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and then

Iran Hasn't attacked anyone in 200 years

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RavenHawk

So while you're arguing over the precise meaning of words,

I’m not the one arguing over the precise meaning of words. You’re the one having problems. It’s time to open your mind and enlighten yourself.

you presumably have no qualms about the US policy of annexing whatever countries it wants, either directly or through installing puppet governments,

Actually, I don’t. That’s why I really don’t object to Putin taking Crimea. In many ways, he’s the victim in this. However, there is more here than just that. It is in our best interests to expand our sphere of influence. It is in Russia’s best interests to do the same. But this can’t be allowed as it will lead to a renewing of the Cold War. When the Soviet Union collapsed, we gained 17 minutes off the Doomsday clock. The standoff between India and Pakistan dropped it to 7 minutes. Since the invasion of Crimea, it has probably clicked down to under 5 minutes. An unchecked Iran will just tick off even more seconds.

under the pretext of spreading "Freedom", while acting self-righteous and sanctimonious about any other country that seeks to acquire for itself any influence in any region in which the US has an interest (which is most of them)?

I’ve never liked the usage of that phrase “spreading freedom”. I think we provide an umbrella but those under the umbrella need to find their own freedom. We should just act like a Gort, staying out of people’s lives unless they threaten the peace with their neighbors, then act decisively with overwhelming force. If we don’t do this then regional conflicts will just spread over into larger ones. History tells us that smaller conflicts morph into larger ones if they are not stopped or burn out early on. We won’t be able to or should we stop every quarrel but we can insure that everyone plays nice.

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RavenHawk

Because Jews suffered in WW2 he has the right to be just as bad as Nazis we get it..... fascinating Zionist logic

Show me the mass graves, the ovens, and the bodies like cordwood floating down the Jordan. No? I wouldn’t talk about logic if I were you.

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Yamato

we can insure that everyone plays nice.

Not on my dime we won't. Write your own check.

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spacecowboy342

Gawd! That's not what I said, not even close. If you are going to read posts here, please at least pretend that you comprehend. Please try again and read what I state and not what you what it to say. You just can't skip a word here or there.

You didn't say there is no such concept as oligarchy?

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RoofGardener

So while you're arguing over the precise meaning of words, you presumably have no qualms about the US policy of annexing whatever countries it wants, either directly or through installing puppet governments, under the pretext of spreading "Freedom", while acting self-righteous and sanctimonious about any other country that seeks to acquire for itself any influence in any region in which the US has an interest (which is most of them)?

Oh hush, Colonel. I don't think that RavenHawk was implying any such thing. I would suggest that - in the context of a debate forum - the precise meaning of words has the ultimate importance, above and beyond anything else. If we can't agree on what a word means, then the exposition or transfer of ideas and knowledge becomes impossible, and we degenerate into a game of chinese whispers.

Recall the warning of George Orwell in the book "1984". The fascist state in that novel controlled the population by simplifying and controlling the language. It makes it difficult to have ideas of revolt or dissent, when there are no words to express those concepts.

Or to use another analogy: You cant build a house if you can't agree on what constitutes a brick !

Edited by RoofGardener
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Br Cornelius

Oh hush, Colonel. I don't think that RavenHawk was implying any such thing. I would suggest that - in the context of a debate forum - the precise meaning of words has the ultimate importance, above and beyond anything else. If we can't agree on what a word means, then the exposition or transfer of ideas and knowledge becomes impossible, and we degenerate into a game of chinese whispers.

Recall the warning of George Orwell in the book "1984". The fascist state in that novel controlled the population by simplifying and controlling the language. It makes it difficult to have ideas of revolt or dissent, when there are no words to express those concepts.

Or to use another analogy: You cant build a house if you can't agree on what constitutes a brick !

Which is why Ravenhawk is not capable of such debates since he perpetually distorts the basic meaning of well understood words to whatever suits his point. Words are defined and set to a reasonable degree and when he distorts them away from their basic meaning he prevents the exchange of meaning.

Br Cornelius

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Frank Merton

Just today I made the point that I did not decide to be an atheist: I'm an atheist not out of choice but because of the evidence. The response was, see, that proves you choose whether to believe or not. How can one argue with someone who talks like that?

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SolarPlexus

I pity atheists and (especially) agnostics

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Br Cornelius

I pity you for thinking that.

Br Cornelius

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DeWitz

Is it possible to have a discussion about a regional power such as Iran, helped my many neighbors as well as superpowers (under Ronny Reagan), without slipping into screeds about Nazism, the Holocaust, leftist propaganda, right wing neo-cons, a revanchist Israel, the plight of the Palestinians, apocalyptic Islam, this newly-released film about Noah, etc. etc.

I am moved by Bro Cornelius' trenchant warning above about the degradation of language when used to obscure or obfuscate intelligent discussion. I'm concerned much of the US is already there, and we pontificate our politics with the acumen of a Doritos commercial.

Regionally isolated, lacking significant naval power, meddling in regional politics mainly through proxies (are there "really" Iranian special forces in Syria, or elsewhere, in any great number?) and with a relatively well-educated base of young men and women who enjoy those Western forbidden fruits as they may procure--is this a nation to be regarded by the West with fear and trembling?

Although I've never been there, Iran strikes me as a more civilized place than many seem to assume, despite the fact that it's current theocratically-based government may be hideous. No amount of begging the Iranian question to buttress Fortress Israel will take away Israeli fears nor quiet world concerns over secularized states which keep Armageddon in their hip pocket as a trump card in geopolitics.

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RavenHawk

You didn't say there is no such concept as oligarchy?

No, I did not. Try reading it again. And this time pull your head out of your ar$e!

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Space Commander Travis

You were trying to argue that an oligarchy was something that it wasn't, because that suited your argument, somewhat obscure as the reasons for that may be.

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RavenHawk

Recall the warning of George Orwell in the book "1984". The fascist state in that novel controlled the population by simplifying and controlling the language. It makes it difficult to have ideas of revolt or dissent, when there are no words to express those concepts.

In this case it is the opposite by confusing the political spectrum and having a myriad of definitions and trying to control the language by multiplicity. For example, if someone is a Communist but someone talks about them being a Marxist, these people can derail the point of the debate by pointing out the error because it is not precise. In reality, it’s not in error. It’s a minor inaccuracy. The meaning is still intact.

The bottom line is that all governments morph into authoritarian or totalitarian unless checks and balances are in place as what our Constitution does (People in leadership positions are actively trying to change this). In this light, the academic differences mean nothing and those caught in the lie of confusion squeal at my simplification. The more they squeal the more legitimacy they lend to my stance. They understand the meaning I give yet it is very troublesome for them.

Which is why Ravenhawk is not capable of such debates since he perpetually distorts the basic meaning of well understood words to whatever suits his point. Words are defined and set to a reasonable degree and when he distorts them away from their basic meaning he prevents the exchange of meaning.

See what I mean…

Edited by RavenHawk

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RavenHawk

I pity atheists and (especially) agnostics

In this case, it doesn’t matter how or why Frank is an atheist, all that matters is that he is.

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Yamato

The bottom line is that all governments morph into authoritarian or totalitarian unless checks and balances are in place as what our Constitution does (People in leadership positions are actively trying to change this).

Yes

And you're the morpher in chief. For instance, Article 1 stating in plain black and white that it's Congress that makes the rules on foreign captures, and you, bereft of any such rules, go right on insisting that actually it's the President who's the decider and thus nation building is Constitutional. That is some hardcore statist spin and you don't even see it.

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Br Cornelius

In this case it is the opposite by confusing the political spectrum and having a myriad of definitions and trying to control the language by multiplicity. For example, if someone is a Communist but someone talks about them being a Marxist, these people can derail the point of the debate by pointing out the error because it is not precise. In reality, it's not in error. It's a minor inaccuracy. The meaning is still intact.

The bottom line is that all governments morph into authoritarian or totalitarian unless checks and balances are in place as what our Constitution does (People in leadership positions are actively trying to change this). In this light, the academic differences mean nothing and those caught in the lie of confusion squeal at my simplification. The more they squeal the more legitimacy they lend to my stance. They understand the meaning I give yet it is very troublesome for them.

See what I mean…

We do, trying to resolve complex issues down to the blanket term socialism again.

Analysis so shallow that it doesn't really qualify as more then sabre rattling rhetoric.

You are the best evidence of the point I make :tu:

Br Cornelius

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RoofGardener

Just today I made the point that I did not decide to be an atheist: I'm an atheist not out of choice but because of the evidence. The response was, see, that proves you choose whether to believe or not. How can one argue with someone who talks like that?

Well, he might have a point. I can only assume he is differentiating a rational approach (analysis of the evidence) versus the revelationary experience, in which someone "sees the light", and is driven by an inner conviction - a faith - that their "God" exists. For such a person, physical evidence becomes secondary, or irrelevant, and no real analysis takes place. (the best example I can think of from the top of my head was that "Earth is only 6000 years old: dinosaur fossils where planted their by God just to confuse the archealogists" and to test our Faith" . I mean... how do you argue against THAT ? ).

....

Although I've never been there, Iran strikes me as a more civilized place than many seem to assume, despite the fact that it's current theocratically-based government may be hideous. No amount of begging the Iranian question to buttress Fortress Israel will take away Israeli fears nor quiet world concerns over secularized states which keep Armageddon in their hip pocket as a trump card in geopolitics.

Indeed. My own concern is that an Iranian nuclear weapon would NOT be under the control of its civilized populace, but under the control of the "hideous theocracy". As a consequence, we have to assume that Iran - as a political entity - is a hideous theocracy, even though the hideous theocrats are only a tiny proportion of the population, and do not represent the Iranian people as a whole.

In this case it is the opposite by confusing the political spectrum and having a myriad of definitions and trying to control the language by multiplicity. For example, if someone is a Communist but someone talks about them being a Marxist, these people can derail the point of the debate by pointing out the error because it is not precise. In reality, it's not in error. It's a minor inaccuracy. The meaning is still intact.

I have to disagree RavenHawk. Marxism is a very distinct philosophy within the panoply of communism. Describing a Marxist as a communist is a reasonable (though slightly inaccurate) statement. Describing a communist as a Marxist, however, is to ascribe specific beliefs to them that they may NOT hold. To use a trivial example: All members of the American Republican Party are Americans. However, not all Americans are members of the Republican Party. So it would be wrong to label all Americans as Republicans, just as it would be wrong to describe all Communists as Marxists.

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Space Commander Travis

I think one's wasting one's breath trying to explain the nuances of left-wing philosophies with a neocon, to whom anyone that isn't a neocon (i.e. anyone from Barack Obama to any government of just about any other country) is a Socialist, which = Communist in their book.

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Frank Merton

I love labels; I look at myself and see how misleading they are (I'm a Communist, a Socialist, a Capitalist, and atheist and a non-materialist (most of Western science can be described as physicalist or materialist). For the record I'm also a monarchist so long as they are of the constitutional variety and I do not trust Democracy one whit.

What exactly is a Fascist anyway?

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Br Cornelius

Fascism as a philosophy was first formalized in Italy under Mussolini. In this its purest form it has four main qualities;

-it is elitist in that an elite directs the course of the country without reference to an electorate. this tend to make society highly stratified and hierarchical.

-it is nationalist in that it uses national stereotypes and rhetoric to direct the course of policy. This has a tendency to make it anti-pluralist and racist - though the excesses of Nazi germany are not intrinsic to the fascist philosphy

-it favours certain industries and offers protection through national policy towards those industries, in return it listens most closely to the needs of those most favoured industries.

-It selects the most favoured industries on the basis of what is considered best for the national good, and disadvantages industries which it considers to be in opposition to the national good.

As you might see, the USA fits this pure form of Fascism rather well, but i would go further and say that it has adopted many of the more extreme traits of German fascism along the way. Where ever fascism has taken hold, its nationalist tendencies have generally led to brutal suppression of alternative philosophies with torture and summery execution been the norm. This is always justified as been necessary to preserve the national character. Extreme forms of surveillance on the citizenry is always part of the process of weeding out radicals who would threaten the national character.

It applies platonic ideas of an idealized national state to all areas of national policy.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius
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Space Commander Travis

I love labels; I look at myself and see how misleading they are (I'm a Communist, a Socialist, a Capitalist, and atheist and a non-materialist (most of Western science can be described as physicalist or materialist). For the record I'm also a monarchist so long as they are of the constitutional variety and I do not trust Democracy one whit.

What exactly is a Fascist anyway?

I think essentially the important thing about fascism is that it makes the state, and the Leader, paramount (Which of course Communism does as well), but the main difference is economically; they usually tend to have protectionist policies and very cosy relations with big business. So there's obviously no resemblance at all with modern day America, is there. :innocent:

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Frank Merton

This is going to far; the United States is not a Fascist country. The defining characteristic of Fascism is not as you portray Italy's history but pure and simple brutality and complete state control of all activity, economic, social, religious, and so on.

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Br Cornelius

This is going to far; the United States is not a Fascist country. The defining characteristic of Fascism is not as you portray Italy's history but pure and simple brutality and complete state control of all activity, economic, social, religious, and so on.

Do not confuse the definition of Fascism with how it manifests. Italy was a fundamentally different thing to the Nazi's, but even Italy was not representative of what some would call pure fascism. Like all ideologies the book definition and the reality rarely converge.

The point i would make would be that America shows almost all the qualities intrinsic to fascism (though it is nominally still a democracy), and this is not overly surprising since there was a strong sympathy for Fascist states running right back to before the second world war among certain influential political dynasties which helped shape the institutions and course of America's post war government and executive.

There is a certain innate efficiency to not having to adhere to the niceties of democracy or Laissez Fair principles.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius

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Space Commander Travis

This is going to far; the United States is not a Fascist country. The defining characteristic of Fascism is not as you portray Italy's history but pure and simple brutality and complete state control of all activity, economic, social, religious, and so on.

Well; they're more subtle about it now, certainly but brutality? Towards those the State decrees to be its enemies, surely that's undeniably the case? That little corner of Cuba that shall be forever America... and what about Assassination at long distance of America's Enemies? And State control of all activity; well, the State certainly seems to be wanting to move toward monitoring all activity, don't they, to hunt out Un-American activity... And what about State control of the media? Again, it's more subtle now, but just look at the "news" and opinion coming out of all nearly all the mainstream outlets, look at how they're all obediently repeating the Official line about Ukraine, and Iran, and Palestine, and falling over each other to be the more bellicose and belligerent. How they've managed to so successfully marginalise dissenting opinion as the province of loony conspiracy theorists; they don't need to censor the media, they can just manipulate public opinion into doing that for them. And religion? look at how anxious broadcasters are to appease the Creationist lobby.

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Frank Merton

In a Fascist state there would be no "creationist lobby." Either the state would impose creationism or it would ban it. The idea of lobbys trying to influence things is alien to the concept.

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