John Michael Greer on brexit

catalog

Well-known member
if you're gonna say that the argument is invalid, but not really explain why, i suppose it's the end of the conversation.
 

comelately

Wild Horses
Well 'logically invalid' has a very precise meaning - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Validity_(logic)

As condescending as this might sound (and I do not claim to be one of the smarter people on this forum), it might be useful for you to (re)familiarise yourself with basic argumentation - it's a good inoculation from the arguments of red-pill purveyors.

Though I actually have suggested the problem with his 'missing premises' in previous posts.
 

catalog

Well-known member
1. Lots of working class people continue to vote for Labour, as seen by the vote in 2017.

yes, i agree that's true. but why have a significant minority turned away. to UKIP and other parties?

2. I don't think the Democrats and the Labour Party are seriously comparable

Really? Broadly speaking, would you not say they are similar, at least within the contexts of two party systems?

3. Whilst he may think it is true because it is 'logical', empirical studies have shown weak support for the notion that 'open immigration' from the SM has depressed wages or reduced access to the labour market.

Yeah, I'm not sure about this one. also i don't even think it matters. what matters is the perception. if people feel that they have got depressed wages or reduced access to the labour market, and they blame immigration, then that's a problem right?
 

catalog

Well-known member
do you mean that the implications for a party in power are not obvious? Or that the implications are not obvious for you?
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
I've been thinking a little about this thread. Perhaps catalog has been red-pilled and perhaps others are so concerned with innoculating themselves against the red pill they're not being being entirely intellectually honest. I think there are points you can concede here without turning immediately into Steve Bannon.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
To say that there are not large and obvious similarities between Labour and Democrats is of course ridiculous.

To observe that both have moved away from being parties of the working class is a common place. To say that both have been captured by corporate interests and lobbyists is a commonplace, with allowances made for Corbyns leadership.

To say that immigration never has a downward impact on earnings is equally absurd. If I am pricing a job and pricing the same job is a man from eastern Europe willing to sleep 8 to a room and live off maggi noodles for a few years before going home then what on earth do you expect to happen? There are two different incentive structures in operation in any scenario of that nature. Inevitably.

It's very much the same process as globalisation and the outsourcing of manufacturing. Something that 20 years ago was a bete noire of the left that now they feel obliged to defend, the right having captured that discontent for themselves.
 

john eden

male pale and stale
I don't give a shit about Labour or the Dems, so someone else will have to do that one.

For immigration we need to take several steps back:

xxxxxxxxx.jpg

Figure 1: Did an immigrant do this?



1. Capitalism has a general tendency towards crisis.
2. Bosses have a general tendency to pay as little as they can get away with for as much value as they can extract from workers.

Capitalism is in crisis. It has been in crisis for some time. One expression of this was the housing bubble bursting in america in 2008 leading to a stockmarket crash leading to austerity.

Another expression of this crisis is a general decline in the standard of living, in real terms, over the last 15 years or so in the UK. The generation coming up now will be the first to be poorer than their parents in living memory.

A futher expression of this crisis is that generally it is quite hard to invest money sensibly now, which accounts of every man and his dog with two coin to rub together sticking it into property. Only yesterday I got an email from HSBC saying it was cutting the interest rate on my savings account, so cheers for that.

There are lots of other factors, including an increased "flexibility" being required of workers - which encompasses zero hours contracts, and greater movement to find work - including internationally.

Generally, our neoliberal overlords are fully in favour of what they call "freedom of movement". But we need to be clear that this "freedom" is actually based on coercion. Tjhey always find the student on the news who loves working as a barrista in Spain and they always find the one Uber driver who is also a sculptor and just wants a few hours driving a week to tide him over until he can complete his next masterwork. Most people want decent wages near their family and mates and don't want to have to travel hundreds of miles to a different country to ensure that their basic needs are met.

The emotional cost of this uprooting and insecurity is borne by the communities that are abandoned as well as the immigrant workers:

"Rhacel Parrenas has documented a 'care deficit' in the Phillipines. This alleged crisis of care stems from the fact that so many Filipina mothers are located outside the country, far away, looking after other people's children in the Global North. Asked whether they would ever leave their own future children with other family members in order to travel abroad, as their mothers had left them, Parrenas found that most daughters would not." (From Sophie Lews - Full Surrogacy Now)


So that's where I start from.

Where catalog starts from is:

in a supply and demand labour market, if you have open immigration, poor people get priced out of the labour market.


To which I would respond:

We don't have open immigration. (Hence Yarl's Wood).
There are more poor people in work than ever before. (In fact there has been a huge expansion of the total number of poor people in the UK, so if poor people is your thing, you are in for a real treat.)

I think what he says is that any kind of immigration negatively affects poorer people. I'm not saying (and nor does he) that it's a good or bad thing (immigration). What he's saying is that it has an effect.


It's hard for me to understand how Russian oligarchs moving into plush Mayfair flats will negatively affect poor people, but I am not a Druid. But maybe "any kind of immigration" doesn't include rich people.

Maybe it's working class people being forced to move around the globe which is the issue. But presumably by doing so, they become less poor - otherwise why would they do it? So perhaps the negative effects don't apply to those kinds of poor people. Maybe they just apply to the poor people who are already here?

Certainly there is some evidence that immigrant workers can deflate the wages of people in the lowest 10% of earners:
https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200708/ldselect/ldeconaf/82/8206.htm#a11

Ironically many of these people will themselves be recent immigrants. Many of them will NOT be the people you see moaning about immigrants all the time. (What's the average wage of a Druid these days?)

Whether or not you think this is "a good or bad thing" will probably depend on what you think of poor people. (There is also evidence that immigrant workers generally have a positive effect on the other 90% of the population's wages)

Personally I think it's a bad thing and am worried that catalog is so neutral about it.

The question is, what do we do about it.

For me the answer to this question brings us back to what I was saying at the beginning. If you take, in isolation, the fact that immigrant labour might have a negative effect on the bottom 10% of earners' wages, then the simple solution is to end immigration.

If you see this as part of a wider issue of impoverishment, of a systemic crisis in capitalism, of a general oppression of humanity, you might have a different answer.

In the very short term, the effete metropolitan latte sippin' pro-gay members of the Labour Party and the Democrats have some more creative solutions to this issue:

1. Raising and enforcing the minimum wage.
2. Ensuring that immigrant labour is fully integrated the trade union movement and our communities.
3. Prosecuting landlords, employers, agencies etc that take the piss out of vulnerable workers.

These things will also benefit most of the people who are already here.

In the longer term, we need to build solidarity across borders and abolish this shitpit of an economic system.
 

catalog

Well-known member
Personally I think it's a bad thing and am worried that catalog is so neutral about it.

The question is, what do we do about it.

For me the answer to this question brings us back to what I was saying at the beginning. If you take, in isolation, the fact that immigrant labour might have a negative effect on the bottom 10% of earners' wages, then the simple solution is to end immigration.

If you see this as part of a wider issue of impoverishment, of a systemic crisis in capitalism, of a general oppression of humanity, you might have a different answer.

In the very short term, the effete metropolitan latte sippin' pro-gay members of the Labour Party and the Democrats have some more creative solutions to this issue:

1. Raising and enforcing the minimum wage.
2. Ensuring that immigrant labour is fully integrated the trade union movement and our communities.
3. Prosecuting landlords, employers, agencies etc that take the piss out of vulnerable workers.

These things will also benefit most of the people who are already here.

In the longer term, we need to build solidarity across borders and abolish this shitpit of an economic system.
Could you be clearer on what you think is a bad thing? Are you saying some immigration is ok, but other forms are not?

I think he's not really talking about Russian oligarchs, and neither am I.

As I said in reply to comelately, I am pro-immigration. If people from other countries want to come here for a better life, I think we should actively facilitate that, as there are numerous benefits.

I can't tell whether you are in agreement with the 3 short term solutions you've identified.

Are you?

Here are my thoughts on them:


1. Raising and enforcing the minimum wage.

This would be good. I'm not sure it could ever be enforced. My feeling is that we literally cannot pay for the lifestyles we would like, which means that exploitation is an integral part of the system.

2. Ensuring that immigrant labour is fully integrated the trade union movement and our communities.

TU movement is pretty dead tho? I think apart from in rail, it's pretty ineffective.

3. Prosecuting landlords, employers, agencies etc that take the piss out of vulnerable workers.

Yeah, this would be good, but I'm sceptical about how it would actually work.

I generally don't have a problem with anything you are saying John, and I don't think any of it is in conflict with what Greer is saying.

I think the issue is that the proposed solutions are not compelling enough. Or, as he says, there's no strong promise of change.

One final thing: what's your problem with him being a druid? Genuinely curious on that one.
 

john eden

male pale and stale
People at the bottom of society fighting over the crumbs from the rich man’s table is bad.

The further impoverishment of the bottom 10% of wage earners is bad.

Isolating immigration as a reason for this happening is bad. And as should be abundantly clear to everyone now - is only a heartbeat away from blaming immigrants. Hence probably my tone on this thread.

Those 3 solutions are good. Trade unions are... ok. Not perfect. I am a union rep. There is a correlation between wage increases and unionisation, even now.

We can all live fulfilling lives of reasonable abundance. And stop the climate crisis. There are enough resources for this already. The problem is how they are distributed.

Things can change very quickly, but we are in rocky waters. There are problems with the left, but there are things happening now that would have been impossible 20 years ago. How we get to where we need to be is an open question.

I don’t have an issue with Druids per se, that just seemed like an odd claim to authority. :p
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Catalog, if you didn't know Eden was for many years a self described "warlock of the left hand path." I don't think he's embarrassed by that necessarily but he's probably moved on. (This in reference to the druid question).
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
I felt the responses to catalog were a bit high handed and airily dismissive previously. It's got better now.
 

john eden

male pale and stale
I felt the responses to catalog were a bit high handed and airily dismissive previously. It's got better now.
I think that’s true but it’s probably the best you’re gonna get from the OP.

You can’t just make a vague allusion to a YouTube video with a Union Jack on it about immigration and get straight into a nuanced discussion.

Not with me about, anyway. :x:
 

comelately

Wild Horses
I felt the responses to catalog were a bit high handed and airily dismissive previously. It's got better now.
I'm not sure the steelmanning of alt-light talking points is necessarily a good idea.

I think it's quite earthy to ask people to ground their claims in logic and reasoning tbh.

High-handed.....*shrug* maybe, but for better or worse they'd actually be a bit less rancour on the politic-related topics if people considered the logical validity of their claims a bit more often than they sometimes appear to. Not that people shouldn't employ rhetoric, metaphor and other intuition pumps obviously.

Tbh, I thought 50-50 Catalog was Luka or someone else sock-puppeting.
 
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