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  1. #41
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilikeitlikethat View Post
    As Westerners, what are we against the most?

    The idea of inequality and opression of women in the Middle East?

    The thought of women getting circumcised in Africa?

    The Human Rights abuse in China?

    The other stuff no doubt going on else where in the world, even here...

    Who are we to judge what other countries do, to say it's good or bad?

    I say we're right though, to offer freedom and stuff.


    The answer is obvious.

    CANADA!!




    Eff them and their freaking Molson beer and hoity-toity ice skates!! Who needs gallons of maple syrup?? NOT ME?!?!?

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  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Okay, so claiming property, laws that protect those claims, and the ability to choose exchange it how one sees fit. In that very broad sense, prior to any caveats, I too am a capitalist.

    Based on what you said, I think you are aware that many today would not consider that a sufficient definition of capitalism. Capitalism now tends to involve reduction of government, rejection of controls, and even a certain admiration of corporations. For my part, while I am a capitalist by the above definition, various positions of mine, like a formulaic progressive income tax, a massive inheritance tax, tariffs against competitive labor markets, a universal health care system, severe controls on the finance sector, replacing corporations with worker cooperatives and banks with credit unions, the abolition of intellectual property, etc.. make many consider my disqualified as a capitalist.

    You are correct, and I would likely be inclined to agree with you on most accounts, if pressed on the issues.

    But I would not see the term capitalism banished from the lexicon for freedom's sake, for the tenants of capitalism is what drives personal freedom.

  3. #43
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmotini View Post
    I agree.

    Apparently we in the West are also against taking care of our own damn problems. I'm not sure how the U.S. alone can have so much poverty, unemployment, debt, and violence and be concerned about people on the other side of the world. It really is beginning to beggar all belief for me; this isn't 1950, we didn't just participate in the winning side of WWII. We've got problems at home now.

    Live in the fucking present.

    Ironic, isn't it? With all the instant gratification in our culture, politically we aren't really living in the present as a national identity, but are clinging to something that doesn't even exist any more.
    If it did.

    I really dont believe the version of memory which US politicians and ideologues push is accurate at all.

  4. #44
    Senior Member EntangledLight's Avatar
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    we're against people who are different from us, and people who support ideologies/schools of thought that we don't.

    we really have no room to talk though. every defense anyone tries to take in order to justify our war-games is usually something about national security (?), or about somehow saving the world around us (?); not to mention a complete disregard for an argument centering on the state of our own culture (or lack of).

    we're against doing anything that would make us less "soft" because life would then be "hard". it seems like society is commercialized to the point at which we begin to mimic a broken family life: we, the people, sit around and gorge ourselves on "new and interesting pop culture" (t.v. for an ignored child) while the government (the neglectful parent) goes on about it's business now that we've been mollified, and we're just left to grow from that particular basis.

    getting back to the issue of "saving the world" or being the "big brother" to other countries (which in popular thought among citizens has now turned into being "the badass/doesn't-take-shit-country")... if we ever deserved a title like that, we certainly don't at the moment. everything we do is for gain, we just attempt to put a spin on it so that we can either be seen a good light, or, more likely, that the citizens who make up the majority can "sit right" with the actions of their government. if we really were the big, strong, caretakers we'd be in places like africa taking care of infant-rapists and educating people about aids and about how you don't have to cure being a lesbian (and if you do, it isn't through rape). i know that we do these things already--in a way--but why not take a fraction of the trillions of $ we spent on a failed war and invest that in places that really need it? or, better yet, why not take--again, a fraction--and invest it in the cornerstone/foundation of our nation, such as putting an emphasis on familial ties (in whatever form; as long as it creates strong bonds between people that can mimic traditional ties since these are ingrained/important), alternative fuel resources, gutting the ghettos and leaving schools/after-school-centers in their place, focusing on quality of education and life for the individual...?

  5. #45
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    I would guess it is Islam. I am not a westerner so I would not know. Islam seems to be against what the West (and human rights) have fought for so hard over the centuries.

    Even pedophilia is accepted in Islam. The so called 'prophet' married and had sexual intercourse with a 9 year old girl. Apparently it is what their god Allah wanted. Disgusting!

    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    Well if you believed God and accepted that the world is indeed flat this confusion would have never occurred.

  6. #46
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilikeitlikethat View Post
    The fact that the UK and GMT+00 isn't in the middle?

    I mean, that's what's bugging me.

    Australia are Westerners in the East lol.
    It's funny how people interpret things.

    How do you know that the fact that GMT isn't in the middle isn't the thing that bugs the artist about the picture?

    How do you know that the 'Me' on the map is the 'Me' that wrote the caption?

    Maybe the thing that actually bugs the artist is the context where America is considered the center. Wouldn't it be spot on if they showed an example of that happening, and said 'This bugs me'?

    That's the thing that really bugs me.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    If it did.

    I really dont believe the version of memory which US politicians and ideologues push is accurate at all.
    Well I have talked to elderly immigrants who came here several decades ago, and know my own family who came here circa 19th century (aside from my Cherokee background) and I do know that "pull yourself up by your bootstraps and succeed" actually DID work mid-20th century, and I think early 20th century to a degree, from what I've read. Also, even as recently as 1980 it was easier for a working class or lower-middle class family to own a home, minimum wage was less but went further, and the conditions of our times really are worse for everyone but the wealthiest people. 80 year olds from Argentina tell me this, and they have no agenda to harp on how great white America was.

    Of course the population boom could be part of the problem (really? 3 billion more people in 30 years?) but in reality the U.S. has had very minimal growth overall and just increased inhabitation in cities on the coasts, for example. Most of the population boom is in developing countries.

    Of course things weren't perfect back then. But the American dream did actually work once upon a time.

    Don't get me wrong - I think some people's expectations are fucking unrealistic. Everyone can't be wealthy. However, it should be more feasible to own a small business or to work your way up or own a home, you know, have your little space in life.

    The system is part of what has gotten tighter, I agree with libertarians on that much, that part of what made life easier, say, in 1920 for the smart person, was that you could be an 8th grade drop-out and still write for a major magazine (don't believe me? Ever heard of Dorothy Parker?) ...people want a bachelor's degree minimum to do even some of the most "pushing paper" kind of jobs.

    Our education system I think is also fucked. I can't figure out for the life of me why Zelda Fitzgerald, as a wild woman who never went to college, had a more sophisticated vocabulary than many modern college grads I've met. Of course, she did have the benefit of being upper middle class, so was probably educated at home.

    Then again, people did more of that back in the day too: I know, I was raised by my grandparents, and my grandfather in particular took it upon himself to educate me at home and in private classes besides what I learned in public school, and we were lower-middle class at best, really working class by definition of where my grandfather came from (he dropped out of high school at 16, lied about his age, and joined the Navy in WWII).

    I think more people should also embrace skilled work, things that aren't menial, but also aren't academic...like cooking, sewing, building, etc.

    There should be more jobs in that, but of course, the problem also being that we've lost many manufacturing jobs and are operating in a different economy.

    I don't want to think about it anymore. Going to the beach, brb.

  8. #48
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    @Marmotini

    Yeah, a friends dad came from Germany with his wife due to the aftermath of WWII. He only had a few dollars in his pocket and whatever they could carry - literally.

    But, he was a very good brick layer and knew a lot about constructing houses and got a job, eventually started his own company, and actually became a millionaire by building homes, and buying run down homes and fixing them.

    Could he do that now? I highly doubt it.

  9. #49
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Marm you'd have to define your terms as to what "the american dream" was in order for me to make a good response but I'm going to try.

    My issue with the memory of a golden age in the past is that often it is closely linked with the expectation of present, and even improved, standards of living experienced universally by all irrespective of social class, status, assets, wealth and culture.

    That is patently not the case, you do not have to go back too far, I've had family who were able to tell me about prewar conditions and certainly the immediate post-war period when the welfare state was created. They were able to tell me about an age in which hunger and severe privations resulting from cold or weather conditions were the absolute norm, a kind of rude survivalism was the norm. This is, understandably, not what libertarians are promising people.

    I respect paleocons or libertarians who do insist on "back to the eighteen hundreds" propaganda if they are honest about it being a world which had a much smaller population, in which people did not commonly experience prosperity except in a "good year" or that the immediate windfalls of their policies and reform agenda will be felt only by a minority of politicians, corporations and other similar vested interests and promised societal and economic structural corrections, such as the disappearence of corporations through competition, the passing on of savings made by cutting wages and jobs to consumers, are not guaranteed at all.

    The strength of libertarian capitalist utopianism appears to be that it is promising not something which has never existed, like for instance the withering away of the state as hoped for by trotskyists or marxists, but something which once was and could be again. However the promised and hoped for outcomes can not and will not emerge for the same reasons that no one can "grow younger" because years have passed and it is impossible, they can seek to live as they did when they were younger or behave in particular ways but they arent ever going to recover their lost youth. It sounds ridiculous when you put it that way, on the individual level, but upscale it to an economic and societal level it is apparently credible.

  10. #50
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    The metric system if you're an American.
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