Tainari88 wrote:XogGyux, human exploitation is a choice. It is not an imperative or necessary.
That's a good theory, but so far, human history has not supported this theory. As far as human has had a recorded history, the opposite has been observed. You cannot design a system to tailor the best human being... you have to design a system that accommodates for the most greedy and most violent of us as well. As far as history of human race goes, the period under the "leadership" of the US has been an upgrade compared to the prior options. You might not like it, but it is the reality.
You study human history and there are all kinds of ways of organizing human labor and human social and economic life in a way that is not about exploitation but about community and love of extended family and shared values.
Bullshit. There is no instance in human history that compares favorably vs what we have currently. For most of human history we have had actual slaves... how can you possibly even suggest that the history of human shows less exploitation.
You have slavery true.
Oh, there you go. Exactly. I answered your prior point before reading this
Wage slavery is another one that had to go in many societies.
Not saying it is ethical, or moral, but even that is a massive upgrade vs actual slavery. When your shit salary factory worker quits... you don't send dogs after him or her and then whip their back until they are moribund or dead. The current bottom-salary worker at least have a way out of the vicious cycle. Not saying it is an easy way out or that it is fair or good... but it is an improvement as compared to what used to be the norm for millennia of human history.
With large gaps in income inequality and changes in technology and in circumstances UBI and other platforms will become the norm.
Maybe... but which countries are even entertaining such social upgrades? It is not fascist China... it is not oligarchic russia, it was not the former USSR... those systems are being explored by mainly western, mostly capitalistic (with social tones) countries. So... you prove my point.
But it requires not being accepting of exploitation as a permanent reality forever and ever amen.
You are confusing an acceptance of reality with a rejection of the desire to make improvements. I agree we need to improve our systems... but we have to improve the good ones... not the failed ones. Maybe you don't want to improve upon already existing systems... maybe you want a shock/reset and create something from scratch. That sort of change = misery and death to hundreds of thousands of millions of people if not billion of people. Destroying the current capitalistic-leaning world order to create something from scratch = conflict, wars, famine, deaths. I am sorry, I am not interested in watching that circus carnage. You want to improve our systems in a diplomatic, constructive (and slow), way? I am all ears... you want to shoot the lion on the face and see what happens next? I am not interested.
All positive changes require work and sacrifice, responsibility and activism.
That belongs on a motivational poster on top of the teacher's blackboard in a primary school classroom. Have you thought that sacrifice could also mean sacrificing PR's independence? Or Sacrificing your ideals?
I am an extremely liberal person and I stand by my record in this forum for very pro-social policies and progressivism. But I have to routinely sacrifice what could be in a perfect world... for what can actually occur in our real world. I am sorry, but we are constrained by the bounds of our reality.
Real terms is not using threats of bombs and invasions as the ONLY way to control human relationships.
Have you met human beings? People get into rage road and kill each other... not just in the US... EVERYWHERE. Jelous husbands kill their wives when they think they are cheating on them (even when sometimes they aren't), fathers that rape their kids or sell them to marry them off.. or sometimes if a baby daughter is born they kill them or abandon them. Humans are not some sort of angelic beings. Wake up. We are vicious animals in the wild and the only thing keeping us from going into the road biting other humans being is the civilizing nature of our societies. This is a WORK IN PROGRESS. We are getting better... but emphasis on getting, and emphasis on better. If you wish to remain sane (and alive), I advise you to accept reality as it is.
Fear forever is not the way.
There is no option. The world is scary. Fear protects you. You cannot ignore it, you cannot become numb to it. Fear exists so that we can act to save ourselves. The fearless mostly end up dead.
Using violence and threats like Empires always do throughout human history is a sign of a very primitive reptilian society XogGyux.
Don't be foolish, there are no reptilian societies
This is our reality if you don't make a system that takes into account our nature... you are guaranteed to fail.
It is not a sign of an advanced human civilization
Who said anything about advanced?
We are essentially the same Duffus that built the pyramids... As a species, we are very young, and our collective human recorded
history is nothing but a blink of an eye compared to the totality of our species walking the earth. Humans have been around ~2million years.. of that, about 5 thousands make up recorded history. Our recorded history is less than 0.3% of our total existence, and for ALL of that recorded history we have behaved as total fiery savages. Again... we are not angelic beings, we are wild animals. You cannot design a system of perfect harmony. If you put cattle and tiger together, you going to have dead cattle. You cannot will human peace and prosperity out of a deep desire for harmony. I wish you could, but you cannot.
We need to grow into our technology for good.
Got to grow mature enough to not use violence and WMDs to get other nations to cooperate for mutual benefit.
Again. You can wish for it. But I guarantee you, you will not get it. Not during your lifetime, not in my lifetime. Not in your children's lifetime.
If we get stuck with Caribbean islands are poor and always will be playthings of Empires so just give it up. It is defeatist and also inaccurate.
Who said anything about giving up? Play to your strengths. You have to be strategic and cunning about it. Sometimes, that means admitting that you have to play the losing hand a few times.
No XogGyux I have real hope in the intelligence of human adaptive abilities.
So do I. But I am realistic about my expectations. In the last 5000 years we have always had at least 1 empire, war has been constant and so have famine and diseases. Most of the improvements for all of those things have actually occurred during the last century... A century that has been dominated by the world order of western/US-lead countries.
But make no mistake, we are the same beasts. You are dealing with a very fragile balance.
And also if you cull the knowledge of the tropical regions of the world and the riches in plant life, animal life, water resources, and fertile earth, and so on? It is a region that is incredibly productive and that has innate wealth.
Really? Why is it that puerto rico imports 85% of all its food?
This is nonsense @Tainari88 . If puerto rico was 100% farm land, no residential houses, no parking lots, no roads, no rivers, no mountains, no beaches... if puerto rico was 100% farmland, it wouldn't still be able to feed its 3 million people. As 3 million people require a bit over 10squared kilometers worth of farmland and puerto rico is a bit smaller than that.
Puerto rico cannot sustain its own population with domestically produced food. Not even Cuba supports its population with domestically grown food. Did you know that despite the nonsense that cuban goverment (and some of our own PoFos members) say, a significant portion of Cuba's food is imported from the US?
And who is the largest exporter of food in the world? Oh, btw it is the united states.
In this half of the globe, Only the US, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay are net exporters of food. Hypothetically, if Puerto Rico were to become independent of the US... if that independence is not obtained 100% under amicable and peaceful terms... there is no version of the aftermath in which puerto rico does not suffer mass famine as they have to source food from farther countries at much higher prices.
Then there is energy... 97% of puerto rico's electricity comes from fossil fuels. PR has no natural gas, no petroleum or coal production in the island. Except for about 3% of renewables, everything else is imported.
PR cannot possibly be economically independent.
You want political independence? That is not impossible. You might get that. Maybe even by peaceful means without any military intervention by the US, without any shot fired, and with post-separation amicable terms. That would be the best (although unlikely) case scenario... and even then, you'd still be at the mercy of the US because you are utterly and inseparably economically dependent of your bigger neightboor. Geography is a bitch, but at least San Juan is not in the Siberian tundra. Do you think you will have a "happily ever after"? Think again. Look at the chaos that is going on on Britain with bretxit... now multiply that by 1000x and that might give you an idea of how bad it will be for PR.
I believe strategically speaking, the best move is to become an official state. But that is just my craziness talking.
What other reason was there for so many European powers to be fighting over those little islands for centuries if they were worthless pieces of land?
Just because other people cared for that at some point in the past, does not mean that they are still equally valuable in the future. The past and the future are different. The past was pre-industrial, the present is not. Large productive farmlands and peasants/workers/slaves to work those lands were valuable in the past. Today you can buy cheap land in the midwest and with tractors and other modern farm equipment you can get many orders of magnitude more output.
An excellent example of of the difference of valuation of the past vs the present = the trade of spices and dyes. Pepper, oregano, cumin, curry, paprika, nutmeg, etc... your average contemporary kitchen stock of spices would probably fetch you a few horses. Times change. Puerto rico is just not as valuable as it was during colonial times. Puerto rico actually cost the federal goverment more than it collects in taxes. In other words, the US is not draining resources form the island, if anything it is spending resources on it.
Puerto Rico is forced into importing 85% of its food.
Yeah, it is forced by mathematics, physics, and reality. There is simply not enough farmland and resources in the island to feed such large population.
It is the most expensive system in the world. We are not allowed to do business with any other system. As an independent nation, you can negotiate better trading terms, and better costs, but if the USA decides to block you because they want to control your economy exclusively to serve their own interests the wealth flies out the door of your country
Highly doubtful. The US produces remarkably cheap food given the advanced farm equipment and very large/fertile amounts of land in the midwest. In the western hemisphere, the only other realistic option that PR has other than the US is Canada. The US even exports food to Cuba
Abusing power is the issue.
Abusing or leveraging. Tomayto/tomahto. End result is that there is no version of the story in which PR is economically independent. A tiny island next to the behemonth of an economy that is the US is nothing but a skin tag. Best case scenario, your interests align and you both prosper. But you don't really have a realistic chance at putting any sort of pressure, negotiation, leverage, anything... Your independence is completely inconsequential to the US's future. It could, however, completely ruin your country, forever.
Not that the islands have NOTHING of worth. That argument is not sound.
That is not what I have said. But PR's current worth is tied to its fate as a US territory. A lot of that worth can (and likely will) be lost in a scenario in which PR becomes independent. It would not be unreasonable, or evil if the US wanted to move productions of its pharmaceutical to a domestic market. Lots of countries want their strategic consumption to be done domestically. That would ruin PR in a heart beat, it is a realistic scenario.
Look at what is going on in Brexit. As long as they were married with the US... thing were going smoothly... now they are having issues. You don't think the same thing would happen in your country? Which is many orders of magnitude more dependent in the US as britain was on the EU? Don't be naive. A PR independence = economic and social collapse of the island. Even in the best-case scenario with the amicable dissolution of US/PR relationships.
XogGyux you never studied at all the many many proposals that the Puerto Rican Independence Party has introduced in the Puerto Rican legislature.
That's true. But honestly, I don't trust any legislator. Not puerto rican ones, not US ones, no europeans ones. They always lie and sell you the story. What did the UK legislator said about bretxit?
There is no version of this story that PR comes out unharmed for decades to come.
XogGyux, it is easy to think humans will always be exploiters for all time and that it is impossible to end that system.
I don't say always. I certainly hope not. But we have 5k history of the same tune, there is no reason to believe we are about to change instrument. We will be hearing the same music for many decades, and likely centuries, to come.
But if you study human history it bends in favor of less exploitation over time.
Sure. That is what I have said. The trend is improving, and you should be grateful for those that have contributed to such trend. Like it or not, the US has contributed significantly. We still have a long, LONG, way to go. But hey, incremental improvements is better than no-improvement. All I am saying, if I were you, I would be proud to be an American as you are Puerto Rican. I think it is a good thing.
If you believe in imperial stuff as never-ending? You have zero energy to dedicate to changing it.
I don't see it that way. But the change will be incremental, not dramatic. I think you are a very idealistic person. Pure good intentions, but uncompromising. Idealistic people, even when we agree on almost anything, scare me, because idealistic people are willing to sink the boat and drawn everyone. Idealistic people that didn't vote for Clinton helped Trump get elected. Idealistic people that want solar/wind and are uncompromising on nuclear will quite literally burn the planet. Independence or bust on PR may end up with bust and a failed state.
You got to dream big.
But then you have to wake up in the morning, get out of bed and go to work or you will die in your dream.
But more than that you got to be pragmatic.
I honestly think I am the pragmatic one in this discussion.
If something does not function well, you modify or change it until it works. You do not accept the previous dysfunction as a permanent fixture in the world.
Well, I think PR formally joining the Union would be great. That is change. Do you agree?
Puerto Rico is not the island with the highest per capita earning in Latin America or the Caribbean region.
Let's compare apples to apple. Will not include all of latin america because island economies are different than mainland economies. Goods are more expensive on islands. Shipping something to Hawaii or Alaska (alaska is essentially an island from the US mainland and behaves very similarly) is far more expensive.
Lets list the independent caribbean nations (I will list in order of independence date as found on this website): http://www.caribbeanelections.com/educa ... 0in%201983
Haiti: GDP/Capita 1.8k/capita (more than 15 times lower than puerto rico)
Dominican Republic GDP/Capita ~8k/capita (or about 4x lower than puerto rico)
Cuba GDP/Capita ~10k (3x lower than puerto rico)
Jamaica 5k/capita (6x less than puerto rico)
Trinidad and Tobago 16k (about half compared to puerto rico)
Guyana is in the list but it is not an island, but anyway, even if we include it 10k/capita (1/3rd of puerto rico)
Barbados (17k/capita, about half of puerto rico)
The bahamas (27k/capita) this is 85% of Puerto Rico's
Dominica 7k (about 1/5th of puerto rico)
Again, Suriname is in this list, but it is not an island. Even if we were to count it 7k (or about 1/5th) of puerto rico.
Saint Lucia 9k (1/3rd of puerto rico's)
St. Vincent and the Grenadines ~9k/capita (1/3rd of puerto rico's)
Belize 6k (1/5th of puerto rico's)
Antigua and Barbuda 15k or about half of puerto rico
St. Kitts and Nevis 18k or about a bit more than half of puerto rico.
For reference, PR sits at about 32k/capita. Do you see any other caribbean (INDEPENDENT) island that you want PR to follow in that list? You want to be like Cuba? or Jamaica? Or Haiti? or perhaps you want to be like Dominica?
Yeah... there are rich as fuck islands in the caribbean. Bermuda? British territory. Cayman Islands? British territory, US virgin islands? US territory, British virgin islands? British territory.
PR is not on a particularly bad economic scenario, all caribbeans islands are kind of sucky, and the ones that are doing OKish are heavily dependent on tourism and banking hackery.
I am sorry, but PR has not been blessed with a strong geographic leverage for this era. PR could have been incredibly important for the spaniards of 2 centuries ago... but that was 2 centuries ago. In the modern word... PR is just a piece of land in the middle of the ocean.
You bet you get real change.
That belongs on a car bumper sticker. I want improvement. Change can be for the better, but it can be for the worse. When you are a small island in the middle of the caribbean that nobody has a reason to care for... change is more likely to move in the direction of the worse. You want to take your chances?
I do not think level of viciousness is to be measured by your point of view. That varies according to the victims who had suffered the viciousness. Like Native American tribes wiped off the face of the USA forever. Or Japanese pregnant women or old men and children dying after the atomic bomb was thrown in WWII to end the war via the USA making it clear it was willing to keep it up until surrender was done. Were they cruel? Vicious? The Nazis were vicious.
And if you are going to judge everyone for everything their ancestors ever did... we all belong in hell. The native american regularly war each other and the Japanese bombed Americans as well. Pound per pound, the US has been an improvement on this vicious world.
Humanity can be cruel and vicious.
That is my point!
But I do not believe that the USA is better because of what?
Well, here we totally disagree. Tell me, which empire do you prefer. None is not an option, it has never been in human history, there is no reason to believe it will ever be. If you could give the military and economic might of the US to any other would-be empire of history... which one did you give it to? Would you be OK with the imperial british to have nuclear bombs? Or perhaps imperial japan... do you think they would have been wiser world leaders? Perhaps the Ottomas... I am sure the ottomans with nukes would have been very peaceful and respectful of their neightbors right? Or perhaps the USSR, perhaps you wanted the world under USSR ruling? Or perhaps the chinese? Or perhaps colonial spain? Or the mongols? You want Genghis Khan with the nuclear codes and the command of the US navy with its 10 aircraft carrier groups? Do you think a modern Genghis Khan would have been more peaceful?
I am convinced that despite its many defects, the US is generally a positive force in our chaotic world. Despite all the bad press, the US is far less belicose than all prior empires that came before it and has shown a high degree of retrain compared with what it can do.
Ordinary people never benefit in any real way unless they fight for some rights and force the issue.
Ordinary people do benefit. All americans benefits? What are you talking about?
You would not be thinking Empires are permanent fixtures in human life.
Well. So far, they have been. From the egyptians, to the romans, to the bizantines, russians, britsh, spanish, Portuguese, mongolian, mayan, incan, ottoman, american. There is absolutely no reason to assume they will go away anytime soon.
The native people of that land become minorities in their old land base and they stop speaking their ancient languages and adopt the languages of the colonizer.
Who care if you speak a new language. How many are suffering because we don't speak latin or sumerian? That is superflous. That is tribalism speaking. I certainly don't condone violence, but I have no problem what so ever with culture merging and extinction of ancient cultural traditions. I am no sentimental fool. i don't care if 3000 years from now nobody speaks english or spanish. I don't care if people stop listening to rock or stop eating pizza. This obcession with ethnicity is what leads to genocide, and xenophobia. I don't like you because you are hispanic like me, I like you because you are an intelligent and kind human being. I would like an Albanian or Japanese person just as much for the same reasons.
I don't buy into the US vs Them mentality.
XogGyux, wars are very expensive things. The defense budget is a substantial part of all taxes collected.
It is... But so is car insurance.
Defense budget = insurance for a nation. As long as humanity is a violent vicious creature, and we have already agreed that we are, there is a need for defense budget.
Now... 1 year ago, we were having this conversation, I swear I would have said that I thought the US should cut the defense spending by at least half, if not more. After all, we already spend as much as the next 10 countries in the list, and half of the countries in that list are strong allies of the US. But then russia invaded Ukraine.... and my views on the matter have been challanged and I have changed my mind. I am a pacifist, but following Tony Stark's phylosophy "Peace means having a bigger stick than the other guy". But here is the dirty little secret, military spenditure is NOT a waste. War is a waste, but military spenditure (in peace time) is not a waste. A lot of the technologies that we enjoy today have been funded as military projects in part. Nuclear research for nuclear energy? Manhathan project. Rockets and satellites? NASA partly as an ICBM race with the russians. GPS? Also military, Internet? military, Teflon, lasers, etc. It is not a waste. Getting a 2 million missile to kill other human being... is a waste. But again, going back to human nature... we are violent vicious creatures. This is what pragmatism is all about.
No, XogGyux you don't understand what I was trying to convey. That land is livable and very livable.
That is not the point. The point is, you cannot produce critical products in quantities enough to satisfy the need of the island. As a result, you are economically dependent on good relations with your neighbors to obtain those critical products. You are economically dependent. This is fine if you have an amicable separation, but how likely that is? I think it is very unlikely. For instance, when you discuss the topic, similar to Cuban Fidelists, you often times refer to the US as the imperialist colonizer.... do you think you can have an amicable separation? Anything short of a fully voluntary bipartisan (US and PR) agreement on independence is almost certain to guarantee the economic ruin of puerto rico. Even if it is not done on purpose (as in the case on cuba). If it is done on purpose, PR is properly fucked, at least cuba had the USSR as a sugar daddy for a few decades to transition, if the same shit happens to PR, you are going to see mass violence and famine, of that I have no doubt in my mind.
It does not have a real winter. No need to store for winter food.
It does not matter. There is not enough land to feed everyone. You would have to cover the whole island on farmland (and you cant, because you got a lot of mountainous terrain) just to farm for food. That is without even having space for houses, roads, etc. You definitely don't have enough farmland, you probably don't even have enough water for that farmland that you don't have.
It is fertile and the lifestyle is fairly easy compared to Alaska for example. You can eat year round with minimal efforts on planting and harvesting and the protein or fish catching was fairly easy.
Maybe if you are a taino in a 50k population for the island. With 3 million inhabitants, if you stop importing food, your people will starve to death no matter how fertile the land is.
It takes about 1 acre of farm land to feed 1 person. Puerto rico has about 2.25 acres of total land (including area that is not even remotely suitable for farm land). You have 3 million people. Math does not lie, there is no version of this in which PR can feed itself.
Water supplies were easy.
As long as all the food comes from outside. If you had to irrigate 100% of the island, I suspect that the water might be a bit more tight. I haven't done the math for this because it is irrelevant, you don't even have enough land so it is irrelevant if you can irrigate wha you don't have.
And.... even if somehow you get your hands on special genetically modified crops that you could potentially grow in the island reliably in a fraction of the farmland... you are 1 hurricane away from total disaster. We all know that PR never gets hurricanes right? At 3 million inhabitant, PR is a fully economically dependent nation. unless you are willing to entertain the posibility of killing off or deporting a significant number of puertoricans... there is no plan in sight that would economically free you from the US, ever.
No real big predators either.
I am sure you got sharks around the island
But for real, are you thinking on going back to pre-industrial society? That would be the only reason in which having vs not having predators would make a difference. The US have bears and mountain lions, I have never been bothered by them.
I think this is an emotional topic for you. For one, there is your patriotic pride and you have also commented in the past how important this issue was for your mother. All of that is noted and important. But emotions need to allow common sense to prevail. If you throw a temper tantrum until you get whatever it is that you want.... if you get it, when you get it, you might realize that it was a big mistake. Cuba committed a big mistake, I know this, I am certain of this. The british seem to be regretting brexit, and that is a far less consequential union than that of the US and PR. I only know about PR tangentially, I don't know deeply inside the thoughts and wishes of the average puerto-rican, that's for sure. My analysis and evaluation is solely based on a bit of common sense, and readily available statistics, not on the wishes and wants of the PR people. I don't claim to know what is best to your people, and I truly wish they get what they want. I am just pointing out that you should consider that perhaps things are not nearly as bad as they can get. Consider it, because the fate of millions could be at risk. I genuinly believe my life and that of my fellow cubans would have been much better had Castro not alienated the US and instead sought to be a partner rather than an antagonist. I genuinly believe that the US, despite is many, many defects, is an improvement upon the prior generations of powerful nations, and an overall a positive force in the world. The western hemisphere is relatively peaceful. Conflicts are usually internal in nature, rather than between countries. This is not the case in eastern europe, africa and asia. Coincidence?