baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
(Well, this complaint is certainly not pointless, but this thread has long since morphed into a general 'does my head in' thread, whether pointless or very pointed.)

The number of people I've seen on social media recently, including people I know, who claim that nazis can and should be debated. What do people not get about the difference between, say, a political group with political demands, however radical, and a group of people that simply wants to enact violence against/eradicate another group of human beings (for reasons totally unconnected with that group's actions), which IS their ideology? You can't have fucking truth and reconciliation with nazis, ffs. So many people sounding just like Donald Trump, whilst of course maintaining that they despise Donald Trump and are just standing up for free speech (repeat ad infinitum). "And by the way, how can liberals really criticise the White Power movement pretty much the same as when someone from Black Lives Matter said they'd like to kill police officers?"

Dear god, the insanity of it.

Makes me fear for the very near future (which I already did, obviously).
 
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Leo

Well-known member
what is it about guys -- seemingly often english guys but not exclusively -- dressing up as nazis "for a laugh"? it's always for some party, hahaha and all. are they completely clueless? do they think it's "just a bit naughty"? or is there a real undercurrent of transgression going on?
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
Possibly many British people think it's a privilege earned by having "beaten" the Nazis (despite the fact that if any country has the right to do this, it's Russia - or more accurately the former USSR).

Possibly we're just a nation of massive wazzocks.
 

Slothrop

Tight but Polite
The number of people I've seen on social media recently, including people I know, who claim that nazis can and should be debated.
Oh jesus gods yes. "Wouldn't it be better to let them have a platform to say their piece and then counter them with our Rational Arguments?" Like, fuck, yes, Rational Arguments, it's so simple! Why did no-one think of this before? If only someone in Munich had thought to break out some Rational Arguments in the 20s we could have saved everyone a shit-ton of fuss. FFS.
 

firefinga

Well-known member
So, in the 1990s there were too many people who went on to study medicine and become medical doctors in Austria - resulting in jobless doctors or MD's leaving the country. So, as a reaction, the (more or less) neoliberal government (I write more or less bc it was a bit less neoliberal when the social democrats were in a coalition government, however the conservatives were part of any coalition in all those years) reduced the study spaces offered by the public universities. At the same time private universities offered the same curriculum, but demanded horrendous tuition fees.

So now, 20 years later, the reduced output of medial faculties here is starting to undermine the health care system - more doctors are needed again, especially in the mid-term future. Which can only be done by expanding the numer of study spaces for medicine again. And here's what the conservative-led government is going to do here now: instead of funding the public universities, they will "buy" extremely expensive study spaces at a private university. And here's the kicker: that private university is being owned (at least partly) by Red Bull head honcho Dietrich Mateschitz. Criticism got countered by the government by claiming the shortage of doctors need immediate remedy which could only be done via the descibed way above.

That's how neoliberalism works.
 

pattycakes_

Well-known member
Why are the only options for trousers slim or skinny nowadays?

Also shopping for clothes as a male is a fucking nightmare.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
It's just so thoroughly cunty, isn't it? I mean, the inequality and austerity that's led to the anger that's been misdirected at the EU and is in large measure responsible for the dire fucking mess we're in has ultimately been caused by entities such as HSBC, hasn't it? Or maybe that's unfair - banks are going to maximise their profits, of course they are, that's their purpose - it's successive governments that have deregulated them and then bailed them out when they've fucked up who surely deserve the most opprobrium.

Having said that, HSBC is notably morally murky even as large banks go. I mean it was founded to facilitate British trade in opium to China 150 years ago and was caught red-handed laundering cash for Mexican cartels just a few years ago.
 
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baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Well, I dunno how much worse it is than the others eg Barclays and apartheid. They'll all do whatever it takes to maximise profits. And yep, deregulation is the problem, but even more than that, the lack of any regulation upon links between politicians and banks (or any other companies) that means corruption is endemic and there is no clear divide between government and big business (Boris Johnson's £10,000 from JCB looks almost quaint in this context).

Presume you saw Dan Hancox's article on it: https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/qvyde5/your-city-is-not-a-brand
Poor Leeds, is all I can say.
And I love the interplay between those ads and Brexit - HSBC don't seem to care that they'll be alienating the will of the people...also that the 'something bigger' we're all part of is global capitalism.
 
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Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
I'm reminded of vimothy's line that "liberalism is woke capitalism". And of a joke -

Conservatives: "It's fine that ten people own half the world's wealth."

Socialists: "No it isn't."

Liberals: "FIVE OF THOSE PEOPLE SHOULD BE WOMEN!!!"
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Joke is fairly spot on. However, to cover all bases of the modern world, it would have to end with a misogynist comment about Hillary Clinton or Sheryl Sandberg that totally misses the point.

Not 100% sure any more about what woke means, but Vimothy's line is certainly quotable.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
I think 'woke' was useful for about five minutes some six or seven years ago, when it meant, more or less, aware of big structural problems in society, particularly forms of prejudice and particularly racism. Then it got taken up by 9/11 truthers, flat-earthers, anti-vaxxers, the wackier end of the 'hotep' crowd and god knows who else and became a joke.

As for liberalism, I'm not sure what it even really means, or if it means anything at all these days. I think most people are basically liberal when you get down to it, even though a day doesn't go by without people on both the left and the right tearing into it, and it seems to be on the retreat all over the world in the face of all kinds of radicalism and authoritarian populism. I expect even most Trump supporters in the USA, Brexit enthusiasts here and FN/AfD etc. voters elsewhere in Europe would broadly agree with the statement "I don't mind what anyone believes or gets up to as long as it doesn't negatively affect me or other people", and yet "liberal" to these people has become a curse word. I mean, I consider myself a liberal because what's the alternative? Being illiberal? Being authoritarian? But can you be socially liberal without also supporting neoliberal economics - the very system that's driving the inequality that's turning people against each other? Honest question, I have no idea.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Ah OK, then debatable if liberals are woke, as they see things in terms of threats to individual liberty rather than more structurally.

I take liberal in the modern sense to mean a philosophy based in individualism, along the lines of 'freedom from' rather than 'freedom to'. As such, it's understandable why it's a curseword, as it kinda pretends that there are no other prerequisites for living a good life than being free from the intrusions of others. Unfortunately, money exists.

"can you be socially liberal without also supporting neoliberal economics" - I'd take being socially liberal as different from being "a liberal", as socialists (for example) are also socially liberal with caveats.
The thing with neoliberal economics is that what it is theoretically, is very different from what it is practically - in its actual form, government intervention is at its foundation, as it allows some firms to act with relative impunity, knowing that they will be bailed out. So I'd imagine that many liberals would prefer the textbook version, to the practical demonstration.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
this is a "pointless" thread, you two are making valid points and it must stop, thank you.
Don't worry, our tolerance for making valid points is very low, so it will pass soon.

I think Brexit has redefined the idea of pointlessness for us.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Well, I think we'll be here for a while if we list all the liberals who thought only some people had/have the right to be free from being killed or enslaved. Need to play the ideology here, not the (insane) man.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
Well, I think we'll be here for a while if we list all the liberals who thought only some people had/have the right to be free from being killed or enslaved. Need to play the ideology here, not the (insane) man.
Oh well that principle's as old as the hills and predates liberalism by millennia. You know, how "Thou shalt not kill" really means "Thou shalt not kill other Hebrews", because two chapters later they're happily slaughtering the Midianites or whoever and it's all fine.
 
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