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World Politics thread

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Erotic Adventures of S, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. kinetique

    kinetique High Inquisitor

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    My point of view is that the Nordic model is not socialism at all, and that it hasn't been a slight shift away from it's original definition, it's literally capitalism in the definitions both you and Elly provided. I'm obsessed with "limiting" socialism to its ideologically pure meaning because that's what socialism is. I'll say that calling America a modern pacifistic state is just as stupid, for the exact same reasons. More over, the redefinition isn't even needed, there has existed a definition of the Nordic model for more than a century now.

    Who knows, in a thousand years time Communism might mean a democratic free market.

    https://i.imgur.com/TYzolcM.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018
  2. Elly

    Elly Squib

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    There is a vast difference between the way the economy in the Nordic countries and the economy in the US is regulated. If it makes you sleep better at night thinking of all the variations of Western economy as a form of capitalism, by all means you go ahead and think that way, I can't and won't stop you.

    We could try to shift focus from Capitalism to Liberalism if that helps. Socialism is more an uproar against liberalism anyway.
     
  3. kinetique

    kinetique High Inquisitor

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    You're right, they're more open to free trade, more efficient with regulatory practices, and have a government more adept at pumping out healthy intelligent kids for a workforce. They also until very recently (The 2018 Trump budget) had a corporate tax rate 13% lower than America (now 1% higher). I'm glad you brought up liberalism though, I'm really struggling to see how the Nordic model isn't a "modernised" version of that over socialism, it's certainly a lot closer.

    In any event, who am I to post on the Nordic model, it's not like I live there. I'll let The prime minister of Denmark speak for me.

    https://www.vox.com/2015/10/31/9650030/denmark-prime-minister-bernie-sanders
     
  4. Elly

    Elly Squib

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    Did you honestly just say that the average American kid is healthier and more intelligent than Nordic kids? Based on what information?

    Well the Danish prime minister is the leader of the Liberal Party in Denmark, so of course he wants to disassociate with the socialist backbone that is our society. But to be fair, I do think the current government is trying to stear away from the socialist model, so I can understand why he wants to present that image.

    I think however that most liberal people would find it laughable to call the Liberal party in Denmark real liberalism.

    The thought that you make your own fortune and can rise from nothing to something is the backbone of liberalism and very far from the way most people view society and it's role in creating equal opportunity here in the Nordic countries.
     
  5. Silirt

    Silirt Professor DLP Supporter

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    I'm in favor of words being inextricably bound to their definitions, but that's not really possible. Consider the following.
    upload_2018-11-15_3-10-16.png

    Scholars have historically gotten around this problem by using Latin terms. A cranium is a skull, not including the mandible. It does not matter what people today think cranium means, they were born way too late to change the definition. Latin is already dead. Marx did not have the foresight to write in Latin, so that would not be the ideal solution in this case.

    What we're most likely going to have to do is come up with different terms. Consider the list of political parties in Denmark.
    upload_2018-11-15_3-28-57.png
    You'll notice the leading parties are social democratic, conservative populist, conservative liberal, democratic socialist(I wonder what the difference between that and social democratic is), and then there's Enhedslisten with 'Socialism'. Over in the comments section we have a few key identifying factors that I would hope clarify exactly what type of Socialism they mean, though encyclopedias usually tend to do a good job of keeping words and their definitions distinct. I would suggest that from now on, we refer to Enhedslisten when we speak of Socialism in Denmark.
     
  6. Elly

    Elly Squib

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    Nice chart and a good point - Enhedslisten is viewed as the only communist party still in existence here in Denmark, but I see your point.

    Democratic or modern socialisme is more prevalent now anyway.
     
  7. kinetique

    kinetique High Inquisitor

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    I said the exact opposite.
    This would be a good point if a cranium today was now used to refer to the foot. I'll bow out from this discussion though, there is no point continuing with such a difference in opinion.
     
  8. Innomine

    Innomine Order Member Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Ok, cool. You can have your opinion. Meanwhile, the rest of us in the real world will use language how we see fit? I'll refer you back to my first post: "Are you the one who gets to decide how socialism is defined?" Pretty sure the answer is no.

    Because, stupidly enough, we are actually in agreement. I think describing most of this as socialism is stupid, it's not and has never been. It's simply a prejudice that's come out of war framing/propaganda. However, just because I think that doesn't mean I am blind to reality.

    What words mean is something that depends on how people use it. It's contextual to the situation, as and long as economic conservatives are busy railing against welfare state policy, they'll continue to use the world socialism to scare their base into objecting to policies like it. Therefore, the definition of the term changes as people start using it in that context. Neither of us has the power to change that. It's not like there is some committee meeting where a bunch of old white men get together and redefine the official meaning of the world socialism...

    I have little problem with nordic countries using the word social democracy to describe their interventionist social policy. Because they aren't calling themselves a socialist government. Because... as they know, they aren't.
     
  9. kinetique

    kinetique High Inquisitor

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    The irony in asking me if I'm the one who gets to define socialism, is from the people who have responded to me in this thread, I am the only one who has not tried to redefine it at all.
     
  10. Invictus

    Invictus Half-Blood Prince

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    Brazil has two tax rates, besides those who don't pay if they're below a certain wage. 20 and 27,5%. But, however, Brazil differs from other countries is that the greatest amount of the money it earns through taxation is not from income taxes, but actually more indirect taxes. In fact, more than half the total tax is in the regressive form of taxes on consumption.

    But, it still has the kind of social service system that you brought up, hence me bringing up. I will do a more elaborate post on the socialist thing, since I know how you defined it so clearly, thanks for the elaboration.
     
  11. Hakairyu

    Hakairyu Second Year

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    To bring some actual clarity to this, first of all, no Elly, socialism is not based on communism. Communism is a subset of socialist thought, which goes further back than Marx. I think the best way to analyse the situation is to go back to the time where the terms left wing and right are said to have originated, when those who were proponents of the French Revolution sat on the left and those who were against it sat on the right, but to look at it as follows: Those who believe the Revolution went too far are conservatives, those who believe the Revolution was the right way forward are liberals, and those who believed it did not go far enough are socialists. Of course, the liberals, conservatives and socialist of today would hardly even recognize their analogues back in the early 19th century; all three have diverged in meaning and action, from their starting positions and within themselves. The point being, the socialist argument of the time would have been that while serfs were liberated and, in many countries, given the land they used to subsist on (look up land reform), manufacturies and later on factories and today businesses are still owned by a small group of people who can enforce their will on the people who work there and fire any who refuse. This analogy between feudal land ownership and capitalist business ownership is at the heart of the whole "democratic ownership of the means of production" thing.

    Fast forward within that century and socialists diverge into Reformists (see Fabianism) and Revolutionaries (Marxists, Anarchists, myriad groups with more words in their name than they had members). They both had the same end goal, where the people who work at a business own the business, but the former believed we could get there through reforms and were primarily concerned with alleviating people's situations whereas the latter thought the power disparity was too large for any meaningful reform and eventually, a revolution had to take place. They both supported any reforms that helped workers, be it public education, trade unions, the week end and the 8 hour day, public healthcare, but the Revolutionaries mostly thought these could only really help as tools with which to get to the next stage (uneducated, sick, overworked and poor people don't command too much power over society). This was a predicament for both sides, it's not easy to get shit done if some people in the trade union just want to negotiate lunch breaks for factory workers while some people just want to watch the world burn.

    As the average person's living conditions drastically improved, more democratic socialist revolutions failed and the Soviets and Chinese set the tone for what any revolutionary state was going to look like, two things happened. One is that revolutionary democratic socialist movements largely died out and most moved towards the Reformist wing. The other is that a lot of Reformists thought the eventual transition to socialism wasn't necessary, and it was more fruitful to work within the capitalist system. From this, social democracy grew and largely took over the socialist parties of Europe. Just because the French Socialist Party calls itself socialist or the SPD (which I do believe rebranded to Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands mid this century anyway) doesn't mean that they still are to this day, social democracy grew out of socialist thought, but it's a capitalist ideology. These parties also largely liberalized after the 70s economic crises that lead to Thatcher and Reagan, with whom they could not compete, and we ended up with people like Blair leading a supposedly labour party. One of the consequences of this is that most European socialist parties are strikingly out of touch with their original base and what was once the main left-wing party of countries like the Netherlands or France shrunk down to 5-6% in the recent elections despite some of the biggest fuckups of capitalism having happened in the last decade. And then there's the social corporatist approach to social democracy countries like Sweden brought to the table, and I'm not even going to get into that. But you should also bear in mind that a lot of socialists today, and a lot of revolutionaries back then, still think society first needs a movement like social democracy. People often point to stuff like "abolition of land as private property" or "the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie shall be replaced by the dictatorship of the proletariat" in the Communist Manifesto, but Marx's demands of the communist party (what they would do initially had they taken power at that moment) mostly contain stuff like free legal services, public representatives getting paid so the poor can run for office, public ownership of the means of transport, the state buying out some debt, curtailing (read: not abolishing) inheritance... A lot of stuff that I can expect a social democratic party with balls to advocate today.

    Finally, part of the confusion is that social democracy and social liberalism have ended up meeting in the middle on a lot of stuff, despite getting there from drastically different starting points, to the point where the main distinction in what they would do in practice largely amounts to social democracy having state ownership of a lot of public services, and social liberalism privatising all that. But while both would agree the welfare is necessary for positive liberty, there are major differences in theory; for example, socialist thought requires everyone who can work does so, and would not hear of stuff like universal basic income or unemployment benefits without the state finding you a job when one is available. It's like the difference between right-wing libertarianism and (actual) classical liberalism, if you look at it as personal freedom&economic freedom they are in agreement, but libertarianism opposes the international institutions classical liberalism founded and classical liberalism isn't really at odds with the state taking positive action for social justice, if Macron is any indication. The rest of the confusion is that conservatives have been calling liberals socialists for so long that they seem to actually believe it. Or that the state spending any money being socialism, as though the fire department was a communist ploy to stop natural selection from destroying unworthy buildings.

    Does the wall of text help in any way? It's really rather disjointed. I've been meaning to adress this topic, but the thread had died out.
     
  12. Invictus

    Invictus Half-Blood Prince

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    The EU has imposed, for the first time since the nuclear deal, new sanctions on Iran. It targets two individuals and a Iranian intelligence unit, so very minor stuff.

    This happened after multiple bombs and assassinations attempts by Iranian agents were uncovered in France, Netherlands and Denmark. Some assassinations were succefull, including two in the Netherlands. Denmark alone uncovered three attacks against Iranian opposition figures.

    Taking this in, and how Europe reacted in a anemically to Russia after its multiple assassinations of residents, one has the impression the EU doesn't really care much for anti-terrorism or counter-intelligence work.

    But I'm far from a specialist in the area, so its just an opinion.
     
  13. Chengar Qordath

    Chengar Qordath The Final Pony Prestige

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    It's mostly a product of Europe's ongoing experiments with the concept of soft power. Hitting Iran with sanctions and a hard line didn't seem to do much more than empower Iran's own hardliners, so the theory goes that opening them up to trade and showing the benefits of following the rules of international society is a better way to get them to change their ways.

    Granted, there does come a point where it starts to feel like "If we oppose Hitler he'll just get more entrenched, it's better to just let him have the Sudetenland."
     
  14. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    They're excessively concerned with political ramifications, especially in the winter, what with their energy dependence on Russian heating oil.

    Their agencies are also consistently underfunded and hamstrung.
     
  15. Invictus

    Invictus Half-Blood Prince

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    I mean, hitting Iran with sanctions worked great. Even now their economy is in the shits, and you can't fund international adventures in that situation. Protests popping up right and left and the pressure keeps increasing on the regime. Not unlike how the Shah fell. The sanctions forced Iran in the negotiation table repeatedly despite decades of bluster otherwise. Moderates only got to power after the first round of sanctions and its effects made Ahmadinejad deeply loathed.

    Iran also can't be North Korea due to (1) not being isolated geographically since NK only shares two borders, one with its biggest ally and (2) not having China protecting you and offering an economic lifeline.
     
  16. Chengar Qordath

    Chengar Qordath The Final Pony Prestige

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    It does kind of feel like there's a sort of malaise hanging over a lot of the EU's foreign policy that's lead to this neo-appeasement policy. It's certainly a problem when it feels like the response to Russia or Iran carrying out assassinations and terrorist attacks within their borders is to just shrug and say "Well that's a shame, but what can you do? Maybe if we ignore it they'll stop eventually."
     
  17. Agayek

    Agayek Prisoner DLP Supporter

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    So uhh.... Yeah, this is a thing. Anyone have more concrete information and/or an inside view into when the nukes are gonna start flying?
     
  18. Solfege

    Solfege Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    No concrete info, no inside view. But can say to the literal part of that rhetorical question that nukes make inadequate offense, are ineffectual response to diplomatic isolation and economic sanctions.

    Also to consider the rest of the security quadrilateral. China will as usual support Pakistan and try to cool it, the US will weigh in on the balance.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
  19. Agni

    Agni Third Year

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    Well, there is still so much blood to flow before the nukes start flying. But to be honest, there are voices that call for a preemptive strike.

    The situation on the ground is very grim. Both the countries are locked in a perpetual struggle with no end in sight and the possibility of escalation is always present.

    Considering that in India the general elections are due in two months, the government cannot afford to just let the attack go unpunished. It might be a political suicide. So, some action will be taken. Will it cause the nukes to start flying? No, not at this stage. As I said before, there is still much blood to flow.
     
  20. Xiph0

    Xiph0 Administrator Admin

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    India and Pakistan fight pretty much nonstop unofficial wars, that will likely just flare up.
     
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