8values political quiz

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sangi39
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Re: 8values political quiz

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Vlürch wrote: 05 Aug 2021 01:15
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02I don't undestand your views here. Karl Marx was pretty clear on the necessity of supporting the disabled: "from each according to his ability; to each according to his need". If someone is unable to work, Marxism is very clear that their needs should nonetheless be met, even at cost to others. Generally, the futher left someone is, the more they support this Communist maxim (with the exception of some groups). Support of the disabled through welfare to the point of equality with the able is also a central, defining principle of liberal egalitarianism.
True in theory, but with the exception of maybe half of self-described anarchists, most of the leftists I've talked with about that stuff are like "but you're not disabled! in a socialist state you wouldn't have your mental health problems! you'd be able to work just fine!" even if I repeatedly explain that that's not how it works, that every therapist ended up basically declaring me a hopeless case as far as education/employment goes... that's what I meant with the thing about armchair psychologists knowing better, because clearly they think they do.
There's a chance this might be a combination of trying to "sell" leftist ideas as well as a particular understanding regarding some mental health issues.

Most(?) leftist, as far as I've seen it, hold ideas than at least some mental health issues, most notably depression, for example, can be linked to Marx's theory of of alienation, and that moving towards a socialist/communist socio-economic system would, in removing this alienation, relieve at least some mental health issues, thus allowing those individuals who had previously becoming too ill to work to seek out physical work again.

Now, does that apply to all mental health issues? Certainly not, and I do think that at least some people on the left kind of just conflate all mental health issues with things like depression or think that those issues can be tied to capitalism.

As Sal points out, however, one of the mostly widely held beliefs amongst those on the left is "from each according to his ability; to each according to his need", i.e. that if you can't work, don't worry, you'll still be provided for, but, yeah, I do think "mental illness is caused by capitalism" can be somewhat overused to try and sell it to people who are concerned that, under communism, they might find it even harder to get by (and, to some extent, it probably plays into this idea of "work is worth" that a fair few people seem to have, so going "oh, no, you'd be more likely to get a job under communism, because the things stopping you from working would be gone" might be a big plus to some people currently out of work under capitalism).

Another thing you might see come up is the social model of disability, i.e. that someone is only considered "disabled" in so far as they live in a society that does not take into account their "impairment" (you can't can't walk up stairs, but you can get a wheelchair up a ramp. Your impairment is the inability to go upstairs, but you're only prevented from getting up to the next floor because stairs are the norm, instead of ramps or lifts. It's the prevalence of stairs that makes you "disabled"). So you might see people saying things like "under communism, where more people have a voice, disabilities will be removed, as we move towards a more inclusive society, thus allowing those with certain impairments to come to work". Again, that is pretty valid, but, yeah, I think it's overreaching to say it would allow everybody to work.

But, yeah, I think largely it comes from a place of genuine belief that communism/socialism/anarchism/whatever will allow more people to work who are currently excluded from doing so, but in pushing that idea I think it might miss something more "central" to leftism in general, i.e. that you don't have to work. I guess it probably comes from trying to "sell" communism to some on the right as well. "We'll take care of you regardless" makes communism look like an ideology for free-loaders and scroungers, but if you can go "no, no, we're trying to get more people to work", then it might seem more appealing? That's an issue with trying to tailor an ideology that attempts to change society so hugely, though, to so many different audiences. You either pick one narrative that appeals very broadly, even if it misses something, or you tailor it to specific groups and individuals and end up looking almost like you're telling different stories.


Vlürch wrote: 05 Aug 2021 01:15
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02 Why? If it's great to replace watchmakers and farmers with robos, why is it bad to replace lawyers and accountants with robots?
Because of the human dimension. I believe it's important to have some human contact, but even if the emotional aspect was removed, there's still the fact that in many social interaction-type situations an AI wouldn't be able to understand a problem if there was one. Sure, they could be programmed to deal with a million variables, or summon a person to deal with it if it can't figure it out, but it'd be easier to just have a human there from the start.
Ehhh, I think Sal is probably right on this. Even if you did have some humans working with highly automated systems (I mean, some human oversight wouldn't be a bad thing), that doesn't mean it has to be customer-facing. At least for me, the reduced working hours and working more closely with people within your working environment would, you'd hope, allow for more face-to-face time with people in general. Shopping might become more impersonal, but you'd gain more of a social life and a better sense of comradery with your co-workers, so you'd still have human contact.

Now, given the discussion of disability, and the recent worry regarding isolation for the eldery and the disabled that came about with the COVID-19 pandemic, I suspect (although, of course, correct me if I'm wrong) that you're coming from a similar place, e.g. that, to some extent, your only sense of fairly consistent social contact is at shops (or, at the very least, that you understand that concern). However, again, due to a decreased amount of time working, and, hopefully, an increased focus on community action and solidarity (not an idea unique to leftists), those who are otherwise fairly isolated might gain more interaction with people in their community.

Anyway, I don't think increased automation would completely remove a human element. I mean, look at automation in car manufacturing. While entire factories can, in effect, run without human interaction, there's still some human oversight in case something goes wrong, people there who understand the system and the machines so that they can be repaired. And, of course, there have to be humans around somewhere to deliberate over exactly what's actually getting produced.


Vlürch wrote: 05 Aug 2021 01:15
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02Huh? You do understand that if you paid the people who made you things more, your things would no longer be so cheap?
Not necessarily. If there was more globalism and poor people were incentivised to buy more expensive stuff thanks to lower VAT for poor people, then more poor people from around the world would buy things from other countries for cheap and the increased total should make up for the slight increase in price. Maybe that's not how it'd work in practice (probably with capitalism, it wouldn't...) but I imagine in theory there's no reason it couldn't.
I'm more than happy for someone to correct me here, but if you're in the US, running a company that has a factory in, say, Angola, and you started paying the Angolan workers the same wage as a US worker doing the same job, then once you include transport costs, wouldn't the price of the product increase? Lowering VAT for poor people would only incentivise them to buy more expensive products from abroad if a) VAT on locally produced goods were higher or b) there's some sort of import subsidy?

If everyone around the world is earning the same wage for, for example, making a t-shirt, then transport cost becomes the major contributing factor in determining price differences. I don't see how lowering VAT would change that.


Vlürch wrote: 05 Aug 2021 01:15
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02If you don't mind me saying so, that seems like a regressive form of taxation that would increase inequality.
My logic was, if poor people don't have to pay as much VAT as rich people (and rich people have to pay more than currently), poor people can afford to buy more things while rich people still have their riches and aren't going to just stop buying things even if they have to pay more, so there would be a total increase in money the government gets from taxes, which could be put into welfare (or even UBI) and education and whatnot.
I can see the point, but I don't think it really makes all that much sense. VAT is, ideally, a tax on luxury, non-essential goods (and often used as a way of dissuading people from buying products that are otherwise considered potentially harmful). So, if the goal is to circulate as much money back into the economy as possible, then lowering VAT across the board should surely be the main solution (or have a progressive VAT rate that is dependent on the value of the product, but then, again, that would push certain items more and more into the hands of wealthier and wealthier people, thus increasing the inequality in buying power between richer and poorer consumers)


Vlürch wrote: 05 Aug 2021 01:15
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02If you want to reduce inequality, you need to move money from the rich to the poor - and the only way this happens, other than just directly taxing wealth, is by the rich buying things from the poor. Rich people wasting money by buying pointless things at inflated prices helps to move money away from the rich and toward the people who made those pointless things. Increasing taxes on consumption will encourage the rich to consume less - which means that they end up hoarding their wealth instead of spending it. And hoarding leads to increased inequality.
Hmm, that's actually a good point. I do think it'd still be possible for it to help if there was significantly more globalisation, but what you said does make me reconsider that. Maybe something like that would only be worthwhile if it was with locally produced things.
Ah, okay, yeah, I think I've just made a similar point to Sal, i.e. that increasing "consumption taxes" for the rich reduces the amount of goods produced for them to buy, because they're now less well-off enough to buy it, so they'll just keep hold of the money they have and spend it on fewer things.

This is why, for example, some on the left don't see reform as "good enough". You can mess around with things like VAT, and more often than not it'll disproportionately have a negative impact on the poorer members of society, sometimes precisely because it has a negative impact on the wealthy, and that's, of course, the entire thing they're trying to do away with.


Vlürch wrote: 05 Aug 2021 01:15
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02Although actually, the very rich are often in favour of taxes.
Really? Interesting...
Surprisingly, yeah, it does seem like it. The incredibly wealthy seem very aware that even extreme rises in, say, rates of income tax, won't necessarily affect them all that much, because they already earn significant amounts. It seems to be the "wealthy, but not crazy rich" people who seem to be against rising taxes, because it can lead to a "bigger decrease" in what they perceive to be their "meaningful income" (if a billionaire ends up living like a 100-millionaire, they might see that differently to a millionaire living like someone earning 100k)


Vlürch wrote: 05 Aug 2021 01:15
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02There "should be" all sorts of things. But how are you going to make that happen? After all, the only reason slave labour is used is that Western consumers demand it.
Unfortunately, I don't know how pretty much any problems could be fixed in practice. Encouraging buying from countries/companies that don't use slave labour could only be a part of it, which could encourage countries/companies that do use slave labour to stop using it so that they could re-enter the market, but I don't know how that could be achieved at least with China since companies from all over the world rely on their slave labour...
Ohhh this one is huuuuge (also why the VAT thing above, I think, doesn't necessarily work). Cheap labour incentivises companies to take their factories abroad because, even once you offset transport costs, they'll be able to create a product that they can sell at a lower price to the domestic market, but at just a high enough price that they actually increase the company's income.

Now, of course, there is the idea of "ethical consumption", e.g. buying locally sourced foods, locally manufactured goods, products that weren't manufactured in sweat-shops, but ethical consumption, surprise surprise, costs money, and also money that poorer consumers can find difficult to save.

Say I need a pair of shoes now. I'm right at the bottom of the full-time wage rate. My untaxed income has gone almost entirely on rent, bills, food, and toiletries/sundries. I need those shoes now. There's a pair of shoes for £20 that I can afford, but they've been made in by poorly paid workers in Benin or somewhere who work in substandard conditions, no breaks, 10 hour days for pennies. There's also a pair of shoes for £40 that I can afford if I wait just a month, and they were made in Germany, by someone paid a decent wage, in a factory that they're safe working in. But I need the shoes now. The ones I have on my feet now are literally falling apart, and I've put off buying them as long as I can. Right, £20 shoes it is. They're substandard quality too, so chances are I'll be back in a year making the same bad decision, but if I'd bought the £40 shoes, I could have worn those for 4 years. So I'm also now spending £80 on shoes over 4 years buying the cheap shoes I can afford now, vs. £40 if I'd just had the chance to save up for the more expensive ones.

Not only have I not been able to make an ethical choice, because of my low income and relatively high outgoings, I'm now personally, financially, worse off in the long-run, meaning I'm now encouraged to continue making choices that I believe are unethical.

The question is, though, why am I on such a low wage? At least some of it might be down to, well, some jobs being shipped abroad to countries with lower wages. I wanted a job making shoes, but they've all moved abroad. I have to take what pay I'm given (hey, at least I'm earning something - and the company producing shoes domestically still needs to compete with the ones that moved their factories abroad, so the hit has to be made somewhere) or retrain or take some job with a low level of entry that I can get on the basis of just having done well in high school. So now I can't make an ethical choice on financial grounds precisely because jobs were moved to countries where companies could pay employees even less, meaning that I get paid even less.


That's at least part of the issue, as far as I understand it. Globalisation can have some amazing benefits. Decentralising crop production, for example, can counter droughts or disease. But globalisation as it stands today, where, effectively, land and resources are bought up by bigger "first world" companies, taking advantage of lower living conditions to pay lower wages, in order to increase their income at home (likely without having to pay taxes)... it just benefits business owners and the people they can hand out money, jobs, and influence to, keeping them at the top of the pile at the expense of almost everyone below them.


Vlürch wrote: 05 Aug 2021 01:15
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02Then where SHOULD poor people live?
Where we currently live? I mean, I'm lucky to live in a place that almost magically turned from a crime-ridden hellhole into basically a literal paradise (I really don't know how that actually happened) that has quite a lot of nature still left, so I'm happy to live where I live, but I know many aren't as lucky... so hopefully governments could be convinced to do more stuff for poor people with the intention of making them less poor in the long run, and they do some stuff like that sometimes here, but the downside is that it's always environmentally destructive in the typical way: no green roofs, no vertical farms, no parks, etc. There's no balance to it, or thinking of the future, even if they claim to be thinking of the future.

Probably the best would be to redevelop already existing areas into a more environmentally friendly/restorative condition, with better local services focusing on poor people, but... that kind of things are only done where rich people live, unless it's done at the local level, but there isn't enough money at the local level to do it or to even incentivise doing it properly.
Isn't that just gentrification? Richer people come in (or the state comes in), buys up as much local property as they can, throwing money at improving the area, which brings in more wealthy people, meaning the area can be improved even more, decreasing things like crime and homelessness, and increasing education (because the wealthy are less likely to commit certain crimes, because they're not in a disadvantaged position, and, depending on where you live, education funding is tied to things like house prices which is... weird, and wealthier people usually have better access to things like private tutors or the ability to buy books). The higher the house prices become, the more people who've lived there longer will become willing to sell, because it means they can go and buy something better a few miles down the road.

But that doesn't actually change anything, I don't think. Not really. All it does is see the rich, and the lifestyle they bring with them, move into an area that used to be poor, taking advantage of low house prices caused, in part, by relatively higher crime rates, a lack of amenities, lower education rates, etc.

That just moves the lower income families elsewhere, though. It doesn't increase things like their wages, or their standard of living, so the area they move to might still have the same rate of crime, poverty, etc. and they might need to travel further for work now, so their real-term income just went down.

So "where we live" is great, as is wanting to reduce things like crime and homelessness, but just doing up an area and having a bunch of well-off people moving in just moves the problem around. It treats a symptom, not a cause.


Vlürch wrote: 05 Aug 2021 01:15
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02Ironically, this is an incredibly socially conservative view!
I guess if you consider conservatism in the sense of wanting the status quo of progressivism to remain that way, it admittedly is. But with the long-term maximisation of progressivism and minimisation of conservatism that would result from it, I don't think it makes sense to call it a conservative view.
I think Sal is right here. That's very "only wanting the right people to move in" thinking. I can agree that wanting people to be more left-leaning or more progressive is probably a good thing, but only letting leftists and progressives in at all is a bit... "us vs. them", "oh, you can be part of the in-group", messy. "Long term maximisation of progressivism" becomes local, rather than widespread. Again, it's treating a symptom, not a cause. You don't convince people to magically change their minds by going "oh, you think rich people should pass on their wealth to their children? Sorry, you can stay over there in I-don't-care-where-you're-from". You'll just end up increasing conservatism in the areas where you left those people behind, instead of recognising that they're just people too who, if you show them first hand, by including them, that your ideas are valid, and that they work, probably might go "huh, okay, yeah, maybe I was wrong". And if they don't change their minds, well, that's their minds. You just keep doing your thing, trying to make society better for everyone.

Leftism isn't just for leftists. It's for everyone.


Vlürch wrote: 05 Aug 2021 01:15
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02Well there goes 90% of the economy. I guess everything will be built out of oak and granite in the future...
It's not like they'd have to last ten years, just that they wouldn't be expected to break within ten years. Currently at least France has made that kind of a thing into law but it's just two years, which I think is ridiculously short considering an older computer or phone can last literally a decade or more with very few issues and the problem becomes finding replacement parts if something breaks. I'm sure the economic impact could be softened at least a little bit by the technological industry focusing more on replacement parts with different varieties and whatnot and making things more repairable/recycleable, etc.
Vlürch wrote: 05 Aug 2021 01:15
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02Companies don't create product with user-unfriendly options on purpose - nobody's sitting there saying "hey, how can we discourage people from buying our product?".
They don't think that, of course, but planned obsolescence has been proven to be a thing enough times with enough products that at this point there's probably always someone going "we should make our products less durable so that people have to buy new ones more often".
Planned obsolescence does suck sometimes. It's a very mixed bag of a topic. Some aspects of it are good, in that, for example, it can drive legitimate innovation, and it can return material back into the production line in order to create that replacement. On the other hand, yeah, a lot of planned obsolescence now is aimed at just producing new things to be consumed, especially when you take into account the lack of right to repair, but that seems like an issue with obsolescence within the sphere of capitalism that with obsolescence itself.
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Re: 8values political quiz

Post by Salmoneus »

sangi39 wrote: 14 Aug 2021 03:07
Vlürch wrote: 05 Aug 2021 01:15
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02 Why? If it's great to replace watchmakers and farmers with robos, why is it bad to replace lawyers and accountants with robots?
Because of the human dimension. I believe it's important to have some human contact, but even if the emotional aspect was removed, there's still the fact that in many social interaction-type situations an AI wouldn't be able to understand a problem if there was one. Sure, they could be programmed to deal with a million variables, or summon a person to deal with it if it can't figure it out, but it'd be easier to just have a human there from the start.
Ehhh, I think Sal is probably right on this. Even if you did have some humans working with highly automated systems (I mean, some human oversight wouldn't be a bad thing), that doesn't mean it has to be customer-facing. At least for me, the reduced working hours and working more closely with people within your working environment would, you'd hope, allow for more face-to-face time with people in general. Shopping might become more impersonal, but you'd gain more of a social life and a better sense of comradery with your co-workers, so you'd still have human contact.
The same arguments can in any case also be applied about watches:
- robots could never make a watch, it's just too difficult. The AI wouldn't be able to understan the problems that could arise - it would be easier just to have a human there.
- it's important to have some human contact, and robotising watchmaking will mean I don't get to chat to my watchmaker anymore.

The first argument there is of the sort we might call 'economically superfluous', because it's phrased in terms of efficiency and ease of production. It's in some way 'better' to have a human make the watch (or the company accounts, or whatever). But if that's true, you don't need to make the argument: if it really is economically better to have a human do it, then you don't need to have a political argument about it, it'll just happen through the invisible hand of the market. The reason people are worried about service jobs being lost is precisely because there's a fear that it IS economically profitable to automate these industries. Just as it turned out to be for watches: the result has been far cheaper (and more accurate!) watches.

The second argument is a valid one, because it sets up an externality (loss of human contact) for the economic argument to conflict with. But it's a bad argument! People like human contact - if you give humans more free time NOT chained to the metalgrinder, the PC or the receptionist's phone, then the result will surely be MORE (and more free and varied) human contact, not less.
Vlürch wrote: 05 Aug 2021 01:15
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02Huh? You do understand that if you paid the people who made you things more, your things would no longer be so cheap?
Not necessarily. If there was more globalism and poor people were incentivised to buy more expensive stuff thanks to lower VAT for poor people, then more poor people from around the world would buy things from other countries for cheap and the increased total should make up for the slight increase in price. Maybe that's not how it'd work in practice (probably with capitalism, it wouldn't...) but I imagine in theory there's no reason it couldn't.
I'm more than happy for someone to correct me here, but if you're in the US, running a company that has a factory in, say, Angola, and you started paying the Angolan workers the same wage as a US worker doing the same job, then once you include transport costs, wouldn't the price of the product increase? Lowering VAT for poor people would only incentivise them to buy more expensive products from abroad if a) VAT on locally produced goods were higher or b) there's some sort of import subsidy?

If everyone around the world is earning the same wage for, for example, making a t-shirt, then transport cost becomes the major contributing factor in determining price differences. I don't see how lowering VAT would change that.
Indeed. Vlurch here is running up against the fundamentals of numbers: if production costs go up, prices go up, and it becomes more difficult to buy things. If the people who made your T-shirts were paid as much as you, you wouldn't be able to afford the T-shirts they'd make (and nor would they).

Or let's put it another way: assume that increased wages come entirely out of spending (and not, say, welfare payments). Assume a given price of goods. For that price, a certain level of expenditure can only buy a certain number of goods. If you want to increase the number of goods bought - so that everyone gets a T-shirt, not just Americans - then you have to either increase the total expenditure, or decrease the price of the good. If you INCREASE the price of the good, by increasing wages, then you DECREASE how many can be bought in total for a given level of expenditure. Which in practice means - given that even Americans can only hoard so many T-shirts - that fewer people will be able to buy them, even if everyone's wage is higher. In other words, wage increases simply lead to price increases to maintain equilibrium.

The only two ways to change that are to increase expenditure, or decrease the price in some other way to compensate for, and go beyond, the increase in wage costs. The former cannot really be done simply by relying on average Western consumers to spend more (by increasing prices), because they're already at the limits of their disposable capital - indeed, most Western consumers are already in debt. If you increase prices substantially, all you'll do is decrease spending, which will actually decrease the amount of money flowing out of the West to the East.

[think of it this way: many people would rather buy a T-shirt made in Scotland to one made in Vietnam - but the Vietnam T-shirt is much cheaper. If you raise the price of the Vietnam T-shirt to match that of the Scottish one, two things will happen: fewer T-shirts will be bought in total, and a larger percentage of them will have been made in Scotland. Both of those effects mean fewer Vietnamese T-shirts get sold, which means the company who makes those T-shirts will not need to hire as many workers. You will have increased the wage of the remaining T-shirt workers considerably, but at the cost of making a lot of people unemployed. You will, of course, have employed more people in Scotland: but a) few people than have just been made unemployed in Vietnam, and b) instead of the rich Westerner's money going to support people in Vietnam, it now goes to support other reasonably wealthy people in Scotland. This is hardly a net benefit for the world. Similarly, by increasing labour costs (wages), you push employers to increase automation and decrease employment (raising the cost of human labour makes robot labour relatively cheaper).]


Vlürch wrote: 05 Aug 2021 01:15
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02Although actually, the very rich are often in favour of taxes.
Really? Interesting...
Surprisingly, yeah, it does seem like it. The incredibly wealthy seem very aware that even extreme rises in, say, rates of income tax, won't necessarily affect them all that much, because they already earn significant amounts. It seems to be the "wealthy, but not crazy rich" people who seem to be against rising taxes, because it can lead to a "bigger decrease" in what they perceive to be their "meaningful income" (if a billionaire ends up living like a 100-millionaire, they might see that differently to a millionaire living like someone earning 100k)
Aside from issues of general comfort, there's also a theory that people's status-assignment is based not on absolute wealth or power, but on 'rank' in society: what people really seem to hate is when people 'below' them 'overtake' them, and what they love is when they themselves 'overtake' people who were 'above' them. This is why the people who complain most about welfare tend to be those who aren't far above welfare themselves: they worry that increased welfare might let people on benefits 'overtake' them. At the other end of the scale, Warren Buffett can advocate as many taxes as he feels like, secure in the knowledge that he's still going to be one of the wealthiest people in the world - even if he's much poorer than today, he'll still be at the top of the pyramid. He'll only complain if you introduce a 'Warren Buffet only' tax that lets other people overtake him!
Say I need a pair of shoes now. I'm right at the bottom of the full-time wage rate. My untaxed income has gone almost entirely on rent, bills, food, and toiletries/sundries. I need those shoes now. There's a pair of shoes for £20 that I can afford, but they've been made in by poorly paid workers in Benin or somewhere who work in substandard conditions, no breaks, 10 hour days for pennies. There's also a pair of shoes for £40 that I can afford if I wait just a month, and they were made in Germany, by someone paid a decent wage, in a factory that they're safe working in. But I need the shoes now. The ones I have on my feet now are literally falling apart, and I've put off buying them as long as I can. Right, £20 shoes it is. They're substandard quality too, so chances are I'll be back in a year making the same bad decision, but if I'd bought the £40 shoes, I could have worn those for 4 years. So I'm also now spending £80 on shoes over 4 years buying the cheap shoes I can afford now, vs. £40 if I'd just had the chance to save up for the more expensive ones.
Someone's been reading Discworld...
The question is, though, why am I on such a low wage? At least some of it might be down to, well, some jobs being shipped abroad to countries with lower wages. I wanted a job making shoes, but they've all moved abroad. I have to take what pay I'm given (hey, at least I'm earning something - and the company producing shoes domestically still needs to compete with the ones that moved their factories abroad, so the hit has to be made somewhere) or retrain or take some job with a low level of entry that I can get on the basis of just having done well in high school. So now I can't make an ethical choice on financial grounds precisely because jobs were moved to countries where companies could pay employees even less, meaning that I get paid even less.


That's at least part of the issue, as far as I understand it. Globalisation can have some amazing benefits. Decentralising crop production, for example, can counter droughts or disease. But globalisation as it stands today, where, effectively, land and resources are bought up by bigger "first world" companies, taking advantage of lower living conditions to pay lower wages, in order to increase their income at home (likely without having to pay taxes)... it just benefits business owners and the people they can hand out money, jobs, and influence to, keeping them at the top of the pile at the expense of almost everyone below them.
It doesn't, thoguh - it also massively benefits everyone else in rich countries. Globalisation lowers prices; more to the point, it increases efficiency. Consumer surplus therefore increases.
Consider: if shoes are all made in the UK, shoes will be more expensive. This is great news for the tiny percentage of the population who will be hired to make shoes... but it's terrible news for the far, far, far larger percentage of the population who want to BUY those shoes.

And conversely, because there will be an opportunity to be hired to make shoes, we'll have to pay higher wages to persuade people to, say, clean sewers, or be Chancellor of the Exchequer, so the cost of everything else goes up too. If everything is made locally, this means that most things in the world will be made in a place where it's not the most efficient to make them - and, conversely, because people will have to be employed making things inefficiently, they won't be able to be employed making the things that actually COULD be made efficiently in that place.

Consider the anti-globalisation argument applied to smaller scale. Let's take Oxford, say. If the people researching covid vaccines in Oxford had instead been working on the farms, or assembling shoes for the Oxford consumers, would Oxford - or the world - now be better off? It's only because of globalisation that we can instead say "let's farm the crops somewhere with good soil and good climate, and let's do the vaccine research somewhere with a university!"... otherwise, Oxonians would have to try to grow all their own crops, and people in a barn in Iowa would have to be trying to work out what to inject themselves with to stop themselves getting ill...
Isn't that just gentrification? Richer people come in (or the state comes in), buys up as much local property as they can, throwing money at improving the area, which brings in more wealthy people, meaning the area can be improved even more, decreasing things like crime and homelessness, and increasing education (because the wealthy are less likely to commit certain crimes, because they're not in a disadvantaged position, and, depending on where you live, education funding is tied to things like house prices which is... weird, and wealthier people usually have better access to things like private tutors or the ability to buy books). The higher the house prices become, the more people who've lived there longer will become willing to sell, because it means they can go and buy something better a few miles down the road.

But that doesn't actually change anything, I don't think. Not really. All it does is see the rich, and the lifestyle they bring with them, move into an area that used to be poor, taking advantage of low house prices caused, in part, by relatively higher crime rates, a lack of amenities, lower education rates, etc.
In reality, though, everyone becomes richer. The best way to get rich is to live around rich people; the best way to get poor is to live around poor people. Gentrification produces social mixing, as richer* newcomers mingle with poorer residents. This improves cultural expectations and availability of opportunities, and decreases crime and noxious externalities (the rich people insist the playgrounds get repaired). The alternative - poor districts remain poor and the rich are dissuaded from moving there - only makes poor districts poorer and rich districts richer.

[however, there are of course ways to increase the positive impact of gentrification. A huge one I think is home ownership - it's a big part of why gentrification is so much more welcomed in the UK than the US, because it means that all existing residents, even those who chose to move out to cheaper areas, benefit from gentrification; whereas with low levels of home ownership, all the profit goes to the landlords, not the tenants. You can also try to ensure that some share of the inward investment goes immediately to the poor - for instance, through social housing requirements and CILs (developers being forced to do certain things to improve the area). I wonder whether it might also be a good idea to introduce some sort of explicit 'tenant windfall', at least for people in council houses, whereby local residents are directly rewarded for increased house prices.]


*the wrinkle in the gentrification narrative, of course, is that usually it's not actually rich people who move in - it's poor people from middle-class backgrounds, with middle-class aspirations (prototypically students and young professionals). These people can't afford to live somewhere better - usually they raise the rents at first not by moving in, but by staying as their salaries increase.
Vlürch wrote: 05 Aug 2021 01:15
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02Ironically, this is an incredibly socially conservative view!
I guess if you consider conservatism in the sense of wanting the status quo of progressivism to remain that way, it admittedly is. But with the long-term maximisation of progressivism and minimisation of conservatism that would result from it, I don't think it makes sense to call it a conservative view.
I think Sal is right here. That's very "only wanting the right people to move in" thinking. I can agree that wanting people to be more left-leaning or more progressive is probably a good thing, but only letting leftists and progressives in at all is a bit... "us vs. them", "oh, you can be part of the in-group", messy. "Long term maximisation of progressivism" becomes local, rather than widespread. Again, it's treating a symptom, not a cause. You don't convince people to magically change their minds by going "oh, you think rich people should pass on their wealth to their children? Sorry, you can stay over there in I-don't-care-where-you're-from". You'll just end up increasing conservatism in the areas where you left those people behind, instead of recognising that they're just people too who, if you show them first hand, by including them, that your ideas are valid, and that they work, probably might go "huh, okay, yeah, maybe I was wrong". And if they don't change their minds, well, that's their minds. You just keep doing your thing, trying to make society better for everyone.
This is a problem already. I'm not sure what the term for it is, but it's effectively a 'freedom drain', parallel to the brain drain: the more repressive a society is, the more eager the liberals in it are to flee to the West (or, at least, some more liberal place), and the more likely they are to be met with sympathy when they try to do so. Which is great for them, but means that the net liberalism of the countries they've left behind decreases.

Meanwhile, liberalism works much like gentification: the best way to make someone liberal is to let them live near liberal people.
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Re: 8values political quiz

Post by Salmoneus »

P.S. thanks, Sangi, for that me-length post!
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Re: 8values political quiz

Post by sangi39 »

Salmoneus wrote: 14 Aug 2021 15:47 Someone's been reading Discworld...
Every night for the last 7 or 8 years [xD]


Salmoneus wrote: 14 Aug 2021 15:50 P.S. thanks, Sangi, for that me-length post!
Hahaha, no problem [:P] I'd been wanting to reply to it for about a week, but actually wanted to give myself time to read back and forth through it as I responded, so took a while to find the time.

I do want respond to your replies as well. I get the feeling, reading through it, that I was probably understanding some things a bit backwards, and, at least in the way you've presented your arguments, I think I can spot where I went wrong (specifically in regards to globalisation and gentrification), but as with earlier posts, I'd rather sit down, see if I get it, and then follow that up with questions just to kind of go "if I read that right, would it make sense to say x, y, z?".

And, of course, that'll leave room for Vlürch to respond if they want to (and same for other users). When it's a fairly big topic like this, I really don't mind a slower approach at all (even if it can make a thread look dead, lol)
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But it never gets any more true,
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That they all still believe in you.
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Re: 8values political quiz

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sangi39 wrote: 15 Aug 2021 02:40that'll leave room for Vlürch to respond
Well, I mean, I'm not going to pretend I wasn't wrong when my arguments have been debunked. [:P] It's again something that'll take time to adjust to, changing my views to be more compatible with practicality, but I can see how I wasn't (and for now still instinctively am not) thinking realistically about those issues.

In terms of immigration, though, I still can't help but think it's dangerous if people who want to eg. ban LGBT rights and abortion, decrease secularism, advocate racism, etc. are allowed to immigrate... of course they are allowed to immigrate and there's no way to legally restrict immigration except for refugees because it'd be unconstitutional, so it's all hypothetical anyway.

What really annoys me is that it's refugees that have tons of restrictions, even deportations to their deaths, when obviously they're the ones who should have the laxest immigration standards since they're immigrating out of necessity rather than for fattening their wallets or whatever...

Of course, many refugees are conservative as well, but... well, if they're integrated into Finnish society instead of being segregated, then at least their children usually grow up to have "Finnish values" like democracy and stuff. Not that it's guaranteed, like, some of them will self-segregate... but I guess it only becomes a problem if they want to restrict other people's freedom. That includes their own family members, though, and honestly kids themselves should have the right to choose to move to childcare facilities or foster parents if their parents are abusive or whatever (and those facilities should be made as home-like as possible and abuse-proofed, and foster parents should be supervised until it's clear they're not abusive or anything).

And just to clarify if it's not clear, by "abusive" I mean things like beating, molesting, teaching them bigoted views, etc. I know it's already extremely murky legally because kids are considered stupid idiots who can't make rational decisions, and that's probably true for the most part, but I'm pretty sure a child can tell if they're being abused in one way or another. Maybe not with exact words, but like, if for example a kid talked about how their parents punish them for wanting to play with kids of different ethnicities/religions/classes/whatever, that should count as abusive even if the punishments were just not letting them play Minecraft for a week or whatever.

But that's another issue already, I guess...
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Re: 8values political quiz

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Salmoneus wrote: 14 Aug 2021 15:47
sangi39 wrote: 14 Aug 2021 03:07
Vlürch wrote: 05 Aug 2021 01:15
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02 Why? If it's great to replace watchmakers and farmers with robos, why is it bad to replace lawyers and accountants with robots?
Because of the human dimension. I believe it's important to have some human contact, but even if the emotional aspect was removed, there's still the fact that in many social interaction-type situations an AI wouldn't be able to understand a problem if there was one. Sure, they could be programmed to deal with a million variables, or summon a person to deal with it if it can't figure it out, but it'd be easier to just have a human there from the start.
Ehhh, I think Sal is probably right on this. Even if you did have some humans working with highly automated systems (I mean, some human oversight wouldn't be a bad thing), that doesn't mean it has to be customer-facing. At least for me, the reduced working hours and working more closely with people within your working environment would, you'd hope, allow for more face-to-face time with people in general. Shopping might become more impersonal, but you'd gain more of a social life and a better sense of comradery with your co-workers, so you'd still have human contact.
The same arguments can in any case also be applied about watches:
- robots could never make a watch, it's just too difficult. The AI wouldn't be able to understan the problems that could arise - it would be easier just to have a human there.
- it's important to have some human contact, and robotising watchmaking will mean I don't get to chat to my watchmaker anymore.

The first argument there is of the sort we might call 'economically superfluous', because it's phrased in terms of efficiency and ease of production. It's in some way 'better' to have a human make the watch (or the company accounts, or whatever). But if that's true, you don't need to make the argument: if it really is economically better to have a human do it, then you don't need to have a political argument about it, it'll just happen through the invisible hand of the market. The reason people are worried about service jobs being lost is precisely because there's a fear that it IS economically profitable to automate these industries. Just as it turned out to be for watches: the result has been far cheaper (and more accurate!) watches.

The second argument is a valid one, because it sets up an externality (loss of human contact) for the economic argument to conflict with. But it's a bad argument! People like human contact - if you give humans more free time NOT chained to the metalgrinder, the PC or the receptionist's phone, then the result will surely be MORE (and more free and varied) human contact, not less.
Yeah, I'd agree with that, especially on the second point, i.e. that increased automation/mechanisation should allow for people to have more time to interact with each other socially, both at work and at home.

If your job because less tied to staying put in one specific location, leaving you free to look up, maybe even have a little wander, without having to focus intensely on the task you're performing, because the vast majority of it is being handled by a computer, then you'll have more time to interact with colleagues*. And since the computer/machine now does most of your job, but more efficiently, that should allow you to spend less time at work (because it'll be done faster... you could put in more hours if you wanted, to increase production numbers even more, but you shouldn't have to), which would mean more time to relax, hang out with people, focus on personal projects, take part in community projects. So at the end of the day, you'd have expected people to have had more interactions with other people, not fewer.

*I'd think this would also mean there'd be more ability for workers to make decisions about the work being done, because there's now more time to discuss it with coworkers directly, and it would be a lot easier to hold meetings, since the majority of the work can now be handled by computers/machines.

Would it also be fair to say that increased automation would allow people to work more roles within the same job as well? Like, at least for my job, a lot of what I handle is automated, pretty much up until the very last step (basically it's fraud prevention, but a computer handles most of it, filtering out what it thinks is fine vs. what it thinks is likely to be fraud, but then we step in an check everything by hand anyway, hoping the computer is right. Then we have the order processors who pick and pack orders pretty much by hand from start to finish. Both of those jobs could be automated even more, but I'd expect that would mean that, for example, I'd be able to go over to do order processing work some days, while someone else from that side of things could step over and do some of the fraud prevention work. That would give us more of a chance to understand each other's "core roles" while also allowing us to interact more widely within the work place, hopefully meaning we'd have a better understanding of what's going on overall, and allow us to make suggestions for improvements.

The obvious problem being that that increased automation very likely would lead to people losing jobs. There was talk of automation within the order processing section, and discussions did involve how many people would either lose hours, and pay as a result, and how much our need for temporary staff over busy periods would go down. So, at least in the company I work for, automation isn't being discussed as a way of easing people's workload, but as a way of reducing the company's expenditure in order to increase profit (we don't actually produce anything, we just send stuff out on behalf of other companies)


Salmoneus wrote: 14 Aug 2021 15:47
Vlürch wrote: 05 Aug 2021 01:15
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02Although actually, the very rich are often in favour of taxes.
Really? Interesting...
Surprisingly, yeah, it does seem like it. The incredibly wealthy seem very aware that even extreme rises in, say, rates of income tax, won't necessarily affect them all that much, because they already earn significant amounts. It seems to be the "wealthy, but not crazy rich" people who seem to be against rising taxes, because it can lead to a "bigger decrease" in what they perceive to be their "meaningful income" (if a billionaire ends up living like a 100-millionaire, they might see that differently to a millionaire living like someone earning 100k)
Aside from issues of general comfort, there's also a theory that people's status-assignment is based not on absolute wealth or power, but on 'rank' in society: what people really seem to hate is when people 'below' them 'overtake' them, and what they love is when they themselves 'overtake' people who were 'above' them. This is why the people who complain most about welfare tend to be those who aren't far above welfare themselves: they worry that increased welfare might let people on benefits 'overtake' them. At the other end of the scale, Warren Buffett can advocate as many taxes as he feels like, secure in the knowledge that he's still going to be one of the wealthiest people in the world - even if he's much poorer than today, he'll still be at the top of the pyramid. He'll only complain if you introduce a 'Warren Buffet only' tax that lets other people overtake him!
That makes sense, yeah. A lot of the things I overhear at work where people are discussing things like billionaires and benefits usually seem to turn to people saying that benefits are allowing people do have a better life than them for a lot less work ("well they get their housing paid for, I don't", "they get money for food, but I bet they just spend it all on booze, or iPhones. Why do they even need iPhones?"), so they want to see benefits cut to exclude "scroungers", or to make people appreciate what hard work can get you, or to push the unemployed into work. I'd imagine that, yeah, if your brought in, say, a maximum wage or something like relative pay gaps*, higher earners would kick off a lot more about things like tax, or restrictions on earning, because they're no longer so many orders of magnitude above other people in terms of wealth that their position is no longer secure.


*I'm not sure what the term for this is, but basically where someone one position up can't earn more than, for example, 10% more than the people below them. So if you've got someone at the very bottom earning £10 an hour, their line manager would earn £11 an hour, the assistant manager would earn £12.10, the manager would earn £13.31, and then the area manager and regional manager would earn £14.64 and £16.11, and so on until you hit the CEO or whatever four levels up from that on like £23.58 an hour (leaving them on just shy of £50k a year)


Salmoneus wrote: 14 Aug 2021 15:47 Someone's been reading Discworld...
Haha, yes, but I do think he made a valid point. We'd talked about this sort of thing before when I was younger (before reading Pratchett) where, for example, we'd have to buy a cheaper bed, or a cheaper fridge, or find something second-hand, which we knew full well wouldn't last nearly as long as something more expensive, or new, but that, at the time, we couldn't afford, so we were fairly confident that, in the long run, we'd be looking at buying a second bed/fridge/whatever before the person who'd bought the more expensive one

I do understand it's massively oversimplified, though. Like, with shoes, for example, after a point you're likely just paying for the brand over any sort of reliability. So, say, a £20 shoe might last half as long as a £40 shoe, but it doesn't scale up, and an £80 shoe might only last 20% longer than the £40 shoe. Still 2.2 times longer than the £20 shoe, but at 4 times the cost, rather than 2.2 times the cost. And with something like a bed, it might be that doubling the cost might only see it last 1.5 times as long, so paying 4 times as much only sees it last 2.25 times as long, and 3.4 times as long if you pay 8 times that. And then there's things like inheritance as well.

I think his point does largely stand, though, that because more expensive things tend to last longer, in the long run the people who were able to afford them tend to pay less than the people who couldn't within the same space of time, contributing to their ability to maintain their wealth (it's just probably not one of the main factors)


Salmoneus wrote: 14 Aug 2021 15:47
Vlürch wrote: 05 Aug 2021 01:15
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02Huh? You do understand that if you paid the people who made you things more, your things would no longer be so cheap?
Not necessarily. If there was more globalism and poor people were incentivised to buy more expensive stuff thanks to lower VAT for poor people, then more poor people from around the world would buy things from other countries for cheap and the increased total should make up for the slight increase in price. Maybe that's not how it'd work in practice (probably with capitalism, it wouldn't...) but I imagine in theory there's no reason it couldn't.
I'm more than happy for someone to correct me here, but if you're in the US, running a company that has a factory in, say, Angola, and you started paying the Angolan workers the same wage as a US worker doing the same job, then once you include transport costs, wouldn't the price of the product increase? Lowering VAT for poor people would only incentivise them to buy more expensive products from abroad if a) VAT on locally produced goods were higher or b) there's some sort of import subsidy?

If everyone around the world is earning the same wage for, for example, making a t-shirt, then transport cost becomes the major contributing factor in determining price differences. I don't see how lowering VAT would change that.
Indeed. Vlurch here is running up against the fundamentals of numbers: if production costs go up, prices go up, and it becomes more difficult to buy things. If the people who made your T-shirts were paid as much as you, you wouldn't be able to afford the T-shirts they'd make (and nor would they).

Or let's put it another way: assume that increased wages come entirely out of spending (and not, say, welfare payments). Assume a given price of goods. For that price, a certain level of expenditure can only buy a certain number of goods. If you want to increase the number of goods bought - so that everyone gets a T-shirt, not just Americans - then you have to either increase the total expenditure, or decrease the price of the good. If you INCREASE the price of the good, by increasing wages, then you DECREASE how many can be bought in total for a given level of expenditure. Which in practice means - given that even Americans can only hoard so many T-shirts - that fewer people will be able to buy them, even if everyone's wage is higher. In other words, wage increases simply lead to price increases to maintain equilibrium.

The only two ways to change that are to increase expenditure, or decrease the price in some other way to compensate for, and go beyond, the increase in wage costs. The former cannot really be done simply by relying on average Western consumers to spend more (by increasing prices), because they're already at the limits of their disposable capital - indeed, most Western consumers are already in debt. If you increase prices substantially, all you'll do is decrease spending, which will actually decrease the amount of money flowing out of the West to the East.

[think of it this way: many people would rather buy a T-shirt made in Scotland to one made in Vietnam - but the Vietnam T-shirt is much cheaper. If you raise the price of the Vietnam T-shirt to match that of the Scottish one, two things will happen: fewer T-shirts will be bought in total, and a larger percentage of them will have been made in Scotland. Both of those effects mean fewer Vietnamese T-shirts get sold, which means the company who makes those T-shirts will not need to hire as many workers. You will have increased the wage of the remaining T-shirt workers considerably, but at the cost of making a lot of people unemployed. You will, of course, have employed more people in Scotland: but a) few people than have just been made unemployed in Vietnam, and b) instead of the rich Westerner's money going to support people in Vietnam, it now goes to support other reasonably wealthy people in Scotland. This is hardly a net benefit for the world. Similarly, by increasing labour costs (wages), you push employers to increase automation and decrease employment (raising the cost of human labour makes robot labour relatively cheaper).]
Salmoneus wrote: 14 Aug 2021 15:47
The question is, though, why am I on such a low wage? At least some of it might be down to, well, some jobs being shipped abroad to countries with lower wages. I wanted a job making shoes, but they've all moved abroad. I have to take what pay I'm given (hey, at least I'm earning something - and the company producing shoes domestically still needs to compete with the ones that moved their factories abroad, so the hit has to be made somewhere) or retrain or take some job with a low level of entry that I can get on the basis of just having done well in high school. So now I can't make an ethical choice on financial grounds precisely because jobs were moved to countries where companies could pay employees even less, meaning that I get paid even less.


That's at least part of the issue, as far as I understand it. Globalisation can have some amazing benefits. Decentralising crop production, for example, can counter droughts or disease. But globalisation as it stands today, where, effectively, land and resources are bought up by bigger "first world" companies, taking advantage of lower living conditions to pay lower wages, in order to increase their income at home (likely without having to pay taxes)... it just benefits business owners and the people they can hand out money, jobs, and influence to, keeping them at the top of the pile at the expense of almost everyone below them.
It doesn't, thoguh - it also massively benefits everyone else in rich countries. Globalisation lowers prices; more to the point, it increases efficiency. Consumer surplus therefore increases.
Consider: if shoes are all made in the UK, shoes will be more expensive. This is great news for the tiny percentage of the population who will be hired to make shoes... but it's terrible news for the far, far, far larger percentage of the population who want to BUY those shoes.

And conversely, because there will be an opportunity to be hired to make shoes, we'll have to pay higher wages to persuade people to, say, clean sewers, or be Chancellor of the Exchequer, so the cost of everything else goes up too. If everything is made locally, this means that most things in the world will be made in a place where it's not the most efficient to make them - and, conversely, because people will have to be employed making things inefficiently, they won't be able to be employed making the things that actually COULD be made efficiently in that place.

Consider the anti-globalisation argument applied to smaller scale. Let's take Oxford, say. If the people researching covid vaccines in Oxford had instead been working on the farms, or assembling shoes for the Oxford consumers, would Oxford - or the world - now be better off? It's only because of globalisation that we can instead say "let's farm the crops somewhere with good soil and good climate, and let's do the vaccine research somewhere with a university!"... otherwise, Oxonians would have to try to grow all their own crops, and people in a barn in Iowa would have to be trying to work out what to inject themselves with to stop themselves getting ill...
Do these two form a related issue? How, for example, if someone in Vietnam making t-shirts now gets paid the same as someone in Scotland making t-shirts, make a living off making those t-shirts if people will no longer pay for Vietnamese t-shirts? At the same time, if that means all t-shirts now get made in Scotland, because we said "right, everyone in the world now gets paid the same wage for the same work", how do you then redistribute t-shirt production?

If you replaced t-shirts with, say, wheat, would the same issue arise? For example, pay a wheat farmer in Nepal the same as a wheat farmer in Kansas, USA, would that lead to a gradual move for wheat farming in Kansas? And if it did, how could you counter that without decreasing the wages of the Nepalese farmer?

Is that then a problem of capitalism, for example, or would the same sorts of problems arise in a global communist society?

As I said, I do prefer global solutions (it spreads production out, reducing the reliance on one source of production, which mitigates the effects of resource shortages, droughts, natural disasters, etc.) and, I'd think, would allow for more innovation as well in production as well (if there's people working within a certain sector spread out across the world, there's more sources for new ideas, whereas having everyone working on it coming from one area misses out on those sources). Globalisation has a lot of advantages, but right now it does seem to rely, to varying degrees, on the exploitation of differing standards of living at the expense of poorer workers in a number of sectors (which, I would think, in the long-run, means that while, say, the Vietnamese worker has access to a global market, the income they gain from that can't be put back into things like infrastructure, healthcare, education, development, etc. nearly as much as the Scottish worker's income, although, again, happy to be shown I'm wrong on that front)


Salmoneus wrote: 14 Aug 2021 15:47
Isn't that just gentrification? Richer people come in (or the state comes in), buys up as much local property as they can, throwing money at improving the area, which brings in more wealthy people, meaning the area can be improved even more, decreasing things like crime and homelessness, and increasing education (because the wealthy are less likely to commit certain crimes, because they're not in a disadvantaged position, and, depending on where you live, education funding is tied to things like house prices which is... weird, and wealthier people usually have better access to things like private tutors or the ability to buy books). The higher the house prices become, the more people who've lived there longer will become willing to sell, because it means they can go and buy something better a few miles down the road.

But that doesn't actually change anything, I don't think. Not really. All it does is see the rich, and the lifestyle they bring with them, move into an area that used to be poor, taking advantage of low house prices caused, in part, by relatively higher crime rates, a lack of amenities, lower education rates, etc.
In reality, though, everyone becomes richer. The best way to get rich is to live around rich people; the best way to get poor is to live around poor people. Gentrification produces social mixing, as richer* newcomers mingle with poorer residents. This improves cultural expectations and availability of opportunities, and decreases crime and noxious externalities (the rich people insist the playgrounds get repaired). The alternative - poor districts remain poor and the rich are dissuaded from moving there - only makes poor districts poorer and rich districts richer.

[however, there are of course ways to increase the positive impact of gentrification. A huge one I think is home ownership - it's a big part of why gentrification is so much more welcomed in the UK than the US, because it means that all existing residents, even those who chose to move out to cheaper areas, benefit from gentrification; whereas with low levels of home ownership, all the profit goes to the landlords, not the tenants. You can also try to ensure that some share of the inward investment goes immediately to the poor - for instance, through social housing requirements and CILs (developers being forced to do certain things to improve the area). I wonder whether it might also be a good idea to introduce some sort of explicit 'tenant windfall', at least for people in council houses, whereby local residents are directly rewarded for increased house prices.]


*the wrinkle in the gentrification narrative, of course, is that usually it's not actually rich people who move in - it's poor people from middle-class backgrounds, with middle-class aspirations (prototypically students and young professionals). These people can't afford to live somewhere better - usually they raise the rents at first not by moving in, but by staying as their salaries increase.
Ah, that makes sense. Would it be safe to say that plays into the "status" thing you mentioned earlier (class as an inherited thing as well?). So you've got people who are on a low income moving in, but then the lag in their "potential income" finally catches up, their salaries increase, and they can start putting money into the local economy beyond the level they could when they first moved in, meaning businesses can suddenly cater to a market that's willing to pay more (the baker who's been there for 30 years can now start to sell a wider variety of pastries and even sandwiches, or coffees and teas if they wanted to, knowing that the couple who moved in 5 years ago can finally afford it).

And, I suppose, yeah, if people are actually the owners of their own homes (or will be once the mortgage is paid off), that's less going towards landlords. Would that lead to a reduction of empty houses (could these be bought up as part of social housing projects as well?)? I seem to recall that the "housing shortage" in the UK at least is partly the result of second-home ownership and empty houses in the possession of landlords, contributing to an increase in house prices (I'm not sure how accurate the figure of 180k empty houses is - I've seen it thrown around a lot, but it seems that's to do with the Republic of Ireland, not the UK?), so if it's possible to bring that number down, in a way that increases home ownership as opposed to rent (alongside increased building of housing, with some percentage being for single people, young couples, etc.), then would that potentially make home ownership more prevalent (since, presumably, it would reduce the cost of it)?


Salmoneus wrote: 14 Aug 2021 15:47
Vlürch wrote: 05 Aug 2021 01:15
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02Ironically, this is an incredibly socially conservative view!
I guess if you consider conservatism in the sense of wanting the status quo of progressivism to remain that way, it admittedly is. But with the long-term maximisation of progressivism and minimisation of conservatism that would result from it, I don't think it makes sense to call it a conservative view.
I think Sal is right here. That's very "only wanting the right people to move in" thinking. I can agree that wanting people to be more left-leaning or more progressive is probably a good thing, but only letting leftists and progressives in at all is a bit... "us vs. them", "oh, you can be part of the in-group", messy. "Long term maximisation of progressivism" becomes local, rather than widespread. Again, it's treating a symptom, not a cause. You don't convince people to magically change their minds by going "oh, you think rich people should pass on their wealth to their children? Sorry, you can stay over there in I-don't-care-where-you're-from". You'll just end up increasing conservatism in the areas where you left those people behind, instead of recognising that they're just people too who, if you show them first hand, by including them, that your ideas are valid, and that they work, probably might go "huh, okay, yeah, maybe I was wrong". And if they don't change their minds, well, that's their minds. You just keep doing your thing, trying to make society better for everyone.
This is a problem already. I'm not sure what the term for it is, but it's effectively a 'freedom drain', parallel to the brain drain: the more repressive a society is, the more eager the liberals in it are to flee to the West (or, at least, some more liberal place), and the more likely they are to be met with sympathy when they try to do so. Which is great for them, but means that the net liberalism of the countries they've left behind decreases.

Meanwhile, liberalism works much like gentification: the best way to make someone liberal is to let them live near liberal people.
I'm sure there's a term for it too, but I can't remember it either. But, yeah, only letting "liberals" or "progressives" in from one place to another, you leave the place they came from devoid of those sorts of of people, and I suspect it silences other voices in the areas that they enter into as well? Which then might breed resentment in otherwise "conservative" people that they end up surrounding, which could then create a sort of "conservative backlash" (especially, I'd expect, in areas where recent migrants can't vote, for example) as well. If you're only letting in liberals/progressives/leftists, while there's still restrictions on where they can work, and, effectively, on areas they "can" live (which could happen naturally as part of the immigration process, since you're likely to move to somewhere that feels familiar, where family might already live, that has a population that understands your native language, etc.) then chances are that, I'd think, those immigrants become much easier to criticise and demonise (I seem to recall some conservative commentators in the US already saying that liberals are only allowing immigrants in to boosts the Democrat vote)
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Re: 8values political quiz

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Deleting my last reply because I'm fairly sure it actually makes no sense
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Re: 8values political quiz

Post by qwed117 »

this discourse is wild, so for fun, as a nonbeliever in political tests, I decided to retake the 8values test. I got centrist on every axis….
https://8values.github.io/results.html? ... 5.7&s=41.5
Spoiler:
My minicity is Zyphrazia and Novland
What is made of man will crumble away.

The SqwedgePad
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Re: 8values political quiz

Post by sangi39 »

Vlürch wrote: 18 Aug 2021 17:07
sangi39 wrote: 15 Aug 2021 02:40that'll leave room for Vlürch to respond
Well, I mean, I'm not going to pretend I wasn't wrong when my arguments have been debunked. [:P] It's again something that'll take time to adjust to, changing my views to be more compatible with practicality, but I can see how I wasn't (and for now still instinctively am not) thinking realistically about those issues.
That's why I enjoy these sorts of conversations from time to time, where there's not much talking past each other, there's room and time to take in what's been said, and responses don't have to be immediate. I mean, maybe there's something wrong in what I've said, or what Sal has said as well, but it's in responding to that, and engaging, that we can all take a step back and go "huh, okay, yeah, that's where I messed up".

I guess it can be harder sometimes if something is held as axiomatic? For example, if, say, you believe that there is a god, and that the existence of that god is necessary for the existence of the universe, and that things are the way they are because that's what that god wants, but I don't believe that there is a god*, then when we start getting deeper and deeper into a discussion, it might become increasingly more difficult to understand each others' points and take their criticisms of our own points.

*in this example, there probably would be considerable overlap in some beliefs, so I'm not saying the worldview of an atheist and a theist are completely opposed on all points, only that, at some point, their might be beliefs built on those axioms that become harder and harder to challenge in a way that doesn't devolve into just talking past each other.


Vlürch wrote: 18 Aug 2021 17:07 In terms of immigration, though, I still can't help but think it's dangerous if people who want to eg. ban LGBT rights and abortion, decrease secularism, advocate racism, etc. are allowed to immigrate... of course they are allowed to immigrate and there's no way to legally restrict immigration except for refugees because it'd be unconstitutional, so it's all hypothetical anyway.
On the other hand, not allowing people who hold those beliefs a) produces the sort of "liberal drain" that Sal notes above, and b) reduces the chance of discourse and discussion with those same people by keeping them at arms length, in another country. There will be people within your own country, for example, that might hold similar beliefs regarding abortion, secularism, racism, or any number of topics, but they've been granted the right to speak about those beliefs and ideas (somewhat) freely by coincidence of their birth. To deny that same right to other people, again, on the basis of an accident of their birth seems... prejudice might be the wrong word. It doesn't feel... I think I lack the vocabulary for that point.

Anyway, if you put in place systems by which one person or another can be denied entry into an area on the basis of holding "the wrong ideas", what implications might that have for people who already live in that area? Could those restrictions be applied to people who have moved in already? What about people who were born there? What happens if the "wrong idea" having people get into power, and use that now established right of the state to use that right against the people with "the right ideas"?


Vlürch wrote: 18 Aug 2021 17:07 What really annoys me is that it's refugees that have tons of restrictions, even deportations to their deaths, when obviously they're the ones who should have the laxest immigration standards since they're immigrating out of necessity rather than for fattening their wallets or whatever...
Refugee issues are, I think, a bit more beyond my current scope of understanding, but, yeah, I do largely agree that turning away people seeking asylum and who have legitimate claims to seek it out is... wrong.

On the other hand, refugees are, at least to my mind, symptoms of more deeply routed issues (climate change, for example, regional destabilisation due to war, regressive social policies, etc.), and I don't think enough is being done to combat those issues. That's not to hand-wave away refugees that exist at the moment, who should, ideally, be taken in, housed, fed, provided healthcare, education and work opportunities, and the like that should be afforded to everyone, and having consistent policies on that would be grand, but actually tackling why those people have sought refuge in the first place should be considered more thoroughly than I think they are at the moment.



Vlürch wrote: 18 Aug 2021 17:07 Of course, many refugees are conservative as well, but... well, if they're integrated into Finnish society instead of being segregated, then at least their children usually grow up to have "Finnish values" like democracy and stuff. Not that it's guaranteed, like, some of them will self-segregate... but I guess it only becomes a problem if they want to restrict other people's freedom. That includes their own family members, though, and honestly kids themselves should have the right to choose to move to childcare facilities or foster parents if their parents are abusive or whatever (and those facilities should be made as home-like as possible and abuse-proofed, and foster parents should be supervised until it's clear they're not abusive or anything).
Ummm, again, like, integrated into "Finnish society" with "Finnish values" seems a little... off to me. Like, is democracy "good"? Is it a view held by all people born in Finland that "democracy is good"? Is there better "value" in asking the question "is democracy good" than blindly accepting that it is? I mean, you might hope for one answer to that question, but, at least to me, teaching the ability to discuss that sort of thing, to look at something and think "is that right?", and to talk about it with other people, even if you disagree with them, to have debates about "stuff", like we're doing here, feels more... positive?

Again, I think it's that sort of "echo chamber" thing. If you only let in certain kinds of people, because they only think certain things, what are you missing out on? What criticisms of the current systems of power, economics, society, etc. are you not hearing, because you kept them away? And then they can't hear you either. You become someone who's easily demonised because, whatever, you didn't want to listen, you let in the people they didn't like anyway, so you must be bad, right? Who's going to talk or listen if that's the kind of environment you're creating, where you don't even let people come to your country because they didn't think the right thing?



As for the childcare though, yeah, way beyond my scope. I tend to lean more towards ideas like collective child-rearing, where the care of the child isn't restricted to "the family" but instead to the wider community (spending more time in larger care areas, with easily accessible healthcare, food, early education, etc., removing reliance on the parents' economic and social background), but beyond that I honestly haven't given it much thought.

How you'd monitor that people in positions of authority didn't abuse that position, for example, is likely the same sort of question you'd get if you were discussion abuse within a family, or an orphanage, or a children's hospital, so while there might be some good to collective child-rearing, it doesn't mean those sorts of questions disappear (on the contrary, because it's not exactly common to raise children in that manner, at least in the modern western world, it feels like those sorts of questions need to be considered more in order to make it seem like a viable alternative)
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Re: 8values political quiz

Post by Vlürch »

sangi39 wrote: 29 Aug 2021 04:50For example, if, say, you believe that there is a god, and that the existence of that god is necessary for the existence of the universe, and that things are the way they are because that's what that god wants, but I don't believe that there is a god*, then when we start getting deeper and deeper into a discussion, it might become increasingly more difficult to understand each others' points and take their criticisms of our own points.
Makes sense, but even as a person who believes in God, I don't believe things are necessarily the way God wants them to be and/or that the way God wants them to be is always good... which often causes me conflicted feelings and like I'm often in the wrong, because from a leftist perspective it's clear that God is just as much "evil" as He is "good" when human morality is applied to Him. Which makes sense, I mean God is beyond human understanding...

Which is why, even though I personally can't become an atheist because of experiences that "prove" that God exists, I support the minimisation of religion from society and/or farther erosion of religiosity, and always get along with atheists much better than with theists. I mean, even with my 90% secular upbringing I still ended up believing certain things that I only learned were a thing in Christianity and/or Islam much later. Where did those beliefs come from? Somehow they seeped from my surroundings, even though religion was never something talked about much by anyone when I was a kid. Either that or it's because of mental illness, which is just as likely, and they're not mutually exclusive.

So, knowing that I'm going to Hell when I die is one of the reasons why I'm passionate about this world being improved. My own circumstances are very lucky all things considered (even if still far from some "ideal"), and that's a huge recurring wake-up call on just how unfortunate it is that presumably millions of people around the world are doomed to eternal suffering after they die but that they can't even in theory enjoy life because they live in repressive religious societies!
sangi39 wrote: 29 Aug 2021 04:50Anyway, if you put in place systems by which one person or another can be denied entry into an area on the basis of holding "the wrong ideas", what implications might that have for people who already live in that area? Could those restrictions be applied to people who have moved in already? What about people who were born there? What happens if the "wrong idea" having people get into power, and use that now established right of the state to use that right against the people with "the right ideas"?
I don't know, but exactly there already being people with such views is why I wish there wouldn't be more because the more there are, the more likely they are to come to power. It's already a kind of seesaw type situation, and there's no chance in hell Finland could ever get a full government of socdems (they'll always be in coalitions (which is good when it's with other left-leaning parties since then something can maybe get done, but it's not accomplishing much even then because then the opposition is all right-wing and there's more public scrutiny than with right-wing governments)), let alone anything farther left, while there is every chance that we'll get a literal fascist government sooner or later if things keep going how they're going.
sangi39 wrote: 29 Aug 2021 04:50On the other hand, refugees are, at least to my mind, symptoms of more deeply routed issues (climate change, for example, regional destabilisation due to war, regressive social policies, etc.), and I don't think enough is being done to combat those issues. That's not to hand-wave away refugees that exist at the moment, who should, ideally, be taken in, housed, fed, provided healthcare, education and work opportunities, and the like that should be afforded to everyone, and having consistent policies on that would be grand, but actually tackling why those people have sought refuge in the first place should be considered more thoroughly than I think they are at the moment.
Mmm, true.
sangi39 wrote: 29 Aug 2021 04:50Ummm, again, like, integrated into "Finnish society" with "Finnish values" seems a little... off to me.
Well, in Finland even a lot of immigrants themselves talk about the importance of integration and stuff and are worried about new immigrants not being integrated well enough. Not saying that really makes a big difference objectively speaking, but at least for now it does make it less of a demonised take in Finland than in the UK or US.

Personally I'd say it's more important in Finland than the UK or US because Finland objectively has less culture to begin with (being ruled by two countries that wanted to erase your culture for centuries tends to do that), so it's less "cultural adaptation" and more "deculturalisation". I know conservative Finns would throw a fit over that, but it's factually true. There's sauna and mämmi and that's about it. A bit of an exaggeration, of course, but you know what I mean. The less cultural baggage there is, the more open to individualism and social liberalism people are.

It's fine if in other countries people value their cultures, and I do instinctively romanticise the importance of culture when it comes to cultures that are being lost and especially if people are being genocided... but at the end of the day I do support a kind of "cultureless multiculturalism", at least in Finland. I know usually it's immigrants retaining aspects of their culture while adopting Finnish looseness regarding cultural things, which is good enough in practice, but in theory a melting pot situation where positive aspects of their cultures would be absorbed into remnants of Finnish culture to create a kind of new Finnish culture (that would preferably still be just as lax and "opt-in" as Finnish culture now) would be even better.

If with that would come new collectivism and social conservatism, well, that'd be acceptable as long as the cultural foundations weren't oppressive. I mean, if things like "don't treat people differently based on skin colour or who they're sexually attracted to" were conservative views in a future society, then conservatism would be good or at the very least it wouldn't be bad. But when conservatism is always "treat people like shit if they look different or aren't 100% straight", well...
sangi39 wrote: 29 Aug 2021 04:50Again, I think it's that sort of "echo chamber" thing.
Maybe I don't really see the problem with it since I've never had an echo chamber. There's always at least one issue where every echo chamber is 100% against something I'm 100% for or vice versa, which is often frustrating... maybe if I had an echo chamber experience, I'd see the problem with echo chambers.
sangi39 wrote: 29 Aug 2021 04:50I tend to lean more towards ideas like collective child-rearing
That could be good, but I can't imagine it becoming more common realistically.
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Re: 8values political quiz

Post by sangi39 »

Vlürch wrote: 31 Aug 2021 13:40
sangi39 wrote: 29 Aug 2021 04:50For example, if, say, you believe that there is a god, and that the existence of that god is necessary for the existence of the universe, and that things are the way they are because that's what that god wants, but I don't believe that there is a god*, then when we start getting deeper and deeper into a discussion, it might become increasingly more difficult to understand each others' points and take their criticisms of our own points.
Makes sense, but even as a person who believes in God, I don't believe things are necessarily the way God wants them to be and/or that the way God wants them to be is always good... which often causes me conflicted feelings and like I'm often in the wrong, because from a leftist perspective it's clear that God is just as much "evil" as He is "good" when human morality is applied to Him. Which makes sense, I mean God is beyond human understanding...

Which is why, even though I personally can't become an atheist because of experiences that "prove" that God exists, I support the minimisation of religion from society and/or farther erosion of religiosity, and always get along with atheists much better than with theists. I mean, even with my 90% secular upbringing I still ended up believing certain things that I only learned were a thing in Christianity and/or Islam much later. Where did those beliefs come from? Somehow they seeped from my surroundings, even though religion was never something talked about much by anyone when I was a kid. Either that or it's because of mental illness, which is just as likely, and they're not mutually exclusive.

So, knowing that I'm going to Hell when I die is one of the reasons why I'm passionate about this world being improved. My own circumstances are very lucky all things considered (even if still far from some "ideal"), and that's a huge recurring wake-up call on just how unfortunate it is that presumably millions of people around the world are doomed to eternal suffering after they die but that they can't even in theory enjoy life because they live in repressive religious societies!
That really was meant more as an example than anything. I didn't intend to imply anything about atheists vs. theists in general, only a specific kind of theist and how their views might be axiomatically opposed to a specific kind of atheist.

"Knowing that you're going to Hell", though, is an interesting position (I assume there are other Christians who might believe the same thing, but at least within my experience I've never met anyone who's very vocal of that fact... well... maybe one who's Russian Orthodox, but outside of spotting his tryptic at his work desk while very drunk, it almost never comes up... you know what, I'll message him tonight). But, if it's okay to ask, what's your reason for helping the "world being improved"? Do you think that might get more people into heaven? Do you think it might get you into heaven? What exactly is your conception of hell?

Actually, if any other Mod thinks that's stepping over a line, please feel free to stop me, and I'll happily move the discussion elsewhere.


Vlürch wrote: 31 Aug 2021 13:40
sangi39 wrote: 29 Aug 2021 04:50Anyway, if you put in place systems by which one person or another can be denied entry into an area on the basis of holding "the wrong ideas", what implications might that have for people who already live in that area? Could those restrictions be applied to people who have moved in already? What about people who were born there? What happens if the "wrong idea" having people get into power, and use that now established right of the state to use that right against the people with "the right ideas"?
I don't know, but exactly there already being people with such views is why I wish there wouldn't be more because the more there are, the more likely they are to come to power. It's already a kind of seesaw type situation, and there's no chance in hell Finland could ever get a full government of socdems (they'll always be in coalitions (which is good when it's with other left-leaning parties since then something can maybe get done, but it's not accomplishing much even then because then the opposition is all right-wing and there's more public scrutiny than with right-wing governments)), let alone anything farther left, while there is every chance that we'll get a literal fascist government sooner or later if things keep going how they're going.
Imagine, though, that the majority of migrants into Finland were more "left" of the average in Finland. Would you then permit non-Finns ("non-Finns" here meaning those who weren't awarded citizenship at birth, and the rights afforded by that) more rights in terms of how they're permitted to take part in general elections, referenda, local elections, party membership, etc.? If you do that, aren't you just treating non-Finns as accessories to a political agenda? If they hold the "wrong views" (as a broad group) then you deny them some rights, but of they hold "the right views" (again, as a broad group), then they get those rights given to them? Even if you made awarding those rights specific, but still dependent on political views, that would be the same problem (but a bit more targeted)

At that point, aren't you just using immigrants almost as pawns within a wider national political system? You're affording them rights within your country on the basis of what they believe, but you're only do it to them because they're not Finnish? But Finns can just disagree with you and still vote, and apply for various benefits, and receive social housing, etc.?

Note that what I'm not saying is that you somehow hold some negative opinions towards non-Finns, but it does seem like you're willing to accept the use of non-Finns as tools for political gain (or for the lack of political gain for your political opponents), rather than accepting that what you consider "rights" are truly universal.


Vlürch wrote: 31 Aug 2021 13:40
sangi39 wrote: 29 Aug 2021 04:50Ummm, again, like, integrated into "Finnish society" with "Finnish values" seems a little... off to me.
Well, in Finland even a lot of immigrants themselves talk about the importance of integration and stuff and are worried about new immigrants not being integrated well enough. Not saying that really makes a big difference objectively speaking, but at least for now it does make it less of a demonised take in Finland than in the UK or US.

Personally I'd say it's more important in Finland than the UK or US because Finland objectively has less culture to begin with (being ruled by two countries that wanted to erase your culture for centuries tends to do that), so it's less "cultural adaptation" and more "deculturalisation". I know conservative Finns would throw a fit over that, but it's factually true. There's sauna and mämmi and that's about it. A bit of an exaggeration, of course, but you know what I mean. The less cultural baggage there is, the more open to individualism and social liberalism people are.

It's fine if in other countries people value their cultures, and I do instinctively romanticise the importance of culture when it comes to cultures that are being lost and especially if people are being genocided... but at the end of the day I do support a kind of "cultureless multiculturalism", at least in Finland. I know usually it's immigrants retaining aspects of their culture while adopting Finnish looseness regarding cultural things, which is good enough in practice, but in theory a melting pot situation where positive aspects of their cultures would be absorbed into remnants of Finnish culture to create a kind of new Finnish culture (that would preferably still be just as lax and "opt-in" as Finnish culture now) would be even better.

If with that would come new collectivism and social conservatism, well, that'd be acceptable as long as the cultural foundations weren't oppressive. I mean, if things like "don't treat people differently based on skin colour or who they're sexually attracted to" were conservative views in a future society, then conservatism would be good or at the very least it wouldn't be bad. But when conservatism is always "treat people like shit if they look different or aren't 100% straight", well...
I mean, fair, but I don't even know what "British culture" even is. According to a ton of in-work training it's believing in democracy, not discrimination against people based on who they are, and being understanding? But, like, how is that not French culture, or German culture? Is British culture based on Shakespeare? Then why not the Kalevala? Culture is just a shared identity centred around a shared history of people going "yeah, no, but sorry, we're all [members of group X]" for any number of reasons.

And even if "Finnishness" is basically "yeah, we're sort of Swedish-ish but with saunas, and speak a completely unrelated language" and that's about it, is that really that bad? Why doesn't that make you feel like you might be more willing to engage on a larger international scale? At the same time, you can create a "uniquely Finnish culture" within that scope. It's not one or the other.

At the same time (and this does kind of feel like it sucks), if it's for the benefit of, say, the working classes, the ones at the very bottom, what good is "Finnish culture" if it means pitting the people at the very bottom against Swedish people in the exact same position?


Vlürch wrote: 31 Aug 2021 13:40
sangi39 wrote: 29 Aug 2021 04:50Again, I think it's that sort of "echo chamber" thing.
Maybe I don't really see the problem with it since I've never had an echo chamber. There's always at least one issue where every echo chamber is 100% against something I'm 100% for or vice versa, which is often frustrating... maybe if I had an echo chamber experience, I'd see the problem with echo chambers.
Echo chambers aren't literally "everyone here believes all the exact same things 100% of the time". You can still have "dissenting voices" in an echo chamber. The main thing within them is that the majority of ideas are shared, and people who show general opposition to those ideas are excluded. I mean, most communist online groups are filled with differing opinions on how best to deal with general issues, but if someone turn round and goes "yeah, but Marx was wrong about basically everything", they'll be the ones excluded, not the one's going "yeah, but Luxembourg was right, and Proudhon didn't understand markets" (well, maybe, but not simply on the basis of that argument alone).


Vlürch wrote: 31 Aug 2021 13:40
sangi39 wrote: 29 Aug 2021 04:50I tend to lean more towards ideas like collective child-rearing
That could be good, but I can't imagine it becoming more common realistically.
As far as I'm aware, collective child-rearing has been practiced commonly throughout history (and prehistory), it's just that as societies expanded, and social units like "the family" expanded with it, child-rearing became more distributed (since most groups up to a certain size were most likely related anyway), which suggests, at least to me, that it's not that humanity is capable of some form of collective child-rearing, but that we went from "everyone joins in" to "only we do it" as social groups got bigger. We could do it if we wanted to.

Either way, still not part of my wider point.
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Re: 8values political quiz

Post by sangi39 »

Actually a related issue, though, there is a fairly unvoiced consideration within in "communist" circles over how to "handle" certain "pre-industrial" cultures. This doesn't seem to be overly surprising, at least to me, because "communism", at least as I understand it, comes from a particular understanding of capitalism (which, further, is a particularly "western" theory of socio-economics). Like, if the "western world" gets all mechanised, and we distribute resources on the basis of need rather than want, then what happens to the Maasai who remained pastoralists? Or the hunter-gathers of the Namib desert? Where do they fit within a "traditionally Marxist" framework? But then, where do they fit within a "traditionally Smithian" framework of capitalism?

When it's "I came from a country with factories and all the stuff, then I came to your country and all that stuff", it doesn't seem nearly as complicated (maybe)
You can tell the same lie a thousand times,
But it never gets any more true,
So close your eyes once more and once more believe
That they all still believe in you.
Just one time.
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Re: 8values political quiz

Post by Vlürch »

sangi39 wrote: 18 Sep 2021 03:38"Knowing that you're going to Hell", though, is an interesting position (I assume there are other Christians who might believe the same thing, but at least within my experience I've never met anyone who's very vocal of that fact... well... maybe one who's Russian Orthodox, but outside of spotting his tryptic at his work desk while very drunk, it almost never comes up... you know what, I'll message him tonight).
Well, calling me Christian would be an insult to all Christians anyway. [xD] I mean, of course, being born and raised in Finland by an atheist dad and an "all religions are one big happy family dude"-type hippie mum, I'm about as Christian as most Finnish mainstream Lutherans who do consider themselves Christians... even though I'd like to think not believing Jesus was the son of God and accepting that there have been prophets after him makes me not Christian, I guess it's not that simple since it's not really about beliefs except for those who do take religion seriously. So, from the perspective of actual Christians I'm definitely not Christian, but from the perspective of non-Christians and ex-Christians I'm definitely Christian...🤔

Personally, I don't like to consider myself any religion anymore. I've tried being proper Christian and Muslim, neither works, both are too big on the rules even at a theoretical level and both have core theological beliefs that are too different from mine for it to make sense to call myself either. Not even gonna try seriously being Buddhist or anything else, the beliefs I have in common with Buddhism are stuff that isn't mutually exclusive with Abrahamic religions at their core even if they do go against mainstream denominations of Abrahamic religions.
sangi39 wrote: 18 Sep 2021 03:38But, if it's okay to ask, what's your reason for helping the "world being improved"? Do you think that might get more people into heaven? Do you think it might get you into heaven?
Eh, more just "if any religion is correct, then 90% of people will go to Hell and since Hell sucks, I wish our lives were better while we're still alive, and even if no religion is correct and there's nothing, well, then this is all there is so it sucks if it's not as good as it could be". That kind of a thing.
sangi39 wrote: 18 Sep 2021 03:38What exactly is your conception of hell?
Basically the Christian one, I guess, but I don't believe it's 100% eternal for everyone... it is eternal for certain sins, but I believe God can still be merciful if He wants, which seems unlikely but who knows. As for the specific "categories" and types of punishments, basically it's... I don't even know, I suppose it's still within the realms of the Christian conception of Hell even if there's some stuff I've always believed since I was a kid that I'm not aware of being a thing in any kind of Christianity but later found out to be things in at least some Buddhism.

I'd rather not go in detail about which sins I believe cause which punishments, because often those "beliefs" go very much against many of my personal beliefs (or rather ideals). So, for example, even if something that I "know" is grounds for an eternity of suffering in Hell, that doesn't mean I'd want it to be illegal... and I do believe God is merciful, to some unknown degree, so maybe He'll forgive those sins more likely if they were committed in a society where they're legal. Maybe that doesn't make sense, but it's a perspective of minimising the damage of earthly restrictions and hopefully making it easier for people to gain God's mercy after death. After all, a sin is only a sin if the person knows it's a sin.

(So, needless to say, I want religion's influence in society to be reduced as much as possible. Not outright banned, that'd only make it "righteous" to be against secularism and that's a terrifying scenario.)
sangi39 wrote: 18 Sep 2021 03:38Imagine
I'd never thought that deeply into it... and if immigrants were responsible for starting a push into a more leftist/progressive direction, then that'd be a good thing and I'd prefer it to be easier for immigrants to get citizenship (it already should be easier regardless, but especially in that scenario) and more of them to come to Finland. I get the implication how that's othering and dehumanising or whatever, but my counterargument is that in that hypothetical scenario they'd either already at that point be "integrated" into Finnish society so well that it wouldn't make any difference if they were born in Finland or not (or how long they'd been living in Finland), or even that they'd now in turn be "integrating" Finns into a better Finnish society.

And so it's perfectly clear, I'm only saying that in a hypothetical future where actual leftist/progressive values are the ones being boosted, and only under a government that still considers itself Finnish (or one trying to do away with borders altogether in mutual understanding with other countries). Nowadays I do acknowledge that Finland benefited massively from being colonised by Sweden and Russia and that holding grudges for all the bad shit they did is typically sentimental nationalism (which I'm guilty of myself), but I'm absolutely not defending it or any colonialism or whatever. What I mean is that if Finland continues to go in a more progressive direction (which unfortunately seems doubtful at this point), and if new immigrants were more progressive than previous Finnish citizens, then it'd only be logical for them to even run the government. They wouldn't be "pawns".

But it's literally all hypothetical, anyway, since most immigrants aren't that progressive... and the ones who are progressive or who end up becoming more progressive living in Finland, that's great and I like them. The ones who're conservative/bigoted/whatever, I don't like them, just like I don't like conservative/bigoted/whatever ethnic Finns who've lived here for centuries.

The idea of "rewarding" leftism/progressivism shouldn't be tied to ethnicity/nationality/citizenship/whatever, like ideally everyone in every country could improve the conditions of every country. That's never going to be realistic, though, none of this stuff is, so it's pretty much pointless. I'll admit I get too depressed too easily if I start thinking about short-term practical solutions to problems, unless it's something very simple and basic (like maybe letting Romanis have jobs wouldn't cause society to collapse), but then it gets depressing to realise it'll regardless never be done anything about...
sangi39 wrote: 18 Sep 2021 03:38Culture is just a shared identity centred around a shared history of people going "yeah, no, but sorry, we're all [members of group X]" for any number of reasons.
It wouldn't have to be. It could be something that in the present only considers the future, and only in the future considers the past.
sangi39 wrote: 18 Sep 2021 03:38And even if "Finnishness" is basically "yeah, we're sort of Swedish-ish but with saunas, and speak a completely unrelated language" and that's about it, is that really that bad?
No, that's not bad if it's something said in a belittling way, or if it's said about facts (eg. against someone saying Finland is part of Scandinavia), but if it's something said as a dogwhistle for pride in "Finnish blood" or whatever, then it is bad. And that's how it usually is, so... usually it is bad. If there was more to Finnish culture, the odds of it being a dogwhistle for pride in "Finnish blood" or whatever would be lower and it'd be less likely to be bad, but because there is so little actual Finnish culture...
sangi39 wrote: 18 Sep 2021 03:38Why doesn't that make you feel like you might be more willing to engage on a larger international scale? At the same time, you can create a "uniquely Finnish culture" within that scope. It's not one or the other.
I don't really understand what you mean by this, sorry. If you mean that internationalism isn't mutually exclusive with monoculturalism, true, and if the monoculturalism wasn't linked to ethnonationalism or at least desire for segregation and/or distrust of out-groups, then that wouldn't be an issue. But it always is linked to something like that, at least AFAIK. Besides, even the most homogenous societies will always find ways to discriminate against some section of the population.
sangi39 wrote: 18 Sep 2021 03:38At the same time (and this does kind of feel like it sucks), if it's for the benefit of, say, the working classes, the ones at the very bottom, what good is "Finnish culture" if it means pitting the people at the very bottom against Swedish people in the exact same position?
Honestly, I don't really know how I feel about cultures in that sense. I know I prefer Finnish culture to Swedish culture, but at the same time I know that's in large part because Finnish culture is less "cultural" than Swedish culture. If Swedish culture was as watered down as Finnish culture, then I'd still prefer Finnish culture because I'm Finnish and for historical reasons, but if Swedish culture was more watered down than Finnish culture... then I think I'd prefer Swedish culture, as a model for Finnish culture to emulate. But Swedes have their vikings and all the common Germanic stuff and all that, with history that's pretty much a quest to incorporate the lands populated by non-Germanic peoples into their kingdoms. Having pride in that kind of stuff is pretty terrifying.

Not saying Finns aren't proud of WW2 atrocities and in full-on denial mode about the things our ancestors must've done when they first came here, but with WW2 it's so recent it's a blind spot for many and with shit millennia ago it's too distant to feel a connection to. That doesn't justify it, but most Finns are literally ignorant on the fact that we were an Axis country so usually pride in WW2 atrocities is like "we sure showed those Russians all on our own", and no one does historical re-enactment where they steal Sami lands or whatever. Swedes also have their shared pan-nationalism with other Germanic peoples, while in Finland most people don't feel any connection to the Uralic peoples of Siberia or even Estonians or Sami... which may be good, ultimately, I really don't know.

Of course, there are absolute idiots like the NRM who worship Odin and idolise Hitler and shit while saying they're the last bastion of "Finnishness", but conceding them to be any kind of representatives of "Finnish culture" is absurd when they're literally against Finnish neopaganism and follow Germanic neopaganism, etc. Not that I like any kind of neopaganism myself, it seems to always be inherently ethnonationalist, even in the case of Finnish neopaganism, which is supposedly one of the few exceptions; the beliefs around life energies and shit are very essentialist from what I understand. Not to mention that there are explicitly ethnonationalist Finnish neopagans, too...
sangi39 wrote: 18 Sep 2021 03:38Echo chambers aren't literally "everyone here believes all the exact same things 100% of the time". You can still have "dissenting voices" in an echo chamber. The main thing within them is that the majority of ideas are shared, and people who show general opposition to those ideas are excluded. I mean, most communist online groups are filled with differing opinions on how best to deal with general issues, but if someone turn round and goes "yeah, but Marx was wrong about basically everything", they'll be the ones excluded, not the one's going "yeah, but Luxembourg was right, and Proudhon didn't understand markets" (well, maybe, but not simply on the basis of that argument alone).
I guess, but it doesn't feel like an echo chamber if you have to constantly be careful about what you say...
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Re: 8values political quiz

Post by Tsugar »

Speaking of ideologies, I would like to introduce one from alternatehistory.com (not my own work):

The ideology of societism in Look to the West arose out of an attempt to resolve war and division by concluding that:
1. Cultures and nations are a primary form of false consciousness
2. Separate cultures and nations should be either replaced by a monocultural anarchy or a World State
3. Traditional hierarchies are irrational, and democracy consists of manipulating the masses. Therefore, governance should be meritocratic, as administered by tests

The Meridian[1] societist Raul Caraibas further elaborated by arguing:
1. That societism should arise in one country and Societism (not the former "country") should liberate areas from the idea of nationhood by moving in after Empire A has exhausted itself fighting Empire B ("The Doctrine of the Last Throw")

[1] The demonym of the UPSA, an entity corresponding to IRL Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia, Paraguay and half of Brazil
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Re: 8values political quiz

Post by Creyeditor »

Sounds frightening
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Re: 8values political quiz

Post by Pabappa »

thanks .... I'd forgotten all about the term meritocracy. I probably knew that word when I was younger and was writing up the political ideologies for the some obscure political parties in my timeline, such as the Womb Justice party, which I just found recently in a very early writeup .... touching that old document up now, I was going to call their philosophy "social credit" because that's all I could think of, but meritocracy is a much more established term and may fit their description better.

I still want to post some sort of political test styled to fit the political parties in my timeline, even as I know almost all serious test-takers will end up crowded into the same corner of the graph, as most of the political parties in my writing have ideologies that are far off the chart that we are familiar with today.
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Re: 8values political quiz

Post by Tsugar »

Pabappa wrote: 21 Sep 2021 23:46 thanks .... I'd forgotten all about the term meritocracy. I probably knew that word when I was younger and was writing up the political ideologies for the some obscure political parties in my timeline, such as the Womb Justice party, which I just found recently in a very early writeup .... touching that old document up now, I was going to call their philosophy "social credit" because that's all I could think of, but meritocracy is a much more established term and may fit their description better.

I still want to post some sort of political test styled to fit the political parties in my timeline, even as I know almost all serious test-takers will end up crowded into the same corner of the graph, as most of the political parties in my writing have ideologies that are far off the chart that we are familiar with today.
Where would technocracy fit?
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Re: 8values political quiz

Post by Pabappa »

From what I gathered from the lede paragraph of Wikipedia, technocracy might be a better description for the Womb Justice power structure than meritocracy is, or at least both could describe it equally well. They promoted people who passed tests showing that they would make good leaders, and these took into account things that they'd done in their personal lives (hence the similarity to social credit), but being a good leader involves both knowledge and good moral character; having just one would not lead to a promotion, even if the person deserved a reward for being a very helpful person overall.

However Im not willing to use a term like technocracy for a world that resembles our distant past; they simply dont have technology in the sense that we think of it.

Taking technocracy to mean "government by technology", which is what I thought it meant at first glance, while that wouldn't apply to my current writing for the reasons up above, I did start out writing science fiction and had a conflict between the sarabists who supported arming humans with technology and weapons vs the cephalists who wanted technology and weapons to exist independently, even if it made humans utterly helpless when things went wrong. I could still work this into my writing by saying that the conflict was about whether humans should be allowed to carry weapons or whether the police would be the only ones allowed to be armed. I was mostly thinking about weapons even then, though my mind's conception of weapons and computers blurred together a lot, since e.g. there were computers that could force humans to stop breathing, etc and therefore didnt need visible traditional weaponry to work.
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Re: 8values political quiz

Post by eldin raigmore »

As I Understand Them:
* Technocracy is rule by those who have the skills to rule, because they have those skills.
* Meritocracy is rule by those who have earned rulership, because they have earned that right.
* Timocracy is rule by those who are honored with rulership, because they have performed some glorious service to the state: which chooses to honor them in this way.
* Bureaucracy is rule by assigned specialists who are expected or required to keep themselves up-to-date on their assigned fields of responsibility. They don’t necessarily have to have demonstrated any marked competence before they are assigned. However the hope is that at least they won’t make the same mistake twice.

My preferences are Technocracy > Meritocracy > Timocracy > Bureaucracy > Sortition > Demagoguery.

If you’d asked me before January 21 2017 I might have had a different preference.
Even before March 20 2020 my preference might not have been as strong.
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Re: 8values political quiz

Post by Tsugar »

Conflict over different goals and values is one factor that drives political conflict, but what policies can result in the maximally Good Lives for everyone, even if they’re a high functioning sociopath[0]? Like what’s the formula to get very different people with completely different goals and beliefs to work together, without separating each and every ideology[1] into its own country?

[0] There has to be a legitimate place where they flourish
[1] Excluding ideologies like (Neo-)Nazism, Stalinism and QAnon
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