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Old 8th July 2020, 05:04 PM   #521
xjx388
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
People who argue that are wrong. And I think that they don't even exist outside of your fairy tale. However, if they argue that racism is the reason why blacks and Latinos in the USA are particularly poor and prone to become victims of police brutality or die from Covid-19, they would be right.
???

You arenít American so I can forgive you for not understanding the issues. But you said people that argue systemic racism as I posited it were wrong and then you said they are right.

Anyway. Racism is not an issue that has anything to do with economic systems. It has effects in people in any economic system you can dream up. Just like all the other flaws of the human psyche.

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You, on the other hand, were never interested in finding a solution to the pandemic.
This thread, apparently isnít interested in finding a solution to the pandemic. Itís just to complain about Capitalism. Whereís your solution? Iím just point out where I think you are wrong.
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All you have been whining about from the start of this thread was "flaws in the human psyche," and you have used the word humans as an excuse for the virus running rampant in the USA instead of trying to look into the question that would arise immediately if you took your own 'explanation' seriously: What makes your "basic flaws in the human psyche" so much more extreme in the USA than in the rest of the world? Why do we see "greed, selfishness, stupidity and arrogance" so much more widespread in the USA than almost anywhere else?
Thatís actually an excellent question; but, the answer isnít ďCapitalism.Ē There are plenty of Capitalist countries who have handled Covid particularly well. It has more to do with the sociocultural zeitgeist in the good olí USA than anything else.
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And why does your list of "obedience to authority" cultures mention only "China, Cuba, South Korea, etc", but not Australia, Finland, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway and many, many others?
Because why should I list every frigginí country when ďetcĒ suffices.

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You seem to find so much comfort in your outlandish idea that the USA consists of non-conformist rebels
Where do you get the idea that I find comfort in this fact? You couldnít be more wrong.
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that it makes you blind to the fact that the populace of those other countries haven't been instilled with "an obedience to authority" and aren't ruled by authoritarian governments "that can enforce shutdowns." Instead, they have listened to sensible experts, understood what they were talking about and consequently followed their advice they agreed with them.
I donít believe that. I believe that people in those countries trust their government more and tend to do as asked instead of protesting because they need a haircut.

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It seems impossible for you to grasp the concept that American mask deniers are worshipping an authoritarian ruler,
No. They donít worship Trump; heís just an embodiment of what they actually worship -some warped self-centered concept of ďAmerica.Ē
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who is not only authoritarian but also extremely stupid and ignorant.
Agreed.
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It requires an extraordinary amount of "obedience to authority" to bow down to Trump's 'advice.'
They arenít bowing down to his advice, dann. His advice is reflecting their own views. You have this completely backwards.
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To agree with the restrictions put in place to fight the pandemic in Cuba, China or South Korea doesn't require more than a modicum of common sense: 'OK, I get it. In order to quench the spread of the virus, we need to self-isolate for a period of time until it has died out from a lack of options to be transmitted from person to person. That makes sense!'
An appeal to common sense is a foolish argument. I am simply appealing to the reality of the situation: Too many Americans fundamentally donít care about other people.

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It's worse in so many other contexts than in that of a pandemic. Health care in general, poverty and racism, but I don't need to go on about this since this is a thread about the pandemic.
Thats why I focused on the pandemic.[quote]You not only have "strong central leadership" in the USA, you have "strong central leadership" in the individual states as well, which makes the governors' pandemic response in places like Texas or Florida catastrophic. [quote]You arenít American so I can forgive your misunderstanding. We donít have the kind of strong leadership that other countries do. By design.
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]They were actually able to counteract sensible responses at a local level, for instance when mayors tried to make masks mandatory.
Thatís a good point. Perhaps ďstrongĒ isnít the word I should have used. ďEffectiveĒ is more along the lines of what I meant. An effective government is one that provides leadership and support, not one that dictates. Our system is set up to give too much power to executives at the State and Federal level and not enough to the Local level. The Texas Governor, for example, has too much power to restrict the localities.

I canít help but point out that ďstrengthĒ as you are interpreting it is also helpful in a pandemic. The ability to enforce a lockdown with military backup is effective, if a bit authoritarian.

But this is a government structure issue, not a Capitalism issue.

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I assume that your idea of lack of "strong central leadership" is your libertarian attempt to make it seem as if Americans are just more free and decentralized than the rest of the world when the exact opposite is true: The USA is an extremely authoritarian society,
Again, you make a good point. I clarify that itís not a ďstrong central leadershipĒ I want, in the sense of the power to dictate, but ďstrongĒ in the sense of having the structure to delegate authority where authority needs to lie. We see this in many countries who have handled the situation well.

Again, structure vs. economics.
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and the only rebellions that seem to be successful in the land of the allegedly free are the ones that are directed against science and common sense, i.e. things that we are much more likely to appreciate and respect in the rest of the world.
But in addition to the stupidity and authoritarian thinking in the USA, you would like to add two more things that you think contribute to spreading the virus:




Population density, yes, obviously: When you don't meet many people, in particular indoors, you are less likely to transmit the infection, and you are likely to meet far fewer people in rural areas than in the city. So in general, cities tend to be the first areas where a country notices a new virus spreading. And this tendency is also due to spreading from country to country: Big cities with international airports are where you will see it first, NYC, London, Munich, Copenhagen. (That planes are also the ideal setting for super-spreader events contributes to this: One of the latest flare ups in Denmark was on a plane from Islamabad to Copenhagen - which testing and contact tracing made it fairly easy to put down again fast.)

However, what you fail to notice is that neither population density nor international travel makes it particularly difficult to stop the spread of the virus or to hammer it down. What does make it difficult is the immediate response to the knowledge of the pandemic: 'But we can't do anything that may harm business!' - not even the fairly insignificant percentage of that business that is made up of the tourism industry.
But some Capitalist countries were able to control the situation and others werenít. Therefore, capitalism isnít the problem.

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That is what allowed the virus to spread all over the world in the first place. Clamping down hard on that immediately would have saved hundreds of thousands of lives - and billions of dollars as well, but business calculations and an effective pandemic response are difficult to reconcile - as you have witnessed in Texas for a little more than a month by now.
This is a problem that has been avoided by other capitalist countries, which leads me to believe that capitalism isnít the problem.
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And cramped living quarters, public transportation and working conditions in big cities aren't a law of nature. They are a law of capitalism. But they are not altogether unavoidable in capitalism. Capitalism just does its utmost to prevent them or delay them until it is too late.
Are you saying that non-Capitalist systems donít have ďcramped living quarters, public transportation and working conditions in big cities?Ē Iíd like a cite on that one, if you please.




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Both of those things have everything to do with capitalism. "Dense urban areas and international travel" are only associated with Covid-19 because the right measures against spreading the virus weren't taken.
Singapore: Capitalist, international travel, high population density = 4 deaths per million. You arenít thinking it through.
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And if you weren't in denial about it, you would already be aware that the many "dense urban areas and international travel" where the virus has been hammered down are doing just fine, and they would have done even better if the many objections from business owners hadn't delayed the necessary precautions.
Explain Singapore then. They have something a lot of countries donít: Compliant population and an effective (and strong, to be sure) central government.

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I never expected you to stop denying reality. The mountain of your denial is as indestructible as your authoritarian leader's.
If anyone is denying reality is you. You dismiss the fundamental problems and want to pin it all on your boogey man. You forget that most of the world, indeed, the most effective countries against the virus, are Capitalist.
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Old 8th July 2020, 05:59 PM   #522
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Originally Posted by Mader Levap View Post
Problem is that I see a lot of certain people claiming that removing such regulation would create even better outcome and blaming shortcomings of capitalism and free market on the very things that make it tolerable.
I consider these people delusional on level of commies.
It's not actually a problem in this discussion, though, where nobody has made those claims. I don't see why you need to bring it up, or try to rebut it here.
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Old 8th July 2020, 06:09 PM   #523
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
You not only have "strong central leadership" in the USA, you have "strong central leadership" in the individual states as well
LOL. No, America does not have "strong central leadership". Not at the national level, not at the state level. Hell, even US military doctrine puts less emphasis on strong central leadership than some other nations.
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Old 8th July 2020, 06:16 PM   #524
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
If anyone is denying reality is you. You dismiss the fundamental problems and want to pin it all on your boogey man. You forget that most of the world, indeed, the most effective countries against the virus, are Capitalist.
Going back to the OP, I'm reminded that this started as a comparison between Denmark (capitalist) and Sweden (also capitalist). Denmark comes out ahead in this comparison. So maybe the real problem here isn't capitalism, it's Sweden.

Based on the OP, maybe this whole thing boils down to a case of intra-Scandinavian national chauvinism. At least it doesn't seem to be contagious.
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Old 8th July 2020, 11:30 PM   #525
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I'm not surprised that you have no idea what is in the OP. Maybe you should actually go back to the OP. The epidemic started much the same way in both Sweden and Denmark: Both countries should both have put a stop to ski tourists going to the Alps, but they didn't. They allowed rich people to continue to bring the virus to Scandinavia from Ischgl, in particular.

And Ischgl didn't lock down in spite of warnings from Icelandic health authorities. Why didn't Ischgl lock down? For the sake of business, obviously.

Come again when you actually know something about what happened instead of writing a post blinded by your own national chauvinism.

The Sweden thread was started by applecorped. Maybe you should take a look at that one, too.
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Old 9th July 2020, 03:15 AM   #526
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
And Ischgl didn't lock down in spite of warnings from Icelandic health authorities. Why didn't Ischgl lock down? For the sake of business, obviously.
The highlighted is still in dispute. It's possible that they didn't close down for the sake of business. It's also possible that they didn't close down because they underestimated the risk.

To your credit you have made an argument that the risk was so obvious at that point that they couldn't have underestimated the risk, leaving the only reasonable interpretation left being that they were motivated by profit and greed to stay open in spite of knowledge of the risk.

I think that's wrong because at the time that we're talking about most people underestimated the risk, even those without any incentives to do so. As evidence, look at the predictions being made on GJopen.com at that time (I made some nice improvements to my brier score by not being in the crowd that was underestimating risk, but most were).
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Old 9th July 2020, 03:55 AM   #527
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But we are not talking about "most people." We are talking about health-care professionals in Austria, who were informed about the local outbreak by colleagues in Iceland.
They may claim ignorance in court, but they aren't rank amateurs who just don't know any better.
So I'll repeat what I have already said a couple of times: "Why didn't Ischgl lock down? For the sake of business, obviously."
And the pattern has been repeated since then in Florida and several other places where they also can't claim ignorance.

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I AGREE

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I AGREE

And just to make sure that some idiot doesn't (deliberately) get the idea that I claim that it is utterly impossible for a business owner to act responsibly or that not a single one of them is able to consider the health impact on their customers by reopening irresponsibly:

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I AGREE
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 9th July 2020, 04:08 AM   #528
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Dann's not American? Then what country does he live in that is such a capitalist dystopia?
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Old 9th July 2020, 05:33 AM   #529
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
But we are not talking about "most people." We are talking about health-care professionals in Austria, who were informed about the local outbreak by colleagues in Iceland.
They may claim ignorance in court, but they aren't rank amateurs who just don't know any better.
I thought we were talking about the owners of the ski resorts?

If we're talking about health care professionals in Austria, is the issue that they worked for the ski resorts and were motivated to keep their jobs by giving bad advice that let the ski resorts stay open without accountability? I apologize if you've already laid all this out already.

I do agree that it's less reasonable for a health-care professional to have thought the risk was low than for a ski resort owner you may be expected to have been less well informed.

Because sometimes I get caught up in the argument, I'd like to take a small step back and say that you do have a point: I think there's a combination of ignorance and deliberate bad practice, some of that motivated by profit, some motivated by political power issues, that has been leading to very bad policy, both in the private and public spheres. And that policy has led to illness and death. I agree that those ski resorts should have closed down sooner, though I'm not sure where on the balance of reasonable confusion, stupidity, and greed to lay the blame for that, in my view probably all three play some role.
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Old 9th July 2020, 10:01 AM   #530
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Go back and read the OP. It isn't very long. And take a look at the CNN article I quote from.

Too many of you have no idea about the arguments presented so far. Instead, you rely on the strawman presentations from theprestige before you move on to making false analogies based on these strawman presentations, then you elaborate on these analogies and congratulate each other on the marvelous job you have been doing so far.

It honors you that you are actually willing to find out if you got it right when it is so much easier to just continue in the knowledge that there are enough of you to quench any attempt at a proper discussion. You are in the minority.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 9th July 2020 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 9th July 2020, 10:04 AM   #531
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Once upon a Time in America

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The U.S. is now adding 50,000 cases every single day. The death toll has risen 45-fold since the country went into lockdown.

You may think that toll is, while tragic, what it means to be living through a pandemic – deaths multiply. But among all the world’s wealthy countries they have only multiplied like this in America. In part, that is because, along with everything else the pandemic has highlighted about this country – its racial inequities, its yawning class divides, its toxic partisanship, its hobbled state capacity – it is maddeningly uneducable. None of these new outbreaks, defining America’s summer experience of the disease, had really gotten going before New York, the worst-hit place in the country this spring, had gotten a handle on its terrible outbreak. And yet none of them managed to learn from New York’s example.
America Is Refusing to Learn How to Fight the Coronavirus (NY Mag, July 7, 2020)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 9th July 2020 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 9th July 2020, 10:06 AM   #532
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Too many of you have no idea about the arguments presented so far.
Oh, no, we know exactly what the argument is. That you ignore the counter-arguments doesn't mean they don't exist.

For instance, you have failed to address the FACT that greed has played a major factor in human behaviour regardless of what economic system was in place throughout history, and therefore you cannot expect that this scenario of well-off people going to ski resorts would not have occured under a different system. Ergo, you also cannot claim that this is a specific result of capitalism.
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Old 9th July 2020, 10:22 AM   #533
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Fred Flintstone's imaginary greed has nothing to do with the way that capitalism spreads the coronavirus. And it doesn't help at all that you try to make up for it by capitalizing FACT. It just serves to make the ignorance presented in your attempt to find an argument even more apparent.
At this point, hospital doctors in the USA have been given "more flexibility (and less liability) to triage the overwhelming number of new COVID-19 patients and ration care."
And all because some Pleistocene Pete had to have another beer in spite of already having a pleasant buzz.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 9th July 2020 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 9th July 2020, 10:39 AM   #534
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Fred Flintstone's imaginary greed has nothing to do with the way that capitalism spreads the coronavirus.
Greed has nothing to do with capitalism. You heard it here first, folks!

Quote:
And it doesn't help at all that you try to make up for it by capitalizing FACT.
Add the concept emphasis to the growing number of things of which you are ignorant.

If you focused on actual arguments rather than form or style, we might be getting somewhere. But you are so desperate to avoid the actual discussion that this is not surprising.
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Old 9th July 2020, 11:57 AM   #535
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Go back and read the OP. It isn't very long. And take a look at the CNN article I quote from.

Too many of you have no idea about the arguments presented so far. Instead, you rely on the strawman presentations from theprestige before you move on to making false analogies based on these strawman presentations, then you elaborate on these analogies and congratulate each other on the marvelous job you have been doing so far.

It honors you that you are actually willing to find out if you got it right when it is so much easier to just continue in the knowledge that there are enough of you to quench any attempt at a proper discussion. You are in the minority.
My mistake. Thank you for the correction. I apologize for implying national chauvinism as a cause.
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Old 9th July 2020, 02:02 PM   #536
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This argument reminds me of an incident recorded in ancient carvings.

"In the month of the rush-flowering, the mighty tyrant Sekhmet came to the District of the Heron on the bank of the Great River, to inquire of Ock-Harre the Grand Overseer on the progress of the construction of the new Great Temple of the Sun. Ock-Harre, bowing low and kissing Sekhmet's feet, told his master a grim tale: 'Three moons ago, there were signs of a fearsome pestilence among the stoneworkers. To prevent great sorrow and loss, lest the pestilence spread to the boatmen and quarrymen and haulers and sow death among them all, I sent all the workers home to isolate themselves. Of course I continued their rations, so they would not starve or become too weak to resist the pestilence. In the course of time I found I needed to pay hazard coin to hire willing hands to deliver those rations safely to each tent and house. As a result, the pestilence has passed, but I regret to report that all the gold and grain for the quarter's construction has been spent and not one additional stone placed upon another in that time.' Sekhmet replied, 'You have done well, my faithful Ock-Harre! Gold and grain and time we have in abundance, but healthy workers are beyond price.' And lo, he extended Ock-Harre's consulting contract another fifty moons, with a hefty signing bonus."

Can anyone guess where and when in history this happened? Yep, you got it. Never. Nothing remotely like the above has ever happened in the history of history.

Of course, it must be capitalism's fault that this year humanity failed to implement the nonexistent Ock-Harre's policies universally worldwide for the first time ever.
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Old 9th July 2020, 05:50 PM   #537
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Go back and read the OP. It isn't very long. And take a look at the CNN article I quote from.
Rereading your OP I'm left with the same questions.

Are you blaming the health authority who, from the CNN article: "Even after a bartender tested positive for the virus, the medical authority of Tyrol -- where ski tourism is one of the biggest economic drivers -- reiterated in a press release on March 8 that there was "no reason to worry.""

If so, what does that have to do with capitalism? How was that health authority incentivized by capitalism to tell people not to worry when they should have been worrying? Was he getting paid by the ski resorts?


Quote:
Too many of you have no idea about the arguments presented so far. Instead, you rely on the strawman presentations from theprestige before you move on to making false analogies based on these strawman presentations, then you elaborate on these analogies and congratulate each other on the marvelous job you have been doing so far.
I think there has been some misunderstanding of your arguments in this thread, but maybe if you can express your viewpoint more clearly we can clear up those misunderstandings. I don't think people are deliberately arguing with straw men, but I do think you're right that you've been misunderstood to some extent.
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Old 9th July 2020, 06:56 PM   #538
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As far as I can tell, his argument is twofold.

First, that rich people enjoy their wealth at the expense of poor people, and that this is a characteristic feature of capitalism.

Second that capitalism, as a system, has a vested interest in producing rich and poor people, and in sustaining this rich vs poor dynamic.

The rebuttal to the first argument is that rich vs poor is characteristic of every system ever tried, including systems that tried to abolish it. It appears to be characteristic of humans in any system.

The rebuttal to the second argument is... Well, I don't think we've gotten that far.

You think dann is right, but misunderstood? Maybe it would help clarify things if you explained what's right in your own words, and answered questions about your version of the argument.
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Old 9th July 2020, 07:14 PM   #539
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
You think dann is right, but misunderstood? Maybe it would help clarify things if you explained what's right in your own words, and answered questions about your version of the argument.
Not exactly "right but misunderstood". Rather, I think that there has been some misunderstanding of his position (on my own part as well as others). Separately I think there is some truth to some aspects of his position, specifically the idea that profit motives have incentivized corrupt behavior that has led to faster spread of the virus than would have been the case without said corrupt behavior.

An example of this that dann has offered is the failure to close ski resorts. I actually disagree with the specifics of that case (at least I think it's ambiguous) but there do seem to be some businesses that stayed open in spite of the known risk.

Where I disagree is that:
A) The idea that this is a product of capitalism specifically. Instead, I think the issue is one of corruption, and it's motivated as much by power as by profit. For instance the actions of the CDC throughout this crisis have been not only inefficient, but in some cases actively counter-productive, and I don't think that's down to something related to capitalism or profit, yet there is an aspect of maintaining control (failure to authorize tests that should have been allowed, for instance).
B) Potential proposed solutions. I think there are real and targetted solutions to these problems that don't require overturning entire economic systems. We need better and more robust institutions, and those in some places have functioned well. Those institutions should have a clear plan in place that makes it easy for the rest of us to follow, taking strong measures with well stated goals. The plan put forward by Paul Romer, for instance, is a good one, yet instead we're seeing half-measures, many of which are counter productive.

To sum up, I think that self-interest has led to this virus' spread accelerating more than it otherwise would have, but I don't agree with linking people's self-interested actions to capitalism specifically. Further, I think relatively feasible policy changes could at least mitigate those problems, whereas I think dann's view would require much more major changes in order to find any solution.

But, as I've found him not entirely clear on the topic, I may once again be misrepresenting his views. Thus, the above should mostly be read as my interpretation of the thread and my own views on it.
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Old 10th July 2020, 04:01 AM   #540
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
This argument reminds me of an incident recorded in ancient carvings.

"In the month of the rush-flowering, the mighty tyrant Sekhmet came to the District of the Heron on the bank of the Great River, to inquire of Ock-Harre the Grand Overseer on the progress of the construction of the new Great Temple of the Sun. Ock-Harre, bowing low and kissing Sekhmet's feet, told his master a grim tale: 'Three moons ago, there were signs of a fearsome pestilence among the stoneworkers. To prevent great sorrow and loss, lest the pestilence spread to the boatmen and quarrymen and haulers and sow death among them all, I sent all the workers home to isolate themselves. Of course I continued their rations, so they would not starve or become too weak to resist the pestilence. In the course of time I found I needed to pay hazard coin to hire willing hands to deliver those rations safely to each tent and house. As a result, the pestilence has passed, but I regret to report that all the gold and grain for the quarter's construction has been spent and not one additional stone placed upon another in that time.' Sekhmet replied, 'You have done well, my faithful Ock-Harre! Gold and grain and time we have in abundance, but healthy workers are beyond price.' And lo, he extended Ock-Harre's consulting contract another fifty moons, with a hefty signing bonus."

Can anyone guess where and when in history this happened? Yep, you got it. Never. Nothing remotely like the above has ever happened in the history of history.

Of course, it must be capitalism's fault that this year humanity failed to implement the nonexistent Ock-Harre's policies universally worldwide for the first time ever.

Did you expect as many pats on the back as after your first allegory - until its false premises were pointed out? Well, you didn't get any, obviously, but let's take a look at this one, since you don't seem to have have any arguments, only have allegories or strawmen.

1) The moral is clear even before the fairytale begins, but that is true of most allegories, in particular the inept ones. You might have considered another problem than "a fearsome pestilence," which is too bloody obvious, but let's accept it and ignore the fact that the coronavirus didn't suddenly pop up out the blue at a U.S. meatplant. It appeared in a (very) foreign country months before it began to infect American workers, but the local "mighty tyrant" chose to ignore it and lie about it instead of preparing for it.
In your allegory, he knows nothing about it until the "Grand Overseer ... told his master a grim tale."

2) What is totally unrealistic, of course, is that the Overseer is so concerned with the health and safety of his employees that he then "sent all (!) the workers home (!) to isolate themselves." Since it's supposed to be an allegorical representation of capitalism, that isn't even how a somewhat empathic capitalist might think. Concerned about both his business and the health and safety of his staff, he would have considered how he could a) keep the business running while b) keeping the workers safe. He would take a look at their working conditions as well as at their living quarter to make sure that contagions was made, if not impossible then at least, less likely to occur. And since the contagion has already started, he might consider separating the diseased from the uninfected, but he appears to be just as ignorant as the guy who invented him about measures like that even though they have existed since people began to consider how to fight infectious diseases. Read your Bible!

3) The Bible and other examples from ancient history might even make you aware that you are also wrong when you claim that "nothing remotely like the above has ever happened in the history of history." Quarantines are not exactly a new invention. They actually have happened - again and again and probably even before written records began. You should read up on this. Your claim that nothing remotely like this never happened only serves to make your ignorance of actual (unlike allegorical) history apparent.

4) When you make up an allegory, you should pay attention to details - especially when your allegory is as short as this one. In the beginning, the project is about "the construction of the new Great Temple of the Sun," but towards the end of the Grand Overseer's lamentations he has run out of money because of "the quarter's construction," a quarter that you never mentioned and which appears to be utterly pointless since the Grand Overseer "sent all the workers home (!) to isolate themselves."

5) Your allegorical principle and the moral of the whole thing: You want to deliver allegorical 'proof' that no (capitalist) in his right mind would ever consider how to protect his workers from harm and that it can't be done because it was never done and it goes against the alleged selfishness human nature to do so. You are not entirely wrong, of course, and yet reality shows us that
a) Trade unions and national states can enforce rules and regulations on business owners to protect workers.
b) When this has become institutionalized, some business owners notice that prevention is sometimes not only more efficient but also cheaper than simply letting workers get killed or crippled.
c) Some exotic versions of capitalism are one step ahead of the characters in your allegory: Wuhan was the one place where the "fearsome pestilence" suddenly appeared without prior warning. It was there, and they dealt with it. I have no idea how they dealt with it in detail, but my guess is that local authorities were notified by doctors and hospitals that something was going on, and at some point the local Chinese version of the "mighty tyrant" and his team of experts probably became involved and ordered not just a building site but the whole bloody province quarantined.

Get the drift?! Something "remotely like the above" has not only happened throughout recorded history. Only in America* with its imbecile "mighty tyrant" and its looking-out-for-#1-only business owners does it appear to be a law of (human) nature that panpidemics can't be hammered down, that you have to let them run their course since it's the only logical thing to do. Only in America are business owners unable to see that it might even be in their own interest to fight the pandemic in a concerted effort. And only in America do ignorant idiots praise incredibly stupid allegories about the impossibility of caring for other people than yourself.


* Well, actually it is becoming increasingly obvious that an inept pandemic response is connected to the political ideology of Neo-liberalism, which is why countries like Sweden, Chile and Brazil tend to screw up the pandemic response just as much as the USA.
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Old 10th July 2020, 04:09 AM   #541
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The rebuttal to the second argument is... Well, I don't think we've gotten that far.
I think the rebuttal to the second argument is the exact same as the rebuttal for the first.
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Old 10th July 2020, 04:46 AM   #542
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
To sum up, I think that self-interest has led to this virus' spread accelerating more than it otherwise would have, but I don't agree with linking people's self-interested actions to capitalism specifically.

You should try to grasp the kind of self-interest at play:

It is not really a question of selfishness versus unselfishness - or self-interest versus altruism. It is a question of very stupid selfishness versus sensible (and therefore considerate) selfishness. For instance in the question of masks: 'Nobody is going to take away my freedom to be a barefaced idiot.' Some people have likened it to the freedom of not wearing pants, which is a pretty good analogy if it weren't because not wearing pants in and of itself doesn't transmit infectious diseases. It just offends some people's prudishness.

The mask doesn't really protect me, it' only' protects other people, so wearing one becomes a kind of social contract: Wearing masks is our way of protecting each other. In Sweden, even fascists are able to get this idea. For some (in my opinion very obvious) reason, U.S. American Republicans aren't.

In most other countries than the USA, people don't seem to have a hard time grasping the idea that every other person who is protected from getting infected also makes it less likely that I will get infected. I.e. it is not at all unselfish to try to prevent the virus from spreading to others since it makes them less likely to infect me.

Why do you think that Americans, in particular, find it so hard to grasp the idea of ... collective self-interest (for lack of a better word)?

Quote:
Further, I think relatively feasible policy changes could at least mitigate those problems, whereas I think dann's view would require much more major changes in order to find any solution.

You don't get my view on pandemic strategies, which I have made very apparent in applecorped's Sweden thread. The strawman that has been apparent in almost every post criticizing me in this thread is the idea that my thread title, Capitalism and Its Beneficiaries, Rich People, Are the Spreaders of Coronavirus, doesn't simply mean what it says and what my documentation has shown. Instead they take it to mean that Capitalism and Its Beneficiaries, Rich People, Are the Spreaders of Coronavirus, and It Is Utterly Unimaginable That Any Capitalist Country Can Come Up with an Effective Way to Hammer It Down.

This misunderstanding has been the cause of glee in every childish gotcha post pointing out that some capitalist countries have done much better at this than others, which is what I myself have pointed out again and again in the Sweden thread (and a couple of times in this one as well). But again: They have been arguing against their own strawman instead of against my actual claim and the documentation for that claim.
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Old 10th July 2020, 10:00 AM   #543
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I think the rebuttal to the second argument is the exact same as the rebuttal for the first.
I think that's probably part of it, but I'd guess there's another mechanism in play as well: Capitalism thrives on the investment of capital. It's not enough to simply own the means of production. You actually have to produce stuff. Which means you need people to buy stuff. Which means you need people to not be poor. I'd guess that capitalism actually has a vested interest in having more people with more capital to invest, and more profits to trade for each other's productivity.

Obviously this is counterbalanced by greed and corruption, but it would explain why capitalism has a pretty good track record of increasing wealth among all classes of society, even though it doesn't come close to abolishing the divide between rich and poor.
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Old 10th July 2020, 08:16 PM   #544
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Capitalism and Its Beneficiaries, Rich People, Are the Spreaders of Coronavirus

Originally Posted by dann View Post
Did you expect as many pats on the back as after your first allegory - until its false premises were pointed out? Well, you didn't get any, obviously, but let's take a look at this one, since you don't seem to have have any arguments, only have allegories or strawmen.

1) The moral is clear even before the fairytale begins, but that is true of most allegories, in particular the inept ones. You might have considered another problem than "a fearsome pestilence," which is too bloody obvious, but let's accept it and ignore the fact that the coronavirus didn't suddenly pop up out the blue at a U.S. meatplant. It appeared in a (very) foreign country months before it began to infect American workers, but the local "mighty tyrant" chose to ignore it and lie about it instead of preparing for it.
In your allegory, he knows nothing about it until the "Grand Overseer ... told his master a grim tale."

2) What is totally unrealistic, of course, is that the Overseer is so concerned with the health and safety of his employees that he then "sent all (!) the workers home (!) to isolate themselves." Since it's supposed to be an allegorical representation of capitalism, that isn't even how a somewhat empathic capitalist might think. Concerned about both his business and the health and safety of his staff, he would have considered how he could a) keep the business running while b) keeping the workers safe. He would take a look at their working conditions as well as at their living quarter to make sure that contagions was made, if not impossible then at least, less likely to occur. And since the contagion has already started, he might consider separating the diseased from the uninfected, but he appears to be just as ignorant as the guy who invented him about measures like that even though they have existed since people began to consider how to fight infectious diseases. Read your Bible!

3) The Bible and other examples from ancient history might even make you aware that you are also wrong when you claim that "nothing remotely like the above has ever happened in the history of history." Quarantines are not exactly a new invention. They actually have happened - again and again and probably even before written records began. You should read up on this. Your claim that nothing remotely like this never happened only serves to make your ignorance of actual (unlike allegorical) history apparent.

4) When you make up an allegory, you should pay attention to details - especially when your allegory is as short as this one. In the beginning, the project is about "the construction of the new Great Temple of the Sun," but towards the end of the Grand Overseer's lamentations he has run out of money because of "the quarter's construction," a quarter that you never mentioned and which appears to be utterly pointless since the Grand Overseer "sent all the workers home (!) to isolate themselves."

5) Your allegorical principle and the moral of the whole thing: You want to deliver allegorical 'proof' that no (capitalist) in his right mind would ever consider how to protect his workers from harm and that it can't be done because it was never done and it goes against the alleged selfishness human nature to do so. You are not entirely wrong, of course, and yet reality shows us that
a) Trade unions and national states can enforce rules and regulations on business owners to protect workers.
b) When this has become institutionalized, some business owners notice that prevention is sometimes not only more efficient but also cheaper than simply letting workers get killed or crippled.
c) Some exotic versions of capitalism are one step ahead of the characters in your allegory: Wuhan was the one place where the "fearsome pestilence" suddenly appeared without prior warning. It was there, and they dealt with it. I have no idea how they dealt with it in detail, but my guess is that local authorities were notified by doctors and hospitals that something was going on, and at some point the local Chinese version of the "mighty tyrant" and his team of experts probably became involved and ordered not just a building site but the whole bloody province quarantined.

Get the drift?! Something "remotely like the above" has not only happened throughout recorded history. Only in America* with its imbecile "mighty tyrant" and its looking-out-for-#1-only business owners does it appear to be a law of (human) nature that panpidemics can't be hammered down, that you have to let them run their course since it's the only logical thing to do. Only in America are business owners unable to see that it might even be in their own interest to fight the pandemic in a concerted effort. And only in America do ignorant idiots praise incredibly stupid allegories about the impossibility of caring for other people than yourself.


* Well, actually it is becoming increasingly obvious that an inept pandemic response is connected to the political ideology of Neo-liberalism, which is why countries like Sweden, Chile and Brazil tend to screw up the pandemic response just as much as the USA.

Bad analysis. For starters, it wasnít an allegory about Capitalism. Itís obvious because it takes place in a kingdom. The Grand Overseer is himself a servant of the King. Try again.

And your note falsifies your OP. Of course itís just shifting the blame from one -ism you donít like to another, so itís equally flawed.

And Iím a little late to this, Myriad; but, here, have a hearty pat on the back.
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Old 11th July 2020, 12:34 AM   #545
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Bad analysis. For starters, it wasnít an allegory about Capitalism. Itís obvious because it takes place in a kingdom. The Grand Overseer is himself a servant of the King. Try again.

I happen to live in a capitalist kingdom where all capitalists are servants of the king (or, for the time being, the queen). You yourself are ruled by a tyrant, so maybe it's time to wake up to reality. In other words: Try again!

I am very well aware of what the allegory is supposed to mean: Myriad creates an imaginary country that is supposed to be different from capitalism, and yet it has all the relevant trappings of capitalism: money, paid workers, and the consequences of a fixed sum of money when you run out of it.

The moral is bloody obvious and at the same time a damning accusation against capitalism even though it's intended to defend capitalism: Capitalists allegedly can't do anything to protect their workers from contagious diseases because they will run out of money if they do. Trying to turn it into a law of (very contrafactual) history makes it even more silly when actual history shows how societies have been able to deal with epidemics since time immemorial - until libertarianism and the orange monster appeared.
You and Myriad are probably the only ones who don't see this.

I think it's time for you to leave the fairytale behind and wake up to reality:Texas reports over 3,000 total deaths, 10,002 patients hospitalized due to coronavirus (Texas Tribune, July 10, 2020)
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 11th July 2020, 02:26 AM   #546
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I think that's probably part of it, but I'd guess there's another mechanism in play as well: Capitalism thrives on the investment of capital. It's not enough to simply own the means of production. You actually have to produce stuff. Which means you need people to buy stuff. Which means you need people to not be poor. I'd guess that capitalism actually has a vested interest in having more people with more capital to invest, and more profits to trade for each other's productivity.

Obviously this is counterbalanced by greed and corruption, but it would explain why capitalism has a pretty good track record of increasing wealth among all classes of society, even though it doesn't come close to abolishing the divide between rich and poor.
A good point. Don't tell Dann that. He wouldn't like it.
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Old 11th July 2020, 06:36 AM   #547
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Capitalism thrives on the investment of capital. It's not enough to simply own the means of production. You actually have to produce stuff. Which means you need people to buy stuff. Which means you need people to not be poor.
This is very convoluted way to say "trickle economy". Which is nonsense, obviously.

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I'd guess that capitalism actually has a vested interest in having more people with more capital to invest, and more profits to trade for each other's productivity.
It is like saying kings and queens have vested interest in having happy and productive subjects, ruled justly, therefore discontent and revolutions never happen in monarchies.

In other words, what you said is fantasy, not unlike "ideal communism" fantasies.

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
it would explain why capitalism has a pretty good track record of increasing wealth among all classes of society, even though it doesn't come close to abolishing the divide between rich and poor.
It does not, unless forced to do so.
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Old 11th July 2020, 07:08 AM   #548
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Originally Posted by Mader Levap View Post
This is very convoluted way to say "trickle economy". Which is nonsense, obviously.



It is like saying kings and queens have vested interest in having happy and productive subjects, ruled justly, therefore discontent and revolutions never happen in monarchies.

In other words, what you said is fantasy, not unlike "ideal communism" fantasies.


It does not, unless forced to do so.
Somehow you managed to quote all of my post except for the part that addresses your complaints.
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Old 11th July 2020, 02:38 PM   #549
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Somehow you managed to quote all of my post except for the part that addresses your complaints.
Nope, "Obviously this is counterbalanced by greed and corruption" does not address it.
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Old 11th July 2020, 02:46 PM   #550
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
I happen to live in a capitalist kingdom where all capitalists are servants of the king (or, for the time being, the queen).
Ridiculous. Is that the way you would characterize the country you live in? Iíve never been there but even I know your monarch is a figure head with no power.
Quote:
You yourself are ruled by a tyrant, so maybe it's time to wake up to reality. In other words: Try again!
Trump doesnít rule the US.

Iím beginning to see the problem here. You have very warped views of things.

Quote:
I am very well aware of what the allegory is supposed to mean:
I donít think you are, as the rest of your post shows.
Quote:
Myriad creates an imaginary country that is supposed to be different from capitalism, and yet it has all the relevant trappings of capitalism: money, paid workers, and the consequences of a fixed sum of money when you run out of it.

The moral is bloody obvious and at the same time a damning accusation against capitalism even though it's intended to defend capitalism:
Completely wrong. Try again.
Quote:
Capitalists allegedly can't do anything to protect their workers from contagious diseases because they will run out of money if they do. Trying to turn it into a law of (very contrafactual) history
Nope.
Quote:
makes it even more silly when actual history shows how societies have been able to deal with epidemics since time immemorial - until libertarianism and the orange monster appeared.
You and Myriad are probably the only ones who don't see this.

I think it's time for you to leave the fairytale behind and wake up to reality:Texas reports over 3,000 total deaths, 10,002 patients hospitalized due to coronavirus (Texas Tribune, July 10, 2020)
As I predicted before, we opened up too early. But we didnít open up simply because of Capitalism, itís a lot more complicated than that. You donít even understand your own country so Iím not going to waste my finger muscles discussing whatís happening in my State.
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Old 11th July 2020, 03:33 PM   #551
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I understand both of our countries far better than you. And Kingdom of Denmark is an actual quotation. The Danish version is Kongeriget Danmark, a constitutional monarchy.

By the way, I noticed that Trump just overruled a sentence that one of his cronies had got.
Queen Margrethe wouldn't be able to do that. If she tried, it would be the last thing she did as a monarch.
Fortunately she doesn't pretend to know anything about pandemics even though I'm pretty sure that she knows more about them than the POTUS.

Try again when you have acquired a bit of knowledge about the world.
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 11th July 2020, 07:27 PM   #552
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
I understand both of our countries far better than you. And Kingdom of Denmark is an actual quotation. The Danish version is Kongeriget Danmark, a constitutional monarchy.
Which means the capitalists in your country arenít servants of the monarch.

Quote:
By the way, I noticed that Trump just overruled a sentence that one of his cronies had got.
Queen Margrethe wouldn't be able to do that. If she tried, it would be the last thing she did as a monarch.
Thatís because she is just a figurehead who canít do anything but smile, wave like sheís screwing in a lightbulb and throw parties for foreign dignitaries.
Quote:
Fortunately she doesn't pretend to know anything about pandemics even though I'm pretty sure that she knows more about them than the POTUS.

Try again when you have acquired a bit of knowledge about the world.
Thats rich -given our last exchange.
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Old 11th July 2020, 08:56 PM   #553
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dann, he objected to the fact that you said that "all capitalists are servants of the king (or, for the time being, the queen)". Are you really standing by that statement?

He also objected to the idea that Trump is a tyrant. He doesn't have that sort of power. Perhaps he wishes that he did. Again, are you standing by the statement that Trump is a tyrant?
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Old 12th July 2020, 04:34 AM   #554
dann
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Which means the capitalists in your country arenít servants of the monarch.

Well, to get officially recognized as one, you have to be very successful, the owner of LEGO or something like that: Her er de ni erhvervsfolk, der er udnśvnt til Kammerherrer og Kammerdame (Berlingske, Sep. 23, 2020)
I think it requires a lot of ass kissing, too, like buying a castle for her sons. In the USA, it probably corresponds to donating millions of dollars to Trump's campaign funds, but it's not as risky, of course. There's no other candidate.

Quote:
Thatís because she is just a figurehead who canít do anything but smile, wave like sheís screwing in a lightbulb and throw parties for foreign dignitaries.

Yes, that's what makes her different from your tyrant. From the rumors I've heard, she was quite content with not having to throw any party for Bunker Boy after the PM offended him by pointing out that Greenland wasn't actually hers to sell.

Could we get back to capitalism and the coronavirus now?
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Old 12th July 2020, 04:43 AM   #555
dann
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
dann, he objected to the fact that you said that "all capitalists are servants of the king (or, for the time being, the queen)". Are you really standing by that statement?

He also objected to the idea that Trump is a tyrant. He doesn't have that sort of power. Perhaps he wishes that he did. Again, are you standing by the statement that Trump is a tyrant?

Are you really unable to see that this is about a ******* allegory that was meant to 'prove' that capitalism has existed throughout eternity thus making rational ways of hammering down the virus while securing the health and lives of workers inherently impossible?
Don't you recognize how childish this deliberately derail is?

I gave you a serious answer to the objections you had on July 10. Are you unhappy with that, and have you therefore moved on to support the idiocy of the allegory now?
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 12th July 2020, 04:51 AM   #556
dann
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Meanwhile in the real world:

Deaths per million:
Sweden: 547 (from Friday)
USA: 415
Cuba: 8

All of Cuba in recovery, defeating the pandemic (Granma.cu, July 2, 2020)

The 'Grand Overseer' at work, I assume:
Quote:
Differentiated attention for at-risk households and temporary monetary benefits for vulnerable segments of the population were provided, including salary guarantees for workers obliged to stay home to protect their health.
No one has been left unprotected over 100 days of COVID-19 (Granma.cu, July 8, 2020)

Cuba salva: 14 dŪas sin casos crŪticos, 13 sin fallecidos (Granma.cu, July 10, 2020)
Cuba saves: 14 days without critical/serious cases, 13 without new deaths

Quote:
Argentinean Nobel Peace Prize winner, Adolfo Pťrez Esquivel, is promoting today, together with many of his countrymen and women, the international demand to grant the Nobel Peace Prize to the Cuban medical brigade Henry Reeve. In a video circulated by the Argentine Movement of Solidarity with Cuba (MasCuba), the prominent human rights defender expressed his support for the candidacy of the Cuban doctors that are today around the world saving lives in the midst of the pandemic.
Pťrez Esquivel raises his voice for the Nobel Prize to Cuban doctors (PrensaLatina, July 12, 2020)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 12th July 2020 at 04:56 AM.
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Old 12th July 2020, 07:08 AM   #557
Roboramma
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Are you really unable to see that this is about a ******* allegory that was meant to 'prove' that capitalism has existed throughout eternity thus making rational ways of hammering down the virus while securing the health and lives of workers inherently impossible?
Don't you recognize how childish this deliberately derail is?

I gave you a serious answer to the objections you had on July 10. Are you unhappy with that, and have you therefore moved on to support the idiocy of the allegory now?
No, I appreciated that post, thanks.

That seems to be unrelated to the post that you're replying to, in which I asked you about some specific words that you wrote. Whether or not Myriad's analogy was apt doesn't change the fact that those specific things you said are false. I think it would help this discussion if you didn't make false statements like that. There are, as I said earlier, some valuable things you are bringing up, but people aren't likely to take you seriously when you make obviously false statements like the ones pointed out in that above post.
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Old 12th July 2020, 12:34 PM   #558
Mader Levap
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Are you really unable to see that this is about a ******* allegory that was meant to 'prove' that capitalism has existed throughout eternity
Myriad's allegory was about specific undesirable but oh so human behavior (by sarcastic showing perfect opposite of that behavior) that existed forever, long before existence of modern capitalism.

Argument goes like that: "since this behavior predates capitalism, you cannot blame capitalism for presence of this behavior".

And this is true. You look foolish trying to deny that.

You could construct way better argument (for example, that capitalism incentivize this kind of behavior and/or makes this behavior even worse), but I guess you like to dig yourself deeper in hole instead of using brain a little.
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Old 12th July 2020, 02:57 PM   #559
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Meanwhile in the real world:
Irony!
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Old 12th July 2020, 04:09 PM   #560
theprestige
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Meanwhile in the real world:

Deaths per million:
Sweden: 547 (from Friday)
USA: 415
Cuba: 8

All of Cuba in recovery, defeating the pandemic (Granma.cu, July 2, 2020)

The 'Grand Overseer' at work, I assume:



Cuba salva: 14 dŪas sin casos crŪticos, 13 sin fallecidos (Granma.cu, July 10, 2020)
Cuba saves: 14 days without critical/serious cases, 13 without new deaths
Is Cuba not a capitalist system?
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