A quote showing everything wrong with the liberal ideology

Some liberals just love to moralize against anyone not wasting their energies voting.

ATHENS, GREECE - OCTOBER 04:  Supporters of th...

Quoth redditor blue_delicious (in regards to using the occupy movement to shut down a major port)

This is idiotic. Just vote! If you want things to change, you need to work hard registering people to vote. Get people registered and run OWS endorsed candidates in Democratic primaries. If you start winning primaries against establishment Democrats, the rest of the Democrats will start listening.

Head, meet desk.

This is the most infuriating argument I see coming from liberals, and especially the headstrong ones who will say it with a moralizing and smug attitude. In the sense that if you don’t adhere to this principle, you’re immature and deserve what you get.

I’ve already pointed the past why voting is against our interests, so I won’t rehash my arguments but I will point out the sheer “insanity” ((In the classic definitional sense of doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.)) of this sentiment. Liberal parties like the Democrats of the USA, or the PASOK of Greece and especially their more enthusiastic supporters have been arguing thus for decades now. That not only people need to vote, but that voting for minor parties is just as harmful. Rather, the only course of action is to try to merge your ideology into a larger party and try to affect their policies from within.

But how many times does this tactic needs to fail before they might start recognizing that it does not work? Using all your energy to simply promote a spokesperson into politics has such small returns that it’s essentially a waste of effort. So you got your OWS candidate into your democratic primaries. Now they need to be elected to run, thus more effort needs to be extended. A new candidate is almost impossible to be elected the first time, so the best you will hope for, is some small position in the government where they need to “prove” and “market” themselves until the next elections. So remember, don’t rock the boat in order to show how well your candidate maintains order and thus brings in more voters.

Immediately, you’ve set back the demands of the OWS movement by 4 years (at best), which might as well be an eternity. Not only will the OWS fury and passion have dissipated by the next elections (thus basically removing all the voting base of the OWS candidate) but your efforts will have achieved nothing at all, except put another pretty and convincing face in office. A person you have no idea will continue to support popular sentiments rather than simply play the game of politics like everyone else and thus get corrupted in no time flat.

The OWS movement, within a scant few months of simple occupations and direct action, is already shaking the world, as liberal as it already is. Just by the fact that it inspires, radicalizes and agitates people and thus goads the state machine to greater repression, which in turn radicalizes onlookers and fence sitters even more. And if anarchists and other autonomists manage to successfully agitate for more significant direct action, then more and more people will join, just because the improvements in their lives will be immediate. At the moment this is still an anarchist’s wet dream of course, but direct action movements have a proven record for snowball effects. It is precisely the reason why the state reaction is swift and brutal.

Using all your energy to mold such a movement into a toothless electioneering campaign is a waste and most likely fatal to it. But even if, against all odds, such a grass-roots movement manages to sustain itself for 4 years until the next elections (and the whole system hasn’t collapsed by then anyway), then you still have to fight to put your own candidate in office, at which point, you’re already playing by their rules and not yours. You will have lost all the autonomist support, and the best you can hope is that you can muster a campaign as big as Obama’s, despite a completely disillusioned voting base and a huge lobby on the other side running candidates with more history and corporate backing then you’ll ever get with your fresh and hostile-to-their interests OWS person.

It is very likely that you won’t get them elected the next time either, or the time after that. And by that time, OWS will be in the annals of history and your OWS candidate will be just another democrat with a grass-roots history. Kinda like Obama, and look how that turned out, where that was a liberal victory where “all the stars were right” so to speak.

And even if, and that’s a huge “if”, you manage to get a “radical candidate” (*snort*) elected, you still have no certainty they’ll do what they say, that the bureaucracy will let them, or that the right reaction won’t intervene and destabilize via right-wing populists (after all, you’ve now aligned yourself perfectly to the democrats, which makes them an easy target for teabaggers) and, if worse comes to worst, military intervention.

In short, following such misguided proposals, when you have a red-hot social movement behind you, is the absolute worst thing you could do. Not only is the chance to get someone radical actually elected immediately slim to none, not only is it unlikely they’ll achieve anything even if they manage to get elected, but worst of all, your movements momentum will simply be wasted on trying to achieve useless things in the far future, rather than actually improving things and therefore snowballing in the here and now.

The Lesser Evil

Medieval illustration of Hell in the Hortus de...
Image via Wikipedia

It seems that the Debate Link has recently been criticizing the Barefoot Bum for promoting revolutionary communism instead of simply supporting Democrats as the lesser evil of the US political system. I’ve written before how supporting bipartisanism is harming to society and this the latest post prompted me to throw me 2 cents in the ring.

Debate Link’s David seems to find the suggestion that one should not support a party which goes against everything you believe in, is wrong. He argues that it is mistaken not to give my vote to someone who will use this power to do harm because if I do not do so, the other guy will do even worse than that. He argues that I become morally condemnable for supporting movements who have a chance to do real good because I may allow the really bad guys to do more harm.

But this is simply caving in to a threat. It is not much different than paying caving in to a captor’s demands. The Captor threatens that I should give him what he wants or else the hostage will be harmed. In our situation, the captor is the “lesser evil” party. People like David threaten that we become morally responsible for whatever happens to the hostage (the USA and the world) if we do not give the Democratic party whatever they want, even though we know that caving in will simply give them the incentive to take hostages again. Hell, very often we know that the hostage is going to get it whatever we do.

Further to that, when TBB says that it is worse to keep voting the “Palliative” it is not because we are not curing the disease, it’s because we are making it worse. Dave argues that taking the Palliative is better than letting the disease hurt as much as it would because in the real world, not taking the “Palliative” (ie voting Democrats) means more people would die. But what David fails to see in this example, is that in the long run, taking the “Palliative” will have even worse results than not. Specifically, the patient will die as a whole. In the real world that translates to much more people dying because a Democrat rule did not allow the necessary revolutionary cure to take place when there was still time.

Continuing to vote Democrats instead of struggling for revolutionary communism means that eventually it might be too late for even that. And the suffering people will have then will be bigger than whatever bad shit a revolution would require.

In all of this, it seems that David is desperately trying to spread the blame to everyone regardless of the choices they made. He is not interested in whether Communism is indeed the right choice to take but claims that even if it is, simply because people consider it a fringe ideology, striving for it makes us as much culpable for any deaths as is doing the deed ourselves. In essence a failed attempt to do the right thing should be considered as bad as doing the wrong thing altogether. The only correct action for David is compromise. Do just a little of the bad even though you always have to increase how much bad you do progressively anyway.

And this compromisistic mentality of our society is why we’re heading down the crapper. Because people don’t finally get Mad as Hell and refuse to take it anymore. Because as long as it doesn’t affect them, people will compromise and vote for leaders who will betray them the moment they are given the power and screw everyone else.

And for David, if you’re not a compromiser, you’re as bad as the opposition.

But what me and TBB is for people to stop compromising. To stop caving in to the “captors” demands. We want to charge the captor and free the hostages and we want the hostages to bite and kick to help us. Certainly some of us and some of the hostages may suffer in the process, but it will certainly be less than the number of hostages who would suffer in the future if captors figured out that taking hostages is a risk-free proposition for getting what they want.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Political "Refutability"

In the scientific method there one of the most important concepts is refutability. It is so imperative to have a falsifiability in your theories that if you do not include one, one might as well consider them as having no credence.

A very simple way to define refutability is to ask oneself “What would it take to prove my theory/idea/phislosophy wrong”. Once you ask this, and you are being honest with yourself, you should have a few conditions which, if they are met, will show you that you might be wrong and, at the least, need to rethink your theories.

Diagram showing a refutation of a false dispro...
Image via Wikipedia

In the scientific method there one of the most important concepts is refutability. It is so imperative to have a falsifiability in your theories that if you do not include one, one might as well consider them as having no credence.

A very simple way to define refutability is to ask oneself “What would it take to prove my theory/idea/phislosophy wrong”. Once you ask this, and you are being honest with yourself, you should have a few conditions which, if they are met, will show you that you might be wrong and, at the least, need to rethink your theories.

The lack of refutability is the easiest way one can tell science from crackpot theories and woo-woo. How do you prove that Homeotherapy does not work? You can’t. How do you prove that ghosts do not exist? You can’t. How do you prove that the theory of evolution is wrong? Rabbits in the Precambrian.

This lack of refutability is also the main reason why religious belief cannot be awarded any factual standing.Is there any way to prove that Jesus did not exist or was not a deity that has not been done already? And yet the religion persists.

So basically, in very simple terms, it is all about asking oneself “What would it take to convince me I’m wrong” and it is the most powerful in any skeptic’s arsenal. However science and philosophy are not the only places one can apply this very powerful too. One should seek to apply this question to any and all beliefs they hold. And one of them that many people do not is Politics.

It has become the rule rather than the exception that people associate themselves with one party and stick with it no matter what. I have very rarely seen people seriously considering the question “What would they have to do to lose my vote?“. People simply choose one party and make excuses on why they need to keep supporting them. Simply because this question has never been set, one can keep supporting a party long after most of the core values he or she holds have been overrrun.

I can’t think of any more obvious example than the US Democratic party. The party that what passes as “left” in the US, endorses. The reason most often than not is “Because they’re not as bad as the Republicans”. How many of these liberals have asked themselves this simple question? “What do they democrats have to do to lose my vote?”. Support the Iraq war? Done. Support Wall Street Bailout? Done. Increase military spending? Done. Lie? Done. Oppose Atheists? Done.

So what values exactly is the Democratic party sharing with you again? If you still have any, how many of those do they need to step on before you stop supporting them? If the only threshold you place is “They need to become worse than the republicans”, doesn’t that condemn you and your society to erosion? All the Republicans then need to do in order to achieve the agenda is move more and more to the right and the Democrats will follow (so as not to be labeled as “extreme left”) while their supporters create excuses for them. Eventually you end up with Democrats simply being the republicans of the past, as is what has happened now. You no longer have left and right, simply extreme right and lunatic right.

And all the people who voted them into power don’t have anything in common with them anymore.

Do yourself this favour. Set your political refutability and stick to it. Do not simply move the goalpost whenever they bypass it or else you’re simply deluding yourself into the illusion of Democracy.

So tell me, what would it take to lose your vote?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]