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US Politics Hamsterwheel v2.0

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US Politics Hamsterwheel v2.0

Old 17th Jul 2018, 13:47
  #15001 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Republic of Texas
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Originally Posted by pattern_is_full View Post
Socialism is a catch-all "ism" that is so loosely defined that there is no "true" to look for. I mean, "Public education" and "traffic lights" are not exactly jackboots and gulags, but they are government limiting perfect and unfettered liberty in order to achieve some other societal benefit (like avoiding total chaos at intersections, and producing a population well-informed enough to compete in the marketplace). There are all levels of socialism, on a continuum between pure libertarianism and pure totalitarianism.

Capitalism has a ruling class that survives on the back of the common people - at least until such time as it can do away with them altogether via robots and other automation. About all that can be said for it is that - IF - the irrational forms of discrimination are eliminated, then there is some mobility for the common people to join it.
Respectfully disagree on the catch-all framing. Socialism is a quite well defined social construct. The entire market is controlled by state actors. You have two excellent examples, first public education is a useful and benefiting social organization. I am happy to pay my state/fed taxes to support such. However, in every county, in every state there is the opportunity, and actual market for private education to exist along side public education. In a true socialist structure, there would be no private schooling of anyone allowed, as all schools would be required to be a member of or controlled completely by the state. As for traffic lights, that's recently been in the news as well, concerning how and when traffic lights are installed and managed. Several major cities near me have contracted their traffic signalling and also cameras to private vendors. As many know, when that happens, the traffic signals are no longer run by a state actor, but are run almost entirely by the private company, including collection of fines for camera caught violations. This is private enterprise horning into what once was the complete domain of the state, under a social structure for the gain of all drivers/passengers.

As for capitalism have 'ruling class' it just cannot be so. If that were the case, Trump, Bezos, Gates, et-al would be controlling the wages through a structured totalitarian union, ala back to the German Labor Front(and, I'm so done with the Nazi/Hitler discussion). This WAS done on a modest scale back in the 19th century with the expansion of the railroad by the Vanderbilt and assoc with their importation of Chinese forced labor. We could also see similar themes in the prev century with the Mexican Bracero program, however the 'ruling class' there were more accurately a bunch of independent farmers/ranchers/landholders. As a ruling class, they were mostly pretty class-less. Today, the labor market is almost completely unfettered. Once again, Trump to the rescue, along with the SCOTUS recently taking money and power from the unions, and giving it BACK to the voting public where it belongs. The essence of anti-socialism, where the union(or other state actor) had control of the labor market. The labor market is actually getting further and further from socialism as we move forward. We are leaving social caste structure in the US to the economic and liberty gain of the people directly, and not through some kind of 'all animals are equal, but the pigs are just a bit more equal' crap.

The other nice thing about capitalism is it's universality. Gates and Bezos both have extremely proletarian beginnings. It's a story writ large every year, every state, every generation. Local boy makes good. And - it all happens based on work ethic, smarts, investment, time, energy, and a desire to succeed. Gates was a poor college student. Bezos was the son of a Cuban immigrant and a teenage girl, and worked at McD as a fry cook. Where in the world do people like this go for the American dream? To America! Why do we have millions of people trying to get into the US? Because we are such great capitalists. In closing I will admit that capitalism does not play favorites. It does not discriminate, it does not capitulate, it does not denigrate. We have millionaires in this country who are men, women, white, black, red, brown, we have stupid people, and smart people, we have christians, and buddhists, and muslim millionaires, we have every shape, size, and color can make it here. It's the least-worst economic system in the world. All others are weak imitations, including state-run socialism. How many people are flocking to get into Cuba or Venezuela this year? Riiiiiiiight.

Last edited by ethicalconundrum; 17th Jul 2018 at 14:01.
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 14:24
  #15002 (permalink)  
 
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“....Fascism combines totalitarian statism with enforced inequality - a master race and subordinate races. Communism combines totalitarian statism with enforced equality....”

patternisfull.

You conflate economy with class. Socialism, loosely defined, has the State in control of all production (wealth, value).
Fascism has all control in the preferred class, (Race, or elite).

Both Fascism and Socialism are religious in nature, requiring a unique and narrow obedience to the “controller”. So the metric is not wealth in either one, but the Power.

To the extent that one can fit either one into Locke, it can be argued that it is the people who rule. This makes both Fascism and Socialism a lie. Both require a narrative, or myth, to gain obedience from the masses.

That is a challenge, since our DNA has us as tribal, and hymenogenic (rule by association of the species, like bees, or ants.)

The narrative is written by those who can make obedience sound natural, appealing to our natural instinct to unite in common cause. (Impeach Trump now). (Obama/Nobel).

At that point in the evolution of tyranny when the people can be led by the narrative, we have the loss of logic, having been preceded by the loss of skepticism, or critical thought.

We are at that point in America now, having lost our best hope to an incessant noise promoting class hatred, greed, and envy, for it is in common cause that people can be most easily managed.

I choose to call Fascist on the deep State, though much of the carrot being dangled has to do with “equality”. We lost our nation when rights disappeared on the campus, circa 1980. Ironic, that the drumbeat of Fascism began with the call for “free speech”.

It was chilling to watch Stzrok testify. That smug arrogance is the symbol of the new State. He is not a liar, he believes in his cause: “We’ll stop it...”

The FBI and the other agencies march to, and believe in, a new drummer. It is a “higher moral calling”, one that allows, no, demands that laws be ignored for “the cause”. We are in 30’s Germany. “Those who forget...” etc.

We are being led by the hybrid of affiliation and freedom, and neither one is allowed in the new State.

Everything you see, read, and have been taught to think, is most likely a lie.

We have lost our collective minds.

con





Last edited by Concours77; 17th Jul 2018 at 14:46.
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 15:30
  #15003 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Originally Posted by ethicalconundrum View Post
Respectfully disagree on the catch-all framing. Socialism is a quite well defined social construct. The entire market is controlled by state actors. You have two excellent examples, first public education is a useful and benefiting social organization. I am happy to pay my state/fed taxes to support such. However, in every county, in every state there is the opportunity, and actual market for private education to exist along side public education. In a true socialist structure, there would be no private schooling of anyone allowed, as all schools would be required to be a member of or controlled completely by the state. As for traffic lights, that's recently been in the news as well, concerning how and when traffic lights are installed and managed. Several major cities near me have contracted their traffic signalling and also cameras to private vendors. As many know, when that happens, the traffic signals are no longer run by a state actor, but are run almost entirely by the private company, including collection of fines for camera caught violations. This is private enterprise horning into what once was the complete domain of the state, under a social structure for the gain of all drivers/passengers.

As for capitalism have 'ruling class' it just cannot be so. If that were the case, Trump, Bezos, Gates, et-al would be controlling the wages through a structured totalitarian union, ala back to the German Labor Front(and, I'm so done with the Nazi/Hitler discussion). This WAS done on a modest scale back in the 19th century with the expansion of the railroad by the Vanderbilt and assoc with their importation of Chinese forced labor. We could also see similar themes in the prev century with the Mexican Bracero program, however the 'ruling class' there were more accurately a bunch of independent farmers/ranchers/landholders. As a ruling class, they were mostly pretty class-less. Today, the labor market is almost completely unfettered. Once again, Trump to the rescue, along with the SCOTUS recently taking money and power from the unions, and giving it BACK to the voting public where it belongs. The essence of anti-socialism, where the union(or other state actor) had control of the labor market. The labor market is actually getting further and further from socialism as we move forward. We are leaving social caste structure in the US to the economic and liberty gain of the people directly, and not through some kind of 'all animals are equal, but the pigs are just a bit more equal' crap.

The other nice thing about capitalism is it's universality. Gates and Bezos both have extremely proletarian beginnings. It's a story writ large every year, every state, every generation. Local boy makes good. And - it all happens based on work ethic, smarts, investment, time, energy, and a desire to succeed. Gates was a poor college student. Bezos was the son of a Cuban immigrant and a teenage girl, and worked at McD as a fry cook. Where in the world do people like this go for the American dream? To America! Why do we have millions of people trying to get into the US? Because we are such great capitalists. In closing I will admit that capitalism does not play favorites. It does not discriminate, it does not capitulate, it does not denigrate. We have millionaires in this country who are men, women, white, black, red, brown, we have stupid people, and smart people, we have christians, and buddhists, and muslim millionaires, we have every shape, size, and color can make it here. It's the least-worst economic system in the world. All others are weak imitations, including state-run socialism. How many people are flocking to get into Cuba or Venezuela this year? Riiiiiiiight.

You were doing OK until we drifted into fantasy. It's astonishing there is still anyone who has been duped into believing in the American dream.

The USA has the lowest, or near lowest, social mobility in the developed world. It is absolutely the worst place to be born poor. The countries that offer their citizens the best opportunities to get on are in Scandinavia.

The American dream was a myth created by the elite to pool the wool over peoples eyes. It actually allowed the creation of the opposite, a system in which wealth and power are firmly entrenched, inequality sky high, and no risk of change to the status quo.

It's quaint but rather saddening to see Americans who still talk about something that by all objective measures, doesn't exist, as being what makes their country great. It is a castle built on sand.

Finally, there's quite a large spectrum of countries between the USA and Cuba/Venezuela. From what trump keeps telling me they are popular with immigrants too. Some lie far closer to the realm of socialism and yet deliver the highest quality of life and best opportunities for their citizens on the planet. Confusing I know. At least you seem to acknowledge immigrants want to move to developed nations so they can take advantage of the opportunities there and better themselves, as opposed to the vile rhetoric we often here.
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 16:13
  #15004 (permalink)  
 
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What, as a foreigner living far away is your definition of the American dream?

If you can trash it, by extension you have to have a vision of what it is. Funny enough, as someone who lives here, I’m pretty darn happy with my situation but recognize that there’s no one standard as your post would imply. Each of us here decides on what that dream is. For some it’s a nice house, others it’s an education, or like my neighbor who drives a 20 plus year old car, it’s saving every last cent to do a dream vacation every year. He’s heading for the Seychelles islands and then to a safari in South Africa.

How you can trash a moving target that’s individually defined by those living it in the US shows a fundamental lack of knowledge of the topic. Or it could just be bias and/or jealousy.
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 16:38
  #15005 (permalink)  
 
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The American Dream is ONE THING. FREEDOM, through which all is possible.

You two are on about something else: “The American Promise”, which is something else, a construct peddled by tyrants who when they see success, tax and regulate until it dies.

The State is the enemy of freedom, by definition. Some enemies are benign, some vicious, but all ultimately squash freedom to grow the State.

“I hold all the promises of the leader in my hands.” “But your hands are empty!” “So they are”.
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 16:58
  #15006 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by neila83 View Post
You were doing OK until we drifted into fantasy. It's astonishing there is still anyone who has been duped into believing in the American dream....The American dream was a myth created by the elite to pool the wool over peoples eyes. It actually allowed the creation of the opposite, a system in which wealth and power are firmly entrenched, inequality sky high, and no risk of change to the status quo.
You made some bold and sweeping claims based on a notion ("The American Dream") you did not bother to define and based on the rest of your diatribe, you have no clue about.

It's quaint but rather saddening to see Americans who still talk about something that by all objective measures, doesn't exist, as being what makes their country great. It is a castle built on sand.
Ummm, who is even talking about "The American Dream?" Is Trump tallking about it? Congress? The media? Nope to all three. So it appears your entire diatribe was a strawman.

That being said, what is YOUR definition of "The American Dream"? It'd be interesting to see if it comports with the generally accepted understanding of the term. And BTW, contrary to your claim, it has NOTHING to do with the "social mobility" you talked about. Nor does it have anything to do with eliminating or even reducing the "inequality" you talked about.
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 17:18
  #15007 (permalink)  
 
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Now that the mouth-frothers have had their say, I went back and watched that Helsinki presser again. It's quite a bit different if you take away the hysteria.

Putin and Trump each came out and read their statements. Very generic and typical, they were: "Me met, we talked about a lot of stuff, we look forward to...," etc.etc. Putin's was way wordier, but it had little content -- rather Obama-like in fact. We must have seen this sort of thing a zillion times after every high level meeting for decades.

Then we went to questions. It was not clear how the questioners were chosen. The Russian ones lobbed a couple of softballs. Then the English speakers went for it. Obviously they wanted to pull out some drama from this snooze of a presser.

Here's where Trump let himself be goaded into a bunch of nonsense irrelevant to the occasion. And he didn't seem to be able to stop, so he went back to his tried and true "I beat Hillary" lines. Then he got trapped, having already stated that he and Putin had discussed the elections issues and the indictments, and that they differed on them, but he did not describe the differences. That's where he got tripped up again, put in a difficult situation where he tried to save the meeting, but unfortunately said some wrong things about US intelligence.

But a lot of what he said was correct, as evidenced by the strange timing of Rosenstein's indictments, and the Strzok fiasco. There really is rot in the FBI/CIA/DOJ.

Trump allowed the questioners to get under his skin. Tactical error, for sure. But it remains to be seen if anything positive will develop out of this whole episode. It's certainly not time to clear a room in the White House for Putin.
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 17:45
  #15008 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by chuks View Post
So, Ken, where would you put Nazi Germany on the political spectrum, if not far-right? What is your reality behind what you call a myth?
Good question, thanks for asking and using the terms that you did.

There's a lot of confusion about the definitions of "socialism." Most folks immediately use the ECONOMIC definition of socialism. But it has a POLITICAL definition as well. Economically, the Nazis were socialist in that state actors controlled the economy. Politically, they were socialists in that the government was authoritarian, a prerequisite for both a socialist economy and government. To me socialists are on the left of the political spectrum, many on the far left. Nazi Germany, much like Soviet Russia, was on the far far left. Libertarianism is on the right of the political spectrum and anarchism on the far right.

Last edited by KenV; 17th Jul 2018 at 17:56.
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 19:15
  #15009 (permalink)  
 
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Interesting reply ....

It is not one I would agree with, Ken, but you do have an interesting take on things there.

At its most superficial Nazi Germany certainly was fascist, since they took over a lot of their tactics (extreme street violence) and theatrics (impressive black uniforms) from fascist Italy, along with the Führerprinzip, originally having the Duce, Mussolini, in Italy, later mirrored by the Führer, Adolf Hitler, in Germany. Just on that basis I would have to insist that Nazi Germany was a fascist state and thus on the far right.

That the term "Nazi" was derived from the German for "National Socialist German Workers' Party" means very little. This party was not national; it was not socialist; it was not true to what is truly German, led as it was by a uneducated Austrian fanatic spoken of as a "hissing street pedlar"; and it was not formed mainly of workers nor did it protect the interests of workers. As someone else just pointed out, East Germany, the German Democratic Republic, was not democratic, and it was not even a true republic but just a Soviet puppet state, another one that did not survive the demise of their Soviet masters.

These examples should suggest that you simply can not go by the name of a state to say where it sits on the political spectrum, not by "socialist," nor by "democratic."
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 19:16
  #15010 (permalink)  
 
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So Trump says he mis-said would instead of wouldn't, shame when the lights went out during his press interview that they found the switch to put them back on.

The mans a muppet.
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 19:26
  #15011 (permalink)  
 
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Truly, this is Trump in Wonderland.

That must have been a very interesting intelligence meeting at the White House this morning.

Someone needs to tell Potus to STOP DIGGING.

Who now will share intelligence with the United States after all this.
DNI Coates for Potus, please.
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 20:09
  #15012 (permalink)  
 
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If I was head of state the LAST people I'd diss would be my secret service. Some of these people might be asked to take a bullet for me... and sure as hell I don't want to risk them all being away on training course when ISIS come to call......
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 21:18
  #15013 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
So Trump says he mis-said would instead of wouldn't, shame when the lights went out during his press interview that they found the switch to put them back on.

The mans a muppet.
Just watched it on the news: is there a single American willing to buy that? "It was a slip of the tongue, move along." Tomorrow, he'll deny it ever happened at all!

CG
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 21:43
  #15014 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by neila83 View Post
You were doing OK until we drifted into fantasy. It's astonishing there is still anyone who has been duped into believing in the American dream.
Thanks, and hey - I'm sorry about the American dream thing. You see, we're being overrun with economic migrants and immigrants who believe it, and do everything they can, up to dying to try for the brass ring here. Also, sorry but I'm living it. My parents were dirt poor, limited education, limited means. I started working at 14 in a tire shop. Did my time in uniform, used the GI bill, worked 2-3 jobs, and now have a very nice net worth, and sufficient time to post my bolviation in the middle of the day on the internet web boards. There are literally millions of us enjoying the fruits of OUR labor, and capitalism at least gave us the chance. Socialism - well, we would all be equal I guess, equal penury, equal squalor, equal hunger, equal misery. You know - like Venezuela and Cuba!

Now, excuse me please, it's hot here and I'm gonna have a beer and take a dip in the pool.
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 21:44
  #15015 (permalink)  

 
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Trump

Evening chaps.

Been a long time. Hope you’re all well.

Tell me you guys don’t think this President is an embarrassment. He seems to blow smoke up the last arse he sat down to talk with.

I actually cringe for him every time he opens his mouth.
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 21:49
  #15016 (permalink)  
 
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Ethical: do you buy the mis-spoke bs? Enjoy the cool one.

CG
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 21:49
  #15017 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
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Originally Posted by Concours77 View Post
The American Dream is ONE THING. FREEDOM, through which all is possible.

You two are on about something else: “The American Promise”, which is something else, a construct peddled by tyrants who when they see success, tax and regulate until it dies.

The State is the enemy of freedom, by definition. Some enemies are benign, some vicious, but all ultimately squash freedom to grow the State.

“I hold all the promises of the leader in my hands.” “But your hands are empty!” “So they are”.
Nope, I said what I meant, and meant what I said. I've been in nations with a tyrant. We have never come close to having one in the US, in any form, except for local grown ones like Vanderbilt, and Carnigie who were surely economic tyrants, but not political. True that the state is the enemy of freedom. Some state powers are necessary, such that we have a document which defines, and limits them specifically. I've seen people outside the US denigrate the ideals of the American dream. All I can chalk it up to is envy, perhaps even ennui based under some socialist paradise.
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 21:55
  #15018 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by charliegolf View Post
Ethical: do you buy the mis-spoke bs? Enjoy the cool one.

CG
Not really. However, execs in the past have been known(quite often really) to offer up corrections which seemed pretty clear at the time they were said.

Our august members in the senate and HR often begin their speeches with the following quote; "I reserve the right and power to alter, amend or modify my statements for the permanent record". Of course, the transcript of statements is rarely broadcast to the world, but still - it was a stupid gaffe. He corrected it, I'm over it.
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 22:24
  #15019 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by chuks View Post
I

These examples should suggest that you simply can not go by the name of a state to say where it sits on the political spectrum, not by "socialist," nor by "democratic."
I know I'm going to regret this but it would be interesting to know why you keep blathering on about the US and Democracy? We've never been a democracy, never had mob rule, never been anything except a Republic. I could go back for reams of posts with you ranting and raving about the US Democracy. It's quite telling that you have no clue about our system of US govt. Also shows that the ring in your nose from the media goobers who have Democracy on every channel have drilled so far into your brain that most of the gray matter has fallen out. I would pay good capitalist American money if you had one original thought per month. I'm sure my money is quite safe.
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 23:47
  #15020 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by charliegolf View Post
Just watched it on the news: is there a single American willing to buy that? "It was a slip of the tongue, move along." Tomorrow, he'll deny it ever happened at all!

CG
CG, actually just shy of 63 million Americans are not only willing to buy that, they're about to reorder it again in November. They must also be worried Putin is about to call in all their dodgy loans if they ever speak out of turn again...
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