site banner

Culture War Roundup for the week of September 18, 2023

This weekly roundup thread is intended for all culture war posts. 'Culture war' is vaguely defined, but it basically means controversial issues that fall along set tribal lines. Arguments over culture war issues generate a lot of heat and little light, and few deeply entrenched people ever change their minds. This thread is for voicing opinions and analyzing the state of the discussion while trying to optimize for light over heat.

Optimistically, we think that engaging with people you disagree with is worth your time, and so is being nice! Pessimistically, there are many dynamics that can lead discussions on Culture War topics to become unproductive. There's a human tendency to divide along tribal lines, praising your ingroup and vilifying your outgroup - and if you think you find it easy to criticize your ingroup, then it may be that your outgroup is not who you think it is. Extremists with opposing positions can feed off each other, highlighting each other's worst points to justify their own angry rhetoric, which becomes in turn a new example of bad behavior for the other side to highlight.

We would like to avoid these negative dynamics. Accordingly, we ask that you do not use this thread for waging the Culture War. Examples of waging the Culture War:

  • Shaming.

  • Attempting to 'build consensus' or enforce ideological conformity.

  • Making sweeping generalizations to vilify a group you dislike.

  • Recruiting for a cause.

  • Posting links that could be summarized as 'Boo outgroup!' Basically, if your content is 'Can you believe what Those People did this week?' then you should either refrain from posting, or do some very patient work to contextualize and/or steel-man the relevant viewpoint.

In general, you should argue to understand, not to win. This thread is not territory to be claimed by one group or another; indeed, the aim is to have many different viewpoints represented here. Thus, we also ask that you follow some guidelines:

  • Speak plainly. Avoid sarcasm and mockery. When disagreeing with someone, state your objections explicitly.

  • Be as precise and charitable as you can. Don't paraphrase unflatteringly.

  • Don't imply that someone said something they did not say, even if you think it follows from what they said.

  • Write like everyone is reading and you want them to be included in the discussion.

On an ad hoc basis, the mods will try to compile a list of the best posts/comments from the previous week, posted in Quality Contribution threads and archived at /r/TheThread. You may nominate a comment for this list by clicking on 'report' at the bottom of the post and typing 'Actually a quality contribution' as the report reason.

Jump in the discussion.

No email address required.

It has been a while since I've read John Locke's Second Treatise of Civil Government, but I've been ruminating on his conception of property in that book. He says:

Though the earth, and all inferiour creatures, be common to all men, yet every man has a property in his own person: this nobody has any right to but himself. The labour of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever then he removes out of the state that nature hath provided, and left it in, he hath mixed his labour with, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property. It being by him removed from the common state nature hath placed it in, it hath by this labour something annexed to it, that excludes the common right of other men. For this labour being the unquestionable property of the labourer, no man but he can have a right to what that is once joined to, at least where there is enough, and as good, left in common for others.

Basically, whenever you mix your labor with something out of nature, it becomes yours.

This conception was highly influential on the Founding Fathers of the United States, and it is easy to see the advantages of such a conception of private property for a brand new country. Sweeping aside the thorny issue of native Americans, if you have a vast wilderness of unclaimed territory, the idea of allowing citizens to go out, form a homestead somewhere and to recognize their claim on the land feels very intuitive and "fair."

Unfortunately, such an idealized conception of property ownership didn't actually exist in practice. Steven Stoll's Ramp Hollow explores some of the things that happened in Appalachia over the history of the United States. Just within this microcosm, we see the way things often played out in practice, and it was far from the Lockean ideal.

It was not unusual for some rich landowner to lay claim to a bunch of land he had never even seen or set foot upon, and then to just sit on the claim without ever doing anything with it. Then squatters would move in, and make homes and farms on the land, before being discovered and kicked out.

It seems to me, if we take John Locke's account of property as our model, the squatters had a better moral claim to owning that land than the de jure owners in many cases. And yet again and again, we see governments recognizing the claims of absentee landlords over those of the people who had worked and improved the lands with their own two hands.

In many ways, property and its justification are core to establishing that society is "fair." So it is troubling to note a discrepancy this big between theory and practice so early in the country's history, at the very foundation of property ownership claims, poisoning everything downstream from them.

I think a toy example will help illustrate why this is such a big deal for the modern United States:

Imagine there's an island that has 10 heterosexual couples on it. This island is abundant in natural resources, and it has the following features:

  • If 20 people work the land, it can produce a luxurious lifestyle for all 20 people.
  • If 14 people work the land, it can produce a good (but not great) lifestyle for all 20 people.
  • If four people work together, it is possible to trap two people in a 10 foot by 10 foot area of the island effectively forever.

Now, as we come into the island, 9 of the couples have come together and formed a gang. They claim that because their gang was the first to walk the circumference of the island, they have the best claim to owning the island and they will enforce their property claim against the 10th couple. They do not want the last couple collecting resources on the part of the island that had informally been "theirs" up until a few days ago, in which they had spent years building shelters and tools to improve their hunting and gathering.

The gang is going to imprison the couple in a 10'x10' part of the island unless they agree to recognize their ownership claim. Furthermore, while they're prepared to enjoy a merely good lifestyle for the rest of their lives, they tell the unfortunate couple that after they agree to the gang's ownership claim the gang would be willing to rent "their" part of the island back to them, as long as that couple gives them all a tribute that will take them down to a meager lifestyle, and take the gang up to a decadent lifestyle.

Left with no other choice, the unfortunate couple agrees to recognize the gang's ownership claim, and starts paying tribute.

Is the society on the island described above fair or just? I think most people's intuitions would be that it is not.

Now, imagine that several generations have passed. The islanders have expanded out onto several other islands, but the extra resources from the first island have resulted in a very uneven society. The descendants of the original gang own everything, and the descendants of the original unfortunate couple have never owned anything. They rent wherever they go, despite barely enjoying the fruits of their labor.

Did the passage of time, and inheritance of property down through the generations somehow make the society more fair and just? Would the descendants of the original unfortunate couple be wrong to want to overthrow their society and redistribute the land and other resources of society more fairly and justly?

As I see it, there are three distinct phases when it comes to thinking about property rights:

  1. The initial distribution of property at the establishment of a country.
  2. The inheritance of property up towards the present.
  3. The free exchange of property among people of the present generation.

It seems to me like a lot of people are happy to start at step 3 and call it a day when it comes to how they conceptualize property, and its just distribution through society. A worker who is forced to sell their labor in order to make money to purchase the necessities of life is not being exploited no matter how little they're getting paid, and no matter what happened in steps 1 and 2 to get them to the place where they needed to sell their labor in the first place.

For people who defend the current conception of property in the industrialized world, and who think that we should accept the idea of starting at step 3 and not worrying about 1 and 2, what is the justification?

Locke was wrong.

Yarvin had a great quote: "Property is peace." Possession and the physical power to enforce possession are fundamental properties of reality. "Property rights" are a formalization of possession. "Property" is an agreement to write down and legitimize possession, and say that going forward property can only be transferred according to the rules (which in most cases means according to the consent of the existing owner) and not according to violence.

For someone to say, "these property rights are illegitimate" is fundamentally akin to the person saying, "I renounce the peaceful status quo; I choose war."

When formal property rights are entirely out-of-whack with the reality of possession (the case of an absentee landlord and squatters living on the land for years), that is a recipe for friction and conflict. There is no one way under natural law in which such conflicts must be resolved. Societies just have to muddle through, and usually they develop some sort of concept of adverse possession and statues of limitations.

Would the descendants of the original unfortunate couple be wrong to want to overthrow their society and redistribute the land and other resources of society more fairly and justly?

This would constitute choosing war against the existing legal regime. Can rebellion against authority ever be just? Yes, but only in dire situations. Is it in this case? I don't know, only the people involved have enough information to decide. Here is how one moral guide (the Catechism of the Catholic Church) discusses the criteria for violent opposition to existing political authority:

Armed resistance to oppression by political authority is not legitimate, unless all the following conditions are met: 1) there is certain, grave, and prolonged violation of fundamental rights; 2) all other means of redress have been exhausted; 3) such resistance will not provoke worse disorders; 4) there is well–founded hope of success; and 5) it is impossible reasonably to foresee any better solution.

Pope John XXIII in an encyclical enumerated some of these fundamental rights:

"We must speak of man's rights. Man has the right to live. He has the right to bodily integrity and to the means necessary for the proper development of life, particularly food, clothing, shelter, medical care, rest, and, finally, the necessary social services. In consequence, he has the right to be looked after in the event of ill health; disability stemming from his work; widowhood; old age; enforced unemployment; or whenever through no fault of his own he is deprived of the means of livelihood."

So they might be justified in rebellion. However, the rebellion would be justified not because the property rights were originally illegitimate, but because the current political status quo was depriving them of the means necessary for the proper development of life.

EDIT: if this island example is supposed to be analogy for blacks in America, I would say rebellion in the current year clearly flunks all five of the above tests for legitimacy.

Coase theorem suggests that provided property rights are clear and transaction costs low enough property will ultimately be put to its highest and best use notwithstanding the initial distribution.

Over hundred+ years, transaction costs are low enough. I think the US bears this out.

The older I get the more I dislike this first principles thinking based on rights and so forth. I think ultimately there is only one social law in the world, the law of the jungle. Just as any other animal, you get to keep your property if you can physically keep it. You conveniently evaded the issue of natives in USA, but that was precisely the case. Natives could not keep their land so they did not. As easy as that.

Current social and economic arrangement exists because it has legitimacy. Legitimacy is ability to keep powerful individuals from exerting violence to take what they want. You can get legitimacy by naked power, by growing the spoils so there is easier way to get ahead than using violence as well as by creating social structures regulating violent behavior or any number of other means.

This will be a tangent, but I recently watched YouTube discussion of some people from Niger where they reacted to US news reports about recent coup in that country which was described as anti-democratic and authoritarian etc. And they laughed, Niger ranks 189th out of 191 countries in the world in UN Development index, it is as poor as it can get. It does not matter if god himself was ruling that country and he was just unlucky, the result is abject poverty and failure. The regime simply has no legitimacy, it does not work and no number of "first principles" talks about democracy and freedom make any sense in Niger. If society is in ruin and ruled by illegitimate regime, is anti-social behavior really antisocial?

For people who defend the current conception of property in the industrialized world, and who think that we should accept the idea of starting at step 3 and not worrying about 1 and 2, what is the justification?

It works. First World now is still arguably the best place and time to live in history of mankind, even now in 2023. The current system has build up some legitimacy, it was able to grow its population along its wealth for centuries now. There may be some reasons to play on the edges and adjust things here and there, but I do not think we are close to anything that should require drastic measures like in Niger.

For people who defend the current conception of property in the industrialized world

If your whole post is applicable anywhere, it is applicable to pre-industrial world, where the rich were rich because they inherited land from their ancestors who arrived with William the Bastard centuries ago.

It has no meaning in industrial civilization, and even less in post-industrial one. How many of today's rich are rich because of unbroken inheritance of land stolen from Indians or Saxons?

Even in country where some of old feudal customs, traditions and wealth still survive you can, at best, justify expropriation of property of Duke of Westminster while not touching the rest of billionaires.

There is a reason why equal distribution of land, most extremely extreme extremist rebel demand for millenia, was quietly dropped back in the 19th century.

Did the passage of time, and inheritance of property down through the generations somehow make the society more fair and just?

Yes, ideas of statute of limitations and adverse possession are universally considered fair and just, given that the alternative is state of eternal vendetta, eternal revenge for ancient slights that were revenge for even more ancient slights.

Land will never be without value as long as humans are entirely living on earth simply because we cannot make more of it. We only have one Earth and once all the land on earth belongs to someone else, you can’t simply get your own. How much wealth is generated by the mere fact that you own land would vary by era, but no scarce resource will ever be without value.

How much wealth is generated by the mere fact that you own land would vary by era, but no scarce resource will ever be without value.

Yes it varies, and in our era pure ownership of land brings less wealth than ever before.

#7. Real Estate 193 billionaires | 7% of list Richest: Donald Bren ($17.4 billion), chairman of California-based real estate firm Irvine Co.

Only 7% of world's billionaires have real estate as source of their income (and most of it is from real estate development, not raw ownership of unimproved land).

All a statute of limitations does, conceptually, is move step 1 up to some more recent date, though. If we say that any claims older than, say, 100 years will not be recognized, then the new "foundation" of the current system of property ownership is just 100 years in the past. I think a statute of limitations can certainly be a procedurally just rule for a society to adopt, but that doesn't mean the outcomes that it produces will be substantially just.

Also, it's awfully convenient for a group in power to say, "Hey, we've gotta let bygones be bygones, alright? You wouldn't want endless vendettas and re-litigation of this whole thing every generation, would you? Good, good, I'm glad you're seeing reason, now go back to your hovel and eat your gruel."

Joe Studwell's How Asia Works makes a case that land reform (AKA "stealing" land from some people and giving it to others) was an important part of the transition to being a middle income country for many Asian countries. And we even have examples of land reform under the Gracchi brothers in ancient Rome, so the issue of land concentrating into a few hands and leading to issues in society is a well-trodden one. To avoid the kind of stagnation that tends to result from that, why shouldn't we adopt something like Georgism, which would weaken land-based property ownership within society but attempt to make it fair going forward?

To avoid the kind of stagnation that tends to result from that, why shouldn't we adopt something like Georgism, which would weaken land-based property ownership within society but attempt to make it fair going forward?

The US economy is simply not stagnating. We have the highest nominal GDP/capita worldwide among large countries, lead novel research and industries (most recently AI), and our #1 competitor is notorious for stealing our IP. The US's property economy is stagnating for all the usual YIMBY reasons and a lot more construction should be legal, but that's not at all analogous to your OP. Georgism, taken literally, means replacing all taxes with a tax on land, which I don't think is workable because a lot of important capital is entirely intangible in the form of human capital, IP, and organizations and a land tax totally misses that.

Joe Studwell's How Asia Works makes a case that land reform (AKA "stealing" land from some people and giving it to others) was an important part of the transition to being a middle income country for many Asian countries. Exactly. These were pre-industrial feudal countries completely unlike modern developed world.

Exactly. These were extremely poor pre-industrial countries completely unlike modern developed world.

Assuming you are in US. You waved your magic wand, expropriated all 1,3 billion acres of privately owned agricultural land and distributed it equally. Every US citizen now owns whole 3.9 acre of land.

Now what? How is poverty alleviated? How are people who "live in hovel and eat gruel" helped, what are they supposed to do with this land?

And we even have examples of land reform under the Gracchi brothers in ancient Rome, so the issue of land concentrating into a few hands and leading to issues in society is a well-trodden one. To avoid the kind of stagnation that tends to result from that, why shouldn't we adopt something like Georgism, which would weaken land-based property ownership within society but attempt to make it fair going forward?

All pre-industrial, pre-modern ancient civilizations.

Demonstrate that the stagnation we see now (assuming we have stagnation) is due to poor people lacking land of average value about 4000 dollars per acre.

The island collectively voted to transfer ten percent of the island's economic output to those who are less fortunate, funded by taxes on the more - and that doesn't include infrastructure, education, etc for the general benefit. And the original gang's descendants aren't in power anymore - they invited successive waves of immigrants, and, via free trade, transferred most of their property claims to the smartest and most industrious (or unscrupulous) of them. How many Jews, Asians, or Indians were on the island when the first nine people arrived, compared to how many are rich today?

Yeah, if we were still feudal or WASPs owned 90% of a rentier economy because they got here first, that'd be very unjust and inefficient. But that doesn't resemble the current state of America. A different argument against private ownership of the means of production - that it's exploitative or inefficient for those who come out on top of a fierce competition for profits to dictate much of the economy - at least accurately describes the thing it criticizes.

For people who defend the current conception of property in the industrialized world, and who think that we should accept the idea of starting at step 3 and not worrying about 1 and 2, what is the justification?

Because said free exchange has, several times over, redistributed all the capital from the original owners to those who won in a contest of merit (or underhandedness), and to whatever extent the original gang members hold more capital than some other groups, it's mostly because they have e.g. better genes or cultures - and, indeed, more recent arrivals with better genes/cultures have higher average income/wealth than the founding ethnicities.

I'd love some sort of study/analysis of whether you, in terms of current affluence in American society, are better off as the descendant of a member of the top fifth percentile in wealth of 1700's Colonial America or as a first/second-generation immigrant who is the descendant of somebody who was similarly affluent in their country of origin.

Dunno if this is Culture War or not, but I could really use some Instruction for the Bewildered on this.

So NFTs are a bubble that has finally burst, surprising nobody (or at least, nobody seems to be willing to admit publicly they believed the hype). They were the Tulip Mania of our day.

Or maybe they're not, at least if you have the right ones. Who knows, certainly not me, that's why I'm asking for explanations.

I couldn't understand just exactly what was meant to be so wonderful about them, and the common reason seemed to be "they're not fungible", which left me where it found me.

Was it just because of the magic worlds "crypto" and "blockchain"? What the hell was supposed to be going on here? You can buy a share of some (generally terrible) image, but you won't own it, the original creator will, and many others can also own a share of it, but because it's "blockchain" this somehow makes it vastly valuable?

At least Jack's magic beans really did grow into a giant vine where he eventually obtained treasure, but this sort of thing bewilders me as to what the hell is going on.

So NFTs are a bubble that has finally burst, surprising nobody (or at least, nobody seems to be willing to admit publicly they believed the hype). They were the Tulip Mania of our day.

This was very obvious even without hindsight . Good thing i stayed away from this stuff. it's valuable for the same reason some artwork is valuable. a market forms in which supply and demand determines the price. the community collectively subscribes to the belief that these jpgs are worth something, and hence they are.

I recommend Foldable Ideas video on NFTs. If you're familiar with (or don't care about) the history of crypto and tokens more generally you can probably skip to Section 4 (~39:00), though I recommend watching the whole thing.

On the buyer side, NFTs were an example of what finance calls greater fool theory. The basic idea is you can get people to pay irrational prices for something as long as they are convinced they will be able to sell that thing to someone else (the "greater fool") for a profit. People didn't buy NFTs because they (necessarily) believed in the value proposition of an NFT at some particular price point, but because it would be a profitable investment due to an appreciation in value. Wash trading, for example, is a way a particular seller might manufacture a history of an NFT increasing in value before selling it to someone else, who hopes to see a continued pattern of increase in value. The technical aspects of NFTs and blockchain function in a primarily obfuscatory capacity. To give people some tech jargon for why their investment will appreciate that they fundamentally do not understand. A demonstration that Eulering is alive and well.

I don't recommend Foldable Ideas videos on anything. NFTs are bullshit but that guy is a soy douche all around. I don't trust him not to misrepresent anything he lays his hands on.

Was it just because of the magic worlds "crypto" and "blockchain"? What the hell was supposed to be going on here?

In theory, it was supposed to be an authentication schema that avoided a lot of present authentication issues.

In certain circles, there's a major problem with digital art, in that it's very hard to prove that a specific piece is 'yours' or was 'commissioned by' you, in the way that possessing a physical piece of traditional art does. Not just in the sense that someone else could take a picture or save-to-hardrive and repost, but they could readily do so and pretend you were faking. You could post it onto a website, but not only does that invite someone to right-click-save, it's only useful so long as the website is active with your media on it, and only to the extent the timestamps there are more authoritative than those from a random self-host who could fake them. Having process files like version'd photoshop files or sketch layers largely just cycles back a level.

This isn't a hugely valuable things in terms of productivity or world-changing ramifications, but for people who care a lot about digital art, it can be really annoying. Even at casual levels, there are Problems -- a lot of bigger-name furries find themselves impersonated on sites like F-list by people who are just trying to leverage their art, which doesn't sound that bad until you stumble on a profile claiming to be you and into some stuff. At more professional spheres, art impersonation is a big deal.

By having some strongly delineated identifier showing ownership, with a good way to transfer it, which is authoritative but separate from an authority, could be useful.

In practice, it got dominated by grifters early on, as with a good many other crypto crap did -- just like a lot of 'decentralized' crypto DNS ended up running through a couple oracle servers, a lot of NFT implementations did that and validated the url (why?) instead of some meaningful identifier for the image, and that's when they weren't just a glorified pump-and-dump. I think there are some technical issues for part of that, but there was also just some inexplicably high dollar values going around very early on in the tech's development. There's some charitable explanations possible, like zero-index-rate behaviors or tech-dumb investors huffing farts, but I expect a lot of people saw rumors of conventional modern art as money-laundering and thought this would be the next thing in that field.

I couldn't understand just exactly what was meant to be so wonderful about them, and the common reason seemed to be "they're not fungible", which left me where it found me.

Buying outrageously ugly ape for outrageous price, and reselling it to bigger fool shrewder crypto investor for even more outrageous price? Everything is wonderful about this plan, when it works as intended.

Yeah, it needs to be emphasized that the apes (and the lions, etc, but particularly the apes) were really some of the ugliest, most offputting "artwork" that's been hocked specifically as a good investment i've seen in some time. It flabbergasts me that the sheer ugliness of those things didn't immediately give the people "yeah, that's not going to appreciate in value expect in very short timelines" reaction.

I think there is some element of some people liking that.
Ex: I've always been put off by shows like Spongebob and Regular Show due to the almost grotesque art style they often delve into, similar to various of the NFTs. Of course they're better cartoons, but it shows that some people like that general style.

Following up on /u/MaiqTheTrue's point:

  • A tin of shit sold for €275,000 in 2016.
  • Andres Serrano's "artworks" (many of which involve bodily fluids in some way—using, for example, blood (sometimes menstrual blood), semen or human breast milk) routinely fetch anywhere from five to six figures. This includes "Piss Christ", a "photograph of a plastic crucifix submerged in a glass of the artist's own urine", which sold for a quarter-million in 1999 (half-million in today's money).
  • Damien Hirst's entire career.
  • "My Bed" (a "readymade installation, consisting of [artist Tracey Emin's] unmade dirty bed, in which she had spent several weeks drinking, smoking, eating, sleeping and having sexual intercourse while undergoing a period of severe emotional flux... The artwork featured used condoms and blood-stained underwear") fetched £2.5 million in 2014.

In modern art, artists making intentionally ugly, crass and disgusting work is no impediment to their making a pretty penny.

The difference here is that I can, if I wish, ignore all of that stuff and never see any of it apart from random glimpses of Piss Christ when someone chooses to have that debate again or perhaps one of Hirst's works (which are aesthetically generally more pleasing than the apes), whereas at the height of the NFT mania it was impossible to browse Twitter without seeing some ape avatar posting about whatever dumb shit.

True, although some of this stuff is more mainstream than you might think. Andres Serrano created the cover art for two Metallica albums, for example.

In defense of the apes, most modern art isn’t valuable because of its beauty, but rather because it’s made by someone famous in the art world. It’s not a new phenomenon. A guy can paint a canvas in a single color, and providing that he’s famous enough, people will spend thousands of dollars for a square canvas painted green.

Heck, add a stripe of a second colour and you're talking millions.

Was it just because of the magic worlds "crypto" and "blockchain"? What the hell was supposed to be going on here? You can buy a share of some (generally terrible) image, but you won't own it, the original creator will, and many others can also own a share of it, but because it's "blockchain" this somehow makes it vastly valuable?

Yes, this is exactly it. Like other highly-speculative assets, the "fair price" of an NFT can be approximated by [expected value of the asset conditional on the bull case being true] x [probability of the bull case being true]. In the case of NFTs, the bull case is, "the Ethereum blockchain becomes integrated into all aspects of life and is recognized as the authoritative ledger of monetary transactions, ownership, and recordkeeping." In such a scenario, ownership of the NFT would in fact correspond to legal ownership of the property represented by the NFT.

Of course, now that crypto has been exposed, it is pretty obvious that [probability of the bull case being true] is approximately zero, so the value of NFTs are approximately zero.

Sophisticated_Artist puts random squiggles on a page - artwork worth millions of dollars!

Crypto_bro puts random memes on a webpage, on a blockchain - why should that not be worth millions of dollars?

I maintain that there's literally nothing wrong with NFTs. I don't want them. Nor do I the rubbish that art galleries (especially modern art galleries) pay 'artists' for. I see no reason why the former are privileged and the latter despised. In fact, the latter are better since they aren't used to cheat charitable donation tax loopholes.

Honestly, I've been wanting to use NFTs to cheat those loopholes for a while. I'd do anything to get them closed, including break them so wide open that they have to be closed. Unfortunately this would probably just lead to the NFT-specific loophole being closed if it was ever open to begin with.

The idea would be, create Fake Art Collection, keep its valuation ridiculously high, allow people to commission new NFTs in the Collection but only if they donate them to NFT Art Museum. It would be a nice easy way to make the loophole exploitation process effortless and available to everyone, not just the rich and well-connected. Would love if anyone has any idea whether this could work from a legal standpoint--I could easily build the blockchain side of it.

NFTs were supposed to have a mechanism where you could verify ownership, track transfers, and maybe even compensate the original producer every time a work changed hands. Lots of drawing board schemes appeared on how you could pivot this platform into a fair system for paying creatives, and creatives would produce like never before, in some kind of decentralized way through common consensus.

Everyone got so excited about it that they took a leap of faith on the NFT part and... kinda forgot to actually build the rest of that stuff? The default way to even trade these things ended up being a central exchange (Opensea). Pretty far from the ideal.

Tulipmania ensued and then a crash happened.

In some ways, you could argue that the Bored Ape stuff was one of the more justifiable uses of NFTs, in that they were, ostensibly "club membership cards". Ie. they were tradable tickets that marked you as a member of the "Bored Ape Yacht Club". Which seems clearly not worth the price of admission, but rich people spending stupid money on irrelevant status markers, including clubs that are all about networking with other rich people by screening out those too poor to afford dues isn't really a new thing, so arguably this is no stupider than a lot of stuff.

However, a lot of the dislike for all this is that uses of NFTs are 99.9% scams - and even if not, are typically cases where the NFTness isn't providing any actual value. Ie. most clubs don't need NFTs to prove membership, just keeping a database of who's paid their dues and is considered a member.

NFTs promise to move that database outside the control of the club - making the database public such that trading tickets, proving membership etc is outside the control of the club. Which sounds like it might have some value, except that recognition of that NFT as denoting membership (ie. using the forums, perks etc of the club) is still under the control of the club: if they decide to refuse to recognise your NFT, there's still nothing you can do (except the same legal remedies you could seek without them). It probably wouldn't do that of course, but only for the same reasons it wouldn't do it without NFTs: it'd destroy the club's ability to attract funds). Which all means that being an NFT doesn't really add much, except perhaps provide tradability that the club doesn't have to be a party to - but that could still be done without needing the complexity of blockchain involvement.

And that's probably the core issue with pretty much all uses of NFTs. There are theoretical cases where such a trustless distributed database of ownership could have value, but for pretty much all actual uses, it's not providing any value whatsoever, and is just a vehicle for scams relying on obscuring that point.

NFTs are like MTG cards ,yet the latter proved to be a way better investment. MTG cards have the advantage of utility (in the context of playing them) and scarcity, whereas NFTs have no utility even if there is scarcity in terms of the mint run.

Funny enough, the most valuable MTG cards are never played with, to the extent where it's legal to use fakes (proxies). Unless I've misunderstood it and you have to own a Black Lotus to enter a tournament with a proxy of one.

You must own a Black Lotus to enter a sanctioned tournament with one. And it must be damaged during the tournament for the judge to issue a proxy for it. You can’t just make a proxy.

That said, casual game? No one cares.

They are illegal in sanctioned events, which is why sanctioned vintage events are extremely rare. The only real sanctioned vintage is in the online version where the cards are 2 orders of magnitude cheaper.

There are unsanctioned tournaments, but I hear they limit the amount of proxies allowed. No point in showing up with your deck worth more than the per capita GDP if you get smoked by some kid playing a bunch of lands with ancestral recall and black lotus written on them.

In MTG do you win other people’s cards if you beat them? I always thought TCGs operate best with that system, to add a little real risk.

That sounds like it would transform the game from "no one would play any card worth more than $1000" to "no one would play any card worth more than $1". Of course, for cards at that level market price depends on play viability in the first place, so...

Okay, MtG rules are my wheelhouse, including early ones as well as current ones. Hyperion is more correct than not, but not quite there.

Very early in the game's history there was an "ante" rule where each player was supposed to set aside the top card of their deck at the beginning of the game and the winner kept all the ante cards. As he mentions there were even a few cards that interacted with this, say by forcing the opponent to ante an additional card, or anteing one yourself as an extra cost for a very powerful effect.

It was dropped very early on, not so much due to "playground fights" as because it (a) was incredibly unpopular, and (b) raised concerns about gambling laws in some jurisdictions, or at least WotC was worried that it might. The latter was the main reason WotC cited for removing it. It is still in the rulebook but is very heavily deprecated, and the use of ante (and the cards that directly interact with it) is banned in all sanctioned tournaments and has been for something like 95-97% of the game's history at this point.

I don't think it was framed as optional in the earliest rulebooks, though in my experience it was treated that way in practice. It certainly is optional now, and the clear default is to not use it. Though it's redundant, the rulebook also bans it where prohibited by law.

Well, the idea is to even the playing field somewhat. If you have an expensive but powerful card, you can play it, but only if you are willing to risk the possibility of losing it.

Yeah but if I've got a deck of 60 cards and I'm against a fast burn deck and I've got GAMEWINNER9000 (RRP $10,000) which instantly wins me the game if drawn in my deck, I haven't actually got that big a % of actually pulling that card in context of a single game.

Richard Garfield, patrilineal descendant of James A. Garfield never expected anyone to buy more than a dozen packs of the cards. So, when they did they had to fix the rules. Magic as Richard Garfield intended, where you can draw 3 cards for one blue mana.

They originally had that as an optional rule in MTG but all the playground fights caused it to die out. There were even ante cards printed; but, they, along with the skill cards are banned even in Vintage.

It appears that an "ante" rule exists, but is not used in official events.

MTG did have a rule like that initially. It was called "ante", but didn't last very long. From a wiki:

The last card to mention ante was Timmerian Fiends, printed in the 1995 Homelands expansion. Ante is strictly forbidden in DCI-sanctioned play and is only allowed in unsanctioned games where not forbidden by law.

NFTs are stateless distributed and permissionless certificates of ownership.

That's what the hype is originally about, it's Bitcoin for assets. And some of the original NFTs are stuff like address space on Urbit that actually has a concrete use online.

A novel art market for digital images developped on top of this technology, with the usual pitfalls any art market has. From wash trading to counterfeits to money laundering to bubbles.

None of the dynamics are new. What is new is that these dynamics can exist for completely digital assets whereas true private property was previously impossible for such assets as they would require a centralized authentication.

Tie these certificates to actual assets and they'll have value, but outside of online institutions that can enforce the redeemability of such certificates through code, they are only as valuable as this tie.

If no tie exists, the value is purely based on speculation.

The best steelman logic would be the point at which the NFT, as a kind of certificate of authenticity, becomes so respected that it is shameful to display art that you don't own the NFT for. No one would ever display something they don't own the NFT for, because everyone would point and laugh at them.

Think of luxury applications. A company like Rolex faces constant problems with ever better fakes. In a hypothetical future where people really care about NFTs, the NFT becomes authenticity. You just wouldn't wear a watch you didn't own the NFT for.

I don't see any of that happening.

No one would ever display something they don't own the NFT for, because everyone would point and laugh at them.

But people do display reproductions of art pieces they like, but could never afford the original. Museums make a tidy sum off selling everything from key chains up that are plastered with popular art works - think how many times you've seen the Raphael angels on something.

I suppose people could club together and purchase a stake in a new valuable art piece, and get the right to display it with the NFT showing they own a piece of it, not like the people who can't afford to do so but can only afford prints or copies - the way syndicates that own racehorses do.

People wear fake brands now, and don't care about them being authentic. I could see fake NFTs for your fake Rolex becoming A Thing.

People wear fake brands now, and don't care about them being authentic.

Some people do, some people absolutely refuse to. Among some people the rep Rolex is acceptable, or even privileged, a sign of cleverness. Among others, wearing a Rep would be found shameful, even disgusting. And the thing is, group A's opinion does not matter to group B, and if group B is large enough the value of the "real" asset will rise. Telling a room full of rich people making fun of your rep that "other people wouldn't care about this" isn't going to help.

If you're going to try to understand the concept of NFTs, or of authentic fashion/art/branding/etc, without just pointing and laughing you have to start by realizing that social groups exist where ownership is status, and ownership of the real thing is status. Am I one of these people? No. But there's lots of them around. Frankly there are times I wish I was, that's a whole class of emotions that I don't get to experience.

Sure, but if I'm in a gathering of people wealthy enough to have real genuine Patek Phillipe watches, I'm not going to be wearing a fake (if I can only afford a fake, the only way I'm in that room is as a servant of some kind).

If I'm among people who buy and wear and use fake brands, I don't care and neither do they so long as the item is good enough for use.

The problem in both cases is the signalling: I am rich enough to afford the real thing. If you are too gauche and nouveau riche for group A, they will shun you for other reasons than "that's a fake"; even if it's genuine, the 'wrong' brand or 'he/she is plainly trying to show off' will be enough to have fun made of you. Think of mocking rappers for suddenly deciding to drink Hennessy, or how Burberry became a down-market brand by catering to chavs. Or the crassness of the 'purchase for investment, lock it away so it stays unseen' of the Saudi prince who bought the Salvator Mundi(and indeed the crassness of rushing to establish it as a genuine Leonardo so it could be sold off for $$$$$$).

For group B, it's the same shunning for showing off, except in this case it's "he/she thinks they're better than us".

There's a narrow band where "I'm rich enough now with my newly-minted wealth to afford the real thing" is appreciated and a source of emulation, and I think that's where the NFT art falls. I don't care about real or fake, except insofar as appreciating real craftsmanship or real artistic merit and beauty (I'm never going to be impressed by "see how rich I am? see? see?") and so the status games don't matter to me.

So I think both the authentic old money set and the 'can only afford fakes' set would both laugh at the "see my authentic NFT token proving my authentic ownership" set trying to boast of their money and status. Does anybody think the oil-rich princelings of the Gulf States are arbiters elegantiaes or rather tasteless playboy yahoos squandering fortunes on hookers and blow? 'Dude look at my 200 real genuine NFTs' 'yeah, your highness (what a maroon, does he really think splashing cash around equals taste?)'.

As someone who works in the blockchain full-time, they're all scams. I will write more on this topic if/when I find time, but in short there is a miniscule fig leaf of objective justification for their price (perhaps blockchain something something will make NFTs priceless) and a perfect storm of incentives leading folllowers to hype the NFTs up. Like how pyramid schemes do actually have real products, but are like 5% product and 95% pyramid, NFTs are 0.01% product and 99.99% self-sustaining (until it pops) bubble.

It's less about "NFTs" and more about the idea of "buying digital art". The 'right click, save' criticism was so apt because the 'value' of owning expensive art is in the prestige of possessing a rare piece with good provenance and being able to show it off (either in your home or by lending it to a museum). "Showing off" your NFT, on the other hand, is literally showing off a JPEG, it's not only "functionally identical" to it, it is identical, because the "NFT" is only a (hypothetical) loicense tracking system.

When you buy art, you own the art. When you buy an NFT, you own a cryptographic key that says you have some kind of partial, meaningless "right" to a JPEG (but not the JPEG itself).

At least Jack's magic beans really did grow into a giant vine where he eventually obtained treasure, but this sort of thing bewilders me as to what the hell is going on.

It's a scam. If a panel of Joe Biden, Abe Simpson, and Muhammad Ali can't understand how it makes money, it doesn't. The only way for it to be a worthwhile investment is to leave someone else holding the bag.

It's a scam. If a panel of Joe Biden, Abe Simpson, and Muhammad Ali can't understand how it makes money, it doesn't.

That's pretty good. Did you invent this?

It’s an expression I developed, yes. Originally it was ‘if Joe Biden can’t explain how it makes money, it’s a scam’, but it kept being mistaken for political commentary about the Biden economy so I switched to using Abe Simpson because ‘confused old man’ was the relevant part. Then it just developed from there.

I think at best, the hope was that they would be like digital versions of famous ticket stubs, autographs or similar collectables that have little to no intrinsic value.

We maintain the ability to delete and edit top level posts for people to correct honest mistakes. I don't know why you deleted your previous top level post, but do not abuse that feature. If it is already under discussion, consider it out of your control.

Also this is a discussion forum for the culture war. Although jewish issues are often culture war related, it doesn't mean all jewish issues belong being discussed here. The main thread is mostly for current culture war issues. Historical analysis can be brought up in their own separate topic. These aren't hard and fast rules. But they are unspoken community expectations, which you managed to heavily violate (which is the reason for the large number of downvotes). I'd suggest more lurking in the future.


It makes sense that an insular religious group which refused to do agriculture since ~400AD would own an outsize amount of property in 20th century Slovakia (acquired through moneylending and banking I imagine). It also makes sense the ethnic Slovak farmers would find this annoying and try to take action against that. How much more is there to discuss? There’s no moral quandary or political interest here, just two groups doing what is in their best interests.

They didn't refuse agriculture, they were banned from it in most places.

Of course, it was noted Jews were predominantly craftsmen and other non farm occupations cca year zero.

Pretty sure Jews in the pale of settlement farmed, no?

The Talmud has passages condemning agricultural work and encouraging learned / literate work. According to Solzhenitsyn, the Tsar tried to get Russian Jews to farm but failed. As far as I know there is no example of a Rabbi (the leaders of the Jewish micro-nation) ever asking for farming privileges in any of their negotiations with foreign powers.

The Talmud has passages condemning agricultural work

Can you give us a cite where? I think what quotes (passed through several hundred years chinese whispers game) you mean, but they do not say what you think they say.

and encouraging learned / literate work.

No surprise, who you think wrote the Talmud?

According to Solzhenitsyn, the Tsar tried to get Russian Jews to farm but failed.

People were not eager to become Russian peasants? What a surprise.

BTW, if true, it confirms that the tsars were idiots, lack of people in agriculture was the last of Russia problem.

It is not 14th century but 19th one, you are not playing Crusader Kings, but Victoria and your first task is to move peasants out of villages into cities and factories (if you want to win and not only goof around).

I am also reminded of King Anaxandridas II of Sparta, who was alleged to have told someone who asked why Spartans didn't till their fields but instead had their helots do it, that "It was not by taking care of the fields, but of ourselves, that we acquired those fields."

As you said, this is alleged apocryphal quote.

If you want to hear authentic Spartan voice from antiquity justifying their treatment of helots (that was seen as outrageous even by ancient standards), start here, this is the closest you can get.

This speech was written by Isocrates, one of most famous orators of the time in voice of Spartan king of the day. It summarizes arguments used by Spartans themselves and presents the best possible case for Spartan peculiar institutions.

So what he says:

1/God gave us this land and these people.

For we inhabit Lacedaemon because the sons of Heracles gave it to us, because Apollo directed us to do so, and because we fought and conquered those who held it; and Messene we received from the same people, in the same way, and by taking the advice of the same oracle.

2/It was ours for a long time. Its a tradition.

Then again you are doubtless well aware that possessions, whether private or public, when they have remained for a long time in the hands of their owner, are by all men acknowledged to be hereditary and incontestable. Now we took Messene before the Persians acquired their kingdom23 and became masters of the continent, in fact before a number of the Hellenic cities were even founded.

3/You are doing far worse, you have no right to judge us.

and although it was only the other day that they razed both Thespiae and Plataea to the ground

4/Both the greatest kingdom and the greatest democracy of the world were fine with it for a long time, why are you making into a big issue now?

But, although our treaties were concluded under circumstances in which it was impossible for us to seek any advantage, yet, while there were other matters about which differences arose, neither the Great King nor the city of Athens ever charged us with having acquired Messene unjustly.

See that despite the delusions of modern wannabe bronze age keyboard warriors, raw psychopathic "might makes right" attitude was not something believed in ancient times, even by Spartans.

3/You are doing far worse, you have no right to judge us.

and although it was only the other day that they razed both Thespiae and Plataea to the ground

The earliest example of "[And you are lynching Negroes](And you are lynching Negroes)" in history?

See that despite the delusions of modern wannabe bronze age keyboard warriors, raw psychopathic "might makes right" attitude was not something believed in ancient times, even by Spartans.

That literally is a raw psychopathic "might makes right" ideology. Invoking the will of the gods doesn't change anything. They thought the will of the gods was whatever happened. It's just "might makes right" with extra steps. They even add as an extra, "and because we fought and conquered those who held it."

I don't see how the invocation of jealous, petty, and partial gods changes anything. It just reinforces how insanely might makes right their ideology was back then.

Outstandingly informative post! I hope you aren't lumping me in with bronze age keyboard warriors though, because my basic philosophy can be summarised as being human means striving to exceed the limits of might makes right.

I also don't see what's wrong with preferring to avoid farming if possible and wanted to provide another ancient example of that mindset, which might not have been said by Anaxandridas II, but was clearly understood by Plutarch. This thread reads like mango worship to me.

If Jews don't farm, why do they have a major holiday for harvest season? Farming may not be the most popular career for Jews, but it appears there's still plenty of Jewish farmers, even before the Kibbutz movement.

I am also highly skeptical of people pulling quotes from the Talmud to try and make a point about the Jews. The Talmud is a large volume containing many contradictory opinions about many subjects from many historical scholars. It's meant to be studied and debated, not read as a literal book of laws. Can you cite the exact passage that you believe condemns agricultural work and why you believe the intent of that section is to order Jews not to perform it?

I have no idea what the relationship of Eastern European Jewish communities was to farming. Certainly they were strongly discriminated against and banned from it in many places. If they refused to try or ask, perhaps they knew they wouldn't get it, or were concerned that they wouldn't be allowed to keep them for long enough for a planting and harvest cycle, or wouldn't be allowed to learn how to do it well. Or maybe it's not very well documented exactly what they did or didn't try to do over the years.

In looking around the net about the subject, I did find this interesting and pretty neutral article about the subject making the case that the root cause of Jews tending away from farming in the pre-historical era was not hostile discrimination or refusal to do farm labor, but instead the religious requirement to be literate (in order to read the Torah) in an era when that was extremely difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. It seems likely that many people thought, if you've got to acquire a relatively rare and difficult skill, better to make some use of it rather than continue to farm.

Because Sukkot has its origins in Ancient Israel, and actually before that in ancient Canaan, which was agricultural. Talmudic Judaism came about around the first century, around the time of the destruction of the Second Temple. This is where what we call “Judaism” originates.

These articles go over how the Talmud made those who were illiterate very low status, and those Jews eventually converted to other religions. But farmers were pretty much necessarily illiterate before the printing press. Additionally, scholars had a huge advantage in terms of marriage because of the general praise of scholars. “200 years together” talks about how rabbis took advantage of this. Specifically in the Talmud we read we read that agriculture is the lowest profession and that selling merchandise is better than working the land.

I interpret the posts you started this thread with as making the claim that Jews as a group categorically refuse to do agricultural work because the Talmud says they aren't allowed to. But the articles that you posted seem to basically agree with the one I posted - that Jews mostly moved away from agriculture because the religion did mandate that they become literate in an age where that was rare and difficult, and there were more lucrative jobs available for those who were (though usually not lucrative enough versus farming at the time to persuade people of other religions who did not have a religious mandate for literacy to take them up). So agreed on that I guess?

This is also evidence that the mandate for literacy is actually real and recognized as so and obeyed by the great majority of Jews throughout history. You seem to be attempting to claim there is a mandate to not do agricultural work, which I can't see any evidence of historical or near-modern Jews actually perceiving, recognizing, or obeying. It may not be super-popular, but there definitely are substantial movements around Jewish Farming, and I've never heard of any Rabbis or Talmudic scholars making a claim that those movements are wrong. And you'd think they'd get rid of Sukkot too if they really did hate farming.

(this probably deserves an effortpost of its own, but indeed literacy is rare and expensive in the pre-industrial age, which includes not only the printing press, but a power source for it, plus decent-quality long-lasting paper and ink in industrial quantities, plus a way to transport large quantities of all of those supplies and the resulting books around a country)

The Talmud is a pretty complex and obscure subject. You pretty much never hear any Jews who are not Talmudic scholars talking about it or basing their lives around it. Indeed, there are college degrees for reading and interpreting it. I am not at all a Talmudic scholar myself, but all of the commentary in the site you posted on the section you linked says it's mainly about marriage and relations between men and women. It seems nobody else thinks the bit that you say forbids agriculture work (or rather, quotes a "Rabbi Elazar" as claiming it's "low") actually does so. It's a book that's existed for thousands of years and had many tens of thousands of people spend years of their life reading and interpreting, if it's actually meant as a prohibition, surely there must be more people talking about that, but I can't seem to find any.

I interpret the posts you started this thread with as making the claim that Jews as a group categorically refuse to do agricultural work because the Talmud says they aren't allowed to.

Yes, this is the most surreal part of anti-Jewish discourse, remnant of premodern villager mind floating around in post-post-post modern cyberspace.

Medieval Jews indeed avoided peasant farm labor, just like medieval Christian nobility, clergy, merchants, craftsmen, town dwellers in general and everyone else who could.

If you ever did even a day of manual field work, you would understand why.

The Talmud is a pretty complex and obscure subject. You pretty much never hear any Jews who are not Talmudic scholars talking about it or basing their lives around it.

"The Talmud" is not a book, it is a library. The full edition in printed form weighs impressive 330 pounds.

Imagine, for example, treating 217 volumes of the Church Fathers as "one book."

Just like all traditional religious works, Talmud is full of stuff extremely unsavory for modern audiences.

If you listen to people who are not fond of Jews, they have idea that Talmud is some sort of encyclopedia of crime, grand manual how to cheat, rob, deceive and manipulate the goyim, they make Talmud much cooler that it is in reality (extremely dreary discussions about minutiae of religious laws).

As you said, only religious Jews are studying Talmud for real, even people who are really not fond of Jews are not interested in learning the "Jewish secrets" and are satisfied with copying and pasting of short list of mostly fabricated "Talmud quotes".

Specifically in the Talmud we read we read that agriculture is the lowest profession and that selling merchandise is better than working the land.

Which just sounds like the Hindu caste system, very broadly, where it's the literate priestly class putting their caste at the top of the pecking order and then those who till the land or engage in work around animals, waste, dead bodies, etc. are put at the very bottom of the social pyramid. This isn't a purely and solely Jewish notion.

In the ideal (as opposed to actual) social system in the Vedic era, the ranks are:

Brahmins: Vedic scholars, priests or teachers. Kshatriyas: Rulers, administrators or warriors. Vaishyas: Agriculturalists, farmers or merchants. Shudras: Artisans, laborers or servants.

Manusmriti assigns cattle rearing as Vaishya occupation but historical evidence shows that Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Shudras also owned and reared cattle and that cattle-wealth was mainstay of their households. Ramnarayan Rawat, a professor of History and specialising in social exclusion in the Indian subcontinent, states that 19th century British records show that Chamars, listed as untouchables, also owned land and cattle and were active agriculturalists. The emperors of Kosala and the prince of Kasi are other examples.

Cows being sacred, farming/dairy herdsmen as occupation would be higher-ranked in India. For the Jewish position, since there weren't sacred animals but were impure ones - and the question of who was raising pigs or keeping pigs at the time - then people who were probably herding non-kosher animals as well as kosher ones would naturally be an occupation giving rise to the attitude "it's better to be a trader than a farmer".

i agree, but we don’t see this kind of anti-agricultural ethic in Christianity. All Christians are of equal value who act Christlike, and the learned class was celibate. So it makes sense for eg Slovaks to rebel against a foreign upper class. And, of course, it also makes sense for Jews to want to make more money in lending and trade rather than farming. All of it makes sense, it’s just competing value schemes.

There might be another push. Since Jews were generally exiles for most of the existence of Talmudic Judaism, they might have been subject to expulsions and attacks. Farming is obviously bound to the land, and if you have to worry about neighbors with pitchforks and torches coming after you or governments getting grabby, Farming is probably a terrible profession. You cannot pack your field in a suitcase or put it in a cart, your fields and barns will be lost if you have to flee or are ordered to leave. Christians were generally dominant in their countries and rulers of those countries so any wealth tied to the land wouldn’t be at risk. If you bought a field, chances are that your kids would be passing it to their kids.

The other thing with literacy is that without literacy, there’s not really a way to preserve the religion. The temple is gone, the priests are gone, you’re surrounded by other peoples. If nobody can read, the religion gets lost or becomes so diluted that it’s lost entirely.

This is a troll post where you pretend to make an argument that 38% property ownership is not high enough to justify discrimination against Jews, while intending for the reader to ignore your argument and just react to the 38% figure as being too high.

They post and delete so many threads now, often you reply only for them to be deleted. They’re also a lot like a similar account that used to do this.

As a Slovak I have a suspicion it was more than 38%.

I know that in Hungary it was over 50% before WW2..

Not sure what's objectionable about this post. (His behavior aside).

Slovak state was antisemitic, they aryanised Jewish property, they didn't just hand over Jews of Slovakia but paid the Germans to take them.

2/3rds of the pre war Jewish population died, a lot of the remainder moved to Israel.

Still seems to be a lot of Jews around, but that's just my family - half of it are M.D.s and Jews are quite common in medicine.

I think interwar Hungary is widely acknowledged as the European society in which Jews were most disproportionately dominant in commerce (Scott even wrote about it on various occasions). I suspect it had something to do with political dynamics in the late Austro-Hungarian empire; even in Poland (which had a numerically and proportionally much larger Jewish population) you didn’t see the same level of involvement in leading businesses etc.

Weren't Poles more antisemitic / discriminatory?

The reason why OP's post is objectionable is because OP is doing a thing. He wants to post a quote about how Jews owned a large percentage of property in Slovakia. He considers the high percentage to be noteworthy and wants to share it with The Motte, and yet, he disguises his reason for sharing the quote by pretending to refute it. He pretends to make an argument that the large percentage is not noteworthy, while expecting the reader to reject his pretend argument and conclude that it is indeed noteworthy.

OP wants to make posts that speak truth to Jewish power but feigns to believe that the moderation team of The Motte will silence him if he does so in an open and forthright manner. He adopts the guise of an antisemitism skeptic who tries to refute hate facts and fails. I think as well that OP expects his disguise to be recognized. Which means his true intention is not even to deceive but simply to express resentment that his posts speaking truth to Jewish power are unwelcome on The Motte.

Let's consider forbidding this bad behavior. Whatever they're doing with this post and delete game, it isn't in good faith.

Yeah. It really puzzles me why NNs are allowed to post on this site. I understand that rationalists want to "discuss absolutely anything", but bad faith posting doesn't help anyone.

The point of this place is to practice the belief that we can discuss any subject rationally and honestly. So we strongly prefer to ban not any specific viewpoint, but poor argument tactics instead. If you want to say that Jews are bad, you can, but you have to actually say it and make a rational case for why, not make suspiciously weird and irrelevant posts whose real purpose seem to be to put a eyebrow-raising number into people's heads.

I think this is a good thing - the NN's most compelling argument is usually that they're so censored everywhere, they must have an actual point that the system doesn't want you to hear. We can refute that here - here's a wide open forum for you to post what you actually think, and if it's really dumb it will get shredded just like it deserves.

Why can people even delete threads? What purpose does it serve?

I've used it to delete dupes in the past, or comments I later saw were already made by somebody else in totality. You also should be able to delete posts you simply didn't intend to make.

Removing them after people have engaged I don't see the use of however, it just removes useful context.

Incidentally that's how it works in Slack: you can only remove posts nobody interacted with.

I think that would be a decent compromise. And you can message an admin to delete otherwise.

I wouldn't even think that 100% "Jewish" ownership meant that that "Jews" controlled the economy

This reads like something a fashy person would say through a sock puppet account that pretends to oppose antisemitism while making self-defeating arguments.

Also, how is it that your reply was made ten hours ago, but I am only able to see it now?

Also, how is it that your reply was made ten hours ago, but I am only able to see it now?

New user filter. Every comment they make has to be manually approved by mods. Also, you were right, I have been had.

Troll post or not(it is), the meta argument still stands. At a certain point you realize that people who ingroup jews never accept in any sense that there is any rhyme, reason or responsibility to be found when the subject of anti-semitism comes up. Which is why you get these inane arguments to begin with.

The framework for the discussion is of a victim and oppressor, not cause and effect. Which is at odds with the 'rationalist' disposition on most other topics.

Are Jews overrepresented? Of course. Is that a problem? I don’t think so. Could that cause jealously? Naturally.

I think it's very fair to say it's a problem, much like it is for any successful minority. Because it breeds resentment and cliquishness.

The way around is to have successful minorities adhere first to a common set of principles and fuse them into a larger group where tribal loyalties are discouraged.

But if you don't do that, you will get sectarian conflict. It's not optional.

This is a great example. Jews just exist in a form that is impossible to assign negative cause to. So the natural conclusion is that anyone who assigns them any negative cause is suffering from some ailment or pathology.

This is just such a transparent expression of ingroup bias. Like, it can't be that jews actually caused something negative to happen or are in any way instrumental in the proliferation of anything bad and that some people had a very natural and human reaction to it. I.e. not wanting to live with jews anymore. No, the Nazis were instead jealous of jews.

My point is that being successful is not a bad thing and therefore it’s weird to imply there is some moral failing by Jews being successful and thereby causing resentment.

Who implied that? I don't understand.

I just see your point being predicated on the idea that people can't take issue with what some jews were being successful at and/or how.

What issue is there to take with Jews being successful? Provided they weren’t stealing from people or doing something illicit it seems to me that anyone taking issue with Jews being successful is engaging in resentment.

No one is saying that jews being 'successful' is a reason to not like them except you.

Claiming that certain Jews did things that you dislike is of course not necessarily pathological. However, blaming Jews as a group for things is certainly and in all cases a form of irrational, shoddy thinking. Not because of moral issues, but simply because it is inaccurate. "Jews" did not cause things that you dislike to happen in Weimar Germany. Some specific Jews did.

Frankly this is just a form of special pleading that only ever functions to try and thwart discussions of large-scale problems by shrinking them down to a series of individual decisions. It's de rigeur to talk of pathological behavior among white people, white communities, "whiteness", etc., and most people who sniff about "canards" of Jewish influence and malign behavior will not think twice before agreeing that white people bear collective moral, cultural and (especially) financial responsibility for a litany of supposed historical grievances. In many cases this is actually the law! The nuance that you insist upon is something that's only ever applied to shield members of an ingroup from criticism of that ingroup as a collective, so that no one ever gets to ask questions about whether your ingroup really is a malign influence on society - now, regardless of how large the problem is, you get to insist that it's just hundreds or thousands or millions of individual bad apples, nothing more. Where, precisely, is the boundary between "it's all just individual Jews making individual decisions" and "white people need to spend their lives denouncing previous generations of white people"? At what point does it become fair to make systemic criticisms of your ingroup?

In order to blame someone they’d have to have the power to do it. White Americans did, for example, push Native American tribes onto reservations. White Southern Americans passed Jim Crow laws. If you want to blame Jews for the fall of Weimar, they not only have to be there when the gun goes off, but have to be holding the gun. But, quite often it was other people. Hyperinflation was caused by the Allies demanding draconian reparations.

Claiming that certain Jews did things that you dislike is of course not necessarily pathological.

Then why do I consistently get the response that it is? Regardless of anything else, my point stands. There is a very distinct and clear form of ingroup bias whenever the 'jews' are criticized. There's never a concession made or a 'rational' framework of cause and effect. In this very thread the act of killing a Nazi collaborator is framed as justified, not causal.

However, blaming Jews as a group for things is certainly and in all cases a form of irrational, shoddy thinking.

Is there anyone in the world who believes that every single jew in the world was doing the things the "specific" jews in Weimar Germany were doing?

What you are saying would have salience and some form of coherency if it wasn't for the fact that the entire modern world is based on the idea that there are nations of people. Like Germans. Who were paying, and are in some form still paying, for the actions of specific Germans during the war. Do we need to be able to trace the causal chain of how a specific German housewife helped the Nazi regime during the war, which justifies her and her offspring pay money to jews until the day they die and beyond? No. This nihilistic autism is only presented when someone makes even a vague generalization about jews having done something.

I mean, can we come up with some term that describes the specific jews that do anti-European, anti-civilizational, anti-society, anti-Christian stuff? You know, not the good ones but the "specific" ones and those that support them. Because I'm tired of people acting like they are explaining something to me when all they are doing is playing PR for their ingroup. As if I just can not fathom that the jew I played video games with isn't Magnus Hirschfeld.

What you are saying would have salience and some form of coherency if it wasn't for the fact that the entire modern world is based on the idea that there are nations of people. Like Germans.

There was a country of people, called Germany. It was this country that did various actions in WW2 that still partially (though, in truth, not as much as some people would like to claim) burden the successor country of that country. They do not, however, burden ethnic Germans who had, say, moved to the United States to form German communities there, many of which specifically fought against the country of Germany. People might claim Donald Trump to be a Nazi for various reasons, but it would be at the very least exceedingly rare to claim he is one because he's a German-American, or that his German heritage would make him directly liable for the actions of the Nazi government in the country of Germany.

During WW2, there was not a Jewish country. There is a Jewish country now, and the actions of that country burden the citizens of that country, making all Israelis in some ways liable for the actions of Israeli government vis-a-vis the Palestinian occupation and the human rights violations therein (at least the ones not explicitly resisting those actions). However, that still doesn't make all Jews everywhere liable for the actions of Israeli goverment.

German people were interned in the US following the US entry into the war. Plans were drawn up for more extensive internment of all German Americans but were scrapped since there were too many of them. Redefining things to be a 'country' is irrelevant. Getting down to brass tax it's about people. Everyone understands this when they are forced to act in reality.

However, that still doesn't make all Jews everywhere liable for the actions of Israeli goverment.

Yet, to this very day, many jews harbor resentment towards Germans. Some going as far as they can in upholding the old anti-German boycott.

Maybe I am being too hot tempered and uncharitable here but I really can't fathom what your point of bringing 'countries' into this would be other than to obfuscate things. Jews did not need to be a country to act as a people. They knew of themselves as the jewish people, they grouped up as the jewish people and they made declarations and took actions as a people prior to Israel ever being a thing. In fact, the only way Israel as a country could come to be in the first place was because of jewish people acting as a group.

So to turn your thing on its head a little bit, and to attempt to highlight my issue with it; are jews liable for the creation of the state of Israel?

More comments

Because I'm tired of people acting like they are explaining something to me when all they are doing is playing PR for their ingroup.

Then stop saying "Like, it can't be that jews actually caused something negative to happen or are in any way instrumental in the proliferation of anything bad and that some people had a very natural and human reaction to it. I.e. not wanting to live with jews anymore. " and say i.e. not wanting to live with the specific people who did X. We can only judge you by what you say, so if you cast a wide net (jews) with your words, that's all we can respond to. If you mean to only criticise a subset of people who did X or Y, then say that.

That's why one of the part of the rules is: Be as precise and charitable as you can.

Be precise about who you want to criticise. If you don't mean jews as a group then define who exactly you are talking about. If there is some anti-European position you want to criticise, define it and who said it. If you know it "isn't all jews" then make that clear. Otherwise it looks like you are simply indulging in Boo-outgroup rhetoric.

It will also skip the whole back and forth you are right in the middle of now, where someone rebuts with, "well actually,not all jews", and you have to sigh, "yes I know it's not all jews, I don't think the guy I play CoD with is involved. I'm not an idiot!"

Define exactly who you are talking about at step 1 and you can skip steps 1A through D going back and forth until you define who you mean. It removes a derailment opportunity. It hones your argument and removes extraneous pain points.

The fact Germans are paying for anything is because citizens do in fact inherit the financial responsibilities their government has agreed to. It doesn't mean morally Brunhilde is responsible for the Holocaust, any more than the fact her taxes go to pay interest on the national debt means she is responsible directly for the government building an autobahn 10 years before she was born and thus the deaths of anyone who crashes their well engineered automobile at 200kph should weigh on her soul. But yet still her taxes go to help pay it off. The German government can decide that a moral crime committed by the German government demands recompense. And all German citizens therefore inherit the financial responsibility, but they do not inherit the moral responsibility. That is the disconnect in your example. They are different things.

Brunhilde is not morally responsible for Hitler's actions just as Bob the jew is not morally responsible for Fred the jew's actions. So if it is Fred's anti-European actions you have a problem with then criticise Fred, not jews. If you mean Fred but say jews then people will understand you to mean jews not Fred. And if Bob and Fred are BOTH members of "Ja, we hate Europe" then specify it is the organization JwhE that you are criticizing.

In other words if you are not being specific in who you are calling out, why should people responding be specific in return?

That's why one of the part of the rules is: Be as precise and charitable as you can.

Maybe you could be charitable and understand that when someone says the Germans did something, they don't mean every single individual German. Maybe you can understand that when someone says jews have won a lot of Nobel prizes, they don't mean every single individual jew. I mean, of course you understand that. Everyone does. 'Jews have won a lot of nobel prizes' is not a statement anyone has ever taken issue with. It's just that when the implication is negative the ingroup bias of some gets activated and they start demanding special status for their ingroup.

I don't accept that jews are more special than others and I don't accept that I should use extreme and autistic verbal rigor when talking about the ingroup bias of some whilst freely ignoring it for others. I think people should be able to be charitable, see past their bias, and recognize what is being said without dragging everything through the mud of tactical individualism. Like I said in my prior comment, you don't need to prove how every single individual German helped the Third Reich when justifying they pay war reparations to jews. You don't need their tax returns to see just how much they were paying. You just draw a blanket group based judgement. They were German, they now have to pay. I'm making a similar judgement call. If one is jewish and one sees all of the negative stuff specific jews have done, why doesn't one have to own that? The Germans had to own all of their actions. They couldn't say that it wasn't them, but rather individual soldiers, politicians and the 30% or so that voted for the NSDAP in the 30's. Why should jews be allowed to not just disown all responsibility, but ultimately claim that these things aren't even jewish. It's like saying the NSDAP wasn't actually German.

The fact Germans are paying for anything is because citizens do in fact inherit the financial responsibilities their government has agreed to.

Why do they 'inherit' that whilst jews don't inherit that specific jews in powerful positions who identified themselves as jews and representatives of jews, who identified their organization as jewish and who declared economic war on Germans in the name of their explicitly jewish organizations due to actions taken by specific Germans against jews in Germany?

Seems like we've erected a very one sided standard. Individual Germans take responsibility for Germans as a group. Individual jews don't take responsibility for jews as a group. Even when jews are explicitly grouping up and expressing themselves as a group. It seems like, in a negative context, there are only individual jews and they can never reflect poorly on jews as a group. No matter how much ingroup bias jews display. Yet here I am pretending that this just doesn't exist. That jews don't have an ingroup bias that they routinely express every single time someone is critical of jews.

Here's a thought, if people don't see themselves as jewish, stop being jewish. Say you're Italian or Romanian. But no. Even on the internet, where no one knows you are a dog, jews and people who ingroup jews take time out of their day to reply to group generalizations in the context of negatives about jews but let actively rely on them in other contexts.

I'm not saying anything about all jews being X. I'm pointing out a double standard. Other individual people have to own their group and how other individual people of that group have made that group look, especially if those individuals did something bad to jews. I could understand how a fervent individualist would not want to participate in such a thing, but people who act on their group biases are obviously not that.

More comments

This is a nonsense argument. You may as well say that Nazis as a group don't share responsibility and that all evil done in the 3rd Reich was done by individual Nazis.

This outright denial of any collective responsibility is common among individualists, like myself, but it falls short on one condition: if people organize as a group, they are responsible as a group. Which is why we punish criminal conspiracies.

And if one concedes at least this, and they must, then the question becomes rather if Weimar had Jews organized and organized specifically as Jews. A question that is much less easy to answer in the negative than a clean reading of history would enjoy. Successful minorities are almost always so because they are organized.

Now of course this is where collective condemnation of an entire ethnic group falls short as guilt can only be shared in the confines of a specific organization (supposing of course it can first be established), but you can't defend this by claiming atoms acting independently, not seriously.

And if one concedes at least this, and they must, then the question becomes rather if Weimar had Jews organized and organized specifically as Jews.

The “Jewish communists” derided as revolutionaries in Weimar Germany (they failed at revolution, so can’t be responsible for those issues, but still) certainly didn’t organize specifically as Jews - they were part of areligious communist and anarchist organizations that all had a substantial number of gentile members.

I must say I was not here thinking of communists but of the very much capitalist german-jewish economic elite, a group much studied by sociology, and in particular as to how Jewish its success and internal ties were.

I believe the answer to that question remains debated, but they are a clearly identifiable group with class interests and a significant say and influence in the direction of German society at the time.

The national socialist ideological tie between these people and the communist Jews to form some international conspiracy I believe is clearly faulty and fictitious, but both groups existed and had aims and power. Often at odds with one another, but not necessarily with a character that can be removed from Jewish ethno-cultural interest.

Incidentally, I do not believe such dismissals about atheism matter when we are talking about an ethnos. To give a clear example, atheists Jews have long had tremendous influence over the American film industry and nobody can seriously deny that this influence has a Jewish cultural character even as they are atheists.

It proves that rationalists are disingenuous about caring for rationality which is what one would expect.

There has been a history of movements calling themselves rationalist in the last 200+ years and usually they are atheistic leftwing cults of reason where a very ideological, fanatical and close minded group proclaims their views to be rationality itself and also scientific. If you look even in the French revolution they were rationalists although of a more murderous sort.

It really hollows out any criticism of far right identity politics or woke non jewish identity politics from their substance, since those making such criticisms share the same pathologies and just find their own prejudice in favor of Jews to be uniquely fine. To be fair what is called far right identity politics often includes not just extremists but even moderates, so some of those people who are treated as far right extremists should not be criticized to begin with.

I do think someone who is a genuine moderate can make criticisms of extreme identity politics, albeit I don't oppose any form of identity politics for any group a priori. It is about the amount and whether it is motivated by a view of history that is "what is mine is mine and what is yours, is yours". I also oppose this even to the level of smaller groups and the individual.

Ideally in my view people should respect their own and try to better their lot (as individual, family or nation) while following the golden rule and respecting the same rights in others and not seeking to do better by trampling over others. And it is fine to be angry when others are unwilling to do so and are out to get you and mistreat you. And to indeed defend yourself from their bad behavior. It is also good to oppose and be disgusted at this behavior even when it doesn't directly lead to your specific tribe being mistreated which is how I feel.

If this norm is common enough in a society you got justice, and internationally you do end up having something closer to international justice.

But any form of justice requires a punishment mechanism and also disapproval of those who violate it. It is a trap in my view that a good thing (disapproval of leftist or Jewish racist bad behavior) should be memetically aligned with bad things like sharing the same levels of ethnic extremism which isn't necessary to share to oppose this. Moderate tribalism to support your group when mistreated is sufficient, if one doesn't misunderstand what moderation means to mean too little. Or even without direct tribalism which is fine in moderation (and bad if too little or too much), it is also moral and good to oppose this behavior on a more general universalist grounds for being utterly immoral and criminal.

Extreme forms of tribalism, like the form promoted by many who have captured institutions in favor of Jewish identity politics today (n addition to others of progressive stack), obviously is in the mentality that they own history both the past, present and future. Fully the mentality of what is yours is mine and what is mine is mine. Where their vilification of others is kosher, but where their wrongdoing is antisemitic conspiracy theory.

Not everything related to the enlightenment degenerated in extreme cults, so there is something to what I argue here related to the enlightenment even if this fanaticism and hypocritical tribalism is part of its historical trajectory as well. Hell the enlightenment even had key figures who were highly critical of the Jews from an internationalist perspective, condemning them as misanthropes. And these figures have also been branded dishonestly with the typical one sided racist manner of most of those who use that word who care zero for nuance as antisemites.

My thesis is that seeing all the evil and all of racism as historically existing just in the Jews is obviously false, others had and can have this extremism as well, but there has been and there is a genuine problem of racism against non Jews that both the Jewish community it self had and has (and the result are racist hate groups like the ADL), and even there are non Jews have become that by identifying with the Jewish ultranationalist vision of the world. And it is part of a general pattern of extreme tribalists. The general alliance of tribalism of progressive associated identities aka progressive stack today is of an extremist and ultranationalist sort.

Coming to terms with the fact that their shit also stinks and striving to genuinely promote a more evenhanded perspective on the moral evaluation of different identity groups would be a valid demonstration of not sharing this pathology.

That's not the argument.

Very obviously overepresentation does not justify such crimes but this discussion that you started and many people participated isn't about that.

There is a motte and bailey here going on. The issue is whether in interethnic conflict we adopt the perspective of Jews always oppressed by gentiles, or reject it. Nor about whether we can't find any point where Jews weren't unfairly mistreated.

The reality is that you are a hateful racist propagandist against non Jews whose rhetoric reflects many others here who are like you who also promote propaganda meant to potray Jews in a favorable light and hate on non Jews and negate any criticism to bad racist either Jewish behavior or jewish supremacist behavior of non Jews as well. It is your choise to do so, just like someone could have cherry picked a narrative focusing on Germans being killed by communists before WW2 and then after end of WW2 and even mentioned the Jewish names involved.

History as a weapon for certain groups is one thing, where their victimization is highlighted, maximized, chery picked, while any wrongdoing hidden, assumed to be conspiracy, made taboo, and other groups are shit upon. And history meant to illuminate in general without hiding wrongdoing of anyone, nor being milked in such a propagandistic manner is quite another.

I think the response on your faction's utterly malicious tactics has been rather idiotic. The only correct response that is proportionate is complete contempt at the immoral hypocritical racists trying to vilify and enforce high status for their ingroup and low status and demonziation for their outgroup who are also authoritarians to boot. You shouldn't be given the opportunity to impose your totaltiarian racist vision while censoring the truth.

Secondly, obviously the trick is to try to get people's reputations destroyed by trying to associate them with nazism, the same trick far leftists also did to justify their own extremism with fascism. The most antifascists in history were the mass murderous communists which gave the world the antifascist wall known as berlin wall.

The reality is that historically both nazism, communism, far leftism, and even being a Jewish supremacist have all been bad things and it is the fallacy of false dichotomy to pretend that to oppose one, someone must align wit the other. On a visceral and intellectual level believe me when I find a multipolarity in evil and there are more than one type of immoral extremists I find deplorable and disgusting. Extremists can oppose each other indeed. The funny thing is that Jewish supremacists share the pathologies they whine about the most of racism, prejudice, ultranationalism, hateful bias and throwing blood libel at others. Anyway, the only way to be ethical is to reject the framework of false dichotomy and not allow your type of extremists to get away with imposing your evil in the world, just cause you will lie and slander any opposition.

The best thing for a racist for Jews to do if they wants to reduce real antisemitism, would be to shut the fuck up. But their goal isn't to reduce prejudice against Jews but to impose a Jewish supremacist vision that Jews rule and non Jews drool and also to implement racist policies as well and limit freedom of their outgroup while allowing people like them to humiliate and hate them constantly. Especially some ethnic groups they have a grudge against. But like the historical German supremacists and other Jewish supremacists throughout history, this behavior causes backlash that can lead to their favorite group being even mistreated.

Also, very obviously outside of mistreatment, many here claim to oppose any negative rhetoric towards Jews but are very willing to dish it out towards others.

This lack of restraint is telling about where the priorities of Jewish supremacists lie. They are immoral cruel racists against non Jews but even for their own ingroup they are willing to provoke more hostility and negativity towards Jews to achieve not a moderate end but an end where Jews are high status and treated in a superior manner and their non Jewish outgroups are low status and treated as inferiors.

What point were you trying to make with this post? It seems to be a historical curio with no real relevance to modern culture war.

i dont claim to find this relevant to modern culture war but bear in mind not every country has a culture war about the same topics.

maybe he is slovakian, i dont know if it is relevant there but i dont just assume it isnt

I'm pretty sure this is just secure signals getting around his ban. OP hasn't responded to a single comment on his post, and the post bears the hallmarks of trying to smuggle in pro-holocaust messaging without explicit calls to action.

Seriously, who here cares that pre war Slovakian Jews were an economically dominant minority?

I disagree. The poster very likely went by Anything-something in the previous forum. There was a case of a far right figure killing minorities and this poster milked it very fanatically in line with their far left jewish supremacist ideology. They also posted like they posted now. He could be pushing a long con, but it seems more likely they are just a Jewish supremacist which isn't uncommon here. And in regards to that poster in particular I have seen different names with the same way of thinking posting for a long time.

Why can't you oppose what the OP promotes without coming with a theory that they must be the opposite of what they represent? Its like racists for Jews can do no wrong.

I genuinely think that if we censored but also treated with contempt as they deserve people promoting propaganda about how Jews/blacks/women/lgbt can do no wrong, milking their suffering in a cherry picked and promoting one sided history and shitting on their outgroup and we also don't promote milking history against Jews, we would have a far less pointless debate about these issues. So I am in favor of OP not be allowed to continue their behavior and they are in fact the same poster that was banned previously, but I don't buy that they are pulling a 5th dimensional chess move. I also think that the behavior of OP and Jewish supremacists does create a hostile racist environment and violates consistently rules on consensus, hating outgroup. Generally there are good reasons to limit their behavior to protect those they abuse, and such people always abuse their power.

We should also ideally be promoting people like Helen Andrews promoting nuance. There is also a nuance to be found in WW2 but one that still ends up with a very negative view of the nazi regime. Things like the mistreatment of Germans for example and Morgenthau plan are worth mentioning to move beyond the most fanatical black and white visions. Or the soviet mass deportations and genocides.

Jewish participation in communism is also important to note, not to promote a narrative that onesidedly shits on Jews, but to promote a narrative that spreads negativity and positivity around over a narrative that potrays one group in the most favorable light and other groups in the most negative one.

A good comparison is the Jewish overepresentation among slave owners in 19th century America. The point isn't that this justifies today mistreating Jews but to counter what John Steward called "blacks and Jews together getting whitey". Or the Jewish supremacist narrative of history. We should to the extend history allows be promoting narratives that are more evenhanded than onesided. At least in comparison to the typical approach we see today on such issues. Spreading the negativity around is part of that but also outright promoting the importance of not weaponizing history.

Its why Andrews articles arguing against the grave hoax in Canada, or against the thesis of American slavery as uniquely bad form of slavery are good. I also recommend her articles arguing against the dishonest propaganda of the Belgian Congo attrocity propaganda that also promoted exaggerations.

Where the facts don't allow it, we can still pathologize and be intolerant towards people cherry picking real events in the exclusion of any other to weaponize history against their ethnic outgroup.

It is completely true that there is an attempt to promote maximal grievances mixing truth and lies against western civilization. We should expose the lies and be intolerant to those cherry picking the truth to hate on western civilization in the broad sense and anyone affected by this movement. However we should tolerate people who don't weaponize history and just in proportion to what should be expected do care about past attrocities in a proportionate manner that doesn't result in shitting on the outgroup. It is also fine to care more about your own people's past suffering but again to a point. There is a point where trying to impose it as the most important thingever encroaches on the rights of others and is disrespectful and abusive.

Also, important to note that the brutal nazi occupation ended up in decent % of populations dying from various countries in eastern europe. They deserve a negative reputation, because the dislike and hatred against them didn't start in post ww2 propaganda, or existed only in the American shores, but among the people they abused historically. It isn't just about the Jews. The point here is we shouldn't allow people to use the nazis or confederates to shit on modern rightists, non far leftists, or european nations. This is compatible with holding a negative opinion of the nazis.

Not allowing bad actors to do that won't result in the nazis being liked. They are not going to be liked.

In fact the proud eastern european or certain south europeans should have an especially negative opinion both their previous oppressors and their modern haters who don themselves in antifascist colors. Indeed, as USSR was the most antifascist regime to ever exist, they have a good experience getting it good and hard from both the nazis and the antifascists.

Although, obviously people should focus much more on present problems and less on past defeated regimes.

I think the point of the Motte is that such opinions can be expressed within reason. If you think something needs to be addressed then why not do it yourself?

For the avoidance of doubt, the "Slovak Republic" in question was a puppet state set up following the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia in March 1939. Tifo was a Nazi collaborator and was quite properly hanged for treason by the short-lived democratic government that ruled post-war Czechoslovakia before the Soviets consolidated thei control.

Everything the "Slovak Aryanization agency" and suchlike did was more or less enthusiastic implementation of decisions taken in Berlin.

38% does not constitute majority ownership, which would mean that whatever perceived exploitation there was would have been mostly the product of native Slovaks. The Nazi's attempt at drawing a connection between "Weimar degeneracy" and Jews is similarly ridiculous because there were at least as many ethnic Germans involved.

I would favour "Is the demographic overrepresented?", over "Does the demographic represent over 50%?". The former doesn't breakdown at sufficiently small minorities who might exert power/commit crime at rates staggeringly higher than the largest demographic but less than 50%. The former isn't dependent on what fraction other demographics of the entire population represent thus allowing one to discover demographic partilucular peculiarities, even if they are only a small fraction of the whole.

In a population consisting solely of Greens and Purples, if Greens are ten times as likely to commit murder as Purples, but if Greens are less than 1/11th of the population, the latter metric would fail to detect a murderous characteristic, whatever the cause, of the Greens.

I think you have fallen for the bait; this is the objection which OP intended to be raised. I would have too had @omfalos not mentioned it.

Can we stipulate Wikipedia is not a Nazi-aligned source? And then put aside everything else, to look at this list of leaders from Wikipedia of the German Revolution that introduced the "Weimar degeneracy" -

Rosa Luxemburg

Karl Liebknecht

Kurt Eisner

Clara Zetkin

Paul Levi

Franz Mehring

Leo Jogiches

Wilhelm Pieck

Ernst Toller

Erich Mühsam

Richard Müller

Emil Barth

Gustav Landauer

Eugen Leviné

Max Levien

Rudolf Egelhofer

Karl Radek

Johann Knief

Emil Eichhorn

It did not have "at least as many" ethnic Germans involved. In reality only 1/3rd were gentiles.