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TrickstaPriest

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  1. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to Sociotard in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    It really depends on the right wing media in question. I can't speak to Fox or Breitbart or whatever, but National Review and American Conservative frequently oppose him, and generally serve as lukewarm apologists for Trump at most. 
  2. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to DShomshak in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Now, socialism. Warning: long and a bit dry, but let us see what the Dictionary of Political Thought has to say in defining socialism, without trying to argue whether it’s good or bad.
     
    As a purely economic doctrine, I’ve been told that socialism simply means that the state exerts some control over the means of production and distribution. One should probably add: For conscious pursuit of social or political goals. After all, in Medieval Europe the feudal aristocracy controlled the principle means of production — land — but this was not for some conscious program of social engineering, so I don’t think it would be fair to call manorialism “socialist.”
     
    Scruton notes that, as with so many political terms, “socialism” is a wide term. He sees two principle, though related meanings:
     
    First, “In Marxian theory and official communist language… the means of production are taken into social ownership, and the state persists as an administrative machine, upholding a new order of legality, and a new system of rights, in such a way as to permit the emergence of true common ownership, and the eventual abolition of the state.” I.e., the state owns everything in the name of the workers and peasants, with the promise that it will eventually become superfluous and the workers and peasants will own and control everything themselves — but in common, not individually.
     
    (Scruton wrote his dictionary in 1982. Leaving aside the morality of socialism as practiced by the USSR and others, we may say this “hard-core socialism” has not fared well in experimental trials.)
     
    In a second meaning, socialism is a philosophical and political doctrine that includes “a broad and comprehensive outlook on the human condition.” It’s also conceived as permanent, rather than a transitional stage to some future utopia. This broader interpretation of socialism is based on three postulates:
     
    1) Equality: Equal opportunity as well as equal rights under law, with an eye toward equalizing outcomes for individuals. “The main consideration is that human beings have equal rights, since they are equal in every way relevant to those rights.”
     
    2) The state as administrator: “The state is seen, not as the legal and ceremonial representation of civil society, but rather as a complex administrative device, designed to guarantee individual rights, and to distribute benefits among the citizens in accordance with those rights.” It must “provide and maintain the institutions which ensure that human goods — food, medicine, education, recreation — are made available to everybody on terms hat are as equal as possible.” But the state is not an end in itself; and it should not be used to propagate “religious doctrine, or nationalist ideology.” It is a powerful tool, but just a tool.
     
    3) Elimination of systems of control. Class systems, hereditary privileges, and other means by which people control and compel each other violate the principle of equal rights, and so are unjust.
     
    Private property receives special mention: “Private property is permissible, but only insofar as it does not amount to a system of control.” While “Type 2 Socialists” reject the hard-core Marxian condemnation of all private property as a means of privilege and control, and may believe that private property is a legitimate expectation of citizens in a well-ordered society, socialists do think that vast concentrations of wealth and property can harm the interests of society and the citizens. “Hence, the state must always be ready to nationalize major assets, and should curtail or forbid the transactions that lead to large-scale private accumulation — such as gifts and inheritance.”
     
    As Scruton notes, socialism has a long and natural affiliation with labor movements, “for the obvious reason that, while it promises very little and threatens much to the class of property owners, it promises much and threatens little, or seems to threaten little, to the workers.”
     
    He also notes that under Western parliamentary government, socialism has shown it can be implemented pragmatically, democratically and with compromise, without attempting to impose any of the three underlying principles in pure form. Some even say “this ‘parliamentary road to socialism’ is in fact a creature so different from the socialism of the communist state as to be only misleadingly called by the same name.”
     
    Criticisms of “Type 2 socialism” reject one or more of its postulates, or see contradictions between them. For instance, some people insist that 1) is wrong and all people are not and should not be equal under law.
     
    Some thinkers argue that the state must be treated as an end in itself in order to obtain the loyalty of the people: As a pure service-provider “it comes to seem arbitary and dispensable, and therefore holds increasing power with increasing instability.”
     
    Other critics see a conflict between 2) and 3), arguing that the all-pervading power of the state merely creates another self-interested élite. It is also argued that the ideal of “social justice” that runs through 1) and 3) is “incompatible with the assertion of natural rights and freedoms.”
     
    I don’t see anything monstrous in this “type 2 socialism.” Arguable, either in theory or practice, but nothing outside the normal bounds of rational discourse. In fact, I accept postulate 1) without reservation; and I agree with postulate 2) with reservations (I see the state as a rational machine for achieving practical goals, but accept to achieve those goals it may need to pretend to some greater majesty. One may also question the implicit assumption that the state is the *only* institution to fulfill this distributive and administrative function). 3) seems to be where the practical difficulties seem greatest, though I appreciate the goal. It’s a bad joke to talk of “rights” and “freedom” to people who are externally constrained by poverty, racism, etc. from being able to exercise them.
     
    So that's Scruton. I don't claim any special authority for his dictionary, but it's the one I found for cheap at Goodwill so it's the one I use.
     
    Dean Shomshak
  3. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to Ninja-Bear in 5th Edition 250 Points Comic Book Character Generator   
    I like them. What a great time saver! I need to print them off for my own use! Thanks Cassanda!
  4. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to Simon in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Heroic Halfwit will no longer be joining us on the forums.
  5. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to Cancer in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    I go back and forth on gun control, and it annoys me greatly that you can't get good information for assessing what effects it has. But what I really object to is the prohibition on gathering real data and doing an exhaustive analysis of that subject. I admit to some hyperbole there; it is not illegal to do it, but there is a prohibition on federal funding for such a study, and I expect it would take everything short of coercion (i.e., "do it, and do it this way, or the federal dollars go away in the morning") to get systematic, complete reporting from local governments. But under existing law, none of that is permitted.
  6. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to Old Man in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    I also try to link sources that at least attempt to maintain some impartiality when reporting on politics.  Don't get me wrong, I read a lot of kos, but I don't link to it because people tune it out the same way I would instantly disregard anything on Breitbart or Fox.
     
    For background, I should point out that the gun control debate has raged here in this very forum for decades with seasonal flareups.  There are good people on both sides, but it's a touchy subject, and opinions will only change gradually if at all.
  7. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to Tech priest support in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Like a great many people in America you may not be aware of the little known fact several states in America have laws about belief. In Texas state law forbids atheists from holding any elected office. It's not the only state to have such laws.
     
    You will reasonably ask for proof, hence... https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/07/us/in-seven-states-atheists-push-to-end-largely-forgotten-ban-.html
  8. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to Nolgroth in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    On a less bad note, Hero of the day: https://twitter.com/shane_bauer/status/901910682030882816  I'm guessing that the brave person shielding the victim of that attack does NOT agree with his ideology but chose to place herself in danger to protect him. What an awesome person.
     
    I have to bow out of the Antifa discussion though. In a moment of epiphany, I realize that I do indeed hate them as much as I do the fascist scumbags. I cannot look at that topic with anything close to objectivity. 
  9. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to Sociotard in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    I hope the left realizes that the next time there's a leftwing march, Right Wingers will do this, and likely worse. We need to improve our discourse, and poo is not going to do that.
     
    This article illustrates how attacked both sides feel, and I thought it was well thought out.
    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/they-want-revenge/
  10. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to Michael Hopcroft in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Trump loves rallies more than anything else in the world. Large crowds of people cheering for him excites him far more than preparing a budget or phoning a senator who probably despises him in order to secure a vote on his latest pet project.
     
    He is convinced the people love him, and that's all that matters.
  11. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to Lord Liaden in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Careful, guys, we don't want to draw the Wrath of Dan.
     
    But I will add, as many mental health-care professionals have pointed out, that people can have significant personality flaws which still don't amount to a clinical diagnosis of mental illness, or critically impair their capacity to function in society. In other words, features about Trump which you may consider impact his function as President, may not in themselves be sufficient grounds to question his mental competence.
  12. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to Lucius in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    For that matter, I doubt "conservative" automatically implies "Fan of the Confederacy" or "Wants statues of Confederate leaders prominently displayed in public places."
     
    Lucius Alexander
     
    But a post by Lucius Alexander does imply a palindromedary tagline
  13. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to Michael Hopcroft in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    I actually unsubscribed from the newsletter of wargame publisher Avalanche Press today when it features, for the second week in a row,, prominently displayed images of the Lee statue on Charlottesville that someone literally died over. They were clearly making a statement, that they wanted it to stay up and that as far as they could tell "wargamer" automatically equals "conservative". The most dedicated wargamer I know, who specializes in the American Civil War, is an African-American liberal and one of the most generous people I have ever met in my life. The stereotype rings false.
     
    I told Avalanche in no uncertain terms how they had lost my business. Wargamer and Conservative do not imply one another in the least.
  14. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to Lord Liaden in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    I hate "the other side does things that are just as bad" justifications. If there was ever a situation of, "two wrongs don't make a right," this is it. Regardless of whether a minority of racists are deliberately violent, or whether a minority of those who oppose them are equally violent, racism is a philosophical boil on the butt of the human condition, end of story.
  15. Like
    TrickstaPriest got a reaction from DasBroot in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Good posts from Tom and Dan.  As much as I want to ratchet back the tension, it's very hard for me to think the two groups equivalent.  It does feel like Trump wants to be the "anti-Obama"... that's his hand, his playing cards.  It's a mess.
     
    In other news, back to distracting myself with irreverent roleplaying games!
  16. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to Lord Liaden in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    What's truly disheartening is that the situation in the United States has come to the point where we feel the need to even debate equivalency to fascists.
  17. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to Nolgroth in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    I don't. Seriously, all of my vitriol towards Antifa, pales in comparison to what I feel about the other side. I just don't mention it because of the whole foregone conclusion thing. I just think that hanging our hopes on domestic troublemakers (terrorists seems way like too strong a word) may not be the way to go. Then again, history may prove me wrong and in two hundred years we look back with fondness at the Antifa movement and erect monuments to them. 
     
    Also, Right-wing does not equal "fascist" anymore than Left-wing equals "socialist." Sure, members of both sides gravitate towards those ideologies, but not everybody does. Somewhere towards the middle are people who disagree, but can still have a healthy debate.
  18. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to Nolgroth in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    When I first read your message, I thought "What does he mean irrelevant roleplaying games?" In a case of how mistaken interpretation can start wars, I was going to completely dress you down. Then I read it again and saw that the word is irreverent.  So never mind then. Carry on. Nothing to see here.
  19. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to Michael Hopcroft in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    I don't know you, but it seems you're a Slayers fan. I approve.
  20. Like
    TrickstaPriest got a reaction from Nolgroth in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Good posts from Tom and Dan.  As much as I want to ratchet back the tension, it's very hard for me to think the two groups equivalent.  It does feel like Trump wants to be the "anti-Obama"... that's his hand, his playing cards.  It's a mess.
     
    In other news, back to distracting myself with irreverent roleplaying games!
  21. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to csyphrett in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    RPGnet members are saying parts of the internet controlled by WS/Nazis are going crazy. Thing is Bannon signed his resignation on the 7th, so he knew he was out.
    CES 
  22. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to megaplayboy in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Oh frabjous day! Callooh callay!
  23. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to Tom in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Sometimes I wonder if the thing really getting Trump's goat is Obama's tweet in response to Charlottesville is more popular than anything he's ever sent.
     
    (Just to take a step back from more serious concerns -- well, serious to us)
  24. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to Simon in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Easy comparison here as a way to show that there is no equivalence between the two sides (and why attempting to draw one is offensive in the extreme):

    ISIS shares a large amount of similarity with Neo-Nazis.  Both claim to religious justification for hate and terrorist actions. Both seek the elimination or subjugation of entire races and/or religions. The main difference between the two is the color of the skin of their members.  Neo-Nazis are credited with more terrorist attacks on American soil than ISIS and are more of a concern for DHS and the FBI.
     
    Now...picture an ISIS march in NC.  ISIS members and supporters marching armed and calling for jihad on all non-Muslims.  Feel free to add some ISIS sympathizers (but not active ISIS members) in with the group.  They're not armed and they're not really into the whole jihad thing, but they think that ISIS makes some good points and want to show their support by marching with them.  Continue the formation of this picture by having an active terror attack take place during this rally -- an ISIS member drives a car into a group of counter protesters.
     
    If you think there is any "equivalence" to be drawn here (the counter protesters were armed/the counter protesters were angry/ the counter protesters were yelling at the ISIS marchers), you're no better than the ISIS sympathizers.  And we lock them up.
     
    Why is it different for neo-Nazis? 
  25. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to Lord Liaden in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    At least there's no more ambiguity over where Donald Trump really stands. That's useful to know.
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