Comments

2

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

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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...

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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

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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

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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?

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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...

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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???

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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...

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LostYonder wrote

Electoral democracy is by far one of the most powerful tools of the capitalist system to pacify people, distract them into "struggling" for their own party whose platform and policies are not significantly different from their opponent, and creating divisiveness between those who should be collaborating.

But, once again, there are some differences that are meaningful for some people. Rights to minorities, abortion, openness to sexual and gender differences matter to some people. The policies may be minute in the end, but for many people's lives, they make a tremendous difference. It is a privilege to not vote...

Another point is that ultimately, as a non-voter your rejection of the farce goes unnoticed and unmarked. Rather than a resister to the system you are viewed as apolitical and apathetic. There needs to be a more productive means of resisting the electoral system as anarchists and not merely be ignored...

Finally, as in my first post, I do think Trumpism and the Trumpites are a different breed of fascism in the US. Yes, they have a long history and are an inherent part of American culture and socio-political history, but it doesn't deserve such a prominent platform. Just imagine how the fascist forces were to react if Trump was to get a resounding defeat in 2020! No, they won't go away, and yes, the victors will court their own proto-fascist policies and practices, but it won't be Trumpism...

It is anti-anarchist to participate in electoral democracy, but sometimes praxis has to be modified in abnormal circumstances and I believe Trumpism is one of those moments...

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LostYonder wrote

I fully agree that voting makes no difference in making structural changes, that ultimately it only reproduces the elitist and exploitative capitalist system, that both political parties in the US are minutely different expressions of the same basic capitalist interest.

However, why is it that 'antifa' are willing to punch, protest against, and resist fascists in all forms except in voting? Fascism comes to power through elections. A powerful means of resisting fascists is to vote to keep them at bay.

Is it an ultimate solution or mode of resistance to fascism? Absolutely not, but neither is punching one of them...

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LostYonder wrote

I fully agree that both political parties in the US are opposite sides of the exact same coin. Their differences are negligible, their oppression of others unparalleled in human history. Both are deeply intertwined with the capitalist system of privilege, inequality, and outright oppression.

That being said, Trump and his fascist Republicans are dismantling some basic rights and practices towards minorities and others that is quite unique.

I can't help but think that it is only from a position of privilege that opting out voting this election (and probably again in 2020) can be argued for! For Native Americans, African Americans, Latinos, Muslims, Trans and all LGBTQ people the choice between Red and Blue is in fact quite significant. Not to mention for the environment (though admittedly, only superficially as the Dems are closely aligned with industrial corporate interests).

I think electoral democracy is a joke of a political system, I think the two American political parties are fascist or borderline fascist, I think both perpetuate oppression and inequality domestically as well as around the world, I think voting is a wasted effort - but under the current situation I think not voting is allowing for the outrageous oppression of others and unleashing overt and covert violence against them...

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LostYonder wrote

The assumption that any one particular faith is True and all else is false, is, anti-radical, reactionary, whatever term one wishes to employ. But not all religious oriented people are so absolutist in their beliefs. You seem to have constructed a 'straw-man' of religious believers while ignoring the highly diverse ways people of faith drawing upon their beliefs as lived practices.

Liberation theology, for one, is a means of employing religious values and ideas in fighting for social justice. Is it the only way to struggle against oppression? Certainly not, but it is a very powerful, liberating, path to follow. There are countless other ways religious beliefs are employed by people of faith to struggle against tyranny, oppression, hegemony, and other forms of normative impositions. Yes, many of those impositions are imposed from other people of faith, but that doesn't mean faith, in all its manifestations is anti-radical.

A lot of religious practices disrupt hegemonic and absolutist claims of religion, many reproduce them and naturalize them, some outright impose them and police others.

It seems to me 'anti-radical' thought is making blanket assumptions and sweeping generalizations about other people without engaging lived realities and everyday practices...

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LostYonder wrote

"im not laying down my life for this shithole of a country" sums up my approach! what would one actually be fighting for? just to keep the bastards at bay? they have already invaded our everyday lives, though don't even need weapons...

The question I keep asking, if not this shithole country, which one? where does one go? are there any non-shithole places left???

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LostYonder wrote

For me there are two aspects of religion that are troubling. The first is religious institutions - like any institution, they are about self-preservation and not about the values they purport to uphold. Institutions are inherently corrupt, power-driven, exclusionary, and more often than not sexist if not out right misogynist.

The second aspect of religion that is troubling are claims to being normative and thus hegemonic. Religion is turned into an ideology to convert, police, and control others. If you go back to the foundations of most religions one finds very different senses of community, acceptance, and belonging that are all lost in modern religion.

I would add, that atheism today has been corrupted itself by making it a normative ideology as well. Pop intellectuals employ it to mask their deep bigotry, particularly towards Muslims - Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Bill Maher are the most egregious of the atheist hypocrites and bigots...

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LostYonder wrote

Interesting points, but totally gross generalizations that ultimately don't really take us anywhere. The cult of money is certainly not unique to the US - have you ever been to India? It is horrific how money and consumption lifestyle has insinuated itself into everyday life. As for the country with the largest wealth inequality - the US is up there, but there are a lot of countries with much greater ratios of inequality. South Africa supposedly has the highest in the world. In fact, most of the countries with the highest ratios of inequality are in Africa...

There is a lot to complain about the US, but it would be productive if the complaints are based on reality and if one takes a broader comparative perspective. The rise of neoliberal fascism is a global phenomenon with it's own historical and cultural logic in different countries where it is taking root. What is happening in India as compared to Philippines, as compared to Hungary, as compared to Turkey, as compared to Brazil, as compared to the US, have some similar traits, but one can't understand them fully outside their particular contexts...

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LostYonder wrote

Overall, there is a lot of positive aspects to Raddle - the creators, monitors, and all the contributors have lots to be proud of. It is an exciting site. For me personally, I check in now and then, get caught up with news and analysis, but like some others, feel the interactive aspect of it is less developed.

In part, I find the format of the site to be less "dialogical" - one can leave a response to some posting, but it soon disappears as new posts emerge, burying older ones quite rapidly, not allowing for an extended conversation over time beyond the first day (if even that) of when a posting is made. There is little opportunity, I find, for extended dialogue.

As some said, perhaps that is a good thing as we certainly don't want to devolve into a "comments section". But it seems there could be greater opportunity for open discussions with a slightly different format. One could include some posts in a separate column that are always present, or create it more as threads rather than individual postings. There are so many different "forums" they don't really work as distinct threads...

It is great as it is, but it does lack some qualities...