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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    In the US, at least, it seems like people read Dickens and mistook it for some kind of utopian model.
    With the possible exception of Christmas Carol the central protagonists in most of Dicken's novels salvation lies in discovering that they were born of a a more privileged social class all along.

  2. #52
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    With the possible exception of Christmas Carol the central protagonists in most of Dicken's novels salvation lies in discovering that they were born of a a more privileged social class all along.
    Ugh. True. I have difficulty shoveling through all the misery to get that far. Was he trying to bring awareness to the plight of the poor or was he doing more of a Horatio Algers thing?
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  3. #53
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bamboo View Post
    People who are unemployed and untrained are more likely to feel like they can't cope with daily life. Of course that makes sense.

    But I don't think you should be vengeful toward people who say "they can't cope."

    It says something if there are a large number of people are out there unable to cope with their daily lives. I wouldn't describe "getting angry" at your situation as a very good coping mechanism, though it's outwardly directed nature may improve the possibility that you'll find opportunity and engage rather than disengage from a situation.

    I believe that confidence comes from having a sense that you are capable, not that having confidence will make you capable. When people feel like they can't cope, the problem isn't confidence, it's about skills.

    The first step is engagement, whether you feel like you are capable or not.
    Disengagement is a process and often by the time a person realizes how being disengaged will have an effect on their outcomes especially if born into a very low socio-economic class it is so difficult to overcome it can be near insurmountable. This is why you can predict the class a person will end up in by the time they're 5 with high statistical likelihood.
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  4. #54
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jigenbakuda View Post
    Your post obviously comes from a point of bitterness, that I would be lying if I did not say I shared.

    But this brings up an interesting point.

    In a purely theoretical sense how would you feel life would be for you if we lived in the ___________ (you fill in the blank) economic structure instead of capitalism? Seeing as capitalism was created by wealthy people to keep their wealth? If for example we lived in a world without private ownership and used a "library" method of dealing with communal ownership, would you think more people would positively contribute to society?

    If we indeed killed all the filthy rich people took their money and spread it out, within a decade there would be a new group of filthy rich assholes, because of our economy. I am not saying thats a bad thing, because good and bad deals with perception, and if I was one of the new filthy rich assholes, it would be great for me.

    And in our current society my father always told me this, "The harder you work, the less money you make". I know for a fact that applies to every type of profession..
    Right, exactly. I feel like it's the structure of the economy that is a problem. And I live in the US, so this might be different in other countries (for example, I lived for a period in Finland and I believe they have a much better socioeconomic structure).

    I don't deny that capitalism can have its strengths, but I think the US has taken it too far. The point of any human-generated system is to be of benefit to humans, but capitalism exploits the inherent tendencies of humans to be short-term-goal-oriented, selfish, and hoarding. While these traits may have been good back in the caveman times, they are not tailored to the sort of civilizations we now live in - we enter into communities for the purpose of communal benefit, seeing the synergy available if we pool our resources. Capitalism was a good idea coming out of feudalism, as it better leveled the playing field, but it is rapidly descending into corporate oligarchy with the gap between rich and poor ever widening.

    I am not an economist, admittedly, and I do not pretend to hold the answer to the world's financial struggles. However, I do feel like we need to turn to more socialist systems in an attempt to once again level out the playing field that has been heavy-handed by capitalists. The phrase "zero sum game" comes to mind when I think about capitalist interactions: we stand to gain more through cooperation than through competition, but that requires the current "winners" of the capitalist "game" to give up some of their advantage, and most are very unwilling.

    As a result, we are all pulled down - and, most insultingly, the "winners" of the capitalist game, who, as studies have again and again demonstrated, are very likely "winning" not through individual merit but through previous class advantage, look down upon the "losers" as if there is some inherent flaw in them. The truth is that their real flaw is not having been born into capitalist luck.

    I do believe philosophically that humans have a drive to work - to produce, create, and transform. People who are terrified of socialism generally fear that it would encourage laziness, but I do not see how capitalism works any differently. Capitalism simply encourages laziness in those who are born into benefit instead of laziness being an option across social strata. And I do find it overwhelmingly repulsive that somehow cruelty, laziness, and selfishness couched in material "success" are socially acceptable, even celebrated.

    -

    So in answer to your question, yes, I do feel like an economic structure that encouraged communal benefit would make people more interested in contributing positively to the community. The key would be to figure out how to ensure that everyone is getting what they need most out of the system without it becoming a dystopian sort of communism. I like Marx's phrase "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need", and ideally society would operate something in that way. Each person would contribute what they are good at contributing, and each would receive what they are most lacking. The justice system would have to handle cases where people are unwilling to contribute or are breaking laws otherwise. The problem is, as always, how to limit and balance humans' inherent survival instincts and personal sense of individual worth with communal benefit to create the best situation possible for every person. It's almost mathematical... an optimization between individual and community.

  5. #55
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    Maybe the working class and unemployed will kill the fucking filthy rich assholes who are so full of their greedy selves that they refuse to contribute positively to society and quit stuffing their already-full coffers, much less will they ever pull their fair weight in the world.
    Reading that post is like coming out of an anti-racist rally and later finding out the keynote speaker lit the fire to burn a black man tied to a cross.

    Here's what you posted in AGA's thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by skylights
    Moreover, if we say that men are a problem and seek to eliminate them, we might as well do it with every other group that has some lesser desirability. Black people are accused of more crimes in the United States than white people. Should we eliminate a percentage of them too? I'd also be willing to bet that sx-first people are more aggressive and risk-taking than others, and therefore are much more likely to be violent. Should we get rid of ourselves by a great percentage as well? What other groups can we off? We should probably off humans in general, because really we cause a vast amount of damage to the planet and all other beings on Earth.

    People mess up. People get angry. People use their biological defenses against one another. We've moved beyond an evolutionary-determined environment and now our goals often fly in the face of our instincts. This doesn't mean we need less people in the world. It means we need to learn to be better people and to help each other be better. We need to be patient and forgiving; we need to be courageous and perseverant. If men are falling behind in some way, women need to help them, not seek to be rid of them.

    You ask why your boyfriend didn't hold love for you sacred. Why aren't you holding love for humanity sacred?
    Quote Originally Posted by skylights
    For as much as you talk about love, you always seem so ready to write other people off and so ready to hurt them. I don't understand.
    Quote Originally Posted by 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
    4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    So, we have you lecturing about love, quoting Corinthians 13:4-7, and asking: Why aren't you holding love for humanity sacred?
    Then after the lovefest, you trot over to this thread and post:

    Quote Originally Posted by starlights
    Maybe the working class and unemployed will kill the fucking filthy rich assholes who are so full of their greedy selves
    I'll ask you the same question you asked AphroditeGoneAwry—Why aren't you holding love for humanity sacred?
    Are these "fucking filthy rich assholes who are so full of their greedy selves" not part of humanity?
    Or is your idea of humanity only those you deem worthy?

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
    I'll ask you the same question you asked AphroditeGoneAwry—Why aren't you holding love for humanity sacred?
    Are these "fucking filthy rich assholes who are so full of their greedy selves" not part of humanity?
    Or is your idea of humanity only those you deem worthy?


    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia, Rhetorical question
    A rhetorical question is a figure of speech in the form of a question that is asked in order to make a point and without the expectation of a reply.[1] The question is used as a rhetorical device, posed for the sake of encouraging its listener to consider a message or viewpoint [...]

    In simple terms, it is a question asked more to produce an effect than to summon an answer.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia, Hyperbole
    Hyperbole (pron.: /haɪˈpɜrbəliː/ hy-PUR-bə-lee;[1] Greek: ὑπερβολή hyperbolē, "exaggeration") is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech. It may be used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, but is not meant to be taken literally.[2]
    No, I do not really wish anyone to kill anyone. That would be taking a step back even farther. Greedy people are humans too, and we are all greedy in our own right. My post is full of vitriol, true, but it is not a cry for violence. Who can blame the affluent for not wanting to give up their affluence? I do not want to give up my own material security. And yet I recognize that we would all be better off if we all did. It's a catch-22 to a certain extent.

  7. #57
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    That love for humanity is grand. Lol.

  8. #58
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
    That love for humanity is grand. Lol.
    Eh, judge what you will. I try to release my frustrations in rhetoric and put my love for humanity in tangible action.

    -

    Back to the OP, I actually don't disagree that the best way to rise up from unemployment and despair is to get a job, even if it's a shitty job. And I do think the trend will eventually lighten.

    But there are also numerous factors in the economy that make it very frustrating to participate, and I wonder how the economy is going to change over time. If it continues as it seems to be, it looks like it's trending towards plutocracy, at least in the States.

    A quote from a Nobel Prize winning economist:

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Stiglitz, 2011
    Of all the costs imposed on our society by the top 1 percent, perhaps the greatest is this: the erosion of our sense of identity, in which fair play, equality of opportunity, and a sense of community are so important. America has long prided itself on being a fair society, where everyone has an equal chance of getting ahead, but the statistics suggest otherwise: the chances of a poor citizen, or even a middle-class citizen, making it to the top in America are smaller than in many countries of Europe. The cards are stacked against them. It is this sense of an unjust system without opportunity that has given rise to the conflagrations in the Middle East: rising food prices and growing and persistent youth unemployment simply served as kindling. With youth unemployment in America at around 20 percent (and in some locations, and among some socio-demographic groups, at twice that); with one out of six Americans desiring a full-time job not able to get one; with one out of seven Americans on food stamps (and about the same number suffering from “food insecurity”)—given all this, there is ample evidence that something has blocked the vaunted “trickling down” from the top 1 percent to everyone else. All of this is having the predictable effect of creating alienation [...]

  9. #59
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    Eh, judge what you will. I try to [...] put my love for humanity in tangible action.
    If that's the case, I hope you don't support The 2nd Amendment.

  10. #60
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
    Two high school kids showed up on my doorstep asking if they could clear out all the snow from my front and side driveways. If two kids in high school can take the initiative and create their own jobs, what the hell is everyone whining about? Unemployment my ass.
    Funny enough, there is a father and son that lives two houses away from me. During their free times where they need the extra cash, they usually go around the neighborhood seeing if people need their lawns mowed (or who are too lazy to cut them.)

    Found out that they also cut trees because one of my next door neighbors wanted theirs to be cut. Called them up because there was no way anybody in my family could cut a tree with any chainsaw-like tools. Got offered a discount because they were... yeah so close to us. Too bad we don't ask them to mow the lawn though, because we can do that ourselves.

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