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Kimmo

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2 hours ago, Nich... said:

Many a time I'd rather have been dead, than bored.  Depends what kind of boredom is more common in the countries in question, really.  And whether 'boredom' is being used there as code for 'life is too easy, we need to make people struggle to survive again so they're not bored'.

I can't say that I ever get bored. There's always something to do. Something to watch,  read, clean. 

37 minutes ago, fliptopia said:

But when you think about the things they can and do test for and subsidise these days, it's no wonder there's a lack of funding. We want all these tests to still be government funded but it doesn't keep up with what we know about diseases and conditions now. 

You do have a point.

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3 hours ago, SacrificialNewt said:

Someone I know has just been diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer after having to wait for 6 months for a colonoscopy through the public system. She's in a country town. It would be 6 months longer for Sydney. 

public list here can get a colonoscopy within weeks, or sooner for those with strong indication to do so

depends on how well connected your gp might be, and how pushy in the right cioircumstances

 

one benefit of a lot of time on the public system is being taken seriously by the people you refer to, when you communicate a good story

 

sorry about your friend

 

and leonid is correct; higher taxes don't fix the public hospitals because it's a state responsibility - the federal state dichotomy is a fantastic mechanism for people being shafted by both echelons of government

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Also, higher taxes for health is just a proxy for more funding for health, and America has amazing funding for its health.  Shame about the outcomes.

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5 hours ago, Leonid said:

This is why capitalists will (generally) freely admit that the present system is the worst devised by man except for all the others which are even worse.

Oh, what an 'admission'. Pff, it's a back-handed wank. 

Where's the acknowledgement that waging class war on more than 90% of humanity for getting on half a century might not have been such a crash-hot idea? That fattening up the rentiers to morbidly obese levels while civilisation crumbles and democratic values become a thing of the past is possibly sub-optimal? That racing headlong into a neofeudal hellscape of poisoned, dying ecosystems (both biological and social), awash with demented propaganda in place of anything edifying, is perhaps not the best way forward? 

Just consider, as a single example, that Australians lose forty billion a year to the gambling industry. How many problems currently going unsolved for lack of funding could be pretty much eliminated with that kind of scratch? Or even just, how much better off would society be if that money just stayed in all those communities? 

But nooo, we have to keep helping the vampire squids slurp wealth from all those who have the least, creating an ever-larger underclass, because something something job creators something something public sector bad something something thoroughly discredited trickle-down bullshit. 

I never cease to be blown away that so many have been so completely sucked in by such an obviously hollow scam, and even after 2008, when the very worst of the scumbags were sprung red-handed at these utterly indefensible shenanigans, folks just stood by and watched while their governments signed everybody up for another round. 

Having put up with this crap for an entire lifetime, I'm kind of losing patience with everyone willing to be played for a bunch of mugs, not to mention all the brain-dead stooges who imagine they have anything to gain by selling the entire damn biosphere down the river, who can totally just Fuck. Right. Off. at this point. Anyone who dares condescend to me about this extremely serious business can GTFO. 

Edited by Kimmo
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Cute.

Hey Kimmo, just consider for a single example that socialists lost 100 million lives last century to famines and wars against their own citizens. Remember, the operative statement here being: their own citizens.

But I tell you what champ. You're one of them true believers. My namesake was one too.

Oh he loved revolution. He loved sticking it to the rich landowners. He believer with a richness and faith that only comes from an atheist not ready to give up a belief in a higher power, as long as it wasn't Abrahamic - he believed truly, deeply and powerfully, in the equality of man.

And then the revolution came, his ideological faction got absolutely shattered by the reality of actually having to clean the rubbish, and putting bread on shelves. And all his ideological purist friends disappeared into the camp of the "practical wing". And then he watched as his friends became worse than what he threw out.

And then one day, one of those true believers that was now on the side of his once-friends, tracked him down and embedded an ice pick in his brain.

 

The Soviet Union said he was a traitor. I don't think he was. 

 

I think he was, like you, utterly misguided by a fundamental misunderstanding of man. And that is that very very few purists can survive the transition to power untainted by the love of power. Because that is all that idealism is - hidden love, hidden thirst for absolute power, that corrupts absolutely.

 

I get you've got your beef with capitalism and 2008. 

 

You ain't seen shit.

 

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Heh.

Dunno when you were last in Sweden Leo, but I was last there somewhere around 2005, hadn't changed much from when I was a more frequent vistor through the seventies and eighties.

It's no dream, it's not perfect, some crazy did assassinate their PM in the street a while back, but it sort of works for them, and not just because of high taxation that is applied to their cradle-to-grave mentality with great health systems, great education, etc. only those who want to fall through the cracks do so.

Partly it's just the Swedish, and to varying extent the Scandinavian character and way of looking at life but it goes much further.

They are for example aggressively neutral, backed by a strong indigenous defense force  and national service. They do underwrite the ideas that created Saab, Volvo, Ikea, other initiatives that have given them a reputation for high quality. Boring cars, I'd never buy one, but very solid and their aircraft are better than good. They are old now but I flew a Viggen way back, impressed the hell out of me and the Grippen is better.

I'm not a all sure that I could live there but I raised it as an example of a relatively successful welfare state.

Cheers

 

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Let's say we somehow got rid of gambling.  Where's that money going to actually go to, next?

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3 minutes ago, chrisg said:

but I raised it as an example of a relatively successful welfare state

Powered by an extremely open laissez-fare economy, with high productivity, an ethos of work and the unemployed looked down upon and shamed for it.

Sweden's number 15 on the list of the freest economies of the world. Ahead of the United States.

Corporate tax rate of 22%. 17.1% lower than the US marginal corporate tax rate.

 

 

I haven't been to Sweden. But my cousin Katya, her mother, her husband and her kids live in Gothenburg.

1 minute ago, Nich... said:

Let's say we somehow got rid of gambling.  Where's that money going to actually go to, next?

It's an addiction, right? Probably to another addiction.

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@LeonidHorsefeathers. After the rich tradition of RWNJ pseudo-intellectuals everywhere, you conflate socialism with mass murder like some sort of conditioned reflex; it's like you're incapable of putting your brain in gear on the subject. 

Any time there's a revolution of that sort, it's an extremely dangerous situation as plays for power behind the scenes are made, and pretty much every time it gets hijacked by some utter fucking psycho or other. That says sweet FA about socialism, and only slightly more about human nature. It's about the dynamics of top-down organisation, which is where anarchy steps in. 

Don't dribble to me about my supposed lack of understanding of human nature - I actually pay attention to science on the matter, which points to the fact that most people are fundamentally altruistic, because altruism is just enlightened self-interest. Sociopaths are pretty handy at getting normal folks to abdicate their sovereignty, so the main thing we need to do to get on track is institute a culture of anarchic participatory democracy, which would prevent a fuckwit like Trump from ever being able to hold any reins. When the wisdom of the crowd is on the case, ignorant guesses average out to equal expert appraisals. 

That's what the evidence says.  You want to talk pie-in-the-sky? How about silver-spooned wankers raised in blazers presuming their impoverished born-to-rule perspective is sufficient to equip anything better than the most woeful stab in the dark at managing entire societies, not to mention a biosphere. Pff

Edited by Kimmo
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19 minutes ago, Nich... said:

Let's say we somehow got rid of gambling.  Where's that money going to actually go to, next?

Jobs and growth, innit? Lol. 

Where do jobs cone from?

Consumer demand. 

Where does demand come from? 

Disposable income. 

Or, maybe that money will just go to the next rapacious pack of corporate bastards given a leg-up by corrupt douchebags pissing all over the notion of representation of their constituency.  Is that what you're getting at? 

Edited by Kimmo

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2 minutes ago, Kimmo said:

you conflate socialism with mass murder

I mean we could ask the mass murdered about their opinion of socialism, but they're... you know... murdered.

3 minutes ago, Kimmo said:

Any time there's a revolution of that sort, it's an extremely dangerous situation as plays for power behind the scenes are made, and pretty much every time it gets hijacked by some utter fucking psycho or other. That says sweet FA about socialism, and only slightly more about human nature. It's about the dynamics of top-down organisation, which is where anarchy steps in. 

Ah yes. Here we go.

I love this one.

To the purists, socialism is never socialism, even when it's socialism.

5 minutes ago, Kimmo said:

Don't dribble to me about my supposed lack of understanding of human nature - I actually pay attention to science on the matter, which points to the fact that most people are fundamentally altruistic, because altruism is just enlightened self-interest.

Power in its absolute form is also enlightened self-interest.

Ask any genocidaire, left or right - why they did it. For the people. Always.

6 minutes ago, Kimmo said:

anarchic participatory democracy

What's happened to you @Kimmo? You used to be much better at putting words together.

Think those three through. Come back when you've found the fatal flaw.

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1 minute ago, Kimmo said:

Jobs and growth, innit? Lol. 

Where do jobs cone from?

Consumer demand. 

Where does demand come from? 

Disposable income. 

Or, maybe that money will just go to the next rapacious pack of corporate bastards given a leg-up by corrupt douchebags pissing all over the notion of representation of their constituency. 

I think Leo's probably more likely.  Different addictions are different, but I mean, I guess we could just make the drugs free, if we want to literally just push money through specific economic laneways and not others.

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28 minutes ago, Leonid said:

Oh he loved revolution. He loved sticking it to the rich landowners. He believer with a richness and faith that only comes from an atheist not ready to give up a belief in a higher power, as long as it wasn't Abrahamic - he believed truly, deeply and powerfully, in the equality of man.

Yeah, I get what you are saying here. I feel, in some ways the same but I lean more left or centre left. You need a system that on one hand gives all the people a "somewhat" equal opportunity to succeed at the start though. That has to be balanced by there being rewards for doing well.

The capitalism model gives rewards for doing well at the expense or otherwise of others. Maybe we need to look for or design a model that rewards those that do things that help society in general. So you make a company that is successful financially but can't do well unless they (and these are just examples off the top of my head late at night) are environmentally sound, make products that don't exploit things like addiction and can be further rewarded for things that actively help their local or national communities depending on their size and scope. 

Like I hinted at before, this either or approach where ideas are limited to the progressive or conservative, capitalist or socialist is what I think is bringing us down. Until someone in politics is willing to stop point scoring and admitting there is some credibility in some ideas from the other camp we'll stay in the stagnant swamp in which we stand or swap it for a new one. 

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9 minutes ago, Leonid said:

Think

That activity is a whole other ball game for you. 

The combination of the vast gulf between our paradigms and what appears to me as your trollish bad faith leaves me with absolutely zero desire to engage with you, man. 

Henceforth, just imagine me saying FUCK NO to anything you say of a remotely political nature, and I reckon we can save ourselves a whole lot of swiping and typing. 

Edited by Kimmo

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1 minute ago, fliptopia said:

Yeah, I get what you are saying here. I feel, in some ways the same but I lean more left or centre left. You need a system that on one hand gives all the people a "somewhat" equal opportunity to succeed at the start though. That has to be balanced by there being rewards for doing well.

The capitalism model gives rewards for doing well at the expense or otherwise of others. Maybe we need to look for or design a model that rewards those that do things that help society in general. So you make a company that is successful financially but can't do well unless they (and these are just examples off the top of my head late at night) are environmentally sound, make products that don't exploit things like addiction and can be further rewarded for things that actively help their local or national communities depending on their size and scope. 

Like I hinted at before, this either or approach where ideas are limited to the progressive or conservative, capitalist or socialist is what I think is bringing us down. Until someone in politics is willing to stop point scoring and admitting there is some credibility in some ideas from the other camp we'll stay in the stagnant swamp in which we stand or swap it for a new one. 

That's the thing flip. You don't realise it but all the things you think are socialist or "left" don't progress society as much as you think they do. And on the other side, things that are libertarian or right don't retard social progress as much as you think they do.

 

Kimmo's fundamental rage is based on his powerlessness to effect change and his anger at the apathy of others to see "the truth". I get it, I truly do. I've seen the same earnestness in Orthodox Jews, in brainwashed Russian nationalists (including some in my wife's family).

 

But just think about it. We want our doctors paid well, working in good conditions, with good medicines and on the same page we want to receive good care, responsible diagnoses and doctors who haven't worked 18h before coming to see us. You can't do these things in a socialist welfare state. You can't buy the medicines you need, pay the doctors what they need, buy the latest machinery... etc. It doesn't work.

 

It's why I brought in the example of Trotsky's mates who turned "practical".

 

The reality is the world is a bigger place than ideology. Someone has to shovel shit too. And someone has to specialise, literally specialise in excrement to develop policies, mechanisms and effective methods to remove the stuff that comes out of your arse and move it away. It's a real downer revolutionaries never think of.

4 minutes ago, Kimmo said:

That activity is a whole other ball game for you. 

The combination of the vast gulf between our paradigms and what appears to me as your trollish bad faith leaves me with absolutely zero desire to engage with you, man. 

Henceforth, just imagine me saying FUCK NO to anything you say of a remotely political nature, and I reckon we can save ourselves a whole lot of swiping and typing. 

And there's why nobody liked Trotsky.

Even his friends.

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4 minutes ago, fliptopia said:

That has to be balanced by there being rewards for doing well.

This is widely regarded as some kind of sacred article of faith, while relatively little concern comes from the same quarters regarding gaping chasms in the safety net. 

Meanwhile, productivity keeps rising, threatening to put most of the first world out of a job (particularly if bullshit makework jobs of zero intrinsic value went away). So I'm puzzled as to the pressing need for us all to be so industrious, especially since most of the things we do are actually a pretty bad idea, from a holistic perspective. 

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institute a culture of anarchic participatory democracy, which would prevent a fuckwit like Trump from ever being able to hold any reins

Please explain?  System, and how that'd work.
Is it some system where everyone would need to be consulted every 5 minutes or something?

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Just now, Rybags said:

 

 

Please explain?  System, and how that'd work.
Is it some system where everyone would need to be consulted every 5 minutes or something?

See anarchists aren't actually anarchists. They're actually cultists who believe in small communal decision making. The participatory democracy is a cute nod to the great unwashed to make them believe anything other than regal feudalism is the result ?

In pure form they eschew any form of government, in favour of smaller councils.

 

And everyone is altruistic, no-one wants power and every local commune works to the benefit of every single other commune with no ambition or competitive streak in anyone anywhere.

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1 minute ago, Rybags said:

Please explain?  System, and how that'd work.

Dude, I dunno about single-handedly pulling an entire system of social organisation out of my arse at quarter past one in the morning... 

But try to imagine a world where the business of government wasn't left up to unaccountable turkeys in suits, but a matter of public participation, leveraging digital communications to enable folks to discuss things pretty much as they do today, except rather than spread across multiple venues, pooled together, and rather than being irrelevant and impotent, actually being where government happens. 

Obviously the details matter, and there's no shortage of scope for debate on how it could work, but just take a look at the fact that despite technology having enabled this possibility for a couple of decades or more, a national conversation about the possibility remains the stuff of sci-fi, despite the widespread dissatisfaction with the political class and business as usual. 

The ratbags making bank from the status quo must be pretty happy with how paralysed peoples' imaginations are. 

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1 minute ago, Kimmo said:

how paralysed peoples' imaginations are

Which gets back to (one reason) why AOC is such a fucken champ

This 29yo waitress from Queens is dragging the Overton window back from the complete madness induced by decades of neoliberal propaganda. FUCK YEAH

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6 minutes ago, Kimmo said:

But try to imagine a world where the business of government wasn't left up to unaccountable turkeys in suits, but a matter of public participation

We've had that in our very distant past and in recent times on smaller scale.

It's a great way of getting absolutely nothing done. There's a reason we shifted away from direct democracy to representative democracy.

 

Are you going to show up to a month's worth of 8h panel discussions on excrement management? I ain't.

I'd rather pay someone to represent me at that meeting. I'll proxy my vote.

In fact, I don't even want to know the details. I just trust that Bob, my representative doesn't like the smell of sewage and will implement an acceptable solution to excrement management. That's what I pay him for.

Edited by Leonid

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@Leonid I keep getting notifications that you're quoting me. 

I hope you're not expecting me to read your posts, let alone reply - you have my final word; fuck no. Like I said, just assume that. 

Can someone point me to the ignore button? 

ETA - *sigh* I was curious to see how consistent you're being with the trolling, so I actuality read that last post. 

Since you're just being deliberately obtuse, I'll pretend you're actually that thick and humor you for a moment. 

Nobody's holding a gun to your head to contribute noise on matters you don't care about; if you were the slightest bit willing to actually try on the idea rather than setting out to shitcan and straw man, that would occur to you pretty quick. 

But of course you're just arguing in bad faith, so there we go. I'm not interested in 'discussing' anything remotely in the purview of ideology with you, dude. 

Now where's that ignore button... 

Edited by Kimmo

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1 minute ago, Kimmo said:

@Leonid I keep getting notifications that you're quoting me. 

I hope you're not expecting me to read your posts, let alone reply - you have my final word; fuck no. Like I said, just assume that. 

Can someone point me to the ignore button? 

Off course.

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The problem I see with government by public participation - it'd be the loudest, squeaky wheel that gets the grease.

We'd have people with too much time on their hands doing all of the "public participation" and as a result have them running the joint, ie the elderly, and those too lazy to get a job.

 

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2 minutes ago, Rybags said:

The problem I see with government by public participation - it'd be the loudest, squeaky wheel that gets the grease.

We'd have people with too much time on their hands doing all of the "public participation" and as a result have them running the joint, ie the elderly, and those too lazy to get a job.
 

Not to mention that it's fucking boring. Most government legislative work is boring as shit.

People with functioning brain stems aren't going to want to participate in all of that.

 

I am distantly (and I mean distantly) related to a guy called Robert Ilatov who serves in the Knesset. I've seen him twice in my life and only talked to him once.

It doesn't get more fiery than Israeli politics but he said that 90-95% of their daily work is basically just procedural stuff that nobody gives a shit about but has to pass. Few arguments, etc. But just the sheer breadth of things that go across his desk is just insane. In one day he might vote about the passage of a bill to change soy bean taxes (who the fuck could possibly care?) and he has to read it to make sure he's aware. On another he might be voting on the banning of particular toys due to safety issues, etc...

 

 

If we're going to do this anarchic participatory democracy utopia, be prepared for power to amass with the most ambitious, least classically productive and most power-obsessed. Because they're the only ones who could be interested in it if its on a voluntary model.

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