Why are everyone's politics so binary?

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Tafdolphin
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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Tafdolphin » Sun Oct 06, 2019 2:56 pm

Skarjo wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:
Skarjo wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:I certainly don't think work is inherently bad, I just thinks its moral worth has been hugely exaggerated. If to work and contribute is the only way to be seen as a valid part of society then that's a broken system given that there are so many who are denied the opportunity to do so in a meaningful way.


I mean, but gooseberry fool still needs to get done, no?

I say this with all the lentil munching Guraniad reading dislike of hardcore capitalism that you'd expect, but if you've got a roof over your head and food in your belly then someone, somewhere has done some work that you're benefitting from, no? Again, the systems that keep people out of work are complex and definitely up for discussion, and I'm not saying that people who are out of work and needing support are inherently in the wrong, but the act of being alive is an active process and you should be a player in that process.


Again, I'm not saying work is inherently bad. I'm saying that the need to be in work to be a valid member of society is bad. Have you read Bullshit Jobs?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullshit_Jobs

I highly recommend it, and it (obviously) does a far better job than any summation I could cobble together.


I don't need to read that to know we're probably broadly on the same page about this. I agree that you don't need to be in work to be a valuable member of society, and strawberry float knows that having lived in Hong Kong and Japan I know more than enough about bullshit jobs that get done for the sake of being done rather than any actual inherent value.

I agree that being 'in work' is not the only way to contribute, but I also think that, for a variety of complex reasons, there does exist a group of people who will not contribute and that I think is wrong.


Well consider it a recommendation anyway!

My issue is not that there aren't people out to abuse the system, but that this minority is overstated for political reasons.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Skarjo » Sun Oct 06, 2019 2:58 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:
Skarjo wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:
Skarjo wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:I certainly don't think work is inherently bad, I just thinks its moral worth has been hugely exaggerated. If to work and contribute is the only way to be seen as a valid part of society then that's a broken system given that there are so many who are denied the opportunity to do so in a meaningful way.


I mean, but gooseberry fool still needs to get done, no?

I say this with all the lentil munching Guraniad reading dislike of hardcore capitalism that you'd expect, but if you've got a roof over your head and food in your belly then someone, somewhere has done some work that you're benefitting from, no? Again, the systems that keep people out of work are complex and definitely up for discussion, and I'm not saying that people who are out of work and needing support are inherently in the wrong, but the act of being alive is an active process and you should be a player in that process.


Again, I'm not saying work is inherently bad. I'm saying that the need to be in work to be a valid member of society is bad. Have you read Bullshit Jobs?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullshit_Jobs

I highly recommend it, and it (obviously) does a far better job than any summation I could cobble together.


I don't need to read that to know we're probably broadly on the same page about this. I agree that you don't need to be in work to be a valuable member of society, and strawberry float knows that having lived in Hong Kong and Japan I know more than enough about bullshit jobs that get done for the sake of being done rather than any actual inherent value.

I agree that being 'in work' is not the only way to contribute, but I also think that, for a variety of complex reasons, there does exist a group of people who will not contribute and that I think is wrong.


Well consider it a recommendation anyway!

My issue is not that there aren't people out to abuse the system, but that this minority is overstated for political reasons.


Definitely agree about that.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Karl_ » Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:12 pm

The modern idea of "work ethic" - that work is a sign of moral character - dates to shortly after the emergence of the capitalist class from the mediaeval burghers. It isn't a message intended for the rich and powerful, who don't work hard (if at all) and make their living by skimming off the labour of others; it was a made up story for the working class, telling them if they don't fully devote themselves to making money for their boss they'll be judged: by God in the case of the Puritans, or by society now that the "moral" has become widely accepted.

People who "sit at home on the dole" are by and large victims of economic policy. Often there simply isn't very much for them to do. Their communities and livelihoods - or those of their parents - were deliberately destroyed by right-wing politicians in order to dismantle the labour movement and instigate the ongoing liberal policy of transferring wealth to the ultra-rich, leading us to have consistently higher levels of wealth inequality since the 90s than we have had since the end of the imperial era in the 40s.

In developed countries billions of tonnes of food are thrown away each year, amounting to $700 billion worth of goods, and this wasted food could feed the UK seven times. One third of our food is wasted globally and one in nine worldwide are hungry: we could end world hunger three times over. We produce plenty already, but because capitalism optimises for the profits of rich shareholders, not for efficiency of distribution - because the food belongs to corporations who would rather bin it than give it away; because it would be seen as communistic and illiberal to take that food and give it to those who need it - we have to continue to live in a world where people starve.

The real scroungers are the multi-millionaires and billionaires who store their vast wealth in secret accounts abroad, and make more money by having their accountants or stockbrokers shuffle it around, becoming ever richer while hundreds of millions starve. Those are the people who really take from the community without giving anything back. The rest of us could do much, much less work - and still live in a society that produces plenty - if only we were able to retain the value of our labour. The productivity of an average person has doubled since the 50s, yet working hours remain the same and we continue to work longer than mediaeval peasants did.

Anyone who cares, at all, about someone "being a scrounger, sitting at home smoking weed" is regurgitating neoliberal propaganda. I'm sure some of them seem very unpleasant on a personal level, but they haven't been given a chance to engage with society, and we are all mostly just products of our environments and our circumstances. It's outright cruel to morally castigate someone just for existing in a system that has destroyed their dignity and personhood on purpose, rather than blaming the people who built that system.

If we requisition the wealth of the ultra-rich and redistribute it to the communities that have been deliberately destroyed - and in doing so invest in and engage with the underclass (lumpenproletariat) that was deliberately created - and set about creating meaningful jobs in those communities, owned and managed by those communities; and at that point we find them to still be a burden on society, then it would be reasonable to seek to educate and (if they won't budge) perhaps judge them for their lack of productivity. Before then it's the system that ought to be attacked.

Don't compromise with bourgeois propaganda. Don't say "oh, those people are lazy, but...". Understand the system of capitalism as the root cause of these problems and condemn that without prevarication.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Ironhide » Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:20 pm

Skarjo wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:
Skarjo wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:
Skarjo wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:I certainly don't think work is inherently bad, I just thinks its moral worth has been hugely exaggerated. If to work and contribute is the only way to be seen as a valid part of society then that's a broken system given that there are so many who are denied the opportunity to do so in a meaningful way.


I mean, but gooseberry fool still needs to get done, no?

I say this with all the lentil munching Guraniad reading dislike of hardcore capitalism that you'd expect, but if you've got a roof over your head and food in your belly then someone, somewhere has done some work that you're benefitting from, no? Again, the systems that keep people out of work are complex and definitely up for discussion, and I'm not saying that people who are out of work and needing support are inherently in the wrong, but the act of being alive is an active process and you should be a player in that process.


Again, I'm not saying work is inherently bad. I'm saying that the need to be in work to be a valid member of society is bad. Have you read Bullshit Jobs?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullshit_Jobs

I highly recommend it, and it (obviously) does a far better job than any summation I could cobble together.


I don't need to read that to know we're probably broadly on the same page about this. I agree that you don't need to be in work to be a valuable member of society, and strawberry float knows that having lived in Hong Kong and Japan I know more than enough about bullshit jobs that get done for the sake of being done rather than any actual inherent value.

I agree that being 'in work' is not the only way to contribute, but I also think that, for a variety of complex reasons, there does exist a group of people who will not contribute and that I think is wrong.


Well consider it a recommendation anyway!

My issue is not that there aren't people out to abuse the system, but that this minority is overstated for political reasons.


Definitely agree about that.


I think an Expanse style system where people can opt out of working and receive 'basic' (somewhere to live and basic food,water and other amenities instead of money) would work better than the current benefits system as people wouldn't be able to waste the money they're given towards living costs on stupid gooseberry fool like cigs, booze and scratchcards instead of y'know feeding and clothing their kids.

Of course, society would have to have reached post-scarcity for this to happen but a man can dream.

Also, I really want to read that Bullshit Jobs book.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Rightey » Sun Oct 06, 2019 4:59 pm

more heat than light wrote:So I was venturing deep into Twitter when I happened upon a pinned tweet by this meltburger, a Mr David Kurten who seems to be from UKIP.



And it got me thinking. There are a lot of different issues on that tweet, why do right wingers always fall on that side of those debates? And similarly why am I (as a generally left of centre kind of guy) so appalled by the whole thing?

Why aren't there people with a mixed viewpoint on some of these things? People who are against immigration but worried about climate change? Struggle with gender issues but support abortion? It's always the same sides, you can guarantee that if someone has that tag, they'll be shouting about feminism being evil or defending white supremacy (even David, who is black). Why is it one or the other?


Leaving everything else aside, how the hell is "Boys need Fathers" a controversial opinion?

It's pretty well documented that kids who come from homes with both parents do better academically and later in life than any other combination of parents.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Moggy » Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:10 pm

Rightey wrote:
more heat than light wrote:So I was venturing deep into Twitter when I happened upon a pinned tweet by this meltburger, a Mr David Kurten who seems to be from UKIP.



And it got me thinking. There are a lot of different issues on that tweet, why do right wingers always fall on that side of those debates? And similarly why am I (as a generally left of centre kind of guy) so appalled by the whole thing?

Why aren't there people with a mixed viewpoint on some of these things? People who are against immigration but worried about climate change? Struggle with gender issues but support abortion? It's always the same sides, you can guarantee that if someone has that tag, they'll be shouting about feminism being evil or defending white supremacy (even David, who is black). Why is it one or the other?


Leaving everything else aside, how the hell is "Boys need Fathers" a controversial opinion?

It's pretty well documented that kids who come from homes with both parents do better academically and later in life than any other combination of parents.


“Boys need fathers” undermines families that don’t have a father. Lesbian couples, dead dads etc as well as those where a deadbeat dad leaves the home.

Nobody denys two parents are the best, but we shouldn’t write off families where that’s not possible.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Moggy » Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:15 pm

Oh and a lot of the time is dog whistle racist bullshit about “Black fathers don’t stick around”.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Karl_ » Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:19 pm

Yes, it's basically a conservative dog-whistle. If challenged on "boys need fathers" they can say "all I meant is that kids from two-parent homes are healthier, why are you triggered?", but it will carry anti-feminist / homophobic / racist / "men are really the more oppressed social group" / "single mothers are the problem for being whores" implications (depending on the reader's particular subset of prejudices) for the right-wing people it is actually aimed at. It's along the same lines as "it's OK to be white" and all the other bad faith right-wing codephrases.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by <]:^D » Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:43 pm

dont want to quote Karl's post from further up as it was long enough already, but if that isnt the best summary ive ever seen.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Rightey » Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:55 pm

Maybe it's just because I'm in education so the people I've met who are concerned with work on boys/family structure are genuine, but it seems dangerous to be dismissive of the issue just because there are some people who are bad actors. It's like saying well some feminists are just hate men, so we can dismiss feminist ideas.

Again, I think we might be seeing the issue differently but when I hear the phrase "Boy's need fathers" I think of stuff like programs to try and get more men in elementary education, or after school programs that teach boys how to be men etc. Rather than something that disparages single mothers or something.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Moggy » Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:05 pm

Rightey wrote:Maybe it's just because I'm in education so the people I've met who are concerned with work on boys/family structure are genuine, but it seems dangerous to be dismissive of the issue just because there are some people who are bad actors. It's like saying well some feminists are just hate men, so we can dismiss feminist ideas.

Again, I think we might be seeing the issue differently but when I hear the phrase "Boy's need fathers" I think of stuff like programs to try and get more men in elementary education, or after school programs that teach boys how to be men etc. Rather than something that disparages single mothers or something.


Yes like I said there’s nothing wrong with trying to find ways to keep families together.

But in the context of right wing politics, it’s usually a dog whistle.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Karl_ » Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:07 pm

Rightey wrote:Maybe it's just because I'm in education so the people I've met who are concerned with work on boys/family structure are genuine, but it seems dangerous to be dismissive of the issue just because there are some people who are bad actors. It's like saying well some feminists are just hate men, so we can dismiss feminist ideas.

Again, I think we might be seeing the issue differently but when I hear the phrase "Boy's need fathers" I think of stuff like programs to try and get more men in elementary education, or after school programs that teach boys how to be men etc. Rather than something that disparages single mothers or something.

[EDIT: Moggy beat me and said this almost word-for-word, ha.]

Sure that's fine obviously, I'm sure it's a good thing in and of itself for boys to have good male role models to look up to.

It's all in the context, I would read "boys should have good male role models" coming from someone talking about encouraging men to become primary school teachers, very differently to "boys need fathers" coming from UKIP member and all-round conservative tosspot David Kurten.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Lex-Man » Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:55 pm

I think that people's views are a lot more varied than those at the fringes, but when you pick a side you're basically agreeing with all of the positions that have been laid out. Traditionally the left have wanted to change things while the right want to keep everything the same. I think seen through that lens the break down works although the right are definitely trying to rewind things at the moment.

Also I don't really agree with Karl's assertion that hard work only dates to the start of our current capitalist society. I'm guessing hard work was valued in ever large empire throughout history. Living in a small community would require everybody to do their share. I think working hours have increased over the years but that's more to do with work becoming less strenuous, nobody can work eighty hours a week in a field for very long. That said there is a massive differences between doing your share and the cult of work that encourages you to appear to be doing useful tasks when you're not really doing anything necessary.

Last edited by Lex-Man on Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Moggy » Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:01 pm

Lex-Man wrote:Also I don't really agree with Cal's assertion that hard work only dates to the start of our current capitalist society.


Did you just confuse Karl and Cal?

Enjoy your ban. :lol:

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Ironhide » Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:10 pm

Moggy wrote:
Lex-Man wrote:Also I don't really agree with Cal's assertion that hard work only dates to the start of our current capitalist society.


Did you just confuse Karl and Cal?

Enjoy your ban. :lol:


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easily confused.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Lex-Man » Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:15 pm

Ironhide wrote:
Moggy wrote:
Lex-Man wrote:Also I don't really agree with Cal's assertion that hard work only dates to the start of our current capitalist society.


Did you just confuse Karl and Cal?

Enjoy your ban. :lol:


Karl = Catgirl enthusiast lefty
Cal = old gay righty (not the forumite)

easily confused.


Opps.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Karl_ » Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:23 pm

For real. Lex-Man, if you ever call me Cal again you're banned, not even kidding :lol: :dread:

For what it's worth I didn't say "hard work only dates to the start of capitalism", that would be a silly thing to say(!). Of course mediaeval and ancient people had to work hard sometimes. What I said was that the linkage between the length and intensity of work you do and your moral character - the idea of "work ethic" - dates back only to the Reformation at the earliest. The Catholic doctrine of "good works" was reinterpreted to mean that work is in and of itself a virtue by Luther, a theological advance which was emphasised by Calvin, and the new "moral" was cemented in our culture by early capitalists like Benjamin Franklin who took the idea directly from Puritan teachings. While people certainly did have professional reputations before capitalism, and there would have been periods of hard work, the particularly skewed work-life balance we are used to - as a result of the culture, norms, and expectations surrounding work - is an invention of the bourgeoisie for their own benefit.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Qikz » Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:34 pm

Mommy wrote:
Pedz wrote:What is a sponger to you exactly? It makes me think you just hate people who don't work regardless of why. Which in that case I would agree with Karl.


I do a lot of work in social housing properties. Not all are the same but id often visit properties with a smell of dope meeting you at the door, 50" telly on the wall, no carpet on floor, kids in shitty nappies, latest games console on the go. I see this all too often.
When i engage the parents in conversation about work, they say they get more on the dole. No self respect.
I have all the time in the world for people who make an effort, either short hours or volunteering,
but those wastrels get my goat.
There are so many of them too.


The problem is here that wages are not paying high enough.

Benefits are certainly too low (saying this as someone who lived on benefits for a long time (carers allowance) alongside my now late mothers Disability benefits and saying you can live better off of those than you can off of wages means there's a severe issue with wages not being high enough. The companies are at fault here, not the people.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Lex-Man » Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:35 pm

Karl_ wrote:For real. Lex-Man, if you ever call me Cal again you're banned, not even kidding :lol: :dread:

For what it's worth I didn't say "hard work only dates to the start of capitalism", that would be a silly thing to say(!). Of course mediaeval and ancient people had to work hard sometimes. What I said was that the linkage between the length and intensity of work you do and your moral character - the idea of "work ethic" - dates back only to the Reformation at the earliest. The Catholic doctrine of "good works" was reinterpreted to mean that work is in and of itself a virtue by Luther, a theological advance which was emphasised by Calvin, and the new "moral" was cemented in our culture by early capitalists like Benjamin Franklin who took the idea directly from Puritan teachings. While people certainly did have professional reputations before capitalism, and there would have been periods of hard work, the particularly skewed work-life balance we are used to - as a result of the culture, norms, and expectations surrounding work - is an invention of the bourgeoisie for their own benefit.


I can't really disagree with any of that, although in a fair society I think that everybody should be prepared to do something to help their community. My issue with your view about society is that it seems to me at least, that people should be free to remove their work from society and that this action is a kind of virtue.

Also I'm sorry for spelling your name incorrectly that was out of order.

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PostRe: Why are everyone's politics so binary?
by Dual » Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:18 pm

Would like to know more about Karl's Medieval Burgers.


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