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Source: (consider it) Thread: The social-progressive mindset
Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
What we don't and can't know for sure is what the world would look like today if Africa had never been colonised

Agreed.

quote:
all the nations who you keep saying have not benefited at all from slavery and/or colonisation
I haven't said that the colonising countries gained no benefit. (That may perhaps be true in the case of Italy ?)

I haven't said that the colonised countries suffered no loss. (Life's complicated - they probably gained something and lost something).

I'm querying your confident assertion that colonialism is the main reason for the difference in wealth between African countries and European countries.

I suspect the evidence shows that
- the colonising countries were richer than any African country before colonialism took place
- the countries most affected by colonialism are not the poorest African countries
- the countries that had the most colonies are not now the richest European countries.
all of which suggest that there are other more important factors.

And I suspect that your statement is not based on any evidence, but rather reflects your belief in the progressive narrative about what is important.

Isn't that how the progressive story goes ? That racism / slavery / colonialism are strongly connected and comprise an important thing ? Alongside the thing to do with gender roles ?

--------------------
Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

Posts: 3070 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:

I suspect the evidence shows that
- the colonising countries were richer than any African country before colonialism took place
- the countries most affected by colonialism are not the poorest African countries
- the countries that had the most colonies are not now the richest European countries.
all of which suggest that there are other more important factors.

No it doesn't. I cannot read your mind, but your posts seem to indicate a desire to minimise the impact of slavery and the rape of Africa.
If you wish to engage with information rather than the ignorance of your posts, you can read.

--------------------
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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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
The relative poverty of the African diaspora compared to their compatriots on the other hand is largely down to the legacy of slavery and the attitudes among the white population that stem from it. If your father owned nothing and people won't hire you for jobs then you're not going to get rich.

That's a fair comment. I think we can all recognize that this is a significant issue in the US.

quote:
There are no white populations that are identifiably descended from slaves that I can think of. There are lots of black populations that are descended from slaves.

Lots ? Beyond the US and the Caribbean ?

quote:
the numbers involved are of an order of magnitude different
I think there's an issue around numbers (tying in with Soror Magna's comment about "vast wealth").

If one is focused on individuals, then one individual's problem is not necessarily any more severe or more important depending on the number of other individuals who have the same problem.

If you care for your neighbour as a person, then it's really not important how many other people have the same problem as your neighbour does. What matters is how severely it affects them and what can be done about it.

Do progressives in effect have a doctrine that says problems that lots of people suffer from are important, and problems that only a few suffer from aren't ?

If you want to make a difference to society, doesn't it make sense to concentrate on the big major important problems ?

--------------------
Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

Posts: 3070 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
# 2832

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
Sensitivity to any one group's feelings is contrary to their mission of equal rights for all, even the hateful and nasty.

I'm not sure that follows. If you're dedicated in principle to the right of others to be hateful and nasty it doesn't necessarily mean that you have to be hateful and nasty yourself.
Did you in all honesty look at the picture of that toddler and think it was hateful and nasty?

They took it down because a lot of people were offended and they didn't want to offend. That doesn't mean those people were right to be offended.

Nazi's are offended when they see mixed race couples. Other people are offended when they see blond children with flags. I think they are both wrong and the ACLU should not pander to either one.

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
I'm querying your confident assertion that colonialism is the main reason for the difference in wealth between African countries and European countries.

I suspect the evidence shows that
- the colonising countries were richer than any African country before colonialism took place
- the countries most affected by colonialism are not the poorest African countries
- the countries that had the most colonies are not now the richest European countries.
all of which suggest that there are other more important factors.

As you yourself noted, slave raiding by northern African countries on the southern European coast used to be something that happened. It does not happen any more.

North Africa was I think at least as rich as southern Europe before colonialism happened. It isn't any more. And southern Europe was at least as rich as northern Europe. West Africa was richer relative to Europe than it is now.
The test cases are outside Africa: the Middle East, India, and China were all richer than Europe in the seventeenth century.

I don't know how you'd define less affected by colonialism. All of Africa bar (arguably) Ethiopia was conquered by one or other European power. Kongo was a flourishing nation in the sixteenth century. It's less so now.

I don't think the question about European countries benefiting from colonialism is one of direct looting, although Spain was briefly the most powerful European nation largely on the strength of its gold (from Philip II onwards its monarchy was monumentally incompetent at administration). It's more that the European powers were able to set up favourable trade and investment relations. Although I don't know why Liverpool or Bristol should be much wealthier than Cork other than colonialism.
I suspect you're thinking of Germany here; I think the economic dominance of Germany is partly grounded on the successful adoption of anti-free trade policies by Bismarck and partly on the investment by the U.S. post World War II.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Dafyd
Shipmate
# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
There are no white populations that are identifiably descended from slaves that I can think of. There are lots of black populations that are descended from slaves.

Lots ? Beyond the US and the Caribbean ?
There's a significant population in the UK with Caribbean ancestors. Most south American countries have a significant population of African ancestry: Brazil has more people of African ancestry than the US does.
Looking at the wikipedia figures, the US population alone would count as the 10th largest African country.

quote:
If one is focused on individuals, then one individual's problem is not necessarily any more severe or more important depending on the number of other individuals who have the same problem.

If you care for your neighbour as a person, then it's really not important how many other people have the same problem as your neighbour does. What matters is how severely it affects them and what can be done about it.

Do progressives in effect have a doctrine that says problems that lots of people suffer from are important, and problems that only a few suffer from aren't ?

If you want to make a difference to society, doesn't it make sense to concentrate on the big major important problems ?

Progressives have a doctrine? Well, of course, they have a doctrine. There's a progressive Pope and Magisterium who interpret the progressive Holy Book and the progressive Creed as set out in the progressive ecumenical councils.

Your last paragraph does seem to imply that you agree with the common sentiment of humanity that problems that affect a lot of people are more important. That's why most languages have special words for 'famine' and 'plague' and 'epidemic' and 'war' and other conditions that affect a lot of people. If your neighbour has a problem then your neighbour has a problem and you and their other neighbours can step in to help. If you and your neighbour and all your other neighbours have the same problem then stepping in to help becomes more difficult. And escaping from the problem becomes a lot harder. At the same time, solidarity becomes more powerful.

If you love your neighbour as a person, then you love them as a member of their society. Trying to love them in abstract from their society is loving them in the abstract not as a person.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

Posts: 10423 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Soror Magna
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# 9881

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
... Do progressives in effect have a doctrine that says problems that lots of people suffer from are important, and problems that only a few suffer from aren't ? ...

Do conservatives have a doctrine that says you can only care about one person at a time?

--------------------
"You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean." -- Tony Kushner, "Angels in America"

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Crœsos
Shipmate
# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
Sensitivity to any one group's feelings is contrary to their mission of equal rights for all, even the hateful and nasty.

I'm not sure that follows. If you're dedicated in principle to the right of others to be hateful and nasty it doesn't necessarily mean that you have to be hateful and nasty yourself.
Did you in all honesty look at the picture of that toddler and think it was hateful and nasty?
Actually that was your analysis. Or one of your analyses. You seem to be advancing two arguments. The first is that echoing the rhertoric and iconography of white supremacists is unobjectionable and the second seems to be that if you defend the right of people to be objectionable you're obligated to be objectionable yourself. In addition to being a non-sequitur, the second argument seems to contradict the first.

quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
They took it down because a lot of people were offended and they didn't want to offend. That doesn't mean those people were right to be offended.

More to the point, they didn't want to be associated with the rhetoric and semiotics of white supremacists, not just because it's offensive to most but because that's not the message they were intending to send. To take a related example, suppose the name of one of your products was a fairly offensive racial slur in the foreign country where you were selling it. You seem to be arguing that the proper response once this is pointed out by your customers is to resist "buckling under" and telling those customers they shouldn't be bothered if their new sofa comes with a side-helping of racial denigration. Most people, including the company in question, take the contrary approach and don't feel obligated to continue deliberately repeating what was initially an accident.

quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
Nazi's are offended when they see mixed race couples. Other people are offended when they see blond children with flags. I think they are both wrong and the ACLU should not pander to either one.

If you say so.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Sioni Sais
Shipmate
# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
... Do progressives in effect have a doctrine that says problems that lots of people suffer from are important, and problems that only a few suffer from aren't ? ...

Do conservatives have a doctrine that says you can only care about one person at a time?
The progressives view is, as usual, a little more nuanced than the reactionary/conservative one. The progressive view is not to condemn people out of hand simply because they are out of work, disabled or have chosen to leave a warzone to somewhere more peaceful without the expected paperwork. All of these are exactly the kind of people the conservatives, supported by the gutter press, continually to persecute. Sometimes they are few in number, sometimes many.

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd In fairness to Russ, Ireland has been more colonised against than colonising.
This is assuming is he Irish, and not of Ulster Scot or English background.
Wow, progressivism in action !

"Russ isn't allowed to be just himself. We have to know whether he's an Ulster Protestant or a Munster Catholic, so we can know how much sympathy to have with what he says."

I think your fellow progressives would disapprove if you showed this much prejudice in the cause of any doctrine but theirs...

--------------------
Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

Posts: 3070 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

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You are allowed to be whatever you wish. But it remains that not everyone has the same perspective and that background can inform that perspective and experience.
That is reality, not progressivism.
But I can allow as how you might not understand the disctinction.
Conservatives don't generally understand reality very well.

--------------------
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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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
Nazi's are offended when they see mixed race couples. Other people are offended when they see blond children with flags. I think they are both wrong and the ACLU should not pander to either one.

If you say so.
Is that image supposed to be offensive?

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

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Crœsos
Shipmate
# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
Nazi's are offended when they see mixed race couples. Other people are offended when they see blond children with flags. I think they are both wrong and the ACLU should not pander to either one.

If you say so.
Is that image supposed to be offensive?
How could it be? It's a blond child with a flag! More to the point, no person or organization should find it problematic to be associated with that image, at least according to Twilight.

[ 18. September 2017, 11:34: Message edited by: Crœsos ]

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Is that image supposed to be offensive?
How could it be? It's a blond child with a flag!
The sarcasm I perceive in your reply suggests that you do think the image is offensive. But while I'm perfectly familiar with the historical context of the image, it doesn't offend me.

quote:
More to the point, no person or organization should find it problematic to be associated with that image, at least according to Twilight.
The ACLU used a completely different image where the only similarities with the one you linked were a blond child (of a different gender) and a flag (of a different country). Is that really enough to label it hateful and nasty?


Is this image hateful?
Or this one?
This maybe?
Hateful?
Oh God, even the cartoons are at it!

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Hail Gallaxhar

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lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Is that really enough to label it hateful and nasty?

The ACLU image is neither hateful or nasty, Their post wasn't hateful or nasty.
What it was is a poorly chosen image given their recent activities. They recognised this and apologised. Because context. Which doesn't take a rocket surgeon to work out.

--------------------
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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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:

What it was is a poorly chosen image given their recent activities. They recognised this and apologised. Because context. Which doesn't take a rocket surgeon to work out.

Well, quite. This kind of thing happens all the time. People don't communicate in paragraphs backed up with definitions and appendices - we typically communicate in short hand. And when we're abbreviating some idea down to say "here is the central point I'm making", we don't often pay too much attention to other ideas that could also be contracted to the same statement / image / whatever.

Often these misunderstandings are minor and irrelevant. Sometimes, they also betray a privileged thoughtlessness - surely no contemporary Black person would sit down and produce an ad that says "this is the future we want" next to a picture of a little white child?

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:

If you love your neighbour as a person, then you love them as a member of their society. Trying to love them in abstract from their society is loving them in the abstract not as a person.

That makes no sense at all to me.

People are real; social classes are an abstraction.

--------------------
Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

Posts: 3070 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Soror Magna
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# 9881

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
That makes no sense at all to me.

People are real; social classes are an abstraction.

Groups of people are real. Groups of people that share common experiences, goals, characteristics, challenges, whatever, are real. I think I've mentioned this before in another context: freedom of association means groups of people can get together for a common purpose. (Not freedom to drive people away.)

Humans are social animals. We do not exist as individuals, even in our (what seems to the rest of the world) hyper-individualist culture. We all exist in a web of shared experiences and interdependencies with countless others, some of whom we may not even be aware of.

--------------------
"You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean." -- Tony Kushner, "Angels in America"

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:

If you love your neighbour as a person, then you love them as a member of their society. Trying to love them in abstract from their society is loving them in the abstract not as a person.

That makes no sense at all to me.

People are real; social classes are an abstraction.

And yet on another thread you were trying to argue that the desire to live in a mono-cultural community was a desire that should we should be respecting even if it led to the inconvenience or suffering the people excluded from the community.

I said 'their society', rather than social classes. (We can deal later with the ways social classes are and are not abstractions.)
We are now using the English language to try to communicate. Without any language we'd not only be unable to communicate, we'd have great difficulty planning or reasoning. Yet it makes no sense to talk about a language that has only ever been the property of one individual. Humans are language-users; languages are essentially social.
I don't know what percentage of your food is such that you know the precise provenance and every individual who has worked to get that food into your house. I live in a city; aside from the few people behind counters whom I recognise I don't know any of the primary producers or transporters. And yet I don't starve. That's quite a feat for an abstraction.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Sioni Sais
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# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:

If you love your neighbour as a person, then you love them as a member of their society. Trying to love them in abstract from their society is loving them in the abstract not as a person.

That makes no sense at all to me.

People are real; social classes are an abstraction.

They may be an abstraction but abstractions are very useful as an aid to understanding.

As an example, consider driving a car from point A to point B by looking at individual pieces of tar, grit and gravel - I bet you can't do it - but if you use a roadmap to the right scale, you will find it easy.

The former is real and obscure while the latter is abstract and clear.

--------------------
"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:

People are real; social classes are an abstraction.

They may be an abstraction but abstractions are very useful as an aid to understanding.

As an example, consider driving a car from point A to point B by looking at individual pieces of tar, grit and gravel - I bet you can't do it - but if you use a roadmap to the right scale, you will find it easy.

The former is real and obscure while the latter is abstract and clear.

Yes. But I suggest that you wouldn't want to be treated in the same way as the tar and gravel. And, being a moral person, therefore don't treat others that way.

--------------------
Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

Posts: 3070 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
There's a progressive Pope and Magisterium who interpret the progressive Holy Book and the progressive Creed as set out in the progressive ecumenical councils.

Not sure here whether you're idenifying progressivism with Christianity or simply being sarcastic.

But there's a significant point here. Seems like progressivism has no prophet (with apologies to our Canadian Shipmate).

If someone claims to be a Marxist or a Thatcherite, a disciple of Nietzsche or a follower of Adam Smith, that one dropped name serves as a useful summary of their views.

Seems that - please correct me if you think otherwise - progressives have no such reference individual. Two people of progressive views discussing whether or not those lacking a sense of humour constitute a disadvantaged group have no authoritative text to interpret. There is no formal process by which a particular word comes to be seen as politically incorrect.

It's a school of thought without teachers. (Although many people who are teachers are enrolled).

Which is why progressive ideas are not held in terms of the outworking of a philosophy written in some book. Such a book would be an authority of sorts. Instead the ideas are held by those who believe them as "obviously true".

Which is why this thread is going the way it is...

I may have this wrong, but my understanding is that in the Catechism of the Catholic Church it states that the existence of God is deducible without revelation. In other words, it's an article of faith that the existence of God is not an article of faith. I struggle to get my head around that one. But it seems like there's something similar here. It is a progressive doctrine that progressivism has no doctrines...

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

Posts: 3070 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Dafyd
Shipmate
# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
There's a progressive Pope and Magisterium who interpret the progressive Holy Book and the progressive Creed as set out in the progressive ecumenical councils.

Not sure here whether you're idenifying progressivism with Christianity or simply being sarcastic.
I was being sarcastic.

quote:
Seems that - please correct me if you think otherwise - progressives have no such reference individual.
You say this as if this is a problem.

quote:
There is no formal process by which a particular word comes to be seen as politically incorrect.
In the same way there isn't a formal process whereby particular words come to be seen as rude or ill-mannered.

quote:
It is a progressive doctrine that progressivism has no doctrines...
In so far as there's no authority that could rule any particular idea progressivist or not progressivist; in fact, in so far as there's no court which can rule that a person is or isn't 'progressivist', there can't be any progressivist doctrines or party line. Progressivism isn't any definite mindset or school.
I should think that if that strikes you as a problem, the problem is yours.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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quetzalcoatl
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# 16740

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Yes, I thought that that was the point in having progressive ideas today, that they are not a canon. You could use words like spectrum or cline, so you can't fix them like a photograph, sorry old-fashioned reference to when photos were fixed by chemicals.

In fact, 'mindset' is a nonsensical word.

[ 24. September 2017, 13:43: Message edited by: quetzalcoatl ]

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Yes, I thought that that was the point in having progressive ideas today, that they are not a canon. You could use words like spectrum or cline, so you can't fix them like a photograph, sorry old-fashioned reference to when photos were fixed by chemicals.

In fact, 'mindset' is a nonsensical word.

"progressives are", "the progressive mindset", etc. are phrases that are rarely followed by any real examination of what being progressive is. They are insults or scare-words that are easy to use and take explanation to debunk so play to the base suppositions of the listener.

--------------------
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

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Soror Magna
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
.... Which is why progressive ideas are not held in terms of the outworking of a philosophy written in some book. Such a book would be an authority of sorts. ...

Perhaps progressives have looked around the world and realized that following books has created a vast amount of misery in said world. Maybe life is complicated and changeable and can't be encompassed in a book. And let's take a moment to reflect on some of the assumptions in Russ' statement: a book implies written language and literacy, for example. If you can't read, how will you know what the book says? You'll have to take someone else's word for what it says, in which case you're not following the book anymore, you're following hearsay. A book doesn't have any authority on its own - it's just a book until someone uses it to justify their own authority.

quote:
....I may have this wrong, but my understanding is that in the Catechism of the Catholic Church it states that the existence of God is deducible without revelation. ... I struggle to get my head around that one. ...
Is this a subtle way of telling us you aren't Catholic? Anyway, the argument is that everything exists because of something else causing it and there wouldn't be anything without a "first cause" i.e. God. Of course, then the obvious question is what caused the first cause. Oh, well, nothing caused God. God just is. Do not worry if you can't get your head around that - it's a nonsensical argument. God is also one of those 'ideas are held by those who believe them as "obviously true"', even though we all know it's turtles all the way down.

At least scientists are honest about not knowing what happened before the Big Bang.

--------------------
"You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean." -- Tony Kushner, "Angels in America"

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Carex
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:


There is no formal process by which a particular word comes to be seen as politically incorrect..


"Politically correct" is a derogatory term used to mean not demeaning or insulting to others, typically used by people who habitually demean or insult others.

I actually don't notice progressives (of any flavor) using the term very often.

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:

People are real; social classes are an abstraction.

They may be an abstraction but abstractions are very useful as an aid to understanding.

As an example, consider driving a car from point A to point B by looking at individual pieces of tar, grit and gravel - I bet you can't do it - but if you use a roadmap to the right scale, you will find it easy.

The former is real and obscure while the latter is abstract and clear.

Yes. But I suggest that you wouldn't want to be treated in the same way as the tar and gravel. And, being a moral person, therefore don't treat others that way.
Russ, you really have missed the point. I never suggested that an abstraction is the same as the object, just that the right abstraction can aid understanding.

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
"progressives are", "the progressive mindset", etc. are phrases that are rarely followed by any real examination of what being progressive is.

So do please enlighten us as to what being progressive is.

It's clearly more than just a negative attitude to the western cultural tradition, although that's part of it.

It's more than just a narrative which sees the world in terms of disadvantaged groups and the privileged oppressor groups who are exploiting them, although that's also part of it.

What's your take on it ?

I'm asking for a reflective analytical summary of how you see progressivism. Not your arguments for it.

It isn't loving your neighbour. Because all the conservative Christians think they love their neighbours. It could possibly be a particular way of doing so that distinguishes you from them.

Step back from the battlefront of the culture wars for long enough to say what it is that you think you're fighting for and why.

quote:
They are insults or scare-words...
If you think "progressive" is an insult, what more neutral term would you prefer?

--------------------
Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
Perhaps progressives have looked around the world and realized that following books has created a vast amount of misery in said world.

Books are so 19th-century...

...and so many of them were written by Dead White Males.

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Step back from the battlefront of the culture wars for long enough to say what it is that you think you're fighting for and why.

Is it not enough to be fighting for a world where everyone can be free to be who they want to be without bigots and haters persecuting them for it?

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Caissa
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Here, here.
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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Step back from the battlefront of the culture wars for long enough to say what it is that you think you're fighting for and why.

Is it not enough to be fighting for a world where everyone can be free to be who they want to be without bigots and haters persecuting them for it?
Now, now! You're ignoring Russ's stricture that you're supposed to ignore oppression and exploitation. Exactly why you're supposed to do this is unclear, but he seems to feel strongly that opposing those things is out of bounds.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
So do please enlighten us as to what being progressive is.

Calls for a progressive alliance at the last UK election had in mind the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party, and in Scotland also the Scottish National Party. I think you'd struggle to find any formal doctrine held by all those parties. It's hard enough to find a formal doctrine that unites both wings of the Labour Party.
It's more of a general sense that politics should serve everyone in a society and not merely those who have financial privilege.

quote:
It's clearly more than just a negative attitude to the western cultural tradition, although that's part of it.
No it isn't part of it.

quote:
It isn't loving your neighbour. Because all the conservative Christians think they love their neighbours. It could possibly be a particular way of doing so that distinguishes you from them.
There are some ways of loving one's neighbour which require no particular justification to count as loving your neighbour. For instance, not beating up your neighbour because he's married another man. Conservative Christian takes on dead horses are somewhat less straightforward to justify as loving their neighbour.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
You're ignoring Russ's stricture that you're supposed to ignore oppression and exploitation. Exactly why you're supposed to do this is unclear, but he seems to feel strongly that opposing those things is out of bounds.

If you exploit one person that's oppression; if you exploit a million people that's a statistic. Russ' position seems to be endorsing Stalin.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Soror Magna
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
Perhaps progressives have looked around the world and realized that following books has created a vast amount of misery in said world.

Books are so 19th-century...

...and so many of them were written by Dead White Males.

And there have been many, many, many cultures and civilizations throughout human history that got along just fine without written moral or religious texts. And the codex format was invented long before the 19th Century.

And that's a truly sad attempt at parody in this context, since neither the Old nor the New Testament was written by white men. Neither were the Analects of Confucius or the Koran or the Dharma or the Talmud or any of the great holy books of the world. Jesus Christ was male, but he sure wasn't white and lots of people don't believe he's dead.

--------------------
"You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean." -- Tony Kushner, "Angels in America"

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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I think the parable of the Good Samaritan might help us out here on the loving thy neighbour bit.

If your version of "loving your neighbour" in this situation amounts to saying it's most loving to leave him to his own devices because it's his own fault for going on a road where robbers hang out, and that he should be making his own provision to ensure that he can pay for his own care and food, and doing these things for him just reinforces his failure to take personal responsibility for himself, then (a) it's not Jesus' version, and (b) it's Conservative faux-love bullshit.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:


What's your take on it ?

Pretty much what Dafyd said, especially this bit.
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:

It's more of a general sense that politics should serve everyone in a society and not merely those who have financial privilege.

quote:
Originally posted by Russ:

It isn't loving your neighbour. Because all the conservative Christians think they love their neighbours.

I would argue that they don't. You do not love you neighbour when you try to remove their healthcare, when you promote policies which push them towards poverty, etc.

quote:
If you think "progressive" is an insult, what more neutral term would you prefer?
Cute. But the word is not an insult in itself, just used this way by conservatives.

--------------------
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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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Pretty much what Dafyd said, especially this bit.
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:

It's more of a general sense that politics should serve everyone in a society and not merely those who have financial privilege.


Again this sounds to me like the sort of "motherhood and Apple pie" stuff that everybody believes in, if perhaps in different ways. What makes your way different from anybody else's ?

Do you seriously think that anyone believes that politics is there to serve the rich ? Which author has written that they believe that ? Which politician has made speeches exhorting us to believe that ?

--------------------
Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Pretty much what Dafyd said, especially this bit.
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
It's more of a general sense that politics should serve everyone in a society and not merely those who have financial privilege.


Again this sounds to me like the sort of "motherhood and Apple pie" stuff that everybody believes in, if perhaps in different ways. What makes your way different from anybody else's ?

Do you seriously think that anyone believes that politics is there to serve the rich ? Which author has written that they believe that ? Which politician has made speeches exhorting us to believe that ?

Mitt Romney's infamous "47% speech" comes to mind.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Do you seriously think that anyone believes that politics is there to serve the rich ?

Yes, lots of people. The Rich, for a start. Do you seriously think the Kochs spend all that money on politicians without expecting to reap the benefit she for themselves?

quote:
Which author has written that they believe that ?
Ayn Rand? Milo Yiannopoulos?

quote:
Which politician has made speeches exhorting us to believe that ?
Republicans advocating tax cuts for the wealthy funded by healthcare cuts for the poor springs to mind.

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Pretty much what Dafyd said, especially this bit.
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:

It's more of a general sense that politics should serve everyone in a society and not merely those who have financial privilege.


Again this sounds to me like the sort of "motherhood and Apple pie" stuff that everybody believes in, if perhaps in different ways. What makes your way different from anybody else's ?

Do you seriously think that anyone believes that politics is there to serve the rich ?

Possibly there are relatively few people who believe that consciously and through their own deliberate fault. On the other hand, there are quite a lot of people who, through negligence or weakness, either through failure to think through the consequences of the policies they advocate do indeed end up supporting policies that serve chiefly the rich. Or there are people who for (spurious imho) moral or economic reasons think they can't accept policies that don't serve chiefly the rich.

[ 26. September 2017, 21:15: Message edited by: Dafyd ]

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Russ
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# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Ayn Rand? Milo Yiannopoulos?

Do you have chapter and verse ? For the specific claim that politics should be for the benefit of the rich rather than for everyone ?

Or are you expecting me to read the complete works ?

--------------------
Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Russ
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# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Mitt Romney's infamous "47% speech" comes to mind.

That speech objected to the idea of a large class of people who draw money out of the public purse while paying nothing in, voting in their own interest for ever-higher government spending. (I think he later said that he'd got the figures wrong).

It's the mirror image of the idea of rich people using their influence to try to secure ever-lower taxes.

Neither reflects the ideal of democracy. Which is that the system works in the interests of everybody.

But there will always be tension between the left-leaning desire for big government with high taxes and high spending that looks after everyone, and the right-leaning desire for small government with low taxes and low spending that leaves people free to seek their own good.

That's normal. Many western democracies alternate power between more-right-leaning and more-left-leaning parties.

But I don't see that it answers the question about "social progressivism" - the cluster of social (rather than economic) attitudes that I'm trying to focus on in this thread.

--------------------
Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Mitt Romney's infamous "47% speech" comes to mind.

That speech objected to the idea of a large class of people who draw money out of the public purse while paying nothing in, voting in their own interest for ever-higher government spending. (I think he later said that he'd got the figures wrong).
Other people pointed out that Romney was wrong, or at least incredibly deceptive. (e.g. way more than 53% of Americans pay payroll tax, which is the tax Republicans never seem to remember.) As far as I'm aware Romney shuffled and jived about his intentions but never actually repudiated the statistic. Of course I've not read the "the complete works" of Willard Mitt Romney, so it's possible I've missed something. Can you cite "chapter and verse" of this alleged correction on his part?

quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
It's the mirror image of the idea of rich people using their influence to try to secure ever-lower taxes.

It really isn't. A speech promising that, as president, Romney would only serve the interests of the alleged 53% of Americans who pay (income) tax isn't "the mirror image of the idea of rich people using their influence", it is rich people using their influence.

quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
But there will always be tension between the left-leaning desire for big government with high taxes and high spending that looks after everyone, and the right-leaning desire for small government with low taxes and low spending that leaves people free to seek their own good.

That seems a particularly dishonest bit of framing. The "right-leaning desire for small government" usually includes huge amounts of spending on things like the military, law enforcement, corporate giveaways, etc., after which government isn't really that small anymore. A more realistic way to look at the division is that left-leaners and right-leaners attempt to use the state to advance their agenda, but differ in the particulars.

--------------------
Humani nil a me alienum puto

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Ayn Rand? Milo Yiannopoulos?

Do you have chapter and verse ? For the specific claim that politics should be for the benefit of the rich rather than for everyone ?

Or are you expecting me to read the complete works ?

Ayn Rand's famous work is Atlas Shrugged where one of the main themes is so-called rational egoism - which is one of the reasons that Republicans love it.

Milo I don't care about.

--

Incidentally, there is a word for the kind of argument where someone asks everyone else to explain evidence to their satisfaction*. It's a destructive way to conduct an argument - if you don't know something, say so. Don't pretend that you are able to construct an overarching meta-argument and then when someone offers a simple rebuttal say that you're only going to accept it if they explain it to you.

*Sea-lioning - as per this explanation

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arse

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
... It really isn't. A speech promising that, as president, Romney would only serve the interests of the alleged 53% of Americans who pay (income) tax isn't "the mirror image of the idea of rich people using their influence", it is rich people using their influence. ...

Sorry. Not quite. A category of '53% of the population' is too large to call it 'rich people'.

There's a lot that's really, really wrong in the concept that one is entitled overtly to govern in the interests only of only-just-over-half the population, and as against what is virtually-the-other-half - who are demeaned as a nuisance, people who spoil the fun who should go away. That's nasty, and what we have in my country at the moment. But that, Crœsos, is a different charge.

--------------------
Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Sorry. Not quite. A category of '53% of the population' is too large to call it 'rich people'.

That's true - the rich and powerful have an amazing ability to get a large proportion of people to vote against their own interests and instead to vote in policies which only benefit a tiny minority.

In the USA it seems that there is such a belief in the so-called American dream that people seem to be voting for things that would benefit them if they were rich rather than where they actually are at the moment.

I'm not entirely sure why anyone votes Tory in the UK.

quote:
There's a lot that's really, really wrong in the concept that one is entitled overtly to govern in the interests only of only-just-over-half the population, and as against what is virtually-the-other-half - who are demeaned as a nuisance, people who spoil the fun who should go away. That's nasty, and what we have in my country at the moment. But that, Crœsos, is a different charge.
Well I think these things have long roots and basically go back to Plato and beyond. If you have the idea that there are certain people who are "born to govern", then it isn't many steps until you get an aristocracy and then not many more until you get a plutocracy.

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arse

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Do you seriously think that anyone believes that politics is there to serve the rich ?

Or there are people who for (spurious imho) moral or economic reasons think they can't accept policies that don't serve chiefly the rich.
As an additional factor, some people (consciously or semi-consciously) believe that people are rich or poor because they deserve it. And therefore policies that in fact serve the rich are justified on the grounds that they reward 'the deserving' or penalise 'the lazy'.
Also, policies that are justified on the grounds that they favour 'business' usually favour people who own or manage businesses rather than people who work for businesses.

--------------------
we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Russ
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# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Do you have chapter and verse ? For the specific claim that politics should be for the benefit of the rich rather than for everyone ?

... one of the main themes is so-called rational egoism - which is one of the reasons that Republicans love it.

That doesn't look to me like an argument that politics should be for the benefit of the rich. It looks like an argument that the good society is one where individuals are free to self-actualize, to create and make a living from their creations.

So that a poor potter is a more authentic human being then someone who gets a higher income by living on the dole.

The rich as a class do not appear to merit a mention in this summary of Rand's philosophy.

Which is why I was asking whether there's a specific work or section of her work which addresses the rich and their role in society. A specific quote which demonstrates that she advocates the specific view which I'm suggesting that nobody holds.

--------------------
Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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