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joined 2022 September 07 03:11:29 UTC


User ID: 918



0 followers   follows 0 users   joined 2022 September 07 03:11:29 UTC


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User ID: 918

It's dangerous for both to abandon their position, but empire is more costly and doesn't have as many benefits as it seems like it should. The hegemon is always tempted to empire, but benefits more from staying merely hegemon.

The US doesn't have an empire. It is the hegemon within a state system. Abandoning the hegemony doesn't mean it can go back to ignoring the rest of the world and nothing bad will happen to it, it means there will be a new hegemon who will remake the system in its image and without reference to the interests of the United States.

Isolationism worked in the 19th century because the UK decided to be nice to us and no one else had the ability to touch us. Today, the UK is a minor power with no real wooden walls to hide behind, and now anyone with an ICBM can touch us.

What is the difference, as applied to the examples FirmWeird listed?

I could spend a half hour writing a wall of text about what social constructs are and how the categories are made for man and so forth

Could you, please?

Moreover, could you define 'gender' in a non-self-referential way that isn't just biological sex?

But, I do agree this is substantively a center-left country, and a few lucky EV wins (Bush in 2000, Trump in 2016) along with great timing on SC Judges dying have given right-leaning people an overrated view of their own support within the country

Only ever paying attention to Presidential elections is going to give you a really warped view of the country and the electorate.

First: if you think the US was a center-left country in 2000, you're just lost. I wouldn't even know where to begin.

Second: Republicans controlled at least one chamber in 39 out of 50 state legislatures in 2016 and had 31 governorships (and would win 3 more that year). The US was still a center right ght country in 2016, it's just that the Trump years have caused a lot of center-right people to question their convictions just enough to be willing to vote for what at least looks like a sane Democrat over Trump or a Trump affiliated Republican.

I think signing on the R ticket and declaring we give too much money to Ukraine and Israel is a really bad way to grift.

That's an absolutely exceptional way to grift. People like Trump and Kari Lake have been doing it for years and raking in the small dollar donations by the millions for years.

When are you people going to realize that you are the establishment. You are the power now, so every time you sneer about the establishment neocons what you're actually doing is sneering as the heel to the face. The """"establishment"""" is terrified of voters that think like you do and have been bending over and spreading wide for almost a decade to try to please you. All they've gotten for it is cascading electoral failure. As someone who likes it when Republicans win, I'm not very happy about that.

This is what Trump wants to do with the schedule F stuff and, technically, he now has experience in politics.

I'm doubtful about his competence to actually accomplish it, though.

Don't forget "paradigm shift".

This is a more reasonable criticism. It's less over-intellectualization and more over-professionalization.

I don’t agree with Trump, but one thing I loved about him apart from all that was that he wasn’t changing everything about him to pander to whoever he was talking to or wanted to appeal to. He was upfront about what he was about. He’s on tape saying “grab them by the pussy” and he didn’t walk it back or pretend it didn’t happen or recontextualize it as not meaning what it sounded like. He said a lot of guys talk like that in locker rooms. Trump never really pretends to be anything other than Trump, a rich guy who is just going to do whatever he wants. He’s been the same trashy New York rich guy he was back when he was selling Trump steaks mail order in the 1980s. He might be overstating his business acumen, but there’s at least a core part of who he is that like it or not, you can know that he’s not going to disown his past or his stated opinions.

Trump lies constantly. The fresh, relieving thing about him is that he never tries to make his lies believable: If you like him, you'll believe him (or at least ignore the lie), if you don't like him, you won't. He lets you decide if you're going to be taken in by him, while a lot of other politicians seem to actually care if you're being fooled.


Religion is literally the original university subject. You seem to be objecting to the academy in general, for all time, rather than over-intellectualization (something for which religion has a history stretching back 1500 beyond the origin of universities).

Right now, I live in a townhouse in a master-planned new urbanist suburb. It's medium density, I have no yard, and the houses barely have any. There's a mini-park every few blocks, the elementary school is in the neighborhood itself, some blocks are designed extra long to prioritize sidewalks and eliminate street crossing, and the "town center" has a supermarket, a coffee shop, and a few adequate restaurants. We go there all the time, often on our onewheels.

We used to call these 'small towns', and they used to be a central part of the identity of a portion of the American populace. Looks like they're being reinvented with a new name.

This being Star Trek, Kirk of course has to draw a lesson at the end. And he does . . . but fascinatingly, it's a lesson about hate, not about racism. Racism does not exist for Kirk. He is not even considering the issue.

I've not watched the episode, although I'm familiar enough with it in outline.

The reason the lesson can be about hate is because racism was viewed, in the 1960's, as about hate. Race hate was one of the parts of the contemporary definition of racism. In the same way pre-21st century ideas about racism might say something to the effect of, "It's judging someone on the basis of their race", people in the 1960's would understand racism to mean -- at least in part -- hating someone on the basis of their race. That is to say, the lesson of the episode is 100% about racism, just not as we know it.

1 By the way, the Americans founders were mostly Deists, a highly enlightenment-derived version of Christianity that Wikipedia describes as a:

While some of the best known ones were Deists, most of the people who signed the Declaration or attended the Philadelphia Convention were just Christians, albeit frequently very lukewarm ones. More Washington than Jefferson. The effects of the First Great Awakening were starting to peter out and religion was becoming more laid back again, as it would become in cycles throughout American history. John Adams, for example, was a Congregationalist by birth, some of the most committed Christians in the country, but died a Unitarian, some of the vaguest and least fundamentalist.

The obvious criticism is that Romulus is almost certainly a myth.

They've found post-holes of about the right age in the spot where late-Republican Romans claimed Romulus' hut was preserved.

In kind of the same way China went through its Doubting Antiquity phase in the early 20th century, it's fashionable to assume myths and mythical history are just made up in the West, but it may be we go through something like the Chinese did where, whoops, turns out the Shang really did exist and here's the archeological evidence with writing and who knows when the Xia turn up in the archeological record but we shouldn't be surprised if they do.

Clint is an actual conservative, though, so I can trust a conservative interpretation is closer to the actual intended meaning of his movie than I would with Knives Out.

Man on Fire is really such a ridiculously good movie, too. Denzel runs circles around Smith as an actor.

I highly doubt Clint Eastwood was trying to hint at white replacement in Gran Turino. By reducing everything to white and not-white, I think you're missing some nuance in terms of dying urban white ethnic communities, romanticism for the glory days of blue collar Midwestern America, what the real meaning of American values is, etc etc.

It's honestly a very conservative movie and there's plenty in it that doesn't just skirt boundaries today, but outright leaps over them. For example, Clint gets out of his beat up old American truck to point a gun at a bunch of young black men -- acting like stereotypical hoods, of course -- then subsequently chastises a young white kid for acting black (although not in so many words). It's also the last movie I've seen to feature what used to be a super common phenomenon of blue collar American men calling each other very offensive slurs as a term of endearment/form of screwing around for fun. It actually is still decently common in the right circles, it would just never be portrayed positively or innocently in a movie anymore.

I guess it can be confused as a movie for Great Replacement messaging, but only because the replacement has already happened in a lot of American urban areas. Clint represents a relic of a piece of America that is already gone, it just happens to pattern match to modern fears.

Edit: To add on a bit more....

I think Gran Turino is ultimately about how the last generation of American immigrants has some important things to pass on to the current generation of American immigrants. It is absolutely positive on American values and, indeed, the thing that the movie portrays the Hmong as superior to Clint's own family at is exactly that: family. It doesn't really make Clint seem worse than the Hmong, just Clint's family, who have gotten selfish and stopped caring about their father (ignoring and dismissing him, to the degree of wanting to stick him in a home and forget about him).

It still portrays everything about those values in Clint as, if not superior to what the Hmong family has, at least having some important things to pass on to the Hmong children about being Americans. Clint's actual children have abandoned that aspect of their heritage and so he passes it on to someone who will have it, instead.

The nutty thing is that, per 538's own data, their bias isn't even that egregious! While they definitely have a Republican tilt, that tilt comes out of them having misses on BOTH sides of the column but just having MORE misses in the GOP's favor.


They otherwise have exactly the same kind of shape you would expect a decent pollster to have: Some outliers in both directions with a big mass of near misses in the middle.

Mental health in general is almost entirely about whether something substantially prevents someone from functioning normally.

It's oppositional defiant disorder spreading to older whites. While ODD is something that is, from time to time, provided as a cause for black youth underperformance in schools, it's not something you've seen attributed to older whites. The perception of mistreatment by authority creates a permanent attitude of anger and defiance.

This can sometimes feel like just part and parcel of the way modern society seems to outright encourage mental illness in the general population. Attitudes and outlooks that, given time to fester, can develop into something almost clinical are celebrated and spread far and wide, coping mechanisms and other attempts to deal with mental health issues like this are denigrated and people are exhorted to reject them.

I don't really know what should be done about it. It has kind of metastasized into a pan-social malady that can't be addressed entirely because it's distributed and deeply entrenched.

I don't really find this account compelling. The Roman Empire was damaged heavily by the efforts of popular military leaders to seize power, but this pattern started long before the use of foederati in the army. Far from decadence and complacency, Rome was damaged by the irrepressible ambition and ruthlessness of generals and soldiers.

It's really more complex than this.

The late Roman Germanic Federates who systematically dismantled the Western Empire to their own benefit were the heirs to a tradition of Roman military federates stretching back beyond the beginning of the Republic. The term itself referred originally to the agreement between the Romans and the other Latins, back when Rome was a first among equals in the Latin League (foedus just means pact or treaty). While the exact relationship between citizen and non-citizen military units in the Roman army evolved over the entire course of the evolution of the state, barbarians (from both within and without the limits of the Empire) were recruited heavily even at the peak of Imperial power. There were whole tribes who specialized in providing recruits to the Roman military, such as the Belgae in Northwestern Europe. In fact, this recruitment of barbarians served as a major engine of Romanization for centuries prior to the arrival of the Germanic federates.

The difference between the Germanics and prior barbarian recruits into the Roman Army is that the Germanic Tribes were adopted wholesale as units into the Roman military, with their military leaders/kings being given high ranks and allowed to continue leading their own men. Whereas, in the past, barbarians were recruited as individuals/small groups and they served under existing Roman officers, the new situation meant that there was a growing component of the Roman Army that was essentially a legitimized foreign military force serving under their own leaders. What happened wasn't a bunch of outsiders conglomerating together into an anti-government force (as mentioned, the individual groups of outsiders had, in the past, had heavy incentives to learn Latin, adopt Roman culture, and bring those things back to their homelands after they mustered out), it was that a potential anti-government force was given legitimacy as a conglomeration.

When the US starts hiring military units wholesale from foreign countries and allowing them to operate under their existing leadership, that's when you start to worry.

This sounds like a social justice fantasy so outrageous that it borders on pornographic

It's still a pretty good movie. Hollywood used to be a lot better at making their ideological messaging movies actually enjoyable as movies, too. True Believer or Runaway Jury come to mind as liberal/lefty propaganda (even my left liberal wife was a bit disgusted by the theory of the case in Runaway Jury's lawsuit, and she's as anti-gun as any given young liberal woman who doesn't know much about politics) that are also really enjoyable movies.

Hell, a lot of courtroom/law dramas from the 70s, 80s, and 90s have an almost unabashed liberal slant while still being good.

The problem with woke movies these days isn't necessarily the wokeness, it's that the writers seem to think the wokeness was enough and they forget to make the movie good.

their preferred outcome is to continue to lose forever

They were doing a lot of winning down ballot prior to 2016 for a bunch of people who like losing.

In fact, most of the losing they've been doing has been from 2018, onward.

America has never been an ethnostate. If anything it is the literal anti-ethnostate. As far back as 1776, Thomas Paine pointed out that less than a third of Pennsylvanians were of English descent and so any claims of being an English nation were already moot.

While it is true that Pennsylvania and the Southern upcountry weren't ethnically homogeneous by any means, the colonial and early US absolutely had an ethnic nation: Yankee New England. It was a ridiculously homogeneous area -- culturally and ethnically -- for North American subsequent experience. Their culture was also very influential on American culture generally for a long time, too. So, America has historically had at least sub-national ethno-states in the past.

Now, however, they have greatly subsumed into 'general American' culture, fully assimilating into the broader gestalt of the republic. When was the last time you ever saw someone called a 'WASP'? Even New England itself is plurality Catholic these days so, while Yankee heritage is still probably very widespread there, there is a new ethnicity living in New England that is descended from the Yankees and a whole lot of newcomers.