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  1. 4 points
    2046

    White Supremacist Protest Violence

    I do happen to believe they are the same, morally speaking. I had some experience with some Antifa groups, both online and at some protests. I naively thought they could be open to libertarian and individualist ideas, much in the way that objectivists hoped to influence the tea party groups in this way. After my interactions with them, I find them very similar to neo-Nazi types. Let me first explain a bit of history. Antifa, at least in so far as they claim, has its history in the KDP, the communist party of Germany during the Weimar years. Most of you are probably familiar with the stories of red shirts fighting brown shirts in the streets, which originated as the Sparticist Leage, and is basically a Bolshevik group that wants a communist dictatorship. The party is banned in Germany to this day. This is the intellectual heritage they claim and logos they use. It was resurrected in the 1980s by punk rock types and leftist agitators to fight against anything right wing using violence. It is not a singular organized group with a single goal or philosophy, much like the occupy movement, but are a disparate group of loosely networking individuals that get together for protests. I was drawn to them for the protest aspect. Many objectivists, I find, either put too much stock in voting and democratic politics, or are just too intellectual to be involved in practical action. I am interested in agorism and building alternative institutions, so naturally a group claiming to be about anti fascist action sounded promising. Objectivists, I still do believe, should be the real Antifa. They are also anti racism, anti sexism, anti bigotry, what are we if not all of those things? So I thought they were about using private, voluntary, and non-state means to fight these things through protests, boycotts, social pressure, doxing, etc, which sounded great. I thought, like many left-liberals dissatisfied with the Democratic Party establishment, they would be young, intellectual, and interested in fighting oppression and injustice, and I could influence them towards liberty and individualism. I knew many of them were left-libertarians or left-anarchists, but I had success in the past interacting with them. What I found was a group of extreme, violent anti-liberal racial collectivists who are basically social misfits and losers. Many of them are, in fact, extremely racists, much like the BLM folks I interacted with. Events such as "white people stay home day" on campus were endorsed. Yaron mentions this in his podcast, and I can confirm, yes violent leftist agitators were roaming around looking for white people to club. During a protest in California, there was a targeting of anyone who was white in a certain area because it was assumed they were pro-Trump. Many of them believe in some sort of reparation scheme, whereby all whites, regardless of their position in society, must be expropriated to repay for historical oppression. And, this is anecdotal, but I was interacting with an Antifa member who felt comfortable confiding in me, lamentably, that they couldn't openly support extermination of whites. When pushed on this, he circled and said he meant through promoting interracial marriage (except not marriage cause that's oppressive), which is a common thing you hear, that all whites would be technically gone and that would be a good thing. They are also virulently anti-Israel, and to such a point that they want to see it destroyed, and it's not hard to see how that turns into a general hatred of Jews. I think there's also a psychological aspect here and the analysis isn't complete without that. As many have pointed out, the type of person drawn to violent political extremism tends to be someone who is an outcast, is socially awkward or ignored in some way, people who just enjoy being edgy and contrarian, thumb their noses at established norms, and people who have psychopathic personality types. We can probably understand how easy it is, for some young people to be disasstisfied with mainstream conservatism, for example, and join the alt right or patriot type movements, only to be disgusted with them, then read Richard Spencer or something and become a full blown Nazi. Without a principled philosophy, this person is just drifting toward a cult or gang like group until they are embraced by the worst. The same thing happens on the left. Many were disgusted at the betrayal of the Bernie Sanders movement and looked for a better home that would embrace their psychopathic and nihilistic personalities. And the types I found numerous times. I saw a young girl pepper spray an elderly woman who she supposed was a Trump supporter. I saw kids, disabled people, women, moms and dads, random bystanders, etc. attacked with batons or sticks, or hit with projectiles. When I asked her if this was morally okay to her, I got the usual anti-conceptual "revolution isn't pretty" type response and was told this many times. "Break some eggs, if you want to make an omelette" slogan was repeated to me. I saw the group full of these punk rocker types and various social misfits that had no problem hitting women or elderly people. To the extent that I found anyone receptive to ethical egoism, I only found support of the egoism of Max Stirner, who believed that morality and law were artificial and limiting constructs, and supported a subjectivist and emotionalist type of egoism. But in generally, I found them to be anti-intellectual and not interested in ideas. Evaluation of whether something is threatening to me isn't a numerical comparison of sins, such that I would go "Antifa: socialists, Nazis: socialists + racists" that's two sins versus one, so Nazis are more immoral. Based on the foregoing, I do put Antifa in the same category as the Klan or Nazi type groups. Both involve bringing in people with nutjob views, dysfunctional personality types, social awkwardness, etc into the cultlike embrace of the group, and derive enjoyment from transgressing established norms of society. Both are racialist and both want socialist dictatorships. Both are perfectly fine with using violence to achieve that goal. Both are, in my view, one step removed from being domestic terrorist groups. Both are a danger to themselves and to me and to society as a whole. Im not sure how much political power they have, but Hilary Clinton was opposed by the Sanders movement, incredibly popular with young people. Many of those people moved on to Antifa and BLM groups. They have a way of infiltrating any leftist gathering and scouting for new recruits. I believe they are Soros funded and their actions whitewashed by the media. That's how we see things like mainstream liberal types who just think we need more peace and love protesting right next to a hardened left agitator with a hammer and sickle flag and nobody questions it. But everyone immediately knows Nazis are bad. One thing is certain, don't let your kids or friends join these groups, and don't go to these protests. Just stay away.
  2. 3 points
    softwareNerd

    White Supremacist Protest Violence

    There's a meta aspect to this White Supremacist vs. BLM argument, which one sees repeatedly in similar fights across time and geography: Protestant vs. Catholic in Ireland, Hindu vs. Muslim along the Indo-Pakistan border, and many other such conflicts. The aspect is this: the more extreme elements are a small minority around which there is a larger set of people who identify with them to some extent. If one considers the larger group, people on both sides have different ideas, but would likely move closer toward each other's position if they would talk, would probably be willing to talk, and would likely be able to find a workable solution even while disagreeing. However, the extremes are the loudest voices, and this keeps the (larger) group around them polarized, rather than listening and attempting to understand the situation rationally. Often, there will be some specific issue that the larger groups disagree on: it could be confederacy statues in this case, it could be cows and pigs in another case, it could be religious affirmative action in another. The more extreme elements will take an all-or-nothing position, and that's the loudest position. If members of the larger group around them say anything else, they're branded as traitors to the cause. On top of this, the extreme elements on both sides will try to provoke physical violations: perhaps using police to enforce what they want, perhaps using private thugs, or perhaps using violence against members of the "enemy" group. This is further polarizing. Once the battle reaches a certain point where people think dialog isn't going to get them anywhere -- because the opposition will use violence in response -- then they do the "rational thing" by cheering on when their own side uses violence. From one perspective, white supremacists almost do not exist; from another, millions of white supremacists are out there. If we're speaking of people who want to get rid of blacks, they're a tiny minority. If we threw them all in jail, we'd still have disproportionately more black folk in jails. However, if we expand the definition to include people who think there's probably something biological/genetic about black people that makes them inferior, we now have a slightly bigger set. If we expand this further to include people who think there's probably something cultural about many black people that makes them inferior (in effect, even if not inevitably), then we have a pretty big set: many millions across all states. Similarly, the set of people who think these statues should stay up is far larger than the racist hard-core. If nobody addresses their views and their arguments with words, it is no surprise they will give a secret, guilty thumbs up to the thugs enforcing their wishes with force. It is also no surprise that they will point to the thugs on the other side as their primary argument.
  3. 2 points
    Eiuol

    White Supremacist Protest Violence

    As suggested in the Yaron Brook video that 2046 linked, the monuments are artwork, not just artifacts of history like finding Machu Pichu or Auschwitz. Even more, since the 1920s (when the Robert E. Lee statue was built) aren't so long ago, we know why these monuments were built: to glorify or celebrate Confederate soldiers (who fought in large part for the "right" to own slaves). They are not built to be reminders of history. They are not Civil War era artifacts even. Rather, they are state-sanctioned pieces of artwork that are intended to honor Confederates and to intimidate those who see Confederate soldiers as evil or unAmerican. Don't forget that the most prominent defenders are literal Nazis and white supremacists. That they are the MOST worried is a sign of what these statues mean. The Unite the Right rally was using a symbol for racist ends to support a racist agenda. Those who attended, given that unification was the intent, endorsed or apologized for the supremacists who went. If there were those who attended and rejected, explicitly, the supremacists, I'd like to see it.
  4. 2 points
    2046

    White Supremacist Protest Violence

    YARON SMASH 😤
  5. 1 point
    Grames

    Immigration as related to loyalty

    I'm reading the current 8 U.S. Code § 1151 as hosted at Cornell.edu and then comparing it with the proposed edits of the bill. Apparently the current law has way more immigrants allowed under the family provision than the employment provision. The current number for "Worldwide level of family sponsored immigrants" is 480,000. The "Worldwide level of employment-based immigrants" is 140,000. The proposed change of the law is only to the family sponsored immigrants and the new number would be 88,000. The number for employment-based immigrants would remain unchanged at 140,000. So yes, the end result is about 392,000 less people would be admitted because they were related to someone already here. That's where the "low skill" presumption comes from. Note that once a family-sponsored immigrant is admitted he can sponsor further family-sponsored immigrants. A sentence from the Wikipedia article states "As of 2009, 66% of legal immigrants were admitted on the basis of family ties, along with 13% admitted for their employment skills and 17% for humanitarian reasons." and this is sourced to a Congressional Budget office report linked here. Doing my own math and rounding down the ratio, the current law has the net result of admitting 6 immigrants who are not examined for employ-ability for each one who is so examined. Other provisions of current US immigration law are at work to admit people that do not count toward the limits because about 1 million people get legal permanent residency status every year but the numbers given above (480K plus 140K) are quite a bit less than that.
  6. 1 point
    The Trump Administration effectively backed China into a corner over North Korea - and this was months in the planning. If fighting had broken out against NK - and China stood by and did nothing to prevent it - then leveling retaliatory sanctions against China would have been seen as both palatable and just. It would have exposed them for what they still are - a power-hungry dictatorship willing use puppet regimes like North Korea to advance their economic agenda. Now, to be fair, President Xi Jinping is probably a fairly good person interesting in reforms, but he doesn't necessarily have complete control over the Chinese military or foreign policy. There are still many of the "old guard" in China who are reluctant to cede power -- which is why, after all these years, it is still a brutally repressive regime. For all we know, XI may have planned this with Trump, knowing what the Administration was doing all along. We have tremendous economic power that we can bring to bear against China to achieve peace and stability in SE Asia - if we are willing to use it. Trump's "buy American and hire American" policy terrifies China. So too do the NAFTA renegotiations, since China dump products in Mexico in violation of NAFTA trade agreements (it has to do with the certification of point-of-origin wrt products used in assembly plants in Mexico). China needs us far more than we need them. But Trump's slogan it is largely a bargaining chip. He has no interest in isolationism or protectionist trade policies. As with all thing Trump, you have to read between the lines. Everything is a negotiation tool with him. If you are chasing the shiny object, then you are doing exactly what he wants you to do.
  7. 1 point
    I posted this last Saturday. It was an announced on Friday that a review of trade violations against China would (and did) start on (this last) Monday. Here is a link to the Friday news story about the trade investigations. http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/11/trumps-china-trade-crackdown-coming-monday-241558 On Monday, North Korea announced that maybe they won't be launching missiles at Guam after all . Remember, citizens born on Guam are US citizens - launching missiles at Guam is no different than launching missiles at Hawaii or Los Angeles (or Portland, OR). It was not just a coincidence that NOKO's announcement just happened to occur three days after the trade sanction investigations against China were announced. It also has to be remembered that, last April, when Trump launched the 59 Tomahawk missiles at the Syrian airbase (after Syria used chemical weapons) the Chinese President Xi Jinping learned about the attack over dinner at Mara Lago, where he was dining with Trump. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/10/syria-strikes-were-aimed-at-china-control-risks.html For those of you on this forum too young to remember Reagan (I was 13 when he was inaugurated), the Left was pissing themselves over the belief that "Mad Ronnie" was going to start a war with the Soviet Union. The Soviets also believed it. He stood up to them and eventually the Soviet Union collapsed. After 8 years of Obama's "strategic patience" which allowed NOKO to develop nuclear weapons and will soon result in Iran having them as well, it's good to see that we finally have a President who understands how to use "strategic impatience."
  8. 1 point
    Nicky

    White Supremacist Protest Violence

    I won't waste my time challenging this statement. It should be clear to every Objectivist why it's monstrous in its dogmatic dismissal of rationality and individual moral responsibility.
  9. 1 point
    Am I supposed to be impressed by your wit? You have stated a position that you are completely unable to back up. I'd be embarrassed to do so.
  10. 1 point
    Eiuol

    White Supremacist Protest Violence

    It's interesting you say that, I was originally sympathetic too. I thought it was more like being vocally militant against any fascistic inclination, Nazis especially. Then I learned that their self-defense was that the mere hateful statements was actual violence. It does have its appeal in the face of actually violent Nazis and fascists, but antifa gets wrong the function of free speech (in other words, they're anarcho-Communists). Although it 's also true no one I've seen does any good at defending free speech. White nationalists only defend it as a means to preserve "white culture", instead of arguing that its merit is that it hinders and combats those irrational voices. I feel similar about the monuments. I don't feel like it is a pressing need to fix it. Even strategically, it fuels white nationalism. I'd opt to make philosophical cases against all of that nationalism. My case only extends to how this monument is government property. There is good reason to de-legitimize the statue. The difference with Roman statues is one, the government that built them don't exist. Two, Roman statues were not erected for historical revisionism. People built them to somehow legitimize Confederate grievances, not really to say "hey, Robert E. Lee did some cool things". More like "Lee fought for us, may the south rise again". Often, things like the Partenon are so old we don't know why they were made. The symbolism is different. The institution to decide is the federal government, which can define whether its own monuments and states' monuments that represent that federal government's mission. Symbolism, here, is about the Confederacy. Local councils do not deserve a say, so any lawful measure is fine; these are not local symbols. I do not want public monuments, so I can't offer a foundational principle. There is no legitimate principle for the government to establish official symbols. So, I like your market solution.
  11. 1 point
    DonAthos

    White Supremacist Protest Violence

    Insofar as those flags, parks and monuments are sympathetic to the Confederacy, and by extension to what the Confederacy stood for, I think in this case the "cultural left" has a point. All right. I think it's fine that monuments to the Confederacy don't bother you; but can you understand why they might bother others? As to the idea that this is "southern whites' history," well, in a sense it is all of our history, is it not? I don't know that the Civil War belongs exclusively to the south, or more to southern whites than to southern blacks, for instance. I'm a west coaster, but I still consider the Civil War part of my heritage as an American. (But then, I consider all of history part of my heritage as a human being, so... I guess I'm suspect of one group "owning" some particular history, just as I am suspect of ideas of cultural appropriation, etc. Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto.) Besides, if we were discussing, oh, erecting laudatory statues to Hitler, Goering, et al., in modern-day Germany, do you think it would excuse the project to say, "well, it's their history"? We have lots of awful things in our (i.e. the world's) history. Lots of great things, too. But it says something about us which parts of our history we admire and aspire to (commemorating with a flag, park or monument, for instance) and which we condemn and repudiate. Let's say he wasn't. Regardless, that's not why that statue was erected. He stands as a representative of the Confederacy, which was a country created specifically to preserve the institution of actual human slavery (and for which Lee, "not that bad a guy," served). Statues like these went up in the 1920s, as Eiuol noted, as part of a rising tide of racism, which coincided with a resurgence in the KKK and etc. The timing (and intention) was not accidental. And the majority of the people defending these statues and symbols today -- though they might sometimes claim otherwise -- do not do so out of some pure historical interest. If the Spanish Steps were, today, an ongoing source of inspiration for modern Romans seeking to oppress the Gauls and Moors and so forth, then I'd entertain an argument that they ought to be paved over. I wasn't there at the time, but I imagine that the Romans themselves would have been on board, in a sense; when Caligula was (rightly) assassinated, how many of his statues do you suppose survived the week? They understood the importance of symbolism. Nazis and Confederates today (or however we want to term these groups, "neo-" whatevers, "alt-right," white nationalists, etc.) want to preserve these sorts of monuments because they have not given up the essential fight of the Confederacy. They are, as they always were, enemies of liberty and of the republic.
  12. 1 point
    dream_weaver

    White Supremacist Protest Violence

    Just following orders, Sir! (Couldn't resist.)
  13. 1 point
    Grames

    White Supremacist Protest Violence

    It is disgusting and baseless lie that Trump had anything to do with what happened. What in fact did happen was an orchestated news event in which the Governor of Virginia deliberately had the protestors driven into the counterprotestors to create headline grabbing violence which would then be blamed on "Trump supporters" by the overwhelmingly Democratic party voting mass media. I and my entire family are Trump supporters and have nothing to do with neo-Nazis or the KKK. Its all propaganda and lies. I am a straight white male of a certain age and unsympathetic to socialism or identity politics. For this I am hated, as are my instruments and representives in Congress and the Presidency. Neither Trump nor I have a single act or act of omission to be ashamed of. Anyone who claims otherwise can fuck right off.
  14. 1 point
    Nicky

    White Supremacist Protest Violence

    On a separate note, it also strikes me as extremely stupid to drive dangerous ideologies underground. That's when they turn from obnoxious loudmouths into violent insurgents. And this bunch might just prove better equipped for mass killing than the Islamists. So I really wouldn't poke the bear. The guy who drove his car into the lefty agitators was just some idiot who flunked basic training. Someone who didn't would go about mass murder a lot more efficiently. Just leave them alone, let them protest and march, expose and shame politicians like Trump who show any sympathy for their cause, and that will be that.
  15. 1 point
    2046

    White Supremacist Protest Violence

    It does appear, at least from a cursory glance at accounts, that this is a somewhat correct sequence of events: 1. VA government wants to take down government statue of government employee in government park. 2. Nazis organize to protest, apply for necessary permits to do so. 3. Permits are rejected, Nazis, with help of ACLU take government to court and win. 4. Nazis march along preplanned route to park. 5. Counter protests organized with mostly angry normal people with a healthy contingent of Commies (BLM, Antifa, etc.) 6. Commies confront Nazis along their route, trying to physically block them, disrupt them, fight them ("punch a nazi"), pepper spray them, throw things, etc. and tried to block them from rallying around the statue, as they were legally permitted to do, and violence ensues. Again, we must also mention the Nazi motorist that appears to have intentionally ran over a bunch of Commies. Even if BLM and Antifa are at fault for the street fights, and the Nazis wanted a peaceful protest, they still do want to kill all the Jews and for the government to forcefully remove all non-whites. In the words of Ludwig von Mises, "You're all a bunch of socialists."
  16. 1 point
    That progression is what I meant when I said that if I were a juror, I'd want to roll back a minute or so before the penetration, to understand what happened. When I read the original example, the thing that immediately struck me as inexplicable is the sudden appearance of the penis in the vagina. What! where did that come from? That's not this works. In the movies, the guy will work wonders. He'll throw the woman here of there, sometimes lifted up and against a wall, like one of those virtuouso well-built porn starts, and hit is target spot on. Real life doesn't work that way. There's so much more groping and positioning, and most of the time, the woman has to help the guy or he has to probe like he has feelers. If a lawyer were to question the witness, I'd expect to find details such as: he'd got her underwear off with help from her. that he'd stimulated her, that he had repositioned his body in a way that made it possible to enter her, that he has using his penis to probe around her vagina... the details would vary but there would almost certainly be some such lead up, lasting some length of time. I'd be open to testimony that said otherwise, but I'd want to hear it specifically. The second thing I'd question is that she could not simply tut-tut him. Saying no is in pretty integral to couples who have not yet decided how far they want to go. For instance, a girl might tell a boy that she's okay only kissing him. They're kissing and he places his hand on the narrow of her waist and starts to caress her, moving it toward her breast. This probably happens a million times all around the world. It is not the act of some weirdo, but the method but which consent is probed. Heck, she may not even say she's okay being kissed. He might move in and she might allow it. A small twitch in this direction or the other is usually sufficient. Millions of women do this, even if it is their first time. Or maybe she allows his hands on her breast through her clothes, and then his lips go down to her neck. Again, no explicit permission was requested. He might progress lower moving from neck in the direction of her breasts. And so on... none of this is sexual assault as such. For it to be sexual assault, we'd need something more than the progression. We'd need some indication -- however small -- that the woman did not want this. And, importantly, in the progression above, we'd want this indication to be external. We'll agree that it is not sufficient to say that she was moaning with pleasure while being disgusted with herself. But, similarly, we can't take her unexpressed shyness or other internal state of mind as enough to make this sexual assault. We know that Sally had no problem talking about sex and limits. To me, as a juror, it does not sound plausible that she suddenly loses all agency and does not do what is so routine that it is almost second nature. These are the things I meant when I said that one has to make the concept concrete. One cannot simply scan for one aspect. Also, rape is mot just consent. Nor it is just sexual assault. Another way of answering "what is rape" is not to start with concretes first, but to ask why we need this concept. We're talking of a concept that is primarily a legal concept. Just as we have misdemeanors and felonies, to distinguish degrees to crime, we distinguish between rape and sexual-assault. Attorney's ill go further and may have multiple "degrees" of sexual assault. Rape comes beyond all that. So, when we ask "is this rape", we're asking "is this an extremely serious sexual assault that has gone beyond other types of sexual assault". But, there's more... if we keep the concept real, we understand that the whole idea of such concepts is to indicate the penalties. If we are in the U.S., the average sentence for rape is over 9 years, with the criminals ending up actually serving over 5 years. So, when we ask: "is this rape", we're asking "is this a sexual assault that is serious enough to send a person to jail for 5 years or so". One might reject this by saying that that is a different issue. Why talk about sentences? Well, take a rape where a taxi driver veers into a dark alley, holds his passenger down, tears off her clothes, and ignoring her screams and fists, violates her. Perhaps he is strong enough that he does not do her much lasting bodily harm. The bruises might heal in a few weeks, but we all understand that the trauma will be there for ages, perhaps forever. We understand that this goes beyond sexual assault where someone feels up a girl in a crowd. We understand that we want to get the perpetrator off the streets for a long time. All this is the reason we need a separate concept in the first place. So, when one thinks of concepts, one cannot divorce this from the need for the concept and all the concretes around that need. We need the concept of rape to describe serious sexual assault for which we're happy to deliver at least some serious jail time. All this is part of how one thinks about concrete instances. That's what I meant when I said that it goes beyond scanning words in an example.
  17. 1 point
    No. First, I want to know the truth about reality, i.e. to hold the correct philosophy. Secondarily, I would want others to also know the truth about reality and hold the correct philosophy (it would make life better for me). Merely having "an impact" of any kind as such has no value... it is only the particular kind of impact that might result which matters. If everyone already knew the truth and had the correct philosophy I would not be pining and wishing to have an impact on someone. You imply by your OP and other posts that either A) the philosophy is incorrect/erroneous, or that B ) the philosophy is correct but people are inherently flawed and cannot accept it. You then admonish us to action of one sort or another, which make little sense. An individual surely must seek out the truth and on the evidence he/she should accept a correct philosophy and reject a false one, and insofar as possible and when it is in his self interest to do so, to teach what he knows to others, thereby increasing their potential spiritual and economic value to him. If A) is the case, then only by evidence and reason can a person be shown that A) is the case. If B ) is the case, then a person who knows the truth can either try to convince others, or simply refrain from doing so. Since you seem to indicate that people just don't accept it, you imply it is futile to attempt to convince others. I see you are already trying to show why A) is the case (in other threads). If you are implying the philosophy is wrong, I take it you are proceeding in the attempt to show that. If B ) is the case, then logic would dictate from your premises, that since it is futile, one should not try to convince others. Which is odd, because at the same time you state we should "want" to convince others. All I can think is that maybe B ) is that case, but not all people are impervious to the truth (after all there are people who have heard the evidence and accepted the philosophy) and hence attempting to convince others, although difficult, is not futile. The point of your OP and your ensuing argument, if there is one, is elusive. Please be more succinct if you would like a direct answer.
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