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Author Topic: Occupy Wall Street and the sad state of American protesting
Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Good heavens! And you think my comparisons are absurd! Certainly, property destruction is vandalism. It is not necessarily violent nor is it mass murder. Again, can you say that the Sons of Liberty (who often btw engaged in more violent activities than property destruction) were wrong to toss that tea? What about my comparison do you find absurd?

I am more likely to listen to someone who gets my attention. Sometimes that can be done without disturbing people; often it cannot.

Here is the problem with your comparisons, boots, as I see it.

Fundamentally, all of those activities were leading up to war. And there is not a war in human history in which you don't see actions undertaken by both sides that a reasonable society would deem criminal if a citizen committed against another citizen. Do you agree with me so far? I think this is fairly non-controversial but I may be wrong.

From here, I think, is where it gets more interesting. Because then there is the question of whether or not war, in general, is moral. I believe that it can be, when the enemy is evil enough, but then I also believe in objective good and evil. So obviously if you think war is inherently immoral then I can logically see you thinking that both the actions of the Sons of Liberty and the actions of OWS were atrocious and inexcusable. That seems logically consistent, though I would disagree with your ideology.

I think the next question is whether or not the OWS is, in effect, waging some kind of war, or at least engaging in some pre-war skirmishes. If you believe that they are, and that their enemy is an evil one... then yeah, OWS is fighting the good fight, and supporting their vandalism of the banks makes sense.

I think that view is terribly, terribly wrong. And, at the moment, I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around any other view which would logically justify some of OWS's more despicable excesses.

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TomDavidson
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If the Sons of Liberty had not succeeded in provoking a war, would you in retrospect consider their actions less moral?
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kmbboots
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I don't think that England was actually evil.

ETA; At least to the US colonies. Ireland is another matter!

[ November 30, 2011, 10:09 PM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
If the Sons of Liberty had not succeeded in provoking a war, would you in retrospect consider their actions less moral?

Not really. Much the same way that if Al Qaeda had failed to provoke us into war, I would not consider their actions any more or less moral.

You know what though, Tom? You've absolutely helped illuminate that I think I was explaining this from the wrong angle, so thanks! Let me try again.

I was using "war" as a shorthand for a generally accepted concept of larger scale conflict between two groups of allied individuals. Perhaps I could have just as easily said "context matters" and left it at that. It is also possible for people outside of a war to commit acts that might in a different context be immoral, but in that situation be absolutely justified.

For instance, I do not think that collateral damage is unacceptable/unjustifiable, and I mean that whether we are discussing a war or a few individuals. If someone is using a human shield while committing acts of evil, and someone stops them and in the process kills the human shielding the perpetrator, I believe it is the perpetrator who is morally culpable for that death. To be clear, I mean this 100%. I don't think the person who stopped the perpetrator and inadvertently killed the human shield is at all responsible for that death (obviously you can concoct a specific example where the circumstances are such that some other option would have been better, but then we've changed the example). I am aware that this is not a popular position to take, but there you go.

The end result of that belief, though, is that I believe it is possible to kill a perfectly innocent person and not have committed an evil act in any way. I think that I fixated on war specifically because I think that these types of situations occur with vastly increased frequency when you are looking at large-scale conflicts like wars.

Ultimately, to rephrase my earlier conclusion, if Bank of America is a violent, oppressive engine which unjustly strips people their lives and property, and if OWS is legitimately fighting against them, and if vandalizing a bank branch will further the goal of dismantling this engine, then it is a moral act.

Of course, that's not the case, no matter how shrilly OWS protesters want to claim it is. BoA may be one of the fattest and ugliest pigs at the trough, but they are hardly the only pig, and more importantly the trough is the real problem, not the pigs. The "trough" is, of course, the government. Or, if you're an OWS protester, I guess it's capitalism and prosperity? But really, in order to justify a violent act like vandalism one would expect there to be violence on both sides, and BoA hasn't engaged in any violence against the protesters or their property. In fact, only one entity has done that...

PS: Boots, re: Britain being "evil." I'm not necessarily using the terms "good and evil" in the traditional sense here, but as broad terms for... well, good still works. Good and Not Good? Moral and Immoral? For example, I would never call a kid who shoplifts a candy bar an evil person, but from a philosophical standpoint it is still somewhere on the continuum of "Evil" acts. It is immoral. In this context, in broad strokes between the Colonies and Britain I would absolutely characterize the British Empire as decidedly more evil (or less good, or less "in the right", in this context it all means the same thing) than the Colonies

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kmbboots
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So you are saying that sometimes destruction of private property (and even violence which is further than I went) is sometimes justified. Which is what I said, too. So where am I so wrong?
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
So you are saying that sometimes destruction of private property (and even violence which is further than I went) is sometimes justified. Which is what I said, too. So where am I so wrong?

That it's justified in this case?

I thought I said that in the beginning... Yeah here it is.
quote:
...insofar as BoA's relationship with the US mirrors the EIC's relationship with the British Empire... you're totally right!

That is to say... there is a shred of truth here (see bailouts, ML acquisition, etc.)... but you're still wrong.

Fundamentally I think you're wrong that it is comparable to the Boston Tea Party, but I think that because 1)I think OWS lacks very much in the way of legitimate gripes, and 2)Even if they did not, I think that a BoA branch is not a very good representative of the adversary they are ostensibly fighting.

I don't think I ever said vandalizing property is automatically always in every case wrong. If I did, I apologize! I was totally wrong to maybe say that. Another example of where it would be okay to vandalize a bank would be if you had been trapped inside a bank that was slowly filling with water and you had to break a window to escape! (Assuming you couldn't find the hidden switch which would deactivate the water, of course)

Believing in objective moral reality doesn't mean that I believe said morality is determined in a vacuum. [Smile]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
BoA may be one of the fattest and ugliest pigs at the trough, but they are hardly the only pig, and more importantly the trough is the real problem, not the pigs. The "trough" is, of course, the government. Or, if you're an OWS protester, I guess it's capitalism and prosperity?
Actually, I think you have the wrong perspective on OWS here. To OWS, the problem is the pigs, and BoA is one of the biggest pigs. That there may be a systemic way to deal with all the pigs does not mean that striking a blow against an individual pig is seen as pointless.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
So you are saying that sometimes destruction of private property (and even violence which is further than I went) is sometimes justified. Which is what I said, too. So where am I so wrong?

That it's justified in this case?

I thought I said that in the beginning... Yeah here it is.
quote:
...insofar as BoA's relationship with the US mirrors the EIC's relationship with the British Empire... you're totally right!

That is to say... there is a shred of truth here (see bailouts, ML acquisition, etc.)... but you're still wrong.

Fundamentally I think you're wrong that it is comparable to the Boston Tea Party, but I think that because 1)I think OWS lacks very much in the way of legitimate gripes, and 2)Even if they did not, I think that a BoA branch is not a very good representative of the adversary they are ostensibly fighting.

I don't think I ever said vandalizing property is automatically always in every case wrong. If I did, I apologize! I was totally wrong to maybe say that. Another example of where it would be okay to vandalize a bank would be if you had been trapped inside a bank that was slowly filling with water and you had to break a window to escape! (Assuming you couldn't find the hidden switch which would deactivate the water, of course)

Believing in objective moral reality doesn't mean that I believe said morality is determined in a vacuum. [Smile]

If you will read what I wrote, I was quite careful not to say it was justified in this case only that the destruction of private property is sometimes justified. Or at least, that we, as a country, have sometimes deemed it admirable through the lens of history. That it is not some sacred line that good people never cross as afr suggested.
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pooka
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I'd argue that England was evil to the extent that it was taxing the colonies to pay debts from the French and Indian war (which George Washington had served in as a young man). Now England naturally felt the colonies had benefitted from debts incurred, but to the Americans, this was only true insofar as it was a great privilege to be ruled by England.

I guess it's true that the younger you are, the more differently you will view what is going on in America. In a certain sense I hope OWS might succeed in shifting the party landscape. People who have never known American politics before 1994 have a right to be disgusted with the state we have arrived at.

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kmbboots
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Pooka, how young do you imagine I am?! I was 30 in 1994.
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Mucus
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England may be debatable, being taxed to pay for something you don't like is a pretty mild form of "evil." The "no taxation without representation" thing is closer, but I think that the focus should be the East India Company.

If you're advocating against a domestic, monopolistic, and abusive corporation that greatly benefits from close and corrupt ties with the government a la BoA, then the East India Company is about as good an example as they come (perhaps too good, as I've noted).

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advice for robots
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quote:
That it is not some sacred line that good people never cross as afr suggested.
Since I am rarely referenced here, I can't help but notice when I am. Not sure if I'm being misrepresented. I thought I made it pretty clear that I was saying vandalism is not a line OWS should be crossing. It's not, however, a line that should never be crossed.
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dkw
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quote:
England may be debatable, being taxed to pay for something you don't like is a pretty mild form of "evil." The "no taxation without representation" thing is closer, but I think that the focus should be the East India Company.
How about "structuring taxation such that the colonizing country gets all the wealth while the colonized country is stripped of its resources while never being allowed to develop infrastructure or trade on its own behalf and remains permanently economically dependent?"
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
quote:
That it is not some sacred line that good people never cross as afr suggested.
Since I am rarely referenced here, I can't help but notice when I am. Not sure if I'm being misrepresented. I thought I made it pretty clear that I was saying vandalism is not a line OWS should be crossing. It's not, however, a line that should never be crossed.
You did in your clarification. In the post I was originally responding to, it was not clear.

quote:
Seems like condoning the destruction of private property crosses the line, though.

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advice for robots
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Yes, it wasn't clear in that post. I did clarify it later and you still misrepresented my position in your recent post.
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kmbboots
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No. I was talking about what I was responding to. That you clarified it later doesn't change what I was responding to.

And, lest you think I am picking on just you, it really isn't just you. Lots of people who revere (if you will excuse the pun) the founding fathers and Sons of Liberty seem somehow aghast at contemporary protests that may - even accidentally - damage private property.

I would like also to make a distinction between corporate "private" property and actual private property that belongs to an individual. I am still pondering exactly how and where to draw that distinction but I think that they are different.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by dkw:
quote:
England may be debatable, being taxed to pay for something you don't like is a pretty mild form of "evil." The "no taxation without representation" thing is closer, but I think that the focus should be the East India Company.
How about "structuring taxation such that the colonizing country gets all the wealth while the colonized country is stripped of its resources while never being allowed to develop infrastructure or trade on its own behalf and remains permanently economically dependent?"
Well, that seems less appropriate to me. Accepting it as true, an unequal distribution of spoils does superficially compare with the theme of inequality of OWS, but as a comparison to "evil" that seems pretty low grade and not very flattering

I'm not sure I accept it as true either. If you look at the development of Canada or Hong Kong, they're hardly stripped of natural resources, and the colonial-era British infrastructure of Hong Kong actually puts to shame even the current era infrastructure of an independent Canada or US.

In the end, if you're an ethnically European resident of the American colonies in the colonial era, you actually have it pretty sweet. You're doing the enslaving, you're not being enslaved. You're committing genocide, you're not being genocided. So you have some quibbles with how the spoils of exploiting the native Americans and their land should be divided, but that doesn't seem to rise to the level of a "good" vs. "evil" conflict, but merely a in-family squabble between colonizers.

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pooka
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Pooka, how young do you imagine I am?! I was 30 in 1994.

I wasn't saying you were young (or not young [Wink] ) But it's my impression that a lot of the energy driving OWS is from a younger generation, and I believe the hot blood of the American revolution was from a then younger generation.

Now I did read a Newsweek article saying one can find people of all ages in the OWS movement, and I'm sure that's true but I believe the majority of them are are recent college graduate aged. If anyone has a link showing otherwise I'd be happy to adjust my opinion.

Mucus: OWS is way more upset about not getting the best of the most privileged lifestyle on the planet than one could accuse the American colonists having been. If you want to judge their behavior by our standards, try judging OWS behavior by a Ugandan's standards.

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Lyrhawn
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Taxation rates in America just before the Revolutionary War were lower than pretty much anywhere else in the British Empire, including back in England itself. Lack of representation was a fair argument. The tax revolt aspect was poppycock.

They had plenty of legitimate complaints. I don't think that was one of them.

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Bokonon
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Taxation rates in America just before the Revolutionary War were lower than pretty much anywhere else in the British Empire, including back in England itself. Lack of representation was a fair argument. The tax revolt aspect was poppycock.

They had plenty of legitimate complaints. I don't think that was one of them.

To take this further, the new "tax" actually made tea cheaper to the colonists (largely by conferring to the EIC a monopoly on the distribution rights of tea to the colonies). The problem was that by doing so, it basically priced out the smaller merchant/privateer/smuggler market created by the upper-class colonists.

Also, no one else had representation of the sort the colonists demanded. This was akin to saying everyone should get 2 votes instead of one nowadays.

People should really read my (real life) friend's book on the tea party. It is quite illuminating: Defiance of the Patriots: The Boston Tea Party and the Making of America. It gives a great overview of what lead up to the Tea Party, both at a global level, and the local context in Boston and surroundings.

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Bokonon
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quote:
Originally posted by pooka:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Pooka, how young do you imagine I am?! I was 30 in 1994.

I wasn't saying you were young (or not young [Wink] ) But it's my impression that a lot of the energy driving OWS is from a younger generation, and I believe the hot blood of the American revolution was from a then younger generation.

Now I did read a Newsweek article saying one can find people of all ages in the OWS movement, and I'm sure that's true but I believe the majority of them are are recent college graduate aged. If anyone has a link showing otherwise I'd be happy to adjust my opinion.

Mucus: OWS is way more upset about not getting the best of the most privileged lifestyle on the planet than one could accuse the American colonists having been. If you want to judge their behavior by our standards, try judging OWS behavior by a Ugandan's standards.

The OWS demographics are likely skewed by the fact that 16-to-25-year-olds are the hardest hit by the economic conditions, in that their unemployment rate is much higher than older workers. Like by as much as double: http://bls.gov/web/empsit/cpseea10.htm

They are hardest hit by the situation, and as a result are more "free" to be involved in a protest of this type.

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kmbboots
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Younger people are also likely to have more energy, more free time, and more freedom to devote themselves to something like this. Camping is a whole lot less physically painful to a 20 year-old than it is to a 40 year-old.
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pooka
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Yeah, but I think my reason is a better explanation for why OWS is happening now and not when I was a whippersnapper.

Er, actually, I may never have been a whippersnapper. (This is said for humorous effect. As mentioned in the early pages, I did actually attend some nuclear test ban demonstrations in the late 80's.)

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by pooka:
... If you want to judge their behavior by our standards, try judging OWS behavior by a Ugandan's standards.

(We're covering a lot of varied ground here)

I don't think this is obvious actually.

I know less about Uganda, but I know that in China there is a great deal of sympathy for OWS particularly among the lower and peasant classes. The problem of inequality is universal (and if anything, Chinese people are going to be less concerned about a BoA branch getting vandalised, not more).

I previously linked to an article which covers some of this
http://www.hatrack.com/cgi-bin/ubbmain/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=058517;p=16&r=nfx

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by pooka:
Yeah, but I think my reason is a better explanation for why OWS is happening now and not when I was a whippersnapper.

Er, actually, I may never have been a whippersnapper. (This is said for humorous effect. As mentioned in the early pages, I did actually attend some nuclear test ban demonstrations in the late 80's.)

I am not sure what your reason is. It read to me as if your reason was that young people don't have a sense of history or perspective. I think that the reason OWS is happening now is because income equality and social mobility is worse now than it was and, rather than most everyone trying to fix economic hardship, some in Congress are making it worse.
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pooka
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It's just different. I thought you had drawn an equivalency between OWS and BTP.

I cared about nuclear weapons because of my generation.

Mucus, China is seeking to emerge as a first world power (If you can tolerate my assumption they are not one already.) I wouldn't say their perspective is so different from our own.

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kmbboots
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The only equivalency I was drawing between the incidental vandalism that occurred in a small part of OWS and the deliberate vandalism of the BTP was that they were both cases of destruction of private (corporate) property for a political purpose. I think that in our horror at the contemporaryu vandalism of corporate property, we often forget that what most of us think of as a valiant blow for freedom in 1773 was also the destruction of corporate property.

ETA: In other words, the destruction of private property does not necessarily make a protest (or protesters) "bad".

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pooka
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
I don't think that England was actually evil.

ETA; At least to the US colonies. Ireland is another matter!

My theorizing arose from this.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
If you're advocating against a domestic, monopolistic, and abusive corporation that greatly benefits from close and corrupt ties with the government a la BoA, then the East India Company is about as good an example as they come (perhaps too good, as I've noted).

Really? Truly? You're saying that the EIC and BAC (B of A's actual corporate acronym) are legitimately comparable? You're going to commit to this?

Wasn't this comparison demolished in like three sentences on the previous page?

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kmbboots
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Pooka, that was in response to Dan.

quote:
From here, I think, is where it gets more interesting. Because then there is the question of whether or not war, in general, is moral. I believe that it can be, when the enemy is evil enough, but then I also believe in objective good and evil
I am kind of a peacenik, but I don't think that war is only justified when your enemy is evil. I think that England's actions towards the colonies were destructive but I don't think that they were of evil intent and they were certainly milder in there subjugation of the US colonies than most other oppressor nations or even in their subjugation of other colonies. Compared to our treatment of the Native Americans, the English were practically gentle with us.

ETA: Dan, just the opium part. [Wink]

As far as we know.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
I think that in our horror at the contemporary vandalism of corporate property, we often forget that what most of us think of as a valiant blow for freedom in 1773 was also the destruction of corporate property.

Again, in addition to being all around much more evil than BAC, the EIC's ties to Great Britain were orders of magnitude deeper than BAC's ties to the US Gov, which much more significantly blurs the line between private property and government property.

In a side note, I disagree with your assessment that the private property of a corporation is not really private property, but I think that sort of assessment certainly applies to government property! [Smile]

quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
ETA: In other words, the destruction of private property does not necessarily make a protest (or protesters) "bad".

The problem here is that in order for one to not view the destruction of private property as not bad, one needs to be given the full context first, because context-free it is bad.

If I hear someone broke the windows in a bank, I will think that person committed an immoral act. Once I hear about the rising water level death trap that had been installed, I will amend my assessment, but the best way to generate sympathy from me would be to tell me about the death trap before you tell me about how you smashed the windows of a bank.

To go way back to the comment that sparked this, Geraine was saying that he is not persuaded by them yet, and so their committing these kinds of acts is going to actively hinder their ability to persuade him. Do you see how that does actually follow pretty logically?

British Loyalists didn't see the Sons of Liberty as heroes, and the Boston Tea Party would not have been seen as persuasive by them. Quite the opposite, I imagine.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
If you're advocating against a domestic, monopolistic, and abusive corporation that greatly benefits from close and corrupt ties with the government a la BoA, then the East India Company is about as good an example as they come (perhaps too good, as I've noted).

Really? Truly? You're saying that the EIC and BAC (B of A's actual corporate acronym) are legitimately comparable? You're going to commit to this?

Wasn't this comparison demolished in like three sentences on the previous page?

No, I don't see that it was.

Maybe I'm not explaining myself very clearly.
I'm also the one who made this observation

quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
Growing opium, smuggling opium, and then invading and colonizing in order to continue selling opium when caught is somewhat difficult to compare to selling fraudulent mortgages.

You'd probably have to do some mashing together of Citigroup (to match the political connections), of Halliburton (to get mercenary armies), and the CIA (selling drugs in Central America) to get anything really comparable.


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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by pooka:
Mucus, China is seeking to emerge as a first world power (If you can tolerate my assumption they are not one already.) I wouldn't say their perspective is so different from our own.

I don't follow how this relates.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Pooka, that was in response to Dan.

quote:
From here, I think, is where it gets more interesting. Because then there is the question of whether or not war, in general, is moral. I believe that it can be, when the enemy is evil enough, but then I also believe in objective good and evil
I am kind of a peacenik, but I don't think that war is only justified when your enemy is evil. I think that England's actions towards the colonies were destructive but I don't think that they were of evil intent and they were certainly milder in there subjugation of the US colonies than most other oppressor nations or even in their subjugation of other colonies. Compared to our treatment of the Native Americans, the English were practically gentle with us.

ETA: Dan, just the opium part. [Wink]

As far as we know.

But see this comes back to how I'm using "evil" in a very technical philosophical sense rather than a colloquial sense. So, yes, Ted Bundy is evil, but so is the guy who knocks over a liquor store. In the sense that both have committed immoral acts. Evil is not a binary scale, in my opinion.

Hell, it's also really important to bear in mind that in war we're talking about the overall actions of a nation vs. another nation, since many actors in a war (on both sides, even) could be extremely good and moral people, by their lights. It's possible for England to have acted evilly to the US and, simultaneously, for us to have acted more evilly to the native population, and for England to have acted more evilly to, say, India. None of these are mutually exclusive, and I don't mean to diminish any worse actions by saying that England was essentially evil prior to the Revolutionary War.

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Geraine
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And again, I think you are forgetting that this was exactly what 9-11 was. It was the destruction of corporate property by those who disagree with the current American way of life.

Please know I'm not calling OWS protestors terrorists and am not trying to compare them to people that board planes and kill thousands of people. I'm simply pointing out that they are doing it for similar reasons.

Likewise, some of the crazy right wing militia groups have similar goals. There have been numerous groups shut down for planning to destroy private property.

The world is different than 200+ years ago. Back in the beginning of this country there were many things that people did back then that today would get you thrown into prison. I'd like to think we have progressed past that.

I can only imagine what would have happened with the civil rights movement if they had been violent or vandalized property. Thank goodness Mr. King preached protest through civil disobedience and not violence.

Ask yourself this: Are you more apt to listen to your kids and give them what they want when they ask nicely and tell you why they need something, or when they throw a fit? If they throw a tantrum or scream and yell, do you just give them what they want so they shut up? Do you tune them out?

I'd bet the majority of America is starting to tune out the OWS message, and unfortunately it is OWS' own fault. Many Americans were behind them and happy that they were out there standing up for their beliefs at first. Now you don't see the news covering what they want, but rather what they are doing. The message has become secondary now.

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kmbboots
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Geraine, vandalism is not necessarily violent and certainly not mass murder. It is not at all like 9-11. Was the BTP the same as 9-11? Al Qaeda and OWS both may have criticisms about "the American way of life but they are objecting to entirely different aspects of it. It makes a difference whether or not the things they are objecting to are actually bad things.

Again, I am not likely to listen to someone who does not make me aware of the fact that they are saying something. The protesters are not my children; they don't automatically have my attention. If a child asks so nicely that I don't notice them asking, they aren't going to get what they want.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
If you're advocating against a domestic, monopolistic, and abusive corporation that greatly benefits from close and corrupt ties with the government a la BoA, then the East India Company is about as good an example as they come (perhaps too good, as I've noted).

Really? Truly? You're saying that the EIC and BAC (B of A's actual corporate acronym) are legitimately comparable? You're going to commit to this?

Wasn't this comparison demolished in like three sentences on the previous page?

No, I don't see that it was.

Maybe I'm not explaining myself very clearly.
I'm also the one who made this observation

quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
Growing opium, smuggling opium, and then invading and colonizing in order to continue selling opium when caught is somewhat difficult to compare to selling fraudulent mortgages.

You'd probably have to do some mashing together of Citigroup (to match the political connections), of Halliburton (to get mercenary armies), and the CIA (selling drugs in Central America) to get anything really comparable.


Wow, that's hilarious. So it was demolished by you! At least as far as I can see... how are you failing to persuade yourself that EIC and BAC, while having a couple of (troubling!) superficial similarities, are at the most basic level hugely different entities?

Also add to all of those you mentioned that you need this crazy corporate/government mash-up to also have an actual, militarily backed monopoly. Sorry, but cries of "BAC has a monopoly!" fall on my ears as I drive from my credit union to drop off a deposit in my Chase account and then head over to Wells Fargo to handle some stuff on my boss's business account.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Geraine:
I can only imagine what would have happened with the civil rights movement if they had been violent or vandalized property. ...

About the same as now, because they sometimes were violent and vandalised property?

Chinese-American businesses in Memphis were specifically targeted for destruction by black rioters because they wouldn't choose between the black "side" or the white "side."

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
... how are you failing to persuade yourself that EIC and BAC, while having a couple of (troubling!) superficial similarities, are at the most basic level hugely different entities?

Huh? I'm not sure I follow you.
I was specifically saying that they are hugely different. That's the point of the post.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Again, I am not likely to listen to someone who does not make me aware of the fact that they are saying something. The protesters are not my children; they don't automatically have my attention. If a child asks so nicely that I don't notice them asking, they aren't going to get what they want.

Yeah, I don't buy this. I don't think OWS somehow needs to commit property crimes in order to get attention. They've been lavished with attention. They got attention when they were just people camping out against the rules in a privately owned public park (which, to be clear, I saw no problem with, as the owners of the park had not asked them to leave).

Heck, lots of Occupiers complain that the vandalism and rape and assault and murder get too much attention and are being perpetrated by individuals not representative of the movement as a whole.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
... how are you failing to persuade yourself that EIC and BAC, while having a couple of (troubling!) superficial similarities, are at the most basic level hugely different entities?

Huh? I'm not sure I follow you.
I was specifically saying that they are hugely different. That's the point of the post.

Oh! My mistake, Mucus, sorry! So I correctly understood your original post, and misunderstood your more recent post. I think the phrase:
quote:
If you're advocating against a domestic, monopolistic, and abusive corporation that greatly benefits from close and corrupt ties with the government a la BoA, then the East India Company is about as good an example as they come (perhaps too good, as I've noted).
Is what threw me. I see now when you say "perhaps too good, as I've noted" you're referring to your original post. I just saw the "a la BoA" and interpreted that as comparing EIC and BAC. Soooo... yeah! This crow doesn't taste very good at all. Sorry to misunderstand you.
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kmbboots
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I don't think that they need to commit property crimes either - and the huge majority of them don't.

I don't think you can call them "lavished" with attention till they, like the Tea Party folks, have their very own TV network. But I do think that the property damage garners the wrong kind of attention if only because people like Geraine are likely to overreact and think it makes them al Qaeda.

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advice for robots
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I was under the impression that vandalism wasn't accepted or condoned by the OWS orthodoxy. It would be a much different kind of protest if OWS in general were promoting vandalism.

Here's a statement made by Occupy Portland's press team in response to an Umpqua bank break-in:

quote:
On Monday, Occupy Portland's press team issued the following statement to "people who use the Occupy name to justify violence."

Violence is a form of fear. You lash out at what you are afraid of, hoping to destroy it before it destroys you. But no one with this kind of fear can ever be free. The Occupy name makes it all feel safe, as if there are millions standing with you as you lash out at what you fear. But instead, all you do is spread that fear to others, and take a bit of their freedom from them. If you engage in violence, no matter if you claim the Occupy name, you are by definition separate.

Violence solves nothing... violence perpetuates the systemic problems that we have. Do you solve a fire by fanning the flames? Do you dry clothing by sticking it in water? The use of violence reveals only one thing: that a person is not yet ready to live in the world that they are asking for.

http://www.kptv.com/story/16033228/windows-smashed-at-portland-bank
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Is what threw me. I see now when you say "perhaps too good, as I've noted" you're referring to your original post.

Yep.

It's ok, I see how that was confusingly worded.
I'm coming at this and a couple of other issues from a pretty different angle.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by Geraine:
I can only imagine what would have happened with the civil rights movement if they had been violent or vandalized property. ...

About the same as now, because they sometimes were violent and vandalised property?

Chinese-American businesses in Memphis were specifically targeted for destruction by black rioters because they wouldn't choose between the black "side" or the white "side."

Depending on what time frame we are using for the civil rights movement, violence was rejected almost to the point of absurdity. It was only in the period after the mid sixties that some of the major groups questioned it as a philosophy. Southern blacks commonly armed themselves for self defense, but it wasn't until after thr main, traditional civil rights period that major riots and violence happened. Most of the movement juggernaut organizations were more of less defunct at that point.

Keep in mind though, that for most aspects of the movement, they WANTED to get arrested. For a lot of the protests, getting arrested was the whole point. It served to demonstrate an absurdity in the laws, and in a certain way of life.

If OWS had a smarter PR team they might try something like that, then ask reporters why they were all in jail for chanting and camping and wall street robber barons were swilling champagne after crashing the economy and screwing people out of their homes. Even SNCC was way more organized than OWS is.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
British Loyalists didn't see the Sons of Liberty as heroes, and the Boston Tea Party would not have been seen as persuasive by them.
Which is why the Sons of Liberty made a habit of beating, tarring, and killing loyalists.
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Dan_Frank
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Precisely! Can you think of a less persuasive argument?

I almost didn't say it earlier because I thought it would draw flack, but I actually think that the Sons of Liberty and Al Qaeda have more in common with each other than either has with OWS. I mean, they're fighting for different results, obviously, and I think one of them was basically fighting for good ends and the other's basically fighting for evil ends, but the nature of their fights are more analogous than the "fight" of OWS vs. Capitalism.

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Blayne Bradley
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#thoughimayprivatelyandinwardlyagree.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
I mean, they're fighting for different results, obviously, and I think one of them was basically fighting for good ends and the other's basically fighting for evil ends, but the nature of their fights are more analogous than the "fight" of OWS vs. Capitalism.
If you think the fight is between OWS and capitalism you really don't understand OWS at all.

OWS is a very broad coalition that includes the full spectrum from marxists to libertarians. They are united, not by a desire to eliminate capitalism, but by concern about a system that has resulted in the concentration of wealth and political power in the hands of a very small group of people at the expensive of the overwhelming majority.

Unless you think the essential factors of capitalism include allowing the wealthy to buy political influence, bail-outs, tax benefits, and subsidies that disproportionately benefit the extremely wealthy, minimal punishment for white-collar crime, laws that allow businesses to externalize their costs, and limited liability, OWS is not fighting capitalism.

Yes, there are some people involved in OWS who think that those problems are an inherent part of capitalism and therefore think the solution is to eliminate capitalism. There are also those involved in OWS who are libertarians and anarcho-capitalists who think those problems are an inherent part of government interference in the markets.

The media complains that OWS doesn't have a clear message. That's because they are expecting a message about how to solve the problems. Thus far, the point of OWS has not been to push a particular agenda as a solution to the problem, it has been to draw attention to this huge problem that both political parties are ignoring.

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BlackBlade
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Does anybody have a quick rundown on the rationale for why Occupy is targeting ports? I'm not grasping on how that fits with the movements core objectives.
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