LostYonder

2

LostYonder wrote

Yes, on the superficial opinion-making level, that is the fall back response, we can't be too critical of China. But the same thing is happening to the Rohingya in Myanmar and no one is doing anything, except turning away the refugees fleeing the genocidal violence and Myanmar is not a nuclear and economic powerhouse.

The one thing the Uighur and the Rohingya have in common - they are Muslim minority populations. Yemen? who gives a shit? Syria? nobody really cares anymore. Afghanistan? What's that? Iraq? they are evil. Palestine? they are terrorists. and on and on...

5

LostYonder wrote

It was pretty feudalistic actually, then morphed into a blending of state capitalism and party feudalism under Mao, then into capitalist. Even then, the state capitalist system under Mao and friends was not nearly as developed as in the USSR; calling it capitalist is a stretch, though it certainly wasn't communist. Today much of the population remain poor peasants and even industrial laboring practices are closer to feudalism than capitalism, though the over-arching system is corporatized capitalistic, profit driven...

8

LostYonder wrote

I am no expert in any of this, but if they actually had pictures of your car plates I would think they would be knocking at your door and not posting some message online... They probably have some vague, unfocused footage of you, maybe even of your car, but nothing clear enough to identify you. At least until you went to their facebook page!

Lay low, don't go back to that store for a long time!

2

LostYonder wrote

To equate creativity with financial gain is ludicrous. Throughout history people created art, wrote, pushed the boundaries of knowledge without reducing it to a capitalist commodity. Indeed, as Ziq points out, the need to profit off of "creativity" stifles creativity by creating dependency. Worse, it transforms that which is created into a commodity - it is no longer an act of creativity, but rather production...

3

LostYonder wrote

Speech is power! How can speech that oppresses others be classified as "free"? If you want to express an opinion, it's all yours. But it is not the same thing as articulating facts.

Opinions that are oppressive need to be addressed, confronted, and transformed and not just given a "free" platform to be expressed and circulated, given them a semblance of being fact.

The issue is not whether people have the right, freedom to express their oppressive opinions, but how does one challenge them so that they can be transformed in a creative manner? Our current response seems to be shaped by the idea of free speech. We punch them in the face, yell the truth in their face, try to reason with them - all of which will not transform anything (though the punching certainly is the most powerful!). That is we employ our free speech right to counter their hate filled free speech...

6

LostYonder wrote

"Tolerance" is a socially constructed concept used as a mode of power to define the limits of what is acceptable, how pliable normative ideas and values are, or aren't. Wendy Brown has a significant critique of the concept - "Regulating Aversion".

"Free speech" is similarly a power ploy that assumes opinion and knowledge are interchangeable, and that socially constructed bigotry is the same thing as critiques of structural inequalities (e.g., that racist or anti-Semitic sentiments can be shared equally with critiques of white privilege)...

1

LostYonder wrote

Ocasio-Cortez says she is open to supporting Pelosi if there is not an opponent who is left of her. According to her, right now the only opponents are right of Pelosi - I actually watched her instagram live for a bit the other evening and listened to her saying that...

2

LostYonder wrote

As one who participates in the academic economy, admittedly, I'm on the fence with this.

First, it is not undermining the education system - in fact, just the opposite. If you go online you will discover that such services are a huge industry around the world! It reproduces structures of privilege, the reformation of the university as a site of neoliberalism, and undermines any vestiges of the university as a place of learning and sharing (which admittedly is quite limited to begin with, but there are some aspects of it that in fact hold much potential).

Second, it fosters entitlement and naturalizes cheating as a culturally acceptable practice. It allows students to learn how to take the easy way out of a situation rather than engage an issue.

Finally, it undermines the idea that learning is actually a social value. Yes, the university is not necessarily a site for true education, it is a hierarchical institution that serves special interests after all. But, there remain many possibilities for students to in fact experience and learn that they would not otherwise have the opportunity to. There remain many opportunities for not being part of the neoliberal institution and to connect with like-minded others (students and faculty) to advance true social engagement and learning.

All that being said, I think what is "ethical" is not based on some universal code, but rather on intentions and contexts. Given your situation, you have discovered a creative outlet that fulfills your needs. Through it, undoubtedly you may learn a lot by doing the assignments as well as provide a solid and stable income for yourself - and that shouldn't be minimized. Just don't do it with the assumption that you are undermining the university...

7

LostYonder wrote

Taxes

Insurance

Stock market/get rich quickly schemes

Lottery

"Liberal feel good" donations to organizations and gofundme causes

The latest fashion, accessory, brand

For-profit universities (hell, probably all universities), online "education"

Gourmet food stores

"Organic" products

Religion/religious institutions

Pet food

Most pharmaceuticals

5

LostYonder wrote

There are so much generalizing and essentializing about religion, so much conflating cultural practices as religious values, and cherry-picking critiques of religion that sometimes focus on theological ideas, sometimes on religious practices, and sometimes just on what a self-professed believer does whether it is religious or not. In short, the critiques that are circulated are conveniently produced to advance a particular agenda rather than deep engagements with the religious or any particular religious tradition.

First, ALL religions are deeply patriarchal and hierarchical, it is nothing unique to the Abrahamic faiths. Second, all religions have institutionalized practices of violence and disdain towards people of other faiths. Though, they also all have theological values of acceptance and inclusion. That is, they are all inherently contradictory in their theological messages. There are a number of significant Buddhist texts that call for war and destruction of non-Buddhists and others who do not support the sangha (the monastic order). Look at Tibet, Sri Lanka, Burma, they are all extremely intolerant societies.

As for the Abrahamic faiths, in fact Judaism and Islam are the most closely related both in their institutional structures, their theologies, and their orientations towards religious praxis. Historically speaking, Christianity has the most bloody record when it comes to violent intolerance towards people of other faiths. This lack of tolerance is reborn in the modern period in liberal philosophy and practiced through slavery, colonialism, and genocide.

The Abrahamic faiths offer a range of possibilities for being religious. Some of them are highly orthodoxic, exclusionary, with very rigid notions. Some of them are deeply humanistic, inclusionary, and accepting of multiplicities.

The Greek author Nikos Kazanztakis wrote a fictional biography of St. Francis of Assissi. In it, he has St. Francis at one point, as he is wandering through the woods with a group of his followers enjoying the fauna and flora, wonder out loud "Perhaps God doesn't exist, perhaps God is merely the search for God."

The British public intellectual Ziauddin Sardar has a similar argument in his Desperately Seeking Paradise (a wonderful read and critique of the diverse Islamic social and religious movements of the contemporary period) - wondering how it is that as soon as we latch onto a path to paradise, we lose our way, becoming more obsessed with maintaining the path and policing who is on it or not, rather than actually following it.

Wonder if something similar can be said about anarchy - perhaps anarchy doesn't exist, perhaps anarchy is merely the search for anarchy...

5

LostYonder wrote

liberal -- leftist/Maoist -- progressive -- unidentified radical -- anarchist

Always had a difficult time placing my politics in relation to others. the labels reflect general orientations, until my very recent "discovery" of my anarchist tendencies. Still remain mostly an "armchair"/academic anarchist (perhaps the worst kind) but slowly growing into the realm of possibilities of breaking my umbilical chord tie to my laptop and getting out and discovering life on the streets as actually lived rather than as hypothesized in my mind.

While it was reading that shaped my thoughts and orientations (including an early high school/college flirtation with Maoism) it was ultimately the Arab Spring that drew me into realizing the true possibilities of anarchism...

Reply to comment by /u/kore in What is "humane"? by /u/LostYonder

3

LostYonder wrote

no, certainly not, particularly as it is an expression of the Christian idea that man is created from the earth/clay/dust... But that's just the roots of an idea that ultimately goes beyond that original meaning. Thus the appeal of your more humane reading of the humane :)

Reply to comment by /u/ziq in What is "humane"? by /u/LostYonder

3

LostYonder wrote

so, on one level it is just a construct to employ to justify all kinds of actions, some of which are in fact quite inhumane. On another level, it is a normative code devised by an authority to define certain behaviors as acceptable and others as not - is that a correct reading of your points?

1

LostYonder wrote

Your research into it all is much more thorough than mine.

One other question, it seems that the difference between a fascist state and fascist in government is that the former are dictatorships and the latter are democracies. Is that valid? I raise this question in regards to the US, India, and Israel (which I can't actually see what color it is on the map). Does it matter which party is in power actually? Is there really that big of a difference that elected officials make as compared to the structures of state they rule over? Democrat or Republican, Congress or BJP, each employs fascist tendencies in their rule, only one does it in the guise of being liberal, the other blatantly...

2

LostYonder wrote

Intriguing! Thank you for sharing. I'm curious though about the classification, if I am reading the map correctly, of Egypt and Saudi Arabia as fascist states - oppressive dictators, but fascists? Possibly Saudi Arabia, but Sisi has no ideology except power. As for Saudi Arabia, they are so hypocritical in their own ideological commitments to their narrow, fascistic, interpretation of Islam, that it's hard to take them seriously as fascists. Fascistic in their modes of operation certainly, but not necessarily fascist - though perhaps I'm making too much of a distinction between fascistic practices and fascist ideology???

2

LostYonder wrote

Certainly for the Jews of Europe when the Nazis were elected into office and countless others who have been disenfranchised, oppressed, or murdered by elected governments.

For me personally, coming from the privileged class in the US, elections seem to have very little visible impact on my daily life. Though it is my cohort who are the most vocal and violent when it comes to getting their party elected, despite it having no real impact on their lives which party is in power.

I wonder though if Gore had been president in 2001, would we have invaded Afghanistan or Iraq? What a completely different world it would be if those events had not taken place. Other forms of imperialism would have been enacted, other invasions and occupations, but perhaps without quite the same global destructiveness as those two criminal acts.

In the grand scheme of things, elections have little bearing in making dramatic changes, they reproduce the structures of oppression and inequality. But different policy orientations do swing us in different directions that have deep impacts on people's lives...