Discussion in 'Community' started by Summer Dreamer, Dec 6, 2012.
So, do we now have a 3 party system consiting of the Dems, the GOP, and the Tea Party?
Looking more and more like it.
Good. Maybe now they can run on their own, instead of getting all the moderate Republicans “primaried.”
They can *try* to be a third party, but they'll have about the same amount of success as Ross Perot and Ralph Nader.
This isn't related to any news, but I was watching a panel discussion about US foreign policy and there was a neo-con on that panel. What struck me about his reasoning is a trait I always seem to find in neoconservatives.
When asked about the risk of blowback as a consequence of certain US policies abroad, they always brush off those who bring up such concerns as naïve bleeding heart "children", so to speak, who can't see the world as the jungle that it is, and need to grow up and realize that the US will always have enemies that hate it no matter what, simply because it is powerful. I don't dispute that the latter statement is probably true to a certain extent, but for the sake of argument, let's just assume that it's true to the full ultimate extent. Fair? The interesting part comes when they are then asked about the possibility of ulterior motives existing behind certain US policies abroad, implicitly those advocated by neoconservatives. Now, the man who just a second ago had a worldview about the outside world so cynical that you'd think he was raised as an orphan by a pack of stray wolves in Siberia, is suddenly struck to the ground with indignation by how you dare assume anything but the purest of motives behind any proposed action or policy abroad. So,to recap, they want us to be cynical about the world and expect that everyone is out to get us, and we are naïve children if we don't, but at the same time, to use that same cynical lens they want us to view the world through and direct it toward them, and question their motives in all this, is the height of insult.
When someone's motives are pure, they don't get insulted when you question them. They are also usually much more transparent and don't require much questioning in the first place.
We are always pure, and they are always vile. That was the Nazis' view of the world. By the time they took that logic to its conclusion, there really did exist a vile villain, but it wasn't their enemies.
What I posted earlier was a general observation of sorts about neo-cons that this particular guy made me realize. But there was one thing he said that went further than what I've heard openly stated by them before, which I'm not sure they all believe. What he said was - and I cannot stress this enough, he explicitly said this - the moral question is not in what we do, but who does it. If our enemies do something, and we do that same thing, that doesn't put us in the same league as them. They're bad because they did it. When we do it, it's always good, because we do it.
I will admit that I agree partly with this premise. The motive is the ultimate deciding factor in the morality of an action, IMO. That Germany invaded Poland, and that the allies invaded Germany are not morally equivalent. One is an act of expansionist aggression, while the other was to put an end to the war. That the allies invaded Nazi Germany to end the war in no way puts them in the same league as them. This is true. But there are still some methods, that I would argue are not justified no matter what's at stake. If the allies committed mass genocide of German civilians, in retaliation for the Germans committing genocide on Jews and Gypsies, I'd say that if it didn't put the two sides in the same league, it would at least put them pretty damn close!
But even disregarding that part of it, taking this argument to its ultimate conclusion assumes self-infallibility. It assumes, first of all, that we will never cross the line, and whatever we do to the other side, they must have had it coming. Second of all, it assumes that our motives are always pure. We will never elect leaders that will deceive us or take us to war over false pretenses. Hell, forget about deception, it assumes that we as a people will never want war for the wrong reasons, or accept heinous methods used in our name. We will never have to question our own morality, we are inherently moral just by virtue of who we are. Not what we do. The arrogance of these two assumptions is mindblowing!
You can't even really make a straightforward comparison between the two, because the context is entirely different. They may have both committed an act of "invasion," but the circumstances were nothing at all alike.
I agree, and I edited my post somewhat after your reply. Just so we're clear, I'm not questioning the moral validity of the allied invasion of Germany. If there was ever a justified military action in all of human history, it was that.
What is his basis on who is the "good guys" and who is the "bad guys" if not judging both sides by their actions? Is it as simple as "Well I'm obviously the good guy so they must be bad"? That is the way a child thinks. No wonder conservatives are against critical thinking.
I'd agree partly with it as well, but the key word here is "partly". The "it's good because we're the ones doing it" justification has to be used really cautiously, but the neocons seem to enjoy abusing it to no extent. Perhaps neoconservatism started off where we are now, with a more cautious mindset, but today they're really just a bunch of fascists.
You realize you're proposing deontology as the sole "theory" of ethics here, right? I don't have a problem with the rest of your post, but I have to nitpick here as if this premise is false, then some of your post falls apart.
Perhaps, instead of ultimate, I should use the word 'foremost'. My own opinion is that the motive is the most important factor in deciding the morality of an action, but obviously at some point something just crosses the line and is just wrong irrespective of the motive, which I also hinted at in the earlier post. But in the whole, I don't make a habit of scrutinizing my moral beliefs to fit with ethical models; maybe I should. I'd like to think, however, that I try to see complex moral issues from several angles and take into account the different considerations that need to be taken. The point, though, is that we obviously need to take a look back regularly and examine the morality of the things we do from time to time. We have to question ourselves. We're not infallible. But this particular person, apparently believed Americans never need to do that, at least not when in comes to dealing with foreign policy issues, as Americans are always right just by virtue of being American.
Yup...this is the doctrine known as American Exceptionalism.
The reverse is true. It's the neocons who hold a naive and idealistic worldview. They came from the democratic party after all, which cherished the Wilson myth of "global freedom and democracy", and migrated to the GOP with the rise of Reagan.
The Bush years, in fact the last 30 years has largely proven the shortcomings of their beliefs.
That they still have any credence at all is the amazing thing. Then again, when the party opposite you has a president who almost carbon-copies your war policy, perhaps they're entrenched in both parties, just under different names.
A killer drone by any other name.
Perhaps this Urban Dictionary entry best sums them up:
"A neoconservative is someone who, when watching The Matrix, believes that it's real."
I find the issue of minimum wage ridiculous. Businesses from small/local to corporations act like they are broke if their wage slaves make enough money to pay bills and take vacations. Had the miminum wage risen at the same rate as the top 1% income the MW would be something just shy of $30 an hour.
It's nonsense. The money is there. It's an old joke brought back to today since the Twinky fiasco. A CEO, an employee and a Union boss walk up to a table with 12 Twinkies. The CEO takes 11 twinkies and turns to the employee and says, "The Union boss is trying to take your Twinky."
I honestly don't understand a minimum wage. If the government raises the minimum wage, won't business just raise prices to compensate?
Not necessarily, because shockingly the economy, a subject of study with multiple schools of thought and continuous research, is not that simple. Crazy, I know.
You have to think of the minimum wage in terms of a trade-off (as with everything in economics really). Sure, business can only adapt to the higher wage rate by either a) hiring less, b) cutting hours, c) reducing investment, or d) reducing profit margins and dividends--and most of these options (for the most part), don't help anyone in the economy. However, the trade-off is that a higher minimum wage will encourage work, reduce dependency on welfare and social programs, stimulate consumer demand, and help the poor service their debt burdens.
Economists are pretty divided on how this trade-off weighs out right now.
I don't know why anyone could possibly think nine dollars an hour is too high. It's still ridiculously low and impossible to support oneself-- much less a family-- with. At the very least it should also be indexed to inflation so we don't go a ****ing decade without it going up.
Well, it's not that straightforward. The minimum wage is extremely difficult to live on. No doubt about that. However, even many left of center economist would point out that indexing it to inflation could help generate or exacerbate an inflationary spiral. It's practically like telling a business to index a major cost to . . . costs.
Fair enough. But it shouldn't ever be allowed to stagnate, that's for sure.
VA Senior citizens denied no - excuse absentee voting.