REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

The wrong side must not win

POSTED BY: CANTTAKESKY
UPDATED: Monday, September 10, 2012 09:11
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Tuesday, September 4, 2012 1:47 AM

CANTTAKESKY


http://reason.com/archives/2012/08/20/the-wrong-side-absolutely-must-n
ot-win


Quote:



The Wrong Side Absolutely Must Not Win


The past several weeks have made one thing crystal-clear: Our country faces unmitigated disaster if the Other Side wins.

No reasonably intelligent person can deny this. All you have to do is look at the way the Other Side has been running its campaign. Instead of focusing on the big issues that are important to the American People, it has fired a relentlessly negative barrage of distortions, misrepresentations, and flat-out lies.

Just look at the Other Side’s latest commercial, which take a perfectly reasonable statement by the candidate for My Side completely out of context to make it seem as if he is saying something nefarious. This just shows you how desperate the Other Side is and how willing it is to mislead the American People.

The Other Side also has been hammering away at My Side to release certain documents that have nothing to do with anything, and making all sorts of outrageous accusations about what might be in them. Meanwhile, the Other Side has stonewalled perfectly reasonable requests to release its own documents that would expose some very embarrassing details if anybody ever found out what was in them. This just shows you what a bunch of hypocrites they are.

Naturally, the media won’t report any of this. Major newspapers and cable networks jump all over anything they think will make My Side look bad. Yet they completely ignore critically important and incredibly relevant information that would be devastating to the Other Side if it could ever be verified.

I will admit the candidates for My Side do make occasional blunders. These usually happen at the end of exhausting 19-hour days and are perfectly understandable. Our leaders are only human, after all. Nevertheless, the Other Side inevitably makes a big fat deal out of these trivial gaffes, while completely ignoring its own candidates’ incredibly thoughtless and stupid remarks – remarks that reveal the Other Side’s true nature, which is genuinely frightening.

My Side has produced a visionary program that will get the economy moving, put the American People back to work, strengthen national security, return fiscal integrity to Washington, and restore our standing in the international community. What does the Other Side have to offer? Nothing but the same old disproven, discredited policies that got us into our current mess in the first place.

Don’t take my word for it, though. I recently read about an analysis by an independent, nonpartisan organization that supports My Side. It proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that everything I have been saying about the Other Side was true all along. Of course, the Other Side refuses to acknowledge any of this. It is too busy cranking out so-called studies by so-called experts who are actually nothing but partisan hacks. This just shows you that the Other Side lives in its own little echo chamber and refuses to listen to anyone who has not already drunk its Kool-Aid.

Let’s face it: The Other Side is held hostage by a radical, failed ideology. I have been doing some research on the Internet, and I have learned this ideology was developed by a very obscure but nonetheless profoundly influential writer with a strange-sounding name who enjoyed brief celebrity several decades ago. If you look carefully, you can trace nearly all the Other Side’s policies for the past half-century back to the writings of this one person.

To be sure, the Other Side also has been influenced by its powerful supporters. These include a reclusive billionaire who has funded a number of organizations far outside the political mainstream; several politicians who have said outrageous things over the years; and an alarmingly large number of completely clueless ordinary Americans who are being used as tools and don’t even know it.

These people are really pathetic, too. The other day I saw a YouTube video in which My Side sent an investigator and a cameraman to a rally being held by the Other Side, where the investigator proceeded to ask some real zingers. It was hilarious! First off, the people at the rally wore T-shirts with all kinds of lame messages that they actually thought were really clever. Plus, many of the people who were interviewed were overweight, sweaty, flushed, and generally not very attractive. But what was really funny was how stupid they were. There is no way anyone could watch that video and not come away convinced the people on My Side are smarter, and that My Side is therefore right about everything.

Besides, it’s clear that the people on the Other Side are driven by mindless anger – unlike My Side, which is filled with passionate idealism and righteous indignation. That indignation, I hasten to add, is entirely justified. I have read several articles in publications that support My Side that expose what a truly dangerous group the Other Side is, and how thoroughly committed it is to imposing its radical, failed agenda on the rest of us.

That is why I believe 2012 is, without a doubt, the defining election of our lifetime. The difference between My Side and the Other Side could not be greater. That is why it absolutely must win on November 6.


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Tuesday, September 4, 2012 8:29 AM

FREMDFIRMA


*snicker*

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012 8:53 AM

STORYMARK


It's a good peice as far as discussing rhetorical devices. I have friends using it in class already. But Ive also seen people post that link as justification for anything their side does, which is pretty weak.


Note to anyone - Please pity the poor, poor wittle Rappyboy. He's feeling put upon lately, what with all those facts disagreeing with what he believes.

"Goram it kid, let's frak this thing and go home! Engage!"

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012 10:14 AM

JONGSSTRAW

We carry in our hearts the true country, and that cannot be stolen.


Quote:


That is why I believe 2012 is, without a doubt, the defining election of our lifetime.


I've heard the same thing said about every election since 1980.

Quote:


The difference between My Side and the Other Side could not be greater.


And water is wet...wow!

Quote:


That is why it absolutely must win on November 6.


Nah, not really. All of us have already suffered, whether real or imaginary, either through the Obama years or the Bush years. If the other guy wins this time, so what....been there, done that, life goes on.












Hmmm, better than Reuben's.
..One more.
Ben!
..My last one.
Okay.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012 12:33 PM

HKCAVALIER


I dunno guys, this strikes me as a nasty "reality is perception" argument. And that argument is fascistic. And it's misanthropic in that it suggests that people's convictions are purely tribal/partisan. Sure there's some of that at work and we can all go to our respective echo chambers to feel good about being biased.

But I think there are real differences in this election and every election. Will the Republicans winning mean the end of the world as I know it? No. But will it tangibly make things worse for people I care about? If they follow through on their intentions, you betcha!

Also it sets up a really malicious equivalence between Obama's birth certificate and Romney's tax returns. Obama submitted his birth certificate long ago but the birthers prefered their conspiracy theory. Romney has simply not submitted the tax returns in question. If he had, and the left doubled down and said they are all lies, then you'd have an our side = their side thing. But as it stands, ya don't. The whole piece is like this.

A "perception is reality" argument always serves the right/authoritarian cause. An "everyone is just as corrupt and bad as everyone else" argument serves the cause of apathy and disengagement, and that, again, serves the authoritarian cause. Y'all may enjoy looking down on your fellow humans, snicker at the ruinous folly of the ditto-head, but the ones looking down on all of us are laughing all the way to the bank.

HKCavalier

Hey, hey, hey, don't be mean. We don't have to be mean, because, remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012 12:44 PM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Excellently done, tho' some of it doesn't apply to what I believe and some of it doesn't seem appropriate. What "same old disproven, discredited policies that got us into our current mess in the first place" apply to Obama? "...got us into our current mess"? He certainly hasn't gotten us OUT, but I don't see that one applying.

I also don't view the
Quote:

this ideology was developed by a very obscure but nonetheless profoundly influential writer with a strange-sounding name who enjoyed brief celebrity several decades ago.
As applying to EITHER side, unless you count that idiot doctor who says rape can't get you pregnant.

Don't get
Quote:

First off, the people at the rally wore T-shirts with all kinds of lame messages that they actually thought were really clever. Plus, many of the people who were interviewed were overweight, sweaty, flushed, and generally not very attractive.

I guess it's just intended to be over the top?

For me, Obama's transcripts are irrelevant, while Romney's taxes are quite relevant. I think the birth certificate thing was idiotic, but only because once produced, it's still ignored.

And I certainly see blunders on the left, and feel there is no more excuse for them than for those made on the right. It's not the blunders that bother me...!

Aside from those, however, I think it's pretty accurate for how many on both sides see things. I still think raising taxes on the middle class and poor to give tax breaks to the rich, and the social agenda on the right is to me unconscionable. But that's just my opinion.

It's beautifully written, nonetheless, and a wonderful satire. Thank you!


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Tuesday, September 4, 2012 1:26 PM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by HKCavalier:
An "everyone is just as corrupt and bad as everyone else" argument serves the cause of apathy and disengagement, and that, again, serves the authoritarian cause.



I don't think this is arguing that EVERYONE is just as corrupt as everyone else. It is saying that One Side is as corrupt as The Other Side. Rather than calling for apathy and disengagement, it makes a case for reforming a Two-Sided System that, in the great scheme of things, only carries cosmetic differences.

No matter Which Side wins, our drones will still be murdering innocent people in Pakistan, Guantanamo will still be there, our health care system will still be broken, our children will still be hungry, our workers will still be unemployed, and the 1% will still own and control everything.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012 3:39 PM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


I hear a lot of people make the argument that "voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil." My response? "It's voting for LESS evil. And if you vote for LESS evil every time, you get BETTER, you get GOOD, simply by voting against evil or choosing the least evil path."



"I supported Bush in 2000 and 2004 and intellegence [sic] had very little to do with that decision." - Hero

Mitt Romney, introducing his running mate: "Join me in welcoming the next President of the United States, Paul Ryan!"

Rappy's response? "You're lying, gullible ( believing in some BS you heard on msnbc ) or hard of hearing."

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012 4:28 PM

BYTEMITE


Disagree. You still get evil, more and more evil, but don't you get as MUCH evil each time than you would have voting for the greater evil.

You only get better and good by VOTING for better and good, and by fighting against evil. And when there is no more good to vote for, there is only one option left.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012 4:34 PM

HERO


You can never go wrong when you vote Right.

H

Hero...must be right on all of this. ALL of the rest of us are wrong. Chrisisall, 2012

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012 4:56 PM

BYTEMITE


Hero:



I see no difference between parties.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012 3:29 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by Kwicko:
And if you vote for LESS evil every time, you get BETTER, you get GOOD, simply by voting against evil or choosing the least evil path."



That's only assuming that choices you are presented with don't get worse.

Imagine evil on a scale of 1-10:

Election 1: Evil = 5, Evil = 6.
You vote for Evil=5.

Election 2: Evil = 6, Evil = 7.
You vote for Evil=6.

Election 3: Evil = 7, Evil = 8.
You vote for Evil=7.

With each election, you are successively voting for more and more evil, even though it is always the less evil of the choices. Cause the choices themselves get worse, see?

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012 3:46 AM

BYTEMITE


Interesting. I had not considered the possibility that everyone in politics was getting more evil and corrupt. I assumed that each new politician starts idealistic then slowly turns as evil and corrupt as the previous candidate, because the system demands they compromise their ethics. I think the reason the system keeps getting more evil is that, once corrupted, the politicians just build on the preexisting evil, not that they themselves are more evil than those in the past.

For each candidate to be getting more evil and corrupt at the moment they start running for office, something would have have to be changing in the body politic and the party system itself, which preps the proto-candidates for office. I am not sure I see evidence of that, elections have always been petty and there's always been batshit crazy types running. This is one of the worst campaign seasons I have seen in my short lifetime, but since I believe that both parties are secretly in collusion with each other, I don't consider that a valid measure of corruption, just a measure of the amount of smokescreen they're throwing out.

It is possible that due to the evil we have established precedence for in the past, that they are growing bold with new evils. That would be a troubling prospect.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012 5:09 AM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
Interesting. I had not considered the possibility that everyone in politics was getting more evil and corrupt. I assumed that each new politician starts idealistic then slowly turns as evil and corrupt as the previous candidate, because the system demands they compromise their ethics. I think the reason the system keeps getting more evil is that, once corrupted, the politicians just build on the preexisting evil, not that they themselves are more evil than those in the past.



Pretty much the way I see it.

Also, consider that a lot of politicians probably figure that they have to play in the corrupt political system to even get elected so they can achieve goals they think are for the greater good. Unfortunately, by the time they reach that goal, the evil they had to do to get there often outweighs the good produced.


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Wednesday, September 5, 2012 6:16 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Quote:

Also, consider that a lot of politicians probably figure that they have to play in the corrupt political system to even get elected so they can achieve goals they think are for the greater good. Unfortunately, by the time they reach that goal, the evil they had to do to get there often outweighs the good produced.
My gawd, I agree with Geezer!

On the other part, not so much. I don't see all politicians as getting in to do good OR being idealistic. I see some of them as wanting power/money/celebrity, some of them being recruited by one party or the other, another bunch of them not caring one whit how much evil they have to do to achieve their aims, and some maybe INTENDING to do good in the beginning, but then learning how the system works and ceasing to care about doing "good", instead focusing on pleasing their masters so they can become lobbyists, etc., and make tons of money after leaving political life. I think the minority of them actually go in to "do good" and compromising because the system forces them to, and of those, the "good" they want to achieve isn't always in the interest of the country. Maybe I'm just too much of a cynic.


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Wednesday, September 5, 2012 10:58 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
I think the reason the system keeps getting more evil is that, once corrupted, the politicians just build on the preexisting evil, not that they themselves are more evil than those in the past.



Precisely.


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Wednesday, September 5, 2012 11:52 AM

MAGONSDAUGHTER


Quote:

Originally posted by HKCavalier:
I dunno guys, this strikes me as a nasty "reality is perception" argument. And that argument is fascistic. And it's misanthropic in that it suggests that people's convictions are purely tribal/partisan. Sure there's some of that at work and we can all go to our respective echo chambers to feel good about being biased.

But I think there are real differences in this election and every election. Will the Republicans winning mean the end of the world as I know it? No. But will it tangibly make things worse for people I care about? If they follow through on their intentions, you betcha!

Also it sets up a really malicious equivalence between Obama's birth certificate and Romney's tax returns. Obama submitted his birth certificate long ago but the birthers prefered their conspiracy theory. Romney has simply not submitted the tax returns in question. If he had, and the left doubled down and said they are all lies, then you'd have an our side = their side thing. But as it stands, ya don't. The whole piece is like this.

A "perception is reality" argument always serves the right/authoritarian cause. An "everyone is just as corrupt and bad as everyone else" argument serves the cause of apathy and disengagement, and that, again, serves the authoritarian cause. Y'all may enjoy looking down on your fellow humans, snicker at the ruinous folly of the ditto-head, but the ones looking down on all of us are laughing all the way to the bank.

HKCavalier

Hey, hey, hey, don't be mean. We don't have to be mean, because, remember, no matter where you go, there you are.



Once again, you say things as I would like to say, only with a lot more eloquence.

Yes the piece was amusing. Yes both sides sometimes use similar tactics, but both sides are clearly not the same. And not voting, or not caring because you see them as being the same is a dangerous and rather ignorant stance, ( not that we get that option here).


It may be that neither option appeals greatly, or neither reflects your views in entirety, but it will make a differenece to your life depending on who wins power.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012 2:44 PM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by Magonsdaughter:
but both sides are clearly not the same.

Hitler and Stalin are clearly not the same. But I would be hard-pressed to vote for either of them.

I'd rather have a third or fourth choice. And I think that is the point of this piece.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012 4:23 PM

1KIKI

Today, scientists sound the alarm on other environmental dangers. Vested interests still hire their own scientists to confuse the issue. But in the end, nature will not be fooled. Neil deGrasse Tyson


Yeah well, you think Somalia is a pristine example of the greatness that is anarchy.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012 4:34 PM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by 1kiki:
Yeah well, you think Somalia is a pristine example of the greatness that is anarchy.



Um, no. I do not.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012 4:51 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Um, you did. I can resurrect the thread for you, if you wish. So you'll pardon me if I don't take YOUR judgment as an example to follow.

The question isn't whether Obama is better than Mitt (he is), it's whether Obama is more good than bad. Let me answer that, in MY humble opinion, I didn't vote for Clinton the second time around and he had a better track record than Obama.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012 6:33 PM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Quote:

It is possible that due to the evil we have established precedence for in the past, that they are growing bold with new evils. That would be a troubling prospect.
Bingo. BIG bingo.

Wow, Cav. You must have posted the above while I was typing my post (immediately following), because I never saw this. Impressive, really impressively concise and right on.--and I agree with Magons' comments, too.



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Wednesday, September 5, 2012 6:50 PM

FREMDFIRMA



False equivalence - Somalia, Rwanda and Zimbabwe are *not* examples of Anarchy.
They are however, perfect examples of the end result of Government.
Specifically the loot-and-run "capitalism" of the American Right Wing, as practiced on a worldwide front by the IMF, WTO and other vultures of that sort - but Government as a whole tends to fail that way when it is against the will of people rather than supporting it.

I mean, did it never occur to anyone, anywhere, ever, that even an Anarchist can accept, and agree on, rules and structures that are mutually desired by an entire community ?
That maybe, just maybe, they might CHOOSE to follow some "rules" because they're logical, make sense, and provide benefit for all ?

Or is the kool-aid too deep for even normally thinking minds to see through ?

-Frem

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012 6:56 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Frem, I did not say that Somalia was a great example of anarchy, CTS did.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012 7:35 PM

1KIKI

Today, scientists sound the alarm on other environmental dangers. Vested interests still hire their own scientists to confuse the issue. But in the end, nature will not be fooled. Neil deGrasse Tyson


"... even an Anarchist can accept, and agree on, rules and structures that are mutually desired by an entire community ..."

Just to point out that while humans CAN create social structures of equality and mutuality, they can ALSO create social structures of mortal and planetary destruction. I'm just trying to head off any 'human nature' arguments, b/c our 'human nature' seems quite capable of creating and perpetuating a wide divergence of social structures.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012 8:09 PM

MAGONSDAUGHTER


Quote:

Originally posted by canttakesky:
Quote:

Originally posted by Magonsdaughter:
but both sides are clearly not the same.

Hitler and Stalin are clearly not the same. But I would be hard-pressed to vote for either of them.

I'd rather have a third or fourth choice. And I think that is the point of this piece.



You wouldn't have the chance, as neither offered elections.

However, my point really was that all sides are not the same. You may despise both sides as they do not fit your own values/and or ideology but it either one winning will make a difference to the lives of who live under their possible rule.

The kinds of arguments presented in your original, albeit satirical post, imply they are both the same and that it makes no difference who wins, which just isn't true.

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Thursday, September 6, 2012 12:51 AM

FREMDFIRMA


Quote:

Originally posted by 1kiki:
I'm just trying to head off any 'human nature' arguments, b/c our 'human nature' seems quite capable of creating and perpetuating a wide divergence of social structures.


Indeed it does - ANY of which will work provided they are administered fairly and with a high percentage of consent or tolerance on behalf of those administered, that being the important, sticky point.

I mean, for example, if say 80% of your population LIKES the monarchy and thinks they rule well, and about say 12% more put up with them cause they feel the alternatives suck worse, well then you're a happy little country and your system works - the SYSTEM itself isn't never what matters, it's the express, implied, or begrudging consent that does.

When you do not have that consent, and resort to force, threat and fear to secure it, then you are on the short road to an inevitable blood bath, history makes that so far an iron-clad fact, and thus reason and persuasion are the better options even if you are disliked and untrusted, because IT IS STILL POSSIBLE TO REASON WITH YOU.
Cause that's really it, what it all boils down to, dealing with your fellow humans, Reason or Force.
Remove Reason as a factor, as the GOP seems hell bent on, and you leave only Force.

And despite suppression, trolling, sock puppetry and other chicanery to amplify their loud little handful, they have neither a monopoly on Force, nor the numbers to employ it effectively enough to make it work.
But since Reason has fled them, in the protected self-delusion of their ivory towers, they believe this purile fantasy and will continue to do so right up till the flames consume them, because they've codified their whole existence into lies they wish to MAKE reality.

But only if we let them, and I for one, do not plan on it.

-Frem

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Thursday, September 6, 2012 2:18 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Um, you did. I can resurrect the thread for you, if you wish.

I absolutely wish. In fact, I dare you to find that thread.

Quote:

Frem, I did not say that Somalia was a great example of anarchy, CTS did.


I absolutely NEVER said any such thing. I DARE you to prove I did.

No end to your outright lies, is there?

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Thursday, September 6, 2012 2:38 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by Magonsdaughter:
either one winning will make a difference to the lives of who live under their possible rule.

I'm sure if Hitler were running against Stalin, Jews might vote for Stalin, because he would make a significant difference to their lives under his rule.

Quote:

The kinds of arguments presented in your original, albeit satirical post, imply they are both the same and that it makes no difference who wins, which just isn't true.
Whether someone makes a "difference," depends on the level of change you are looking for.

If you are simply looking for Ukrainians to die instead of Jews, sure, Stalin would be different from Hitler. If you are looking for economic prosperity that doesn't rest on the backs of millions of dead people, then there is no difference between Hitler and Stalin.

The level of change I am looking for is not offered by Either Side. I want the war in Afghan and Paki to stop. I want the drones to stop murdering innocent people. I want Guantanamo and all its fellow concentration camps to close. I want the Patriot Act to be annulled. I want our health care system to be overhauled without the involvement of private insurance companies. I want income taxes to stop, or at least decrease significantly. I want large corporations to start paying taxes if we are going to have taxes. I want fracking to stop. I want small businesses to be free to be small. I want the 1% to stop scamming the rest of the country by putting cronies in powerful positions and twisting laws.

Neither Side makes the kind of difference I want to see. So pardon me if I opt for other choices.


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Thursday, September 6, 2012 8:02 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


CTS, everything you said is what I would like to see, and more, especially when it comes to the environment and conservation. And neither side will do any of those, obviously. But I also DON'T want to see many things the Republicans have PROMISED to do, and I think a Romney/Ryan administration would put us in MORE wars, keep us in Afghanistan, and be all in favor of widening the war in Pakistan.

The Reubs, from what they've indicated, would INCREASE the 1%'s wealth.
They would INCREASE fracking, and all other forms of oil drilling here and off the coasts.
They would DECREASE taxes on large corporations.

For me, the "side" which would do less harm is what I'll accept, reluctantly, to avoid some of the egregious intentions already put forth by the Republicans.


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Thursday, September 6, 2012 8:29 PM

MAGONSDAUGHTER


Quote:

I'm sure if Hitler were running against Stalin, Jews might vote for Stalin, because he would make a significant difference to their lives under his rule.


What in godwins name are you on about?

I just can't continue this discussion with you because it feels like we are not talking about the same thing. I don't understand what you are trying to say in response to my post. Sorry.

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Friday, September 7, 2012 3:38 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

Um, you did. I can resurrect the thread for you, if you wish. - Signy

I absolutely wish. In fact, I dare you to find that thread.- CTS

Frem, I did not say that Somalia was a great example of anarchy, CTS did. - Signy

I absolutely NEVER said any such thing. I DARE you to prove I did. No end to your outright lies, is there?- CTS

Okey dokey, then. I'll do my best to find and resurrect the thread. It may take me a week because I'll be out of town on business, but in the meantime, in that thread you started with a story about how your husband had traveled to that part of the world. Ringing any bells now?

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Friday, September 7, 2012 4:14 AM

BYTEMITE


A Godwin doesn't come into play just because someone mentions Hitler or the Nazis. The rule of Godwin is that the first person to COMPARE someone or something to Hitler or the Nazis FRIVOLOUSLY and without JUSTIFICATION loses. The basic jist of the fallacy in question is "this is bad, because Hitler/the Nazis did this." What defeats the argument is that whether something is good or bad is not dependent upon whether the person who is doing/did them is good or bad. Evil and good stand on their own merits (or lack thereof).

Technically, CTS wasn't really comparing anything to either Hitler or Stalin. It was more like she took the old "rock and a hard place" adage, and replaced the rock with Hitler and the hard place with Stalin, as the worst case scenario to illustrate the problem between choosing between a lesser or greater evil. At some point among the less-greater-evil spectrum, which is which becomes subjective and kind of a moot point, as both options are undesirable. Her argument is therefore an entirely different animal from a Godwin.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GodwinsLaw
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HitlerAteSugar

As a side note, if someone or a group of people commit genocide, it's actually okay to compare them to Hitler/the Nazis. Like Stalin! Similarly, if you're comparing a totalitarian dictator in an undeveloped or developing nation where there's been notable human rights violations to Hitler, it's also probably okay.

Quote:

The usage of Godwin's Law also has "Henderson's Law" as a corollary, referring to an observation by Joel Henderson that while Mike Godwin specifically stated this to pertain to "gratuitous Hitler-comparisons", Godwin's Law has been frivolously thrown at any comparison no matter how accurate or on-point.

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Friday, September 7, 2012 5:15 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Okey dokey, then. I'll do my best to find and resurrect the thread.



Yeah, you do that. (Snicker. Snort.) You'll need to invent more lies, cause I never ever said any such thing.

Quote:

Ringing any bells now?
Not in the least.

For the record, there are no formally recognized countries in Africa (Somalia included) that I see as a great example of anarchy. If they have a "government," (or warlords or someone using force on the populace) it's not anarchy, is it?

There are small pockets of tribal independence in limited areas in Africa, such as that of the Masai tribe in Kenya and Tanzania, that I see as a great example of anarchy. For me to see a population as anarchistic, it needs to meet 2 criteria.

1. They must be free from external force.
2. They must not exert any force on other populations.

Live and let live. That's anarchy.

Somalia? Not at all.


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Friday, September 7, 2012 5:17 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
Technically, CTS wasn't really comparing anything to either Hitler or Stalin. It was more like she took the old "rock and a hard place" adage, and replaced the rock with Hitler and the hard place with Stalin, as the worst case scenario to illustrate the problem between choosing between a lesser or greater evil.



Yes, thank you.

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Friday, September 7, 2012 1:21 PM

MAGONSDAUGHTER


I think about godwin when someone talks about nazis or stalin for that matter in relation to the current political climate. It doesn't help discussions because you are picking two extreme situations and it grinds discussion to a halt. "Would you vote for Stalin or Hitler?"
















*sound of crickets*




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Friday, September 7, 2012 2:23 PM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by Magonsdaughter:
... because you are picking two extreme situations and it grinds discussion to a halt. "Would you vote for Stalin or Hitler?"



Um, that's the point. I picked two very obvious evils. It helps ILLUSTRATE the dangers and relative benefits of picking between two less obvious evils.

Whether you wish to halt the discussion is up to you. There is nothing inherent in the illustration that would prevent the discussion from continuing.


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Friday, September 7, 2012 2:26 PM

MAGONSDAUGHTER




Godwin's law is often cited in online discussions as a deterrent against the use of arguments in the widespread Reductio ad Hitlerum form.[citation needed] The Reductio ad Hitlerum attempts to refute a view because it has been held by Hitler.[4] The rule does not make any statement about whether any particular reference or comparison to Adolf Hitler or the Nazis might be appropriate, but only asserts that the likelihood of such a reference or comparison arising increases as the discussion progresses, irrespective of whether it is appropriate or not. Precisely because such a comparison or reference may sometimes be appropriate, Godwin has argued that overuse of Nazi and Hitler comparisons should be avoided, because it robs the valid comparisons of their impact.[5]

from wiki

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Friday, September 7, 2012 3:06 PM

BYTEMITE


It... It's not a godwin or a reductio fallacy, just mentioning Hitler in a political context is not enough to evoke a godwin.

"According to Strauss, the Reductio ad Hitlerum is a logical fallacy that consists of trying to refute an opponent's view by comparing it to a view that would be held by Adolf Hitler or the Nazi Party. Reductio ad Hitlerum is a form of ad hominem or ad misericordiam , a fallacy of irrelevance, and a a variation on reductio ad absurdum, in which a conclusion is suggested based solely on something's or someone's origin rather than its current meaning. The suggested logic is one of guilt by association." ~also from wikipedia

That didn't happen, it wasn't even a comparison. She just mentioned Hitler.

Example of a Godwin:

"So, you support highway construction, huh? You know who else liked his highways? HITLER."

^Note the implicit guilt by association - the person making this argument is suggesting that the person is like Hitler or is a Nazi because of this one opinion. It is an insult, an ad hominem attack, and also irrelevant.

Not a Godwin:

"So when we vote, we should vote for the lesser of two evils. What if you had to vote between Hitler and Stalin?"

^There is no guilt by association, this is a rhetorical question assuming that the person being asked wouldn't vote for either of them.

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Friday, September 7, 2012 3:45 PM

MAGONSDAUGHTER


Gosh, Byte you are so right. I have seen the error of my ways. CTS's argument in bringing in Hitler and Stalin comparisons when discussing the current perception of political climate in the US now seems incredibly relevant. Thanks for your contribution.

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Friday, September 7, 2012 4:32 PM

BYTEMITE


Again, wasn't a comparison. But I'm glad at least we've moved away from calling a godwin.

Hers was a pertinent question, perfectly in line with the point that was being made here - she would much prefer a viable third option (or more) to exist, and her question highlighted the short-comings of the simple US two party system well.

In Australia, you have a parliamentary system, correct? I've often thought that having a president is a flawed concept - it becomes a place where military power can be invested. I also like that you have to form coalition governments.

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Friday, September 7, 2012 5:02 PM

MAGONSDAUGHTER


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:


In Australia, you have a parliamentary system, correct? I've often thought that having a president is a flawed concept - it becomes a place where military power can be invested. I also like that you have to form coalition governments.



There are flaws in every system, and I am not sure in the end that ours is a worthier one than yours. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses.

I see there really being a series of limited choices in democracy that you, as an individual can make. But that does not mean that its tweedle dee and tweedle dum, that neither side will make an impact. I actually see that in the US you currently have two quite different choices in terms of the type of government you will have. Ideologically they are possibly further apart than any other time in history, possibly....

I have had many discussions with yanks over the years, and often I have heard this idea that you must somehow be evenhanded about both sides, otherwise you are being partisan. You must even handedly criticise or you must even handedly praise. I see this as much folly as true partisanship, where neither side sees any merit in the others views on any topic ever.

The issue as I see it is that america has moved quite far right. I don't see extremism in both parties, I see extremism in the republicans. I see that that far right christian ideology as being the prevalent force, and that ROmney himself probably more of a pragmatist business bent has had to embrace that ideology.

And yes, there is a predominant type of political discourse that is sadly prevalent in the US (and elsewhere) that I despise. It's a negative discourse that focuses on distraction issues, rather than significant ones, and relies on soundbitey spin. And the reason that exists is because it is largely supported by a population that runs with it.

But beyond all that, it is dangerous to caste the two candidates/parties as being the same. They may not represent what you want from a government, and the best you may be able to do is choose the one that will do the least harm.

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Friday, September 7, 2012 5:34 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


HEY CTS, I think this is the thread Kiki and I were thinking of...

http://www.fireflyfans.net/mthread.aspx?bid=18&tid=32253&mid=5
75743

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Friday, September 7, 2012 6:22 PM

BYTEMITE


Quote:

But beyond all that, it is dangerous to caste the two candidates/parties as being the same. They may not represent what you want from a government, and the best you may be able to do is choose the one that will do the least harm.


Well, my particular problem is that I see them as being in cahoots, but that's probably more paranoia than it is reason or logic. But you can see how if someone like me thought that it was all a show and all the appearances were calculated, and that behind the curtain it's all deals that will benefit the lobbyists, that someone like me would think that the same policies and even wars would happen no matter who controls congress or who is president.

But I admit that I can't prove that's what's really going on. Even so, I can't shake the perception.

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Friday, September 7, 2012 6:30 PM

BYTEMITE


Sig: I see only two posts dealing with Somalia in that thread. The first is a post by Finn, who my sources indicate may have been military intelligence.

He says:

Quote:

Originally posted by Finn mac Cumhal:
Tell that to the guys in Africa, trying to survive between feuding warlords and crime bosses. How is a society in which you have to navigate a lawless terrain any more free then a society where a government enforces a rule of law? Wouldn’t you say that we are much freer with a government then they are in Sierra Leone or Somalia?



And CTS said:

Quote:

Originally posted by canttakesky:
Quote:

Tell that to the guys in Africa, trying to survive between feuding warlords and crime bosses.
There, you have feuding warlords, crime bosses, AND government all competing for power. Just because the state is incompetent (failed to consolidate their monopoly) doesn't mean the state doesn't exist.




We might be able to argue that she's WRONG, but from the sound of it, she has not misrepresented her view of somalia or changed it since then, and does not seem to have indicated she considers it a good example of an anarchic society.

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Friday, September 7, 2012 7:05 PM

MAGONSDAUGHTER


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:


Well, my particular problem is that I see them as being in cahoots, but that's probably more paranoia than it is reason or logic. But you can see how if someone like me thought that it was all a show and all the appearances were calculated, and that behind the curtain it's all deals that will benefit the lobbyists, that someone like me would think that the same policies and even wars would happen no matter who controls congress or who is president.

But I admit that I can't prove that's what's really going on. Even so, I can't shake the perception.



the system you have, is the system you have and both sides enter into its machinations, because frankly they have no choice. I think the biggest issue is how much money you have to spend to get elected as pres, which means either you have to have a very deep back pocket, or you have to find those who do to back you. In which case, you have the powerful and the wealthy's interests always at the forefront. Yes, I believe this too.

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Friday, September 7, 2012 7:25 PM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
But you can see how if someone like me thought that it was all a show and all the appearances were calculated, and that behind the curtain it's all deals that will benefit the lobbyists, that someone like me would think that the same policies and even wars would happen no matter who controls congress or who is president.

You and me both.

And apparently, the writers of the Simpsons too.


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Friday, September 7, 2012 9:44 PM

BYTEMITE


Magons: Very good points. I am also troubled by the prohibitive costs to run for office - it means they either have to be born wealthy (part of a corporate dynasty) or they have to know people who are, who can then buy their opinions and policies.

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Saturday, September 8, 2012 2:11 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
HEY CTS, I think this is the thread Kiki and I were thinking of...

http://www.fireflyfans.net/mthread.aspx?bid=18&tid=32253&mid=5
75743



Great. You proved I said that Somalia is NOT an example of anarchy.

Thank you for your support. It is so rare that it almost makes up for the lie you and Kiki told about me in the first place.

Byte, thanks for quoting and summarizing what was actually said about Somalia in that thread.

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Saturday, September 8, 2012 2:24 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by Magonsdaughter:
Ideologically they are possibly further apart than any other time in history, possibly....



Ideologically, Hitler and Stalin were different too.

You have to look at results. Actions, not words.

Is Guantanamo closed? Do we have nationalized health care? Have we stopped murdering innocent civilians overseas? Have we stopped spying on and violating our own citizens?

Or is it sufficient to spout the right ideology, but not follow up with any actions? Like Christians who say they follow Jesus but torture their fellow human beings? Is it ok to vote for hypocrites as long as they say the right thing?

Here is a good discussion between John Cusack (actor) and Jonathan Turley (constitutional lawyer) on the abuses of Obama. Note they are both liberals, but they truly care about their ideology as opposed to simply want their Side to win.

https://shannynmoore.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/john-cusack-jonathan-tur
ley-on-obamas-constitution
/

Quote:



Since mostly we hear from the daily hypocrisies of Mitt and friends, I thought we should examine “our guy” on a few issues with a bit more scrutiny than we hear from the “progressive left”, which seems to be little or none at all.

Instead of scrutiny, the usual arguments in favor of another Obama presidency are made: We must stop fanatics; it would be better than the fanatics—he’s the last line of defense from the corporate barbarians—and of course the Supreme Court. It all makes a terrible kind of sense and I agree completely with Garry Wills who described the Republican primaries as “ a revolting combination of con men & fanatics— “the current primary race has become a demonstration that the Republican party does not deserve serious consideration for public office.”

True enough.

But yet…

… there are certain Rubicon lines, as constitutional law professor Jon Turley calls them, that Obama has crossed.

All political questions are not equal no matter how much you pivot. When people die or lose their physical freedom to feed certain economic sectors or ideologies, it becomes a zero sum game for me.

This is not an exercise in bemoaning regrettable policy choices or cheering favorable ones but to ask fundamentally: Who are we? What are we voting for? And what does it mean?

(...Please read the rest of this dialogue.)



If you truly care about ideology, then stop voting for hypocrites who present no tangible difference in the big picture from people with the OPPOSITE ideology.


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