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  1. #81
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    What he said was:
    Soviet-style communism failed, not because it was intrinsically evil but because it was flawed. It allowed too few people to usurp too much power: 21st-century market-capitalism, American-style, will fail for the same reasons.

    Sounds right to me.


    Marge, I agree with you -- in theory. In theory, communism works. In theory.

  2. #82
    Broud Balestinian G-Virus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    As a matter of fact, according to polls, a LOT more than 10% of the current Muslim population on Earth share these "extremist" views.
    Just in the last century alone, not even mentioning the crusades or the spanish inquisition, or anything else of that nature; the amount of death and oppression brought about by the west and its ideologies is unsurpassed. The World Wars, Vietnam, the support of terrositc regimes in South America, Apartheid and many many more.

    Everyone is jumping on the whole how evil Islam is bandwagon, when the numbers point the other way.
    Seek freedom and become captive of your desires, seek discipline and find your liberty.

    "If you go looking for something in particular, your chances of finding it are very bad, because of all the things in the world, you're only looking for one of them. If you go looking for anything at all, your chances of finding it are very good, because of all the things in the world, you're sure to find some of them."

  3. #83
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    Sounds right to me.
    Why are they intrinsically evil? Simply because they're not us?
    Then we say that the problem with communism was communism, but the problem with capitalism was capitalists. That seemed to be a way of saying "our problems were because we're 'just humans', or something. Well, of the people who make up the system were the problem, that says a lot about the system.
    Capitalism is based on principles of individual freedom and choice, communism is based on the concept of limiting individual freedom and choice in order to create material equality. Communism is an atrocity, even in theory.

  4. #84
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G-Virus View Post
    Everyone is jumping on the whole how evil Islam is bandwagon, when the numbers point the other way.
    All that what you stated essentially means is that:

    1.) There are evil ideologies outside of Islamism

    2.) Bad things were sometimes done in pursuit of good objectives

    None of that addresses the contention that Islamism is an evil ideology, and that a huge proportion of the Muslim world buys into it.

  5. #85
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    As a matter of fact, according to polls, a LOT more than 10% of the current Muslim population on Earth share these "extremist" views. But another fact is the Muslim states usually are among the poorest, the most illiterate, ignorant and most under-developped on Earth. And the rich ones are blessed with gigantic inequalities between the ruling class and everyone else.

    So I'd say so far, what we saw is only a powerless anger aimed at us. But the anger is real. Jealousy, frustration, resentment are very powerful emotions for the masses... And things could only get worst so far, since I do not see any hope of change (with the only exception of Iran, where there's a real, interesting intellectual opposition against their current regime, if ever the population had the opportunity to overthrow Ahmadinejad and Khamenei). The next step after the 9/11 is nuclear terrorism. And I fear we shall see it happen during our current lifetime.

    You should never ever underestimate the real weight and influence of Ideologies. That was the harsh lesson of the XXth century, if you want (also check Hannah Arendt's books).

    But change can arise only through education... and women. Yes, women. As usual, they are the clue to everything!

    So we shall see. In fact, I wasn't right: there's hope, but it's kinda tenuous, weak. And nobody can predict the future, especially me.
    And yes, Blackmail, you are startlingly correct - particularly about the more than 10% - and that is 10% of more than a billion.

    And you are right about the possibility of nuclear terrorism.

    And you are completely right about the power of ideologies - they are so easy to underestimate.

    And the equality or inequality of women may well be the key.

    And although, as you say, you can't predict the future - you certainly understand the present.

  6. #86
    Member Oleander's Avatar
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    We can do a bit of thinking here. Extremists are usually correct that material wealth undermines religious and for that matter political bigotry. They can feel morally superior about not being corrupted like the Wicked Ones around them. Franco's Spain and Stalin's Russia were just the same and have supporters still against modern loss of idealism.

    Russia liberalised politically and collapsed. Now it is now slipping back to authoritarian rule. China liberalised economically and seems to have been more successful about it.

    The Shah was too corrupt and tried to westernise too fast, leaving country people behind and resentful but they still don't want what they got. The same is true of most of the old Arab kings who were overthrown - they kept too much for themselves. The Saudis are not nearly as stable as they appear either but they have played it by imposing a very strict politicised 19th century heresy.

    Now look at Dubai in particular, the other Emirates in general. They have put oil money to use for tourism like they'd settled another planet. They are rich and are going to stay rich. Slowly they are democratising, but not fast enough to frighten the religious. But wealth corrupts. How much real support would extremists get for frightening the tourists and their comfortable life style away?

    So here's my guess: not all Muslim countries are poor but poor countries (Muslim or not) breed extremists. The Arab Emirates and Malaysia are not poor and are going full out to 'corrupt' their people, to direct them more back to what has been a traditional 'secularised Islam' in what was for its time a relatively rich Ottoman Empire, not very different from western 'secularised' Christianity compared to impoverished peasant Portugal or Ireland or Greece.

    Muslim and Christian fundamentalism appeal to those with little else, and to some young people in rebellion against too much consumerism. We're not likely to see it in the Emirates and that is where Muslims are increasingly going to see their future, not a return to tribal squalor.

  7. #87
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Capitalism is based on principles of individual freedom and choice, communism is based on the concept of limiting individual freedom and choice in order to create material equality. Communism is an atrocity, even in theory.
    And both take noble aspects either "freedom' or "equality'; but in practice, both become corrupted into a few gaining all the power. The difference is whether the controlling legal institutions are "private" corporations, or government agencies.
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  8. #88
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    And both take noble aspects either "freedom' or "equality'; but in practice, both become corrupted into a few gaining all the power. The difference is whether the controlling legal institutions are "private" corporations, or government agencies.
    uh, no. In capitalism, legal institutions are supposed to be separate from economic participants; otherwise there would be no free market in the first place. In communism, there is no separation between legal institutions and the economic realm; both are controlled (along with the lives of the unfortunate citizens) by the government. The breakdown you are referring to is an integral aspect of communism; under capitalism, competing individuals and groups are able to amass resources independently of the government, thereby enabling them to challenge attempts by potential oligopolies to attain the type of system-fixing power you are referring to. Democracy cannot exist for long without a (predominantly) capitalist economy, because otherwise the citizens are at the mercy of the government.

  9. #89
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    The point is, you're getting hung up on "government" and "competing individuals and groups independent of the government". But yet the outcome is still a sort of virtual de-factor oligarchy. It is hypothetically easier to rise up in this sytem.
    When I said "legal institutions", that included goverment agencies, as well as private corporations. There really isn't all that much difference. They're both doing the same things (cutting back services wile raising costs (either taxes or prices), and paying the executives richly. And private business can exert political and economic influence. Just look at this current crisis. The government did not do it (though many do like to blame government; like "this is all the fault of those liberals taxing the corporations too much").
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  10. #90
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    The government did not do it (though many do like to blame government; like "this is all the fault of those liberals taxing the corporations too much").
    There is a huge difference between government agencies and private corporations, especially regarding the matter of whether one has a choice as to whether or not to contribute resources to them. Competent governments have a monopoly on the use of force, "legitimate" or otherwise.

    To put this all succinctly, capitalism at its worst increases the number of patrons, all competing for clients with each other. Communism (not synonymous with "government," btw) at its best increases the number of clients, and competes with no one else.

    You do not think Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac qualify as government? Regulations have played a huge part in this mess (which is hardly the end of the world-or of capitalism, much as you seem to desire that).

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