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  1. #11
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-Ne...7641338349787/

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47104777...gestudy-finds/

    http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-18563_162-6866663.html

    The last link is about the failure of American public schools. Did you know that the literacy rate is higher in Russia?
    Wow Marm.

    We are also rank 93 when it comes in income equality. We are behind Russia, China, India, AND Iran for that matter. All nations we consider to be 2nd world. Strangely enough, Iran is considered a first world country. It sure as hell speaks a ton. We are also behind Israel and Egypt - we know what happened to Egypt.

    We may be the richest country in the world, but our income equality is atrocious.

    The last time it was this bad was in the 1920's.

    EDIT: # >.<

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rail Tracer View Post
    Wow Marm.

    We are also rank 93 when it comes in income equality. We are behind Russia, China, India, AND Iran for that matter. All nations we consider to be 2nd world. Strangely enough, Iran is considered a first world country. It sure as hell speaks a ton. We are also behind Israel and Egypt - we know what happened to Egypt.

    We may be the richest country in the world, but our income equality is atrocious.

    The last time it was this bad was in the 1920's.

    EDIT: # >.<
    One of the things I find comical is that many of the highest ranking countries for literacy are from the former Soviet Union. Then there's Cuba.

    I'm not saying we should be a communist dictatorship but I find it awfully rich when I grew up hearing about those poor people brainwashed by their government...who gave them nearly 100% literacy.

    Russia's educational system has produced nearly 100% literacy. About 8.1 million students attended Russia's 1,108 institutions of higher education in 2008, but continued reform is critical to producing students with skills to adapt to a market economy. Because great emphasis is placed on science and technology in education, Russian mathematical, scientific, and space and aviation research is still generally of a high order. The number of doctors in relation to the population is high by American standards, although medical care in Russia, even in major cities, is generally far below Western standards.
    Of course we'll live longer than them on average, but compared to the rest of the 1st world we're doing quite pathetically in terms of health and economic equality.

    I'm not sure there is officially a 2nd world since the USSR disbanded, but what you're mentioning is primarily the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) , which is pretty much our current ...second world...I guess.

  3. #13
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    I'm not saying we should be a communist dictatorship but I find it awfully rich when I grew up hearing about those poor people brainwashed by their government...who gave them nearly 100% literacy.
    and we *know* those numbers weren't fudged at all.

    what good is the ability to read without the ability to comprehend?
    what good is the ability to read if there only state controlled media?
    they teach them to read because it is conducive to that brainwashing you mentioned.
    "gave them... literacy"
    what a gift!

    i've never understood reading or writing to be inherently good.
    we fukin won boys

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nocapszy View Post
    and we *know* those numbers weren't fudged at all.
    This isn't the dark ages. You can look up world literacy yourself, in 2012, not literacy during the Soviet era behind the iron curtain. I had a brilliant math professor who had a nearly poetic approach to math, and later I found that this was a common feature of Soviet mathematicians, to approach math like an art form, and not for commerce. For someone with my own learning style, this helped me to understand algebra better than any American teacher I'd had in high school. Most other Russians I've met are closer to my own age, but I don't consider these to be foolish people without comprehension by any means, and if you believe that, you may have been brainwashed by your own government.

    Yes the media was state controlled, and I didn't refute that. On the other hand, I don't think the two things should be mutually exclusive. Communists should not be able to read better than capitalists, to me it seems sensible to be something in between, and Western capitalism is filled with propaganda. We see propaganda on street corners and commercials from the day we are born unless our parents shelter us, and it's quite silly for people to think we aren't victim to it.

    It's how they've achieved the amazing cognitive dissonance that seems normal to many extremist right wing Christians that I mentioned earlier, it's entirely absurd. Only propaganda without proper education could accomplish such a thing.

    what good is the ability to read without the ability to comprehend?
    what good is the ability to read if there only state controlled media?
    they teach them to read because it is conducive to that brainwashing you mentioned.
    "gave them... literacy"
    what a gift!

    i've never understood reading or writing to be inherently good.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Read this excerpt on fascist economics, if you will.



    The part I put in bold is the only part that does not sound to me like the USA's economy.

    That is just one piece. Well before I read that I kept thinking about Mussolini's characterization of fascism as a merger of the government and the state, a description that sounded eerily similar to the USA's current predicament.

    Realistically, I know this thread will piss people off, and odds are many people reading this don't have much of a concept of fascism or any alternative economic model, but I'm quite serious. I think there's a legitimate case to be that the USA is, if not currently economically fascist, quickly approaching the state of a fascist economy.

    Also, I honestly think China is, at this point, fascist on pretty much all fronts.
    Well it depends on what you think is fascist economics, most of what I've read about this topic would suggest that fascism (we're talking about fascism here as in Mussolini, Franco, Peron rather than national socialism, so called, "national bolshevism" or Aryanism I presume) was purely opportunistic economically. At one time backing business, at another backing unions.

    I do think that the US is corporatist, like most of the world is corporatist and Mussolini did say that fascism was just corporatism, something that C Wright Mills highlighted when he discussed the idea of the power elite and the idea of military keynesianism in the US in the sixties.

    Although could any fascist economy claim to be "social darwinist" when it was all about eliminating or "managing" and "limiting" competition for power from organised labour?

    Gregor Strasser and other economists within Hitler's party were keynesian or pro-monopolist favouring mixed economies with central planning but I'm not sure they were "social darwinist", to be honest I'm not sure that the concept social darwinism had much to do with darwinism, the survival of the fitness motif was often taken up by those who identified with the "already strong" or the "established" rather than challengers, fitness didnt really come into it, and certainly not fitness as adaptability or flexibility.

    The use of eminant domain in the west and China would, to me, suggest a convergence upon state capitalism or state supported corporatism. A number of free marketeers which I know would argue that we're witnessing the ongoing convergence of all economic models on a new feudalist principle.

    Although personally I dont consider that so, at least not in the strictly Hayekian sense, the world really has moved on from that simple and simplistic rhetorical model. I certainly do not think anything that free marketeers suggest would actually do anything other than accelerate the process they've described though, including gold standards, permitting banking fails or further rounds of reductions in tax and spending resulting in unemployment hikes.

    So, I'm unsure that a fascist economic model would be, as distinct from the state simply supporting wealthy elites at home and abroad in competition with other elites.

    This will sound odd or out of the blue but I actually think one of the best films I've seen about fascism, although its totally ahistorical to say so, was Gangs of New York, there's truisms in that film about social struggles and money. One of the filthy rich guys says the good thing about the poor is that he could always pay one half to kill the other half. Whether a common predictament exists which should unite people or not, ie economic status, other affiliations, religion, nationalism or emigre status, identity politics will matter more. Among the less well heeled other factors like being "hard", having an "intimidating" prescence (oft mistaken or taken for "respect") or rivalry over love interests will matter more than anything really strategic like the economy.

  6. #16

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    In relation to the first, second and third world benchmarks for international status.

    You guys know that's Cold War propaganda right? The "first world" was supposedly the "free world", ie the US, the "third world" all those unaligned, particularly southern hemisphere nations, and the "second world" was non-aligned and soviet nations or satellites.

    It was created at a time when the a lot of people in the US were convinced that the soviets had out paced the US in terms of technological innovation and economic development, something which the US bought for a hell of a long time after it was becoming apparent to people everywhere it was a lie, consider that Firefox, the story of a thought guided fighter plane, or even The Hunter for Red October, about a silent, stealth sub, were not just successful novels but also films and not simply laughed out of the production/publishing.

    The whole purpose of the first, second and third rating was simply a psychological gimic like the "we're no. 1" chanting at political rallies or PJ O'Rourke's response to the post-9/11 world that the American ignorance of geography was a reflection of so not so many nations besides the US objectively mattering in geo-politics. Its about stoking arrogance to cover for being shit scared.

    A lot of the other "developmentalist" or internationalist benchmarks keep changing, people used to talke about the developed and underdeveloped or developing or emergent economies or worlds, they talked about the global north and global south too. I'm not sure what is PC or popular at the minute.

  7. #17
    Member Moxiest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savage Idealist View Post
    EXACTLY! There's no logical connection between valuing the two; Christianity is entirely opposed to the idea of a capitalist world; it strives to make all people meek and averse to greed; capitalism is all about using ambition and the desire for private means of production to run the economy. No granted, a form of capitalism where there's limitations and a safety net could be compatible with someone of the Christian faith, in that they know that a capitalist (or at least somewhat capitalist) structure of economy is neccesary for society, so long as it does not go too far into the extreme. However, I've seen conservatives on political forums who preach insane degress of capitalism; to the poin where they want to abolish taxes, welfare, and public institutions; they want the weak and poor to suffer and die. But these same people will jump all over abortion and gay marriage as sinful, quoting the bible and god as thier source. Thier stupidity knows no bounds.
    This is really twisted.

    Yes, the right is against welfare. It is believed by Christians, that if a man does not work, neither should he eat. (seems pretty logical to me, as food/provisions don't come from nowhere)

    There is, however, in christianity, a place for the poor and needy. If you look in the old testament, there was a portion of fields left for aliens, poor, and widows to harvest from. There also was a whole branch of the church devoted to taking care of widows in the New Testament... so I am not sure where you are getting this false information.

    The Old Deluder Satan Act was one of the first laws passed in this country dealing with education... encacted by those "right wing" christians... who... don't want anyone to be educated... what? Harvard was started by a christian, to train christians in theology (congregationalist/unitarian sect of protestantism). Same is true of Yale, it was originally a school for clergymen. Princeton has strong presbytarian ties, and Dartmouth was founded by a congregationalist leader named Eleazar Wheelock. The University of Pennsylvania was founded by Benjamin Franklin, a deist with calvinist influences. That's at least 5 of the 8 Ivy League schools. It isn't true that christians are uneducated, or that they do not want people to be educated. As I just stated, (at least) 5 of our nations 8 Ivy League Schools were founded by christians.

    And, since we are talking about Christians as being the only "stupid" people who belive abortion is wrong, did you know the ancient Assyrians would actually impale a woman for having committed an abortion?

  8. #18

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    The protestant ethic, that is the work ethic, is very closely associated with the rise of capitalism. It was culturally capitalistic, since it preached that working and saving should be your whole like, pretty much whoever dies the richest wins, and it was structurally necessary because the capital accumulated in savings was necessary to make for the big spend on factories and modern machinery.

    The beliefs underpinning it were Calvinist, that man's fate as being either destined for heaven or condemned to hell were predestined, your name was either written in the book of life (an obscure biblical reference in ye olde first popularly printed bibles which of course is VERY important if you preach and believe scriptural literalism and also solo scripture or "bible alone") or it wasnt. Good works, faith, prayers, hoping wont make a jot of difference. So understandably you'd like to know. So you live a particular way and be on the look out for whether or not God favours you, if you die rich well obviously God must have favoured you to bestow the blessings of riches upon you.

    To me that's rank heresy and involves a lot of reinterpretation of what seems like obvious contra wealth commentaries from the very mouth of Jesus, the Jews of his day having similar ideas about the defensibility of wealth, but it is none the less the teaching. It could perhaps be more understandable in the climate of anti-roman catholicism, attacking ideas about good works, priestly powers of forgiveness or damnation, the corruption of tradition et. but I think that'd be being charitable.

    My point is that depending upon the branch of Christianity there is no contradiction between professing capitalism is great, that Adam Smith's invisible hand of the market place IS in fact the divine plan/hand of God, and attacking abortion and homosexuality.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moxiest View Post
    This is really twisted.
    You mean the subject matter that I was referring to, or my post?

    Yes, the right is against welfare. It is believed by Christians, that if a man does not work, neither should he eat. (seems pretty logical to me, as food/provisions don't come from nowhere)

    There is, however, in christianity, a place for the poor and needy. If you look in the old testament, there was a portion of fields left for aliens, poor, and widows to harvest from. There also was a whole branch of the church devoted to taking care of widows in the New Testament... so I am not sure where you are getting this false information.
    I never mentioned that Christianity was a religion that was against welfare; I'm quite aware that some of the main tenants of Christianity preach 'love to all mankind' and 'forgivness', etc. What I was talking about was how that was logical incompatible with some (not all) pro-capitalists, specifically those who take it to the extreme and desire to abolish any method for assistance of the poor; these same types of capitalists would outright oppose the idea of leaving portions of fields left for aliens, the poor, and widows.

    The Old Deluder Satan Act was one of the first laws passed in this country dealing with education... encacted by those "right wing" christians... who... don't want anyone to be educated... what? Harvard was started by a christian, to train christians in theology (congregationalist/unitarian sect of protestantism). Same is true of Yale, it was originally a school for clergymen. Princeton has strong presbytarian ties, and Dartmouth was founded by a congregationalist leader named Eleazar Wheelock. The University of Pennsylvania was founded by Benjamin Franklin, a deist with calvinist influences. That's at least 5 of the 8 Ivy League schools. It isn't true that christians are uneducated, or that they do not want people to be educated. As I just stated, (at least) 5 of our nations 8 Ivy League Schools were founded by christians.

    And, since we are talking about Christians as being the only "stupid" people who belive abortion is wrong, did you know the ancient Assyrians would actually impale a woman for having committed an abortion?
    Um okay, what are you talking about here? I never said that Christianity was some useless religion; obviously it has had a profound impact on the world. My argument was attacking those who cherry pick tenants of the Christian faith to fit their own agenda, perverting the religion into something that is no longer pure. And those "stupid" people I was referring to where the right wing extremist nut jobs who only quote the bible as means of arguing against stems cells, welfare, gays, and abortions, more so because they just genuinely fear those things.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    In relation to the first, second and third world benchmarks for international status.

    You guys know that's Cold War propaganda right? The "first world" was supposedly the "free world", ie the US, the "third world" all those unaligned, particularly southern hemisphere nations, and the "second world" was non-aligned and soviet nations or satellites.

    It was created at a time when the a lot of people in the US were convinced that the soviets had out paced the US in terms of technological innovation and economic development, something which the US bought for a hell of a long time after it was becoming apparent to people everywhere it was a lie, consider that Firefox, the story of a thought guided fighter plane, or even The Hunter for Red October, about a silent, stealth sub, were not just successful novels but also films and not simply laughed out of the production/publishing.

    The whole purpose of the first, second and third rating was simply a psychological gimic like the "we're no. 1" chanting at political rallies or PJ O'Rourke's response to the post-9/11 world that the American ignorance of geography was a reflection of so not so many nations besides the US objectively mattering in geo-politics. Its about stoking arrogance to cover for being shit scared.

    A lot of the other "developmentalist" or internationalist benchmarks keep changing, people used to talke about the developed and underdeveloped or developing or emergent economies or worlds, they talked about the global north and global south too. I'm not sure what is PC or popular at the minute.
    Yes, the First world was "free", the second world communist, and the third world neutral.

    However it has now come to mean something economic, although some people seem oblivious to the fact that there is no longer a second world, I think we could safely refer to the top tier developing countries (like the BRIC) that are "threatening" to current first world powers as the second world, again. Because people are threatened by Russia and China, in particular.

    But basically there are developed and developing countries now, officially.

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