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Political issues and parties in Europe's nation states, the E.U. & Russia.

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#15109758
Political Interest wrote:Considering the state of the country when he assumed leadership in 2000 it is hardly surprising that Russia still has problems. It was on the brink of civil war. They used economic liberalism to try and increase living standards. It's a long road, they do not want central planning or state capitalism.


I used to think that Putin did a good job, and compared to Yeltsin, he probably did. But time has moved on. Today, Putin is cementing a state of corruption that will condemn the country to misery in the medium and long term. Russians are still fairly well off because of the fossil fuel revenues, but once the shift to renewable energy gains momentum, economies like Russia that depend on fossil fuels will be hard hit. When they have to start belt-tightening in earnest, there will be popular unrest.

The image of Putin as a strategic genius is totally false. He was just a mediocre secrete service agent with an alcohol problem before the oligarchs picked on him to serve as their front man.

Putinland is incapable of reform because it is deeply drenched in corruption. In the end, only an open society has the creativity to survive in the future. European society is the most open society which combines individual freedoms with social justice. As a common economic area, the EU allows the talents even from small countries to participate in European culture.

I understand that you feel uncomfortable with some aspects of modern life. But there is no way of turning the clock back and the past wasn't all that brilliant as it may appear in your imagination. You are too young to remember the repressive atmosphere of the post-war years. Believe me, you don't want that back. With all combined creative potential, we can manage what seem to you as insurmountable problems. Closed and corrupt regimes like Putin's cannot manage even with the pandemic.

Existentially though Europe is a hell on earth.


Maybe you are going through a bit of a difficult period, but believe me, Europeans never had it so good, not just materially but in every aspect.

The UK is fast turning into a dictatorship, there's out of control violence, growing inequality and it's a country where police officers can be dragged through the street at 40 mph. Social bonds between people and general camaraderie are deteriorating. Individualism is rampant. What sort of country is this becoming?


You are exaggerating. The UK isn't turning into a dictatorship. The political structures of the empire have frozen into a system that's incapable of reform. Maybe it would take a shock like the dissolution of the Union to produce the changes necessary for turning the UK into a modern state.

As you grow older, human relations change, some people die or disappear, new people appear. Life has always been like that. The old has to disappear for the new to appear. Holding onto the ghosts of the past, you are already half-dead yourself.
#15109759
Potemkin wrote:You don't speak the same language, and never will. And you will never really understand him, any more than you will ever really understand Marxism. You are essentially a conformist, rather than actually having any worked-out political beliefs of your own. No shame in that - most people are just conformists.


I adapt to changing circumstances. Maybe a doctrinal Marxist will hold onto his doctrines no matter how much objective circumstances change, but I suspect that Marx had a different view on things.

As I said in the other thread, our knowledge, even our scientific knowledge, is always incomplete. A small change can change the whole world. What fool would hold onto some allegedly immutable doctrine that has no ground in reality?
#15109761
Atlantis wrote:I adapt to changing circumstances. Maybe a doctrinal Marxist will hold onto his doctrines no matter how much objective circumstances change, but I suspect that Marx had a different view on things.

As I said in the other thread, our knowledge, even our scientific knowledge, is always incomplete. A small change can change the whole world. What fool would hold onto some allegedly immutable doctrine that has no ground in reality?

Marxists can and do adapt themselves to changing circumstances. We even have a word for it - praxis, which is the dialectical interaction of theory and practice. After all, the Marxists in China have adapted to changing circumstances while still remaining Marxists, have they not? :)

You have no theory, which means you have no praxis. Your 'adaptation' to changing circumstances is therefore just a variety of conformism. You go along to get along. :)
#15109764
Atlantis wrote:Thanks for the explanation. I truly don't understand people like that. They are like something that crawled out from some deep grotto from a long-forgotten past. I have tried to talk to him, but somehow we don't seem to speak the same language.


We agree on more than you think. Your general opinions on geopolitics I agree with.

Atlantis wrote:The conservatives I know are usually business-friendly, hence they approve of globalization and grudgingly accept the need for same-sex marriages and the like.


Most conservatives are like this now days.

Patrickov wrote:I'd like to know some example of horizontal pressure. I guess the current social trend on feminism and (anti-)racism can be seen as such.


It's not so much anti-racism or feminism as much as it is the tone and volume of these. You have to be very careful expressing any opinions that do not conform to the mass line. For example, if you make a statement no matter how careful it is about any of these subjects and in doing so offend someone you can be arrested. It's not even a case of whether or not you agree or disagree, you may simply have a difference of opinion or not have the correct opinion and you will be in trouble. Either arrest or relentlessly hounded into hiding from public life, losing one's employment.

People self-censor themselves or make public statements which they do not necessarily agree with out of fear.

For example, I disagree with the concept of white privilege that is graining ever more popularity in the English speaking world but in doing so I am immediately relegated to the ranks of Alt-Right, white supremacist etc. There is no subtlety in understanding my opinions, all discussion is shut down. It's very upsetting to be grouped with Alt-Right and other groups which I can't stand. But people don't want to listen. And to be associated with them, which is intellectual dishonesty on the part of my opponents, puts me in a very unsafe position.

Patrickov wrote:However, I actually agree more on yielding to horizontal pressure, and see them often (though not always) more reasonable than vertical pressure. Horizontal pressure is also easier to evade, especially individuals usually do not have power to force others to express or not to express themselves. Also, in the information age it is far easier for people to find "comrades" if they want to.


It's your choice, and there is horizontal pressure in every society, not only Western ones but it's very severe in the West.

Patrickov wrote:I also do not aim for entire freedom. When we say the West is more free, it's the more that counts.


More free in some ways but less free in others, though.

Patrickov wrote:(On a side note, it looks like Yugoslavia had a weak government even during Tito's years)


You mean more liberal? I've heard this as well.

Potemkin wrote:You don't speak the same language, and never will. And you will never really understand him, any more than you will ever really understand Marxism. You are essentially a conformist, rather than actually having any worked-out political beliefs of your own. No shame in that - most people are just conformists.


Atlantis does have his own worked out political beliefs and I think he is very interesting to listen to, it's just the conclusions he chooses are very different to Marxism or whatever it is I believe in (I still don't understand this). If he were a conformist it is unlikely he would be so political. You can barely engage a conformist in any meaningful political discussion for more than five minutes.

We each have our own life experiences and inherent personas that compel us in certain political directions. These experiences are fascinating. I would love to talk to you and Atlantis about the past, what it was like in the 60s and 70s in Scotland and Germany. All of what you experienced through your lives influenced your politics.

Although we may never speak the same language there will always be points on which we can agree. Like diplomats we have to find the common ground I'd say. All political discussion is the process of attempting to resolve contradiction.

Potemkin wrote:Then they are not conservatives in any meaningful sense of that word. They just go along with whatever the leading voices in society happen to be saying at any given moment in order to be allowed to go on making money. In other words, they are conformists, just like you. :)


Conservatism seems to have developed into the principle of individual autonomy and free markets. Thatcher and Reagan made it into a political religion of freedom. Free individuals, free trade and as you have mentioned in other threads, the absence of a society.

Was this conserving of the past an attempt to hold back the pace of change, although begrudgingly still accept it slowly or was it essentially liberalism that evolved with the times.

There was always a religious element to conservatism but that seems to have been discarded. But to discard religion from conservatism is to forsake a vital part of that which needs to be preserved and therefore renders conservatism as it stands today without substance.
#15109775
Potemkin wrote:Marxists can and do adapt themselves to changing circumstances. We even have a word for it - praxis, which is the dialectical interaction of theory and practice.


So what you are telling me is that when you make an ideology out of conformism, it's alright :?:

No, that's not how it works, Pot, you have to let life flow.

After all, the Marxists in China have adapted to changing circumstances while still remaining Marxists, have they not? :)


You call the capitalists in China Marxists? So much adaptability on your part is even too much for me.

You have no theory, which means you have no praxis. Your 'adaptation' to changing circumstances is therefore just a variety of conformism. You go along to get along. :)


Naah Pot, by making a theory of the thing, you kill it. You are holding on to a dead theory.

The Tao is not opportunism or conformism, quite on the contrary. It's the most stringent guide, you just can't enclose it in some theory or doctrine.
#15109809
Atlantis wrote:You call the capitalists in China Marxists?

Marxist-Leninists.

Two-Stage Theory...

"In the new-democratic republic under the leadership of the proletariat, the state enterprises will be of a socialist character and will constitute the leading force in the whole national economy, but the republic will neither confiscate capitalist private property in general nor forbid the development of such capitalist production as does not "dominate the livelihood of the people", for China's economy is still very backward."

— Mao Zedong, The Economy of New Democracy

Mao on slavishly copying Russia...

"Some people are so undiscriminating that they say a Russian fart is fragrant. That is subjectivism. The Russians themselves say it stinks. Therefore, we should be analytical."


:)
#15109897
ingliz wrote:Marxist-Leninists.

Two-Stage Theory...

"In the new-democratic republic under the leadership of the proletariat, the state enterprises will be of a socialist character and will constitute the leading force in the whole national economy, but the republic will neither confiscate capitalist private property in general nor forbid the development of such capitalist production as does not "dominate the livelihood of the people", for China's economy is still very backward."

— Mao Zedong, The Economy of New Democracy

Mao on slavishly copying Russia...

"Some people are so undiscriminating that they say a Russian fart is fragrant. That is subjectivism. The Russians themselves say it stinks. Therefore, we should be analytical."


That only proves Mao Zedong being one. What about all the Chinese leaders after him?
#15110933
Potemkin wrote:You have no theory

Which is quite unusual for a German, I guess, although there must be lots of space for theories in his mind as he's a fan of yoga. (At 0:04: 'And this practice is all about creating space in the mind.' :lol: )



You go along to get along. :)

Just like the EU does, they really excel at distinguishing Theorie from Praxis. :lol:

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#15111021
SaddamHuseinovic wrote:Putin is a cheap dictator.

He should be honest and declare him a Tsar


I agree that other leaders like Xi Jinping are more "honest" than Putin, but Putin is smarter in that he takes his façade more seriously and has no desire to abolish it too hastily.

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