Comments

  • “Supernatural” as an empty, useless term
    I believe I already mentioned this before.

    Supernatural, interpreted as something extraordinary, elecits/begs one of two responses:

    1. Revision of our theories pertaining to the supernatural event: Science [we could be wrong, back to the basics].

    2. Maintaining the theories pertaining to the supernatural event, but hypothesizing an entity/being that caused the supernatural event: Religion [we're right, but now there's something else, god(s)]
    Agent Smith
    I think i more or less agree. Modern religion is having a hard time trying to prove that any "supernatural" event and/or being isn't anything more than any other natural phenomenon that we currently experience but just beyond how we currently understand them. In other words it is a given that things that we considered to be gods, "God", etc. always have some little man hiding behind a curtain pulling levers masquerading to be something beyond our world yelling at us to not look behind the curtain.

    However, there is still a chance for us to be in awe of even natural phenomenon if it involves something well beyond our means of understanding of the world as we know it. For example the phenomenon of UFOs seems to suggest that there are aerial vehicles that are sometimes in our sky and are produced by technology that we currently can produce. Even if such things are not produced through "supernatural" means, understanding their existence better than what we currently do could create a paradigm shift in how we see the world around us. While such a shift would not be in the order of something like a real "supernatural" phenomenon, it is almost on the same level.
  • “Supernatural” as an empty, useless term
    “Supernatural” means above and beyond the natural world. It’s a valid, internally consistent concept. It’s also an empty, useless concept because we do not know the limits of the natural. We do not possess the means of verifying that some phenomenon is, in fact, above and beyond the natural world.

    We have yet to discover all that is possible. We may believe phenomena such as lightning, walking on water, riding a winged horse, or rising from the dead are phenomena beyond nature, but we cannot know it. In the past, we might have believed someone in Africa could not have a real-time conversation with someone in South America. We might have believed that we would never be able to ask a tiny handheld box for directions home. Today, mobile phones routinely perform both tasks.

    Old Theology ontologies often include supernatural beings and places: Gods and demons, heaven and hell, Bodhisattvas and nirvana. New Theology has no use for the concept of the supernatural. Until we know for certain the limits of the natural universe, we cannot know if something is beyond its limits.
    Art48
    The natural order of things more or less maintains that EVERYTHING that exists has to obey certain laws. If something was able to do things that broke these laws it would be something beyond the way we currently understand them. However even if we didn't understand how such phenomenon worked it wouldn't necessarily mean that they are "supernatural".

    Take for example the phenomenon of ghosts. Many people through out the world report seeing ghost and sometimes they even manage to take photographs of them. Even if they do exist, their existence may not break the natural order of things if somehow their existence can be understood and explained through scientific means. However even if they can be understood, there is a decent chance that such phenomenon happen through means that different than how we currently understand how we understand natural phenomenon. For example are they created somehow through the process of when someone dies and some residue and/or energy from that person still remains and can interact with the world around us or are they somehow created through through our own minds through something like our own psychic abilities. If either of these where true it would likely result in the rewriting of how we currently explain "natural" phenomenon.

    Another example would be the existence of "magic". As far as we know "magic" does not exist (other than sleight of hand or other tricks), but if it did exist it and we would require us to change how we understand and explain natural phenomenon.

    I guess what I'm trying to get at is there is a grey area of science were we kind of understand and explain things as well as things we really can't understand or explain things that well. In this area there very well may be phenomenon that borders what we today consider to be natural phenomenon and phenomenon that behaves in a way things that we use to consider to be "supernatural" such as ghosts, magic, etc.. Because of this difference between the two phenomenon it is still kind of important that we reserve the word "supernatural" for things that are beyond how we currently understand them.

    While it is true that as time goes on we may be able to understand certain phenomenon that can not be explained with how we currently understand them and may even be able to produce technology that utilizes the processes that enables such phenomenon to exist, it is important to understand since we currently don't know how and or why they exist that they are phenomenon that are currently beyond our understanding and their existence could change the way we look and understand the world around us.

    I hope you understand this and can appreciate this distinction between what is classified as natural and "supernatural" phenomenon. While "supernatural" phenomenon may not actually be "supernatural", it is different enough from what we consider to be natural phenomenon for us to make note of such a differences.
  • The Limitations of Philosophy and Argumentation
    :fire: You should be a billionaire!Agent Smith
    Yes, I too agree that 180 Proof is a modern day version of Socrates. :grin:
  • The Limitations of Philosophy and Argumentation
    To demonstrate, here are some attempts at questions/ observations I think do have substantial interest.

    What is generally understood, and what do I specifically understand, by the concept of God, and why?
    SatmBopd
    To the best of human knowledge (at the present time) "God" ,as he is defined by Abrahamic religions, does not exist. Why this is would require a very lengthy discussion which is a bit beyond this thread but if need an explanation I suggest creating another thread to address this issue.

    What phenomena is morality trying to comprehend/ address? Is it possible to comprehend/ address these phenomena in other/ better ways?SatmBopd
    "Morality" as well as "good/evil" are just mental projection we create in order to rationalize why we do certain actions instead of others. In a nutshell, it is merely a tool we use in order to help us survive an beyond that it really doesn't have meaning.

    What are the differences between my worldview and others’? Are these differences reconcilable? How or why not?SatmBopd
    You have your religious beliefs or system of beliefs and other people have theirs. If you can understand other peoples system of beliefs (religious or otherwise) as well as they understand them then they are somewhat reconcilable. How you go about this is a bit up to you.

    What is the furthest extent of the capacities/ limitations of humanity?SatmBopd
    One can understand the current limitations of humanity to some degree, but it is pretty much a given that we can not answer what the limitations of humanity either hundreds or thousands of years from now since we don't know what technology or information will be available to human beings at that time. When one is presented with issues which require knowledge that is not available all one can do is simply understand that such questions do not have answers.

    What are the capacities/ limitations of argumentation/ philosophy? Is there anything else that can exceed these capacities/ limitations?SatmBopd
    I don't know much about Post-Modern philosophy, but I think this is a question that is brought up in such discussions. I can't say that you will find the answers you seek if you study such a subject but it is the only things I can think of at the moment.

    After reading your questions the only question I have is what is it that you seek to achieve or learn by asking them? For me I'm kind of curious as to whether you are someone that has studied philosophy for some time and has now decided to try to check out the peripheral aspects of it or whether you are someone new and just desire to try and jump into the deep end.

    In a way the questions you are not that different then other more simple philosophical questions other than one must be able to shift from one paradigm or narrative with ease in order to be able to be comfortable with the possible answers when trying to address such things.
  • Why do we fear Laissez-faire?
    I'm sorry I haven't paid attention for awhile (although by now it feels a lot like beating a dead horse) but I just remembered something that I read somewhere back right after the end of the Cold War. The article went something along the lines that with the end of the old USSR and the supposed victory of "capitalism" over "socialism" the was the potential for a new kind of problem happening over the end socialism in general called "run away capitalism".

    My memory is a little poor and I likely didn't read the entire article but from what I remember of it it mentioned that unbridled capitalism, like any unbridled ideology, could make things even worse than things were between when we had friction between socialized and capitalistic markets. There would likely be more markets going up and down, weaker unions, less regulations, and valuations of any given product or company fluctuating more wildly than before.

    (For information on the first record market bubble see the below link)
    Tulip mania
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulip_mania

    It is hard to put a finger on "exactly" what would be the problem with a runaway capitalism type situation other than very little government oversight, a giant rift between the top 5% and everyone else, and all the power centered in the hands of the extreme uber-wealthy elite (which almost the same as it has ever been except even worse than before) but it also suggest probably the worse issue is the close -mindedness it could create for America and the rest of Western world. I believe this part of the issue is about that if there is no contrast between Capitalism and any other ideology then Capitalism is considered in a way the only ideology that is valid and "perfect" in it's own right.

    From what little I know of history, ideology, sociology, philosophy, etc. is that when a culture like the one we have in the West becomes closed minded enough to only believe in ideology or one way of looking at the world that ideology more or less becomes merely dogma and those with status and/or power merely want to maintain the status quo. I could be wrong but it is similar to how the US was able to become more powerful than other countries in the last few hundred years. The US was willing to become BOTH industrialized and think and do things in a new way, if doing so had any potential of making things work better then how things where done in the past.

    I think in a nutshell what people like NOS4A2 do realize is that the issue isn't about people having a problem with laissez-faire or whatever similar doctrine, it is about the common sense that most people about relying on ANY economic, religious, social, etc. theoretical doctrine or dogma to fix EVERYTHING. The real world is more complicated than any one ideology can example and while one ideology/narrative can be used to either explain and/or fix certain issues it shouldn't be the only tool that one has.

    I don't know the ultimate outcome of what will happen to a society that allows a runway-capitalism system to go on, but I doubt that it is pretty.

    (1988 Movie - "They Live" - where aliens come to earth and control everyone, which has been often commented as a metaphor for how similar it is to how the uber-rich/powerful and corporations already control everything.)


    .
  • Why do we fear Laissez-faire?
    Excellent points, all.

    In a rational world, that so many people of such divergent views can recognize how silly an argument is would give the proponent pause — and perhaps be inclined to open his mind to new vistas.

    I’d like to think an old dog can learn new tricks. I’m proven wrong again and again.
    Xtrix
    I think part of the issue is that it is nearly impossible for someone to change their point of view even when they are faced with information that shows contradictions in one's thinking. In fact it is usually only possible after they have faced the same or similar contradictions several times and only then if they are opened minded enough to question their own thinking. I helps to understand that it often takes months or years for someone to become indoctrinated with any given view so it is more or less a given that in order for someone to overcome it it would take a process that is almost as time consuming

    It is one of the reasons misinformation and propaganda can be so dangerous, those in power can choose what thoughts and messages are available to the plebs who listen to the mass media. In don't know if the term is still used but supposedly a professional and skilled spin doctor often create any kind of narrative one wants the people to believe as well as dismiss information that contradicts or undermine the narrative is trying to achieve.

    As far as I know, the process often begins when one is young and gradually built piecemeal as one gets older. Part of the success of such gradual brain washing requires constantly being fed information that kind of fits together (facts tend to accepted/remembered better when they already fit in with what one believes) as well means for such person to ignore that which contradicts such beliefs (which usually happens because they don't "fit in" with their already accepted world view). Obviously some people are more susceptible then other but it is a given that nearly everyone is susceptible to such methods to some degree.

    In it's most basic form it is done with a kind of shotgun mentality where any given message is spread out to as many people as possible (as well as being the cheapest way possible) with the hopes they at least just stop for a minute to listen to it. It is kind of like how corporations use commercials to make you think Product A is better than Product B merely because you have at least heard of Product A in a commercial if nothing else. You would think that the average human beings today would be smart enough to notice this argumentum ad populum type fallacy and wouldn't buy it just because they have seen commercial(s) about it, but we usually don't and therefore we are susceptible to such easy manipulation. To be honest I don't really know how effective such tactics are, but I think it is safe to say they are effective enough in order to make corporations and others pay to make and air them; which is kind of a scary thought when one realizes how expensive things like the commercials played during the super bowl.

    The most important thing to note is that the tactics used in commercials to make people buy any given product can more or less be used for many other things such as what political views they have, who they vote for, or even what one thinks about. It is kind of like a blacksmith forging a tool or weapon on top of the anvil, it takes many blows for him to get any piece of metal to take the shape he needs but once it gets there and it cools it almost never changed unless a incredibly powerful force that is beyond it's ability to handle.

    I hope that this helps explain why it is hard to change people's view once they have been indoctrinated with beliefs/narratives that can be faulty and they are either teenagers and/or adults. With kids I don't know how easy it is to indoctrinate them since some of idea that may be presented to them may be beyond their understanding. My guess would be is there are still professional spin doctors around, I'm pretty sure they would know the ins and outs of such things better than me.
  • Why do we fear Laissez-faire?
    The reason The Wealthy purchase or influence power is because the people with power are selling it.
    — NOS4A2

    Imagine actually believing this.

    Put yourself in these shoes and consider it.

    Frightening, isn’t it?
    Xtrix
    Yeah, when I read that it kind of made my head spin as well. It looks like NOS4A2 is willing to blame people in the State for being willing and going through with the selling of political influence to the uber wealthy while at the same time thinks that the uber wealthy are blameless in such transactions because it is merely what the wealthy "do".

    With such logic one can justify almost any crime (at least where more than two are involved) if one frames one of the people as the "evil" criminal (in this casethe State) and the other person as someone somehow "coerced" into doing it. I don't know much of the law but I believe there is a difference between being merely tempted into a crime and someone being threatened and coerced into it, and the fact that the wealthy are merely tempted by the fact that they can buy influence doesn't mean that they are not criminally liable for the wrongful act that they are doing.

    I might be missing something in the argument but I don't see how he can claim that only the people selling political influence are committing a crime and not those that trying to buy it. IMHO at least both are equally wrong but from a moral point of view it seems like those buying the political influence are worse since it is likely they they will commit further criminal mischief once they have said political influence and the act of "buying" political influence is just part of a bigger criminal plan to commit other crimes (often with the hopes of getting away with it). Of course since I'm not a lawyer, I don't know if such reasoning has any part in judging the significance of such crimes although part of me says they should.
  • Why do we fear Laissez-faire?
    Laissez faire: cover for corporatism.Xtrix

    You should probably double check what that word means.NOS4A2

    That is what it means.Xtrix

    :up:

    Laissez faire and Ayn Rand Objectivism are just BS/fantasy world for the uber rich (and the idiots they have brainwashed to think like them) that talks about how and why the government/State should only be there to keep the working poor/middle class in their place (ie taking care of and serving the rich) and protecting the uber rich.

    It is almost a given that the uber rich are at least smart enough to know that if the State/government wasn't there to protect them there would be little to nothing to prevent the plebs that serve them from taking up arms and going against them. So they create the enough of a State to at least protect them, but do everything in their power to prevent said institutions to protect individual and human rights for the rest of us.

    It is pretty much a given that countries that believe such non-sense devolve into little more than plutocratic or autocratic societies filled with cronyism, corruption, and other issues. Of course people like NOS4A2 think it some "evil" people in the State (such as the bureaucrats and cops that are in it) that cause these problems to happen and not the uber wealthy that buy and sell favors to the politicians they put in there, nor the politicians that sell their souls to said uber wealthy individuals.

    IMHO at least with ideologies such as Machiavellianism, at least they are more honest with the manipulation/deceit that happens and they accept the fact that it is a dog eat dog world. With doctrine like Laissez faire/Objectivism, they like to cover up the fact the the uber rich are exploiting everyone else and that any given moment that the repressed might rise up and violently overthrown and/or punish those who have been abusing them. Arguments for Laissez faire type thinking like to just white wash that this kind of issue/struggle is constantly going on and when such doctrines are used for social policies, it increases the class divide and the odds that society will descend into violence between the haves and have nots.

    So in a nutshell, your statement that Laissez faire beliefs are mere dogma/propaganda for the corporations and the uber rich that own them is right on money.
  • Why do we fear Laissez-faire?
    If anyone in a discussion with us is not concerned with adjusting himself to truth, if he has no wish to find the truth, he is intellectually a barbarian. That, in fact, is the position of the mass-man when he speaks, lectures or writes. — Jose Ortega y Gasset - The Revolt of the Masses - p.72, footnote 1
    :up:

    I'm not sure exactly what it means but I like it. :grin:
  • Why do we fear Laissez-faire?
    The reason The Wealthy purchase or influence power is because the people with power are selling it. If the state didn’t have that power The Wealthy wouldn’t be able to purchase it. The Wealthy do not have the power you claim they do until the people with power afford it to them, and even then it’s just the promise that the state will use its power to benefit The Wealthy.NOS4A2
    This is just more of the same Ayn Rand type BS you have already been spouting.

    You think that the State itself decided to allow itself to manipulated and made into a puppet because it thought that it was a "good" thing to do without anything to make it so in the first place? Are you not aware of the fact that since the beginning of the creation of the State there have been wealthy plump older white men siting behind their little desks writing up the rules that everyone else have to live by in effect making it virtually little to no difference those who run and control the the State (who are again most wealthy plump older white men) and the wealthy people that wrote the rules in the first place? Have you never even heard of the Skull and Bones secret society as well as other similar secret societies with similar agendas to have most if not all the power in a small handful of uber wealthy elites? Have ever noticed or wondered why most Americans have to pay between 50%-66% of their income on rent while most of the rest of the developed world pay around 25%-30% of their income on rent or is that something that has never crossed your naïve mind?

    Skull and Bones
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skull_and_Bones

    The Poor, with no wealth, can only purchase or influence power through less-costly means such as voting or protest.NOS4A2
    Which is really no power. The only time the poor has real power is when things are so bad that they start working together collectively and stop relying on those with money or in the state to tell them what to do. Of course I imagine someone like you would call that socialism which of course is even a bigger evil then your so called "State"

    Both seek to influence power, actual power. Both desire the same ends: to use state power to benefit their preferred group of beneficiaries.NOS4A2
    What conveniently forgetting with your Ayn Rand type rhetoric is the uber wealthy elites already have immense power over the plebs and wage slaves that serve them and with their easy access to money it is much, much easier for them to influence politicians then it is for the poor.

    A police officer has the legal right to use force against you. The bureaucrat has the legal right take your children, your home, your wages. They can put you in prison. I don’t think any other class of people has that sort of power in the statist system.NOS4A2
    Again, I don't know what you have against cops but whatever it is it is likely unfounded. Police officers are mostly there to act as arbitrators in whatever disputes or crimes in the communities they serve and have to work in and obey the law just as much as the citizens they are there to serve and protect. Without their service (just as many ways the soldiers in the US military) you wouldn't have the freedom right now to speak your mind and spout your anti-cop nonsense and insult them.

    I suggest you watch a movie called "Crown Vic" in order for you to get a better understanding of what it is like to have to be a cop since apparently from your comments you or pretty ignorant of what they are like and what they have to put up with on a day to day basis.

    Crown Vic
    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4558200/

    Thin blue line
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thin_blue_line

    Also you might want to know about one of the quotes used in the movie:

    "People sleep peacefully in their beds only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf"- George Orwell

    While you might think that "cops" are only brutes there to take advantage of you whenever they feel like it, you forget that without their presence that there would be other brutes to take advantage of you in every way possible without you being able to do anything about it. If you had any brains about you, you would rather have to deal with the former than the latter.

    As with your rant about bureaucrats, it is just more BS sine they too have to obey certain set of rules just as citizens and cops do and can't not just take people stuff whenever they want to.

    In this world the best we can hope for is that the majority of people who are either rich, poor, work for the State, or whatever do their best to work within the rules of society and when they don't that the law and other checks and balances that are in place are able to do something about it. The main difference between how I see things and what you see is that I'm well aware most of the working poor, bureaucrats, cops, and similar people have little to no choice but to try and work in society or have their world turned upside down at the drop of a hat where as you tend to think that this is not the case.

    Again I have no idea what kind of Ayn Rand or Ayn Rand like nonsense you read to think that the little people have formed some kind of secret cabal and created the State in order to abuse and control "poor", "defenseless", and "helpless" uber wealthy people who really only want to help everyone else, but such beliefs are not in line with how things really work or how the state of the world really is.
  • All claims are justifiable.
    Methinks the OP is onto something really important. It happened to Christianity. Church Councils were convened in which Christian doctrines were adopted not by argumentation but by vote (argumentum ad populum). The next generation of theologians then went to work on these tenets, reasoning backwards to axioms that would support them. This is just a hypothesis of course; cum grano salis. Modern psychology has a term for this: rationalization!Agent Smith
    :up:

    I think you are more or less correct in this in that before now we used to have theologians discuss/argue about whatever the nature of the world around us because they were the only ones "qualified" (according to the church) to do this. Today this I believe has been replaced with something called critical theory which instead theologians we have mostly academia's doing it.

    Critical theory
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_theory

    One small issue in your statement however is that if one works backwards to the axioms that are to support our reasoning is that the axioms (self evident truths) is that the axioms themselves really don't hold themselves together and they are only true because we allow they to be true. The reason for this is itself worthy enough for it's own thread, but in a nutshell it really doesn't change the way things work other that to say that any given world view of society, history. etc. is in itself merely a narrative (or paradigm) of how things are which may be true to some degree while a contradicting narrative/paradigm might be equally true.

    Narrative
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narrative

    An example of two conflicting narratives/paradigms could be the difference in how Americans and Russians perceive the war in Ukraine.
  • Why do we fear Laissez-faire?
    Maybe you really are just too dense to get the point being made, so I'll bite and state it explicitly:

    Corporations are run undemocratically. Unlike the government. To argue the former is OK and the latter not because the former is associated with "voluntarily" is simplistic, in the same way that arguing one is "voluntarily" associating with a state is also simplistic.

    Millions of people have to work, otherwise they starve and become homeless. When you're poor, you take a job anywhere. This is why Amazon moves their facilities to places like Bessemer, Alabama or to a poor country. Paying people meager wages, giving them no say in what happens within the company, and hoarding 90% of the profits they all help to generate is unjust. At least on par with an income tax.

    The problem is that you're too sick to see any of this, and find a way to bring it back to the state or ignore the problem outright.
    Xtrix
    :up:
  • Why do we fear Laissez-faire?
    Putin is the leader of a state. Yours is an example of an agent of the state getting away with such activity. But the phrase “the wealthy” also applies to people who are not agents of the state.NOS4A2
    You are misinterpreting my posts. Pretty much every time I talk about the uber wealthy doing whatever they want, I'm careful to include those who also are also in a positions of power. The simple reason is power that comes through wealth or power that comes from other means isn't really all that different. While you may think they are different or think that I consider them different, it is not what I believe. It is kind of moot how one obtains power once they start abusing it compared to the fact that they are abusing it.

    And "No" I don't have problems with people who have wealth and are not abusing the power that comes with it and your constant insisting that I'm saying ALL wealthy people are abusing their power and/or are "evil" merely because they are wealthy is a strawman because it is NOT what I'm saying.

    Elon Musk, for example, doesn’t have the monopoly on violence, and any middle-class cop can toss him in jail should he break a rule.NOS4A2
    Your incredibly naïve if you actually believe that any middle-class cop in the US can easily throw someone like Elon Musk in jail. For one thing, people like Elon Musk have something like an army of lawyers to help get him out of jail for whatever reason and if a cop trying to arrest him does anything wrong it could likely end his career.

    It is pretty much a given that the law applies differently between those that are wealthy and those that are not. A few years ago a teenager while drinking and driving crashed into another vehicle and killed several people inside. However his rich parents (and their lawyers) made it so that he didn't have to serve any real jail time and only had to wear a monitoring device on his leg and not get caught drinking again. If someone else did the same thing it is pretty much a given they wouldn't been given such kid glove treatment.

    If the richest man in America and the poorest cop in America were to draw guns and point them at each other, which one could shoot the other and be applauded for doing so?NOS4A2
    I'm having trouble imaging why one of the richest men in the US would want to try to have a shoot out with any cop as well as why any cop would want to shoot at such a person. Is it because you think cops have too much power because they are allowed to carry and use guns if need be or is it because you think that too many cops are just sociopaths that join the police force in order so they can get a chance to go out and shoot people.

    In any case I'm pretty sure who does and doesn't have power really doesn't have much to do with whether or not someone can carry a firearm with them on their job. As to your imaginary scenario with who can get away with and/or applauded for shooting who, there are too many variables to such an event to consider that you have left out that it is impossible to comment on who is right or wrong in such a situation.

    It’s true, I do not equate the wealthy with the state because there are plenty non-wealthy, middle to low-class people who are agents of it. Similarly, not every wealthy person is an agent of the state.NOS4A2
    Big deal, so there may be many people that work for the government who are merely pencil pushers that are not wealthy and are not that wealthy. Do you think these people have some kind of power that the rest of us have or are they merely underlings of people who either have more power and/or wealth then themselves.

    For me, most of these man and women who are only there to put in their 8 hours and earn a paycheck have little to nothing with this seemingly omni-powerful "State" you keep talking about. If anything they are merely drones like the rest of us trying to do whatever they can do to survive.

    If you believe there is some kind of "collusion" going on between such government plebs that allows them to be as or more powerful then the ultra-powerful/uber wealthy that seem to control everything that please show some proof to support such beliefs.

    As far as I can tell, those with the top 1% of the wealth and those that get into political positions because they are supported by those people have FAR more power than them.

    You keep telling me things are a given but on closer examination we find they are not, and are in fact the opposite of the case. It makes all this condescending language about my thinking and naivety all the more precious.NOS4A2
    I hate to say it but you all arguments/posts do seem incredibly naïve to me since your talking about some kind of imaginary "State" which supposedly has all the power to do anything they want, and that the uber-wealthy/ultra-powerful people who get their wealth/powerful from somewhere else are as powerless as the rest of us to do anything about it.

    I don't know if you have been just reading too many of Ayn Rand's books or similar non-sense but your arguments suggests that what your view the world to be and what it actually is are two completely separate things.
  • All claims are justifiable.
    I take in a lot of information daily and all of it I hear and understand, even if it is incorrect.

    I cannot justifiably say any claim is NOT data, nor can I say it's data that points to a precise meaning, therefore all claims are justifiable.

    I mean, what is printed here may be all I want you to hear, but any fray may give an imperfect address.

    If you are uninformed laterally in all cases, is any case residual?

    If a person means more than what they say, can a claim ever be justified?

    But not all art is interpreted the right way...
    Varde

    "Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see." - Benjamin Franklin

    Or in other words, be very careful in what you accept as real. Information is merely data and data itself isn't facts or even necessarily useful. Claims that are not backed up data and facts are not as valid as claims that are, nor are claims backed up by faulty data/facts as valid as claims are backed up correct data/facts. it sounds like something so simple that even a first grader should be able to do it, but as adults we are easily tricked by simple propaganda and other misinformation that often caters to our lazy way of interpreting the world around us.

    As another forum member named 180 Proof often said "That which is argued without reason or anything to back it, can easily be dismissed without anything reason." (Sorry 180 Proof if this isn't really worded exactly the right way)

    If you believe this is an issue for you then I suggest that you try to better develop your critical thinking skills and at least understand things like logical fallacies:

    15 Logical Fallacies You Should Know
    https://thebestschools.org/magazine/15-logical-fallacies-know/

    List of fallacies
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies

    While an argument that has a fallacy isn't necessarily wrong, usually finding and knowing about a fallacy in an argument can help you know why it is flawed.

    As to the question as to how far you need to sharpen you own critical thinking skills beyond what they are is only something you can answer. Hopefully this answers your dilemma which is more or less true for the rest of us as well
  • Can God construct a rock so heavy that he can't lift it?
    This is a paradox one might come across if they consider God's omnipotence. If the answer is yes, then there is one thing he can't do (lift a heavy enough rock), which contradicts the definition of omnipotence (being able to do anything). The same applies if the answer is no. How would you solve this paradox?Cidat

    "Man is quite insane. He wouldn't know how to create a maggot, and he creates gods by the dozen." - Michel de Montaigne

    Someone can claim that "God" is omnipotent, omniscient, and/or omini-whatever else they can think of but does that really mean that that is what "God" is. At times it may seem like fun to try and guess what God may be like, but it is a given that a man can not understand what "God" might be any more than an ant could understand what a man may be like. In most cultures where people are not indoctrinated with Abrahamic religions (which pretend to know what "God" is and wants), it is taboo to speak of such things because it often just descends into madness. It is also taboo/heresy in cultures with Abrahamic religions to talk about such things that are not part of the "official" doctrine since such beliefs more often than not conflict with existing beliefs.

    In truth, what "God" is most likely (or what we can know) is merely the super-ego part of our mind telling us what to do or not do. To understand how this is, or why it even exist I suggest you read up on Julian Jaynes's "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind" on how early man didn't quite have a consciousness or what we think of "ego" in today's world and only something like the primitive animal like "Id" and the "super-ego" ( a subconscious collection of social rules morals, ideals, etc.) to guide primitive man in his day to day survival.

    The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Origin_of_Consciousness_in_the_Breakdown_of_the_Bicameral_Mind

    If you REALLY want to see how "God" and your super-ego actually work, I suggest you try to talk to "God" at least once if not several times a day about whatever you feel like. My guess it usually takes anywhere between 6 months to around two years before you will start getting answers in your head from either "God" or your super-ego. From what little I know about the theory and whatever explains how this works, primitive man usually didn't have to spend years trying to talking to "God" before he answered because almost as soon as they became semi-mature they would naturally start trying to talk to gods or "God" without really even being aware of it.

    And one last thing, it likely helps if you actually believe in "God", super-ego, or whatever it is that you are trying to talk to. Be aware that whatever conversations you have, "God"/ super-ego/or whatever it is you talk to you may not like what it is they have to say. Also as far as I know, Abrahamic teachings often frown on this way on trying to understand "God" (verses trying to understand from their books and teachings) since one's own super-ego/"God" says to them can obviously tell them things then what their books say and when that happens they say you are talking to devils or demons and not "God". Just consider it if you are someone that tries to follow one of the Abrahamic systems of beliefs. If you don't then I guess you really don't have too much to worry about.
  • Why do we fear Laissez-faire?
    We can compare our naivety. If I’m so naive on the topic it should be easy for you to name a wealthy person who has committed murder and violence “just as much as the State has”; or name one wealthy person in Russia or China who has arrested someone and confiscated his wealth. I can give countless examples of States engaging in such behavior.NOS4A2
    That is easy, In 2003, Putin arrested and froze Mikhail Khodorkovsky assets. In order to keep the same thing from happening to them other Russian oligarchs handed over a large sum of their own assets to Putin himself. This single act made Putin one of the richest/powerful people on the planet and few people even know the entire sum of what he really owns.



    As far as I can tell you have not given any examples in our conversations

    Here is an example of the wealthy people (in the US) and/or companies starting wars/killing people in order to help their bottom line.



    It’s a good thing there are compassionate, not-so-wealthy people such as yourself out there spending your efforts to help the elderly, disabled, the poor etc. to compensate for the lack of wealthy concern. But in effect you’re not helping, but advocating that the state and the wealthy—others—should help the poor wherever you refuse to. Equating compassion with tax-paying and statism is one of the greatest evils in the history of mankind, in my opinion.NOS4A2

    I'm not any more "compassionate" or whatever you think I am than other people (I actually believe/follow Machiavellianism due to what I know about the world). The only reason I'm "advocating" for more help for the working poor/middle class is that if all there is is very poor and uber rich people, there is little to nothing in the way of oversight of those in power since the very poor have nothing in the way of time/energy/resources of resisting those in power.

    I think a part of the problem with your thinking is that you believe the uber wealthy and the "state" are two completely separate things when instead they are really two sides of the same coin. It is pretty much a given that the uber wealthy will ALWAYS have enough resources to make sure their needs are taken care of and that the laws are written in a way that allows them to more or less do whatever they want and for the state to be there to keep the plebs beneath them under their control. It is only through your own folly (as well as people that think like you) to think that it is the "state" is the "bad guy" when in reality "the state" (and those who work within it) are mostly just a puppet of those with wealth and power. While it is possible for someone in the state (such as Stalin) to not always "obey" the uber wealthy/powerful, that only becomes possible when those with money and power put them in such a position and/or they screw up so badly that they lose power in an uprising.

    It is the uber wealthy/powerful that more or less create the state to take care of their wants and needs (at least the authoritarian states that you are taking about), it isn't "the state" that creates the uber powerful/wealthy.
  • Why do we fear Laissez-faire?
    The wealthy don’t posses the monopoly on violence. The state does. The state, not the wealthy, can murder you in the street with impunity, throw you in jail, or confiscate your wealth. .NOS4A2
    If this is what you believe then your really naïve since it is pretty much a given that those who have enough wealth/power can often commit murder (or more likely get someone else to do it for them so they don't have to get their own hands dirty) and violence just as much as the state can. Often the people running the state are mere puppets of those who are already wealthy and who have power and will start wars, jail, and/or prosecute those who cause problems that are wealthy. While it might sound like a "nice" idea for people who share your views to get rid of all state and government entities and just let the uber rich just do what they want, but that would merely make matters worse and turn such countries/governments into autocracies or neo-feudalism which is basically what has happened in China and Russia where the uber wealthy/powerful can arrest people for whatever reason and/or confiscate whatever wealth anyone for merely being labeled a terrorist/enemy of the state.

    If there is absolutely no separation between the wealthy and those who run government then it merely means those with money and influence run/control EVERYTHING and they can do ANYTHING they want without fear of any prosecution.

    Slavery is still legal in the United States constitution, for example, so long the slave is the property of the American justice system. But if you’re fine with being controlled by politicians and bureaucrats, and those politicians and bureaucrats turn out to operate in the service of the wealthy, I guess that’s just too bad.NOS4A2
    While slavery may be illegal in most Western countries, there are still many uber wealthy people that still have enough resources to buy and have slaves. Without any governments to make it illegal to have slaves the uber wealthy can easily turn anyone they want into slaves if they wish to do so.

    Most politicians are one way or another in the pockets of those that have money or at least very influenced by them. It is you who are fooled into thinking that the politicians/state want people to be mindless and obedient plebs an not the people who are themselves in control of the politicians themselves.

    I’m not sure why any community requires the wealthy or the state to help them. It’s not “a given” that this should be so. But I can go to any large city in North America, wherever the state is at its most powerful, and look around to see what your state help amounts to. Not a whole lot.NOS4A2
    I guess then you have never be poor and/or out of work and have had to try and find a way to make ends met. Or have ever be rob, ever have had to drive a car, go to a public school, or have ever had a medical issues that was too expensive for you to pay for. Without a income there are many elderly, disabled, etc people that can not survive without some kind of subsidy to help them pay for what they need and you have to be incredibly dumb (or incredibly insolated from the rest of the world) not to understand that they many of the most wealthiest people out there would rather see such people die than have to spend money to help them.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    Good collection. :up: Some videos have already been mentioned here.

    If one doesn't have the time to read and someone is totally new to the subject, I urge looking at those (or listening while doing something else).
    ssu

    Thanks. :grin:
  • Why do we fear Laissez-faire?
    I get a similar feeling about statists. Since there are ways to care for others that do not involve state authority, I lean to the belief that those who are dependent on the state to care for others don’t really care for others. It’s just that they’d much rather have someone else do it for them. This isn't a liberal or objectivist critique of statist charity, as far as I know, but a Marxist one. As I mentioned earlier, the absence of a state would lay bare your compassion for what it really amounts to, and so far it’s not looking pretty.NOS4A2

    From what I'm reading from your post you are saying isn't doesn't help against why we shouldn't have the state have control or regulate anything but seems more to support it. If the people who have money/power to make sure that are adequate resources for those who either work for them and/or beneath them then it is a given that a third party needs to be created in order for that issue to be taken care of.

    If you know a bit about history you would know before the industrial age it was a given that the aristocrats (or their equivalent) in any given area where not only in charge of the lands and businesses they controlled but also the wellbeing of the towns or whatever the presided over. Therefore it was in their best interest to try and do something about poverty, homelessness, etc. in the areas they had influence over. In a way it isn't really that different then a farm taking care of his land in that if they overtax the earth they are growing crops (ie growing crops that use to much nutrients and/or water) that they will likely have trouble growing more crops in the future.

    However, during the industrial age things changed in that those with money and power no longer really had to care about the towns, factories, or people that were used to make money for them. Instead of people like a aristocrats managing the people working for the the people investing in things like factories or railroads instead hired supervisors who's main task was to pay as little as possible for work done or maintaining whatever resources they where in charge of and/or extract as much money/profit as possible. And because more often than not those that invested in such businesses had little to no concern for the communities their businesses resided in, it became more important for some government agency to do this instead since it was a given that the idle rich had no desire to do this themselves.

    In a nutshell since it is a given that may wealthy individuals have no interest in trying to help communities that their businesses or corporations operate out of, it has becomes a responsibility of the city, state, or government. If there are places where a large business or corporation actually is responsible for helping their local community then it is a given that the state doesn't have to interfere with what they are doing. However when they don't, that is when someone has to step in and of course that is some government agency since it is a given that no other party has the resources to do so.

    And if you are someone who is "unhappy" about the state interfering with how either people and/or businesses want to do things than I guess that is just too bad. I could be wrong, but I'm fairly certain that people with wealth more often abuse their power than the people in some state or federal agency abuse whatever power they have. You may not believe this because of some propaganda you have read but the reality is in the US and much of the western world live in a plutocracy, and in a plutocracy the people with wealth and power have even more power than those running government (and/or the two are basically the same).

    Democracies require checks and balances which often come in the form of some kind of government oversight. In a way it isn't much different than a community requiring police to watch over a community. While in many communities the people are civilized enough to not require the police to have constantly be involved in anything/everything, it is a given that when something does happen a community requires at least some kind of arbitrator to help deal with an issue. People that think a communities or society doesn't require things like cops to watch over it from criminals (and/or other people misbehaving) or other people to also act as arbitrators for when a corporation/business chooses to misbehave are either naive or foolish or both.

    As the old saying goes "power corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely". One only has to see what is going on in Ukraine/Russia right now in order to understand this issue.
  • Why do we fear Laissez-faire?
    The state is mostly controlled by Capital to moderate, or manage, the economic imbalances produced by Capital's exploitation of Labor and Nature. The larger the scale and more complex / dynamic the economic activity, the more dependent dominant economic actors are on "the evils of the state" for more (cyclical) periods of stability in markets and society than would occur without the state; thus, it's not only in their respective and collective class interest to capture state policy-making but also to perpetuate the state's 'Capital-facilitating' functions (e.g. corporate welfare, socializing costs/debts of private profiteering, etc).

    In this current corporatocratic, post-mercantile era, NOS, advocating "separation of state and economy" – pure ideology (Žižek) – is no less delusional than the notion of "separation of structure and dynamics" in engineering (or no less incoherent than "separation of mind and body" in theology / metaphysics). No amount of rightist-libertarian sermonizing can change this political-economic fact (vide A. Smith, K. Marx ... J.M. Keynes ... D. Schweickart).
    180 Proof

    :up:

    I agree with your post since I couldn't put it better myself.
  • Why do we fear Laissez-faire?
    I’ve never understood the criticism of laissez-faire. Economic history, if there is such a thing, has invariably been one of statism and state intervention. Fascism, communism, progressivism, socialism—all demand the regulation of the economy, providing posterity with examples spanning the gamut of oppression and exploitation, ranging from annoying to despotic.

    So what’s to fear in the separation of the state and economy?

    Poverty, overconsumption, monopoly, wealth inequality, seem to me the common objections. Keynes said as much in his essay “The End of laissez-faire”. But all of the above are apparent in all systems, including in those in which Keynes was the architect: capitalism “wisely managed”.

    But why should it be managed at all? Why should one serve the interests of the state instead of his own and his neighbors?

    Upon thinking about it, Oscar Wilde was at least honest when he said that “Socialism would relieve us from that sordid necessity of living for others”. This attitude, I believe, represents the inherent egoism beneath the fear of the separation of state and economy. Without a state tending to the ills of the economy we would be required to confront that “sordid necessity” and to cooperate with each other based on our own personal initiative and resources. Instead of passively paying a tax or promoting this or that government service we would need to act and to do so voluntarily in order to affect any change. To “let us do” would be to lay bare our conscience and morality for what it really amounts to.

    The state wedded to the economy is by now ubiquitous, and state intervention commonplace. It has absorbed all spontaneous social effort, as Ortega Y Gasset once predicted, leaving us to not fear the social ills, which are still with us every day and in every society, but the absence of the state and what we are to do in its stead.
    NOS4A2

    I'm pretty sure other forum members may have said similar things to what I'm about to, but I wanted to put my two cents in anyways.

    Whatever you call it whether it be laissez-faire economics, objectivism, libertarianism, etc. there are people out there who want the state to be there for their needs but to stay out of their way when they are committing crimes, taking advantage of others, and/or abusing the environment around them.

    It is kind of funny that it is is almost always the "haves" and not the "have not" that are arguing for less government interference since it is a given those who are already taken care of are in a position that they need less help and/or protection from the state then those who are not as well off as they are. Because of their status it is easy to see that their argument is not really about state power but more about maintaining a type of status quo where the "have nots" have less of a chance bettering their position because the state can not interfere with those with power/wealth/position from taking advantage of those that do not have any of this.

    IMHO, things like laissez-faire economics and objectivism are really just mickey mouse versions of Machiavellianism, might make right, and the end justifying the means. The only difference between the two is that those that believe in the former and not the latter are just kidding themselves that such beliefs don't lead to the super rich having all the power (such as in a plutocracy) and/or incredibly wealthy families or members of such a country dictating what is and isn't accepting for a society while at the same time not being accountable to any authority themselves (such as Trump, the Koch brothers in the US and Russia's Putin and China's Xi Jinping).

    It is almost a given that any time you have rich/powerful people preaching something like the "state shouldn't interfere in this" and/or "corporations and businesses can regulate and police themselves" it is really about such people wanting to dismantle any checks and balances in place that may lead to prosecution if they break certain laws or run into trouble for other reasons.

    The state isn't a perfect entity, but it is one of the only things that can at times protect the the people that are not part of the elite %5 or %1 of the population who have their own private army of bodyguard, lawyers, etc. Don't be fooled into thinking that if there wasn't any government interference that you would be better off than you are now. History has shown that it is a given that those who are no supervision and no accountability in a very short period of time are willing to do awful things to others if it may make their life a bit easier. And of course the truth is there are examples of this going on today in Russia, China, and in the US.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    To be honest, I haven't been really watching this thread since it started getting so long that it is almost impossible to keep up with. However, I have been watching a few YouTube and I wanted to post/share the links to them for the other members on this forum might be able to get additional insights on some of the reasons and/or issues Russian decided to invade Ukraine and start the war that is currently going on:

    The Origins of Russian Authoritarianism
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8ZqBLcIvw0



    Russian PROPAGANDA against Ukraine explained | Why Russians don't protest
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5B9diixt1L4


    THIS explains why Russia starts insane wars
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6UiEXrVrvg


    These maps explain why Putin is invading Ukraine
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r23aYe0Mw1w


    Understanding the War in Ukraine (1) - General
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhwfC_Vh4DI


    Did NATO Really "Betray" Russia?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gg0OWPjdLzU
  • Ukraine Crisis
    On Russian state TV: host (and modern day Goebbels wannabe) Vladimir Solovyov threatens Europe and all NATO countries, as not only Ukraine has to be denazified:ssu

    I could be wrong but if Putin plans to attack any country that helps Ukraine, then it is a given that we have to help Ukraine any way we can.

    Putins reason for trying to "denazifie" is a moot issue. He reason for denazifiing any place is about as good as saying that he wants them to stop making ham and cheese sandwiches and that Russian must invade country "X" in order to do so.

    IMHO it is all just naked aggression and Russian (Putin and those that support him) merely want to turn modern Russia back into the old USSR again however they can.
  • Can minds be uploaded in computers?
    The idea runs around of loading minds up in computers. It's a recurring theme in SF culture and thought about the technological possibilities in the future. We can read on Wikipedia:

    "Mind uploading, also known as whole brain emulation (WBE), is the theoretical futuristic process of scanning a physical structure of the brain accurately enough to create an emulation of the mental state (including long-term memory and "self") and transferring or copying it to a computer in a digital form."

    I wonder if this can be done, even in principle. It presupposes that mind can be extracted, collected, and injected. I think mind is bounded to a living brain, and the living body and world the body walks around in.

    Also, a simulation isn't the same as that what's simulated. Even if the causal structures of neurons are visible in the simulation, if you replace my brain by the computer on which its simulated, so my body behaves like me, there would be no mind left. It may seem so by the body's behavior but looks can deceive. In a dream you encounter people that behave as if they have minds but they don't. I can be conscious without showing but showing doesn't imply mind. The brain simulates. So a simulated brain would be a simulated simulation device. And what to think of the impossibility to create a neuron in a lab, let alone 80 billion connected living ones?

    So what to think of the conjecture about mind uploading?
    Haglund
    I don't think a mind can be "uploaded" in a way that after a copy of your mind is "created" you would be experiencing things from a computer or whatever after the copy is made (unless there is some kind of link between the two).

    However if your only looking for a backup or copy of who you are to be around after you die than it is plausible that some kind of combination of advance MRI technology combined with 3D printers or other similar technology could do create a machine or something that could emulate the same thoughts/feelings/etc. that would be similar to as if you were still around.

    I'm sure in the far future some scientist will work on that sort of things and start building machine that will be able to so something along those lines. BTW what kind of device do you really have in mind?
  • What is Philosophy?
    Dammit, Spock! I'm a doctor, not a metaphysician! :nerd:180 Proof

    :up:
  • What is Philosophy?
    Given the word philosophy is in the very title of this forum, it seems like a fairly straightforward question, "What is philosophy?"

    The term itself, as we know, means "love of wisdom" from the Greek. But that doesn't help much until we know what "wisdom" means.

    Interested in hearing various interpretations.
    Xtrix

    There is a pretty simple answer to the question "what is philosophy" and that is that philosophy is a subcategory of something called critical thinking. Of course one might ask the question what is critical thinking and the two simplest definitions I can think of is that it is method of thinking used to solve what are otherwise complex issues and the other is that it is the means that we use to "think about thinking"
    While critical thinking and philosophy may sometimes sound like the same thing, I believe the areas of critical thinking that is considered to be philosophy (or perhaps just philosophy) is when such methods are used to solve real world issues and not just ponder academic ones, although I could be wrong about this.

    Critical thinking
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_thinking
    https://louisville.edu/ideastoaction/about/criticalthinking/what
  • Are there any scientific grounds for god?
    Can the notion of god or some form of all encompassing entity be reconciled with the fundamental basis for religions and then natural sciences? Need spirituality and science be at odds with one another or could they indeed both be describing the same thing from different perspectives?Benj96

    It kind of depends on what you define as "God". If you are talking about the "God" that is more or less defined in Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam and there various sects), the answer is most definitely "No".

    First there is the problem of whether God's power comes from him having access the incredibly advance technology or if it through some kind of "magic", and if it is through "magic" then how does this magic even work? Second whether or not God's power comes from either of these things (or even something else), does the fact that a being is either omnipotent or something very close to omnipotent necessarily mean that such a being is actually "God". In ancient times, people often accepted the idea of just bowing down to whomever had the most power. But in modern times if such a person was either corrupted or insane this could big problem. I could be wrong but bowing down to a being just because they are the most powerful if they are morally no better than Satan would not be a good thing. And ironically there are some forms of religions that claim that the "God/god" that created this world is actually evil and the true God only resides in the spiritual world such as Gnosticism.

    I could go on but in a nutshell we really can't even define God because it is all but a given that we can't comprehend an all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-whatever else would be like and so we can only imagine and/or guess as to what God is. And when it comes to when we try to guess at such things, it is always best to remind ourselves that such things are in the realm of fiction and to reality and mixing up the too doesn't work when doing real science.

    Since I've already been in enough debates regarding whether "God Exists" I stop here and just add a few YouTube links where other people add there two cents to this issue. Hopefully after watching them they will clear up and other issues I didn't have the time to get around to and address them.








  • Ukraine Crisis
    Here are a couple video's about the invasion in Ukraine that I posted in another thread:





    ..just in case someone on this thread is interested in them and didn't see them.

    Also there there is livemap, which shows an interact map of Ukraine and some of what is going on there:

    https://liveuamap.com/
  • The New "New World Order"
    Her is another video I found that might help explain some of the issues involving the invasion of Ukraine:

  • The New "New World Order"
    Yeah, that video pretty much sums up most of it. The main part is that people genuinely seem to be unable to understand that reasons don't equal justification. Putin can delude himself and his minions all he wants with his reasons, but there's nothing about Nato expansion nor his dreams of the old Russian empire that justifies any kind of invasion or war of any kind.

    It all boils down to a simple question of national freedom: does an independent nation have the freedom to build its own security, including joining a security alliance? If the answer is no, then people can argue for Putin's justifications. If the answer is yes, then the debate is over and Putin is essentially the bad guy here. If no, then that leads to a whole bunch of follow-up questions that need to be addressed. What Russia wants, what it fears, how delusional it is about Nato or whatever argument there is for Putin's justification, it doesn't matter because, as the video ends with, Putin proved the justification for Nato's existence. It even forced Sweden and Finland to radically change opinions 180 about their will to join Nato. If Russia could just, like, fucking stay within their borders and do whatever they want in there, that's totally fine, then Sweden and Finland wouldn't have to think about Nato like this. But since Putin threatens the world as he does, even if that is just his Russian bullying bullshit methods, it really justifies having an alliance of security against such lunacy. There's no justification that can be done on Russia's or Putin's part, none.
    Christoffer
    I believe I more or less agree with everything you said. Back when the USSR was collapsing if they handled it in some way similar to what China did, there would have been very little the West could do about it. But they didn't and now they are likely not anywhere as nearly as powerful as they were when they were still the USSR. And of course over the years there have been many other events that have undermined their efforts in maintaining their "Super Power" status.

    However just because someone was once a super power and wants to become a super power again doesn't mean that they can just go to war with any country in the world and not have to face consequences for doing so. Yes, Russia and the other countries that still support them us to be the USSR and Russia is still a nuclear power with the second largest military in the world but I think that any politician that understands world history knows that giving bullies what they want just emboldens them to want more and more just as it did with Hilter in WW II.

    I know the "Hilter doctrine" (ie. basically trying to stop any would-be power hungry dictator grabbing other countries as soon as possible if they threaten US national security) has many flaws as it has likely has drawn the US into unnecessary wars in the past. However in the case of the Ukraine, we can not ignore what is going on there nor assume that if Putin gets what he wants that Russia will stop there.

    Also Putin has to be crazy if he thinks the US/NATO will not want to get involved. There is nothing like the threat of war and/or the possibility of being taken over by some country like Russia or China to galvanize Western countries to start mobilizing and getting ready to fight. Japan made that mistake in WWII and it is hard for me to believe that any country that that wishes to threaten either the US or NATO countries that we would what to back down if faced with the prospect of war.

    If Russia wants to be alone, they can be alone, no one really cares about them as a nation, especially not now. If Russia wants to be cared about, if they want to be a global player, then no one is actually stopping them from it. It's just that they have to be involved with lots of globalization things that they just didn't like. And they can't have the cake and eat it too. They either join the rest of the globalized world, be a true partner, someone people likes, not someone they fear. Or they go down the route they've gone down now, to be someone to fear, to gain "respect" through that. It's bullying mentality really, the gangster/mafia method of gaining respect. It also means no one wants to deal with them anymore, no one wants criminals around them. If someone is consistently acting like a criminal, bullying, beating people up, and never stops even when everyone tells them to chill, then in the end people will turn their backs. To then be pissed because people don't trust them, to be pissed that people want security from them, so pissed that they attack in full force... that isn't in any shape or form justified. It only justifies their own demise and gives every justification for an alliance of security.Christoffer
    I could be wrong but I believe that those in power in both Russia and China will not be happy until they are a Super Power that is able to rival the US and her allies, or at least until it becomes impossible to do so.

    For those who have money and power, it is almost never enough to just have what you already have. I believe it is something that regular plebs like you, me, and about 99.9% of the rest of the population can not understand unless we are something like a psychologist that studies such issues. Power can be like a drug and the more you have it, the more you want even more of it. Also people that are part of the elite few that have so much power, morality because something different then what the rest of the population thinks it is. You can get away with more things because you basically an army of people to protect you and shield you from either the law or other people that might want to come after you. To be honest, I can hardly imagine how such people even begin to think other than that the other 99.9% of the population are merely either cattle or mere tools to be used in order for them to get what they want.

    I know this doesn't really explain why Putin (or those that support him) are now invading Ukraine other then it is possible that Putin might be ill and/or they regret that they didn't do enough action when the USSR collapsed and that they reached a tipping point where they can no longer sit by as whatever used to be the USSR continues to get less and less powerful/influential. I could be wrong but this could be the "all or nothing" moment where they no longer feel they can sit by and play by the same rules that the US and the rest of the world plays by. If so then it could get a lot worse before things get better.

    I find it remarkable the amount of defense Russia and Putin get on this forum. From the uneducated, the illogical apologists and the confused irrationals, not seeing how actually non-complicated things have become by the acts of Putin and Russia. We now have much more insight into Russia and Putin than ever, fully seeing what he has built up towards. Over the years there's been lots of apologists as well as fear-mongers and the discussions and debates have been raging without any real conclusions being able to be drawn since neither side had much to back anything up. This war really sided with the fear mongers, there's no question Putin lived up to their arguments and ideas. But still, the debate is ongoing for some reason. It's hard to look at bombed children and think there's any grey area to the justification Putin had for this invasion. It's crystal clear he's become the first superpower dictator since the cold war or even WWII. And there's no defending that, however people think they're clever arguing for it.Christoffer
    I'm guessing some are either just trying to play the devil's advocate or perhaps they don't understand the situation that well. It is possible that some of them actually have some kind of anti-US position, but I don't imagine it is likely any of those kind of people would both debating here.

    I'm also guessing that some people don't realize that this war can keep escalating from what it already is or has become. It is unlikely that this is really an "all or nothing" for Putin and those that support him, but it was also believed that it was very unlikely Russia would invade Ukraine in the first place. Right now people are going about their lives much as they have during any other time, but a few weeks ago Putin made a threat that he might use nuclear weapons if either the West interfered or if things didn't go his way in Ukraine. Such a threat may be just a little sabre rattling from his side, but I believe it may be a glimpse into what is going on in his mind and in Russia.

    I believe during the Cold War while there always was the threat of nuclear war, no US or Russian leader would directly threaten to use them if they couldn't get what they wanted. I don't know if it was because such a danger was a given or because of the problems of openly threatening using nukes (as well as biological or chemical weapons) would create or perhaps both. However Putin felt it was NECESSARY to make such a threat, and that was almost at the beginning of the invasion when things just started to not go his way.

    Perhaps part of the reason may have been that since we haven't been living in a Cold War until recently, most people don't even have any understanding of what NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) weapons are or what a war that involves them would be like and Putin's threat was just a kind of "friendly" reminder to so of us in the West what might happen if for some reason we start going down that path. The other possibility is that those on the Russian side are more than ready and willing to use such means to get what they want if things are not going to plan then the US and our allies are aware of.

    One of the better aspects of NBC weapons is usually the damage done by them is so horrible that it is very hard to deal with by any military or civilian force if they are hit by them, unlike conventional weapons that are no so bad in comparison. Because of this usually a country that has NBCs but a army that is relatively weak might be able to hold off another country that has a larger army if that country is afraid of their NBC capabilities and their willingness to use them. In the case of two countries that both have NBC capabilities and a large military, often both sides are reluctant to fight because of the consequences for either are to much. I could be wrong but I believe there hasn't been a third world war yet mainly because of the problems that are caused when a country uses NBC type weapons.

    The drawback to this is when in a conflict between two countries that have NBCs, when one (or perhaps both) sides are ready to use them regardless of what the consequences would bring. Luckily this problem hasn't happened yet in history (as far as I know of) as it has been all but a given that anyone that has been in a position of power to use nukes (or considered the other two options) really hasn't gone down that path. I don't know if this is because they are too afraid of what might happen and/or there has never been a good enough reason to use them. The only problem remains is when someone is crazy enough to try it and if Putin is really one of these people.
  • The New "New World Order"
    So the West is fully entitled to undermine the safety of others, but others may not even defend themselves?baker
    I think you misread what I said. I did say that the US and her allies concentrate on their own security more then the security of others, but I didn't say that they do it in a way that is a blatant double standard in regard to other countries or at least not that as far as I can tell. However as I said elsewhere in tis thread this is pretty much true of all other countries that have had to deal with national security issues through out the world.

    Do I think the US was right to have go into Vietnam, two wars in Iraq, and the rest of the stuff we did in the middle east? Not really, but I don't think what we did was quite as bad as what Russia is doing in Ukraine nor have we threaten other countries with nuclear weapons if they merely provide some kind of help/aid to our enemies.

    I hope you understand the vast difference between what I'm saying and what it seems like you think I'm saying. If you understand the US and it's foreign policy you would likely know why we are not exactly the "good guys" but I think it is a pretty much a given that we are not exactly the "bad guys" either or at least not in the way Hilter and Stalin where.

    I don't know if I'm making myself clear enough and/or if you disagree with what I'm saying and you feel that the "West (feels like it is) fully entitled to undermine the safety of others, but others may not even defend themselves". If so please explain your position so I know what you are saying and feel free to bring up anything bad/evil that the US has ever done. I don't think it can shock me any more than what I have already read about.
  • The New "New World Order"
    Well, I don’t think Tibet was an aggressor, or the Kurdish people who are under Turkish occupation. It seems to me that the West is applying some blatant double standards.

    Also, if the West’s intention is to prevent Putin from using NBC’s, as it allegedly did in Iraq, then Ukraine is an unrelated issue.
    Apollodorus
    Well just because the US and her allies really didn't do much when other countries may have invaded their neighbors doesn't mean that those invasions where "ok". There is an old saying "you can't catch every bird that falls from the sky". While the Western powers have vast resources and sometimes try to act like the police of the world, it doesn't mean they can afford to either try to fix any and every problem that comes up or even bother to get involved with them. And if claim that they only really want to get involved with issues that are tied to something that is important to them then the answer is "yes" but that is basically true of any country that has ever existed.

    As to why it is important for the US to get involved when Russia (the country with the second largest military in the world) starts using it's military to take over other countries, I think it should obvious to anyone that knows anything about World War I, World War II, the Cold War, NATO, and Russian history. As to why it is important US and European nations national security as to the events unfolding in Ukraine right now. It is plausible that you don't see it as a security issue, but since that would be quite a different view point to anyone who is responsible for their nations security and faced with dealing with the problems of Russia invading.

    Maybe if you can explain why you don't see the Ukraine conflict as being important to US or NATO, I could address whatever issue you are trying to raise.

    From what I see, NATO has been constantly expanding, taking in new members like the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland in 1999, followed by others ever since. IMO it doesn’t look like a “dead man brought back to life by Putin” at all.Apollodorus
    There is hardly anyone still alive who lived through World War II and it has been hard for some countries to justify having and maintaining large armies that would be ready for anything like what happened back then. And just because a few extra countries join NATO doesn't mean it is anything like when a country start taking over other countries like when Germany did during world War II. If I have a gardening club and get a few extra people to join it, it doesn't mean I have gained some major power in doing so.

    And Russia’s invasion of Ukraine does seem to have scuppered NATO’s plan to incorporate the country.
    More to the point, as has been observed by some, Putin’s actions have put a brake on America’s plans to make Russia part of its NWO empire – at least for now.
    Apollodorus
    I don't think the US military industrial complex ever really cared if Russia wanted to join NATO or not. If anything, they were likely more happier before Russia fell and they could always scare people of the "big old boogey man" that Russia appeared to be during the Cold War. However after 9/11 we starting having the "War on Terrorism" as well as the wars in the middle east. Unfortunately we were not facing the kind of armies over there where high tech military hardware is really effective against but I guess beggars sometimes can't be choosers.

    But now that Putin and those that support him in Russia have shown that they are willing to use military force to bully their neighbors, we are now back to the good old Cold War days again and we are again facing a rival that justifies us spending whatever we can on revamping our military again. If I was someone that owned a major share of General Dynamics or other similar company I would want to send Putin a large bouquet of flowers and a thank you note, if I wouldn't get in trouble for doing so.

    In the end, I imagine Putin/Russia is more playing into into the US/NATO's hand more than undermining them in any way since the US and NATO need someone to play the bad guy in order to justify the cost of them maintaining a military industrial complex the size that they have. Then again if Putin didn't do it, it is possible that China would have ended up doing the same thing as so as they invaded Taiwan.

    There is no need for Kolomoisky to be worse. I think it’s enough for him to be like or close to Putin. And with Ukraine being next after Russia on Europe’s corruption scale, it looks like it’s perfectly OK to be corrupt as long as you are a friend of America, as can be seen from the case of Saudi Arabia and others.Apollodorus
    I haven't seen anything you or anyone else has said that really makes it seem like Kolomoisky is "evil" other then possibly being nothing but a pawn of Western countries. If he is as bad as you say I would need to see some proof before I could believe he is anything like people such as Putin or Stalin.

    I’m totally against any one power having total or almost total world dominance. My position is that each country and each continent should be free and independent. A multipolar world order is necessary to prevent the emergence of worldwide dictatorship.Apollodorus
    Well I guess you got your wish since both Russia and China are trying to become a super power that rivals the US and are either using or considering using military action in doing so. :D

    Just hope that between these wars that none of them involve NBC weapons or any (or all) of these "free and independent countries" turn into something out of 1984. Even if the world is multipolar, it doesn't mean that those in power in any given country will treat it's people any better. I think the conditions in Russia, China, and as well as the United States (as well as many other countries) is proof of that. While a multipolar would might make it a little harder for one dictator for to have too much power and getting something like a God complex., I think people like Putin, Stalin, and Adolf Hitler shows that it doesn't do that much to prevent it.
  • The New "New World Order"
    I was looking at the connection as way for the autocracy of the regime to be seen as serving the culture of the believers. Whatever sincerity may or not be involved, the appearance of service can be a strong element of social control. Putin seems to have been successful at getting others to think he wants what they want. The extremity of this action pulls the drop cloth off that action. The grinding destruction of what was supposed to be saved is not going back in the box before Pandora returns.Paine
    I more or less agree, I think.
  • The New "New World Order"
    Absolutely fabulous! :100: :up:

    If there's a video telling what I've tried to say, this one is it!

    The only thing it left out was a) NATO's war in Kosovo and a) The Chechen Wars.

    Thanks for finding that!
    ssu
    Your welcome! :grin:
  • The New "New World Order"
    It's not clear, though, whether China wants Taiwan for itself, or whether they just want that Taiwan wouldn't come into US' hands. Because it's questionable how long Taiwan can maintain relative independence, even as it has ties both to China and the US. Would China still want Taiwan if there would be no US or similar power? Perhaps not.baker

    I think in any war or power struggle it is kind of hard to separate the reason someone wants something as either they just want it or if they just want an adversary not to have it. It is hard to accomplish one without the other, unless one of parties decides to destroy it, such as in a kind of scorched earth policy when Saddam's troops did while leaving Kuwait or the potential leveling of a city during prolonged artillery bombardment.

    Also there is the aspect of just not having something like a city or country but the actual TAKING of it from your adversary, which of itself can seem more important then the other two. I imagine a good example of this is may be Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. For the people of Ukraine and Putin there are obvious reasons why each one want it and don't want the other side to have it, but for Putin there is an extra reason he may want it beyond any tactical advantage it can provide. The actual taking of Kyiv (as well as other major Ukraine cities) for the Russians will likely help them psychologically and make them feel a little closer to capturing most and/or all of Ukraine. However the higher the cost in casualties and lose of vehicles and other resources may lessen any boost in moral if it seems like it's a given that the cost of taking and occupying Ukraine is beyond what they can bare.

    Anyways back to the issue with Taiwan and China, I think it is safe to say that whether China or the US has it (well, technically the US can't have it other then it just a friendly/pro-west in it) is really part of a larger problem which is China waning to become more of a world super power than it is. I think step one of their major plan was to gain money, power, and influence over a few decades (which in many ways they have already done) and use those resources in step two and three. Step two is continuing that which was done in step one, but it also involves trying to acquire that may be either friendly to China or even neutral to it but either bribing politicians (and other people), buying whatever land they can acquire and will be useful to them, and potentially engage in small wars in order to gain land or other things that are necessary for their future agenda. I believe part of this plan two is about somehow gaining Taiwan. Part three is again about continuing the actions done in one and two, but also in doing those two things is to do whatever necessary to become first the most powerful military power in Asia and then to become the most powerful country on the Earth.

    So in the end, China probably give a rat's @ss about Taiwan itself, but more to the fact that if they can somehow wrestle it from western influence (by installing a pro-China/puppet government) that such an event would get them a lot closer their objective of becoming the biggest military power in Asia, and maybe just a littler closer to ruling the world.

    Of course this plan is not fool proof since it was easy to figure out even when they just started in step one. In fact the only advantage with such a plan is that by trying to "grind" their way to world domination they don't seem as evil as the countries that want to use war to take over other countries as soon as they have a military big enough to do so. So instead of big outright evil they are merely insidious, which sometimes is hard to tell if it is any more insidious then the west is sometimes. However this gets more difficult when they start doing things like taking of territories, undermining other governments, bribing people, and of course getting their hand involved in small/proxy wars and/or larger wars using their own army. At this point it starts becoming more and more oblivious that China doesn't want to be just another friendly country that wants to live peacefully with everyone else but more of a country that is run by people that would like to bash in anyone's skull if that person isn't happy with the way they do things. And of course they would like to bash in the skulls of anyone they don't like for other reasons (such as the majority of Japanese people) who either they or their ancestors did something they didn't like in the past.

    As a rule of thumb, I think it is safe to say it will be kind of scary for anyone in the future who has to live in a country that becomes occupied/controlled by the PRC in their bid for world domination, unless perhaps you are one of people that enjoys things like getting a cavity search on a daily basis .
  • The New "New World Order"
    It is difficult for me as well.

    Whatever one might make of the brutal methods of the USSR, Putin's close connection to the Russian Orthodox Church should not go unnoticed.

    That element does not come into play with bombing Syrians and Chechens of another faith. It is front and center of the message of what is going on in Ukraine.
    Paine
    Almost ever war that has ever been fought, it almost always has something to do with religion. Of course, it has almost always also to do with territory/power/money as well. And sometimes the aspects of one are used to justify the reasons of the other, which I think in this war Putin has claimed that western Influence is corrupting Ukrainian society/leaders and they need to save their fellow brothers and sisters (which they claim they view as fellow Russians) before the taint of western corruption destroys their moral values and/or socialist values.

    I will admit it has kind of the old school church mentality of "we sometimes have to kill the heathens in order to try to save some of their souls" or perhaps maybe a kind of old Manifest Destiny vibe to it where Russia has to do what Russia has to do in or to keep socialism/communism alive. My guess if I had to pick one of the two is that if this invasion is just an isolated incident then it is just the former, but if it is a part of a broader plan that involves Russia wanting to take over other territories as well then it really isn't about some kind of "brotherly love" and trying to save their culture but more about Russia trying to take whatever they can while trying to create any excuse as to why they are doing it.
  • The New "New World Order"
    I agree that in an ideal world no country should be invaded by another. In fact, in an ideal world there would be no need for countries to take such an action.

    Unfortunately, the world is not ideal and invasions do happen: Pakistan’s invasion of Kashmir (1947), China’s invasion of Tibet (1951), China’s invasion of India (1962), Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus (1974), America’s invasion of Iraq (2003), Turkey’s invasion of Syria (2019), etc., etc.

    What is particularly interesting is that very little if any action was taken by the international community in response to the above (and many other) invasions. So, what makes Ukraine different?
    Apollodorus
    Well for some of the following reasons: A) Ukraine is a country in Europe B) there is a chance that the war could escalate and spill over to over European countries and start a larger conventional war similar to what happened in WWI and WWII C) as far as anyone can tell in the West, Ukraine wasn't an aggressor (unlike when US fought/invaded/occupied such places as Iraq/Afghanistan) D) the invasion is being done by Russian (aka. the old USSR boogey man who was supposed to be dead already) who still has NBC (nuclear/biological/chemical) weapons - you know the kind of "weapons of mass destruction" Bush Junior ranted and raved about as to why we had to go into Iraq in order to make sure a madman such as Saddam didn't have access to them and might use them if he couldn't have his own way. Well, I could be wrong but Putin has become this notion of what Bush Jr. and the republicans where afraid of what Saddam might become if we didn't go into Iraq again and stop him. However the difference is that at the drop of a hat, Putin CAN use Russia's NBCs/"weapons of mass destruction" and unleash hell on earth is he so wishes too.

    I could be wrong but I think some of the reasons I gave are a good part of why this is different than other invasions that happened in the past.

    I think part of the answer is that the West (US and UK in particular) has long seen Russia as an economic and military rival to be contained and, as far as possible, to be brought under Western economic, financial, and political dominance.Apollodorus
    You are correct that the US and her allies give push back (and sometimes undermine) Russia but they do that to ALL countries and even each other. The world nations are much like a school playground where there is a kind of pecking order and sometimes they even bully and harass each other. The only difference is there is no adult there to really supervise them so the children have to kind of supervise themselves, kind of like in lord of the flies I guess.

    Additionally, Russia’s military operation in Ukraine frustrates NATO’s and the EU’s expansion plans.Apollodorus
    Actually I think Russia’s military operation in Ukraine is just about the best thing that could happen to it after WWII. NATO was formed in order to defend against the big old boogey man, the former USSR, and when the USSR collapsed the meaning for it's existence almost collapsed as well. However with Russia invading Ukraine the shock of such an action has been like using a defibrillator on a dying man, it has resuscitated the reason for NATO's existence.

    Even Germany is talking about the need for rebuilding it's military in order to protect themselves from potential wanton aggression, and with the current situation going on nobody seems to think that there is really no issue/problem with them doing it.

    Another factor that makes Ukraine different is the media coverage and the public response to it. Since the pandemic and the lockdowns, growing numbers of people have turned to the news and social media and have become susceptible to political and ideological influence or manipulation.

    Zelensky himself is a media man and TV actor who for many years has used the media to sell himself and his narrative. His predecessor Poroshenko has described Zelensky as a “puppet of (oligarch) Kolomoisky” and his election as “the biggest electoral fraud in Ukrainian history”.
    Apollodorus
    Unless Kolomoisky is the devil himself (or perhaps even if he is), I can't really see how he can be worse than Putin. Every politician through out history has always either been called someone's puppet or a lose cannon who nobody can predict what they will do next. Your either a revolutionary or someone's stooge. If Zelensky is either a revolutionary, stooge, or a con-man (which is just really a kind of stooge that somewhat behaves as a king's jester) then he is really not that different then any other Western politician who has had to take the world stage. But of course since he BEHAVES more like a western politician then a pro-Russian one that could be enough of a reason for Russia to want to take him out.

    This does not necessarily justify Russia’s invasion of Ukraine - it certainly doesn't justify bombing innocent and unarmed civilians - but it raises some pertinent questions concerning Zelensky’s legitimacy and the accuracy of the way the events are being presented to the public by the Western media.

    Incidentally, the EU has announced a €1.2 billion loans package to Ukraine, in addition to €500 million in humanitarian aid and further hundreds of millions in military aid from the EU and US. I think it is safe to assume that in a country with corruption levels like those of Ukraine, a large part of that will end up in the wrong hands (or pockets).

    In any case, instead of having one economic and military bloc constantly expanding at the expense of others, I think it would make more sense to have some kind of balance of power in the region and in the world. Otherwise there is a real danger that Western imperialism – economic, financial, military, political, and cultural - will lead to total world dominance by the US and its client states.
    Apollodorus
    Yes, in the US we are ruled by plutocratic leaders instead of one's put there through democratic means. However neither are Russia or China one's ruled through socialism but instead through autocracies.

    More to the point, what do you think it would be like to like in a world ruled either by China, Russia, or the US and her allies? While it is almost a given that things in countries like the US could get worse instead of better (much like it has since the Cold War ended), but try to imagine a world where all leaders of other countries have to kowtow to the whims of either China's or Russia's leaders. I don't know if it will be exactly like in the book 1984, but I don't think it would be that much better.

    More to the point if you had to choose which of the three would you rather have almost total world dominance?

    In the short term, the West’s actions can only result in Russia turning to China and leaving the latter in a much stronger position than before vis-à-vis the West.

    China Sees at Least One Winner Emerging From Ukraine War: China – New York Times

    And yes, for a more complete picture it is important to look at it from various perspectives, including the Russian one .... :smile:
    Apollodorus
    Putin and Xi Jinping where already taking long romantic walks together and giving each other bjobs to each other before the invasion so if they come closer together for whatever reason, it is unlikely to be that much closer than they already are.

    The only thing most of the West are concern about China becoming more "powerful" (which has been an issue/fear long before the invasion) is their threat to invade Taiwan in which the war in Ukraine has all but thrown a wet blanket on those plans since it is unlikely want to go ahead and punch that tar baby since they don't want to get into the same situation as Putin has.

    Everything else China is doing is either kind of moot, or it is more or less part of various ongoing issues with China which have been going on for some time. As for anyone really trusting Xi Jinping or look for his leadership to resolve anything, all I can say is that it unlikely to happen. Western politician might not be the brightest people sometimes but even they will hesitate when given a poisonous snake and asked to kiss it.
  • The New "New World Order"
    Here is a video I found that might help explain some of problems between Russia and NATO and some of the thinking behind Putin (and those that support him in Russia) and why they felt justified in invading Ukraine. However, I imagine some people watching might feel that it is a bit slanted to one indoctrinated to what some of us in in West are thinking at this time, anyone that is in any way Pro-Putin are thinks the US/NATO caused the war in Ukraine themselves, don't say I didn't warn you that it viewpoint may not be one you agree with.

  • The New "New World Order"
    It’s understandable to be upset that Zelensky is losing, but (1) it isn’t my fault, (2) I don’t see why this is of concern to Finland, and (3) according to some, Zelensky is a thug as are the oligarchs behind him, as explained on the other thread, which is why a more balanced, rational, and less emotional, analysis would be preferable.Apollodorus
    Sorry to but in but I'm unaware of how Zelesky may be a thug as you say. Is it possible for you to explain where you have come to this conclusion?

    To be honest the only thing I know about him was that he was a comedian before becoming the president of Ukraine and now that his country has been invaded he is trying to rally his country to fight against the Russians that him and many of his people see as invaders. If I was to take a guess he might be as corrupt and/or as incompetent as any other Western leader, but I think the fact that he just didn't grab a suitcase full of money and get the first flight out of there when the fighting broke out (which is what is often expected of most Western, Eastern, and other leaders in the world) i believe says something positive about him. But then again I could be wrong since as I said, I don't really know much about him.

    Also I think it is a bit..premature to say either Russia or Ukraine is really "winning". Before the war, It was assumed in the West that if Russia did invade that almost all major cities in Ukraine would have already fallen by now, but it would be difficult for Russia to occupy it (much like the US tried to do in the middle eastern countries for the last couple of decades) if they had to deal with a well armed and organized insurgency. Since Ukrainians have doing exceptionally good so far, it is hard to imagine that even "IF" the Russians are able to get control of many of the major cities that they won't have a issue with any Ukrainian resistance after that. I guess in the end the question is going to be how long can each side deal with any attrition they are facing before they have to give in.

    From where I'm sitting things are not looking that bad of the Ukrainians, even if they are suffering from thousands of civilian casualties. For them, there military losses are not completely debilitating (they are suffering about the same number as they Russians that invaded are) and I believe almost all projections before the invasion assumed that the Ukrainian would likely lose twice the number as the Russians since that is what often happens when a smaller army tries to hold off a larger army that is at least as well equipped (it was assumed the Russians would be better equipped but that may not be true)



    As regards Putin’s alleged intention to rebuild the borders of the Russian Empire, (a) I see no evidence to support that claim and (b) as already explained, Ukraine has always been part of Russia, both Ukraine and Russia having been part of the same territory called Russia or “Land of the Rus(sians)” (роусьскаѧ землѧ, rusĭskaę zemlę), a.k.a. “Kievan Rus”.

    The fact is that Ukraine became separated from Russia only after being invaded and occupied by foreign powers (Mongols, Lithuanians, Poles). It follows that Putin has a point and his views need to be taken into consideration even if we disagree with his actions. IMO a discussion based exclusively on the views of countries like Finland (or any others) that have nothing to do with Ukraine is not a proper discussion. But if you think it is, go ahead, I’m not holding you back …. :smile:
    Apollodorus
    Ok, you might have a point in that there may be some truth to this issue and that Putin (and those that support him) see this as more as a civil war than a war between two countries, but does that really justify his actions or wise for him to invade?

    I don't know if your aware of this but there is a somewhat similar issue with China. It was what it calls a "breakaway province" know as Taiwan and it has been threatening Taiwan with military action if it is unwilling to rejoin China peacefully. I believe for over 50 years now Taiwan has more or less been it's own independent country since the Chinese government fled mainland after the communist took it over.

    Ever though it has been over 50 years now, still China still sees Taiwan as a rogue province that is just unwilling to properly accept Chinese rule over it.

    In this instance do you believe China has the right to use military action in order to take them over and if so do you think the US, Japan, and any of her allies have to interfere in such a war?

    Also what about any other country that has a military and can try to take of lands from weaker countries that were once part of their own empire at one time. If it is "ok" for either Russia and/or China to do this why wouldn't be "ok" for any quasi-world super power to just do whatever it wants, wouldn't green lighting any or all such wars just be a signal to the world that only might makes right and international rights and laws have become worthless?
  • The New "New World Order"
    The historical background of the conflict in Ukraine needs to include Stalin's starvation of the country, where the agenda to destroy the Kulaks was combined with exerting central control over the 'Soviets.' It should be remembered that Ukraine was the kick off of the Holocaust, where the Nazi idea that Jews were behind Communism became a rule of engagement in Operation Barbarossa. The USSR only recognized a general loss of "innocent people" rather than a specific genocide after the war.

    The policy of erasure and denial of people in Ukraine has been a Cheka legacy since the Bolshevik revolution.

    With the politics of the Cold War leading to the Iron Curtain and the formation of NATO, Putin has taken up the language of ultranationalists to deny Ukrainian nationality now that the USSR and the Warsaw Pact no longer exists. Putin forgot to hold a referendum in Ukraine on the matter.

    Taiwan emerged on the other side of this Cold War dynamic as a resistance to Communism. The situation is very different in economic terms because China is integrated with production on a global scale where Russia is a big player in only a few industries.
    Paine
    That you for pointing this issue out for me. The only things I remember reading anything similar about this issue was that on the Eastern side of the conflict in WWII many countries readily welcomed the Nazi's when they came in and "liberated" their countries from Stalin and possibly saved some of them from dying from starvation from what I believe use to be called the "Harvest of Sorrow", which was a plan where Stalin would steal wheat and other food from countries like Ukraine which Stain would turn around and sell it to the West in order to do things like to help fund his government, build up is military, and create factories to start building Russia industrial complex which hardly existed when he gained power. My guess as to why he did this was that Russia didn't have much of anything to export to Western countries so he had to come up with some "creative" way to jump start Russia's economy, even if it cost millions of people their lives.

    The other thing I remember reading about the Eastern side of German conflict was that it was in many ways more brutal than on the Western conflict. I believe there was an issue when either the Russian or Germans would take control of a town they would not only install people in power that supported them, but they would often round up dozens of citizens suspected of being supporters of the other side and would shot them and leave their bodies out as a warning to others as to what will happen to them if they too were found to be supporting the enemy. According to one German soldier this started partly because the Russians had a policy to execute politicians and any citizens that where found to be helping the Germans and when his unit (and possibly other units like his) retook towns where the Russians did this, the decided to round up anyone they suspected of helping the Russians do this to their friends (ie captured German soldiers when they took over the town) and kill them in the same manner. I guess what I'm trying to say is that for a while each side didn't really have much of advantage over another so it is believed some of those that were fighting started resorting to more, and more brutal tactics in order to demoralize the enemy which of course often cause regular soldiers (who may have not really desired to resort to such means) become more brutal themselves, because they were fighting an enemy they believed was inhuman.

    Also on top of that issue there was something similar to a civil war going on at that time. Some of the people under the control/influence of the Russia government took up arms and fought against Russian troops themselves. Of course, the Germans would sometimes take advantage of this and use such people to set up friendly governments or support groups for their side, but it also would cause the Russians who had to fight both the Germans and insurgent "Russians" (or whatever country these citizens were in) to have to be a bit heavy handed since the were basically fighting both an invasion by the Germans an a civil war with their fellow country men from within.

    This might help in explaining why it possible for Russia and countries that "supported them" to possibly lose more than 25,000,000 people during WWII (many more than any other country in the war) since a lot of those casualties may have been caused by them killing each other. And I believe that number doesn't include those that died do the Harvest of Sorrow. To be honest now that I think of it, I find it hard to fathom how any society can survive such loses/sorrow and find a way to continue on.