Discussion in 'Human Science' started by sculptor, Sep 6, 2020.

  1. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    double post deleted
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    So about that "stupid and insane" angle: You were saying?
    If I could have confidence that you were alert to the difference between "and" and "or", I could post more briefly and directly - but in your case I have to cover disparate bases and anticipate personal attack. Hence the wordiness.
    - - - -
    Argue about what?
    You said Seattle's bs made a lot of sense to you. As far as I can tell, from your posts etc, that is not possible. Is that impossibility what you would be arguing about?

    Looking for explanations, I pointed out that you probably hadn't read it carefully - you are capable of making sense, which means you are capable of spotting what doesn't make sense, and Seattle's post does not make sense - but one does have to bear down a bit when reading it to spot that. So I provided a starting point for the unraveling - a specific example of the basic illogic that pervades the entire post and every sentence in it.

    Another phrasing:
    1) Clinton is unlikeable - check (false, for most, but a reasonable mistake)
    2) Clinton is prone to warmongering - check (not as bad as a Republican, but not much better)
    3) Clinton looks as though she feels entitled - check.
    4) Clinton disrespected us - check.
    5) Therefore we voted for Trump - say what?!

    That simply doesn't follow. None of that stuff explains voting for Trump. A vote for Trump would be another item on that list - not some kind of consequence.

    My initial take is that you fell victim to the familiar hypnotic frame in which respectable American newscasts are delivered - in which it is standard and normal to find that an entire essay devoted to why tens of millions of comparatively prosperous white Americans voted for Trump fails even to allude to racial bigotry. Initially startling, that omission - or even explicit exclusion, denial - has become background, part of the framework within which American newscasts are normally delivered.

    I'm not sure where "engagement" comes into that. The purpose of the media feed propaganda from which Seattle gathered that collection of supposed analyses is to conceal the fact that the people who voted for Trump like him and approve of him. Almost all of them still do - more than 85% of them think he has done a good job as President. Trump voters are not, by and large, reluctantly trapped - they are celebrants of a candidate who speaks for them, represents them, is the very one they have been hoping for. The cover story of Trump being the only choice, or bad but better than Clinton, or the recipient of reluctant but trapped voter's votes, is just that - a cover story, invented after the fact (after the decision) to explain the already clear in some other way than the obvious - i.e. to explain it away. Since racism, fundamentalist Christianity, bonehead ignorance, braindead gullibility, and imbecility, had been disallowed a priori, something had to be invented to explain the Republican voter - that post of Seattle's (plus a couple of unsupported fantasies such as "financial insecurity", much appreciated by the respectable bothsider news media) is the best they could do.
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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    What "behavior" are you talking about? The video leads off by simply filming talking heads talking, most of them professional - I quit watching about a dozen in. I hadn't seen a single Republican whackjob by then, professional or otherwise - does the video ever get around to showing us someone behaving irrationally, stupidly, insanely? After all, the OP question was not about calm people making sense when they speak.
    You are apparently projecting standard Republican motives for speech and behavior unto other people, possibly under some kind of bothsides delusion.
    That explains your posting of that otherwise inexplicable video montage of context and analysis missing quotes in this thread.

    So that (projection, propaganda video gullibility, etc) explains some of the weirdly irrational stupidity we get from some otherwise intelligent people - the thread makes progress.

    btw: There's nothing incredibly self-righteous about calling out a fascist movement and its supporters for their speech and deeds. It's a duty of citizenship in a democratic republic - doubly so if one's job is analyzing political news and presenting information. If you fail to do that, you have failed in one of your primary duties as a citizen of the United States - a country dangerously vulnerable to fascism, as we have seen over the centuries, and therefore one in which eternal vigilance is required of all who value its freedom.

    bbtw: In most of the cases I saw in that video, the speech was long, long overdue from the individual involved. The most irrational aspect of the speakers in the first few minutes (my viewing time) was their implicit dismissal of their own past as bothsiders and respectable media cowards.

    To repeat: The video appears to be mostly of intelligent people speaking quite reasonably, most of them in calm voices and complete sentences, saying ordinary and reality based things. The question of why an American wingnut finds reality based speech and complete sentences a threat reminiscent of famous horrorshow authoritarians of the past is interesting, to be sure - but stupidity and ignorance and lack of self-awareness in otherwise intelligent American "conservatives" is not what the OP is about: Only in other people - and if it can't be found in them it is to be invented in them, preferably in video form (the hardest to slap down, the easiest to lie in, and the one form that needs nothing in the way of argument to have its desired influence).
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2020
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  7. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    This may be your lucky day! I am "alert" to the difference between "and and "or". Finally we're making some progress. Now if only you were alert to the errors of your ways regarding your analysis of the usefulness of unions.

    They may have had a place back in the day to keep the woman of the house in the house and her man working in the factories but that's ancient history.
  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    In your rare attempts to post an actual argument, as here, you screw it up about half the time. Anyone reading your posts that contain arguments has to allow for both readings.

    Similarly with your take on "stupid" vs "ignorant" - which I have several times requested clarification on, since it so often lies at the center of your attempted criticisms of reality based descriptions of Republican politics and its voting victims. A prime example of that would be your post 13 here, in which you respond to a posted argument based on an allegation of ignorance (12) with an irrelevancy about stupidity.

    That is of course granting you a large benefit of the doubt. It is quite possible that you and your fellow "conservatives" deliberately mistake ascriptions of ignorance for allegations of stupidity so as to abet the typical strawmen you use for personal attack and deflection - as in #13 here. But my many years of familiarity with rightwing authoritarian Americans has led me to grant that benefit automatically: in dealing with American "conservatives" in their bothsides forts, where ignorance is sufficient there's no point in invoking what would have to be a willful stupidity, rather than the equally well supported (by the evidence here) and equivalently effective refusal to accept information. You, for example, have no idea why unions exist or what they do, and judging by your explanations here that's because you have no idea what organized capital looks like or what it does - despite being surrounded by it your entire adult life.
    To illustrate: A fish who refuses to accept information will have no idea what it means to be wet - no matter how clever a bullhead they may be.
    Since you are apparently unaware of the nature of organized capital (you have explicitly denied its existence even while referring to joint stock corporations and other modern forms of it), nothing you say about organized labor is going to make sense except by accident.

    Labor organizes in self defense against organized capital. That's why people who work for a living have in the past (and probably will have to in the near future) put their jobs, homes, freedom, even lives, at risk simply to establish an organization of laborers. In wingnut world they are trashing their lives in order to blackmail their employers for a marginal increase in hourly pay - which would indeed be stupid and/or insane, just as projected. We don't live in wingnut world. It's a fantasy, it's a fantasy that for several decades now has had many hundreds of millions of dollars in propaganda funding devoted to its promulgation in all major corporate media (Yazata's video here, say), and my guess is that barrage of bs is the main reason it has become a characteristic fantasy of rightwing authoritarian Americans.

    Hence the relevance of such posting to this thread:
    That was a direct response to OP question, no? So far, and although obviously partial and insufficient, it's the only attempted answer here that has evidence for support. It explains the behavior of the poster in #20, for example, and the behavior of those who accepted that video post at face value - as containing what they were told it contained, regardless of what they actually saw and heard if they watched it.
  9. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    No one has suggested otherwise.
  10. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I think most people understood Trump was a clown from the beginning. It was apparent from the first debate on. People knew Trump even before he ran.

    I think a lot of people were just tired of politics as usual and wanted to send that message. I don't think it was well thought out and many of the people who voted for him appear to just feel left out of the political process. It wasn't particularly rational but it happened.
  11. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    You seem to be the only one with such comprehension problems.

    "Self-defense" isn't needed at your place of employment. You're not in a union and you manage to survive enough to post here. This country (as with most countries) does quite well without widespread unionism.

    I understand that most people aren't clever enough to understand that they are living on the edge and that you do understand this. I understand that your crusade of posting here will eventually enlighten everyone and unionism will become widespread....and we wait.
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Yes, it is. That's why so many people in so many places have been willing to suffer as much as they have to establish a labor union at their place of employment.
    Not the white ones. Not his voting base. The Republican voter hasn't caught on yet, let alone back then.
    They think he's a standup comedian, sometimes - and they think those who don't find him funny simply lack a sense of humor. But Trump is not a clown, and they know it.
    They voted for Republican politics as usual. They bought into the Republican Party line just as they had in every national election since 1980 at least. They voted for the candidate that most closely resembled Ronald Reagan.

    That's the message they sent to Republican Party media operations - keep doing what you've been doing, it still works, we want the usual.

    Of course the Republican voter has very little idea of what is usual in the real world of Republican politics. That would require that they understand how, why, and by whom, they've been suckered and played for their entire adult lives, and an admission that the people they most slandered and despised were right all along - that's not going to happen. But that does not prevent them from voting for it, or otherwise "sending the message" that more Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheney and Iran Contra is what they want.
    No, it doesn't.
    It's not doing well, and hasn't been doing well since Reagan broke the unions. The time of greatest union representation in the US was also the time of greatest economic growth and economically based increase in prosperity. That is also true of most other countries.
  13. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    A lot of people from the South suffered as result of the Civil War while attempting to justify slavery. It doesn't mean it was a good idea.

    The decline in the prosperity of the auto industry in places like Detroit and in the rest of the Rust Belt also had a lot to do with the damaging effect of Unionism.

    Ford has a hard time making decent, marketable cars in the U.S. but Toyota has no problem making cars in the U.S.
  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The decline came after decline of the unions started, when the Republican Party launched the "Southern Strategy" - part of that strategy involved the use of racial bigotry to help break the unions.

    The prosperity they were declining from, the prosperity they had built in the first place, came after the rise of the unions began.
    So: The prosperity rose and fell with the rise and fall of the unions - with a bit of a lag, showing the direction of cause and effect if any.
    Which indicates the problem isn't with the production employees - union or otherwise.

    But we knew that anyway - one doesn't get government recalls of entire production batches for things like brake failure and instrument panel fires because some guy screwed up on the line.

    Toyota spent much less on administration and executives, instead putting their money into engineering and production line responsibility for quality. (For example, in a Toyota plant an ordinary employee who spotted a problem could shut down the line).
    Meanwhile, Ford was busy shutting down its higher quality and more efficient manufacturing plants - such as the Ranger plant in St Paul, MN, - because the unions in the better quality plants were stronger.

    When interviewed by a national writer about the resulting drop in quality, especially in the visible aspects such as fit and finish, the Ford VP most directly responsible said - out loud, in apparent sincerity - that surveys of Ford customers had indicated they didn't care all that much about fit and finish or related quality concerns. The executive saw no reason to spend money on things Ford customers didn't care about. Meanwhile, he saw nothing wrong with paying big bonuses to execs whose vehicles were drawing complaints and lawsuits and government regulation, nor did he see anything strange in Ford paying so much more for administration and executive personnel than Toyota (or Audi, or Fiat, or almost any car manufacturer except GM).

    When asked by me about the continual appearances of recalls and lawsuits and defect reports around Ford vehicles, a different upper level Ford exec told me that was because the line employees were smoking marijuana on the job. He also credited Toyota for building where they didn't have to hire black people; apparently those were the ones smoking dope on the job, but (according to him) Ford had to hire them and keep them on because of the union.

    That was the kind of reasoning one found among the thousands of upper level and highly paid Ford executives in the 1980s - Toyota executive suites were occupied by many fewer people, who were paid less and thought better.

    And that's how Toyota could make better cars and trucks for less money with the same labor force as GM, Ford, or Chrysler.
  15. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    That sounds like a better approach and without a union. (union organizer, I had you pegged right).
  16. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    That approach was explicitly designed to forestall union organization - yet another benefit of unions: they raise wages and improve working conditions throughout the economy, even in non-union shops. Even non-union shops, for example, often allow employees time off on the weekends and sick leave and yearly vacations and regular work schedules and so forth.

    All those benefits have been going away in the past couple of decades. They used to provide pensions, for example, like a union shop - that's getting to be rare. Weekends off are also going away, as is regular scheduling and the like.

    That's a major reason the US economy has been in decline since Reagan broke the unions - the non-union shops no longer compete in a unionized labor market, and so they are free to hire and abuse truckloads of illegal "immigrants" and other powerless people, staff entire production operations with "part time" employees who get no benefits and work "at will", and so forth. Such practices reduce productivity, increase economic inequality, erode community wealth and investment in the business (such as educated working class children, good food and sleep regimens among employees, clean and safe neighborhoods that do not impose stress on the workforce, etc). It's an example of Hardin's Tragedy Of The Commons, where the population itself is the commons at risk.
    To a first order approximation the entire illegal immigrant problem in the US was created by the Republican Party's pandering to the Confederacy - a reflexive and ignorance-based opposition to labor unions being one of the more obvious legacies of slavery.
    No, you didn't.
    You have been corrected on that one at least three times now - it seems to be more important to you than your other forty or fifty idiotic one-line speculations and irrelevancies regarding my personal circumstances (at least forty or fifty - the large majority of your posts in reply to me contain nothing else, and they are not all repetitions).
    You posted in ignorance, remember - and worse than that, wingnut stereotyping ("negative" information) Your odds of guessing correctly in such circumstances are essentially zero.
    That has been pointed out to you several times. You posted anyway. Which if we recall the folk wisdom rule of thumb regarding insanity - doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result - brings up the earlier matter:
    Look at this, for example ( ignore the breakdowns in syntax and grammar - the attempted sense is the issue):
    (It's the "and (inevitably)" that destroys the last hope of reason - the Bandarlog are amnesiac, and cannot remember even sequence let alone timeline. That ruins any hope of their recognizing cause and effect. These people apparently think American fascism is some kind of recent response to - -- to white guys getting dissed on TV? Hard to say)
    or this entirely clueless compendium downloaded from Bullshit Mountain:
    That's the posting of someone unable to recognize even the simplest of physical facts, getting played and conned by the most flagrant and abusive liars and conmen the US has to offer.
    Over and over and over. For years.

    At some point an informed and reasonable person faces the obvious question: if consistently falling for and then promulgating stupidity and insanity at that elementary a level does not earn one the label "stupid and insane", what does?

    And its most obvious answer: If the 63 million Republican voters for whom that kind of kaleidoscopic craziness is political analysis aren't stupid and crazy, nobody is.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
  17. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Toyota USA has those benefits.

    It's OK for you to be a union organizer (or something similar). When something is your life's mission why be so reticent to embrace it?

    If you'd rather not discuss your new tractor, that's OK as well. Maybe the woman of the houses likes to keep personal info close to the vest. I understand the Mid-West sensibilities.

    You can relax among your family here at Sciforums. Take a load off, chill, brother.
  18. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    So do many other well-run manufacturing enterprises in the US.
    That's because people fought and died to organize labor in the US, and partly succeeded.
    These benefits are going away, a little bit at a time, as labor becomes less organized and more vulnerable to the whims of organized capital.
    It is not ok for you to post repetitive falsehoods in complete ignorance, even supposing your motive were something less idiotic than attempted personal attack. You should find some other mission to embrace. I'm sure you are equivalently ignorant in many areas other than my personal circumstances, so finding an obsession more relevant to these threads and this forum should be easy for you.

    Meanwhile, since you brought it up and made unsupported claims about it:
  19. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Why do you suppose your view of how employees should be organized isn't how employees are organized. If most people agreed with you, surely it would be done that way.
  20. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Because employers hold most of the power in any employer-employee relationship.
  21. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Thank God. Anyone can an employee or an employer be. Start a business if you want to control it and be an employee if you don't want that hassle/risk.

    Most educated people have enough options to see that their working conditions are reasonable. Those with less skill have less control but our society also now has less of those and less need of those types of people. Thus we see a decline in unionism.
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    In fact most people agree with me, and in fact "it" (?) is not done that way, currently, in the US. Some of the reasons for that are obvious,
    but that's another thread.

    Meanwhile: despite pretending to respond to the posts you have quoted, you have left their main issues unaddressed. Will you be getting around to them any time soon?
    In an industrial society only a minority of people can be employers.
    In and industrial capitalist society that allows capital to organize the ratio is even more heavily skewed - the largest employers in the US aren't people at all. They are corporations - organized accumulations of capital.
    Interesting aspect of that: capital cannot be an employee. That's because capital, by itself, can't do anything.
    So in your world view our society, US society, has "needs" - and it does not "need" the majority of the people in it.

    We have a thousand years of historical record to tell us where that view of the world is headed.

    We would be well advised to head it off. Remember the part about "insane"? The idea that a "society" could need or not need the people in it is insane.
    A society comprises the people that live in it - it doesn't "need" any of them, it is them. All of them. People need society of some kind to some extent - not the other way around.

    Or to ask yet another reasonable question for you to ignore: What possible need could people have for a society that fosters their abuse and degradation? If such a society were to take shape, the abused people should get rid of it and set up something different - that's just self defense.
  23. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    The market addresses what is "needed". We don't need a lot of blacksmiths at the moment and we don't need as many farm workers as we once did.

    The people in a society adapt as people have always done and will continue to do.

    You focus on "workers" and how many jobs are produced. That's not efficient or sustainable. You don't start a business so that you can create a certain number of jobs at a certain level of "livable wages".

    Supply and demand is the efficient mechanism and profit is also required to keep a company viable. A necessary side benefit are the sustainable jobs that are provided. Whether a wage is "livable" depends on what you decide you need to "live". If you have 10 kids it is a lot more than if it is just you. That's under your control. It's not a factor in the decisions a business will be making.

    That same market also determines your wages. Need isn't a factor. The rarity of your skill level is and whether it is currently needed. There are few blacksmiths so that may be a rare skill but it's not a skill that is needed.

    Many farmers today aren't needed and are just scraping by just due to their love of that lifestyle. I'm sure many blacksmiths hung around a little too long as well.

    You like to inflame the discussion with your drama about people not being needed as if I said something to that effect. We might not need you on your silly little tractor but if you can afford to keep plowing along, that is up to you. You aren't owed a livable wage. You aren't owned a certain kind of job or even a job.

    People have to adapt. They have adapted and will continue to do so. I like to read about Woody Guthrie, Studs Turkel, and Noam Chomsky as well but it's time to let them go Iceaura, just let them go.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020

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