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Vladimir Putin and Russia


Anorthernsoul
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I think Zizek has some interesting stuff to say. He did however say he would’ve voted for trump first time round. Albeit he said he found him horrifying but it was at heart a chance of shaking up the status quo. If he got this call as wrong as that I don’t think I’d like to see the outcome 

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3 hours ago, Alex said:

I think Zizek has some interesting stuff to say. He did however say he would’ve voted for trump first time round. Albeit he said he found him horrifying but it was at heart a chance of shaking up the status quo. If he got this call as wrong as that I don’t think I’d like to see the outcome 

 

We don't know what the alternative timeline would have looked like of course but I agree. I can follow this particular argument rationally though which is enough for me.

 

I still do not believe Putin would risk the annihilation of Russia over Ukraine - even if it was mutual annihilation.

 

Appeasement of psychopaths. We back off from Putin, we back off from the Tories, we back off from the media, we back off from the argument. When do we stand our ground?

 

It's all the same conflict IMO. Western liberal internationalism in Europe - that's what is at stake.

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1 hour ago, Rayvin said:

we back off from the Tories, we back off from the media, we back off from the argument. When do we stand our ground?

 

Now , this is where I see things differently - not everyone does back off. I don't and I make firm life choices that detriment me financially and definitely socially . for some of these values. 

We , is all of us. You can't do nothing yourself and just point at others expecting them to change - but there is a lot of "monkey see / monkey do , or mob mentality" behaviour that we take for granted. See people wearing masks in the pandemic, but removing them if they enter a building with people who aren't wearing them. The more people who have never protested before, do - the more join. The rebellion movement is testimony of this really, it is definitely building , despite being "niche" compared to frustration with politics.

The Iraq war made half a million of us go, we went to Occupy - I got cut from a contract because they found out I went , but a few members of the team contacted me later to ask about how they could get involved. "how did you do it for a week without working ?" I always thought that was a weird question , I spent my holiday differently?? It's not that hard to attend a protest, you see it on TV, you go, you meet people.

There's always something you can go to - Newcastle is frankly, brilliant at this - get yourself to a rally and hopefully it will change your perspective and make you feel better that "we" are not backing away from anything. Power to tooting and all that!! :)

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Did you read that article? I'm actually interested in your processing on it because he's calling you out.

 

That aside, going to a rally changes nothing in isolation. We need political representation that understands the battle we are in or it's all misdirected energy. We do not have this. We are fighting a war known only to the side that is winning. So when I say "we" back off, this is what I mean. You want to back off from Putin, Starmer wants to back off from anything that might offend or hurt the feelings of his right leaning voters.

 

I'm not someone who can change their mind on something by trying to find a sunnier outlook. I look at truth or as close as I can get to it with the information I have at the time. I'll accept any argument that is logically superior to a position I hold, which is why I'm one of the few people on here who will comment that I have been wrong about something or address an inaccuracy or flaw in my thinking. I expect the same from everyone else but it's not often forthcoming.

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We are quite different people and that's fine, I believe that logic doesn't always work I'm afraid, Humans are emotional and unpredictable and mostly not logical at all. People only tend to see things from the world they were born in, imo. Also, in politics, we all have unconscious bias, there's nothing you can do about that , but the glasses that we view the world through massively influence our perception of events or information as a whole.

We'll have to agree to disagree that "going to a rally does nothing in isolation" it's better than doing LITERALLY nothing. That's what really frustrates me.. People have to do something. You're singling out Starmer for playing a strategic long game to try and win - Boris clearly has an ability to hoodwink and win a campaign - The Labour party can try and move more towards its core values once it's wrestled power from a government that holds all the cards. Starmer is doing something, he's not falling into Tory hands - they've spent all day labelling this as a Labour event .

 

I'm feeling quite confident that if Labour don't win the next election it might actually be the Lib Dems that do - but I can be happy with the fact that I don't think the Conservatives will come near, it's a coaltion again at worst. (fingers crossed!)

Believe me, if 6 million people actually stood up and did something, anything could change, thats less than 10% of us, but 1 in 100 attends things, the rest just moan.

I have read the article and if I'm honest it just riled me a bit, i think anyone using the labels of leftist and rightist is an enemy of us all , it is divisionary and as I've said many times before, its only being used in countries that have adopted neoliberal economic policies .  There is no black and white, just as there is no real Left and Right. There are people who believe in self interest and there are people that believe in mutality and people who believe in co-operation, some charity, some even want to be ruled in a totalitarian way. My personal point of view with this, is that for every example I just gave, they could be "Right wing" or "Left Wing" A racist can give to charity , just as much as a philantropist can, or the head of Barclays - but the motivations are very different. Caring does not mean Left , just as much as not caring means Right - everyone thinks they are doing the right thing. How many times in that article does he use the term "Leftie" - this is a derisory term . Do a google search and limit the dates to pre 2010 and see what "Left wing" means - and then again, for just the last 5 . I might be a conspiracy theorist, but I see a clear shift and pattern of labelling everyone .. "Underclass" "Posh" "Aristocracy" "Champagne Socialist" etc etc.

 

Some of his points are good, if taken as fact, but they are not fact they are opinion. The whole Russia controlling world food supplies is not very credible imo - the eyes for that should be firmly pointed at the US and China - The US via Montesano etc and China by its strategy of taking countries by "donation then debt traps" . (worth a google if you are interested, but its frightening - its a clear strategy and wow do they own some ports , especially in africa)

I'm more of the strategy of I(forgive me , Im paraphrasing some quote) If a rabid dog is attacking you - you control it and exhaust it , it is already on the way to death - this is how I see Putin and his regime.  This was  a massive mistake , I believe he expected to win this in a matter of weeks, US Iraq style. 

Finally, just to make us both shudder - I still believe that there's many "imperalists" in the world and there is a big danger in playing the "Good guy / Bad guy" strategy to the extremes, because every "super power" behaves like this.  Co-operation is better than conflict and we are co-operating now and managing to repel a super power through a proxy war , simply by supplies and training. I honestly think this is all we can do to "save lives" every other option sacrifices lives for an ideal that isn't achievable (e.g go all in on Russia and expect anything less than  a 3-5 year global war). That's not backing off, its playing intelligently for the long game, with the least damage possible and rising above .. We can show solidarity and co-operation wins vs the might of a super power.

Edited by scoobos
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That's fair but I think the only bits I really agree with are "we are two different people" and "we'll have to agree to disagree". Actually, also the bit about how even the 'worst' people believe they are doing the right thing. I think you could take that all the way up to Hitler. Its basically what I was saying in the General Random Convo thread the other day.

 

I've seen a number of people on the right claiming there is no left or right anymore (please note that I'm not putting this at your door, whether you believe in the positions or not, I do not see you as right wing) and I have been wholly unconvinced by this. It seems to be a post truth assertion to make it easier for people to reconcile positions they hold that seem to blur across both sides because they find that they're caught up in inconsistencies. Part of a right wing tactical strategy to entrench the notion that all of this is about points of view and that all opinions are equal. They aren't. Some opinions are stupid.

 

Again, just my view. I see it quite a bit and am yet to see any convincing argument for it. They're general terms to capture overall weightings of political leaning. The determination to move past them seems to come from the desire to obliterate all forms of shared reference to get to some point where we all agree that nothing matters, that truth is subjective.

 

As for the article, I mean yeah I did imagine it would rile you since it solidly disagrees with you. I just wanted to see what your arguments against those positions were. I'm not going to push further on it as you've responded on some issues.

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Do you really disagree with this? :

Do a duckduckgo search and limit the dates to pre 2010 and see what "Left wing" means - and then again, for just the last 5 . I might be a conspiracy theorist, but I see a clear shift and pattern of labelling everyone .. "Underclass" "Posh" "Aristocracy" "Champagne Socialist" etc etc. how many hits do you see, and what are they saying? 


"I think anyone using the labels of leftist and rightist is an enemy of us all , it is divisionary and as I've said many times before, its only being used in countries that have adopted neoliberal economic policies"
or


the US via Montsanto etc and China by its strategy of taking countries by "donation then debt traps" 

The Monsanto has actually closed down food production in some parts of countries (India for exampl) because farms have had seeds BLOWN onto their land that has grown and commited a "crime" by not paying Montesano  - it's also illegal to reuse seeds once this has happened. This is a big thing and can reasonably be seen as a late stage capitalist attempt to control food production globally.

Here's one example of China debt traps for naval control:
China debt dogs Maldives' 'bridge to prosperity' - BBC News

Going to rallies, donating funds to causes and making life decisions that may adversley affect yourself but "do good" (e.g pollute less) are not at all comparable to doing nothing.  

 




On from that post though, 


My point is not that there isn't a political spectrum of left or right, its that people tend not to sit on one side and the labels only seed division. There is no "leftie" it's a stupid construct. There are people with socialist views , there are people with communist views, or even pacifists - none of these should be labelled under the same umbrella, ideally.


Leftie and Righty is a new thing - its a poltiicised weapon and its being used massively in that guardian piece and doesn't help, only worsens the situation in the UK, imo.

Look to the USA - it's totally polarised and in all honesty, both parties are right wing , yet one posts one as uncaring right wing racists, and the other as rabid socialist / communists.  This is what is happening in the UK and fuelling and continuing to use the language "Loonie lefty" or "Gammon right wing pork etc" is labelling and taking us that way. I believe this is why we have the government we have. FPTP loves division like this . 

I feel as passionately about this as I did gay rights and racism in the 80's  , thus why I rail against it .. Put it in terms of a "modern battle" like transgender rights and we see how unuseful and damaging labels and stereotypes are. 

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If you remove the labels you leave people to sort themselves by views which would be fine if individual people weren't fucking idiots, but they are (myself included). Accordingly then, you have people adopting contradictory positions because they are looking at the world entirely through their own lens and without a universal framework to support their arguments. Thus you get people on the right who believe that corporations must be eliminated whilst proudly proclaiming themselves as believers in free market capitalism; people who claim to be anti-imperialist while facing one direction and strangely permissive facing another way; people who champion diversity and inclusivity on one hand while finding acceptable paths to hatred and intolerance for people outside their hierarchies on the other.

 

People are confused as fuck and it's not helped by this grand effort to destroy all of our frames of reference for what anything even means. Yes, obviously people are not 'pure' one thing or the other, but understanding the complementary frameworks that pin a school of ideological thought together is important for being able to appreciate and act upon your principles in a holistic sense. I'm an internationalist but I'm also very much a believer in holding together local/regional and national cultures. Internationalism is a threat to this position, so I have to determine which of those things matters more to me, because I cannot simply occupy both positions. Without a framework, I could.

 

Labels have been weaponised, you're right about that - but the evolution in what they mean has come from the very thing I am warning about - the collapse of shared frames of reference. Because everyone has become uncertain about what truth is, what reality is. It's now just a case of who shouts loudest and most often - that's the person whose truth seems to prevail. They can bend reality as they see fit because our understanding of the world and how positions and views link together is fragmented. Putin has recognised this and has been distributing corruptive information campaigns on both the left and right, I would argue, for almost a decade - which is why we now live in a ridiculous world where both the far left and far right agree that NATO is the enemy and Russia is not an imperialist thundercunt of a nation that EVEN RUSSIA SAYS IT IS, but actually a hard done by victim of left/right (eliminate depending on your label) wing attempts on global domination.

 

On the food thing - I'm aware of Monsanto and their domination of global food markets. I'm even aware of the seed issue you referenced. Zizek's claim was that as arctic passages become more feasible through the progress of climate change, Russia will stand to gain significantly as the corridor to the north of their nation will become the main thoroughfare for goods flowing from the West to the East and vice versa. This will give them significant control over food supplies. So he's talking about the future, not the now. On that basis I'm not really sure why you brought them up.

 

Going to rallies and donating things etc are not doing nothing on an individual level, but they are doing nothing at a systemic level. I'm not criticising people who do this, I think it's admirable - I just think it's unfortunately also not really ever going to be the solution that improves the world. That will come from sustained pressure for political change that has a compelling enough narrative to force itself through all the walls and barriers that will be put in front of it. I don't believe this will ever happen, and so I don't really believe the world will ever get better. It will simply get worse. I think "they" permit rallies because "they" understand how harmless they really are.

 

Like I said earlier, I see the world through logical positions which, and I'll really stress this - aren't necessarily the de facto truth of anything - but which seem to make the most logical sense to me at any given time, until a better position or framework comes along that makes more sense. All any of this is, is how I see it.

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Ah a rayvin / scoobos debate again, lets not let this go south like the last one 


I'm not taking the piss, but have you ever considered a History degree, I think you'd really enjoy it , as it is really about a lot of what you've said above. I got a lot out of studying history and you seem of similar mind.

Why I bring Monsanto / Debt traps up now - is because the FUTURE is not real , its guesswork and opinion, the present is real and the only country / mentality I see controlling world food is late stage capitalism and a great example is monsanto , or conversely the Chinese Debt trap strategy - China is winning territory without a need for war and its scary how its been missed until its too late - they "Could" control something like 40% of the worlds shipping channels now. They get countries into huge debt with "presents to build trust and relationships" - wait 10 years then ramp the interest up to bankruptcy levels.

"Because everyone has become uncertain about what truth is, what reality is. " - the internet has certainly made this much worse , because (mostly) to get books published, they had to be vetted by a publisher . Self publishing is a pretty new concept (I think, im no expert !)  But , this is exactly what "History" as a topic is about , everything you read is an account of people looking through their own lens, because its impossible not to. 

Thats a good point here - " people on the right who believe that corporations must be eliminated whilst proudly proclaiming themselves as believers in free market capitalism"

I think its referring to a movement in the mid 00's when people realised we were moving to "something new" from simply globalisation: Joel Bakan's  the corporation is a good book on it. )(The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power: Bakan, Joel: 9780743247467: Books (amazon.com)) Again, its labelling as right, because i am certainly not a follower of right wing politics and I believe it (nearly, no one want's free market capitalism because it means you legalise guns, drugs, prostitution , copyright theft , counterfeiting etc, if its 100% free - they tend to mean mixed economies closer to free than planned).

 

I'd really like to be able to influence you to address your use of labels as using them yourself just breeds the problem. 

I want rid of corporations but agree with "regulated capitalism" I do not trust market forces as they are as made up to me, as Maggie's "society" was.  The reason people want rid of the corporation is because it is a psychopath by definition - CEO's do not own the money they control, shareholders do - and they are legally obliged to only make decisions that maximise profit - so a company cannot act ethically if it increases costs, without increasing or maintaining profit.  CEOs have gone to prison for putting money into the local community, because if they want to do that, they have to do it with their own income, not the company funds. Externalities is another one.  This wasn't the case in the UK until very recently, surprisingly co-inciding with the move to stop calling people "Managing Directors" and start calling them "CEOs" - is this due to legalities changing, what applied to an MD no longer applies to a CEO of a multinational? Deregulation at its stealthy finest there .

This is why truth doesn't really exist on the internet too, almost everything can come full circle back to "corporate interests" and the power of marketing , imo.  Marketing is scary good now.

 "Going to rallies and donating things etc are not doing nothing on an individual level, but they are doing nothing at a systemic level. " Protest has given us every right we have - EVERY single one. It does more than just typing stuff and "reading stuff" and saying "why doesn't anyone do anything" - dont like plastic pollution and have capital? Then pay for private recycling and help create a market. It sounds like an excuse for apathy and inaction in my view. Its the apathy and lack of protest since the late 80's thats put us in this mess , look to France, the Arab spring, Syria etc - these are people standing up. 

Regarding this one: 
Russia will stand to gain significantly as the corridor to the north of their nation will become the main thoroughfare for goods flowing from the West to the East and vice versa

This is not new news, Canada has been defending and planting flags under the sea since the mid 00's - America has a defence pact with them. It's not decided. The nordic countries also have the same objective.

The fact that Putin cannot overcome 1 country (and not a particularly rich or powerful one at that) for me, is the reason why pandering to warmongers that want to go "all in" is so dangerous. Russia is failing and all this talk of "they wont stop" I find hard to understand. Right now, they are fighting on 1 front and its taking them ages at great cost. They can no way attack the NATO front line even if they got to it. Pushing the NATO front line to them is questionable imo , as arguably this is what feeds the support Russia has. America HAS used NATO as a tool of intimidation and control . What did America do when Russia put "defensive" missiles in cuba? It's taken decades for that rift to settle and America attacked Cuba too. 


Putin's actions today are indefensible, but just labelling him as an ultimate madman, tyrannical - unprovoked is a bit too black and white. There's a big lesson to learn here , but ultimately we will prevail if only because of the mass co-operation of sovereign states, which is a great lesson for every challenge we face, we must strive to be 1 people, 1 world, it is not achievable but it should be the target.. (lol I gag at myself writing that particular hippy line).

That's my daily rant, i'll get me coat :D

Edited by scoobos
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I want to be clear that I respect your view and have no particular reason to believe mine is correct other than it makes sense to me until I otherwise become convinced of something else. I also don't remember our last discussion going south but I end up in so many battles on here at times that it can be hard to keep on top of specifics.

 

I enjoy history, my first degree had a significant component of it tailored to Chinese history in particular, but I've not had the opportunity to dabble further. One day I hope to do a PhD tracking human development and trying to identify key moments of progress of pivot points in history. Not because I think no one has done this or because I can add anything, but just for myself.

 

I would say that yes, history is always someone's view through their own lens - but that doesn't mean that there isn't an actual absolute truth of an event behind it. Yes, we are limited by their interpretation and biases, but the thing still happened for whatever reason it actually did happen. There is a truth. We have a moral obligation to get as close to it as we can, for all the difficulty we may have in doing that.

 

I use the labels as broad strokes terms to encapsulate a range of similar viewpoints, not to chastise or demonise. I am happy enough to be told that someone is predominantly left wing but with some right wing leanings, I can handle that in my worldview. As I said, I'm more concerned with consistency and logical frameworks in that regard - the labels/frameworks are a useful tool for ensuring one has a consistent worldview.

 

We agree on corporations versus regulated capitalism. Capitalism probably could be made to work.

 

Excuse for apathy and inaction - Maybe. But the world is going to hell in a hardcart and no amount of protest is changing that as far as I can see. Climate change resistance took greater support from COVID than it ever seems to have done from protest. We (humanity) are losing on every front in an information war with the old and powerful and, frankly, ourselves. I dislike Putin more because of his role in creating this level of informational catastrophe than I do for his invasion of Ukraine. He is not alone here though, just one of the more effective agents for it.

 

Finally - I agree about the utopian vision. It's why I'm pro-EU. Pro-Federal EU even. Hell, I'd even have welcomed in Russia. Internationalism is the only way forward in my worldview.

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