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Jalyn
08-12-2009, 11:52 PM
So, I didn't want to interrupt the "what made me laugh today" thread with political BS, but this pissed me off to no end:


This also makes me laugh:

http://thinkprogress.org/2009/08/10/gladney-uninsured/

Right Wing Anti-Health Care Reform Icon Uninsured- Classic unintentional hillarity.

So, what exactly made you laugh here?


The fact that a man was beaten for trying to sell flags?

The fact that a black man was beaten and had racial insults thrown at him for daring to be a conservative?

The idea of union thugs beating someone for daring to display "don't tread on me?"

That a person has determined that he can't afford or doesn't currently want to pay for health insurance would have to pay out of pocket for his care because a couple of union thugs decided that it was "an attack on America" for a black man to not want everyone else to have to have to deal with any medical problems that he happens to have?

I guess I don't get it. What's funny? Other than the liberal thugs forgetting their "Oh, wait, we're not supposed to be racist" meme. That is amusing in a "not funny in damn way" way.

Terez
08-13-2009, 12:03 AM
Why do you keep mentioning that he's black? No one else did...

No, it's not funny that he was beaten - obviously no one here approves of violence. I'm pretty sure that the 'funny' aspect is obvious to everyone...not sure why it isn't obvious to you.

Jalyn
08-13-2009, 12:28 AM
Why do you keep mentioning that he's black? No one else did...

No, it's not funny that he was beaten - obviously no one here approves of violence. I'm pretty sure that the 'funny' aspect is obvious to everyone...not sure why it isn't obvious to you.

I kept mentioning that he's black because Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton didn't. I kept mentioning that he was black because if black union thug had been beaten at pro-Obamacare rally I'd never hear the end of it.

And I don't see what's funny, because I see nothing funny about it.

Terez
08-13-2009, 12:51 AM
Well, it's not funny any more, since according to the update on the article, the guy has health insurance through his wife. In light of that information, however, it's unclear why he's soliciting donations to help pay for his medical expenses...

Jalyn
08-13-2009, 01:00 AM
Well, it's not funny any more, since according to the update on the article, the guy has health insurance through his wife. In light of that information, however, it's unclear why he's soliciting donations to help pay for his medical expenses...
You really don't get why his NOT having insurance to cover a beating by anti-universal health coverage thugs proves the damn point do you? You seriously don't understand why that would make him a damn hero.
I can rail against Obamacare as much as I want, I think it's destructive to our nation, but I have insurance. If a bunch of union thugs decide to put me in the hospital, my care is taken care of - for someone without insurance to make the same choice - to not think that is anyone's responsibility but their own - that's a damn hero. And, as a note, it's not funny.

JSUCamel
08-13-2009, 01:24 AM
So, what exactly made you laugh here?

I didn't think it was funny, but I can take a guess as to why someone else might think it is. The article suggests (and links to other articles that flat out say) that the guy was a plant to make the proposed plan look bad. In fact, one of the linked articles has a link to an alleged video of the confrontation and alleges that the black guy you mentioned is walking around just fine after supposedly being beaten up (while the alleged thugs are on the ground and have been beaten up).

*shrug* I don't find it remotely interesting at all though.

You really don't get why his NOT having insurance to cover a beating by anti-universal health coverage thugs proves the damn point do you?

I'm confused. The bit you quoted from terez's last post indicated that the article had been updated. If you read the article, it explains that the guy HAS insurance, he's NOT uninsured. Therefore, he's not a hero -- he's an actor. His point may be valid, but his insinuations regarding his own situation were not.

GonzoTheGreat
08-13-2009, 05:07 AM
Let me try to spell it out:

This guy is campaigning against health care reform, because he believes that the current situation (where not everyone can afford care) is superior to the proposal under which such care would be available to all.
He gets injured.
He needs treatment.
He can't pay for it.
Suddenly, instead of following the principles he campaigned for and doing without the care he can't pay for, he is begging other people to help him out, as they would have done under the scheme he was protesting against.

The funny thing is simply that his hypocrisy is exposed. Of course, it's not really a surprising thing, since few right wingers are smart and capable enough to hide their hypocrisy from even accidental scrutiny, so it not very funny either.

yks 6nnetu hing
08-13-2009, 05:18 AM
Suddenly, instead of following the principles he campaigned for and doing without the care he can't pay for, he is begging other people to help him out, as they would have done under the scheme he was protesting against.

I think you meant to say "he is begging other people to help him out, as he would not need to do (universal healthcare and all that) under the scheme he was protesting against"

personally, I don't think it's funny. it's sad and pathetic all around.

GonzoTheGreat
08-13-2009, 05:28 AM
It would be just sad and pathetic if they were merely stupid enough to believe their own propaganda. The fact that they try to force the idiocy on others transforms it. And the fact that his attempt to force on onto others backfired and forced him to face the consequences of his own stance makes it funny.
The fact that he is using the "do as we say, not as we do" approach is just Republican Party business as usual.

StrangePackage
08-13-2009, 07:38 AM
Spectator #1: Outrageous! How dare he say such blasphemy! I've got to do something!
Spectator #2: Bob, there's nothing you can do.
Spectator #1: Well, I guess I'll just have to develop a sense of humor.

Sei'taer
08-13-2009, 08:12 AM
The fact that he is using the "do as we say, not as we do" approach is just Republican Party business as usual.


Now that, is Damn funny!

John Snow
08-13-2009, 09:51 AM
Princess, you are coming really close to trolling. You seem to have the idea that we're a bunch of liberals who need educating.
a) Not true, we have a moderate-to-classic conservative bent here (except for those daggone Europeans and the occassional true radical, me)
2) we're a pretty damn smart bunch who will pick up on the baloney factor apparently quicker than you do.
z) be careful about titles like "princess" around here.

ShadowbaneX
08-13-2009, 11:18 AM
a) Not true, we have a moderate-to-classic conservative bent here (except for those daggone Europeans and the occassional true radical, me)

*aHEM*

Gilshalos Sedai
08-13-2009, 11:22 AM
Yeah, Snow... you forgot those radical Canadians.

GonzoTheGreat
08-13-2009, 11:25 AM
Are Americans supposed to know that Canadia is not in Europe?

Davian93
08-13-2009, 11:27 AM
Are Americans supposed to know that Canadia is not in Europe?

Sometimes we forget where it is...all tucked away down there.

John Snow
08-13-2009, 11:49 AM
*aHEM*
You're a radical too?

Sei'taer
08-13-2009, 12:10 PM
Sometimes we forget where it is...all tucked away down there.

Canadia has great food. Szechuan chicken, moo goo gai pan, egg foo yung, fried rice, msg, General Tso's chicken, fragrant beef.....yummy, all of it!

Brita
08-13-2009, 12:18 PM
Canadia has great food. Szechuan chicken, moo goo gai pan, egg foo yung, fried rice, msg, General Tso's chicken, fragrant beef.....yummy, all of it!

Intervention time:

Sei, I think you have a food obsession. The first step is admitting you have a problem....

StrangePackage
08-13-2009, 01:39 PM
Canada- America's Attic.

It's where we keep all that neat stuff we used to have, like neighborliness, progressive thought, trees, buffalo, and indigenous peoples.

Gilshalos Sedai
08-13-2009, 01:51 PM
Wait, we had progressive thought?

JSUCamel
08-13-2009, 01:53 PM
Wait, we had progressive thought?

Until you femi-nazi's came around.

Gilshalos Sedai
08-13-2009, 02:07 PM
Until you femi-nazi's came around.


I do believe that's the first time I've been called that. I don't know whether to be proud or pissed off.

ShadowbaneX
08-13-2009, 02:36 PM
You're a radical too?
yes...radically awesome.

GonzoTheGreat
08-13-2009, 03:14 PM
I do believe that's the first time I've been called that. I don't know whether to be proud or pissed off.Based on what I know of the breed, you only deserve the title if you're pissed off. Optionally, you can start looking for a reason to be pissed off, but you can also postpone that to another day.

Sei'taer
08-13-2009, 03:50 PM
Sei, I think you have a food obsession. The first step is admitting you have a problem....

Fetish, not obsession. You ever see Dodgeball (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M66hw_ggE0A)? (the quality is terrible...sorry)



Ivhon's going to be hunting me and trying and pry into my brain for sure now.

Terez
08-13-2009, 04:55 PM
Until you femi-nazi's came around.
I smell grammar nazi bait....

Brita
08-13-2009, 05:02 PM
I smell grammar nazi bait....

LOL!!! Nice one.

Kurtz
08-13-2009, 06:57 PM
So, I didn't want to interrupt the "what made me laugh today" thread with political BS, but this pissed me off to no end:



So, what exactly made you laugh here?


The fact that a man was beaten for trying to sell flags?

The fact that a black man was beaten and had racial insults thrown at him for daring to be a conservative?

The idea of union thugs beating someone for daring to display "don't tread on me?"

That a person has determined that he can't afford or doesn't currently want to pay for health insurance would have to pay out of pocket for his care because a couple of union thugs decided that it was "an attack on America" for a black man to not want everyone else to have to have to deal with any medical problems that he happens to have?

I guess I don't get it. What's funny? Other than the liberal thugs forgetting their "Oh, wait, we're not supposed to be racist" meme. That is amusing in a "not funny in damn way" way.

That whole tirade gave me a good belly laugh

Brita
08-13-2009, 07:04 PM
That whole tirade gave me a good belly laugh

Well look what the cat dragged in.

~~crosses arms and stares indignantly in Kurtz's direction, trying to hide giddy glee with a stern frown~~

Kurtz
08-13-2009, 07:13 PM
Well look what the cat dragged in.

~~crosses arms and stares indignantly in Kurtz's direction, trying to hide giddy glee with a stern frown~~

~looks around room~

~strings longbow effortlessly~

Davian93
08-13-2009, 07:18 PM
Well look what the cat dragged in.

~~crosses arms and stares indignantly in Kurtz's direction, trying to hide giddy glee with a stern frown~~

Well, well, well, this is awkward. Kurtz, its not what you think...well, maybe it is. You see, you were gone...neither one of us thought you would come back and, um...well, you see...

HEY LOOK OVER THERE!!!!


~dives behind ESC couch~

Brita
08-13-2009, 07:23 PM
Now, now, now. I can handle two warders. You boys will just have to play nice.

Interesting avatar Kurtz...

Kurtz
08-13-2009, 07:28 PM
Now, now, now. I can handle two warders. You boys will just have to play nice.

Interesting avatar Kurtz...

Indeed http://i25.tinypic.com/aol644.jpg

Ozymandias
08-13-2009, 07:29 PM
So, what exactly made you laugh here?


Well at first it was the hilarity of this guy begging for handouts after being beaten for... protesting against just that.

But once I saw your random tirade against no one in particular, I'd have to say the majority of my chuckles came from imagining someone (you) with nothing better to do than make some racist rant about something thats a total non issue

Kurtz
08-13-2009, 07:30 PM
Well, well, well, this is awkward. Kurtz, its not what you think...well, maybe it is. You see, you were gone...neither one of us thought you would come back and, um...well, you see...

HEY LOOK OVER THERE!!!!


~dives behind ESC couch~

One of the main reasons I haven't been on here for a while is because I think I logged on drunk once and abused you rather unfairly and then was to ashamed to return http://i661.photobucket.com/albums/uu332/IIJM/forum/Grindit.gif

Edit: Though I guess snatching my lady was a rather harsh recompense

Davian93
08-13-2009, 07:32 PM
One of the main reasons I haven't been on here for a while is because I think I logged on drunk once and abused you rather unfairly and then was to ashamed to return http://i661.photobucket.com/albums/uu332/IIJM/forum/Grindit.gif

Huh?

Must not have been too brutal if I don't remember it. Water under the bridge.

Welcome Back Kurtz.

Kurtz
08-13-2009, 07:36 PM
Huh?

Must not have been too brutal if I don't remember it. Water under the bridge.

Welcome Back Kurtz.

It was probably indecipherable anyway, I misinterpreted something you said and went on the attack :cool:

I think Sinistrum cleaned me out anyway :lol:

Brita
08-13-2009, 07:38 PM
There, see? We've already settled into a nice happy family.

Davian93
08-13-2009, 07:44 PM
There, see? We've already settled into a nice happy family.

So, how does this work? Do we alternate days? or is there some more complicated sharing scheme?

Kurtz
08-13-2009, 07:47 PM
There, see? We've already settled into a nice happy family.

*is physically sick*

StrangePackage
08-13-2009, 07:47 PM
See, if you guys were just freelance warders, you wouldn't have to worry about these types of situations. You just re-negotiate your contract or go on a per-diem...

It's the way to be.

http://images.absoluteanime.com/reviews/sam_and_max/index.jpg

Kurtz
08-13-2009, 07:48 PM
So, how does this work? Do we alternate days? or is there some more complicated sharing scheme?

The Devil's Threesome!! :eek:

Brita
08-13-2009, 07:48 PM
So, how does this work? Do we alternate days? or is there some more complicated sharing scheme?

Well, perhaps I should just ask who would like the whipped cream and who would like strawberries?


Oh- did I say that out loud......

Davian93
08-13-2009, 07:49 PM
Well, perhaps I should just ask who would like the whipped cream and who would like strawberries?


Oh- did I say that out loud......


Um...I'll take both.

Imagine the possibilities for us.

Kurtz
08-13-2009, 07:59 PM
We could be a formidable force, the forum might cower before us...........

but no, no. I'm getting ahead of myself.

Brita
08-13-2009, 08:01 PM
Imagine the possibilities for us.

Gig.gi.ty!

We could be a formidable force, the forum might cower before us...........

but no, no. I'm getting ahead of myself.

yes, we must not let them in on our schemes. Keep it quiet until they are lulled into a false sense of security, then .....

Davian93
08-13-2009, 08:03 PM
LOL...yes, let them get overconfident first.

Temba, his arms wide.

Ishara
08-13-2009, 08:37 PM
Can I second that GIGGITY?

Hot damn.

Davian93
08-13-2009, 08:54 PM
Can I second that GIGGITY?

Hot damn.

Anytime you want...;)

Cary Sedai
08-13-2009, 09:05 PM
Temba, his arms wide.

~shakes head~

Shaka when the walls fell...

I just watched that episode, I don't believe your sincerity!:p

Brita
08-13-2009, 09:06 PM
Anytime you want...;)

You're bad. ;)

And Ishara- you took the words right out of my mouth. :D Hot damn indeed.

StrangePackage
08-13-2009, 09:06 PM
~shakes head~

Shaka when the walls fell...

I just watched that episode, I don't believe your sincerity!:p

Hahahahaha

She just served you in Tamarian.

Buuuuuurn

Davian93
08-13-2009, 09:10 PM
~shakes head~

Shaka when the walls fell...

I just watched that episode, I don't believe your sincerity!:p

Sokath, his eyes open.

Uzani, his army with fists open.

Zanguini
08-13-2009, 09:33 PM
timba his arms closed
darmok on the ocean.
the children their faces wet

Kurtz
08-13-2009, 09:37 PM
This enjoyable digression of sexual one-upmanship seems to have been disturbed by some kind of bizarre geek poetry competition

Zanguini
08-13-2009, 09:39 PM
darmok and girard on tinagra

Davian93
08-13-2009, 09:42 PM
You're bad. ;)

And Ishara- you took the words right out of my mouth. :D Hot damn indeed.

~looks at Brita~

Giggity

~looks at Ishara~

Giggity

~looks at Brita and Ishara~

Giggity, giggity giggity.

Zaela Sedai
08-13-2009, 09:48 PM
Free-lance warders-- rent them, do as you will with them, ship em back..or chain them up in your basement ~throws blanket over XX~

Best at using for things you don't want to put your actual warders through. Ivhon, Rand/TJ, Kitten and XX right?

Jalyn
08-13-2009, 11:06 PM
I didn't think it was funny, but I can take a guess as to why someone else might think it is. The article suggests (and links to other articles that flat out say) that the guy was a plant to make the proposed plan look bad. In fact, one of the linked articles has a link to an alleged video of the confrontation and alleges that the black guy you mentioned is walking around just fine after supposedly being beaten up (while the alleged thugs are on the ground and have been beaten up).

*shrug* I don't find it remotely interesting at all though.



I'm confused. The bit you quoted from terez's last post indicated that the article had been updated. If you read the article, it explains that the guy HAS insurance, he's NOT uninsured. Therefore, he's not a hero -- he's an actor. His point may be valid, but his insinuations regarding his own situation were not.

I've seen the union claims that Gladney provoked the attack. I've also watched the video from right after the attack where the crowd that had seen what happened was freaking out about the union guys attacking him. I think I'll believe the eye witnesses.
He was up and moving but he was also obviously dazed. I have no idea how extensive his injuries were, obviously, but I do know that the union reps were arrested for the attack.

Yeah, my point on that didn't come out particularly clearly - I'll blame the bottle and a half of wine that I'd just finished for that. I wasn't meaning to call Gladney a hero in that post, my point was that had he not had insurance, it would have been a point in his favor, not against him. The first paragraph had the "would" in there to point that way, but it wasn't nearly clear enough. It also seems to indicate that taking a beating could make anyone a hero and... huh... No idea.


Let me try to spell it out:

This guy is campaigning against health care reform, because he believes that the current situation (where not everyone can afford care) is superior to the proposal under which such care would be available to all.
He gets injured.
He needs treatment.
He can't pay for it.
Suddenly, instead of following the principles he campaigned for and doing without the care he can't pay for, he is begging other people to help him out, as they would have done under the scheme he was protesting against.

The funny thing is simply that his hypocrisy is exposed. Of course, it's not really a surprising thing, since few right wingers are smart and capable enough to hide their hypocrisy from even accidental scrutiny, so it not very funny either.

Except asking people to choose to help him is not the same thing as having the government force people to help him. The distinction is rather important and not at all hypocritical.

Princess, you are coming really close to trolling. You seem to have the idea that we're a bunch of liberals who need educating.
a) Not true, we have a moderate-to-classic conservative bent here (except for those daggone Europeans and the occassional true radical, me)
2) we're a pretty damn smart bunch who will pick up on the baloney factor apparently quicker than you do.
z) be careful about titles like "princess" around here.

I certainly don't have any such ideas about Theoryland or the people who post here. I was annoyed by a specific throwaway comment and mentioned it. I didn't make any generalizations about the board, the makeup of the board or anything along those lines.
I) I'd say it's a pretty good mix across the board, but I haven't read even every political thread that's come in since I came back
2) See my response to JSUCamel
^) "Princess" is a nickname, not a title. Well, the nickname is Evil Princess, but I can't find that spelled out in gems. Feel free to mock as you wish, I'm certainly not going to get offended over someone not liking my avatar.

Sei'taer
08-14-2009, 06:39 AM
Snow forgot all about me. I'm not any of those things he described.

StrangePackage
08-14-2009, 07:29 AM
Taer, that's because you defy classification.

You loveable redneck, you.

GonzoTheGreat
08-14-2009, 07:29 AM
Except asking people to choose to help him is not the same thing as having the government force people to help him. The distinction is rather important and not at all hypocritical.As long as you ignore the fact that not every single person who needs such help can get it in sufficient amounts in this way. Or if you don't give a damn about how many poor people die because they can't afford to pay and don't have the notoriety to make such a plea for help succesful.

His example does make amply clear that he did not have adequate medical coverage. Normally, that would mean that he would have to do without. And that's what he wants for other people, as his protests against the reform proposals show. But he does not want it for himself, hence the charge of hypocrisy.

Ishara
08-14-2009, 07:46 AM
This enjoyable digression of sexual one-upmanship seems to have been disturbed by some kind of bizarre geek poetry competition

I know, right? I don't get it...

~goes back watching the fun action~

Zanguini
08-14-2009, 07:49 AM
second episode of the sixth season
Darmok and Girard at Tinagra (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darmok)

Sei'taer
08-14-2009, 08:06 AM
Taer, that's because you defy classification.

You loveable redneck, you.

Yeah well...um, I'm not sure if I should say thanks or not...

John Snow
08-14-2009, 09:57 AM
Snow forgot all about me. I'm not any of those things he described.

you're a classic conservative, Sei'taer, don't try to argue it! Don't give me that libertarian baloney. ;)

Gilshalos Sedai
08-14-2009, 10:09 AM
No, Snow, he's not socially conservative. He's going to rot in hell because he thinks gays should be able to get married.

GonzoTheGreat
08-14-2009, 10:17 AM
No, Snow, he's not socially conservative. He's going to rot in hell because he thinks gays should be able to get married.That's because he hates gays.
Real conservatives love gays. They love them so much that ... well, you've all seen the headlines often enough, I guess.

Davian93
08-14-2009, 11:13 AM
That's because he hates gays.
Real conservatives love gays. They love them so much that ... well, you've all seen the headlines often enough, I guess.

LOL...good one Gonzo.

John Snow
08-14-2009, 03:40 PM
No, Snow, he's not socially conservative. He's going to rot in hell because he thinks gays should be able to get married.

of eternal punishments, that position is ok with classical conservatism. I should go find a good description so y'all can see what I'm talking about. For example.....

Hey Sei'taer, and anybody else who falls under that general umbrella (hmmm, falling under umbrellas? Anyway) - you like Ike, right? See?

on edit:
Ok, here we go - Russell Kirk's 6 rules -

The Conservative Mind was written by Kirk as a doctoral dissertation while he was a student at the St. Andrews University in Scotland. Previously the author of a biography of American conservative John Randolph of Roanoke, Kirk's The Conservative Mind had laid out six "canons of conservative thought" in the book, including:

1. Belief that a divine intent rules society as well as conscience... Political problems, at bottom, are religious and moral problems.
2. Affection for the proliferating variety and mystery of traditional life, as distinguished from the narrowing uniformity and equalitarian and utilitarian aims of most radical systems.
3. Conviction that civilized society requires orders and classes...
4. Persuasion that property and freedom are inseparably connected, and that economic leveling is not economic progress...
5. Faith in prescription and distrust of "sophisters and calculators." Man must put a control upon his will and his appetite...Tradition and sound prejudice provide checks upon man's anarchic impulse.
6. Recognition that change and reform are not identical.
-------------------
contrast that with paleoconservatism in the US:
There is some confusion over whether American traditionalist conservatism and paleoconservatism are one and the same political philosophy. While there is some overlap concerning principles and even policy prescriptions, traditionalist conservatism differs with paleoconservatism in that traditionalists emphasize culture while paleoconservatives emphasize reactionary political action. Paleoconservatism is also, somewhat, more influenced by Old Right and anti-immigrant politics. Paleoconservatism also is generally understood to be more ideological in nature and more militant in its approach to other conservative political philosophies, including neoconservatism. It may be ventured that paleoconservatism is possibly the political expression of traditionalist conservatism, especially as many paleoconservatives such as former presidential candidate and journalist Patrick J. Buchanan express traditionalist conservative ideas and support traditionalist conservative causes such as cultural renewal and defending Western Civilization. Traditionalist conservatism, however, is older than paleoconservatism (which emerged in the late 1980s among traditionalist conservative academics and journalists in response to the growing influence of neoconservatism), and while many paleoconservatives (Claes G. Ryn, Paul Gottfried) are also traditionalists, not all traditionalist conservatives are paleoconservatives.
----------------------------------------

See? You guys are classic conservatives. So is my wife, but for different, genetic type reasons.

Sei'taer
08-15-2009, 08:58 AM
1. Belief that a divine intent rules society as well as conscience... Political problems, at bottom, are religious and moral problems.

Nope. Not me at all.

2. Affection for the proliferating variety and mystery of traditional life, as distinguished from the narrowing uniformity and equalitarian and utilitarian aims of most radical systems

Um...well, no. Not in the sense that they are talking about traditional life. Gay marriage and abortion rights topping that list. There are others, but...

3. Conviction that civilized society requires orders and classes...

I view order and class as fluid. Classes overlap constantly. Order changes as society progresses. People move up or down according to the whims of society, so I guess that would be a no also.

4. Persuasion that property and freedom are inseparably connected, and that economic leveling is not economic progress...

Pretty much, yup.

5. Faith in prescription and distrust of "sophisters and calculators." Man must put a control upon his will and his appetite...Tradition and sound prejudice provide checks upon man's anarchic impulse.

If you control will and appetite, you never improve. Society has to have some free will and an appetite for improvement or you get stagnation. Look at N. Korea.

6. Recognition that change and reform are not identical.

They aren't


I got 2 out of 6...woohooo

John Snow
08-15-2009, 02:56 PM
I got 2 out of 6...woohooo

lol!

GonzoTheGreat
08-15-2009, 03:29 PM
All right, I'll take the test too.
1. Belief that a divine intent rules society as well as conscience... Political problems, at bottom, are religious and moral problems.
Nope.


2. Affection for the proliferating variety and mystery of traditional life, as distinguished from the narrowing uniformity and equalitarian and utilitarian aims of most radical systems.
Check.
With the caveat that my affection may not make me accept the perpetuation of various and mystical things like female circumcision, so I disagree with many other conservatives on details.


3. Conviction that civilized society requires orders and classes...
Nope.
Not in the sense that they mean classes, anyway. I do think quite a lot of people should've paid more attention in their classes, but that's an entirely different issue, it seems.


4. Persuasion that property and freedom are inseparably connected, and that economic leveling is not economic progress...
Nope.
I do think that in very many cases economic leveling is economic progress. Of course, I also think that this can often be achieved by bringing everyone up, but that's not what conservatives want.


5. Faith in prescription and distrust of "sophisters and calculators." Man must put a control upon his will and his appetite...Tradition and sound prejudice provide checks upon man's anarchic impulse.
Nope.
Prejudice can make people pretty anarchic, as can lots of traditions.


6. Recognition that change and reform are not identical.
Check.
We've had quite a few of those changes that reformed nothing, and reforms that changed nothing.

I also got 2 out of 6. I'm starting to see a pattern here, John. Is this one of those tests where everyone gets the same score, so that no one need feel bad?

Mort
08-15-2009, 07:24 PM
I view order and class as fluid. Classes overlap constantly. Order changes as society progresses. People move up or down according to the whims of society, so I guess that would be a no also.



The question asks if you believe that classes are necessary in a civilized society. Not wether you believe them to be static or people being able to move between them. Your answer leds me to believe that you believe that classes are needed. I'd give you 3 yesses :) You're officially on the fence ;)

I actually don't get two of the questions so I dunno how to answer properly but I think I have one or two yesses there...

Sei'taer
08-15-2009, 08:14 PM
The question asks if you believe that classes are necessary in a civilized society. Not wether you believe them to be static or people being able to move between them. Your answer leds me to believe that you believe that classes are needed. I'd give you 3 yesses :) You're officially on the fence ;)

I actually don't get two of the questions so I dunno how to answer properly but I think I have one or two yesses there...

Depends on how you view it. I took classes to mean upper, middle, lower. I didn't even think about it in terms of castes (until I read your post), like India has, so maybe that swayed my opinion a bit.

tworiverswoman
08-16-2009, 04:25 AM
2. Affection for the proliferating variety and mystery of traditional life, as distinguished from the narrowing uniformity and equalitarian and utilitarian aims of most radical systems.I can't figure out what this means - but there's a part of my brain going, "!!!" at the wording.

The choice of words seems to make the first half robust and desirable, and the second half rigid and intolerable.




Objection! Leading the witness!

GonzoTheGreat
08-16-2009, 04:38 AM
Objection! Leading the witness!I already told you that, didn't I?
If the questions were not carefully crafted to lead everyone to the same ultimate outcome, then some would do better than others on this.

Mort
08-16-2009, 01:41 PM
Depends on how you view it. I took classes to mean upper, middle, lower. I didn't even think about it in terms of castes (until I read your post), like India has, so maybe that swayed my opinion a bit.

Maybe not castes but somewhere in between I think.

I think you could write many many pages for each question going for and against what it means and how to interpret. That is also just one definition of what constitutes as a conservatist. Dunno how old that paper were but conservatism, and every definition - whatever they are, usually change with time. Conservatism as it is normally used was probably not the same conservatism existing 50 years ago etc.

Uno
08-16-2009, 02:19 PM
1. Belief that a divine intent rules society as well as conscience... Political problems, at bottom, are religious and moral problems.

Nah, don't believe in that, but, then, I don't believe in divine intent at all, and I hold that social problems are always vastly too complex to be reduced to rather childish morality plays. Radicals and liberals often believe in divine intent, as well, they just call it the triumphant march of progress/modernism/socialism instead. It's just as metaphysical, though.

2. Affection for the proliferating variety and mystery of traditional life, as distinguished from the narrowing uniformity and equalitarian and utilitarian aims of most radical systems.

No argument with that, though I'd add that the uniformity created by capitalism is just as alarming. Capitalism, just as much as radicalism, is ready to tear that all traditions and customs that give cultures some variety, only for different reasons.

3. Conviction that civilized society requires orders and classes...

Depends on what you mean, but some form of differentiation is going to arise in any functioning society, and it's not necessarily always a bad thing. If you tear down the old ranks and divisions, new ones are going to pop up in their stead, and in many cases they're likely to prove far more vulgar and socially irresponsible than the old elites.

4. Persuasion that property and freedom are inseparably connected, and that economic leveling is not economic progress...

Well, the liberty = property equation is a very Anglo thing, and I'd say that insistence on the absolute sanctity of property can be a destroyer of established traditions and liberties alike. In the Nordic countries, tradition and law dictates that no landholder can deny people access to woodland, forests, beaches, and other natural ares. This is a right so ancient that it predates the creation of the Scandinavian states by who knows how many centuries, but it is sometimes threatened by the rather vulgar noveau riche, who often attempt to erect illegal fences around their ostentatious summer houses. If property rights were absolute, they could do so with impunity, but, fortunately, ancient liberties prevent them.

As to leveling, well, I think that stark economic divides may lead to instability and unrest, which conservatives should sort of be against. Maybe I'm a bit like Bismarck in that way.

5. Faith in prescription and distrust of "sophisters and calculators." Man must put a control upon his will and his appetite...Tradition and sound prejudice provide checks upon man's anarchic impulse.

I take this to mean an ingrained skepticism of social engineering and a belief that established customs often provide sound guidelines even if they cannot always be explained rationally or logically. So I'd check yes on that one.

6. Recognition that change and reform are not identical.

Well, yeah, but when people start talking about the inevitablility of change and progress, I always get an urge to head for the hills. To me, "progress" often just means that bad things happen faster and are brought about by those with the power to impose their will on people they label as "backwards" and "stuck in the past."

GonzoTheGreat
08-17-2009, 04:52 AM
Uno, how many did you get right?
I'm wondering whether or not you also got 2, but I can't quite figure it out.

Uno
08-17-2009, 12:01 PM
Uno, how many did you get right?
I'm wondering whether or not you also got 2, but I can't quite figure it out.

I probably got three, although number six is sort of meaningless in the way it's phrased. It's pretty hard to deny that change and reform aren't necessarily identical. I took it to mean that rapid and violent change is not desirable, whereas slower and moderate reforms might be. I might even have gotten four, but I've got a quarrel with statement number two, as I'm not sure society requires clear social classes. There have been many traditional societies that manage to do quite well without, but I'm rather certain that orders and ranks of some kind are almost inevitable.

If I weren't such an atheist, I might've gotten five, or at least 4.5. I'm pretty sure I've never really thought that social problems are at root the result of moral failings.

tworiverswoman
08-17-2009, 06:33 PM
I'm not sure society requires clear social classes. There have been many traditional societies that manage to do quite well without, but I'm rather certain that orders and ranks of some kind are almost inevitable. I'd be curious to see you mention some of them. I'm not disagreeing, but my mind draws a complete blank when trying to name any. Then again, I was absolutely HORRIBLE in my History classes when I was in school.

Uno
08-17-2009, 07:29 PM
I'd be curious to see you mention some of them. I'm not disagreeing, but my mind draws a complete blank when trying to name any. Then again, I was absolutely HORRIBLE in my History classes when I was in school.

Well, the term "social class" describes more or less permanent divisions based on economic differentiation, typically a division of labour and significant disparities in ownership of property. Thus a society isn't really divided into social classes if pretty much everyone performs the same labour (i.e. they're all farmers) or if the division of labour follows generational lines, that is, young people work for members of the older generation until they inherit resources from their parents. In that case, the labourers and the employers really belong to the same strata: they're only at different life stages.

I'd also say that for two persons to belong to different social classes, they must have dissimilar economic interests. If farmer A has 100 acres of land and farmer B only 50, they're still both farmer, and their economic interests are pretty much the same. If farmer A isn't so much a farmer as a landlord whose main income comes from rent from farmers B, C, and D, then we're talking about class difference.

Social class is also different from rank (or status). Class is pretty much based on what you've got, while rank is based on who you are and, often very importantly, who your ancestors were. Thus a noble family may actually be a lot poorer than a merchant family, but they're still the social superiors of the latter because they have higher rank.

In some traditional "peasant" (it's not really a good term, but it's the best I've got) societies, such as parts of early modern Scandinavia, pretty much all families were freeholding farmers living within a largely egalitarian social system. In such a setting, you don't really have a division of labour, and you don't have a great income gap, so you don't really have social classes. There might be some poorer farmers and some richer ones, but they'd all be people with very similar economic interests and therefore can't really be said to belong to different social classes. The farmers would, of course, interact with members of the elite (priests, state officials, and so on), but these people were relatively few and on a day-to-day basis didn't have that great of an impact on the populace. In this type of society, status is often determined by age and sex rather than ownership of property, and they're therefore not class-based social systems.

But the first thing that comes to mind to me is various Native American societies in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. At least in large parts of the eastern woodland, pretty much all the males would be hunters and all the females horticulturalists, regardless of family background. These peoples did have rank and status, and leadership positions often descended in chief lineages, but economic differences were small. Unless he was old and infirm, the chief would be expected to hunt game to support his family and his wife would have to tend her own fields, so that the only real division of labour these societies knew was based on gender, not class.

Ozymandias
08-17-2009, 10:20 PM
Not to be incendiary, since I'm not even sure what I'm about to say is true, but I think there is a definite case to be made for the fact that social stratification usually accompanies a greater overall rise in wealth. By which I mean a peasant in Medieval Bavaria was better off than one of the Scandanavian freeholders Uno mentioned.

To a certain extent, social stratification is a necessary result of increased wealth. Wealth always tends to concentrates as it increases, because efficiency is one of the few ways to reliably grow overall GDP/wealth/however you want to put it. ANd almost by definition you need some sort of managerial/ownership class to more effectively run things.

So again, while Native Americans roaming free in their economically egalitarian society may sound attractive, I'm guessing the French peasant had things a good deal better absolutely, despite his relative impoverishment.

Ivhon
08-17-2009, 11:54 PM
Not to be incendiary, since I'm not even sure what I'm about to say is true, but I think there is a definite case to be made for the fact that social stratification usually accompanies a greater overall rise in wealth. By which I mean a peasant in Medieval Bavaria was better off than one of the Scandanavian freeholders Uno mentioned.

To a certain extent, social stratification is a necessary result of increased wealth. Wealth always tends to concentrates as it increases, because efficiency is one of the few ways to reliably grow overall GDP/wealth/however you want to put it. ANd almost by definition you need some sort of managerial/ownership class to more effectively run things.

So again, while Native Americans roaming free in their economically egalitarian society may sound attractive, I'm guessing the French peasant had things a good deal better absolutely, despite his relative impoverishment.

Depends on what you call "better." Current nomadic bush societies work something like 20 hours per week - once enough food is procured, there is nothing but to sit around the campfire, talk of the dreamworld and partake of various spiritually attuned plantmatter (yes, yes, hyperbole).

Compare to the aforementioned French peasant - who might have a few more things, but works from sunup to sundown 24-7, 364 days a year.

I dunno who has it better. Social stratification comes with agriculture and to a lesser extent industrialization. While it provides an increase in overall resources, those at the bottom probably have it much worse than nomadic folks since they are the ones doing the work for those at the top who certainly have it better than nomadic societies.

Uno
08-18-2009, 12:08 AM
Not to be incendiary, since I'm not even sure what I'm about to say is true, but I think there is a definite case to be made for the fact that social stratification usually accompanies a greater overall rise in wealth. By which I mean a peasant in Medieval Bavaria was better off than one of the Scandanavian freeholders Uno mentioned.

To a certain extent, social stratification is a necessary result of increased wealth. Wealth always tends to concentrates as it increases, because efficiency is one of the few ways to reliably grow overall GDP/wealth/however you want to put it. ANd almost by definition you need some sort of managerial/ownership class to more effectively run things.

So again, while Native Americans roaming free in their economically egalitarian society may sound attractive, I'm guessing the French peasant had things a good deal better absolutely, despite his relative impoverishment.

I'm not actually sure how this is relevant to the topic under discussion, but OK.

First, I'm pretty sure that the freeholder would be better off simply because he didn't owe rent to landlords, much less various feudal dues to the nobility. There's a reason why there were major peasant revolts in Bavaria in the 16th century and only occasional murmuring in Norway.

At any rate, a noble estate in Europe wasn't like a plantation closely supervised by managers. The peasants ran their own affairs and the nobility took out a surplus. We're not talking about an operation with a lot of rational central planning. Rather, the owner class was relatively passive as far as the day-to-day running of economic production was concerned and remained content to reap some of the benefit of the activities of the farmers. There's therefore little reason why a manorial system should produce any greater degree of innovation than would be the case in a society of freeholders.

As to the second issue, you can let historical testimony speak for itself. Colonists in English America were for the most part far better off materially than ordinary people in Europe, but it was still a rather common occurrence that English men and women made the conscious choice to become "white Indians," and hardly any instance that I know of of Indians deciding that they wanted to join colonial society. Europeans were rather aware of this phenomenon at the time, to the extent that it created a bit of an explanatory problem for people who were ideologically committed to the belief in the superiority of European civilization.

Native society exerted a great deal of pull on an unknown number of Europeans, while virtually no Indians showed any degree of willingness to go the other way. When given the choice, Native Americans simply preferred their own manner of life to that of the Europeans, and some Europeans agreed.

That makes it rather hard to say that French peasants were better off than Indians, though I would say that they were probably better off than many people in England, but that's because the French peasants, unlike their English counterparts, were not pushed off the land in the 15th and 16th centuries. The dispossession of the English peasantry, of course, created an economic situation that set the stage for England's industrial revolution, but it tended to make the rich richer and the poor poorer.

Besides, Native American agriculture was actually phenomenally productive, as any number of European observers testified. Only a cursory glance at the sources will be enough to tell you that much. But well-being is at any rate relative, and many of the early fur traders were in fact rather frustrated that their Native trading partners had such small material wants. They were content with the way they lived, and while they might want to add a few steel hatchets, a gun, a bit of cloth, and some other tools to their inventory, they had quite little interest in accumulating possessions the way the Europeans did. They just had a hard time convincing Indians to become consumers, and that wasn't good for business. There are many reasons for this, among them that hoarding possessions was considered anti-social behaviour in many Native societies, so that people who had a lot were expected to share with their compatriots. The imperative towards generosity was so great that Europeans often marvelled that the chiefs seemed to be poorer than many of their people, as those in leadership positions were expected to give freely to all. We're talking about a society where giving away, not having, is what confers social prestige.

Both the French and the English on occasion deliberately convinced allied Native leaders to come with them to visit France and England, so they might be impressed by the sheer wealth and power of their European allies, but it didn't actually go that well. To paraphrase, the Indians tended to think that while Whitehall and Versailles were pretty impressive buildings, European society was pretty disgusting, as there were so many poor people living amidst all this wealth. In a decent society, they felt, the wealth would be distributed to those in need. In essence, the French and the English both failed the generosity test, and that was inexcusable.

I suppose you may measure well-being according to the sheer amount of stuff you have, but that's only one way of doing it, appropriate, perhaps, to a modern consumer society, but certainly not to all societies that are or have been.

Also, "Native Americans roaming free"? You don't find that turn of phrase a wee bit...problematic?

Uno
08-18-2009, 12:41 AM
I dunno who has it better. Social stratification comes with agriculture and to a lesser extent industrialization. While it provides an increase in overall resources, those at the bottom probably have it much worse than nomadic folks since they are the ones doing the work for those at the top who certainly have it better than nomadic societies.

I've just got to quote this speech of a Micmac chief to Frenchman Chrestien LeClerq in 1677. At the times, the Micmacs, of course, were a nomadic hunter-gatherer culture. They weren't that impressed with European civilization and material culture:

"I am greatly astonished that the French have so little cleverness, as they seem to exhibit in the matter of which thou hast just told me on their behalf, in the effort to persuade us to convert our poles, our barks, and our wigwams into those houses of stone and of wood which are tall and lofty, according to their account, as these trees. Very well! But why now, do men of five to six feet in height need houses which are sixty to eighty?

"For, in fact, as thou knowest very well thyself, Patriarch—do we not find in our own all the conveniences and the advantages that you have with yours, such as reposing, drinking, sleeping, eating, and amusing ourselves with our friends when we wish? This is not all, my brother, hast thou as much ingenuity and cleverness as the Indians, who carry their houses and their wigwams with them so that they may lodge wheresoever they please, independently of any seignior whatsoever?

"Thou art not as bold nor as stout as we, because when thou goest on a voyage thou canst not carry upon thy shoulders thy buildings and thy edifices. Therefore it is necessary that thou prepares as many lodgings as thou makest changes of residence, or else thou lodgest in a hired house which does not belong to thee. As for us, we find ourselves secure from all these inconveniences, and we can always say, more truly than thou, that we are at home everywhere, because we set up our wigwams with ease wheresoever we go, and without asking permission of anybody.

"Thou reproachest us, very inappropriately, that our country is a little hell in contrast with France, which thou comparest to a terrestrial paradise, inasmuch as it yields thee, so thou safest, every kind of provision in abundance. Thou sayest of us also that we are the most miserable and most unhappy of all men, living without religion, without manners, without honour, without social order, and, in a word, without any rules, like the beasts in our woods and our forests, lacking bread, wine, and a thousand other comforts which thou hast in superfluity in Europe.

"Well, my brother, if thou dost not yet know the real feelings which our Indians have towards thy country and towards all thy nation, it is proper that I inform thee at once. I beg thee now to believe that, all miserable as we seem in thine eyes, we consider ourselves nevertheless much happier than thou in this, that we are very content with the little that we have; and believe also once for all, I pray, that thou deceivest thyself greatly if thou thinkest to persuade us that thy country is better than ours.

"For if France, as thou sayest, is a little terrestrial paradise, art thou sensible to leave it? And why abandon wives, children, relatives, and friends? Why risk thy life and thy property every year, and why venture thyself with such risk, in any season whatsoever, to the storms and tempests of the sea in order to come to a strange and barbarous country which thou considerest the poorest and least fortunate of the world?

"Besides, since we are wholly convinced of the contrary, we scarcely take the trouble to go to France, because we fear, with good reason, lest we find little satisfaction there, seeing, in our own experience, that those who are natives thereof leave it every year in order to enrich themselves on our shores. We believe, further, that you are also incomparably poorer than we, and that you are only simple journeymen, valets, servants, and slaves, all masters and grand captains though you may appear, seeing that you glory in our old rags and in our miserable suits of beaver which can no longer be of use to us, and that you find among us, in the fishery for cod which you make in these parts, the wherewithal to comfort your misery and the poverty which oppresses you.

"As to us, we find all our riches and all our conveniences among ourselves, without trouble and without exposing our lives to the dangers in which you find yourselves constantly through your long voyages. And, whilst feeling compassion for you in the sweetness of our repose, we wonder at the anxieties and cares which you give yourselves night and day in order to load your ship. We see also that all your people live, as a rule, only upon cod which you catch among us. It is everlastingly nothing but cod—cod in the morning, cod at midday, cod at evening, and always cod, until things come to such a pass that if you wish some good morsels, it is at our expense; and you are obliged to have recourse to the Indians, whom you despise so much, and to beg them to go a-hunting that you may be regaled.

"Now tell me this one little thing, if thou hast any sense: Which of these two is the wisest and happiest—he who labours without ceasing and only obtains, and that with great trouble, enough to live on, or he who rests in comfort and finds all that he needs in the pleasure of hunting and fishing? It is true, that we have not always had the use of bread and of wine which your France produces; but, in fact, before the arrival of the French in these parts, did not the Gaspesians live much longer than now? And if we have not any longer among us any of those old men of a hundred and thirty to forty years, it is only because we are gradually adopting your manner of living, for experience is making it very plain that those of us live longest who, despising your bread, your wine, and your brandy, are content with their natural food of beaver, of moose, of waterfowl, and fish, in accord with the custom of our ancestors and of all the Gaspesian nation. Learn now, my brother, once for all, because I must open to thee my heart: there is no Indian who does not consider himself infinitely more happy and more powerful than the French."

GonzoTheGreat
08-18-2009, 04:31 AM
If one takes the Edda (http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/poe/poe14.htm) as a reasonable guide to early Scandinavians, then they had at least three officially recognised classes: servants/slaves, free farmers and warriors/nobles.

Uno
08-18-2009, 06:27 AM
If one takes the Edda (http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/poe/poe14.htm) as a reasonable guide to early Scandinavians, then they had at least three officially recognised classes: servants/slaves, free farmers and warriors/nobles.

As surprising as it may seem to you, Gonzo, Scandinavian society was not the same in the 16th century as in the 10th.

Sarevok
08-18-2009, 06:32 AM
Hmm, reading all this, it would appear social class is not a product of wealth, but more of a large population.
I think if all the French farmers you mentioned were to suddenly become hunter/gatherers, they hunt all the game in France to extinction within a year. :|

Uno
08-18-2009, 06:40 AM
Hmm, reading all this, it would appear social class is not a product of wealth, but more of a large population.
I think if all the French farmers you mentioned were to suddenly become hunter/gatherers, they hunt all the game in France to extinction within a year. :|

Yeah, but an agricultural society doesn't have to have a clear class structure, as indicated above. The way it goes, though, is that agriculture allows for a greater population than hunting and gathering, and once that happens, people aren't likely to abandon agricultural production, though some Indian groups bordering on the Great Plains did do that after the introduction of horses in the early 18th-century.

Davian93
08-18-2009, 08:13 AM
As surprising as it may seem to you, Gonzo, Scandinavian society was not the same in the 16th century as in the 10th.

ROFL

Sei'taer
08-18-2009, 08:33 AM
ROFL


Yeah, I woulda repped Dr. Uno for that one.

Zanguini
08-18-2009, 09:02 AM
given enough time would the native americans morphed into a more european lifestyle if they were left to their own devices?

Davian93
08-18-2009, 09:08 AM
given enough time would the native americans morphed into a more european lifestyle if they were left to their own devices?

Orson Scott Card wrote a pretty interesting book on that subject.

It was called Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus. I recommend it as its a pretty good read.

Crispin's Crispian
08-18-2009, 09:47 AM
given enough time would the native americans morphed into a more european lifestyle if they were left to their own devices?
How much time do you think they would have needed? In the Pacific NW, some Indians had economic or social classes, at least to the extent that there were nobles, wealthy people, common people, and slaves. According to the former Oregon State Archaeologist (http://www.oregon-archaeology.com/theory/cultural_ecology/#kalapuya), class mobility was pretty straightforward--you could become a member of the wealthy class just by gaining wealth, and vice versa.

But who knows how old this system was? Unfortunately, when you don't have written records, it's nearly impossible to track social changes more than a few generations past. Plus, you have this idea of "mythic time," where mythical or pseudo-historical events are just "sometime many years ago" and have developed on their own through oral transmission.

Ishara
08-18-2009, 10:45 AM
Well, but also you need certain things to have a larger society, which contributes to have classes. Not all areas are equipped with the tools to give them the ability to develop larger societies, let alone classes, let alone-Euro-centric society.

Domesticable animals is an excellent example. Native Americans prior to the landing of the Spaniards didn't have horses or cows. They had dogs and chickens, and some had pigs. Nothing to assist in large-scale agriculture that is a must for large-scale societies that lead to classes for the most part.

And that's just one example.

Guns, Germs and Steel answers your question pretty well.

Davian93
08-18-2009, 10:51 AM
Guns, Germs and Steel answers your question pretty well.

The funny thing is I was thinking as I read your post, "Hmm, someone's read Guns, Germs and Steel..."

Good book. Collapse is decent as well...though not as good as GG & S.

Crispin's Crispian
08-18-2009, 11:45 AM
Well, but also you need certain things to have a larger society, which contributes to have classes. Not all areas are equipped with the tools to give them the ability to develop larger societies, let alone classes, let alone-Euro-centric society.

Domesticable animals is an excellent example. Native Americans prior to the landing of the Spaniards didn't have horses or cows. They had dogs and chickens, and some had pigs. Nothing to assist in large-scale agriculture that is a must for large-scale societies that lead to classes for the most part.

I agree somewhat, though I would argue more for accidental innovation as a precursor. Native Americans in the plains had bison, and around my parts they had plenty of elk. Yet none of those were ever domesticated like cattle in Europe and elsewhere. It's not just the presence of certain animals, but also that magical point in time where someone decides s/he can and will domesticate them.

And, as I said in my earlier post, it's not quite as simple as saying that social class systems develop after agriculture or domestication. The Kalapuya in Oregon had distinct classes, yet as far as we know didn't practice large scale agriculture. They did burn forests to let their favored plants grow, however.

Ozymandias
08-18-2009, 11:48 AM
First, I'm pretty sure that the freeholder would be better off simply because he didn't owe rent to landlords, much less various feudal dues to the nobility. There's a reason why there were major peasant revolts in Bavaria in the 16th century and only occasional murmuring in Norway.


If your a society of freeholders, who do you revolt against? You can't have social instability without some sort of central government/upper class to foment trouble against.

We put such a premium on "freedom" in this country and in modern times, but when it comes down to it thats merely a result of even the poorest of us having a (relatively) lot of disposable wealth. I don't care if I owe rent to a landlord if I still end up, post-rent, with more than I would have had otherwise. Or shouldn't. And while I have no statistic to back this up, I would hardly be surprised to find that French/German/even English peasants had a higher nutritional standard of living than a Norse freeholder. Especially after the introduction of the potato, but I digress.

At any rate, a noble estate in Europe wasn't like a plantation closely supervised by managers. The peasants ran their own affairs and the nobility took out a surplus. We're not talking about an operation with a lot of rational central planning. Rather, the owner class was relatively passive as far as the day-to-day running of economic production was concerned and remained content to reap some of the benefit of the activities of the farmers. There's therefore little reason why a manorial system should produce any greater degree of innovation than would be the case in a society of freeholders.

I firmly disagree with this. I think the level of supervision was much closer than you think. Sure, the noble wasn't walking through his fields, but he had retainers who micromanaged smaller pieces of the estates, and officials and courtiers who supervised those things as well. In addition, sheerly through economy of scale, manorial estates were likely to be more efficient than a couple dozen freehold farms. Again, no data to support that, but common sense and economic theory back it up.

As to the second issue, you can let historical testimony speak for itself. Colonists in English America were for the most part far better off materially than ordinary people in Europe, but it was still a rather common occurrence that English men and women made the conscious choice to become "white Indians," and hardly any instance that I know of of Indians deciding that they wanted to join colonial society

Hardly common. If a tenth of a percent of colonists went native, I'd be surprised. In addition, you have to understand that the social barriers were much more rigid against Europeanization than the other way around. Even the few Native Americans that make it back to Europe are treated as sideshow freaks, despite what may have been a genuine desire to join that culture.

And colonists were better off because they had more land. Its comparing apples and oranges.

Europeans were rather aware of this phenomenon at the time, to the extent that it created a bit of an explanatory problem for people who were ideologically committed to the belief in the superiority of European civilization.

Again, their own intolerance of an inferior culture erected an impentrable barrier for social assimilation, even among willing natives.

Native society exerted a great deal of pull on an unknown number of Europeans, while virtually no Indians showed any degree of willingness to go the other way. When given the choice, Native Americans simply preferred their own manner of life to that of the Europeans, and some Europeans agreed.

On a tiny, infestimal number of Europeans, a number of whom were captives, which skews the equation even further. The point is, Europeans actively rejected natives and literally hunted them to extinction, in effect, in many places.

They were content with the way they lived, and while they might want to add a few steel hatchets, a gun, a bit of cloth, and some other tools to their inventory, they had quite little interest in accumulating possessions the way the Europeans did.

Which is hardly the same as being as productive a society. They might have been satisfied with less, but it was still less.

They also supported a tiny percentage of the population of even a single European country. Estimates range to 10 million total Native Americans in North America around 1650, and thats fairly liberal. France alone had about double that. On maybe a thirtieth of the space. Its easy to have phenomenally productive land when you barely tax it at all to support your population. France had been in consistent agricultural use for thousands of years at that point, its inevitable its yields would be less.

Both the French and the English on occasion deliberately convinced allied Native leaders to come with them to visit France and England, so they might be impressed by the sheer wealth and power of their European allies, but it didn't actually go that well. To paraphrase, the Indians tended to think that while Whitehall and Versailles were pretty impressive buildings, European society was pretty disgusting, as there were so many poor people living amidst all this wealth. In a decent society, they felt, the wealth would be distributed to those in need. In essence, the French and the English both failed the generosity test, and that was inexcusable.

And in the end, the way of life those chiefs espoused has been restricted to a couple of grubby, barren plots of land in the Southwest and northern USA. It may have been inexcusable, but it was clearly superior.

I suppose you may measure well-being according to the sheer amount of stuff you have, but that's only one way of doing it, appropriate, perhaps, to a modern consumer society, but certainly not to all societies that are or have been.

The test of those societies came, and they have inevitably failed. Can there be any more accurate judgement? Egalitarian societies have met stratified ones hundreds of times throughout history, and have always failed the test.

Also, "Native Americans roaming free"? You don't find that turn of phrase a wee bit...problematic?[/QUOTE]

Crispin's Crispian
08-18-2009, 04:04 PM
It may have been inexcusable, but it was clearly superior.
Superior in firepower, sure. Superior in numbers, definitely. You need more qualification of a word like that than to say simply that a society that wins is superior.


The test of those societies came, and they have inevitably failed. Can there be any more accurate judgement?
All societies fail. It's not an accurate judgement at all, but simply irrelevant.

John Snow
08-18-2009, 05:17 PM
~looks around room~

~strings longbow effortlessly~

Seriously, the poetry in that particular part of the odysseid is one of my tests for how good the translation is - I love it.

Uno
08-18-2009, 05:44 PM
I'm not taking the time to respond to all of Ozy's points in minute detail, as Crispin sums it up rather nicely, but what you say about peasant society is rather wrong, and mostly because you're assuming that nobles in early modern Europe were modern capitalists. They weren't. They didn't think about economic production the way we do. They were also restrained by custom and social obligation. They couldn't just do whatever they liked. That the peasantry for the most part managed its own affairs was part of the social contract of their society, so to speak. To generalize perhaps a bit much, the way this society functioned was that a peasant village was a mostly autonomous unit. The nobles understood that much, at least. The nobleman would be free to manage his own estate as he saw fit, but it would consist of lands that were in his direct possession, and while the peasants would have some obligation to work for their lord at set times of the year, for the most part they focused on managing their own little farms.

As to what you say about freeholders now having anyone to revolt against, well, there's of course the central government, but its demands were rather modest, far less onerous that those of landlords, and there was therefore not a great incentive to revolt. This is to refute your claim that Bavarian peasants were better off. They don't seem to have thought they were.

As to my observations regarding the evident Native disinclination to "go European," you seem to have misunderstood me completely. It's not a case of Indians going to Europe, it's a case of Indians having the opportunity to join European society in America, or at least change their own way of life so much that it was indistinguishable from that of Euro-Americans. That's something they were actively encouraged to do by missionaries and state officials, who, as they put it, wanted to "reduce them to civility." From the early 17th century, a great number of Native groups were under considerable pressure to assimilate to European culture, and their baltantly obvious disinclination to do so stands in rather stark contrast to the desire of many Europeans to go Native. While the number of "white Indians" was, of course, numerically small, European colonists at the time found this phenomenon alarming enough that they spent considerable time trying to explain it away. Typically, they concluded that Europeans were seduced by the great personal freedom they found in egalitarian and non-coercive Native societies. In this they were probably largely correct.

That was at any rate the point I was addressing: in which society does the average person experience more well-being. Indians thought their culture was superior because they felt it gave them better lives. That's the issue I was addressing, anyway, but which you proceeded to ignore, preferring instead to go into a kind of rant that really boils down to an attempt at evaluating societies based on their relative ability to do violence upon other cultures. I don't see how that's necessarily a measure of the well-being they afford their members. In armed conflict, the Soviet Union could obviously have conquered, say, Liechtenstein, without breaking a sweat, but would that mean that the average Soviet citizen had a better life than the average Liechtensteiner? I should know better than even to answer your other points, but here goes.

Your Social Darwinist tendencies are disturbing, but, as Crispin pointed out, all cultures fail. The main reason for the downfall of Native American independence, however, was demographic collapse caused by Old World disease. Given mortality rates of 90 percent or more, it's rather a miracle that the Indians managed to retain their independence for as long as they did. But to say that their eventual downfall was inevitable is just a way of justifying it, to my mind. That's something the Euro-American colonizers kept telling themselves. After all, if it was inevitable, it had to happen, and thus no one is really to blame. To say that it's sad but it had to go that way is just to ape the cant of the people who were actively and deliberately working to set it into effect. At the end of the day, it wasn't inevitable. It was facilitated by demographic decline, but it was caused by the active will of the colonizers to dominate and dispossess the Natives. Indian independence didn't just wither and die. It was murdered. But you seem to think that because the murderer can do what he does, he is the superior man. I just don't accept that chilling way of thinking.

Uno
08-18-2009, 05:59 PM
I agree somewhat, though I would argue more for accidental innovation as a precursor. Native Americans in the plains had bison, and around my parts they had plenty of elk. Yet none of those were ever domesticated like cattle in Europe and elsewhere. It's not just the presence of certain animals, but also that magical point in time where someone decides s/he can and will domesticate them.

And, as I said in my earlier post, it's not quite as simple as saying that social class systems develop after agriculture or domestication. The Kalapuya in Oregon had distinct classes, yet as far as we know didn't practice large scale agriculture. They did burn forests to let their favored plants grow, however.


You all know, of course, that there were highly stratified agricultural societies with a state-type organization in America south of Texas when the Europeans first arrived? There were also stratified peoples in places like the Chesapeake, where, as everyone should known, the werowance Powhatan presided of what may be called a small empire. Sometimes egalitarian groups were the immediate neighbours of more hierarchical societies. In southern New England and on eastern Long Island, there appears to have been hereditary social castes, but that was not the case on western Long Island and in the Hudson Valley (in New York and New Jersey), although these peoples when it came to material culture and economic production resembled each other rather a lot.

From around 700 AD to about 1400, the political point of gravity for much of eastern North America was at any rate the so-called Mississippian cultural complex. This was a set of highly stratified societies that probably had a divine ruler and a class of nobles and priests that were supported by the labour of thousands of maize farmers. The greatest of the Mississippian chiefdoms was that which built the great city of Cahokia in present-day Illinois, a metropolis dominated by huge temple mounds and other earthworks that are still quite impressive today. Cahokia stood at the center of a great trading network and at its height had a population of about 20,000 peoples, which would make it a notable city even on a global scale at that time, but sometime around 1400 the entire Mississippian culture fell into decline, and by 1450 the great metropolis was abandoned.

We know quite a bit about the Mississippians, because Ferdinand de Soto encountered these types of chiefdoms when he plundered his way from Florida to Texas in 1540. When the English and French first arrived in the southeast a century later, the Mississippian chiefdoms were gone, except for the Natchez, which was a mound-building culture headed by an hereditary ruler called the Great Sun. The Natchez chiefdom was destroyed in a conflict with the French of Louisiana in the early eighteenth century.

While not all, or even most people in eastern North America were part of the Mississippian culture in 1400, this group of socities was, from what we can tell, the political and economic center of the continent, so that the collapse of the Missippian cultural complex must be taken into account when one considers first contact and early colonization situations. These people weren't living in a pre-Columbian world; they inhabited a post-Cahokian landscape.

yks 6nnetu hing
08-19-2009, 03:17 AM
Forgive me if I'm deviating from the topic too much, it's just that Uno's posts kind of made me think about the social changes in cases of extreme demographic changes - for example the century after the Black Death (roughly speaking, 1350 to 1450) in Europe is interesting. estimations of deaths range from 30 to 60 per cent of total population between 1348 and 1350 alone, with following smaller epidemics and more casualties.

I'm basing this mostly on memory of the "Les Paysans du Languedoc" which was one of the first, if not THE first piece of quantitative history (=statistics, basically) written. So, anyways, when such a large percentage of people died, in all stratas of the society, then that left gaps to be filled: everyone moved up a notch. Some call the century between 1350 and 1450 the Golden Age of paid labour - since demand highly exceeded supply. Peasants got larger portions of (better) land and had to pay less rent on it, and they often got legal rights to go along with their land. They could afford to pay for extra labour sometimes. Since there were less people, the nutrition of the general public became more diverse, hence better, hence the immune systems got stronger, hence less people died, hence the population increased - but because the population increased, the "new" people had to move to the sidelines, to the worse plots of land or to the cities or villages and THAT is where it's generally agreed that the first industrialization started.

Of course, this doesn't apply for the case of the Native Americans because the Old World diseases weren't nearly as bad on the Old Worlders themselves and so the results of massive demographic collapse in only one (ethnic in this case) group has completely different results than the demographic collapse of all groups, just as Uno has already pointed out.

yks 6nnetu hing
08-19-2009, 04:30 AM
In addition, sheerly through economy of scale, manorial estates were likely to be more efficient than a couple dozen freehold farms. Again, no data to support that, but common sense and economic theory back it up.
not so. psychologically speaking, people always work much harder if they have a personal interest such as leaving the piece of land in a better state than received because the children will inherit. If the choice is "work or die and the same "work or die" for your children for ever and ever and ever" then you'll just work the minimum amount necessary in order not to die, and you'll teach your children to do the same. If the choice is "work and your children get the fruits of your labour, don't work and your children get nothing", then the usual trend is to WORK, get the wife to work, get the children to work and get the friends to help as well.

I'm actually right now reading a book called "1215 The year of Magna Carta"(a history book! whoop! it' sbeen a while) and just yesterday came across a passage that showed evidence that crop yields on serf-cultivated lands (so what you call "manorial") were much lower than yields on privately owned land, which is actually quite a big deal because up until now everyone's been assuming that the overall yields across Europe were about 2-4 seeds per every one seed sown (nowadays it's something around 20, what with fertilizers and genetic engineering) just because that's what the data showed for the church and lord-owned lands and there was very little or no data for the freeholders. But with this new information that freeholder's yields were somewhere between 4 and 6 seeds, you can easily see that freeholders were better off than serfs. And you can see that the amount of food actually available was bigger than previously thought, especially for freeholders.

Ozymandias
08-19-2009, 10:38 AM
not so. psychologically speaking, people always work much harder if they have a personal interest

Again, I can't speak for medieval Europe, but in plenty of other periods of time I can speak with a little more authority on, that "psychological" effect doesn't increase productivity to the levels you find in larger groups working to produce.

And this clearly isn't true, since history is littered with examples of people who have frittered away land and wealth, while people with nothing to "pass on" have worked hard and succeeded... or at least not failed as miserably.

Superior in firepower, sure. Superior in numbers, definitely. You need more qualification of a word like that than to say simply that a society that wins is superior.


Saying humans will be logical is a dangerous proposition, but if Native American society was so vastly superior, Europeans would have adopted parts of it.

In the end, there is only one absolute determinant of which society is superior. You can argue back and forth about materialism vs. spiritualism, etc etc. But in the end, Native Americans are gone. Their culture has been entirely subsumed. Not even in a military sense, but culturally, they've abandoned their own to embrace ours. If it was so much better to be a Native American, why are they now just Westernized natives selling cigarettes, firewater, and vice to tourists?

All societies fail. It's not an accurate judgement at all, but simply irrelevant.

This is just plain wrong. Some societies evolve, or are adopted and changed. Others fail. Roman society didn't fail. It was broken, mixed around, and changed, but in the end we still feel its influence strongly. Celtic social values are gone. Ditto Native American.

This is to refute your claim that Bavarian peasants were better off. They don't seem to have thought they were.

No one thinks their well off, everyone always wants more. These aren't even remotely comparable situations.

you seem to have misunderstood me completely. It's not a case of Indians going to Europe, it's a case of Indians having the opportunity to join European society in America, or at least change their own way of life so much that it was indistinguishable from that of Euro-Americans.

I understood perfectly. And aside from the obvious rejoinder that every Native American is wholly Westernized at this point, and that I think you'd be shocked at how many were probably Westernized by the time Europeans were truly established (late 18th century). Even among the colonists there was a sense of cultural superiority and those same barriers to entry existed.

hat's something they were actively encouraged to do by missionaries and state officials, who, as they put it, wanted to "reduce them to civility." From the early 17th century, a great number of Native groups were under considerable pressure to assimilate to European culture, and their baltantly obvious disinclination to do so stands in rather stark contrast to the desire of many Europeans to go Native

Again, your sense of scale betrays your argument. You on the one hand point to a statistically insignificant number of Europeans going native as evidence of the appeal of Native American culture, and then turn around and say that because the entire Native American population of the North America wasn't assimilated, Westernization (to anachronistically apply the term) wasn't appealing? Tons of Natives converted to Christianity, I'd guess far more than Europeans who went Christian.

Plus, consider the geographic implications. Europeans are newcomers, strangers in a new house. Native Americans have been living there for thousands of years. Psychologically speaking, why would Native Americans want to go over to the Dark Side, so to speak, when they're already perfectly comfortable the way they live? They're not putting up with the hardship of transplanting themselves thousands of miles to a completely new place, which I'm guessing puts a definite strain on your cultural connection to the homeland.

Your Social Darwinist tendencies are disturbing, but, as Crispin pointed out, all cultures fail. The main reason for the downfall of Native American independence, however, was demographic collapse caused by Old World disease. Given mortality rates of 90 percent or more, it's rather a miracle that the Indians managed to retain their independence for as long as they did. But to say that their eventual downfall was inevitable is just a way of justifying it, to my mind.

Your out of your mind. I suppose the pendulum has swung to apologism. The main reason for Native Americans succumbing to Europeans are inferior technology and resolve. And your "90%" argument is ridiculous; we have no clue as to what the population of the America's was, and even if we assume those are the population decline rates, it wasn't all at once. There were hundreds of years in which natives vastly outnumbered their European colonizers and utterly failed to drive them off.

And their inevitable downfall WAS, well, inevitable. You think that a bunch of guys with bows and spears would hold out against an F22? Native American civilization was in the same primitive rut it had been in for thousands of years; obviously our knowledge of technological advancement in their societies is incredibly limited, but given they were still hunter gatherers 300 years ago, speaks to the innovative stagnation.

Indian independence didn't just wither and die. It was murdered. But you seem to think that because the murderer can do what he does, he is the superior man. I just don't accept that chilling way of thinking.

Again, your analogies fall short of any meaningful representation of reality. One murderer and one victim are a totally separate case from two civilizations. One was able to support a vastly superior population (in terms of numbers). Its production in the realm of nutrition and social organization was clearly superior. Their technological advances were obviously not even comparable. They showed an ability to organizes masses of humanity to achieve projects for the common good, be it a spiritual one such as Christianity, or a physical one such as draining the Lowlands.

Your desire to lionize Native American culture is ridiculous. Your desire to drown out a legitimate historical observation by shouting "social Darwinism" doesn't erase the fact that there is a REASON one survived and one didn't; I don't proclaim to know the answer, but there obviously is one, and even if my specific reason is wrong, the overall point is right, and the only evidence you need for that is to look at where Native American culture stands today; withered and dead.

Crispin's Crispian
08-19-2009, 11:26 AM
The main reason for Native Americans succumbing to Europeans are inferior technology and resolve. And your "90%" argument is ridiculous; we have no clue as to what the population of the America's was, and even if we assume those are the population decline rates, it wasn't all at once. There were hundreds of years in which natives vastly outnumbered their European colonizers and utterly failed to drive them off.
I can't really speak to the rest of America, but I know that the tribes in western Oregon were decimated by disease. Estimates are that over 70% of many of the tribes, and in some cases over 90% died from diseases brought by whites. The settlement here wasn't as hostile as in other places, at least not to the extent that there were wars like in the plains (yes, Walla Walla and Chief Joseph, but those are still Great Basin incidences). There wasn't a battle over territory here, because most of the Indians had died before the great mass of settlers arrived.

This isn't to say that technological advancement wouldn't have played a role, anyway, but who can say how long it would have taken.

I get that you're not suggesting Europeans are superior to native Americans. It's not about that. But I think it's also too simple to say that "the culture that's alive is better." Hypothetically, if the USSR had nuked the US during the Cold War, would that make them superior? How much legacy could the US leave behind if all of our history and cultural artifacts were destroyed?

Davian93
08-19-2009, 11:42 AM
Your out of your mind. I suppose the pendulum has swung to apologism. The main reason for Native Americans succumbing to Europeans are inferior technology and resolve. And your "90%" argument is ridiculous; we have no clue as to what the population of the America's was, and even if we assume those are the population decline rates, it wasn't all at once. There were hundreds of years in which natives vastly outnumbered their European colonizers and utterly failed to drive them off.

You're kidding, right? There are plenty of studies that suggest at least a 90% die off rate whenever Europeans moved into an area. Part of the reasons the Pilgrims were able to set up shop in Plimoth is because disease basically destroyed the local population a few years before they landed. It was brought by the crews of fishing boats and spread inland decimating the entire area of Cape Cod.

We have dozens of studies done that show vast populations in place shortly before they were destroyed by various diseases. There are first hand accounts of hundreds of abandoned settlements and of native populations decimated by disease. How do you not see this? I thought you were a History major...

GonzoTheGreat
08-19-2009, 03:23 PM
You're kidding, right? There are plenty of studies that suggest at least a 90% die off rate whenever Europeans moved into an area. Part of the reasons the Pilgrims were able to set up shop in Plimoth is because disease basically destroyed the local population a few years before they landed.Obviously, this clearly shows the superiority of the European health care model over the American one.

Davian93
08-19-2009, 05:18 PM
Obviously, this clearly shows the superiority of the European health care model over the American one.

ROFL...clearly, gonzo, clearly.

Ozymandias
08-19-2009, 07:26 PM
We have dozens of studies done that show vast populations in place shortly before they were destroyed by various diseases. There are first hand accounts of hundreds of abandoned settlements and of native populations decimated by disease. How do you not see this? I thought you were a History major...

I understand that. But to act like it was one massive wave and then BOOM, depopulation, is too simple. It was multiple waves of disease. The Pilgrims didn't land at Plymouth to find 10% of the population left standing. It took years and successive epidemics to achieve that... and when it was 1000 to one natives to settlers, the settlers still won. Consistently.

And I major in Neo-Assyrian history and occasionally Ur III, when the fancy takes me. Nothing so prosaic as native americans being wiped out.

Uno
08-19-2009, 09:21 PM
I understand that. But to act like it was one massive wave and then BOOM, depopulation, is too simple. It was multiple waves of disease. The Pilgrims didn't land at Plymouth to find 10% of the population left standing. It took years and successive epidemics to achieve that... and when it was 1000 to one natives to settlers, the settlers still won. Consistently.

Well, once again you're just wrong. Since you mention New Plymouth, I'll take the Northeast, the area I at any rate know best. Estimates indicate that the 1616 and 1633 smallpox epidemics in this area had the combined effects of reducing Native populations in New England by 86 percent, and as much as 95 percent in some localities. Estimates by archaeologists Dean R. Snow and Kim Lanphear indicate that the Mohawk population had declined by 75 percent by the mid-17th-century, and the Mahican population by 92. And these were interior groups that were apparently unaffected by the 1616 epidemic. In coastal areas, the situation was worse.

Thus, when the English established their first permanent settlement at New Plymouth in 1620, they came to an area already ravaged by disease, and demographic collapse was a large part of the reason for why they were able to establish themselves, as they could simply take over abandoned Indian cornfields. It's open to debate how well they would have done in a wilderness landscape, as these were people unaccustomed to clearing new land, something people hadn't done in England for centuries.

It was not until after the disastrous 1633 epidemic that Europeans in the Northeast came into serious conflict with the Native population, starting with the Pequot War in Connecticut in 1636 and Director Kieft's War in 1643 in the neighboring Hudson Valley. At that time, the colonizers faced opponents severely weakened by demographic decline, and the Pequot War appears to have been directly triggered by the 1633 epidemic, as colonists from Massachusetts Bay took the sudden decline of the Pequot population as an opportunity to establish themselves in the Pequots' Connecticut Valley homeland.

As to your strange claim that I am lionizing the Indians, I am unaware of making the claim that any one civilization is actually superior to another. That's simply not what historical scholarship does. Trying to evauluate a culture that existed in 1620 based on the state of its descendants in 1920 is not an historical way of looking at things. What I have been trying to show you is what many Native people (and some Europeans) at the time thought and felt. That's a legitimate historical question, as a large part of what the profession does is attempting to reconstruct the mental and emotional landscape of the historical actors.

You, on the other hand, appear to attempt to establish objective criteria for evaluating cultures. That's an a ahistorical (hell, unacademic) approach. When I make the argument that Indians felt that they lived better lives than Europeans did in 1650 (or whenever), the historical way of responding would be to make a counterargument by presenting evidence that they didn't think so. To say that the Indians were wrong because they were later defeated by Europeans is just unscholarly. As a history major, you should know these things.

Since the question, the way you have adultered it, is now whether European culture was superior (a nonsencical issue to my mind), and you say that it was because it ultimately managed almost to destroy Native American civilization, you can't well take umbrage at being called out for having Social Darwinist tendencies. That's one of the things Social Darwinism does, assigning worth based on relative strength.

JSUCamel
08-19-2009, 10:28 PM
Gosh, Uno. You're so smart. (no sarcasm, in case you're wondering)

I can't decide if I'd want to be your student or not. On the one hand, I'd learn a lot. On the other hand... essays. Yuck.

Ivhon
08-19-2009, 10:36 PM
Gosh, Uno. You're so smart. (no sarcasm, in case you're wondering)

I can't decide if I'd want to be your student or not. On the one hand, I'd learn a lot. On the other hand... essays. Yuck.

I bet he's a tough grader, too

JSUCamel
08-19-2009, 10:58 PM
I bet he's a tough grader, too

I know, right? I bet he actually makes you read the material, too.

Matoyak
08-19-2009, 11:14 PM
As surprising as it may seem to you, Gonzo, Scandinavian society was not the same in the 16th century as in the 10th.
~attempted rep~ lmao :D

yks 6nnetu hing
08-20-2009, 02:14 AM
Again, I can't speak for medieval Europe, but in plenty of other periods of time I can speak with a little more authority on, that "psychological" effect doesn't increase productivity to the levels you find in larger groups working to produce.ah yes, we all live in a communist paradise /irony

And this clearly isn't true, since history is littered with examples of people who have frittered away land and wealth, while people with nothing to "pass on" have worked hard and succeeded... or at least not failed as miserably.

I see you're really living up to your name, you slave-hoarding self-styled god. How about some actual TOUGHT before you post? I gave sources, what did you give? some semi-true statements extrapolated over the whole world. Of course there's morons who waste their posessions, there always have been and there always will be. But they are NOT the majority.

I also wonder what do you mean by "success" in this case?




edit: it has now been a few hours since I posted this and I would like to apologise for my tone. It's just that I get a very big bee in my bonnet when people start praising the benefits of forced labour, planned economy and/or slavery. Plus of course the restriction of personal freedoms and how that makes everyone happy-happy and economy boom and manna fall from the sky. I do relize that you did not actually WRITE all that, but that's how I read it.

Ozymandias
08-20-2009, 10:56 AM
Since the question, the way you have adultered it, is now whether European culture was superior (a nonsencical issue to my mind), and you say that it was because it ultimately managed almost to destroy Native American civilization, you can't well take umbrage at being called out for having Social Darwinist tendencies. That's one of the things Social Darwinism does, assigning worth based on relative strength.

I didn't take too much offense at being called a Social Darwinist. I'm not sure it's completely true, but as I said, I don't take offense at it.

My single criteria for the vitality of a culture is whether it survives or not. As I said, my reasons for the why of its decline may be completely off base, but in the end, it died off. No, actually, it didn't. Native Americans forewent their own cultural inheritance to Westernize. Which is worse.

Well, once again you're just wrong. Since you mention New Plymouth, I'll take the Northeast, the area I at any rate know best. Estimates indicate that the 1616 and 1633 smallpox epidemics in this area had the combined effects of reducing Native populations in New England by 86 percent, and as much as 95 percent in some localities. Estimates by archaeologists Dean R. Snow and Kim Lanphear indicate that the Mohawk population had declined by 75 percent by the mid-17th-century, and the Mahican population by 92. And these were interior groups that were apparently unaffected by the 1616 epidemic. In coastal areas, the situation was worse.

Well, I didn't know those two, as I said this isn't my thing, so I did a quick google search of their names, and the first meaningful hit that came up was a quote saying that they actually estimate the NE USA lost 66 to 98 percent of its population. Which, aside from being a horrible, horrible estimate (in terms of breadth), underlines my point that we (a) have no idea what the population WAS, and thus cannot be certain of its decline, and (b) even if they lost 2/3, a staggering number, they still should have far outnumbered the settlers. Even if they lost 85% of their population they still probably outnumbered the settlers vastly. And those numbers generally include conflicts with the natives. All of which is secondary to the point.

Whether or not they died by disease or conquest, they've since abandoned their culture in favor of a European one. What higher test can there be?

ah yes, we all live in a communist paradise /irony

Its not even remotely communist. Or I suppose in a sense it is... but the example I'm thinking of isn't communist. Its just common sense and knowledge that large groups of people can achieve more. Numerous historical examples bear this out.

some semi-true statements extrapolated over the whole world. Of course there's morons who waste their posessions, there always have been and there always will be. But they are NOT the majority.

You made an absolute statement ("always"). I never claimed people who fritter away money are in the majority. I merely pointed out that it happens. If you don't want to be disproven by a single example... don't speak in absolutes, not without qualifying it, at least.

Gilshalos Sedai
08-20-2009, 11:18 AM
Whether or not they died by disease or conquest, they've since abandoned their culture in favor of a European one. What higher test can there be?


Really? I'll be happy to tell the Sioux and the Choctaw and the Cherokee that they've abandoned their culture.

yks 6nnetu hing
08-21-2009, 03:36 AM
and again you make statements that you have examples that disprove my statements, and yet you don't give those excamples.

excellent. awesome arguing power you have there.