PDA

View Full Version : Dear Occupiers...



Articulate_Ape
10-27-2011, 06:56 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2qqRFYv3ao


Well said, sir.

Wei Wu Wei
10-27-2011, 07:38 PM
A longer version of the "it doesn't make sense to have opinions if you own a cell phone" argument.

A few things to start, not that this matters too much, but: I don't own a smartphone, I have a barebones phone and plan that I use almost exclusively for work. That is, I have a job, and it's a job that benefits society. I pay taxes on my income, in fact my tax dollars that I pay today go directly towards paying people who are getting social security and medicare benefits today. I'm comfortable with that because those are generally speaking good systems. I get my clothes at thrift stores because I'm not a moron. I'm not going to pay hundreds of dollars for stupid clothes that costs a few dollars to produce. I don't care about brand names because I'm not a teenager. I cook most of my food and when I eat on the run I patronize local small businesses, which is easy because there are many where I live. I volunteer time and donate money to organizations to help the needy, because it's the right thing to do.

I don't totally agree with the OWS protests, in fact I have many criticisms, but I agree that they have many legitimate concerns which should be part of the public discussion.

That being said, this silly strawman that paints every protester as this silly caricature is irrelevant to their message.

1. Our society is entirely dominated by corporations, so almost everyone that lives here must patronize corporations for the basics of food, shelter, clothing, and communication.

2. Criticizing someone for having a cell phone or internet while at the same time telling them to get a job is ridiculous on its face. It is almost impossible to get a job if you don't have a means of communication. Employers need to be able to easily contact potential employees for interviews as well as current employees about work.

Just because someone owns a product doesn't mean that their criticisms of the current power structure, the distribution of wealth, the influence of money in politics, our substandard quality of education and healthcare, and so on, are invalid.

Let's look at the flipside: Conservatives are upset about "Big Government". They complain that the government is too large and influential, and is strangling the potential for society to thrive on it's own. Now if I wanted to simplify this message to the point of dumbing it down, I could just say "conservatives hate the government and want it to go away" this is the way people on the right simplify the message of these protesters.

However, conservatives are constantly using government services. Let's look at a Tea Party: The roads the TPers used to get to their protest were funded by the government and built by government employees. The highway system that many people used were part of a massive federal project. Many of the TPers were senior citizens. If I wanted to dumb it down like the guy in the video, I could say "they are all old social security recipients". THat means, they are receiving government money from a government program. Any time a conservative goes out to eat, needs some repair on their car or home, goes to the doctor, or basically uses any good or service that they themselves are not creating, they are relying on the government. Even if they go to a private company, that company employs workers who were mostly educated in a public, government-run education system. The cars the TPers drive were built by people who were educated in government schools, the food they eat was prepared by government students, and so on and so on. Utilities that they use like water are often provided by, or at least arranged and managed by government programs. The list goes on and on, so far that I'd run out of numbers if I tried to list them all.

The point is, Tea Partiers rely on the government all the time, and benefit either directly, or indirectly from it's services. However, does that alone make their points invalid? No it doesn't.

Bureaucratic inefficiency IS an important problem and issue. Corruption DOES exist. Programs like welfare ARE abused sometimes. The education system DOES have problems.

It would be stupid to say that just because a conservative benefits from government services, that they are not allowed to critique the government, or demand changes to the systems in place.

I disagree a LOT with the Tea Party crowd, but I don't think that their arguments should not even be heard simply because they benefit from the government. The tea party perspective should be discussed and criticized on it's merits.

Also, I understand that the Tea Party isn't a unified crowd, or at least it wasn't when it started. there were many different people with many different messages. Often times the goals of one Tea Partier would not be the same as the goals of another. Often times their criticisms would not be the same either. Often times, their messages would conflict with each other. That is fine, that is not a criticism of the Tea Party itself. All of those points of views should be looked at.

So taking it back to the OWS protesters, we should keep these same things in mind concerning their message.

Criticising the actions or methods of some protesters in one area does not invalidate the messages of other protesters in another area. Pointing out conflicting views in the protest doesn't mean that everyone is incoherent, it means that there is a variety of viewpoints.


What I am seeing is non-stop attempts to get people to stop thinking about what OWS protesters are saying, elaborate ways to ignore these people, or ways to discredit the entire movement without putting any thought into it. These are thought-terminating exercises and nothing more.

Wei Wu Wei
10-27-2011, 08:00 PM
People have been throwing this talking point around left and right since the protest started, and I've replied before:


You have problems with how labor is used and wealth is appropriated? You don't like big money influence in the political spectrum? You find corporate-owned media to be one-sided and disinformative? You think our current economic/social/political systems are unsustainable? You want universal healthcare? You think campaign finance laws need to be reformed? You want labor to have a greater say in the economic sphere? You don't support wars? You don't like that our wealth distribution more closely matches those of developing nations than it does with other advanced western nations?

Well guess what?













You own a cell phone! booya.
http://i.imgur.com/FPbow.gif





However the guy in the video makes one excellent point:
at 3:10

He says: "and one more word about social inequality. Do you think the chinese slave laborers who built your IPhone are really getting a fair shake? Or what about the Vietnamese children who made your J Crew clothes? It's your consumerism that's driving the social inequality that you're out protesting"

Interesting. He's mostly right too. He is saying that large corporations benefit from consumerism, and maximize their profits on the backs of underpaid workers, and that it is all connected.

He's saying that some hipsters buying clothes from a major clothing corporation, or buying a cell phone from apple, are contributing to the horrific labor conditions in other countries.

How is that possible? It's because the force that benefits and fuels business runs contrary to the force that benefits and sustains labor, high levels of consumerism and profits are made possible on the backs of laborers who are paid as little as companies are allowed to get away with.

In his attempt to "stick it" to the protesters for their corporate consumption, he highlighted the connection between consumption, profits, and labor.

It's a mutually sustaining, yet mutually opposed relationship. The labor force cannot sustain itself without a healthy business environment to employ them, but for a business to be most successful, it looks to keep it's labor costs low, which is against the interests of the workers. Likewise, for a company to be effective, it needs to manage the costs of labor associated with doing business, but without a labor force, the business cannot function. To expand more on the business side, companies need to pay their workers as little as they can get away with because they have legal obligations to their shareholders. It is not the job of a corporation to be socially conscious or be kind or "do the right thing", their job is to maximize profits for their shareholders. That is the sole reason they exist. However, even this profit motive can run against itself. For example, corporations will try to pay their workers as little as they can (and the calculations for how little is possible is complex, it's not simply minimum wage), but if corporations pay their workers too little on too large of scale, they can suffer from shrinking demand as the population has less disposable income. These two forces (those of business and labor) need each other, even though their interests are contrary to each other.

This antagonistic yet dependent relationship affects all levels of society.

Articulate_Ape
10-27-2011, 08:23 PM
WWW, you are one of the 1% (i.e. "Americans" who are Marxists). Your ilk are the tail that wags the Leftist dog in this country; a mad dog made up of either naive spoiled kids or spoiled hippie kids from the 60's that never grew up).

No one that matters gives a shit what you or your fellows think about anything, or even if you live or die. Sorry to inform you, but you and your fellow travelers down the path of fail contribute even less in real life than you do to this message board or any other. You are the problem, not the solution. Hello?

Wei Wu Wei
10-27-2011, 08:27 PM
WWW, you are one of the 1% (i.e. "Americans" who are Marxists). Your ilk are the tail that wags the Leftist dog in this country; a mad dog made up of either naive spoiled kids or spoiled hippie kids from the 60's that never grew up).

No one that matters gives a shit what you or your fellows think about anything, or even if you live or die. Sorry to inform you, but you and your fellow travelers down the path of fail contribute even less in real life than you do to this message board or any other. You are the problem, not the solution. Hello?

I really like how you are able to take another person's viewpoints and new information, critically analyze that, and respond effectively.

Wei Wu Wei
10-27-2011, 08:32 PM
I wouldn't call myself a "marxist". I have tried to critically read and analyze Marx's analysis of capitalism as a conceptual tool to make sense of world. I'm not claiming that Marx = Truth, but that in some contexts, a critical analysis of Marxian concepts is useful. It's about utility.

Anyway, insulting someone who is having a calm civil discussion doesn't do anything. It doesn't take a very strong or confident mind to stick one's fingers into one's ears and shout insults.

SarasotaRepub
10-27-2011, 08:37 PM
AAAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!


Most of the WORLD is laughing at you DUmmies. :D

NJCardFan
10-27-2011, 09:31 PM
Wee, you're either purposely being a douche or you really do not get it. It's not the cell phone that makes people angry, it's the railing about wanting this and that for free while owning a $300 cell phone with the $200 a month plan. How can you complain about health insurance when you devote $2400 a year so you can text your friends.

Wei Wu Wei
10-27-2011, 11:47 PM
Wee, you're either purposely being a douche or you really do not get it. It's not the cell phone that makes people angry, it's the railing about wanting this and that for free while owning a $300 cell phone with the $200 a month plan. How can you complain about health insurance when you devote $2400 a year so you can text your friends.


I want the unemployment benefits structure to be reformed, even though I have a job.
I want housing assistance for homeless families to be expanded, even though I have a home.
I want greater access to higher education, even though I'm already educated.

If someone is complaining that they can't afford their rent while paying $200+ a month for a glorified toy, then yes I agree they should shut up, stop crying, and learn how to prioritize and budget. However, the health care and health insurance systems are still a major issue, even if stupid kids are stupid.

Wei Wu Wei
10-27-2011, 11:53 PM
By the logic you are using, wealthy people should not complain about higher taxes as long as they have luxury cars, yachts, a 8-figure homes, right?

NJCardFan
10-28-2011, 09:42 AM
My God you are an idiot. But I'll play along:


I want the unemployment benefits structure to be reformed, even though I have a job.
So, in other words, people should be paid what, $1000 a week just for sitting on their asses and not even looking for a job? UI is only supposed to help cover the basics until you can find another job. But you and your ilk want to be able to use UI to keep funding those toys we're talking about. In NJ, UI is very good but it isn't free. You help pay for it. I've been paying into the NJ UI pool, with the exception of the time between 9/98-7/03, since 1981. That's 25 years(taking away the 5 I lived out of state) and yet I've collected exactly 6 months of UI in all that time. However, I know of people who collect off and on every year. They get jobs, dilly for a while, then allow themselves to be fired, usually by just not showing up after a while. So, is the system flawed or are the abusers destroying the system?


I want housing assistance for homeless families to be expanded, even though I have a home.
Fine. No one is stopping you from making donations to homeless shelters. But don't force me to pay for them if I don't want to. Also, many homeless people are homeless because of choices they have made. Is it fair to force me to pay for their mistakes?


I want greater access to higher education, even though I'm already educated.
So this should be "free" also? (I put free in quotes because the only way to fund this would for your ilk to seize from the producers to pay for it) Not to mention that EVERYONE...let me repeat that, EVERYONE has ample opportunity to continue their education. But noooo, you and your ilk think that I should pay for someone to go to some high end university which is idiocy. There is nothing wrong with going to a community college to start. In fact, most community colleges are not only affordable but they also partner with 4 year colleges which allow you to work toward your degree easier. If you choose to go to a high end college and take loans to do so, it is your choice hence your responsibility to pay it back. It's really this easy.

No wee wee, your idiotic ilk wants the world on a platter and want everyone else to pay for it.

Articulate_Ape
10-28-2011, 12:10 PM
I want greater access to higher education, even though I'm already educated.


There is absolutely no empirical evidence to support that last part.

Odysseus
10-28-2011, 03:38 PM
I wouldn't call myself a "marxist". I have tried to critically read and analyze Marx's analysis of capitalism as a conceptual tool to make sense of world. I'm not claiming that Marx = Truth, but that in some contexts, a critical analysis of Marxian concepts is useful. It's about utility.

Anyway, insulting someone who is having a calm civil discussion doesn't do anything. It doesn't take a very strong or confident mind to stick one's fingers into one's ears and shout insults.
Why is it that Marxists never admit to being Marxists? It's not like it will cost you your job, and you couldn't be any lower in our opinion, so just admit it.

There is absolutely no empirical evidence to support that last part.


A few things to start, not that this matters too much, but: I don't own a smartphone.
This is a good thing. People should be smarter than their prossessions. A simple phone is perfect for you.


What I am seeing is non-stop attempts to get people to stop thinking about what OWS protesters are saying, elaborate ways to ignore these people, or ways to discredit the entire movement without putting any thought into it. These are thought-terminating exercises and nothing more.
Bull. We're all in favor of getting people to listen to what OWS protesters are saying. We want the general public to see what kinds of idiots these dilletantes are. We constantly post video interviews, audio clips, transcripts of statements, because we are perfectly happy talking about the content of their ideas. It's you who keeps trying to pretend that they are something other than what they are, which is ignorant, bigoted, infantile tools. By all means, let's talk about their message, about their hatred of the rich, their demand for violent revolution, their inability to articulate a simple statement of ideals or even an understanding of what an ideal is. Then we can discuss the desire to substitute rote drumming for conscious thought. Let's also go into how they tolerate vile, extremist attacks on Jews, and then discuss the support that they received from the American Nazi Party, not to mention the Revolutionary Communist Party, the various violent fringe groups from the left, and the Democratic Party. Then we can go into detail on how the ideologies of these various, seemingly disparate groups meet at the junction of anti-capitalism, dorm-room Marxism, histoirical illiteracy and hatred of their nation and home.

By all means, let's talk about their views and ideas.

Any time, any place.

Bailey
10-28-2011, 03:59 PM
Why is it that Marxists never admit to being Marxists? It's not like it will cost you your job, and you couldn't be any lower in our opinion, so just admit it.



This is a good thing. People should be smarter than their prossessions. A simple phone is perfect for you.


Bull. We're all in favor of getting people to listen to what OWS protesters are saying. We want the general public to see what kinds of idiots these dilletantes are. We constantly post video interviews, audio clips, transcripts of statements, because we are perfectly happy talking about the content of their ideas. It's you who keeps trying to pretend that they are something other than what they are, which is ignorant, bigoted, infantile tools. By all means, let's talk about their message, about their hatred of the rich, their demand for violent revolution, their inability to articulate a simple statement of ideals or even an understanding of what an ideal is. Then we can discuss the desire to substitute rote drumming for conscious thought. Let's also go into how they tolerate vile, extremist attacks on Jews, and then discuss the support that they received from the American Nazi Party, not to mention the Revolutionary Communist Party, the various violent fringe groups from the left, and the Democratic Party. Then we can go into detail on how the ideologies of these various, seemingly disparate groups meet at the junction of anti-capitalism, dorm-room Marxism, histoirical illiteracy and hatred of their nation and home.

By all means, let's talk about their views and ideas.

Any time, any place.


We we is done once he gets his ass handed to him (like in this thread) he goes in hides.

Zathras
10-28-2011, 06:19 PM
I've come to realise that the more Wee Wee post about a subject the less I care about it because of the stupidity of his arguments.

AmPat
10-28-2011, 07:37 PM
I want the unemployment benefits structure to be reformed, even though I have a job.
I want housing assistance for homeless families to be expanded, even though I have a home.
I want greater access to higher education, even though I'm already educated.

If someone is complaining that they can't afford their rent while paying $200+ a month for a glorified toy, then yes I agree they should shut up, stop crying, and learn how to prioritize and budget. However, the health care and health insurance systems are still a major issue, even if stupid kids are stupid.

Wanna help?

I want the unemployment benefits structure to be reformed, even though I have a job. Hire somebody.

I want housing assistance for homeless families to be expanded, even though I have a home.Give a homeless man a room in your house.

I want greater access to higher education, even though I'm already educated. Sponsor a student to college.

You liberals need to stop demanding more and more money from everybody and put your money (snort) where your mouth is.

Wei Wu Wei
10-29-2011, 12:33 AM
My God you are an idiot. But I'll play along:


So, in other words, people should be paid what, $1000 a week just for sitting on their asses and not even looking for a job? UI is only supposed to help cover the basics until you can find another job. But you and your ilk want to be able to use UI to keep funding those toys we're talking about. In NJ, UI is very good but it isn't free. You help pay for it. I've been paying into the NJ UI pool, with the exception of the time between 9/98-7/03, since 1981. That's 25 years(taking away the 5 I lived out of state) and yet I've collected exactly 6 months of UI in all that time. However, I know of people who collect off and on every year. They get jobs, dilly for a while, then allow themselves to be fired, usually by just not showing up after a while. So, is the system flawed or are the abusers destroying the system?

You are assuming a lot about what I supposedly want to change about the system.

Firstly, I don't think unemployment benefits should be totally free. I think anyone who is getting government assistance, whether it's unemployment benefits or welfare, should be required to do some community service activities. It fosters work ethic, keeps people from becoming stagnant and losing skills, contributes to community spirit, makes people aware of the needs of their fellow community members, and gives them a sense of dignity rather than simple dependency. I see exceptions to this as well, people who disabled for example, or people who are working part time or going to school, but still don't make enough to keep their heads above water.

Also, I think part of these programs should be mandatory workshops that teach skills, guide people to educational opportunities, provide subsidized trade school education, teach basic skills like how to looks and speak professionally, how to do well in an interview, how to read and right properly, ect. If people want to collect benefits for their unfortunate position, they should be required to take positive steps towards improving their situation. However, it's important to make sure that these resources are readily available, and we should work hard on helping people overcome obstacles and become more productive members of society, not simply giving handouts or being heartless.

These are the types of changes I see as being needed in these programs. Yes these programs should be available.

It takes money to do it effectively, we need to hire professionals who know how to train people to be more marketable to employers, who can educate them, who can guide people to better resources, who can run these workshops, who can properly evaluate them and assess what their needs are. Simply giving them a check and asking "are you looking for work? ok here you go" is not enough.





Fine. No one is stopping you from making donations to homeless shelters. But don't force me to pay for them if I don't want to. Also, many homeless people are homeless because of choices they have made. Is it fair to force me to pay for their mistakes?

Many homeless people are homeless because of circumstances outside of their control as well. Many homeless people are homeless because of a combination of their environment, their blind luck, and their choices.

Sure, a healthy, educated man who decides to tell every employer he has to fuck off will most likely end up without a job. If he keeps this up, he may end up unemployable and homeless. However, this has nothing to do with a hard-working single parent who cannot pay their bills and ends up living out of a motel.


So this should be "free" also? (I put free in quotes because the only way to fund this would for your ilk to seize from the producers to pay for it) Not to mention that EVERYONE...let me repeat that, EVERYONE has ample opportunity to continue their education. But noooo, you and your ilk think that I should pay for someone to go to some high end university which is idiocy. There is nothing wrong with going to a community college to start. In fact, most community colleges are not only affordable but they also partner with 4 year colleges which allow you to work toward your degree easier. If you choose to go to a high end college and take loans to do so, it is your choice hence your responsibility to pay it back. It's really this easy.

It should be subsidized.

Wei Wu Wei
10-29-2011, 01:00 AM
Why is it that Marxists never admit to being Marxists? It's not like it will cost you your job, and you couldn't be any lower in our opinion, so just admit it.

I simply don't consider myself a Marxist. If it is necessary for you to force narrow labels on people in order to keep your paranoid ideology stable, then go ahead and do that. I'm just letting you know I don't see myself like that. If you categorize anyone who doesn't uncritically absorb Fox News to be a Marxist, then okay. If you think anyone who doesn't vote Republican is a Marxist, then have fun with that.
If you think a Marxist is someone who uncritically accepts Marx's writings as gospel, then that's fine, but that's not what I am.

I consider theories to be conceptual tools which are useful for modelling and making sense of phenomenon. Different theories have different levels of utility depending on the subject and circumstance. Theories are limited in their scope and all have limitations.

It's not about truth or dogma. Marx was a brilliant thinker but also a flawed person like anyone else. He was limited by his place in history, and his theories reflect the world that he lived in. I find some of Marx's concepts and to be useful for forming a framework to talk about certain systems or events. If you equate that to Red Dawn, then you are beyond discussion.




This is a good thing. People should be smarter than their prossessions. A simple phone is perfect for you.

I try not to identify with my stuff, that's all.



Bull. We're all in favor of getting people to listen to what OWS protesters are saying. We want the general public to see what kinds of idiots these dilletantes are. We constantly post video interviews, audio clips, transcripts of statements, because we are perfectly happy talking about the content of their ideas.

Oh come on, don't try to play this game. You know exactly what is going on here. You post videos that make people look bad, and pretend that it represents everyone who is protesting or everyone who supports the protests.

If you want to discuss stuff that would be great, but you only ever show defensiveness. You never acknowledge that anyone who disagrees with you might have a good point, about anything, ever. You resort to insults and name-calling in nearly every post.

That's all fine and well, no one's feelings are being hurt, those are simply just not the actions of someone who is interested in listening or discussing. Those are the actions of a defensive person. I don't know exactly what you are trying to prove or who you are trying to prove it to, but I don't think anyone is watching or cares. Ask me about good points that Republicans have made, ask me about what I can agree about with conservatives, ask me about good points I've seen from people on this site, ask me about issues that conservatives have made me rethink.

I've long thought that you are an intelligent guy but I think your ego games get in the way of discussion, if that's even what you are here for.



It's you who keeps trying to pretend that they are something other than what they are, which is ignorant, bigoted, infantile tools. By all means, let's talk about their message, about their hatred of the rich, their demand for violent revolution, their inability to articulate a simple statement of ideals or even an understanding of what an ideal is. Then we can discuss the desire to substitute rote drumming for conscious thought. Let's also go into how they tolerate vile, extremist attacks on Jews, and then discuss the support that they received from the American Nazi Party, not to mention the Revolutionary Communist Party, the various violent fringe groups from the left, and the Democratic Party. Then we can go into detail on how the ideologies of these various, seemingly disparate groups meet at the junction of anti-capitalism, dorm-room Marxism, histoirical illiteracy and hatred of their nation and home.

By all means, let's talk about their views and ideas.

Any time, any place.

ok cool, well these people are not a single entity, and there is no actual thing called "the left" which some people seem to believe is a large homogenous group that encompasses everything conservatives are opposed to. Many people who are considered to be on the "left" have different ideas and different criticisms and often disagree, it isn't a single mass.

So, I can tell you my ideas about each of these issues, one person's perspective, and I can share what I've heard from friends about their perspectives, but that's about it. Don't trick yourself into thinking you are taking on some giant entity called "leftism" when you post at a single guy on a forum.

Carol
10-29-2011, 02:52 AM
By the logic you are using, wealthy people should not complain about higher taxes as long as they have luxury cars, yachts, a 8-figure homes, right?

Wei, there is a HUGE difference between someone complaining about the amount of money that is taken from them without a choice (taxes), and someone who is complaining that they should get what someone else has earned or shouldn't have to be responsible for decisions they have made (student loans, taking out a mortgage, having kids before marriage and education, etc.).

One is saying that they should be able to keep more of the money THEY made, the other is complaining about things not being "fair" because they don't have the same as someone else who has worked for it.

Constitutionally Speaking
10-29-2011, 08:43 AM
By the logic you are using, wealthy people should not complain about higher taxes as long as they have luxury cars, yachts, a 8-figure homes, right?


No, because the economic arguments for tax cuts and against tax increases are not based on selfish motives.

The are based on the FACT, with VERY few exceptions, that taking money out of the private economy and putting it into the federal coffers HARMS the overall economy and job creation.