• Isaac
    10.3k
    NATO can't colonize (like land grab), it's a defense pact among member countries, not a country. Countries may or may not apply for NATO membership.jorndoe

    Best example of it being Russia's attack on Ukraine. :smirk:ssu

    Again, literally any reading on the nature of international power written after the fucking stone age will show you that no, agents willingly taking a choice does not exhaust the experience of power and no, an land invasion to take territory is not a very good example of modern imperialism,

    Read Nye. Read Lukes. Read any modern analysis of international power. It is neither exhausted by, no even exemplified by, military invasion.

    But of course, I forget, those are experts are you're here to 'learn' from your fellow posters (except me, or boethius, or tzeentch, or manuel, or...anyone who disagrees with you it seems)

    Still waiting on that list of stuff you've learned by the way. 460 pages now of this educational exchange you claim we're in. so far you've given me one chart (which you said was wrong in the same post).

    It's a simple question. If you're here to learn, what have you learnt?
  • jorndoe
    3.4k
    , what's the relevance? Different uses of the word? Like an etymological fallacy, an argument from semantics is kinda'ftarded here. Check Jan 14, 2023, Jan 31, 2023, Mar 6, 2023 (what came up at a glance, might dig more repeats out if time allows). Putin made a choice. Ukrainians have chosen.
  • Isaac
    10.3k
    what's the relevance?jorndoe

    To you, nothing. I can't see how a thorough understanding of of how modern international power is exerted could help your project here.

    I just assume that some people are reading along who are interested in the crisis, it's origins, its resolution... For those, like yourself, just interested in making sure everyone is absolutely certain you know who the bad guy is, I can't see it helping at all. You just carry on...
  • ssu
    8.2k
    an land invasion to take territory is not a very good example of modern imperialism,Isaac
    But it is a perfect example of classic 19th Century and earlier imperialism, which Russia has gone back to. This makes it so obvious. The annexation of land territory, is indeed something that isn't something much seen in post-WW2 history, but hence this should make obvious and quite clear the fact that Russia is imperialistic. The rhetoric coming from the Kremlin is surprisingly similar to the kind of attitudes you could hear in the start of the 20th Century in Imperial Russia, starting from the exceptionality of Russia and the threat that Western culture and Western style democracy poses Russia.

    You just carry on...Isaac
    And you should accept the definition that dictionaries give for the word imperialism, for starters. :wink:
  • Isaac
    10.3k
    And you should accept the definition that dictionaries give for the word imperialism, for startersssu

    Literally the first hit on Google...


    imperialism

    noun The extension of a nation's authority by territorial acquisition or by the establishment of economic and political dominance over other nations.
    https://www.wordnik.com/words/imperialism
  • Isaac
    10.3k
    And you should accept the definition that dictionaries give for the word imperialism, for starters.ssu

    Imperialism is the state policy, practice, or advocacy of extending power and dominion, especially by direct territorial acquisition or by gaining political and economic control of other areashttps://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperialism
  • Isaac
    10.3k
    And you should accept the definition that dictionaries give for the word imperialism, for starters.ssu

    imperialism
    noun [ U ]
    politics often disapproving
    uk
    /ɪmˈpɪə.ri.ə.lɪ.zəm/ us
    /ɪmˈpɪr.i.ə.lɪ.zəm/
    a system in which a country rules other countries, sometimes having used force to get power over them:
    the age of imperialism
    a situation in which one country has a lot of power or influence over others, especially in political and economic matters:
    https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/imperialism
  • ssu
    8.2k
    Yes. good Isaac.

    And oh, look how it starts, which you haven't put to bold: The extension of a nation's authority by territorial acquisition.

    So, I think we should agree that Russia is imperialistic in it's actions? The other actions, trying to influence and so on also are on the mark...
  • Isaac
    10.3k
    And you should accept the definition that dictionaries give for the word imperialism, for starters. :wink:ssu

    imperialism, State policy, practice, or advocacy of extending power and dominion, especially by direct territorial acquisition or by gaining political and economic control of other areas.https://www.britannica.com/summary/imperialism
  • ssu
    8.2k
    Great, that's a lot of definitions in many replies.

    And what doesn't fit aptly to the actions of Russia?
  • Isaac
    10.3k
    I think we should agree that Russia is imperialistic in it's actions?ssu

    Insofar as all major powers are imperialist in their actions, possibly. Not uniquely so, nor even very high on the list.

    The definitions describe the extension of power. Arguments have been made that the invasion was an attempt to retain power (in a region Russia previously had power over) against foreign imperialism (extending America's power).

    So one could say that Russia is defending its current sphere of influence (its current 'empire').

    Or one could say that Russia was acting in a traditionally imperialist manner, but in doing so acts no differently to other major powers.

    What is not plausible is that Russia is acting in a uniquely imperialist manner and so uniquely needs stopping.
  • ssu
    8.2k
    Arguments have been made that the invasion was an attempt to retain power (in a region Russia previously had power over)Isaac
    Oh they want to retain it.

    That's what Putin has been talking about all the time: how illegal it was for the Soviets to make Ukraine a republic and then to give Crimea to Ukraine. How Ukraine should be part of Russia, or at least Novorossiya (which is now part of Russia).

    And that's the whole problem. That's why my country is joining NATO. And that's why the Baltic States have been so lucky that they were able to join NATO. All these countries are pretty upset because for Russia retaining that power means literally being part of Russia (at least for former Soviet Republics). We Finns know what kind of world it is to live in the sphere of influence of the Kremlin. It really sucks.

    Once the Soviet Empire collapsed, Putin didn't choose the softer approach like France did with it's colonies. France granted it's colonies independence, but France has pretty much stayed in it's colonies (except Algeria and Vietnam, for obvious reasons). But France has accepted that these countries are not it's colonies, not part of it, and understand such rhetoric would basically cut the friendly ties it can enjoy now.

    That's were Russia differs and that's why all the fuss. Putin really sees the collapse of the Soviet Union as a mistake, an accident, something he has to be repair. No other former imperialist power, UK, France, Austria etc. have such delusional ideas that their old empire could be repossessed and put back together. Once some territory gets independence, that's a divorce for life.

    The real tragedy is that if only Russia would have had leaders that accepted that the empire was lost and the states given independence weren't coming back, it would have all the tools to continue with the "modern" approach to imperialism. Sweden and Finland would have never joined NATO and the EU would have continued to disarm itself.
  • boagie
    385
    NATO has been usurped by the United States as its own vehicle of aggression, placing its nuclear weapons in each added member state; ever usurping the sovereignty of each state that joins. If it were an individual, we were talking about we'd call him a psychopath.
  • Isaac
    10.3k
    The real tragedy is that if only Russia would have had leaders that accepted that the empire was lost and the states given independence weren't coming back, it would have all the tools to continue with the "modern" approach to imperialism.ssu

    I don't see how that's a 'tragedy'. In terms of lives lost, impoverished and enslaved, the US's approach to 'modern' imperialism takes a far greater toll on human well-being than Russia's version. Very widely spread out wars, though devastating at the time, are not a patch on economic oppression for causing loss of life, no matter what Hollywood has to say on the matter. Air pollution kills more people in a few weeks than the war has so far. The West's 'imperialist' habit of offloading it pollution, labour, waste, and extraction costs to its modern 'colonies' kills whole orders of magnitude more people than Russia's border skirmishes.

    Why do you think the West has so little support from it's 'colonies' opposing Russia. Most see the whole thing as two warring bullies - if not actively seeing Russia as the smaller party.

    And as far as...

    Sweden and Finland would have never joined NATO and the EU would have continued to disarm itself.ssu

    ... We're hurtling toward global war not because of Russia's petty border disputes. We're hurtling towards global war because hawks see an opportunity to profiteer from crisis and it seems to take so little now to convince gullible idiots to cheer-lead the whole process.

    But you already know all this, we've been through it a dozen times and you've clearly no interest in actually examining the foundational assumptions which underlie your position, so, absent of a more interesting conversation...
  • ssu
    8.2k
    I don't see how that's a 'tragedy'.Isaac
    Oh you don't see this war and the Russo-Georgian war of 2008 etc. as a tragedy? Well, objectives like containing NATO for Russia would have been easy without any war. Just as easy as kicking out the US from Central Asia. Assuming that would have been the only objective.

    The problem likely is that then Putin would have had to face the problem of Russia's economy directly. But because he didn't have answers to that, then I guess empire building was an answer. And it did make him popular in Russia, no denying of that.

    the US's approach to 'modern' imperialism takes a far greater toll on human well-being than Russia's version.Isaac
    I'm happy at least that you aren't denying Russian imperialism. And naturally the actions of the US have far more reach than the actions of Russia. The US has had a real trainwreck of a policy in the Middle-East for sure, which has brought death and misery there even if there would be instability and wars even without an active US there. Yet the policy failure is obvious: first from CENTO (Iran, Iraq and Pakistan as allies with Saudi-Arabia) to "Twin pillars" (Saudi-Arabia and Iran as US allies), then to "Dual containment" (of Iran and Iraq) and now troops on the ground still fighting the "War on Terror", which Americans have forgotten about. But that's another topic we could discuss. Yet when it comes to European security, the desire to join NATO in North and East Europe has happened because of Putin's actions.

    Air pollution kills more people in a few weeks than the war has so far. The West's 'imperialist' habit of offloading it pollution, labour, waste, and extraction costs to its modern 'colonies' kills whole orders of magnitude more people than Russia's border skirmishes.Isaac
    There's a climate change thread on the Forum among others, which would be better for this topic. And you think India and China are still colonies of the West? And I don't know if it is tactful to compare any war to something that actually has been killing people for a long time (as cooking food with an open fireplace creates an air pollution hazard).

    ... We're hurtling toward global war not because of Russia's petty border disputes. We're hurtling towards global war because hawks see an opportunity to profiteer from crisis and it seems to take so little now to convince gullible idiots to cheer-lead the whole process.Isaac
    If you disregard the politics (just as the actors in this conflict) and stick to Smedley Butler's line "that war is a racket", that answers far less than you think. But it's one point.
  • Isaac
    10.3k
    Oh you don't see this war and the Russo-Georgian war of 2008 etc. as a tragedy?ssu

    Straw man. You said...

    if only Russia would have had leaders that accepted that the empire was lost and the states given independence weren't coming back, it would have all the tools to continue with the "modern" approach to imperialism.ssu

    ...that is the quote I was responding to.

    Russia's border wars are a tragedy. It would have been better had they not had them. It would not have been better had they adopted "the tools to continue with the "modern" approach to imperialism". The modern approach to imperialism demonstrably kills and immiserates more people than Russia's current old-school method.

    the actions of the US have far more reach than the actions of Russia. The US has had a real trainwreck of a policy in the Middle-East for sure, which has brought death and misery there even if there would be instability and wars even without an active US there. Yet the policy failure is obvious: first from CENTO (Iran, Iraq and Pakistan as allies with Saudi-Arabia) to "Twin pillars" (Saudi-Arabia and Iran as US allies), then to "Dual containment" (of Iran and Iraq) and now troops on the ground still fighting the "War on Terror", which Americans have forgotten about. But that's another topic we could discuss.ssu

    It's not "another topic". It's this topic because the US are instrumental in the current strategy for the resolution of the conflict (the strategy you support). If the US has had an effect on the countries it has interfered with that was worse than if they'd left well alone, that is strong evidence for the theory that they ought leave Ukraine well alone too (or, better, change tactics and help out in a positive way).

    You keep wanting to focus only on one party to this crisis. Ignoring Ukraine, ignoring the US, ignoring Europe.

    Yes, Russia's actions are tragic and will cause a lot of misery. But your fundamental error is that you assume that the mere tragedy of an action is sufficient to justify any response designed to mitigate it, and that's clearly false.

    We have to compare the tragedy of continued war with the tragedy of our options to end it. Continued war (and Russian control of Dombas, Crimea) will be a tragedy. But avoiding that tragedy by flooding the world's top black market arms dealer with untraceable weapons, destroying an economy and making it servile to US and European banks, devastating global food and fertiliser supplies, increasing US dominance of the energy markets, and risking nuclear war... are more tragic.

    Hence we must find another way of minimising the tragedy of Russian land-grabbing.
  • neomac
    1.3k
    You paint all opposition as propaganda and fail to see your own biases. It's either monumentally naive or messianic. You're not some kind of zen master rationalist, no matter how much you'd love to see yourself that way. You're an ordinary human - biased, culturally embedded, and cognitively as limited as any human. Your hypothalamus steals control from your prefrontal cortex under stress the same as the rest of us. In short, you are biased, you succumb to the same cognitive failings, you defend beliefs on the basis of how well established they are, your assessment of truth is embedded in a narrative which itself is unexamined…just like everybody else.Isaac

    Terminology needs to be clarified because I too have been accused of spreading Western propaganda, by you and others, yet I don’t think we share the same notion of “propaganda”. For example, I still don’t understand, in your jargon, what kind of attitude, activity, beliefs or claims can the notion of “propaganda” be contrasted to, to get its distinctive meaning. As far as I am concerned, I can disagree with Tzeench’s “diversion hypothesis” to explain the starting of the War, Boethious’ explanation of the American/Western attitude in supporting Ukraine for fear of a “nuclear escalation”, and with the idea that mainstream media aligned with the government are purposefully ignoring or downplaying Hersh’s report because it goes against their interest. But that’s not a reason to call such arguments “propaganda”. If I find an argument or claim irrational or not enough rationally compelling and therefore I oppose it, that doesn’t mean I would consider it propaganda. So it’s false that I paint all opposition as propaganda. To me political propaganda consists in an activity focused on mobilising people typically through evaluative/emotional arguments or direct solicitation into doing some political action wrt politicians or policies or the collectivity (I use “militant” or “activist” to describe people engaged in political propaganda activities). I don’t have necessarily a problem with that but things turn bad when the arguments and counterarguments turn into repeated fallacious attempts to support ones’ views, misrepresent opposing views, and discrediting opponents. My problem is more with that part.
    Now, in our past exchanges I might have been biased, instrumental to some political agenda, spread some propaganda memes, said things that offended you and others, nurture some deep desire to fix the world but it must be clear that I’m not militant in the sense I specified, I don’t participate in this forum to mobilise people into taking politician accountable or save people’s lives or fix the world, I’m here just to engage in rational scrutiny. That’s why, differently from you, I do not care if after 400 pages people didn’t change their mind (other than for the fact that they may become boring by repeating the same arguments) or if they don’t participate in spreading Hersh’s investigation (independently from its accuracy) for a powerful response against politicians or fight along with you against the capitalist imperialism. But I do care about how fallacious is the way people like me and you talk, argue, and counterargue. I do care to profit of any or almost any occasion to express my thoughts through consistent and plausible arguments, illustrative examples, terminological clarifications instead of outraged sarcasm.
    Concerning your objection, I would counter that it looks pointless, self-defeating and self-delusional.
    Pointless because a certain practice like rational scrutiny, zen, chess, jogging, etc. can be pursued and enjoyed even if one is not excelling at it. And the fact that me, a zen master, a chess player, and jogger are “ordinary human - biased, culturally embedded, and cognitively as limited as any human” doesn’t exclude that rational scrutiny, zen, chess playing and jogging are different activities, or that I must practice and enjoy them equally. So, “rational scrutiny” is not “doing propaganda”. They are two different activities. Here I practice rational scrutiny not propaganda as you do. I enjoy practicing rational scrutiny even if I do not excel at it. And all that doesn’t equate nor needs to equate to explicitly or implicitly denying that e.g. I am “an ordinary human - biased, culturally embedded, and cognitively as limited as any human” as you seem to suggest.
    It’s self-defeating because if you want to meaningfully talk about being “biased”, “cognitive failings” and “unexamined narrative”, you yourself must have an idea of how to establish “biased” vs “unbiased”, “cognitive success” vs “cognitive failures“ and “unexamined narratives” vs “examined narratives”, and be able to illustrate such distinctions over concrete cases in a way that is sharable and reusable. Since to me those distinctions are essentially resulting from the practice of rational scrutiny, you yourself would need to practice rational scrutiny over my beliefs in a way that is pertinently similar to what I do when I actually illustrate your own intellectual failures through how you actually argue and talk in given circumstances. And look more rationally compelling than I am, at least, occasionally. But if you too need to practice rational scrutiny, and those pointless observations and accusations would constitute an objection against me practicing rational scrutiny, the same would hold for you.
    It’s self-delusional because we both know how hard it is for you to practice rational scrutiny. Indeed you need to caricature my views, strawman me, opportunistically chop my quotations in order to identify my putative intellectual failures. In other words, you need to artificially fabricate or distort your opponents’ views to be able to sound rationally compelling. But that’s intellectually dishonest, that’s punching under the belt. Not to mention that the general and most certainly compelling assumption that I’m “an ordinary human - biased, culturally embedded, and cognitively as limited as any human” doesn’t replace the actual effort required to apply rational scrutiny to my claims in concrete cases.
    Conclusion: your objection is not rationally compelling at all.


    The difference with you, and a few others of similar ilk, is that part of that unexamined narrative is the idea that there is no unexamined narrative. When it's pushed (if it's pushed hard enough) it reaches this brick wall where there's no part in the story, there's no role. It's what you do then... that's the interesting bit.Isaac

    No idea what you are talking about. What is the “unexamined narrative” in all what I said? In what sense is “unexamined”? What did I say that makes you believe “that part of that unexamined narrative is the idea that there is no unexamined narrative”? If I believed “there is no unexamined narrative”, why would I need to engage in rational scrutiny at all?



    which of the 2 Substack articles do you want me to rely on? — neomac


    We're not talking about your reliance. You're free to do what you want. we're talking about the effect of having mainstream media in the thrall of governments and corporate interests. That's what this is about. Hersh's articles went against those interests and as such is was summarily either ignored or smeared. That treatment is a danger to freedom of thought because the implied authority of the mainstream media amplifies their voice. As such, if that voice is captured by minority interests, it harms debate - it skews public discourse in favour of those minorities artificially. Since independent journalists are manifold and (as you say) present a wide range of opinions with a low centre of authority, the issue is one-way. A handful of companies own virtually all mainstream media, and can be shown to directly influence it. That's the issue here.
    Isaac

    First, who is “we”? You accused me of “lauding” the mainstream media or making the following argument “mainstream media must be right because people not on the mainstream media are wrong because the mainstream media says so”, nobody else did in this thread, and I talked about reliance to clarify why claiming that I’m “lauding” the mainstream media is an exaggeration or that the circular argument you attributed to me is a strawman. That comment you quoted wasn’t meant to talk about my reliance but to suggest that the contrast you were highlighting between mainstream and independent media is emphasized at the expense of the fact that within both the mainstream and the independent media there is room for competing views.
    Second, it’s Hersh’s article that went against those interests or Hersh himself that went against those interests? It’s been years that Hersh is publicly polemical about the major news outlets which he used to work for and rejected other past investigations of his (https://www.huffpost.com/entry/seymour-hersh-syria-report_n_4409674). Their reaction and Hersh complaining about it fit already into such rivlarous pattern independently from the content of Hersh’s current article.
    Third, probably due to my limited imagination, I have some difficulty to imagine mainstream media which are not “in the thrall of” governments and corporate interests, if we are talking about news outlets, given the relevance of the news outlets to influence people, the available means and institutional role of such subjects. So if that would suffice to endanger freedom of thought, maybe it’s not independent journalists what we really need, but to remove government and corporations as such. Until then, the freedom of thought one can realistically expect is whatever one can get at best in a media system where mainstream news outlets are “in the thrall of” governments and corporate interests, and yet there are other independent sources of information, like we enjoy in the West. Indeed, even Hersh himself needs Western mainstream news outlets to spread his reports. as it happened in many past occasions. Wasn’t it the case Hersh didn’t have anything to complain about. But this suggests that the problem doesn’t need to be the fact that mainstream news outlets are “in the thrall of” governments and corporate interests, but in the specific conditions that enable or compromise independent investigative journalism to be published or get visible though mainstream news outlets. Like what conditions? Well in the case of Hersh e.g. antagonising his old publishers (to which one might add the choice of joining the company of anti-mainstream narratives on Substack plus a history of “editorial issues”), and refusing to go to other potentially interested mainstream publishers (the mainstream antagonists of Biden’s administration).
    Fourth, I don’t want to dodge the issue of the newsworthiness of Hersh’s article (several mainstream outlets might have grabbed Hersh’ article just due to its newsworthiness, also because Hersh is/was one of the well-reputed investigative journalist after all), so what other condition might have weighed in and overshadowed Hersh’s article’ newsworthiness? I guess the war itself. After all, it’s said: truth is the first casualty in war. And this may be very well true also for Western democracies. By that I do not mean to specifically suggest that Hersh’s article is accurate in part or fully (possibility that I do not need to exclude a priori), but that the bitter truth (whatever it is) is definitely worth to bipartisanly cover up, as long as possible, during war time. Why? Because this truth might be big trouble for the US and its allies, and get in the way of their joined but still not fully-committed fight against Russia with problematic consequences that might survive Biden’s administration: e.g. if the responsible was Russia, it would be an attack on NATO soil, if it was a NATO country it would an attack from NATO to Russia, unless the Ukrainians did it with the help of Poland, etc. Indeed these scenarios might be A) offering an incentive to escalation with Russia B) nurturing political tensions within the American alliance system in the West (especially with Germany) and beyond (if the US had direct or indirect responsibilities for the sabotage), C) be another source of embarrassment with the Western/the Rest public opinions for the cover-up, D) not to mention that full account about that sabotage may reveal sensitive details which are still vital for the war against Russia. BTW, political tensions with Germany might be assuaged behind doors with a compensation (e.g. more generous gas supply) for the missed opportunity of resuming business with Russia through Nord Stream 2 immediately after the war. In the end, Nord Stream 2 was financed by the Russians (not the Germans), its usage was halted due to the war, Germany dependance from it was overwhelmingly reduced, and the missed opportunity is not irreversible (i.e. the damage can be repaired within months).


    it’s matter of you deciding to bring here in this forum the worst propaganda style of arguing that anybody can easily find on partisan posts of popular social networks. You could be more rationally compelling just by removing all paraphernalia of the worst propaganda without distorting the content of what you want to express (including criticising the government), if there is any substance to it, of course. Unless this goes against your militant compulsion. — neomac


    Yeah, this is just an incredibly weak 'dispassionate rationalist' trope. Firstly, it's bollocks on its face. I’ve written plenty of dispassionate, well-sourced, rational arguments without a trace of 'militancy’. It makes fuck all difference. They are ignored, insulted or dismissed in equal measure with my most polemic rants. It's a common myth. I challenge you to find a single example from this thread, or any other, where a calm dispassionate expression of strongly anti-mainstream views has been met with respectful considered responses. It simply doesn't happen, because people are frightened of being challenged, whether that's a choleric fanatic or a Jain monk. Take a look at a figure like Jordan Peterson. Unpopular opinions (many of which I strongly disagree with), delivered always in a calm rational manner. Has it helped? Not in the slightest. He's as vilified as any load-mouthed preacher.
    Isaac

    I guess that you are talking about the reactions of your opponents, because my impression is that you have several people (I’m tempted to say the majority of people) sympathising with your views and sharing common opponents in this thread.
    In this case, since I can’t speak for other opponents of yours, I’m tempted to accept the challenge if you could show me an example of what you take to be “dispassionate, well-sourced, rational arguments without a trace of 'militancy’” which I “ignored, insulted or dismissed in equal measure with my [your] most polemic rants” when you were exchanging with me. As far as I can remember, I’ve always argued my views and my objections against your views. And I remember you also complaining about my text walls, the pedantry of my rational(-ist?) approach, and often taking the initiative about polemic rants without evident provocation against your views.
    On my side, the only insult I can remember at the beginning of our exchange is “preposterous” which doesn’t sound to me stronger than “it's bollocks on its face” nor an intolerably offensive thing to say if one identifies a putative clamorous mistake in his opponent’s views. If one player failed a very easy shot or worse made an own goal at football, that would look dumb and any euphemism, however literally accurate, might sound even more offensive to some. While accusing you of intellectual dishonesty or misery may be insulting and induce animosity, but that has nothing to do with your anti-mainstream views as a such, as I argued. Nor it prevents me from pursuing “rational arguments without a trace of ‘militancy’” contrary to what happens with you. And I really don’t see the point of dragging with polemic rants here other then for the fact that either you hope to change people’s minds about political matters that concern you, or you need to vent your frustration for failing to achieve that.
    At least the good news is that you too seem to admit that there is a difference between “rational arguments without a trace of ‘militancy’” and “polemic rants”, and that you are not always engaged in “rational arguments without a trace of ‘militancy’”, as I claimed. Yet I’m not sure if we understand that difference in the same way, e.g. when I talk about “rational arguments” I’m not referring to the fact that they are expressed in a calm/dispassionate vs aggressive/passionate tone. I don’t mind insults and sarcasm as long as one can offer rational arguments, not as a replacement of them! Besides, it may sound oxymoronic to talk about “a calm dispassionate expression of strongly anti-mainstream views” because “strongly” may be understood in emotional terms i.e. as an equivalent of “passionate”. So probably you meant “extreme anti-mainstream views”.
  • neomac
    1.3k
    Never heard of the battles against fake news and conspiracies involving social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube? — neomac

    The existence of battles indicates a belief in the state you describe. It doesn't prove the truth of it.
    Isaac

    And what would prove the truth of that to you? Can you state it clearly? Can you offer concrete examples of what such proof might look like? Because if you can’t, you are making a meaningless objection to me. And most certainly, as long as you don’t clarify this, I’m fine just with making plausible speculations reliant on how the media system works in the West in the current conditions.


    ultimately all evil comes exclusively/predominantly/primarily from one single root (the US) and for one single motivational factor (it’s all about money for a bunch of American plutocrats). — neomac

    So, the dozen or more times that I and others here have repeated the notion that we argue against those agencies over which we have some responsibility…they've just fallen on deaf ears? You didn't understand them? Or, more likely, they just don't fit you preferred narrative, so you just ignore them.
    Isaac

    I ignored such arguments not because “they just don't fit you preferred narrative” but for a very compelling reason: they are pointless objections. Here is why: wanting to “argue only against those agencies over which we have some responsibility” is part of YOUR (& others’) militant attitude and YOUR goal (& others’) of offering arguments to mobilise people accordingly. But I’m not militant nor I’m here to help you, I’m here to rationally scrutinise views on this war including related assumptions, and your militant choice is perfectly compatible with the idea that: “ultimately all evil comes exclusively/predominantly/primarily from one single root (the US) and for one single motivational factor (it’s all about money for a bunch of American plutocrats)”.
    There is however another problem with this objection. It looks like an a priori political imperative which could have very dangerous consequences. If two wild boxers intensely fight also with blows under the belt, it would be utterly dumb for the coach of one of the 2 just complain about the punch under the belt of his boxer, or worse if the coach jumps on the ring to hold back his boxer in a way that would let his adversary keep punching him, just because the coach have authority over his boxer. So any critical attitude toward certain behaviour ON OUR SIDE may be more or less opportune depending on the circumstances and relative moral hazards wrt opposing side. Russian conscripted soldiers on the front in Donbass don’t not need to agree on Putin’s reasons to start this war nor feel personally compelled to participate in this war, yet they might feel personally compelled by the idea that Russia’s integrity, sovereignty and future prospects are anyway at stake now that they are at it. So even if they hate Putin for this mistaken war, they might still be determined to fight for Russia, because this would be the lesser evil. The same holds for the Westerners wrt the US in this war. One doesn’t need to sympathise with the American foreign policies. One doesn’t even need to sympathise with the American attitude toward Russia to the extant it contributed to the genesis of this war. One just needs to think that supporting the US would be the lesser evil, if the alternative is to empower and embolden authoritarian competitors like China/Russia (with the support of the Rest hostile toward the West) to become more aggressive at the expense not only of the US but also of its allies. That’s why one thing is to criticise/oppose the US over Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, another is to criticise/oppose the US when the US is indirectly engaging in a full conventional war started by Russia and backed by China, ultimately aiming at destroying the US-led world order as such. The moral hazards are arguably very different. Unless of course one thinks that criticising and opposing the US and Western involvement in this war just to reach peace as soon as possible would be the lesser evil NOT ONLY for the Ukrainians, why? Because it would be a big blow against US hegemony/imperialism no matter if that may benefit its authoritarian competitors or endanger the fate of the US allies. But why is that blow against US hegemony/imperialism desirable or the lesser evil? Because ultimately all evil comes exclusively/predominantly/primarily from one single root (the US). And why is that? As you summarised your militant views about this war: “Seeing this crisis as an inevitable result of capitalist imperialism lends support to the fight against capitalist imperialism, which is a good thing.” (https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/681277”). Western capitalism entails, as an intrinsic part of it's approach, efforts to destroy or harm alternative systems. As such, systems compete, and are successful, not on a metric of human well-being, but on a metric of being able to survive that inter-system competition. The most sucessful systems are those which compete best in that fight. If that's a metric you're impressed by for some reason, that's your problem. The 'solution' such as it is, is to bring down capitalism so that it is not one of the competitors. That way alternative systems can compete on the grounds of their impact on human well-being rather than on the grounds of their ability to withstand the onslaught capitalism directs toward them.(https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/677420). Even your last intervention, was focusing on the same accusations against the US-leadership: https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/792409



    we are left with the doubt that either such mainstream news outlets are overly constraining at the expense of the investigative value of Hersh’s article (as Hersh suggests) or Hersh wants to be free to take greater risks at the expense of the investigative value of his article — neomac

    Again, in your limited world-view, we are left with only those two options, yes. But not in the view of others. You are, again, confusing your personal belief system with the actual truth. Hersh simply doubts their integrity. You can't because it just doesn't fit the role they play in the story you have
    Isaac
    .

    If what I suggested is a false alternative, you should be able to show the other alternatives.
    The claim that “Hersh simply doubts their integrity” if related to his choice of not going to mainstream news outlets (because otherwise it would be irrelevant) is not necessarily a third alternative,
    indeed Hersh may question news media integrity PRECISELY BECAUSE mainstream news outlets are overly constraining at the expense of the investigative value of Hersh’s article (as Hersh suggests)
    Besides it’s definitely false that I can’t doubt mainstream media integrity. Indeed I made nowhere an argument or claim supporting what you accuse me of, nor anything I said implies it. I can doubt mainstream media integrity AS WELL AS Hersh’s reliability.





    that some editorial fact-checking for reputational and legal reasons are common practice for investigative journalism. And that if the journalist can self-publish, he is more free to take greater risks (e.g. by taking one anonymous source or leak as enough reliable by only his own judgement). — neomac

    ..without a shred of evidence to that effect. Where is your evidence that editorial fact-checking limits single anonymous sources? https://fair.org/home/anonymous-sources-are-newsworthy-when-they-talk-to-nyt-not-seymour-hersh/ https://fair.org/home/journalisms-dark-matter/
    Again, you just assume, because it's part of your foundational narrative - it's unexamined.
    Isaac
    .

    Another objection completely off target. I never claimed that “editorial fact-checking limits single anonymous sources”. I’m well aware that anonymous sources, or even single anonymous sources, are used by mainstream news outlets, because this is expressly stated by the mainstream news outlets themselves:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/14/reader-center/how-the-times-uses-anonymous-sources.html
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/how-do-you-use-an-anonymous-source-the-mysteries-of-journalism-everyone-should-know/2017/12/10/fa01863a-d9e4-11e7-a841-2066faf731ef_story.html
    https://www.ap.org/about/news-values-and-principles/telling-the-story/anonymous-sources
    But sources need to be identified, scrutinised, and validated by dedicated figures from the news outlets and this is the reason why there might be divergences with the investigative journalist. Here I referred to the shred of evidence Hersh himself offers: In that interview (starting from 20min03), Hersh claims that he didn’t approach the Washington Post or NYT, because he thought they wouldn’t publish his article, because they want to know his source and he got burned once by revealing his source to an editor of NYT (but he doesn’t like to talk about that because “the NYT is still a good newspaper” and then he complains about 90% of editors). Yet it’s not clear what “being burned” is supposed to mean nor what that past experience has to do with Hersh’s belief the NYT and Washington Post wouldn’t publish his piece now (maybe Hersh used and is still using anonymous sources that the NYT or Washington Post would find unreliable?). . Acknowledging that Hersh has editorial issues, as I do, doesn’t imply AT ALL that I I’m siding with the mainstream news outlets. Indeed, precisely because I don’t need to side with the mainstream media, that I can write: we are left with the doubt that either such mainstream news outlets are overly constraining at the expense of the investigative value of Hersh’s article (as Hersh suggests) or Hersh wants to be free to take greater risks at the expense of the investigative value of his article (after all there have been OSINT people questioning Hersh’s articles accuracy in the past and present, like Oliver Alexander and Bellingcat who are also independent self-publishers like Hersh and also risk their lives for that: https://edition.cnn.com/videos/world/2023/01/12/christo-grozev-russias-most-wanted-list-intv-ebof-intl-vpx.cnn).
    The reason why it looks like I’m siding with the mainstream media vs Hersh, predictably depends on the assumption that mainstream news outlets are agents of the Western capitalism (the greatest evil according to your views) so whenever there is a clash with independent people like Hersh, it’s obvious to you that the problem is on mainstream news outlets’ side and claiming anything slightly different is serving their narrative, so it’s siding with them. But that’s a militant logic applied to our exchange in a philosophy forum (and the accusation can be easily retorted against you as I did in the past), which you embrace but I do not. I’m not militant, I prefer to leave militant logic to where it belongs, politics and wars, not bring it into our rational examination of such logics.



    it’s not hard to offer a plausible argument to support the idea that Hersh could have published in some American mainstream outlet — neomac


    ...which is not that same as claiming it is a true claim which cannot be rationally challenged.
    Isaac

    You are insisting on an objection which already failed once. And now it is failing twice. Indeed, I don’t think the truth of “it’s not hard to offer a plausible argument to support the idea that Hersh could have published in some American mainstream outlet” can be rationally challenged, of course. That’s precisely what I argued for!



    What’s harder to offer is a plausible argument to support the idea that, given very specific circumstances, Hersh was unable to publish his article other than by self-publishing on Substack or equivalent: — neomac


    He didn't trust the mainstream media. It's not complicated. Mainstream media are owned by corporate interests who influence editorial policy. Hersh wanted to avoid that influence. you may not agree, that's normal, rational adults disagree sometimes. What's abnormal is you claiming that your opinion is literally the only rational view to hold and everyone else is dishonest. And you don't even get that that's weird.
    Isaac

    The claim you attribute to me is indeed very weird as much as it is wild fabrication. Indeed you can not quote me saying such a dumb thing. When I accused you for being intellectual dishonest it is not because e.g. you may agree with Hersh but it was for such kind of objections, where you ARBITRARILY and REPEATEDLY attribute to me claims or arguments I never expressed, implied or suggested, and despite all clarifications.





    f one wants to self-publish, then he is expected to be the only one paying the consequences of potential legal/economic/political/reputational issues, if not even risking life. For that reason, he is more free to take greater risks by self-publishing, if he wishes so, than by publishing with a more risk-averse publisher. — neomac


    You haven' given any reason why the publisher is more 'risk-averse'. You haven't given any reason why being the one who takes the brunt makes one 'more free' . A journalist writing for a newspaper can write an incendiary piece, be protected by the huge legal team and deep pockets of his paper, whilst his editor, if he's even fired, will walk out with a huge pension fund and a golden handshake. What exactly is the comparable risk you're imagining?
    Isaac

    The plausibility of my general assumption doesn’t depend on specifying any of that. The difference between working for somebody or be self-entrepreneur is evident practically in any professional domain: a self-entrepreneur is free to take certain decisions that he wouldn’t be free to take if he was working for somebody else, because in that case it’s somebody else who’s taking decisions. In investigative journalism anonymous sources may be certainly precious to discover scandalous truths but also a very risky thing. Why? Because they can have their own agenda (and in a period of domestic political polarisation and international tensions we can’t underestimate it), BUT they will not be held accountable for what they said, if wrong. For that reason, between the investigative journalist and his editor there may be divergences over the reliability of the anonymous source for all sorts of reasons. In that case, the divergence may lead to the rejection of the article by the editor, while the journalist would still be free to self-publish it. Notice that this reasoning assumes neither that anonymous source reliability is the only reason why the editor may have problems with investigative journalist’s article (other possibilities could be e.g. corruption or political interest, lack of adequate legal support against legal retortion from the target of the article, life-threatening blackmails from thugs, etc. might press the editor into rejecting a certain article), nor that whenever there are divergences about the anonymous source the editor must always be right. Given Hersh’s confessions and background history I have good reasons to believe he has editorial issues and such issues may concern his anonymous sources. And given the fact that non-mainstream OSINT people have questioned his reports based on anonymous sources, I have reasons independent from the mainstream coverage of Hersh’s article for being suspicious about Hersh too (however noble his intentions are).



    I can as arbitrarily attribute to you the belief that “mainstream media must be wrong, because people not on the mainstream media are right because the people not on the mainstream media say so”) — neomac

    You can't because I'm not arguing that the mainstream media are wrong.
    Isaac

    Really? Because I’m not arguing that “mainstream media must be right” either (indeed you can not quote me making such claim), yet that’s what you arbitrarily accused me of.
  • jorndoe
    3.4k
    , right, because it's about me. :roll:

    So, the sham'ful annexations aren't imperialist because NATO is that dire existential threat to Russia. NATO is imperialist because other definitions. (Also, let's just forget to ask the Ukrainians (again (again)).)

    By the way, Mearsheimer and others have argued that Crimea was (is) part of Putin's geo-political-military goals, Gremlin's strategic objectives. (Don't forget "part of".) Of course NATO would get in the way of that. Scary. (Seems like certain posters require re-re-repeating prior comments.)

    On another note, Mearsheimer or Yudin? A bit of both?
    It’s not NATO — Putin always has had expansionist designs
    — Alexander J Motyl · The Hill · Mar 6, 2023
    Mar 6, 2023

    EDIT

    Suppose the Ukraine invasion is reducible to a West-versus-Russia power struggle like otherwise of the non-war sort. (With China leaning towards Russia, and Iran tagging along.) Either way — regardless thereof — the Ukrainians have chosen. ECFR (Mar 8, 2023); VOA (Mar 23, 2023) Subsequently the UN have spoken. The reduction seems misleading (or perhaps vacuous).

    Here's a way to "save lives". :)

    A president against a president and vice president against a vice president, and a duel takes place, if they are serious. And in this way we are saving the American and Iraqi people.Taha Yassin Ramadan (Iraqi vice president, 2002)
    CNN (Oct 3, 2002); BBC (Oct 3, 2002); NPR (Oct 4, 2002)

    Should a vote be put together for this "solution" here?
  • jorndoe
    3.4k
    Russians angry at downing of Ukrainian drone over their homes
    — Kevin Liffey · Reuters · Mar 27, 2023

    Would be ironic if the Gremlin is angry as well.


    Continuing earlier finger-pointing, it's become Haas' turn...

    American company accused of violating sanctions, doing business with Russian arms industry (original)
    — Simon Ostrovsky · PBS · Mar 14, 2023
    Ukranian Watchdog Accuses Haas of Breaking Sanctions to Sell Machines to Russian Arms Manufacturers (UPDATED) (includes Haas' response)
    — Mack Hogan · Road and Track · Mar 15, 2023

    The world is quite interconnected. Earlier, outsiders (including Haas) sought Russian connections/trade/partnerships.
  • Isaac
    10.3k
    To me political propaganda consists in an activity focused on mobilising people typically through evaluative/emotional arguments or direct solicitation into doing some political action wrt politicians or policies or the collectivityneomac

    Well, the dictionary has...

    propaganda
    noun [ U ]
    mainly disapproving
    uk
    /ˌprɒp.əˈɡæn.də/ us
    /ˌprɑː.pəˈɡæn.də/
    C2
    information, ideas, opinions, or images, often only giving one part of an argument, that are broadcast, published, or in some other way spread with the intention of influencing people's opinions
    https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/propaganda

    ... so pretty much the definition comes down to intent, and one-sidedness. Neither intent, nor one-sidedness can be proven, they are opinions. As such, you cannot play your Dr Spock routine on it. Not only do I think your arguments are one-sided and intended to influence, but I think you dismiss the arguments of others on exactly those grounds (that they have missed some 'other side', and that they are intended to influence.

    But your semantic pedantry doesn't progress the argument. It doesn't matter what we call it. the point of my comment that you are responding to is that your personal biases, beliefs, and goals colour the narratives that you use to understand events. Just like everyone else. The idea that anyone can form some kind of 'position from nowhere' is absurd.

    That means the questions we can sensibly analyse are 1) why you choose the narrative you do, and 2) is your chosen narrative overwhelmed by evidence to the contrary - ie is it unsustainable.

    That's what I'm trying to get you to see so that we can actually engage in productive discussion. all the while you're thinking this is some kind of chess game we'll get nowhere, because if it's a chess game, it's one in which we do not agree on the rules.

    I don’t participate in this forum to mobilise people into taking politician accountable or save people’s lives or fix the world, I’m here just to engage in rational scrutiny.neomac

    Look, you can't reasonably expect a situation where you are allowed to wax lyrical about my intentions, regardless of what I actually say about them, and then expect to be able to just declare what yours are and have them taken as gospel. Either our motives are open topics for debate, or they aren't. In the latter case, stop speculating on mine. In the former case, you've got to give me more than just your say so as evidence.

    if you want to meaningfully talk about being “biased”, “cognitive failings” and “unexamined narrative”, you yourself must have an idea of how to establish “biased” vs “unbiased”, “cognitive success” vs “cognitive failures“ and “unexamined narratives” vs “examined narratives”, and be able to illustrate such distinctions over concrete cases in a way that is sharable and reusable.neomac

    Of course. I don't see how that's not possible.

    A biased view is one where one's conclusion is affected by factors other than those habits which have a track record of reaching truth (typically 'rational thinking'). Unless you're super-human, I can say with certainty that your thinking will be biased because everybody's is. We all engage in thinking practices which include factors other than those we can identify as being associated with a significantly increased chance of arriving at the truth of the matter.

    Cognitive success is likewise a set of algorithms or heuristics which are demonstrably more likely to arrive at the truth of the matter than otherwise.

    Examined narratives are those narratives where someone is aware that the frame through which they view events is one of many equally possible frames and that other frames will yield other equally valid positions. An unexamined narrative, such as yours, is one where the person thinks there's is the only (or the only 'true') way of looking at things and so their version of reality is better, or more 'real' than others'.

    What is the “unexamined narrative” in all what I said?neomac

    Your world-view. The things you take to be foundational. The beliefs at the centre of your web. whether you follow Collingwood, or Quine, or some other version, We all have to believe some things on faith. We can't 'rationally' work out the universe from first principles. We just believe some things to be the case without argument and build from there. Accepting that is an 'examined narrative' It's the best you can get since you've no grounds to go further. Denying that such foundational beliefs exists and maintaining that one is 'rational to the core' is an 'unexamined narrative'.

    the fact that within both the mainstream and the independent media there is room for competing views.neomac

    A classic example of what I was just referring to. This is not a 'fact'. That the earth is round is a 'fact'. That 1+1=2 is a 'fact'. Things you happen to really strongly believe are not 'facts'. Look at the wording here. You've used the term "competing views", but what you determine to be "competing views" depends on that unexamined world-view of yours. If you are embedded in the modern political system, then support for (in America, say) the Democrats becomes a "competing view" with support for the Republicans. Outside of that particular world-view, however, things look different. How many anarchist news-pieces are published in mainstream media? How many communist opinions? How many radical ecologist perspectives? How many Nazi positions? How many UFO/5G/Lizardmen conspiracies?

    If you unquestioningly accept the current Overton window as 'reality' then of course, the mainstream newspapers show a diverse range of competing opinions. But that's an unexamined narrative. There's no rational reason at all for thinking our current window of acceptability is the 'real' one.

    I have some difficulty to imagine mainstream media which are not “in the thrall of” governments and corporate interestsneomac

    It's quite simple.

    Before Clinton’s radical legislation passed into law, approximately 50 companies controlled 90 percent of the media and entertainment industries; as of 2022, only five or six conglomerates control the same market share. With overlapping membership on corporate boards of directors and interconglomerate coordination and joint ventures, just a handful of giant corporations dominate everything from book and magazine publishing, to radio and cable and network TV, to movie studios, music companies, theme parks, and sports teams. In command of these goliaths is a small cadre of billionaires and multimillionaires12 who exert near-total control over today’s global media landscape.https://www.currentaffairs.org/2023/03/how-deregulation-created-a-corporate-media-nightmare

    the bitter truth (whatever it is) is definitely worth to bipartisanly cover up, as long as possible, during war time.neomac

    ... if you have faith in the good-will of your government. another unexamined assumption.

    The existence of battles indicates a belief in the state you describe. It doesn't prove the truth of it. — Isaac


    And what would prove the truth of that to you? Can you state it clearly? Can you offer concrete examples of what such proof might look like? Because if you can’t, you are making a meaningless objection to me.
    neomac

    Why is an objection meaningless if it shows your view can't be proven, but your original view (the one which can't be proven) was apparently meaningful enough to make?

    I ignored such arguments not because “they just don't fit you preferred narrative” but for a very compelling reason: they are pointless objections. Here is why: wanting to “argue only against those agencies over which we have some responsibility” is part of YOUR (& others’) militant attitude and YOUR goal (& others’) of offering arguments to mobilise people accordingly. But I’m not militant nor I’m here to help you, I’m here to rationally scrutinise views on this war including related assumptionsneomac

    What you're here do do has no bearing on the fact that you ascribed to me a view which is not one I hold.

    your militant choice is perfectly compatible with the idea that: “ultimately all evil comes exclusively/predominantly/primarily from one single root (the US) and for one single motivational factor (it’s all about money for a bunch of American plutocrats)”.neomac

    So? Your view is 'compatible' with the idea that you're a closet Nazi and are working undercover to gain influence before converting people to right-wing extremism by PM". A view being merely 'compatible' with some crazed notion is not sufficient grounds to accuse someone of holding it.

    But why is that blow against US hegemony/imperialism desirable or the lesser evil? Because ultimately all evil comes exclusively/predominantly/primarily from one single root (the US). And why is that? As you summarised your militant views about this war: “Seeing this crisis as an inevitable result of capitalist imperialism lends support to the fight against capitalist imperialism, which is a good thing.”neomac

    ... another good example of your biases. You present this as if it were a rational argument, but you jump from a weighing exercise (US hegemony vs authoritarian regimes - in terms of harms) to "all evil comes exclusively/predominantly/primarily from one single root". All evil.

    This is because whilst weighing merits of two competing forces, you have very weak ground to stand on. The US's record on immiseration speaks for itself. Only by painting it as some 'irrational, militant hyperbole' can you hope to win ground.

    In other words, you are deliberately distorting the presentation of the argument to suit your preferred political position. Propaganda, in other words.
  • Isaac
    10.3k
    So, the sham'ful annexations aren't imperialist because NATO is that dire existential threat to Russia. NATO is imperialist because other definitions.jorndoe

    If you actually read what I've written, we could have a discussion about it. If you don't want to discuss what I've written, just don't respond.
  • neomac
    1.3k
    To me political propaganda consists in an activity focused on mobilising people typically through evaluative/emotional arguments or direct solicitation into doing some political action wrt politicians or policies or the collectivity — neomac


    Well, the dictionary has...

    propaganda
    noun [ U ]
    mainly disapproving
    uk
    /ˌprɒp.əˈɡæn.də/ us
    /ˌprɑː.pəˈɡæn.də/
    C2
    information, ideas, opinions, or images, often only giving one part of an argument, that are broadcast, published, or in some other way spread with the intention of influencing people's opinions — https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/propaganda


    ... so pretty much the definition comes down to intent, and one-sidedness. Neither intent, nor one-sidedness can be proven, they are opinions. As such, you cannot play your Dr Spock routine on it. Not only do I think your arguments are one-sided and intended to influence, but I think you dismiss the arguments of others on exactly those grounds (that they have missed some 'other side', and that they are intended to influence.

    But your semantic pedantry doesn't progress the argument. It doesn't matter what we call it. the point of my comment that you are responding to is that your personal biases, beliefs, and goals colour the narratives that you use to understand events. Just like everyone else. The idea that anyone can form some kind of 'position from nowhere' is absurd.

    That means the questions we can sensibly analyse are 1) why you choose the narrative you do, and 2) is your chosen narrative overwhelmed by evidence to the contrary - ie is it unsustainable.

    That's what I'm trying to get you to see so that we can actually engage in productive discussion. all the while you're thinking this is some kind of chess game we'll get nowhere, because if it's a chess game, it's one in which we do not agree on the rules.
    Isaac

    First, dictionary definitions are a good starting point for a conceptual analysis/clarification they do not replace it, they certainly help convergence or standardisation in usage but usage is also dependant on the context. And you took just one dictionary definition. So if that’s the definition you want to rely on, fine, but I’m not committed to it because it’s still insufficiently determined. If unspecified one-sidedness and unspecified intention of influencing were enough to classify something as propaganda, “propaganda” would lose its contrastive meaning: indeed, nobody is capable of discussing about anything from all possible view points, for all sorts of constraints (including cognitive ones), and since our communicative acts presuppose motivation to communicate to interlocutors with some intended effect, then any expression of our opinion would be propaganda. Including the definition of “propaganda” itself! In other words “propaganda” would be useless to discriminate claims/arguments since it has no relevant contrastive value. So it wouldn’t be surprising if you take all expressions of opinions from anybody to be propaganda: mathematicians when proving a theorem are doing propaganda, scientists and all experts like Mearsheimer are doing propaganda, astrologists are doing propaganda, your beloved ones who express their affection to you are doing propaganda, anything anybody said here is propaganda, even the rules of this forum are propaganda, giving the time would be propaganda, etc. If understood this broad way, the definition of Cambridge would be garbage. So my understanding of “propaganda” is not based on such broad understanding. And from my definition, I don’t do propaganda. You do.
    Second, the claim that neither intent nor one-sidedness can be proven is not part of the definition of “propaganda” you offered, and no argument has been offered to support such belief. The problem is that if one-sidedness and intentions can not be proven, then how could anyone possibly understand and learn how to apply the notion of “one-sidedness” and “intentions”? Of course one can have some doubts in certain exceptional or complex cases (e.g. when we want to identify the intentions of drunk guy or the intentions of the Biden’s administration) but that can’t possibly be the case in very ordinary circumstances. These notions must be shareable, reusable, and have contrastive value to be meaningful.
    Third, the claim “your personal biases, beliefs, and goals colour the narratives that you use to understand events” is plausible in general, if it is plausible also in particular cases. So if there are biases you see in my views you must be able to show them in concrete cases by using a notion of bias that is shareable, reusable and contrastive wrt what is not bias. I’m still waiting for you to do that though. If the claim “The idea that anyone can form some kind of 'position from nowhere' is absurd” is meant to be an objection against me, then it’s off target because I never denied that idea and practicing rational scrutiny is perfectly compatible with the fact that personal biases, beliefs, and goals colour (if that means “determine”) the narratives that I use to understand events. Here an analogy to make you understand how pointless is your comment: your weight, height, health determine the way you play basketball, the idea that anyone can play basketball without a set of bodily features is absurd. Would this be an objection to somebody who claims to be playing basketball according to certain rules, or wanting to do so? Of course not.
    Fourth, to answer those questions you find useful for a productive discussion I’d say in general: 1) I would choose narrative A over B if A looks more rationally compelling than B, 2) It depends on what “overwhelming evidence” is supposed to mean when we talk about events which we do not have direct experience, which look uncertain and/or incomplete. Yet I’ m afraid that if we do not agree on the rules of evidence-based reasoning you won’t be able to make me see anything you claim to be able to see.




    I don’t participate in this forum to mobilise people into taking politician accountable or save people’s lives or fix the world, I’m here just to engage in rational scrutiny. — neomac


    Look, you can't reasonably expect a situation where you are allowed to wax lyrical about my intentions, regardless of what I actually say about them, and then expect to be able to just declare what yours are and have them taken as gospel. Either our motives are open topics for debate, or they aren't. In the latter case, stop speculating on mine. In the former case, you've got to give me more than just your say so as evidence.
    Isaac

    First, I wasn’t talking only about your intentions but also about other people’s intentions, since in your previous objections you weren’t exclusively referring to yourself as opponent.
    Besides I quoted and argued your claims considering what you actually said about them in past comments. And precisely because I did it already, I don’t need to repeat them again every time, as in that context, where I needed to simplify. I’m not speculating about your intentions. I’m asserting what I think they actually are. I might be wrong, but I don’t think I am. And you didn’t offer any alternative intentional explanation of those claims of yours so far.
    Second, I don’t even understand what you are inviting me to do: if motives are “open topics for debate” why shouldn’t I speculate about them? And if intentions can’t be proven as you believe (but I don’t), what else can I do other than speculating about them?




    if you want to meaningfully talk about being “biased”, “cognitive failings” and “unexamined narrative”, you yourself must have an idea of how to establish “biased” vs “unbiased”, “cognitive success” vs “cognitive failures“ and “unexamined narratives” vs “examined narratives”, and be able to illustrate such distinctions over concrete cases in a way that is sharable and reusable. — neomac


    Of course. I don't see how that's not possible.

    A biased view is one where one's conclusion is affected by factors other than those habits which have a track record of reaching truth (typically 'rational thinking’). Unless you're super-human, I can say with certainty that your thinking will be biased because everybody's is. We all engage in thinking practices which include factors other than those we can identify as being associated with a significantly increased chance of arriving at the truth of the matter.

    Cognitive success is likewise a set of algorithms or heuristics which are demonstrably more likely to arrive at the truth of the matter than otherwise.

    Examined narratives are those narratives where someone is aware that the frame through which they view events is one of many equally possible frames and that other frames will yield other equally valid positions. An unexamined narrative, such as yours, is one where the person thinks there's is the only (or the only 'true') way of looking at things and so their version of reality is better, or more 'real' than others’.
    Isaac

    Let’s say that the first 2 clarifications are fine as a general starting point. They also look related, because to identify biases, you would first need to identify beliefs that do not match what would typically result from rational thinking. In other words, you would need to identify actual irrational beliefs through actual rational examination, what exactly I’m also trying to do. So it’s not enough to say that I’m biased and that I commit cognitive mistakes IN GENERAL, you need to show that to me in concrete cases by using shared, pertinent, reusable rational rules (e.g. fallacies) as much as I do when I rationally examine your claims/arguments. To me you failed to do so, so far. But worse than this, if you keep saying that we do not share the rules of such rational examination you are going to be unintelligible to me. You would take yourself by your own initiative out of the pool of potential rational interlocutors to me, no matter how many times you keep repeating I’m biased. There is no recovery from this. And it’s also hypocritical that you keep saying that we all are biased because we are not super-human and expect me to agree, while at the same time you never admitted even once to have committed the clamorous cognitive failures I attributed to you.

    The last clarification is puzzling for several reasons:
    1 - What is a narrative frame wrt the narrative? Can you give examples illustrating what your narrative frame and mine are?
    2 - By which standard one can come to believe that other narrative frames are “equally valid positions”? If it’s “truth” and “reality” as you seem to suggest then the standards is rational thinking I guess from your own claims (“those habits which have a track record of reaching truth (typically 'rational thinking’)” “a set of algorithms or heuristics[/b] which are demonstrably more likely to arrive at the truth of the matter than otherwise”). But according to rational thinking not all narratives are equally true or correspondent to what reality is. Were this the case one would be in the predicament of holding contradictory beliefs and that is not rational. If one narrative says “Ukraine is not part of Russia” and another “Ukraine is part of Russia”, one can’t possibly hold both claims unequivocally true rationally. If the standard is good or useful, it depends on the goal each of us has or is committed to, so all narrative frames that do not fulfill that goal can not be equally valid wrt the ones which do. So when can we rationally talk about “equally valid” incompatible alternatives in the practical or cognitive sense? The only cases I can think of is when either we can tolerate incompatibility (X thinks that Ukrainians and Russians are two different nations, Y doesn’t so the two beliefs are incompatible, yet X and Y can live with that incompatibility, those beliefs can not epistemically coexist but they can socially coexist in those who hold them) or we are equally uncertain about the alternatives prior or after examination (a Ukrainian soldier thinks that deserting is better for his life but worse for his country, and he is torn between these 2 alternatives because he doesn’t want to sacrifice his life and yet he doesn’t want to betray his country). In any case the notion of “examined narrative” presupposes an examination, so if you do not specify the criteria of such examination the qualification “examined” looks arbitrary.
    3 - From your own reasoning, I would infer that also unexamined narratives must be valid positions according to all those who are aware that other narrative frames are equally valid, why? Because among the “other narrative frames” there are also unexamined narratives, of course. So they too must be equally valid position for all those with examined narratives. Or are you claiming that examined narratives are better than unexamined narratives? Besides, If all narrative frames are equally valid, equally true, equally good, why do we choose one over the other, instead of supporting all of them at the same time?
  • neomac
    1.3k
    What is the “unexamined narrative” in all what I said? — neomac


    Your world-view. The things you take to be foundational. The beliefs at the centre of your web. whether you follow Collingwood, or Quine, or some other version, We all have to believe some things on faith. We can't 'rationally' work out the universe from first principles. We just believe some things to be the case without argument and build from there. Accepting that is an 'examined narrative' It's the best you can get since you've no grounds to go further. Denying that such foundational beliefs exists and maintaining that one is 'rational to the core' is an 'unexamined narrative’ .
    Isaac

    It’s really hard to understand what you write even charitably.
    First, previously you were talking about my “unexamined narrative” and now you claim that ”denying that such foundational beliefs exists and maintaining that one is 'rational to the core' is an 'unexamined narrative’”. But can you quote where exactly I denied that “such foundational beliefs” exists and maintained that I’m 'rational to the core'? Or else quote what I wrote that logically implies or presupposes either? Because if you can’t, your claim that mine is an examined narrative is irrational.
    Second, I get you are trying to say something meaningful and deep about the limits of rationality, yet your conceptual and argumentative elaboration is too sloppy to look compelling. The claim “we all have to believe some things on faith” has a very ordinary meaning that I certainly do not question: e.g. if my friend tells me that he declared all his revenues in his tax declarations, I would believe him on faith of course, I’m not going to hire a private investigator to make sure what he said is true. Sure, we all have such kind of ordinary beliefs based on faith of what other people say. The claim that “We just believe some things to be the case without argument and build from there” has a very ordinary meaning that I certainly do not question: perceptual beliefs typically stem from our perceptual experience of the world, they are not the result of arguments, and we can build on them in the sense that they become the base for certain empirical generalisations. Nothing of that looks even remotely as an objection to anything I said about the war or about rational examination.
    Third, I suspect that what you are trying to say, is what I already said, much better than you though, when talking about epistemic reliability, which I won’t repeat. But if that is the case, then of course I do not deny epistemic reliability. I argued for it. And I take it to be presupposed by rational examination. So nothing of that looks even remotely as an objection to anything I said about the war or about rational examination.
    Fourth, you set 2 different conditions for the notion of 'examined narrative’:
    A) Examined narratives are those narratives where someone is aware that the frame through which they view events is one of many equally possible frames and that other frames will yield other equally valid positions
    B) We all have to believe some things on faith[/b]. We can't 'rationally' work out the universe from first principles. We just believe some things to be the case without argument and build from there. Accepting that is an 'examined narrative’
    Question: what happens if I believed on faith that other narrative frames however based on faith will NOT yield other equally valid positions? For example people from religious denomination X do not have a problem to accept that people from religious denomination Y believe certain things on faith, yet often they do not think that what other Xs believe on faith is equally valid to what Ys believe on faith. Would this narrative be considered examined according to B or unexamined according to A?
    Another question: is A something you believe on faith? If so, what if I believed on faith non-A? Would you consider my position equally valid?




    the fact that within both the mainstream and the independent media there is room for competing views. — neomac


    A classic example of what I was just referring to. This is not a 'fact'. That the earth is round is a 'fact'. That 1+1=2 is a 'fact'. Things you happen to really strongly believe are not 'facts’. Look at the wording here. You've used the term "competing views", but what you determine to be "competing views" depends on that unexamined world-view of yours. If you are embedded in the modern political system, then support for (in America, say) the Democrats becomes a "competing view" with support for the Republicans. Outside of that particular world-view, however, things look different. How many anarchist news-pieces are published in mainstream media? How many communist opinions? How many radical ecologist perspectives? How many Nazi positions? How many UFO/5G/Lizardmen conspiracies?
    If you unquestioningly accept the current Overton window as 'reality' then of course, the mainstream newspapers show a diverse range of competing opinions. But that's an unexamined narrative. There's no rational reason at all for thinking our current window of acceptability is the 'real' one.
    Isaac


    First, that there is a difference between “belief” or “strong belief” and “fact” (or “opinion” and “fact”) from a third-person point of view is clear, and it works as a general reminder to engage in epistemic prudence. Fine. However the relevance of such general distinction vanishes in the context of a first-person report. So if you wished you could use that distinction as an objection against me, it easily backfires: you really strongly believe that “the earth is round” is a fact, that doesn’t mean that “the earth is round” is a fact. What are you going go to do about it?
    Second, pointing out the fact that not all competing views one can conceive of are equally represented on mainstream media is not a valid objection to the factually correct claim that mainstream media offer competing views. On the contrary, I would argue that’s expected also because there is no society in the past or present to my knowledge where all competing views one can conceive of are equally represented on mainstream media. So what might be more relevant for you to point out is what you believe you can infer from that fact.




    I have some difficulty to imagine mainstream media which are not “in the thrall of” governments and corporate interests — neomac

    It's quite simple.

    Before Clinton’s radical legislation passed into law, approximately 50 companies controlled 90 percent of the media and entertainment industries; as of 2022, only five or six conglomerates control the same market share. With overlapping membership on corporate boards of directors and interconglomerate coordination and joint ventures, just a handful of giant corporations dominate everything from book and magazine publishing, to radio and cable and network TV, to movie studios, music companies, theme parks, and sports teams. In command of these goliaths is a small cadre of billionaires and multimillionaires12 who exert near-total control over today’s global media landscape. — https://www.currentaffairs.org/2023/03/how-deregulation-created-a-corporate-media-nightmare
    Isaac

    You mean that the problem is that five or six conglomerates are worst than 50 companies because it reduces the opportunity for a wider range of competing views to go mainstream? Do you have evidences that support it? E.g. when there were 50 companies, “how many anarchist news-pieces are published in mainstream media? How many communist opinions? How many radical ecologist perspectives? How many Nazi positions? How many UFO/5G/Lizardmen conspiracies?” compared to 5/6 conglomerates?
    Let’s say, it’s the case, what do you want to do about it? What does that have to do with the war in Ukraine?



    the bitter truth (whatever it is) is definitely worth to bipartisanly cover up, as long as possible, during war time. — neomac

    ... if you have faith in the good-will of your government. another unexamined assumption.
    Isaac

    That claim of mine doesn’t presuppose any good-will. It might be worth for the interest of exclusively 3 plutocrats or for the sake of the entire humanity. I suggest you to reason as if I do not give for granted good-will in anybody, including you, unless I expressly say otherwise.


    The existence of battles indicates a belief in the state you describe. It doesn't prove the truth of it. — Isaac

    And what would prove the truth of that to you? Can you state it clearly? Can you offer concrete examples of what such proof might look like? Because if you can’t, you are making a meaningless objection to me. — neomac

    Why is an objection meaningless if it shows your view can't be proven, but your original view (the one which can't be proven) was apparently meaningful enough to make?
    Isaac

    Oh then your objection is worse than I thought. Previously I thought you were trying to raise the standards of an evidence-based reasoning beyond what I can afford, therefore I asked you to specify the standard I should apply otherwise the request for proof would be meaningless, obviously. If so then I might have countered that if it’s not within what I can epistemically afford so I must reason under uncertainty and through reliance on the available information to me (as usual?!).
    Now I realise you wish to claim you showed me that my claim can’t be proven. But that’s evidently false. Notice that your initial objection was a non-modal claim “it doesn’t prove” and not a modal claim “it can’t be proven”. But even if the latter is what you meant to object, you most certainly didn’t “show me” the truth of such objection. What I take to be “showing” in this case would be to offer a rationally compelling argument that I MUST recognise as such through rules we MUST share, reuse and with pertinent and relevant discriminatory power. You didn’t offer any of such argument. You just made a claim.



    your militant choice is perfectly compatible with the idea that: “ultimately all evil comes exclusively/predominantly/primarily from one single root (the US) and for one single motivational factor (it’s all about money for a bunch of American plutocrats)”. — neomac


    So? Your view is 'compatible' with the idea that you're a closet Nazi and are working undercover to gain influence before converting people to right-wing extremism by PM". A view being merely 'compatible' with some crazed notion is not sufficient grounds to accuse someone of holding it.
    Isaac

    Focus. I didn’t claim that compatibility suffices to prove my claims about your beliefs, I simply denied that your objection shows an incompatibility between what I claim you believe and what you claim you believe. Indeed, I was countering your objection “So, the dozen or more times that I and others here have repeated the notion that we argue against those agencies over which we have some responsibility…they've just fallen on deaf ears?” raised against certain beliefs I was attributing to you, as if this was evidently incompatible. In response, I was simply denying that there is such an incompatibility. It’s like X made the claim: “Y believes that it’s 15h37” and Y objected “so, all the times I told you I’m going to check my watch to establish what time it is… they've just fallen on deaf ears?”. This would be a pointless objection, because the fact that Y is checking his watch to establish what time it is, is perfectly compatible with the fact that Y might believe it’s 15h37.


    I ignored such arguments not because “they just don't fit you preferred narrative” but for a very compelling reason: they are pointless objections. Here is why: wanting to “argue only against those agencies over which we have some responsibility” is part of YOUR (& others’) militant attitude and YOUR goal (& others’) of offering arguments to mobilise people accordingly. But I’m not militant nor I’m here to help you, I’m here to rationally scrutinise views on this war including related assumptions — neomac


    What you're here do do has no bearing on the fact that you ascribed to me a view which is not one I hold.
    Isaac


    But why is that blow against US hegemony/imperialism desirable or the lesser evil? Because ultimately all evil comes exclusively/predominantly/primarily from one single root (the US). And why is that? As you summarised your militant views about this war: “Seeing this crisis as an inevitable result of capitalist imperialism lends support to the fight against capitalist imperialism, which is a good thing.” — neomac

    ... another good example of your biases. You present this as if it were a rational argument, but you jump from a weighing exercise (US hegemony vs authoritarian regimes - in terms of harms) to "all evil comes exclusively/predominantly/primarily from one single root". All evil.
    This is because whilst weighing merits of two competing forces, you have very weak ground to stand on. The US's record on immiseration speaks for itself. Only by painting it as some 'irrational, militant hyperbole' can you hope to win ground.
    In other words, you are deliberately distorting the presentation of the argument to suit your preferred political position. Propaganda, in other words.
    Isaac


    First, let’s go back to my full quote " I made many arguments over several pages since the beginning of our exchanges. And repeated them too. So I won’t repeat all of them again. But if I were to summarise in a few words why I find your (and others’) understanding of this war (and related disputes over media coverage) unilateral and simplistic is that ultimately all evil comes exclusively/predominantly/primarily from one single root (the US) and for one single motivational factor (it’s all about money for a bunch of American plutocrats)."
    Second, from my full quotation it’s clear that I was not making an argument but presenting a conclusion. And that conclusion was a summary in a few words of “your understanding of this war” not your understanding the universe from the beginning of time to its end. So “all evil“ must be obviously understood within the scope of what has been debated over the war in Ukraine in this thread by you (& others). Here is a schematic list of what is included in that “all evil”:
    - the beginning of the war due to NATO enlargement, meddling in Ukrainian politics, training Ukrainians, making claims about Ukraine joining NATO, etc.
    - the continuation of the war due to rejection of peace talks, talking about Ukrainian victory, drip-feeding weapons etc.
    - the material and human damage suffered by the Ukrainians during the war
    - the material and human damage suffered by the rest of the world during the war
    - the American military-industrial-financial-energy plutocrats getting richer
    - the risks of escalation of the war due to engaging with and keep poking in the eye a nuclear superpower
    - the the risks of economic predation for Ukrainians after the end of the war
    Third, the problem I see in your views and argued against on many occasions (scattered over many past exchanges about morality, international relations, power, the metrics of the war, the Russian threat, etc.) is absolutely NOT due to a hyperbolic understanding of “all evil” which I manipulatively attributed to you (and which most certainly would be enough to excuse all the times you did that in the past and will do that in the future), because on my side there was no intention to suggest such hyperbolic understanding of “all evil” to begin with, indeed I left indications to understand my summary, including the notion of “all evil“, wrt the context of our debate about the war in Ukraine. The problem I intended to point out is instead your simplistic and unilateral assessment and explanation of the above “all evil“ as a function of the US foreign policy or, more specifically, of a bunch of greedy/cynical American plutocrats.
    Ironically, while you are accusing me of distorting your views due to your own misunderstanding of my summary “in a few words” (reason why you could have asked me for clarifications if “all evil“ sounded as an intolerable exaggeration to you), you yourself are once again insisting on the same unilateral and simplistic view of the US by widening the scope of “all evil” beyond the limits of the war in Ukraine (“The US's record on immiseration speaks for itself”).
    Fourth, I didn’t present in a distorted way your views. That alleged distortion was the result of your misunderstanding, but even if I was doing “propaganda” according to your own understanding of that notion (not mine), yet you can not prove it applies to me by your own admission. While I can keep accusing you for spinning your propaganda according to your own definition, as easily.
  • jorndoe
    3.4k
    Textbook red herring example:

    Their democracy is nothing more than a pretty façade of a state structure designed to cover up how they ignore the rights of the common American.
    [...]
    Russia is a patient country and does not intimidate anyone with its military advantage. However, it has unique modern weapons that can destroy any enemy, including the United States, in case it is faced with an existential threat.
    Nikolai Patrushev on Mar 27, 2023

    And a blatant lie.
  • ssu
    8.2k
    It would not have been better had they adopted "the tools to continue with the "modern" approach to imperialism". The modern approach to imperialism demonstrably kills and immiserates more people than Russia's current old-school method.Isaac
    Ukrainian war has been very costly.

    What I was referring to was that Russia would have had ways to influence it's neighbors to keep them out of NATO without resorting war and annexations. Finlandization of Ukraine would have been totally possible, especially when Putin was quite popular in Ukraine. But that would have meant that he wouldn't have gotten such popularity as he got by the annexation of Crimea.

    You keep wanting to focus only on one party to this crisis. Ignoring Ukraine, ignoring the US, ignoring Europe.Isaac
    I would be happy to talk about Ukraine. And we have had a discussion about the "neonazism" of the current administration, which actually was (and is) one of the main lines of the Kremlin.

    Yes, Russia's actions are tragic and will cause a lot of misery. But your fundamental error is that you assume that the mere tragedy of an action is sufficient to justify any response designed to mitigate it, and that's clearly false.Isaac
    When have I said that? I have simply said that as Russia has attacked independent Ukraine (and not vice versa), Ukraine should get the military hardware it needs to fight on itself to defend itself.

    We have to compare the tragedy of continued war with the tragedy of our options to end it. Continued war (and Russian control of Dombas, Crimea) will be a tragedy. But avoiding that tragedy by flooding the world's top black market arms dealer with untraceable weapons, destroying an economy and making it servile to US and European banks, devastating global food and fertiliser supplies, increasing US dominance of the energy markets, and risking nuclear war... are more tragic.

    Hence we must find another way of minimising the tragedy of Russian land-grabbing.
    Isaac
    I do get your point. (Btw, Ukraine doesn't need black market arms dealers, they are getting the weapons with the blessing of the governments of the countries where the arms manufacturers are.)

    First issue would be for Russia to seek a cease-fire and for what I know, they are still trying to take more of Ukrainian territory. However, if the war would be stopped now, do notice the bleak situation where Ukraine would be left. First of all, if it wouldn't be the Ukrainians themselves being OK for a cease-fire, but the West demanding Ukraine to a ceasefire and cessation of operation, that would be damaging. If Ukrainian leadership comes to the conclusion that they should accept a cease-fire with Russia holding all territory it has now, it's up to them. Not the West. In this situation they would have of their citizens under the rule of Russia, which they do not want. Nobody would invest in Ukraine as the conflict could spark again at any moment. For Putin the war would be a success, and he could finish the job once he has restocked his weapons and munitions. How it would be viewed is that even if the operation didn't go well at the start, it was successful thanks to Russian persistence and the utter weakness of the West. After all, in Russian propaganda the West is faltering on collapse.
  • Isaac
    10.3k
    So my understanding of “propaganda” is not based on such broad understanding. And from my definition, I don’t do propaganda. You do.neomac

    It's remarkable that you think you can write this. Do you really read that back and think others would read it as anything other than self-serving delusion. You're literally saying you've chosen your own personal definition of 'propaganda' to make your argument right.

    Second, the claim that neither intent nor one-sidedness can be proven is not part of the definition of “propaganda” you offered, and no argument has been offered to support such belief.neomac

    I didn't think one was required. Intentions are private thoughts and cannot be examined or identified by a third party because no-one can mind read. There.

    The problem is that if one-sidedness and intentions can not be proven, then how could anyone possibly understand and learn how to apply the notion of “one-sidedness” and “intentions”?neomac

    What? the notion of intentions doesn't require us to always, or even ever, know what those intentions actually are. I don't need to know your memories to know that you probably have some.

    These notions must be shareable, reusable, and have contrastive value to be meaningful.neomac

    Of course they're shareable,m but they're not determinable. You cannot determine what my intentions are. You can theorise about them, but then other competing theories will have equal plausibility and you have to choose between them, which is the interesting matter for discussion.

    if there are biases you see in my views you must be able to show them in concrete cases by using a notion of bias that is shareable, reusable and contrastive wrt what is not bias. I’m still waiting for you to do that though.neomac

    No. You're not 'waiting' you're ignoring. I've talked extensively about position which are held because of biases in fundamental beliefs that are unexamined. You then use this "Oh, you've never shown any" rhetorical trick any time you're stuck. It's like the other classic where people wait a few pages and then claim I've not provided any sources. Or to quote your good self on the matter...

    I quoted and argued your claims considering what you actually said about them in past comments. And precisely because I did it already, I don’t need to repeat them again every timeneomac

    ...

    if motives are “open topics for debate” why shouldn’t I speculate about them? And if intentions can’t be proven as you believe (but I don’t), what else can I do other than speculating about them?neomac

    Speculating about intentions is[not what I opposed. Read what I've written, it's in the quote you responded to.

    quote="Isaac;792753"]Either our motives are open topics for debate, or they aren't. In the latter case, stop speculating on mine. In the former case, you've got to give me more than just your say so as evidence.[/quote]


    it’s not enough to say that I’m biased and that I commit cognitive mistakes IN GENERAL, you need to show that to me in concrete cases by using shared, pertinent, reusable rational rules (e.g. fallacies) as much as I do when I rationally examine your claims/arguments.neomac

    Again ...

    I quoted and argued your claims considering what you actually said about them in past comments. And precisely because I did it already, I don’t need to repeat them again every timeneomac

    ...

    if you keep saying that we do not share the rules of such rational examination you are going to be unintelligible to me. You would take yourself by your own initiative out of the pool of potential rational interlocutors to me, no matter how many times you keep repeating I’m biased. There is no recovery from this.neomac

    Yes. That's why discussion on actual matters of fact are pointless if you disagree about how matters of fact are to be assessed.
  • Isaac
    10.3k
    What I was referring to was that Russia would have had ways to influence it's neighbors to keep them out of NATO without resorting war and annexations.ssu

    I agree. And if the US, and Europe are any example, those 'ways' will have caused more death and destruction than wars and annexation. The record is in black and white. Deaths, ill-health, famine and ecological destruction wrought by the Us and Europe's 'soft' imperialism outnumber that wrought by Russia's 'hard' imperialism.

    I would be happy to talk about Ukraine. And we have had a discussion about the "neonazism" of the current administration, which actually was (and is) one of the main lines of the Kremlin.ssu

    So far you've just followed the Western propaganda. I've given solid evidence about Ukraine's human rights record, arms dealing, corruption, and oppression and you've come back with nothing but bluster. Yes all those things are worse in Russia, but stay focussed on the argument. It's is not "who's worse?" it is "which course of action is least harmful?"

    Here, it matters how bad Ukraine is because it matters how much worse it would be if parts were run by Russia, it's not enough to simply point out that it would be worse, because that's ignoring the costs of getting there.

    I have simply said that as Russia has attacked independent Ukraine (and not vice versa), Ukraine should get the military hardware it needs to fight on itself to defend itself.ssu

    Exactly. That's literally saying that. You're only prepared to accept one solution no matter the cost. The mere fact that Russia is the invader is not sufficient to support the claim that Ukraine being militarily supported to fight back is the best response. Other responses might bring about less harm overall.

    First issue would be for Russia to seek a cease-fire and for what I know, they are still trying to take more of Ukrainian territory.ssu

    Not necessarily. Ukraine could seek a cease-fire. The US could tie future military support to Ukraine's seeking a ceasefire. The US could lift sanctions if Russia seeks a ceasefire... There's loads of next steps that could be taken by agents other than Russia.

    Again, this is the problem with your approach, you keep laying the solution at the feet of the one agent in all this that we can be pretty sure doesn't give a shit about human well-being. Why would you take that approach? The one party we can basically ignore in our strategising is Russia because it's run by a psychopathic autocrat, so they're not going to do anything we suggest. We might as well leave them out of the 'first steps' entirely. If anything is going to be done get out of this mess it's going to be Ukraine, the US, or Europe doing it.

    if the war would be stopped now, do notice the bleak situation where Ukraine would be left. First of all, if it wouldn't be the Ukrainians themselves being OK for a cease-fire, but the West demanding Ukraine to a ceasefire and cessation of operation, that would be damaging. If Ukrainian leadership comes to the conclusion that they should accept a cease-fire with Russia holding all territory it has now, it's up to them. Not the West. In this situation they would have of their citizens under the rule of Russia, which they do not want. Nobody would invest in Ukraine as the conflict could spark again at any moment. For Putin the war would be a success, and he could finish the job once he has restocked his weapons and munitions. How it would be viewed is that even if the operation didn't go well at the start, it was successful thanks to Russian persistence and the utter weakness of the West. After all, in Russian propaganda the West is faltering on collapse.ssu

    No one is suggesting a ceasefire (with territorial losses) would be a picnic. It would be awful. You're just not even considering how awful the alternative is.
  • jorndoe
    3.4k
    Russia says Ukraine ceasefire now would not achieve Moscow's goals
    — Kevin Liffey, Mark Trevelyan · Reuters · Mar 31, 2023
    In terms of Ukraine, nothing is changing, the special military operation is continuing because today that is the only means in front of us to achieve our goals.Peskov

    Apparently, Putin ditched the upper age limit for conscription. Maybe they're currently running low on cannon fodder.
  • jorndoe
    3.4k
    Putin's war efforts in Ukraine continue to create hatersFeb 26, 2023

    Russia's war on Ukraine latest: Kyiv assails Russia's UN Security Council presidency
    — Reuters · Apr 1, 2023
    Kyiv says Russian UN Security Council presidency is absurd
    — The Jerusalem Post · Apr 1, 2023
    Ukraine Calls Russia’s UN Security Council Presidency ‘Slap In The Face’
    — RFE/RL · Apr 1, 2023

    Fitting date. :)

    So far you've just followed the Western propaganda. I've given solid evidence about Ukraine's human rights record, arms dealing, corruption, and oppression and you've come back with nothing but bluster.Isaac

    ... just ... propaganda ... bluster? :roll: You've consistently ignored comments regarding the trajectory of Putin's Russia versus Ukraine's trajectory, except indirectly here, and there's been a bit about that already. Russia isn't a democracy.

    Here's a way to "save lives". :)Mar 27, 2023
    A president against a president and vice president against a vice president, and a duel takes place, if they are serious. And in this way we are saving the American and Iraqi people.Taha Yassin Ramadan (Iraqi vice president, 2002)
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