Libya's brighter future (?)

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Ludwig Whitby
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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2011-09-25, 23:16

Tenebrarum wrote:
And yeah Rump, that's my viewpoint too. Every major power is ruthless, manipulative and deceitful - they need to be, it's requisite. To believe otherwise is simply delusional. Some just go more overboard than others. So there's no point contrasting a "good" USA or NATO with a "bad" China or Russia. Governments are groups of people with power, and they're not run by the public - they run themselves, to serve their own interest. Western govts are just less likely to resort to dirty tactics than China and Russia because their subjects at home have a stronger collective voice.

That is not to say smaller countries don't behave in the same way, of course.

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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby Oleksij » 2011-09-25, 23:19

Rumpetroll wrote:Soviet Union and Nazi Germany don't claim moral superiority that NATO claims.

They did, back in those days.

EDIT: By the way, you guys seem to think I hate NATO because I'm Serbian. It's not that, I hate everyone who has power and authority, especially if they force their power onto others. I hate the Roman Empire and the Spanish Empire and Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union and each and every world power in history, because they have all bullied and taken advantage or used other, weaker countries for their own benefit.

And yet we don't see you slandering the Spanish for enslaving the Natives of South America, or the Romans for burning Carthage to the ground.

But of course, ethnocentric bias is permissible here - afterall, we're all human. Having antipathy for the side that bombed one's country and city is natural. But that antipathy shouldn't overshadow logic.

Tenebrarum wrote: So there's no point contrasting a "good" USA or NATO with a "bad" China or Russia. Governments are groups of people with power, and they're not run by the public - they run themselves, to serve their own interest. Western govts are just less likely to resort to dirty tactics than China and Russia because their subjects at home have a stronger collective voice.

Pas d'accord. Every government is a mirror of its people.
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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby Tenebrarum » 2011-09-25, 23:24

Oleksij wrote:Pas d'accord. Every government is a mirror of its people.

I think it's more like a result of how much people believe in their government's lies and how far they would go to restrain it.

I don't want to come off as overly cynical, but you often don't get to a position of power by being kind and compassionate. You rise to power through being a magnificent bastard. This is a result of the evolutionary game, and I think we all know this, even if subconsciously.
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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby Oleksij » 2011-09-25, 23:26

Tenebrarum wrote:
Oleksij wrote:Pas d'accord. Every government is a mirror of its people.

I think it's more like a result of how much people believe in their government's lies and how far they would go to restrain it.

i.e. what I said.
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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2011-09-25, 23:26

Oleksij wrote:
Rumpetroll wrote:Soviet Union and Nazi Germany don't claim moral superiority that NATO claims.

They did, back in those days.

Well, had I lived back in those days, I would have been against them. It's useless to slander them now, is it?
EDIT: By the way, you guys seem to think I hate NATO because I'm Serbian. It's not that, I hate everyone who has power and authority, especially if they force their power onto others. I hate the Roman Empire and the Spanish Empire and Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union and each and every world power in history, because they have all bullied and taken advantage or used other, weaker countries for their own benefit.

And yet we don't see you slandering the Spanish for enslaving the Natives of South America, or the Romans for burning Carthage to the ground.

I would if we had a discussion about that. But it wouldn't make much sense, because I'm sure it would just be stating the obvious, just as with slandering USSR and the Nazis.
But of course, ethnocentric bias is permissible here - afterall, we're all human. Having antipathy for the side that bombed one's country and city is natural. But that antipathy shouldn't overshadow logic.

I know you mean well, but this is starting to get on my nerves.

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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby Tenebrarum » 2011-09-25, 23:30

Oleksij wrote:i.e. what I said.

I hope you don't mean a government is kinder because people in that country are kinder...
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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby Oleksij » 2011-09-25, 23:36

Rumpetroll wrote:Well, had I lived back in those days, I would have been against them. It's useless to slander them now, is it?

1. How are you so sure?

2. Just about as useless as slandering NATO for bombing the shit out of Libya.

I know you mean well, but this is starting to get on my nerves.

Fair enough, I won't allegorise about those things again.

Tenebrarum wrote:I hope you don't mean a government is kinder because people in that country are kinder...

That is exactly what I mean. The way a state acts reasonably reflects the way its people act in their daily lives, on average. When the people's ways start to diverge too far from the way the government acts, that is when social upheaval happens.
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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby Tenebrarum » 2011-09-25, 23:43

I can't get myself to agree with that. My belief is that a governing regime is "less evil" when its subjects are more inclined to activism i.e having a tendency to stand up for themselves. A soft and docile population doesn't result in a nice and rule-abiding govt, but more like the opposite.
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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2011-09-25, 23:47

Oleksij wrote:
Rumpetroll wrote:Well, had I lived back in those days, I would have been against them. It's useless to slander them now, is it?

1. How are you so sure?

2. Just about as useless as slandering NATO for bombing the shit out of Libya.

1. Based on my knowledge of myself I assume that. I can't be sure.

2. I disagreed with something Chekhov wrote and reacted to it. It's just that. Had he written something about the Nazis that I disagree with I would have reacted to it as well. It's useless to start a thread ''Nazis and Soviets were hypocrites'', because it wouldn't have anyone opposing the statement. I don't have an agenda or something.

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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby Chekhov » 2011-09-25, 23:53

It's useless to pretend NATO is morally equivalent to the Nazis or the Romans. The West is morally superior because we respect human rights and try to protect civilians; people like Gaddafi murder them. Secret prisons and torture are the exception for us; they're the norm for him. Yeah, we're self-interested as well, but who wouldn't be?

Or in terms of Tropes: Gaddafi is a Complete Monster and NATO is a Type II or III Antihero, and the war is a case of Grey on Black Morality where I Did What I Had To Do.
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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby Oleksij » 2011-09-25, 23:55

Tenebrarum wrote:I can't get myself to agree with that. My belief is that a governing regime is "less evil" when its subjects are more inclined to activism i.e having a tendency to stand up for themselves. A soft and docile population doesn't result in a nice and rule-abiding govt, but more like the opposite.

It's actually the opposite.

Law-abiding nations have relatively law-abiding governments, in relation to themselves, of course. A society's social phenomena are undoubtedly proportionately represented in the way its state apparatus works. Germany is well organised as a country because the Germans are well organised, China is oppressive and nepotist because the Chinese are oppressive and nepotist.
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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby Tenebrarum » 2011-09-25, 23:57

Oh yeah, Chekhov? Then what been happening to Bradley Manning?

Oleksij wrote:Germany is well organised as a country because the Germans are well organised, China is oppressive and nepotist because the Chinese are oppressive and nepotist.

Personally I would think twice before making that kind of sweeping statement about a whole culture.
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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2011-09-26, 0:00

Chekhov wrote:It's useless to pretend NATO is morally equivalent to the Nazis or the Romans. The West is morally superior because we respect human rights and try to protect civilians; people like Gaddafi murder them. Secret prisons and torture are the exception for us; they're the norm for him. Yeah, we're self-interested as well, but who wouldn't be?

Or in terms of Tropes: Gaddafi is a Complete Monster and NATO is a Type II or III Antihero, and the war is a case of Grey on Black Morality where I Did What I Had To Do.

Just because there are worse countries than NATO member-states doesn't exempt them from criticism.

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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby Oleksij » 2011-09-26, 0:09

Tenebrarum wrote:Personally I would think twice before making that kind of sweeping statement about a whole culture.

ZOMG, stereotypes!

Well of course it's a sweeping statement. But it's more economical than analysing the 6 billion or so sub-cultures.

Then what been happening to Bradley Manning?

Bradley Manning is an illustration of your own earlier statement about more active societies living under less oppressive regimes. He's actually getting off quite easy for the gravity of his misconduct, plus, the case is only so resonant in the West because of civil activism. Less-developed countries have tons of their own Bradley Mannings, and worse. In the Soviet Union one could easily just get a bullet in the head, for simply pissing off a superior rank, never mind actually leaking classified information to externals. Needless to say, I sympathise with him as a person.
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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby Chekhov » 2011-09-26, 3:29

Bradley Manning was doubtlessly abducted, tortured to enact a false confession, murdered and his body dumped in the harbour - oh wait, he's probably confined to quarters for a breach of military discipline. Meanwhile, a mass grave of over a thousand political prisoners was found in Libya today. Do you think he'd be among them?
Just because there are worse countries than NATO member-states doesn't exempt them from criticism.
I never said they were above criticism. I said they were in fact better than most other countries, morally speaking. And I'm glad to see you agree. It has nothing to do with our culture being better; democracy is a universal human right.
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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby JackFrost » 2011-09-26, 3:36

Also, with all honesty, I hate this Serbian butthurt about the 90's and Yugoslavia's collapse. It's like Putinist Russia blaming the rest of the world for the fact that the Soviet Union collapsed.

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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby Tenebrarum » 2011-09-26, 12:22

Chekhov wrote:Bradley Manning was doubtlessly abducted, tortured to enact a false confession, murdered and his body dumped in the harbour - oh wait, he's probably confined to quarters for a breach of military discipline. Meanwhile, a mass grave of over a thousand political prisoners was found in Libya today.

He was not just detained. He was locked up all isolated and only let out of his tiny cell for 23 hours a day, and never saw the sunlight for a whole year. That's psychological torture to break the prisoner's spirit. Smart move from the Pentagon. There's no point trumpeting the "moral superiority" of the US military, because you wouldn't know what fate they secretly want to give him. Mind you that he was only transferred to a normal brig after their conduct were called on by the media. What that tells us, is he's lucky to live in a democracy, where there are checks and balances over the armed force's power. That doesn't make their leaders moral or humanistic people. But I think The Onion would take a jab at this better than me.

Chekhov wrote:I said they were in fact better than most other countries, morally speaking.
Get me a yardstick to measure their heart, to see how deep their humanity is. Oh wait you can't.

Oleksij wrote:
Tenebrarum wrote:Personally I would think twice before making that kind of sweeping statement about a whole culture.

ZOMG, stereotypes!

Well of course it's a sweeping statement. But it's more economical than analysing the 6 billion or so sub-cultures.

I think it's very counterproductive to think in that reductionist manner, because if you look at it that way, the question of whether politics guides culture or culture guides politics is harder to answer than "which came first, the egg or the chicken?". It doesn't help that culture is terribly complex and intangible. And so we fall back on stereotypes, seriously now? Writing off a whole nation as incapable of achieving something based on cultural claims is always easy. Until they actually do achieve it. The West used to think East Asia was incapable democracy, until Japan, South Korea and Taiwan emerged. Japan was rebuilt by an established democracy that is America; South Korea is indebted to those students who rose up; Taiwan has to thank the son of Chang Kaishek, who decided that it's time for his party to relinquish absolute power. Taiwan are also ruled by Han Chinese, who are supposed to be nepotist and oppressive, then why did that happen? We can assign cultural causes to those stories all we want, but such statements are never falsifiable. "Arabs don't have any democratic country because they have this oppressive mindset...", and then when the Arab Spring broke out: "In hindsight, this was bound to happen because Arab people have this sense of pride so innate in their culture..." You see? They can be, and are, revised on whims to explain whatever is going on. A very lazy approach to explaining politics.

I think it's safe to say that governments around the world are the way they are because nations, by chance, have (not) had an opportunity to get exposed to democracy at some point in their history. Democracy is a game - the longer you have experimented, the better you are at it. Culture is so ephemeral, that if you include it into the equation, you have trod into the ground of untestable speculations.

That's why people in a country do not "deserve" their government. There are so many factors they don't get to decide, like for example the seeds of what they're enjoying/suffering today were planted a full century ago (most likely several centuries). They always deserve better.
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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby Oleksij » 2011-09-26, 15:51

Tenebrarum wrote:I think it's very counterproductive to think in that reductionist manner, because if you look at it that way, the question of whether politics guides culture or culture guides politics is harder to answer than "which came first, the egg or the chicken?". It doesn't help that culture is terribly complex and intangible. And so we fall back on stereotypes, seriously now? Writing off a whole nation as incapable of achieving something based on cultural claims is always easy. Until they actually do achieve it. The West used to think East Asia was incapable democracy, until Japan, South Korea and Taiwan emerged. Japan was rebuilt by an established democracy that is America; South Korea is indebted to those students who rose up; Taiwan has to thank the son of Chang Kaishek, who decided that it's time for his party to relinquish absolute power. Taiwan are also ruled by Han Chinese, who are supposed to be nepotist and oppressive, then why did that happen? We can assign cultural causes to those stories all we want, but such statements are never falsifiable. "Arabs don't have any democratic country because they have this oppressive mindset...", and then when the Arab Spring broke out: "In hindsight, this was bound to happen because Arab people have this sense of pride so innate in their culture..." You see? They can be, and are, revised on whims to explain whatever is going on. A very lazy approach to explaining politics.

I think it's safe to say that governments around the world are the way they are because nations, by chance, have (not) had an opportunity to get exposed to democracy at some point in their history. Democracy is a game - the longer you have experimented, the better you are at it. Culture is so ephemeral, that if you include it into the equation, you have trod into the ground of untestable speculations.

That's why people in a country do not "deserve" their government. There are so many factors they don't get to decide, like for example the seeds of what they're enjoying/suffering today were planted a full century ago (most likely several centuries). They always deserve better.

Good post. I agree on everything except the last paragraph.

Still, reductions do have to be made arbitrarily, otherwise we end up with infinitely complex equations. My point is that if the people truly want change in a country, they have to start with themselves. On the other hand, it is not impossible to change a people's mindset by establishing an elite which would promote certain values, either.
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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby Chekhov » 2011-09-26, 20:30

Good post but the US (which is not the only Western country) is still morally superior to Muammar Gaddafi's Libya despite the failure of some of its policies. "There are no perfect countries; there are only decent and free ones."
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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby TeneReef » 2011-11-01, 18:31

US is interested in Libya only because of the oil :para:
Saudi regime is even fiercer than the Gadafi one was, but US government does not do anything.
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