.  My friend Dave was a Commie until I killed his family, now he sees free markets and votes are the way to go.

Now, the statistics having to do with Islamic culture overtaking Europe are -- as I said -- a worst-case scenario. But that only applies to the amount of time it will take. If nothing whatsoever is done to address these growing instabilities in the West, it will happen, eventually. In my opinion we are better off opening the discussion and facing these uncomfortable conditions within the global community before everyone has already mounted their armies and launched their missiles.

Uh, no, they're bullshit.  Full stop.  You can't say "well eventually teh Mooslims will overtake Europe" and then have no evidence to back up your claim.  Either you have it, or you don't.  And if you don't, and I have evidence which shows the good white folk of Europe are outbreeding Muslims (besides, does this data take into account Muslims from areas other than the Middle East?  Secular Muslims?  Liberal Muslims?  Muslim feminists?  People who abandon their faith?  Not any evidence that I've seen) then you're doing nothing more than playing the same game played by the eugenecists and their ilk a hundred years ago.  It was bullshit then and bullshit now.

And what instabilities?  Last time I checked, the only "instabilities" we had which the rest of the world did not would be the fact that our societies are much more open than most other peoples.  If you're going to claim we should give up civil liberties to somehow save liberalism, then I'm going to put that in my sig and laugh at your every post from now on, because you drunk the Kool-Aid hard.  Oh, I hear Wannsee has a nice conference hall, if you want to hold a discussion for that meeting.

Mark Steyn's figures are fundamentally false and taken from parts of the Islamic world with the highest birthrates and lowest levels of emigration (Yemen and Gaza City/West Bank).  Studies have repeatedly shown that Islamic families are, on average, no larger or smaller than any other family within that country for their given eco-social status.

Furthermore, Huntingdon's Clash of the Civilization thesis is also laughably lacking.  50 years ago it was the Spanairds and Latin American countries who were incapable of democracy.  30 years ago, it was eastern Europe, Russia and the so-called Oriental Despotism theory of how Western and eastern cultures were totally incompatible.

Finally, sharia law is not the be all and end all of Islamic culture, and liberalism is not the only interpretation of Western culture that is historically rooted and valued within this region of the world.  300 years ago, it was Divine Rule of Monarchs that was the system of choice.  At the turn of the century, liberalism and monarchism were being wiped away by socialism and fascism - both of which have roots in Western culture.  Oh, and theocracy too was a model that was quite highly valued back in the day, and one that is making headway again in your very own country (not to mention a starting movement in mine).  Equally, strict Salafist interpretation of sharia law is not the only valid interpretation of politics in Muslim society.  In fact, philosophically speaking, both the West and Islam share a common bedrock of philosophical knowledge - that of the Greco-Roman civilization.  Al-Ghazali, the great Islamic scholar, was influenced by Empiricus Sextus, and went on to influence Aquinas and Descartes.  The idea that Islamic society and thought is so laughably backward as to not appreciate such thinking which has led to skeptical scientific investigation, a bedrock of universal claims as to the rights of individuals and groups or led to the formation of a representative society is to my mind at best historically naive and at worst willful racism.

That historical forces have subverted such themes within Islamic society is of course undoubtable.  But how less incompatible with western liberalism is fascism, or Christian theocracy, than Islamic extremism?  Why do we focus on this one, supposedly monolithic threat that emanates at a cultural level when in fact the main concern is sub-state actors of varying stripes who have made a degree of alliances among themselves to destroy western liberalism?

Incidentally, appealing to Neoconservativism to save western society is the political equivalent of destroying the village in order to save it.  A core component of neoconservative thought is executive exceptionalism - that the executive has the right to act however they wish during exceptional circumstances.  Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt have placed this legal maxim at the heart of what they call the system of empire and the concept of unending war - where difference and exception are equated and where war is treated as an aberation in the system, every disturbance of the peace becomes exceptional, and does little more than create a modern day monarchy.  So much for saving liberalism then, by installing a new King.

Aneristic Illusions / Re: Indecision 08 Wingnut thread
« on: July 01, 2008, 06:25:57 pm »

Lolz, Obama has a funny name.  So lets run a fucking gag into the ground by making as many unfunny names which echo Obama as possible.

Aneristic Illusions / Re: Indecision 08 Wingnut thread
« on: July 01, 2008, 02:51:43 pm »
I've actually taken to getting my election information from Fox News. Their bias, at least, is blatant and reliable, so I can just read between the lines. With CNN, I don't really know what they're trying to do sometimes.

And bloggers don't know anything.

Plus; it's not literature.


What;s the "J" for, spag?

Probably "Jew" going by one of his earlier statements.

Literate Chaotic / Protagonize
« on: July 01, 2008, 11:15:32 am »

This is an interactive collaborative fiction website I'm thinking of joining.  I just saw it advertized on Facebook and while normally this has led to bad things (don't ask) I think this has potential.

Of course, it would be great for planting Discordian memes, as well as practicing fiction writing skills in general, so I'm in.

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