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What would it take for you to "fight back"? watch

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    It would take my family or closest friend being screwed over. Hopefully I never have to act on that...
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    (Original post by mrdreamerstar)
    hm yeah definately buying it is it 16th or 12? i'll probably pre-order it on itunes
    16th Me too, will be buying on the day though.
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    (Original post by Ciaran88)
    Well... what you've said may be right but you've got to remember, this is not the class you'd historically expect change from. This is the class you'd expect excuses and apathy and trumped up philosophies that basically amount to "I don't care what happens to people worse off than me, I'm fine".

    Major rebellion usually comes from the classes below, the middle class barely play a role in these things and are more or less swept aside by history like the inconsequential drones they are.

    There's a lot of talk about the modern middle classes being "more enlightened than ever", I was ust wondering how true that was. Probably more true than... ancient Byzantium, but in the scheme of things... I reckon they're probably as inconsequential as ever.

    The middle classes in other countries are probably more engaged and less apathetic it's true, Britain does seem particularly mindless, even more so than the US, but even in France and Spain and Greece etc. it tends to only amount to anything when that middle class way of life is actually threatened.

    Yeah true. Middle class's could be described as the observers. Who would blame them, they would see themselves as those who stand to lose out if they take sides. They're perhaps 'right' to stand back from their own perspective.

    But it depends on what your defining as the middle class. I personally think theres a heck of a lot thats changed in the 'class' system over the decades. 100 or so years ago you'd have the obvious middle class as the ones often who could afford premium and full time education and had fathers in 'good' jobs. The working class were obvious often by their unionised job roles, and obvious roles in society. Over the years through progressive policies this whole boundary between the two seems to have wared away. I'd argue their within the same bracket now.

    I hope eventually the population will realise what the situation is. With our current system power or rather money can be retained within groups given them a huge amount of lasting power. This power can sadly influence government policy. Within this current monetary system not only does ^that^ occur but it keeps peoples lives revolve around earning this mythalogically valued currency and can effectively be controlled. Thats not to mention how badly things are organised, especially resource wise in the system. Again i'd say it could come from these vague values that people will eventually find fault in our system. Its appauling how huge amount of man hours are spent protecting money in 'investment banking' to name one industry, and yet people and governments in war torn regions throughout the world have blind eyes turned to them.
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    (Original post by Ciaran88)
    Secondary to this thread re inequality and lack of democracy, both in the UK and globally, a common theme amongst the replies was this:





    So I was wondering, to those who agree, what would it take for you to potentially risk your wealth and job and even life to change society?

    Could any amount of injustice or brutality carried out against someone other than you and your friends and family provoke you?

    Would it have to be something occurring to yourself personally?

    Would you have to lose your home, your access to health care and education, or just your disposable income?

    Just trying to figure out how wide the moral radius of the average Brit is these days.
    Well I wouldn't agree with the two posters that you mentioned but what would take me to change would be having enough influence over others and most importantly a vision. Think of it this way, what could a student who doesn't even know what he will do after his degree do to change society?

    Hope that made sense
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    (Original post by The Cornerstone)
    Well I wouldn't agree with the two posters that you mentioned but what would take me to change would be having enough influence over others and most importantly a vision. Think of it this way, what could a student who doesn't even know what he will do after his degree do to change society?

    Hope that made sense
    Agree 100%, completely fair point, in order to be maximally useful to any kind of endeavour like this you first have to have skills that you can contribute. That's the real value of a middle class revolutionary, they have access to world class education, training and fitness, for them not to take advantage of that and then provide particular expertise would be a waste.
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    (Original post by Ciaran88)
    Agree 100%, completely fair point, in order to be maximally useful to any kind of endeavour like this you first have to have skills that you can contribute. That's the real value of a middle class revolutionary, they have access to world class education, training and fitness, for them not to take advantage of that and then provide particular expertise would be a waste.
    My thoughts exactly (and what I hope to do)
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    (Original post by Ciaran88)
    Agree 100%, completely fair point, in order to be maximally useful to any kind of endeavour like this you first have to have skills that you can contribute. That's the real value of a middle class revolutionary, they have access to world class education, training and fitness, for them not to take advantage of that and then provide particular expertise would be a waste.
    EDIT: Although I would have to add that one problem with this is if the individual is willing to follow through this once he has all of this and wont just give it up for other things or temptations
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    (Original post by The Cornerstone)
    EDIT: Although I would have to add that one problem with this is if the individual is willing to follow through this once he has all of this and wont just give it up for other things or temptations
    That's why it's necessary to fear the regret of looking back on your life and being ashamed of having sold out more than of the risks of living by your values.

    Personally I am terrified of the former, far more than the latter. If the worst comes to the worst and I die, my troubles are over, but if I reach 50 and have achieved none of my goals then I live with the knowledge that I failed in the one chance I have been given to give something back to the world.
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    (Original post by Ciaran88)
    That's why it's necessary to fear the regret of looking back on your life and being ashamed of having sold out more than of the risks of living by your values.

    Personally I am terrified of the former, far more than the latter. If the worst comes to the worst and I die, my troubles are over, but if I reach 50 and have achieved none of my goals then I live with the knowledge that I failed in the one chance I have been given to give something back to the world.
    That's true, if you died while doing something important to you and sticking to your values then you ,at least, have tried but if you leave it till you're old that's when the regrets comes in and you're sat there wondering what you have done with your life.
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    (Original post by POWCATTY)
    it would have to be my country and it would have to be something seriously wrong. anything that effects our poplulation will affect each individual on different levels, but i would not be able to sit back and watch people in my country suffering if there was something i could do about it - but im talking about like libya level, not these ridiculous london riots, although i do soo wish i could go and smash those idiots heads together i have no idea what the hell they were thinking destroying peoples property and lives like that for absolutely no reason.
    Why this fixation on "my country"? what the hell is "My country"? a geographical border defined by a group of random humans that bosses around other random human beings who happen to be on the same piece of land. I probably live in the same country as you but i have no idea who you are, what you are like and i don't give anymore of a toss about you than any other person in the rest of the world. i probably care less about you.

    Why do people comply with these false constructions? national identity is false and is used to control and manipulate you.

    Do people really not care about anyone outside their own little bubble of the nation state. Does empathy and your sense of humanity stop when you have to show your passport?

    In response to OP. if things don't radically change in this world to create a more equal society i will "fight back"
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    (Original post by JMG89)
    Why this fixation on "my country"? what the hell is "My country"? a geographical border defined by a group of random humans that bosses around other random human beings who happen to be on the same piece of land. I probably live in the same country as you but i have no idea who you are, what you are like and i don't give anymore of a toss about you than any other person in the rest of the world. i probably care less about you.

    Why do people comply with these false constructions? national identity is false and is used to control and manipulate you.

    Do people really not care about anyone outside their own little bubble of the nation state. Does empathy and your sense of humanity stop when you have to show your passport?
    Agree one trillion percentos.
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    (Original post by JMG89)
    Why this fixation on "my country"? what the hell is "My country"? a geographical border defined by a group of random humans that bosses around other random human beings who happen to be on the same piece of land. I probably live in the same country as you but i have no idea who you are, what you are like and i don't give anymore of a toss about you than any other person in the rest of the world. i probably care less about you.

    Why do people comply with these false constructions? national identity is false and is used to control and manipulate you.

    Do people really not care about anyone outside their own little bubble of the nation state. Does empathy and your sense of humanity stop when you have to show your passport?

    In response to OP. if things don't radically change in this world to create a more equal society i will "fight back"
    yes because fighting to make the whole world a better place is completely doable. this 'my country' fixation is putting borders on what i would defend. people on here are saying they would only do something if it was their family who were being affected, im going bigger and saying my country. if you like ill change it to figthing for that little island thing which is just off france and spain.
    but what the hell is wrong with being patriotic? im proud of my country, but not blindly so. i wont join the army, im not going to suddenly start singing god save the queen...
    trust me, if i could id go into the world right now and stop all the violence and starvation and wrong there is. but that is not, and never will be achieveable so theres no point even contemplating it.
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    (Original post by Ciaran88)
    It's generally not brutal to it's own population, at least so long as the status quo isn't challenged which it almost never is. It is entirely undemocratic, along with near enough every other nation on the planet, and justice, well... I don't know how just it is that our taxes bail out failed banks to keep CEOs in the millions, and our public services are sold off to private enterprise to make a quick buck etc.

    But you're right, as a middle class nation, Britain exports most of it's brutality and exploitation abroad. One member just replied that she'd only react to events occurring within this country so I guess that rules her and people like her out of really caring about what Britain does around the world then.

    I wonder how much you people represent the average Brit?
    Polemic aside (and I happen to agree with some of your political positions, although not perhaps your interpretation), neither the bailouts nor the Iraq War were launched by evil cartoon villains. In the first instance, the aim was to stop greater damage to the wider economy caused by the banks going under, not to save the banks per se; the shareholders in the nationalised banks were largely wiped out, for instance. In the second, Iraq certainly is not some sort of genocidal colonial expedition; in fact the result has been to create a moderately stable independent democracy.

    So I think you are looking at this the wrong way. It's not that most people aren't willing to fight 'injustice', it's that they don't agree with you that things around them are especially unjust.
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    (Original post by DynamicSyngery)
    Polemic aside (and I happen to agree with some of your political positions, although not perhaps your interpretation), neither the bailouts nor the Iraq War were launched by evil cartoon villains. In the first instance, the aim was to stop greater damage to the wider economy caused by the banks going under, not to save the banks per se; the shareholders in the nationalised banks were largely wiped out, for instance. In the second, Iraq certainly is not some sort of genocidal colonial expedition; in fact the result has been to create a moderately stable independent democracy.

    So I think you are looking at this the wrong way. It's not that most people aren't willing to fight 'injustice', it's that they don't agree with you that things around them are especially unjust.
    To the former, even within the community of economists who ultimately favour the status quo, that is not agreed. Take David McWilliams, probably the most important economist in Ireland, a country that has suffered this fate perhaps even more so than Britain. A bank can go bust like any other business and just as when any other business goes bankrupt and it's assets can be reclaimed in order to pay off whoever needed, so could the big banks in the UK. "Too big to fall" is an open lie believed by barely anyone even within the elite.

    Japan has done it, Sweden has done, both of them recovered from the economic crises they were in much faster than Ireland, Britain etc. are. Bailing out the banks was a pretty unprecedented failure and more or less everyone is quite aware of that, but of course the intention was always to preserve the interests of the people who bank roll the government so it's hardly surprising, again, the current economic crises is only a crisis for the public, small businesses and the people at the bottom of large ones; as far as the business elite is concerned this is all according to plan, they know that governments around the world will buffer them with public wealth until out of the crisis.

    And if you're actually suggesting that Iraq was an attempt to spread democracy and what you see now is a stable democratic state then I don't even know what to say, is this the 2004 GOP Conference? We can talk about Iraq if you want but I didn't even realise there were people left who believed that.

    As to your last point, you're referring to some but not all, as you can see from this thread and are probably aware just by talking to people, there's a large minority if not majority of the public that perceive the world as inherently unjust and unfair and you'd have to have your head pretty firmly rooted in the ground to be unaware of it's brutally, I think this thread has highlighted the main issue in their cases; unless it is affecting them personally they are unwilling to potentially risk their middle class way of life in order to change things. I suppose it's at least a testament to their honesty that they are willing to admit that.
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    (Original post by Ciaran88)
    To the former, even within the community of economists who ultimately favour the status quo, that is not agreed. Take David McWilliams, probably the most important economist in Ireland, a country that has suffered this fate perhaps even more so than Britain. A bank can go bust like any other business and just as when any other business goes bankrupt and it's assets can be reclaimed in order to pay off whoever needed, so could the big banks in the UK. "Too big to fall" is an open lie believed by barely anyone even within the elite.

    Japan has done it, Sweden has done, both of them recovered from the economic crises they were in much faster than Ireland, Britain etc. are. Bailing out the banks was a pretty unprecedented failure and more or less everyone is quite aware of that, but of course the intention was always to preserve the interests of the people who bank roll the government so it's hardly surprising, again, the current economic crises is only a crisis for the public, small businesses and the people at the bottom of large ones; as far as the business elite is concerned this is all according to plan, they know that governments around the world will buffer them with public wealth until out of the crisis.
    I agree that the banks shouldn't have been bailed out, but I also believe that most people supporting the bailouts really thought they were avoiding some sort of second great depression. One convincing piece of evidence, like I said before, is that the nationalised bank shareholders lost almost all of their money. If the purpose was to help out people who owned banks, it clearly failed (unlike in Ireland - if you're interested in that - one of the few countries to bail out private investors as well as the institutions themselves). Another is that a lot of professional economists with no clear personal interest either way supported the bailouts. And finally, in the US at least (the only country where there was actually a debate?), it is generally the left, not the right, who supported bailouts.

    And if you're actually suggesting that Iraq was an attempt to spread democracy and what you see now is a stable democratic state then I don't even know what to say, is this the 2004 GOP Conference? We can talk about Iraq if you want but I didn't even realise there were people left who believed that.
    I don't really know what the intention originally was. I find it genuinely baffling. Nonetheless, Iraq is now a democracy, with a constitution ratified by referendum, and the security situation has stabilised to a police issue rather than a military one - it's not 2007 anymore. So I certainly don't see it as some unalloyed evil.

    As to your last point, you're referring to some but not all, as you can see from this thread and are probably aware just by talking to people, there's a large minority if not majority of the public that perceive the world as inherently unjust and unfair and you'd have to have your head pretty firmly rooted in the ground to be unaware of it's brutally, I think this thread has highlighted the main issue in their cases; unless it is affecting them personally they are unwilling to potentially risk their middle class way of life in order to change things. I suppose it's at least a testament to their honesty that they are willing to admit that.
    I can think a lot of people would agree with a glib statement like "life is unfair". But ultimately most people here live fairly prosperous lives in personal safety. They certainly live better than any previous generation in human history.
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    (Original post by DynamicSyngery)
    I agree that the banks shouldn't have been bailed out, but I also believe that most people supporting the bailouts really thought they were avoiding some sort of second great depression. One convincing piece of evidence, like I said before, is that the nationalised bank shareholders lost almost all of their money. If the purpose was to help out people who owned banks, it clearly failed (unlike in Ireland - if you're interested in that - one of the few countries to bail out private investors as well as the institutions themselves). Another is that a lot of professional economists with no clear personal interest either way supported the bailouts. And finally, in the US at least (the only country where there was actually a debate?), it is generally the left, not the right, who supported bailouts.
    Oh yes, ""liberal intellectuals", we all know what stoic defenders of democratic ideals they are don't we. The self-proclaimed left of the mainstream media rarely reach differing conclusions to the hardline right, they just make a few fluffy concessions here and there and present their bull**** slightly more politely.

    These "liberals" have supported everything from Vietnam to privatisation of the railroads. Read some Chomsky if you want to know what the actual left thinks of these people.

    You have to remember that there has been a gradual shift to the right in western politics, there was a time when a slogan of the Republican Party was the abolition of wage labour...

    I think that says it all.

    (Original post by DynamicSyngery)
    I don't really know what the intention originally was. I find it genuinely baffling. Nonetheless, Iraq is now a democracy, with a constitution ratified by referendum, and the security situation has stabilised to a police issue rather than a military one - it's not 2007 anymore. So I certainly don't see it as some unalloyed evil.
    It's quite obvious really, and the acres of released documents in the lead up to the war spell it out. Connections to Al Quieda and false claims of Iraq's WMB capabilities were cooked up in order to justify a war in which the US and it's western allies removed a dictator they themselves supported now that he was uncooperative. In doing so they crakced open Iraq to western corporate interests (a little googling and you can see how much of Iraq has been privatised and invested in, mostly by US companies who are actually favoured over local ones in the policies the US-puppet government drew up).

    Even without the oil, the US is quick to suppress any disobedient states that have the audacity to think they have the right to contradict US interests. Take Vietnam, utterly economically useless to the US it was nevertheless a dangerous precedent of self-determination and so had to be crushed immediately save anyone else in neighbouring, perhaps more powerful nations, got the same idea.

    This is not even controversial, US state department and Pentagon literature itself spells it all out.

    (Original post by DynamicSyngery)
    I can think a lot of people would agree with a glib statement like "life is unfair". But ultimately most people here live fairly prosperous lives in personal safety. They certainly live better than any previous generation in human history.
    Most people in the developed world sure, and that is explicitly at the expense of the masses who do not.

    Technology, health care, infrastructure etc. is going to develop over time, it's not reliant upon capitalism and never has been. Under "capitalism" and by that I mean the current anti-capitalist financial plutocracy, it's been ensured that those developments occur in particular foci of wealth and power; Europe, North America, Japan and so on. There's a great deal of inequality within these nations for sure, but the gap between our societies and those of the developing world are just vast.
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    (Original post by Ciaran88)


    Technology, health care, infrastructure etc. is going to develop over time, it's not reliant upon capitalism and never has been. Under "capitalism" and by that I mean the current anti-capitalist financial plutocracy, it's been ensured that those developments occur in particular foci of wealth and power; Europe, North America, Japan and so on. There's a great deal of inequality within these nations for sure, but the gap between our societies and those of the developing world are just vast.
    A lot of trades will develope under capitalism, but a lot wont. The trades that do develope will mostly only be developed if they serve the objective of profit, obviously not just for the company owners but to sustain itself. That sadly means that in a possible scenario where a drug for cancer is developed, and at the same time a drug for cancer that sustains human life and requires constant purchasing to keep the patient alive, its likely the second option will be chosen by the pharmaceutical company sheerly for profit. Thats a random example, but it displays the point.

    Capitalism, be it on paper or how its practised now puts the individual first, or rather the individual who innovates. It has its benefits for human prosperity in terms of freedom, but it certainly has its drawbacks. I personally believe a Capitalism-Communist system would work best (That sounds scrapy, I've been taken the pee out of quite a few times by politics friends). Where a one-world government controls matters, not overly but through delegation. They create a global economy (no competing between countries, no overly sensitive or protective or competitive fiscal policies etc.) where the government sets up different industry's for business's to thrive in, as well as the government setting up business's for people to take over. I'm too tired to even get into explaining this, but the first part of my post was more directed at your post, given my tiredness I hope it made sense.
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    (Original post by TheDubs)
    That sadly means that in a possible scenario where a drug for cancer is developed, and at the same time a drug for cancer that sustains human life and requires constant purchasing to keep the patient alive, its likely the second option will be chosen by the pharmaceutical company sheerly for profit. Thats a random example, but it displays the point.
    I assume there's an obvious assumption here, that pharmaceutical company has a monopoly on the drugs. That it has the way to legally stop anyone else from producing it. Some sort of patent rights in other words.

    But even with that assumption, the conclusion is still wrong. Consider a hypothetical person who has cancer and will live for 10 more years. The company sells him a drug costing 100 dollars a year for treatment. Suddenly they invent a wicked new drug which cures cancer completely and threatens their profits. Just before they blow up their laboratory, someone in the marketing department gets an idea:

    "Why don't we just sell the new drug for 10,000 dollars?"
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    (Original post by J1812)
    I assume there's an obvious assumption here, that pharmaceutical company has a monopoly on the drugs. That it has the way to legally stop anyone else from producing it. Some sort of patent rights in other words.

    But even with that assumption, the conclusion is still wrong. Consider a hypothetical person who has cancer and will live for 10 more years. The company sells him a drug costing 100 dollars a year for treatment. Suddenly they invent a wicked new drug which cures cancer completely and threatens their profits. Just before they blow up their laboratory, someone in the marketing department gets an idea:

    "Why don't we just sell the new drug for 10,000 dollars?"
    Thats the thing its all subjective. But theres doubt - and in the eyes of a Board of Directors who have to appease shareholders and liability obligations for their finance's, it could go either way. An 'either way' decision on a cure to one of the biggest killers in the West isnt a fun phrase!

    Its one of a few examples, but all just highlight how capitalism has that influence on society to put money before all - and its obvious how much it effects business and individual alike even in day to day scenario's.
 
 
 
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