/Tag: politics

All the benefits of civilisation, none of the work.

Duty, very often, isn’t even particularly moral. Mostly it’s about doing the greatest good for the greatest number of people, most of the time.

You tell me there’s no difference between one side and the other, that it’s only a choice between the lesser of evils.

But I’m here to tell you that there is an enormous difference between those who want power only to benefit themselves and those who seek power for the betterment of us all.

There’s an enormous difference between those who labor in the trenches, working every day to make the world a better place, little by little, inch by inch, and those who want to jump ahead via magic.

There’s a huge difference between doing your duty and self gratification

Stonekettle on showing up.

2018-06-21T10:06:14+00:007th December, 2018|Tags: culture, politics|

Fascist creep.

Supposedly, conservatism, libertarianism and liberalism all accept the principle of natural human rights i.e. that individuals have rights that exist not because the government or government structures grant those rights but because a person has those rights regardless. However, this supposed core belief is so fragile that it is easily ignored for expedient policy. Fascism is never warded off by compromising with it. There isn’t a safe way for a liberal government to be a bit fascist in one arena in the hope of keeping extremism at bay.

Camestros Felapton on compromises.

2018-06-19T09:12:43+00:006th December, 2018|Tags: politics|

Headcanon politics.

Democracy arose as a method of government in a three-dimensional world, where interlocutors could be physically identified and the world could be discussed and verified. Modern democracy relies upon the notion of a “public space” where, even if we can no longer see all our fellow citizens and verify facts together, we have institutions such as science and journalism that can provide joint references for discussion and policy. The Internet breaks the line between the public and private by encouraging us to confuse our private desires with the actual state of affairs. This is a constant human tendency. But in assuming that the Internet would make us more rather than less rational, we have missed the obvious danger: that we can now allow our browsers to lead us into a world where everything we would like to believe is true.

Timothy Snyder on the lost art of truth.

2018-06-26T13:50:10+00:0030th November, 2018|Tags: culture, politics, tech|

American is the new French.

So just why does the US military suck so much? I know this sounds like a troll question but, think about it: what war have they actually won in, say, the last two generations? Like… the Gulf War, I guess? Compared to, say, the endless useless invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It’s also worth pointing out that the linked post does, in fact, try and answer this question earnestly. The other answer, well

2018-09-05T13:25:33+00:0029th November, 2018|Tags: politics|

Soft genocide.

People will be die in large numbers, but it will happen out of sight. It’ll be “soft genocide” or “malign neglect”, and the victims will be the climate change refugees who are kept out of sight by virtual walls. On land there may be fences and minefields and debatable ground dominated by gangs, and at sea there may be drone-patrolled waters where refugees can be encouraged to sink and drown out of sight of the denizens of their destination countries. This much we already see. But the exterminatory policies will continue at home in the destination zones as well, and that’s the new innovation that is gradually coming online. There will be no death camps in this shiny new extermination system. Rather, death by starvation and exposure will be inflicted by the operation of deliberately broken social security systems (see also universal credit), deportation of anyone who can be portrayed as an un-citizen (the Windrush scandal is an early prototype of this mechanism), and removal of the right to use money (via electronic fund transfers, once cash is phased out) from those deemed undesirable by an extrapolation of today’s Hostile Environment Policy and its equivalents.

You don’t need to build concentration camps with barbed wire fences and guards if you can turn your entire society into a machine-mediated panopticon with automated penalties for non-compliance.

Charles Stross predicts the future.

2018-05-23T10:47:12+00:0023rd November, 2018|Tags: culture, politics|


This is why we’re all going to die, by the way. Yes, the coming nuclear war with North Korea or whoever isn’t going to be pleasant, but some people will survive. No human will survive the coming temperature increase, and it’s going to happen because the science wing of the government of one of the biggest superpowers in the world today can’t talk about technological solutions to the problem because the people running that committee can’t even get past the fact that it’s really happening. It’s as if our house is on fire and when the firemen show up they say, “I’m sorry but we just don’t believe in fire.” And you’re like, “Wait, you what now?” And they say, “We don’t really have any evidence fire is real. What even is it? If it’s a solid then how does my hand pass through it? If it’s a gas why can I see it? How does it grow if it’s not alive? I read a scientific article on 4chan that says that fire is a Chinese conspiracy made up to frighten us into being chilly in the winter.”

When you’re dealing with someone that willfully stupid, your house is just going to burn down because by the time you answer all their stupid questions it will be too late.

Rebecca Watson throws rocks into the sea.

2018-05-21T13:30:11+00:0018th November, 2018|Tags: climate, politics, science|

Respectful respecting.

In the world Republicans have constructed, a Democrat who wants to give you health care and a higher wage is disrespectful, while a Republican who opposes those things but engages in a vigorous round of campaign race-baiting is respectful. The person who’s holding you back isn’t the politician who just voted to give a trillion-dollar tax break to the wealthy and corporations, it’s an East Coast college professor who said something condescending on Twitter.

Paul Waldman on alternate realities.

Also see this twitter thread, which goes a little more into how the right-wing stranglehold on media outlets—even ostensibly “centrist” or “liberal” outlets, who still more often than not parrot right-wing talking points—has so thoroughly corrupted the polity.

2018-11-26T08:01:09+00:0014th November, 2018|Tags: culture, politics|

Primary objectives.

One of the biggest successes of the conservative movement, of course, is its relentless exploitation of the American tendency to see the fact that there are multiple sides of an issue as evidence that both sides are worth listening to. So, through ignorance or fear of riling up the right, large corporations and ostensibly apolitical organizations continue to ignore the obvious fact that many major conservative institutions have made hypocrisy, bad faith accusations of persecution, and straight-up lying their primary activities.

Libby Watson on grift.

2018-05-15T08:36:36+00:0010th November, 2018|Tags: culture, politics|

Lost the war.

And just what are these traditions the modern conservative wants respected? They’re very rarely stated out loud, and when they are it’s usually in code: family, God, country. But dig deeper and it’s […] that women should serve as obedient reproductive vessels; that white men are biologically and culturally superior to others; that the ability of corporate executives to get rich from polluting air and exploiting workers is a greater freedom than that of communities not to be poisoned and abused; that it’s the inherent right of powerful countries to bomb less powerful ones and steal their resources; that being rich is a sign of divine favor, and the poor deserve their plight; and so on.

These are bad ideas. They are deplorable. They appeal to our baser instincts, and they preserve the power of society’s abusers at the expense of its victims. In every case, the hindsight of history looks with displeasure on those who defended such things. And in every case, the heroes are not only the activists, but also the culture bringers who pushed slowly but surely to drag societies into a better place.

It doesn’t matter how many elections conservatives win, or how much power they hold. Politics is downstream of culture, and they will never get the cultural respect they crave.

David Atkins on who earns respect.

2018-05-02T10:17:30+00:0025th October, 2018|Tags: culture, politics|