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Debates Forum

  1. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    25 Oct '13 22:54 / 1 edit
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGxFJ5nL9gg

    Alright, many of you have probably seen the interview with Jeremy Paxman by now, or parts of it anyway. While I can see why some people might find Brand a little much, I happen to agree with quite a bit of what he's saying. No great surprise there, I suppose.

    Anyway, the specific point I want to address here is their disagreement over voting. Paxman chides Brand for not voting and wants to know how he's going to change a bad system if he doesn't vote. The implication is that change can only come from within the parameters established by the system one is voting to change. I'm sure you can see where this is headed. Brand counters by saying that the scope for change offered by the political system is very narrow and ends up acting instead as a tacit endorsement of the existing system.

    In effect, the ruling class (the economic elite) is giving the electorate a say in which particular means the ruling class will employ in their continued dominance of the political system. By participating in such an election, the electorate is thereby giving their de facto endorsement to the continued dominance of that ruling class. This is a point I have raised several times by different means. Namely that political democracy without economic democracy is a hollow shell. It is an emasculated and stunted conception of what democracy is.

    Edit: I thought I was in the debates forum. If any lurking moderators would be so kind as to transport it there, it would be appreciated.
  2. Standard member RJHinds
    The Near Genius
    26 Oct '13 00:56
    Originally posted by rwingett
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGxFJ5nL9gg

    Alright, many of you have probably seen the interview with Jeremy Paxman by now, or parts of it anyway. While I can see why some people might find Brand a little much, I happen to agree with quite a bit of what he's saying. No great surprise there, I suppose.

    Anyway, the specific point I want to address here ...[text shortened]... m. If any lurking moderators would be so kind as to transport it there, it would be appreciated.
    He is probably just high on some type of drug.

    The Instructor
  3. 26 Oct '13 06:55
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    He is probably just high on some type of drug.

    The Instructor
    Your post reminds me of a turd in a swimming pool for some reason.
  4. Subscriber Pianoman1
    Nil desperandum
    26 Oct '13 07:17
    Originally posted by rwingett
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGxFJ5nL9gg

    Alright, many of you have probably seen the interview with Jeremy Paxman by now, or parts of it anyway. While I can see why some people might find Brand a little much, I happen to agree with quite a bit of what he's saying. No great surprise there, I suppose.

    Anyway, the specific point I want to address here ...[text shortened]... m. If any lurking moderators would be so kind as to transport it there, it would be appreciated.
    Not normally a fan of Russell Brand, but I was hugely impressed by his passion and his articulate reasoning in this interview in which Jeremy Paxman for the first time ever seems to have been lost for words!
  5. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    26 Oct '13 12:04
    Originally posted by Pianoman1
    Not normally a fan of Russell Brand, but I was hugely impressed by his passion and his articulate reasoning in this interview in which Jeremy Paxman for the first time ever seems to have been lost for words!
    I think many find his unbridled idealism unpalatable because they've abandoned themselves to the jaded cynicism of the "real world." He's a too painful reminder of their own daily complicity in the iniquitous state of affairs in the world.
  6. 26 Oct '13 13:10
    Originally posted by rwingett
    While I can see why some people might find Brand a little much, I happen to agree with quite a bit of what he's saying. No great surprise there, I suppose.
    I think I agree with most of what he says too.
  7. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    26 Oct '13 14:10
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I think I agree with most of what he says too.
    Well, that's a start. But why do I get the feeling that we both agree with Brand for very different reasons?
  8. 26 Oct '13 14:29
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Well, that's a start. But why do I get the feeling that we both agree with Brand for very different reasons?
    Maybe because we have disagreed in the past? I believe in the economy of scale and global equality whereas I think you focus on local economies and protectionism.
    But I do think that current democracies are fundamentally flawed and in need of an overhaul, and I do think that economic revolution is the best path. Violent revolution typically puts the most violent people in charge.
    The difficulty of economic revolution is that the people with the social / management skills to carry it out have a motivation for maintaining the status quo. Also, I don't know of any management structure that successfully removes the incentives of management from slowly changing the system back to one that benefits them.
  9. 26 Oct '13 21:45
    Originally posted by rwingett
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGxFJ5nL9gg

    Alright, many of you have probably seen the interview with Jeremy Paxman by now, or parts of it anyway. While I can see why some people might find Brand a little much, I happen to agree with quite a bit of what he's saying. No great surprise there, I suppose.

    Anyway, the specific point I want to address here ...[text shortened]... m. If any lurking moderators would be so kind as to transport it there, it would be appreciated.
    I haven't seen the interview but have read some of the transcript. I think he certainly has a point. Trouble is any serious attempt to change the system is more likely than not to end up with something worse. A quick Google reveals that it was Winston Churchill in 1947 who said "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

    But what can you do when "the desire to hold power should immediately disqualify anyone from ever doing so" to misquote Douglas Adams?

    I think I agree with Brand but don't think simply refusing to participate helps when you have no better proposal to offer or means to implement.

    --- Penguin
  10. 27 Oct '13 08:16
    Originally posted by Penguin
    Trouble is any serious attempt to change the system is more likely than not to end up with something worse.
    I think I agree with rwingett that the answer lies in changing to economic democracy rather than attempting to change the politics. If we could start enough co-operatives they might gain enough political power to push for political change.
    Here in SA, the trade unions are one of the largest political groups. However they too suffer from manipulation by thier leaders.

    I think I agree with Brand but don't think simply refusing to participate helps when you have no better proposal to offer or means to implement.
    Refusal to participate is a form of participation. Voter apathy is taken note of by politicians etc. Also if you vote for a given party, everyone assumes they know what you want. If you don't vote, they might actually come and ask you why.
  11. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    27 Oct '13 12:36
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Maybe because we have disagreed in the past? I believe in the economy of scale and global equality whereas I think you focus on local economies and protectionism.
    But I do think that current democracies are fundamentally flawed and in need of an overhaul, and I do think that economic revolution is the best path. Violent revolution typically puts the most ...[text shortened]... ves the incentives of management from slowly changing the system back to one that benefits them.
    Economies of scale are frequently counterproductive as they come at the cost of greater and greater degrees of centralization, hierarchical organization, the regimentation of society, and the loss of control by communities over their local affairs. Due to the predatory nature of the global economy they lead inexorably toward greater global inequality. The only equality you can be sure of now is the right to be abused equally by global financial institutions as they shift their resources around the world in pursuit of the nation that will prostrate itself most abjectly in response to their demands. Economies of scale, despite what the calculations of economists may tell us, will not save us in the end.
  12. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    27 Oct '13 12:42
    Originally posted by Penguin
    I haven't seen the interview but have read some of the transcript. I think he certainly has a point. Trouble is any serious attempt to change the system is more likely than not to end up with something worse. A quick Google reveals that it was Winston Churchill in 1947 who said [i]"Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms t ...[text shortened]... articipate helps when you have no better proposal to offer or means to implement.

    --- Penguin
    Yes, Dr. Pangloss, we live in the best of all possible worlds. Not.

    The fact is that the world changes continuously. Sometimes for the better. To look around the world and say that this is the best we can do is sheer nonsense. We can, and should, do better.
  13. 27 Oct '13 13:21 / 6 edits
    Originally posted by rwingett
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGxFJ5nL9gg

    Alright, many of you have probably seen the interview with Jeremy Paxman by now, or parts of it anyway. While I can see why some people might find Brand a little much, I happen to agree with quite a bit of what he's saying. No great surprise there, I suppose.

    Anyway, the specific point I want to address here ...[text shortened]... m. If any lurking moderators would be so kind as to transport it there, it would be appreciated.
    Russell Brand is like cocaine socialism.

    Re not voting, if you have drug problems in the UK you are a criminal, the police aren't that bad - some get picked on way to much by them, but your money gets burned in the black economy. And voting for that system is something I've lost interest in to. I will only vote for parties in favour of cannabis now, only thing that will get my vote. Even the NHS looks Orwellian without it.

    I dislike his views on wealth, he is quite rich and the process that earns a good comic lots of money also pays a banker, exec, analyst, entrepreneur lots of money. Poverty bothers me in the UK a lot, but inequality never has, I like Aston Martins, can't afford one but I like seeing them go past. They take up as much space as another car what's the problem?

    I think Brand reflects a drug using group in the UK who are as indifferent to politics as politics is to them, but his views on socialism are a bit hollow to me. They don't reflect that some companies do nothing but provide for lower income people.
  14. 27 Oct '13 13:35 / 3 edits
    Politicians in the UK are utter cowards when it comes to talking about drugs, but cannabis is so big these days they cut out 10-20% of the electorate by not mentioning it.

    There must be a shift in attitudes when people start a family, politicians always try to appease family values but what results is like a country ruled by your mother in law.
  15. 27 Oct '13 13:41
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Economies of scale are frequently counterproductive as they come at the cost of greater and greater degrees of centralization, hierarchical organization, the regimentation of society, and the loss of control by communities over their local affairs.
    Thats easy to claim, but much harder to make a coherent argument for.
    The problem is however that economies of scale are simply unavoidable. You cannot deny that they have their place, so you are left with giving an argument for when and when not to have them.

    Economies of scale, despite what the calculations of economists may tell us, will not save us in the end.
    They have hower served us quite well till now, and we simply cannot live without them. The main problem I have with your ideas is they simply cannot work for the majority of people. They only work in small first world communities. Now if you first get rid of 6 billion of the worlds population you may have a plan, but right now, you need to deal with the worlds vast population and your ideas simply don't cut it.