US Erection 12 *AND* 16

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Re: US Erection 12 *AND* 16

Post by Per » Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:05 am

UWSaint wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:22 pm
Hi Per. I haven't engaged in any political talk for years. Probably since the days of the other CC.
But I wanted to respond to my international friends.
Yay! My favourite republican enters the fray! :-)
We may not always see eye to eye on matters, which I guess is almost a prerequisite for a good debate, but you always raise the level of discourse here, so I truly appreciate having you back. :thumbs:
UWSaint wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:22 pm
* It isn't hard to register to vote in the United States. That people don't is a choice. Now if you think that people want to but can't, what are you saying about their capabilities?
It is sad, isn’t it? But, yeah. A lot of people are quite bad at finding and following simple instructions. Yet voting should not just be for the well informed or well educated. In a democracy all people should have a say, even those that have a hard time googling how to register.
UWSaint wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:22 pm
* It isn't hard not to commit felonies. And if you do, voting rights are restored when your sentence is done.
In 37 states.

Then there are two (Maine and Vermont) that have a more European approach and let felons vote.

In 7 states (Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Mississippi, Nevada, Tennessee, Wyoming) an individual petition for pardon is required for some crimes (and can be denied) and in 4 states (Florida, Iowa, Kentucky and Virginia) an individual petition for reinstatement of voting rights is required for felons convicted of any crime.

I would agree that it isn’t hard not to commit felonies. But then I’m very much the type of person that goes by the book. I read instructions. My children roll their eyes as I read the ingredients on labels of food packages before buying them. People with a lack of schooling, lack of funds, lack of impulse control and lacking familiarity with local laws may find it harder.

In some cases there may also be a discrepancy between what is considered socially acceptable and what is legal. For instance I understand that more than 40% of Americans smoke marijuana while the possession of marijuana is a prosecutable crime in several states. In Florida, possession of less than 20 grams of cannabis is a first degree misdemeanor, with penalties of up to 1 year in jail and a driver's license revocation. Possession between 20 grams and 25 pounds is considered a felony in Florida. It can result in imprisonment of up to five years. Now, for those still using medieval measures, one ounce is roughly 28.3 grams, which means that anyone carrying an ounce of weed in Florida could face up to five years in prison and permanent loss of voting rights.

Now, I’m not an advocate for legalization of drugs, but when something that 40% of the population is doing on a fairly regular basis can lead to a lengthy prison term… following the law becomes much harder.

It is of note that 10% of the general population in Florida, and 25% of black men, lack voting rights.

It is implied that these laws are used to restrict black voting. I do not know if this is true, but from what I read drug use is as widespread among white Floridians as among black ones, but those convicted of possession are overwhelmingly part of the black population.

And Florida is a notorious swing state.
UWSaint wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:22 pm
*
FWIW, personally, I agree with disenfrachisement-while-serving-sentence as a policy matter. If you violate core and substantial components of the social compact (felonious crimes are those the elected representatives deem pose the greatest harm to society), you don't get to participate in making the social compact for awhile.
In theory, this sounds reasonable. I would even be inclined to agree to that principle. In practice, it is a slippery slope.
As shown in the example of Florida, what constitutes a serious offense is not always self evident.

In countries that are less than exemplary democracies, stripping felons of rights is often a method to cripple the opposition. In both Russia and Turkey, the leading opposition figures have been convicted of financial crimes, such as corruption or tax fraud, and as a result cannot stand for election.

Did they commit those crimes? I don’t know. Maybe they did. Most western governments believe they didn’t. But the main point is that if you have laws that can strip people of the right to vote or run for office, there will be a temptation to use those laws to harm your opponents and secure your grip on power.

In the case Hirst vs United Kingdom the European Court of Human Rights in 2005 found that general rules for automatic disenfranchisements resulting from convictions to be against human rights. This ruling applied equally for prisoners and for ex-convicts.
UWSaint wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:22 pm
* It isn't hard to go to the polls on a Tuesday. You don't have to take off work. They are open more than 8 hours. And if you can't make it, some form of early voting is a feature in most states and absentee voting is always available.

* Yes, in some places, a polling place might be far away. And yes, this is a VERY BIG country with some sparsely populated areas -- these people (generally republican leaning) have a larger "cost" to getting to the polls (though the price of procuring a mail in ballot is the same). And at the margins, distance can mean some people decide it isn't worth their while to vote. Given early voting and absentee mail in options, the effects of this are mitigated. Isn't distance to the polling place an issue in every large country with rural populations?

* Last comment on this: policies have waxed and waned in the US in terms of ease of ballot access. Since the despicable Jim Crow laws were done away in the south (those laws passed by Democrats to keep blacks from voting, for my international friends' historical edification), though, the difference is that it is either easy to vote or very easy to vote.
In 2014 the voter turnout in Sweden was a measly 82.14 %. The media debated whether it is time to make voting mandatory, as in eg Australia, since when nearly a fifth of eligible voters opt out of the process, the results are not really going to be representative of the will of the people.

In the 2016 US presidential elections 55.7% of the voting age population actually voted.

You say it is easy to vote in the USA, but then, why don’t people vote?

One argument I’ve heard is that a lot of people disliked both candidates, but hey, there were third party candidates! Just show up and make your voice heard! If the 44.3% who did not vote had all voted for the same third party candidate, that candidate would have won.

And it wasn’t just this election. It’s pretty much every US election. Mid term elections tend to have an even lower turnout. Often less than 40%. And thus a minority of voters get to decide who rules the most powerful nation on earth. It is a cause of great concern.
http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/20 ... countries/
UWSaint wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:22 pm
Per wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:51 am
Voter ID? Yeah, [in Sweden] all voters must identify themselves, but we allow three methods:
1) presenting a valid photo ID
2) being recognised by an officer at the polling station that vouches for the identity of the voter
3) having another person with a valid photo ID signing an affadavit confirming the identity of the voter
In the US, many states use this system, but it is called "voter suppression".... (I think its perfectly sensible to have minimal integrity controls such as this in place).
I agree. What confuses me is the claim that many people in the US lack valid photo ID.
How do these people survive? Heck, the most common type of ID used in Sweden is your driver’s license. Most places I’ve been in the US, it is really hard to get by without a car. It puzzles me.

And really, people ask for photo ID for all kinds of services here in Sweden.
I don’t understand how you can get by without it.
Although, we can actually buy groceries without presenting it….. :wink:
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Re: US Erection 12 *AND* 16

Post by Per » Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:00 am

Per wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:49 am
Danes are really pissed off by Fox network's fake news lies about Denmark:

https://www.thelocal.dk/20180814/comple ... -broadside

The danes responded with facts:

Image
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Re: US Erection 12 *AND* 16

Post by Per » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:55 am

UWSaint wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:22 pm
Trump is not dismantling liberal democracy with his policies. You can like his policies or disagree with his policies, but they are not illiberal (in terms of a challenge to the democratic state). The idea that he is some kind of fascist strongman is one born of imagination, not evidence. Moreover, American democratic institutions are *very* strong; it is the oldest form of this kind of government after all.
He hasn’t yet. But he has expressed wishes to do so. It could stem more from a lack of understanding of the American constitution than a genuine agenda, but still. He is constantly challenging the freedom of the press, and has suggested changing libel laws so that more journalists would go to jail. He is frequently showing contempt for the judiciary branch, and has stated that a judge, born and raised in the USA but with a Hispanic name, could not give him a fair trial. He has suggested that it is treasonous to not applaud when he speaks. He is very impressed by dictators and how much their people loves them. He wants more military parades. He is sending out very strong signals that - at least here in Europe - make people think of Mussolini and other fascist leaders. He has fired one FBI director for investigating the Russia link, and he has talked of firing Mueller as well.
But sure, to be fair, so far it has mostly been talk and not actually put into effect.

I do share your view that the American democratic institutions are strong. And I do think they will survive a Trump presidency, but I think we need to be alert and keep an eye on what happens.

A question mark for “it is the oldest form of this kind of government after all” though.

The Icelandic parliament, the Allthing, held it’s first session in 930 AD. Sure, they formed an alliance with Norway in 1262 and then as part of Norway, became integrated in Denmark in 1397. They received a certain level of independence in 1918, but with the Danish king still their head of state. Then they were occupied by the UK during WW2 and declared full independence from Denmark in 1944 while also declaring itself a republic. But the parliament had been the main source of Icelandic decision making throughout this, even if it at times was reduced to local rather than national government.

Sweden can also trace it’s parliament back to heathen days, but it’s not an unbroken chain throughout history. From Viking days and up till 1520 Swedish kings were elected by parliament, and could be disposed of by parliament as well, but it was not a standing parliament, originally the parliament only gathered every third year. And from 1520 onward, there were a number of periods when the sitting king would rule without parliamentary consent. Then in 1712 the parliament strengthened, and passed laws that made them the main source of power again. They elected government officials and had the king reduced to a figurehead. During this period we passed the first freedom of information, freedom of speech and freedom of press acts anywhere, in 1766.

Unfortunately, in 1772 king Gustav III seized power in a coupe and made the monarchy more of a dictatorship again, even if he was a fan of Voltaire and other French philosophers of the time. After his murder in 1792, the parliament once again seized control, and since then there was more of a UK style power sharing between the parliament and the king that resulted in a new constitution in 1809, that more or less is the foundation of our current one. Now the monarchy has once again been reduced to just a figurehead, with no real power. Just a symbol.

The old parliament was not representing everyone though. It had four chambers; nobility, priests, tradesmen and farmers. Thus eg factory workers, store clerks or farmhands were not represented. It is kind of rare though that farmers had representation way back in pre-medieval times even. In 1909 all men above 21 years of age received voting rights, and in 1921 it was extended to women as well. Then at some point the voting age was lowered to 18.

But I digress. What I meant is, the oldest form of this kind of government depends a bit on how you define it. I think most people agree that Iceland is the oldest still functioning democracy around. But throughout Scandinavia and on the British Isles, parliamentary traditions go way back.

The American system of power sharing between separate legislative, executive and judicial branches has been proven very robust though and has been the inspiration of many other countries. Please try to keep it that way!
UWSaint wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:22 pm
The only thing I blame Trump for is that he is cavalier with facts. To the extent that people trust the press like the village trusts (or does not) trust Peter, this is bad long term. Because truth matters and truth is a democracy-stabilizing force.
---
Trump's biggest problems in 2016 to any voter who would consider voting R were two-fold: (1) his character (e.g., statements about women, impulsive constitution, etc.); (2) his experience (it was difficult to imagine him being President). (2) is no longer an obstacle -- and as is the case with most things causing anxiety, the then-future was scarier than the actual-present.
I agree. Truth is important. You are entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts.
When people live in parallell realities, you can no longer have a meaningful debate.
Alternative facts are dangerous and could bring an end to democracy as we know it.

What puzzles me though is how the republican party and voter base, that traditionally has been very strong on moral issues, as well as on free trade, can form rank behind a figure such as Donald Trump.
Basically a con man, who has built his fortune on scamming contractors and banks, has known mob ties, has cheated on all of his wives (sometimes with his next-to-be wife) insists on insulting pretty much everyone - whether they be war veterans, traditional republicans, women, minorities, heads of state, long time allies or whatever – and now is starting a trade war based on outdated mercantilistic ideas.
I just don’t understand how a traditional republican, like yourself, can buy into this.

Is it as simple as Colbert suggested the other night; “yeah, I’m not really happy with his racism, but… you know, lower taxes…”?
Because frankly, you know, that's how a lot of Germans felt back in 1933.
Last edited by Per on Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: US Erection 12 *AND* 16

Post by UWSaint » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:14 am

Per wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:05 am
UWSaint wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:22 pm
Hi Per. I haven't engaged in any political talk for years. Probably since the days of the other CC.
But I wanted to respond to my international friends.
Yay! My favourite republican enters the fray! :-)
We may not always see eye to eye on matters, which I guess is almost a prerequisite for a good debate, but you always raise the level of discourse here, so I truly appreciate having you back. :thumbs:

....

I agree. What confuses me is the claim that many people in the US lack valid photo ID.
How do these people survive? Heck, the most common type of ID used in Sweden is your driver’s license. Most places I’ve been in the US, it is really hard to get by without a car. It puzzles me.

And really, people ask for photo ID for all kinds of services here in Sweden.
I don’t understand how you can get by without it.
Although, we can actually buy groceries without presenting it….. :wink:
Per, you make a lot of fair points. One of the more interesting points (actually two points, but related) is that some states have laws that make felonies out of pretty routine behavior and that governments can also apply what are essentially regulatory laws (with felony penalties) in order to take out the political opposition if there is a disenfrachisement penalty.

As for the former, it begs the question -- if a general principle (violate the social compact, time out from voting) is valid but its application unjust (because too much is defined as being part of the social compact), then should the general principle be abandoned? Should it be modified so that only certain crimes (something less than all felonies) have a disenfranchisment sanction? Should we instead tweak laws so that ticky tack stuff aren't felonies? Me, I augur towards the last solution -- too much is considered a felony in the United States. But of course reasonable people disagree about what should constitute a felony.

As for the latter, I think its an objection that is valid but isn't really actionable (change the otherwise valid rule) until there is sufficient evidence it is happening and then the action should by to vote out the government doing it (or first expose it). While the US is not a place of political prisoners, there are instances where it seems that the machinations of government have been used against political opposition. Particularly when applying vague laws or laws that everyone breaks but are rarely enforced. It doesn't have to be jailing people, it might even just be defining their tax status (Lois Lerner, IRS, and conservative groups). Even the investigation itself can be quite chilling. Point is, this stuff is a real problem even when it is just a few cases and not widespread. And it is a problem because it is aimed at political activity (not just voting, but participating in the electoral process or the democratic dialogue more generally), and it chills not just those directly affected, but those who want to become involved.

As for the part of I've left quoted above, states that don't have same day registration have the motor voter law -- basically, you can become registered when you obtain your driver's license. I think some states do it automatically and others have a separate form to fill out but all the proof documents are the same. In that way, the system here isn't so different as Sweden -- you are on the list. (Though in 2000, my parents lived in Florida having recently moved there, registered at the DMV, and then weren't on the lists when they went to vote. As it was, I think one would have voted for Bush and the other for Gore....) And in fact, the state has to provide a free id to be used to vote (because poll taxes are unconstitutional). I think the "no id" crowd's concerns are less about people being unable to get an ID, and more about how effective same day get out the vote operations are. Oh, and not every segment of the American electorate wants voter integrity measures. Some people cheat. Of course they do. The size and the scope of the cheating is debatable (no, I don't think there were 3 million non-citizens voting...), the fact of it is not. I was in law enforcement once in my life; we had several voter fraud cases, fraudulent voter registrations, and double voting cases (and felony voting cases, FWIW). Our agency even caught an honest to goodness vote buying scheme (good job by the undercover!). And then there were voting irregularities that you couldn't pin on any individual -- precincts with over 100% turnout, dead people voting, etc. It happens. It might not have been enough to swing any election in my state, but it is real.

Last bit, be *very* careful about how you interpret data on Florida. 25% non-registered in Florida is a number from an activist NGO. When you dig past those numbers, understand that 11% of Florida's population is estimated to be non citizens. (https://www.kff.org/other/state-indicat ... 2asc%22%7D) If we extrapolate that 11% of the voting age population are non-citizens, this means that only about 15% of Florida citizens are not registered. Bear in mind also that Florida also has a lot of new people moving into it every year simply because its popularity as a place to retire (and a lot of people dying).

But the most interesting point is your question about why people don't vote. I think usually the answer is simple: because they don't want to. Voting is irrational. The likelihood that one vote is ever going to swing an election is a line approaching zero, yet the time spent not only voting, but learning about the candidates is significant. And the less competitive the state in a presidential election (or any election), the smaller the turnout (people acting rationally -- why vote in Hawaii or Utah?).

The reason why we vote is out of a sense of civic duty and obligation -- values that are rarely self-interest maximizing. In places where participation is more of an ethic, like Minnesota (a place with a considerable Scandanavian heritage, FWIW), participation is relatively high. In other states where I think there is ample evidence that communities are not as cohesive (e.g., West Virginia), turnout is very low.

It does not trouble me that people with a sense of civic obligation are the ones casting the ballots. It does not bother me that the electorate in any given election is comprised of a larger percentage of civil minded people than the general population as a whole (given that it is a matter of choice, not government policy).
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Re: US Erection 12 *AND* 16

Post by UWSaint » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:46 am

Per wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:55 am
He is constantly challenging the freedom of the press, and has suggested changing libel laws so that more journalists would go to jail.He hasn’t yet. But he has expressed wishes to do so. It could stem more from a lack of understanding of the American constitution than a genuine agenda, but still. He is frequently showing contempt for the judiciary branch, and has stated that a judge, born and raised in the USA but with a Hispanic name, could not give him a fair trial. He has suggested that it is treasonous to not applaud when he speaks. He is very impressed by dictators and how much their people loves them. He wants more military parades. He is sending out very strong signals that - at least here in Europe - make people think of Mussolini and other fascist leaders. He has fired one FBI director for investigating the Russia link, and he has talked of firing Mueller as well.
He is constantly challenging the press, not the freedom of the press. As for libel laws, America's are by far the least restrictive on speech in the world. That Trump might think we'd be better off with a more European model would be a reasonable position -- if Europe were reasonable. :shock: But I don't know the quote that you are referring to, and I think that you put too much stock in a general statement about press-frustration as an actual policy prescription.

More generally, Trump speaks in vectors, not specific policy. Unit there is one.

For example, talking about military parades is not "I want a fascist regime," it is "we should respect and honor our military."

And I don't think that he's contemptuous of the judiciary. I think your example shows that he has no scruples as to the arguments he will advance to defend his personal interests. We should always have scruples (where certain means will not be employed to achieve an ends), but those who do not are not only the fascists....
Per wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:55 am
But sure, to be fair, so far it has mostly been talk and not actually put into effect.
Right. That's why I believe so much of the Trump-is-a-Fascist is imagination that depends on interpretation -- it is in the listener's heads.
Per wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:55 am
I do share your view that the American democratic institutions are strong. And I do think they will survive a Trump presidency, but I think we need to be alert and keep an eye on what happens.
And that's why we needn't exercise the precautionary principle when it comes to Trump. Power remains checked and divided in this country. On top of that, we don't even have the conditions (mass unemployment, a major foreign threat, a revolutionary internal threat etc.) that precedes the fall of less stable democratic institutions.
Per wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:55 am
A question mark for “it is the oldest form of this kind of government after all” though.

[History of Scandinavian governments]

But I digress. What I meant is, the oldest form of this kind of government depends a bit on how you define it. I think most people agree that Iceland is the oldest still functioning democracy around. But throughout Scandinavia and on the British Isles, parliamentary traditions go way back.
I love the digression! And yes, I can see the argument... But the United States is simply different in that it is a nation birthed both (1) in democracy and (2) without monarchy. And while I understand consitutional monarchies as being variations on democracy, the United States model is the first truly classical liberal model. Of course it was imperfect. The US had slavery and restrictions on who could vote. But at its core, it is the same as it has been since the ratification of the Constitution.
Per wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:55 am
What puzzles me though is how the republican party and voter base, that traditionally has been very strong on moral issues, as well as on free trade, can form rank behind a figure such as Donald Trump.
Basically a con man, who has built his fortune on scamming contractors and banks, has known mob ties, has cheated on all of his wives (sometimes with his next-to-be wife) insists on insulting pretty much everyone - whether they be war veterans, traditional republicans, women, minorities, heads of state, long time allies or whatever – and now is starting a trade war based on outdated mercantilistic ideas.
I just don’t understand how a traditional republican, like yourself, can buy into this.
Who says I buy into Trump's personal attributes or don't think they are relevant?

[As for the trade war, the goal I believe is more liberal trade, not more mercantilism (though I am not fully certain). This is a tactic, a strategy, not an end.]
Per wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:55 am
Is it as simple as Colbert suggested the other night; “yeah, I’m not really happy with his racism, but… you know, lower taxes…”?
Because frankly, you know, that's how a lot of Germans felt back in 1933.
Yes, the Trump is Hitler meme. No better example of Trump Derangement Syndrome.
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Re: US Erection 12 *AND* 16

Post by rats19 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:50 am

Way to go UW.... but it will fall upon deaf ears....it’s just the way it is ...TDS
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Re: US Erection 12 *AND* 16

Post by Per » Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:13 am

UWSaint wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:46 am
Per wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:55 am
A question mark for “it is the oldest form of this kind of government after all” though.

[History of Scandinavian governments]

But I digress. What I meant is, the oldest form of this kind of government depends a bit on how you define it. I think most people agree that Iceland is the oldest still functioning democracy around. But throughout Scandinavia and on the British Isles, parliamentary traditions go way back.
I love the digression! And yes, I can see the argument... But the United States is simply different in that it is a nation birthed both (1) in democracy and (2) without monarchy. And while I understand consitutional monarchies as being variations on democracy, the United States model is the first truly classical liberal model. Of course it was imperfect. The US had slavery and restrictions on who could vote. But at its core, it is the same as it has been since the ratification of the Constitution.
But Iceland was founded by people fleeing Norway, precisely because they did not accept the rule of king Harald Fair Hair, who was the first King to rule over all of Norway. The Icelanders did not have a king till 1262 or 1397. Not really sure of the alliance in 1262 meant they accepted the Norwegian king as theirs or not. The 1397 Kalmar Union that united all Scandinavian countries definitely put them under the Danish crown though. But only till 1944.
UWSaint wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:46 am
Per wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:55 am
Is it as simple as Colbert suggested the other night; “yeah, I’m not really happy with his racism, but… you know, lower taxes…”?
Because frankly, you know, that's how a lot of Germans felt back in 1933.
Yes, the Trump is Hitler meme. No better example of Trump Derangement Syndrome.
Not saying Trump is Hitler. I actually think Hitler was smarter and had more of a plan of what he wanted to achieve.
Just saying you need to be careful when you start making tradeoffs that go against your true ideals. :drink:
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Re: US Erection 12 *AND* 16

Post by UWSaint » Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:57 am

Per wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:55 am
Is it as simple as Colbert suggested the other night; “yeah, I’m not really happy with his racism, but… you know, lower taxes…”?
Because frankly, you know, that's how a lot of Germans felt back in 1933.
UWSaint wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:46 am
Yes, the Trump is Hitler meme. No better example of Trump Derangement Syndrome.
Per wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:55 am
Not saying Trump is Hitler. I actually think Hitler was smarter and had more of a plan of what he wanted to achieve.
Just saying you need to be careful when you start making tradeoffs that go against your true ideals. :drink:
That presumes that the true ideals of the German people were not to dominate Europe and rid themselves in one way or another of all jews and most gypsies, slavs, and gays. To that presumption, I offer that there is a fair argument to be made that there are no Nazis (gaining power) without Germany (and the Germany's history, people, culture, and ideals). Not all cultural conditions are equally prone to radicalism, and it is more than economics. Let's not forget there were many fascist states in Europe (Italy, Spain, Portugal), but none approximated Naziism. And let's not forget that Germany never really embraced enlightenment ideals (whether Scottish or Continental) and that romanticism (and mysticism) had significant currency in Germany. By ascribing the romantic vision of the individual to German society as a whole, Naziism resolved the inherent contradiction between romanticism and mass movements. Boom. Dangerous.
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Re: US Erection 12 *AND* 16

Post by Per » Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:57 pm

Good point, but I hope the Germans had higher ideals than that. I mean, they produced some of the greatest authors, composers and philosophers of the time. They can't all have been simplistic warmongers.

The great depression, starting in 1929, struck Europe as well, and one of the countries hardest hit was Germany.
When the nazis came to power unemployment was close to 30% and inflation was soaring. There was also the enormous burden of the war damages they had to pay France over WW1. People were fed up with the traditional parties that did not seemto be able to solve the crisis.

One of Hitler's main campaign promises was that he would stop paying the war damages, and I think that was one of the main draws. He also inherited a programme of deficit spending, which mostly consisted of building highways and rearming, that employed thousands if not millions of Germans.

Sure, a lot of those voting for the Nazis may have been attracted by their alt right style nationalist/racist agenda, but I think more were just looking for economic relief and thsught Adolf could deliver that. The war and genocide were just unfortunate parts of the package deal.

And I don't think that racism was a unique German trait.
Look at what the Belgians did in Congo, the Turks did to the Armenians and Kurds or the British in eg India or Australia.
Or what the French did in Algeria and Vietnam.

Nationalism and racism were commonplace in the 19th and early 20th century.
Heck, when Norwegian gypsies were released from the concentration camps in Germany/Poland at the end of WW2, Norway refused to let them return home... :|

I think the minorities just became an unfortunate scapegoat during an economic crisis, and a bunch of nationalistic extremists managed to seize control of the country, in part by stressing that Germany had been treated unfairly after WW1, but that they would make Germany great again. I do not think the Nazis vould have gained power, had it not been for the economic depression and the perceived injustice of the war damages being paid to France while people were struggling to put food on the table. I don't think that most Germans wanted to kill all the Jews, but I do think that very few were concerned about what happened to them. As long as they themselves benefitted from the job programmes and the halting of the war damage payments. Which I think is a fair parallell to people blaming America's problems on immigration, and hoping they'll be better off if immigration stops.

Immigrants is what made America America in the first place, and it was immigrants that made America great.
Last edited by Per on Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: US Erection 12 *AND* 16

Post by Island Nucklehead » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:36 pm

This Per/UW back and forth has been great.

Thanks to both!

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Re: US Erection 12 *AND* 16

Post by UWSaint » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:50 pm

Per wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:57 pm
I think the Germans had higher ideals than that. I mean, they produced some of the greatest authors, composers and philosophers of the time. They can't all have been simplistic warmongers.
My cultural point is that their art and philosophy--which was sometimes beyond great--also contributed to conditions that made Naziism more likely. Converting the individual greatness of romantics into a national-collectivist German gestalt. That was the pre WW-2 zeitgeist....
Per wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:57 pm
[Economic conditions, blah blah blah]
Sure they were bad in Germany. They were bad in a lot of places. And bad conditions make political revolution and extremism more likely, whether that's fascism, communism, anarchism, what have you. But only in Germany was it Naziism. And Naziism was orders of magnitude different that Italian, Spanish, or Portuguese fascism.

Put differently, the Italians faced similar conditions and experienced some success with Mussolini. But it didn't take murdering all the jews or trying to take over the world. The Italian culture lacks the anguish and aspirations for greatness as comprised the German zeitgeist. Plus, the Italians had better food and I am guessing better sex. :shock:
Per wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:57 pm
And I don't think that racism was a unique German trait.
Look at what the Belgians did in Congo, the Turks did to the Armenians and Kurds or the British in eg India or Australia.
Or what the French did in Algeria and Vietnam.Nationalism and racism were commonplace in the 19th and early 20th century.

Heck, when Norwegian gypsies were released from the concentration camps in Germany/Poland at the end of WW2, Norway refused to let them return home... :|
I know that racism isn't uniquely German. That's part of my point as to why Naziism needed Germany. It isn't that Germans were necessarily more racist than other Europeans, it is that the cultural conditions in Germany (which are not inherently racist, but are uniquely unbound) enabled racism to become part of a mass movement that resulted in extraordinary discrimination, state-sanctioned terrorism, and ultimately the systematic killing of millions -- and not even to preserve power (which is why Stalin was fond of killing lots of people).

So the Norwegians didn't let the gypsies return....They also didn't try to kill them all. Racism may be born of one sentiment, but not all racist acts are equivalent.

And I want to be clear -- I am not saying that German culture necessarily leads to Naziism. I am saying that Naziism in German culture has a far greater chance of taking off than in other cultures that place a greater value on reason and moderation.
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Re: US Erection 12 *AND* 16

Post by UWSaint » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:56 pm

Per wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:57 pm
Immigrants is what made America America in the first place, and it was immigrants that made America great.
I concede that America is great. I like Canada a fair bit, too.... As for Sweden, I've never visited. But I like many of your hockey players and enjoyed your attempt to sack Paris in 815 or whenever that was. Thinking big!
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Re: US Erection 12 *AND* 16

Post by Reefer2 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:00 pm

Island Nucklehead wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:36 pm
This Per/UW back and forth has been great.

Thanks to both!
Agreed.

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Re: US Erection 12 *AND* 16

Post by Topper » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:13 pm

Hilarious that this got sidetracked to German history.

Donald is President of the United States. He is looking out for US interests, not Canadian or Swedish interests and he is out to get the best deals possible for the US.
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Re: US Erection 12 *AND* 16

Post by Per » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:48 pm

Topper wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:13 pm
Hilarious that this got sidetracked to German history.

Donald is President of the United States. He is looking out for US interests, not Canadian or Swedish interests and he is out to get the best deals possible for the US.
Nah, he'll just do what he always does. Stir things up to get maximum media exposure,sign a lot of deals that he never intends to make good on, siphon of as much money as possible to himself, declare bankrupcy, walk away and let someone else pick up the pieces. He's just a con man, but a good con man, people actually believe in him despite his track record.
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