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Source: (consider it) Thread: "The Left" cares too much about [insert cause here]
lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by Hiro's Leap:

While I understand people's frustration with bullshit, giving the government the role of Official Factchecker strikes me as as dangerous as hell.

But it really isn't. Whilst they do set the basic standard, it is in the hands of the legal system to be the official arbiter. Whislt that can be problematic as well, it isn't quite the same thing.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Kaplan Corday
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# 16119

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
This is an example of you doing what I accuse you of.

No it's not.

It is specific to Vietnam, where the left-wing communist North was worse than the right-wing authoritarian South.

There are other cases in which the questionable right is worse than the questionable left.

In the Spanish Civil War, for example, a strong case can be made that the left-wing Republican side, despite its susceptibility to takeover by the Stalinists in its International Brigades (read Orwell's Homage To Catalonia) was preferable to Franco's right-wing fascist Nationalists.

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Kaplan Corday
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# 16119

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
It's a little disorienting to go from claiming that you've never encountered anyone claiming South Vietnam was a democracy that respected civil liberties to advocating the position that South Vietnam was a democracy that respected the civil liberties of its citizens.

You are trying to pretend that "a regime with occasional elections, and an arbitrary administration of civil liberties, which made it preferable to little except outright dictatorship" is synonymous with "a democracy that respected civil liberties".

You are kidding no-one except yourself.

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Hiro's Leap:

While I understand people's frustration with bullshit, giving the government the role of Official Factchecker strikes me as as dangerous as hell.

But it really isn't. Whilst they do set the basic standard, it is in the hands of the legal system to be the official arbiter. Whislt that can be problematic as well, it isn't quite the same thing.
The original definition of harm being disputed here was "Propogation of falsehoods with the intent of influencing the actions of others to their own harm - that would, for example, include acts of deception to con people out of money. It could also cover things like claiming "£350m per week for the NHS"".

If we ignore conning people out of money, where an objective harm can be demonstrated, that's a very problematic standard for anyone to be judging others on. For one thing, it depends on rating campaign promises, claims, buzzwords and slogans against a somewhat subjective and politically-influenced standard of truth (not to mention the thorny issue of what constitutes a factual claim). Of course, it goes without saying that very few political campaigns indeed would be guaranteed to pass this kind of test, as they all contain exaggerations, spin, half-truths and promises they don't intend to keep, and whether you judge them to be honest or dishonest (and to what extent) will generally come down to whether you agree with their ideology or not. Hardly a sound basis on which to restrict a fundamental human right!

The second problem with it is that it assumes a definition of "harm" that many would not agree with. For example, even if the Brexit campaign bus slogan was unequivocally judged to be a lie, there is a significant disagreement across the country about whether leaving the EU is better or worse for people - it's a matter of political and ideological opinion. And if we allow such ideological opinions to define harm - and thus which speech is allowed and which isn't - then we're just one step away from a ruling party (with a friendly judiciary) deciding that campaigning for their opponents is irresponsible speech that will cause harm to people by changing the government to one that (they think) is worse.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
It's a little disorienting to go from claiming that you've never encountered anyone claiming South Vietnam was a democracy that respected civil liberties to advocating the position that South Vietnam was a democracy that respected the civil liberties of its citizens.

You are trying to pretend that "a regime with occasional elections, and an arbitrary administration of civil liberties, which made it preferable to little except outright dictatorship" is synonymous with "a democracy that respected civil liberties".

You are kidding no-one except yourself.

Nope, those are claims you made. You're the one who characterized South Vietnam as a democracy whose citizens enjoyed civil liberties. Then you argued that you'd never encountered anyone making the claim you just made. Now you're trying to pass off "occasional elections" as "democracy" and "arbitrary administration of civil liberties" as "civil liberties". If "occasional elections" are sufficient to be a democracy, then both North and South Vietnam were "democracies"*, and if administration of civil liberties is "arbitrary", then people don't really enjoy civil liberties. (Civil liberties were pretty "arbitrary" in North Vietnam as well.) I can understand why you'd like to move the goalposts from your original claim of "democracy and civil liberties" to the more defensible "at least not as bad as those guys", but that wasn't what you were arguing.


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*In 1971 North Vietnam's Vietnamese Fatherland Front won 100% of the vote in their legislative elections, which coincidentally is the percentage by which South Vietnam's Thiệu won re-election to the presidency that year. Not sure how you can claim "no-one was enthusiastic about the South's successive regimes" when the Thiệu was so unbelievably (literally) popular at the polls. [Big Grin]

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Kaplan Corday
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# 16119

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
You're the one who characterized South Vietnam as a democracy whose citizens enjoyed civil liberties.

I never wrote that South Vietnam "enjoyed" democracy or civil rights.

You just made that up.

You are still trying to equate recognition of the historical facts of occasional elections and minimal civil rights which existed in South Vietnam (and which conceivably could have been built on and improved in time, as happened in South Korea, had the communists not taken over), with full-blown liberal democracy.

You can wriggle and temporise all you like, but you can't do it.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
In 1971 North Vietnam's Vietnamese Fatherland Front won 100% of the vote in their legislative elections, which coincidentally is the percentage by which South Vietnam's Thiệu won re-election to the presidency that year.

Congratulations on kicking an own goal.

Thieu's miraculous result illustrates precisely what I have been saying - that such democracy as existed in South Vietnam was inadequate.

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Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
You're the one who characterized South Vietnam as a democracy whose citizens enjoyed civil liberties.

I never wrote that South Vietnam "enjoyed" democracy or civil rights.

You just made that up.

You claimed (as the linked post shows) that the conquest of South Vietnam by the North resulted in the "loss of democracy and civil liberties" and as I already pointed out "you can't lose something you never had". Saying that something results in the "loss of democracy and civil liberties" is not the same as saying the result was "the loss of sham elections and civil liberties which existed only on paper". I'm not sure why you keep insisting that these are the same thing (followed by repeated denials that these are the same thing [Confused] ).

quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
In 1971 North Vietnam's Vietnamese Fatherland Front won 100% of the vote in their legislative elections, which coincidentally is the percentage by which South Vietnam's Thiệu won re-election to the presidency that year.

Thieu's miraculous result illustrates precisely what I have been saying - that such democracy as existed in South Vietnam was inadequate.
I'm not getting that at all. It certainly seems to be "adequate" enough to be considered "democracy" by you. That's the term you chose to describe the South Vietnamese government. You didn't even bother with a modifier.

quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
You are still trying to equate recognition of the historical facts of occasional elections and minimal civil rights which existed in South Vietnam (and which conceivably could have been built on and improved in time, as happened in South Korea, had the communists not taken over), with full-blown liberal democracy.

I'm not the one doing the equating here. You're the one who originally described South Vietnam as a democracy with civil liberties. (See repeated links to your original post.) Then all of a sudden you're piling on all these modifiers ("inadequate", "arbitrary") and pretending that there's an equivalence with your original post about "democracy and civil liberties". If you want to disavow your point go ahead, but don't pretend like you never made the claim.

Of course, given that Vietnam still stages (word choice deliberate) elections with results very similar to Thiệu's unbelievable (still deliberate) victory, it would seem that the country still qualifies as an "inadequate democracy" by the standards you've outlined. Civil liberties are also quite minimal in Vietnam, and "arbitrary" to use one of your other modifiers. It would seem to meet with all of the conditions you seem to require to be described as a democracy, or at least a "democracy" in the first post and an "inadequate democracy" in subsequent posts.

[ 20. May 2017, 18:36: Message edited by: Crœsos ]

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Kaplan Corday
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# 16119

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Saying that something results in the "loss of democracy and civil liberties" is not the same as saying the result was "the loss of sham elections and civil liberties which existed only on paper".

1. Sorry, but in the case of South Vietnam, saying that it lost democracy and civil liberties in fact means precisely that it lost inadequate (by Western standards) elections and rights.

2. The expression "existed only on paper" is one I neither used nor implied.

You just made that up.

The fact that they were far less than ideal does not mean that they were non-existent in practice, which is what "only existed on paper" indicates.

quote:
I'm not getting that at all.
Obviously there is a lot you are not getting.

The interesting question is whether the incomprehension is inadvertent or deliberate.

quote:
It certainly seems to be "adequate" enough to be considered "democracy" by you.
Nope.

Minimal and occasional democracy can be democracy without being adequate and acceptable democracy.

quote:
I'm not the one doing the equating here.
Oh yes you are.

You are trying to insist that full-blown liberal democracy in the West, rudimentary liberal democracy in South Vietnam, and pseudo-democracy in communist "elections" are all the same thing.

They are all democracy in one sense, but they are certainly not indistinguishable.

If you can't grasp the distinctions, ask someone to explain them - they would not need to be very old.

quote:
Thiệu's unbelievable (still deliberate) victory
Not sure which election you are referring to here and in previous post, but it was certainly not the the only type of election involving Thieu held in South Vietnam.

You can look up the results of the 1967 presidential election, and get all the candidates and their voting figures (Thieu won eventually with a first round percentage of 35%, not 100% as in communist elections).

So it is certainly not true that all elections held in South Vietnam, whatever their faults and infrequency, were no different to those held under communism.

[ 21. May 2017, 04:23: Message edited by: Kaplan Corday ]

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