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    Default State Privildge

    Just curious on people's thoughts on this particular topic: https://mises.org/library/white-priv...tate-privilege. So, in your eyes, who/what is the biggest threat to you politically? I know who I'm watching...

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    i skimmed that article and it looks to me like a really poorly thought out criticism of the concept of white privilege. some individual white people are oppressed and some individual black people are powerful, and there are other factors involved, no shit? obviously having powers granted to you by the state grants you privileges regardless of skin color. you can look at the ethnic and gender makeup of those who are in that position and see how different forms of privilege converge.

    i dont feel that anyone is a "threat to me politically" and i'm not entirely sure what you mean by that. as for who the "bad guys" are, i find it useless to blame people who lack power like the poor or refugees or whatever and it frustrates me when people do that. i've seen you post before about the relationship between corporations and the state - i agree with that and think the us is essentially a plutocracy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lungs View Post
    i've seen you post before about the relationship between corporations and the state - i agree with that and think the us is essentially a plutocracy.
    Plutocracy? Hell, that'd be an improvement. We live in a Kleptocracy, the fat cats got fat because they robbed the common man blind! They've even made saving up for the future virtually impossible thanks to inflation. By the time you have enough money to move out of the ghetto doing whatever you do for a living you go on the market only to find your "nest egg" which you thought was nice and big only qualifies for breadcrumbs. Assuming, of course, you have any money to save. Which, more often than not, ya don't. Once ya pay the bills and the student loans and feed the household (with healthy food that won't slowly kill them like the cheap garbage processed food they're trying to get your poor ass to buy so you can get fat and get health issues you'll have to pay for because of that) you may have some paltry sum left to save up, but even if you're that smart and do just that something on the car breaks and ya gotta get it fixed or some other unexpected expense hits. Now you're back at zero again. And even if it doesn't, even if you do manage to save that paltry sum, you realize that you'll never save up enough to actually better your own lot as the unexpected expense simply hasn't hit yet, you know because it *always* comes and *always* wipes out what little savings you had no matter how carefully you manage your life. All you can really do is merely survive in the current economic environment. I'm describing my own household here, and I am very, very pissed off.

    The top one percent now own as much assets as the other 90 percent and the trend is clear that this will continue to get worse. This wealth "death cross" was seen one other time in our history, the roaring 20's. The era of Robber Barrons and great Monopolies. History repeats itself it seems, we all know what came after the roaring 20's. This time I don't think the fat cats will survive. I'm just hoping we don't get another World War out of this. We need to hang the CEO's and Banksters that engineered this evil system, they should have hung back in 2008 but, well, no ruling class has ever elected to do the right thing like relinquish power, put an end to their evil practices, or be more generous with money they actually earned legitimately instead of through backhand government deals. Because, as we all know, the ultra-wealthy don't pay taxes. Thieving IRS bureaucrats for thee (us), but not for me (them).

    There is, of course, one mote of hope in all this. The Great Depression saw an era of an unprecedented number of people actually become wealthy. Hopefully, the new rich will learn from the mistakes of the current rich. Sadly, the only lesson we learn from history is that nobody ever seems to learn from history. The dynastic cycle will continue, I just hope more people survive the coming warrior phase than I predict.

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    The problem is that once you hang the self-serving assholes that warped the system to serve their own ends, another batch of similar reptiles spring up to take their place. The USA will probably be a police state in a few decades, some argue it already is. It'll be necessary to keep the starving masses under control as the plutocrats take more control and gut the social safety net. It's going to be interesting when human level AI that can be tweaked perfectly to a business's demands is developed as there is suddenly going to be a lot less jobs out there for people to do. A lot of companies like Target are already threatening to replace their workforce with robotics if they keep demanding anything above poverty wages. People tell me I'm a luddite and that everyone will be happy with such a future, but those machines in the 1800s weren't capable of human level thought. Guess we'll see. And btw, I'm not against such AI, but I don't think it can really be incorporated into our current economic system without heavy consequences. We might have to implement ideas such as a universal income.

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    ^or moving to china
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncivilized View Post
    The problem is that once you hang the self-serving assholes that warped the system to serve their own ends, another batch of similar reptiles spring up to take their place. The USA will probably be a police state in a few decades, some argue it already is. It'll be necessary to keep the starving masses under control as the plutocrats take more control and gut the social safety net. It's going to be interesting when human level AI that can be tweaked perfectly to a business's demands is developed as there is suddenly going to be a lot less jobs out there for people to do. A lot of companies like Target are already threatening to replace their workforce with robotics if they keep demanding anything above poverty wages. People tell me I'm a luddite and that everyone will be happy with such a future, but those machines in the 1800s weren't capable of human level thought. Guess we'll see. And btw, I'm not against such AI, but I don't think it can really be incorporated into our current economic system without heavy consequences. We might have to implement ideas such as a universal income.
    The future will certainly be interesting, we still don't know how we'll handle sentient robogirls for instance but they're coming and there's really no stopping it. The true problem is the plutocrats themselves. Morality? Empathy? Basic human decency? Foresight? You won't find any of those within their ranks, fuckers sold their souls LONG ago. This is the dynastic cycle, the elite always get to be like this eventually. Then the uprising occurs and they're all slaughtered to a man, woman, and child. Only one Chinese emperor lived to see the next dynasty founded.

    He did this by hiding for 40 years, in a monastery. A place where, if you acted "immorally" you got thrown out. So he "came to Jesus" when he saw those torches and pitchforks heading towards him, not one minute before. I expect no less from our current elite. If they do reform, it'll be when we common folk are voting from the rooftops, not one second before. Sad, tragic, and pathetic, but hey, such is the pussies that always comprise the ruling class in the final stage of the cycle.

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    'Privilege' is a term that refers to hierarchy.

    The article is a bit dumb. Yes, the state has ultimate place in the hierarchy as it is able to force people to do things it wants. This is basically irrelevant since the state is a machine and a system, what matters is who controls it. Whoever controls the top of the hierarchy has an evident self-interest in its preservation.

    In some countries, this could be military or religion or other, maybe totalitarian party. In the west it is enterprise. Enterprise has a firm control on the means of production and through this it has a firm control on the state and the hierarchy. Trying to organise against privilege in this system is like chickens trying to organise for animal rights in battery farm.

    Privileges and hierarchies will die out when the means of production are in the firm and democratic ownership of the general public.
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    Quote Originally Posted by totalize View Post
    'Privilege' is a term that refers to hierarchy.

    The article is a bit dumb. Yes, the state has ultimate place in the hierarchy as it is able to force people to do things it wants. This is basically irrelevant since the state is a machine and a system, what matters is who controls it. Whoever controls the top of the hierarchy has an evident self-interest in its preservation.

    In some countries, this could be military or religion or other, maybe totalitarian party. In the west it is enterprise. Enterprise has a firm control on the means of production and through this it has a firm control on the state and the hierarchy. Trying to organise against privilege in this system is like chickens trying to organise for animal rights in battery farm.

    Privileges and hierarchies will die out when the means of production are in the firm and democratic ownership of the general public.
    At least you are consistent in your socialist thought, which I must salute you for. Many people are schizophrenic in this sphere but at least you advocate for the full realization of this ideal other people's feelings and reservations be damned .

    I question if it can ever truly occur however. We went from the state of nature to a nature filed with states and I fear the problem is cyclical. Even if your ideal was realized, it would only be a matter of time before someone set themselves to the task if increasing the amount of property under their control at the expense of others (or just desiring that property be private in general). People want privilege, some want it so bad they'll do anything to get it. Put a high I.Q in their head and we've got trouble. Dictators and demagogues may be evil, but they're not stupid. And the public falls for their BS time and time again. It sometimes feels like we're doomed, trapped in this endless cycle of blood, pain, and misery. You scream the answer to the problems from the rooftops, but nobody seems to listen, nobody seems to care. And that's if you're lucky, under a true dictatorship what usually goes down is if you say one word out of line, well, have we got a grungy torture chamber for you .

    We have similar concerns and seem to believe we have similar enemies, our preferred, ideal way of dealing with them differ however. I am simply glad that the two of us (for now) can say the things we do and not end up in the grungy torture chamber.

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    History repeats itself it seems, we all know what came after the roaring 20's. This time I don't think the fat cats will survive. I'm just hoping we don't get another World War out of this
    @End, provided that you got the dynamics and conditions right, don't you think that the Elites know better by now so that they reform their game for the perceived end game?
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalinoche View Post
    @End, provided that you got the dynamics and conditions right, don't you think that the Elites know better by now so that they reform their game for the perceived end game?
    Their playbook never seems to change. Again, we don't learn from history, but they don't either. This is a good video on the subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9w6QYPzF2TI. We're about to see the final stage of the Chaos phase and an entry into the Warrior phase. This is gonna suck, but we may just live long enough to see another golden age and the founding of a new dynasty.

    I'm kinda scared about this cycle though, the corrupt elite never had nukes before, so they didn't have a means to put a literal gun to the head of the world population. Now they do, I pray they don't glass the planet to maintain power, but these fuckers are so dumb, and so insane, that they may well do just that. Once more, I pray that doesn't happen, but I wouldn't put anything past our current ruling elite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by End View Post
    Their playbook never seems to change. Again, we don't learn from history, but they don't either. This is a good video on the subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9w6QYPzF2TI. We're about to see the final stage of the Chaos phase and an entry into the Warrior phase. This is gonna suck, but we may just live long enough to see another golden age and the founding of a new dynasty.

    I'm kinda scared about this cycle though, the corrupt elite never had nukes before, so they didn't have a means to put a literal gun to the head of the world population. Now they do, I pray they don't glass the planet to maintain power, but these fuckers are so dumb, and so insane, that they may well do just that. Once more, I pray that doesn't happen, but I wouldn't put anything past our current ruling elite.
    Well, nuclear release isn't quite as bad as a scenario as everyone thinks it is. It's bad, obviously, but it's not an end-game for humanity. It's more similar to what the plague (Black Death) achieved in Europe. The idea that the world would be impossible to live in after a nuclear exchange is basically fantasy. It would suck though.

    Nuclear stockpiles are significantly lower today than they are during the CW, too.
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    The West is irrelevant in the long run and Western countries are just glorified barbarian kingdoms. It's had a nice run at the helm from its humble stature, about as long and destructive as the all too ephemeral Mongolian empire, but China is the world's natural hegemonic superpower to which the pendulum swings; always has been, always will be. It'll all be real evident real soon. Mark these words: the sleeper has awakened.
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    Quote Originally Posted by totalize View Post
    Well, nuclear release isn't quite as bad as a scenario as everyone thinks it is. It's bad, obviously, but it's not an end-game for humanity. It's more similar to what the plague (Black Death) achieved in Europe. The idea that the world would be impossible to live in after a nuclear exchange is basically fantasy. It would suck though.

    Nuclear stockpiles are significantly lower today than they are during the CW, too.
    True, it wouldn't end humanity, but you end up essentially living in the Fallout setting. Which is great as a game and all, but it'd really suck if you actually had to live that. Praying we don't have to, but I'm gonna prepare for it just in case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xerx View Post
    The West is irrelevant in the long run and Western countries are just glorified barbarian kingdoms. It's had a nice run at the helm from its humble stature, about as long and destructive as the all too ephemeral Mongolian empire, but China is the world's natural hegemonic superpower to which the pendulum swings; always has been, always will be. It'll all be real evident real soon. Mark these words: the sleeper has awakened.
    China's just as fucked economically as the U.S. is, their housing bubble hasn't popped yet. It will, but you are correct in that China is still in a superior position over the West financially. Nobody's escaping the coming economic collapse unscathed, but some people will be better off than others. China, Russia, and their allies are in such a position. Now, whether or not they decide to just take over America's Empire in a kind of natural flow process (as the U.S. did with Great Britain) remains to be seen. Again, I just hope the psychos in charge don't pick the nuclear option to prevent that if they take that course of action.

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    Quote Originally Posted by End View Post
    True, it wouldn't end humanity, but you end up essentially living in the Fallout setting. Which is great as a game and all, but it'd really suck if you actually had to live that. Praying we don't have to, but I'm gonna prepare for it just in case.
    Nooo, it would be nothing like that. The whole idea of mutants and wastelands and so on is basically nonsense. Well, possibly with the number of weapons around during the mid 80s, but definitely not today.
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    Quote Originally Posted by totalize View Post
    Nooo, it would be nothing like that. The whole idea of mutants and wastelands and so on is basically nonsense. Well, possibly with the number of weapons around during the mid 80s, but definitely not today.
    Well not literally but you get the point. Everything devolving into essentially factional warfare over the remains of human civilization, histories and modern technologies being lost entirely, the previous governments trying to reassert control and continue their delusional war (they already have the bunkers and they're already staffed, look into this thing called Continuity of Government or COG, they're more crazed than the most delusional "prepper" you'll ever meet), most electronics fried due to the EMP's they'd bring down upon us, etc. Yeah, not fun. Oh well, all I'd have to do is locate the vents and smoke the fuckers out by blocking them as me and my buddies sat at all the exits with a machine gun and a ton of ammo .

    The dynastic cycle is clear, the elite of a failed dynasty are to be eliminated, as they should, for their crimes against humanity (i.e. trying to glass the planet and get away with it in this case).

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    Quote Originally Posted by End View Post
    China's just as fucked economically as the U.S. is, their housing bubble hasn't popped yet. It will, but you are correct in that China is still in a superior position over the West financially. Nobody's escaping the coming economic collapse unscathed, but some people will be better off than others. China, Russia, and their allies are in such a position. Now, whether or not they decide to just take over America's Empire in a kind of natural flow process (as the U.S. did with Great Britain) remains to be seen. Again, I just hope the psychos in charge don't pick the nuclear option to prevent that if they take that course of action.
    I mean in the long-term -- spanning centuries. We're taught to think in terms of short-term macroeconomic calculations. China, as anyone else, will have setbacks for sure, but historical trends favour them significantly.

    What I am cryptically referring to is the notion of thalassocracy vs. the traditional land-based power. Thalassocracy means to rule through control of the sea, and it refers to any political unit whose primary means of exerting power lies within its navy. Naval dominance gives one the ability to strangle trade and to deploy troops anywhere on an enemy's shore, granting both mobility and the initiative to the owner. The West has been a thalassocracy since the start of the Modern period in 1500, beginning with the rise of the Portuguese empire and coinciding with the hegemony of the American empire.

    Thalassocracy is delicate. The master of the sea can maneuver around an enemy but can never take the assault directly into the enemy's heartland. It can strangle the enemy's external trade, but it can never prevent the enemy from establishing a strong industrial base.

    For all its power, the United States cannot hope to match China on an industrial footing. The Asian continent contains the greatest concentration of human power and natural resources and China has a lion's share of these. America can and has rallied alliances against China, thereby insinuating itself as a wedge between China and its neighbours. America has the ability, whether through alliances or force of arms, to blockade Chinese trade, most crucially through the strait of Malacca, where the majority of Chinese oil transits from the Middle East.

    Both are stopgap measures. Both are ephemeral --- needing chance, strategic guess-work and calculation in order to maintain. Neither is able to fully account for the self-sufficiency of an autarchic industrial power, especially in the modern age, where new technological innovations offer up the prospect of resource-independence (independence from oil, in particular). It's going to be impossible to stop China from leveraging its industry to deploy its own counter-navy. All of China's neighbours are already being sucked into permanent economic dependence, making the hope of a grand alliance against China useless.
    Last edited by xerx; 11-23-2015 at 04:35 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by xerx View Post
    For all its power, the United States cannot hope to match China on an industrial footing. The Asian continent contains the greatest concentration of human power and natural resources and China has a lion's share of these. America can and has rallied alliances against China, thereby insinuating itself as a wedge between China and its neighbours. America has the ability, whether through alliances or force of arms, to blockade Chinese trade, most crucially through the strait of Malacca, where the majority of Chinese oil transits from the Middle East.

    Both are stopgap measures. Both are ephemeral, needing chance, strategic guess-work and calculation in order to maintain. Neither is able to fully account for the self-sufficiency of an autarchic industrial power, especially in the modern age, where new technological innovations offer up the prospect of resource-independence (independence from oil, in particular). It's going to be impossible to stop China from leveraging its industry to deploy its own counter-navy. All of China's neighbours are already being sucked into permanent economic dependence, making the hope of a grand alliance against China useless.
    I don't know if I agree with this.

    It is possible for China to ascend but as you say it will take several centuries. It is impossible to gauge how the world will look at that time.

    Using examples from history, while the US may be a thalassocracy (I think that is a flawed term, but it is definitely a maritime nation) it has been able to see off two huge land powers (Nazi Germany and the USSR). The fact of the matter is that sea powers are actually better than land powers. The worlds resources -- but more importantly their markets -- are widely distributed across the world and will become more widely distributed (Latin America and Africa are only growing). Land powers are restricted by their reach. The USSR had a long reach, but it wasn't global -- and China is the same. It also has the same problem the USSR had: a growing and demographically giant nation (although not superior) on its border, i.e. India. Interestingly India has a superior navy to China and is itself is capable of blocking the sea lines of communication to China via Melaka-Indian Ocean.

    If China plans to become a global power, it must take its land borders more seriously. Their army reforms in past 15 years have shown this. They began process of converting their huge army of light infantry, basically a gendarmerie in all but name, into serious mechanised force in mid 90s. So far they have neglected Navy. All aspects of their Navy are pretty much useless, and will be in distant future, compared to US Navy or even Japanese Navy. But I do not want to talk too much about now, but general trends, since we know that if China rises it won't be in next 100 years.

    No land power has ever been able to defeat a sea power at sea. Even Sparta couldn't destroy the Athenian fleet in open battle. A country becomes a land power because it has continental commitments, not because it chooses to do so. Those commitments cost too much in terms of resources to be able to wrest control of the sea. Not even Wilhelm II or Sergei Gorshkov could make this happen. A sea power lives or dies upon the sea lines of communication. It does not surrender them to land powers.

    Anyway, China's rise is not inevitable. Huge cracks in its system are already showing. Perhaps Xi Jinping can start to turn it around. Maybe not. Neither is its economic power all you say it is. It has one important advantage, which is demography, but this is also a disadvantage if it cannot be mastered towards useful direction. At any rate, the time it would take for China to arise to global hegemon is far too distant to make any serious prognosis because so much could happen inbetween.
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    Quote Originally Posted by totalize View Post
    I don't know if I agree with this.

    It is possible for China to ascend but as you say it will take several centuries. It is impossible to gauge how the world will look at that time.

    Using examples from history, while the US may be a thalassocracy (I think that is a flawed term, but it is definitely a maritime nation) it has been able to see off two huge land powers (Nazi Germany and the USSR). The fact of the matter is that sea powers are actually better than land powers. The worlds resources -- but more importantly their markets -- are widely distributed across the world and will become more widely distributed (Latin America and Africa are only growing). Land powers are restricted by their reach. The USSR had a long reach, but it wasn't global -- and China is the same. It also has the same problem the USSR had: a growing and demographically giant nation (although not superior) on its border, i.e. India. Interestingly India has a superior navy to China and is itself is capable of blocking the sea lines of communication to China via Melaka-Indian Ocean.
    Thing is, the Chinese are busy laying the groundwork for a trans-Eurasian high-speed railroad network linking China to Western Europe and criss-crossing Asia. They've expressed strong interest in building pipelines to carry oil directly from the Middle East to China (Iran is already on board) in order to hedge their bets in case of a blockade. By connexion, a major part of their interest in Myanmar concerns bypassing the strait of Malacca altogether.

    China is not the USSR in that it has greater industrial muscle than the United States.

    But the fact of the matter is that China is no longer neglecting its navy. Moreover, its reach truly is becoming global. Chinese industries operate everywhere. Africa's slow rise out of economic poverty is at least partially attributable to burgeoning trade with China. Chinese firms have been busy building highways and internet connections all across the continent and Chinatowns have popped up everywhere worldwide. There are even Chinatowns in Iraq.

    If China plans to become a global power, it must take its land borders more seriously. Their army reforms in past 15 years have shown this. They began process of converting their huge army of light infantry, basically a gendarmerie in all but name, into serious mechanised force in mid 90s. So far they have neglected Navy. All aspects of their Navy are pretty much useless, and will be in distant future, compared to US Navy or even Japanese Navy. But I do not want to talk too much about now, but general trends, since we know that if China rises it won't be in next 100 years.

    No land power has ever been able to defeat a sea power at sea. Even Sparta couldn't destroy the Athenian fleet in open battle. A country becomes a land power because it has continental commitments, not because it chooses to do so. Those commitments cost too much in terms of resources to be able to wrest control of the sea. Not even Wilhelm II or Sergei Gorshkov could make this happen. A sea power lives or dies upon the sea lines of communication. It does not surrender them to land powers.

    Anyway, China's rise is not inevitable. Huge cracks in its system are already showing. Perhaps Xi Jinping can start to turn it around. Maybe not. Neither is its economic power all you say it is. It has one important advantage, which is demography, but this is also a disadvantage if it cannot be mastered towards useful direction. At any rate, the time it would take for China to arise to global hegemon is far too distant to make any serious prognosis because so much could happen inbetween.
    Sparta didn't need to defeat the Athenians at sea. It won decisively by land.

    The mercantile republic of Carthage was decisively defeated by the upstart land-power Rome after the latter built its own navy modeled on the Carthaginian. That should serve as a dire warning to anyone not to underestimate an opponent's ingenuity.
    It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarrelled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

  20. #20

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    I think the article ins interesting - talking about how unaccountable our government and leaders really are for their corruption - but I disagree with a lot of the discourse here about their being separate and distinct classes of people that are oppressed, and that because some people have something other people are forced to have nothing.

    I can see where you are coming from though.

    I've lived in slums and projects, and I've seen how people live when they're on welfare (which almost seems more like chains than anything else) but I've also seen how people who are determined to get out of there can make it out. It may seem hard, though, especially because I feel like schools are so poor in inner city areas, lack of voting in those areas makes govt address those issues less - but when it really comes down to it, I feel like those who want out can get out. I did, haha.

    When it comes down to it, though, I don't feel like it's a government breakdown or rich people that keeps people living in ghettoes and slums and projects - it seems almost like a social breakdown, a familial breakdown, an abandonment of that crucial basic support system. People have kids and neglect them, as a result kids never learn how to take care of themselves or others, and then have no clue how to raise their own kids, and then abandon them too - and the cycle repeats. Nobody there has any dreams of going somewhere, or if someone does, everyone else starts behaving like "crabs in a bucket."

    I've met way too many people in my life that made something out of nothing because they sacrificed for it. I hope to ascend to their ranks someday, too, haha. I'm really grateful for the American system, and I know that when moderately regulated it works very very well. I don't look at people that have been successful and think "Man I am stuck here because that guy is keeping me down. I'm living paycheck to paycheck cause of people on Wall Street," instead I hope to someday be as successful as they are. That being said, I've met people in the richest parts of the country that are flat out miserable, even though it seems like they have everything, and I've met people in the Projects that are happier than I've ever been in my life even though they have NOTHING. Money doesn't buy you happiness. Some people use money to medicate themselves when they really should be looking for ways to strengthen their inner spirit and find real purpose in life. Green paper can't give you happiness - only self-actualization can.

    My ultimate goal in life is to find and realize my dreams with the people I love by my side, and to give back to the world all of the blessings that I've been given. If by chance I do wind up being successful, my goal is to head right back to those projects and start doing some real good for people there, hahaha. It's that dream that keeps me going when times are rough and I keep on having to live paycheck to paycheck.

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