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76  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Which left is your favorite? on: February 27, 2015, 02:11:55 pm
Personally, my chronological and ideological distinctions would be a bit different. I'll give it a try:

- The Original Left: Lasting from the foundation of the Second Internationale to the end of WW1 and the foundation of the Third Internationale. Marked by a distrustful if not outright hostile relationship with the State, by a prevalence of labor activism (but also strong local politics in many countries), and by an enduring debate between vulgar Marxism and revisionism. Its main figures include Karl Kautsky, Eduard Bernstein, Jean Jaurès, Eugene Debs, etc.

- The Transformative Left From 1921 to the 1959 (the Bad Godesberg Programme seems like a good cutoff point). Marked by the divide between Communism and Social Democracy, with the latter adhering to the Soviet model while the former learns (with varying success) to exploit the tools of parliamentary democracy to advance its policies. Eventually, the latter is responsible for the rise of the Welfare State and an unprecedented improvement in living standards. Main figures include Vladimir Lenin, Antonio Gramsci, Léon Blum, Clement Attlee, Per Albin Hansson, etc.

- The New Left 1959 to 1989 (fall of the Berlin Wall). Marked by an effort to expand Social Democratic appeal beyond the traditional class barriers and include the middle classes in a broad progressive coalition. This attempt entails emphasizing issues beyond the traditional "bread and butter" ones, such as racial and gender equality. Its success has generally been scarce and temporary, insofar as, for every middle-class vote gained, there usually was a working-class vote lost. Nonetheless, this era saw the rise to power of the Left in countries where it had been marginalized for several decades (France, Spain, Portugal). Main figures include Willy Brandt, Olof Palme, Robert Kennedy, etc.

- The De-ideologized Left 1989 to... this day? Its end might be close, but it's not dead yet. This left is marked by the "end of ideology" feel that followed the fall of the USSR, as well as by the scars inflicted by the rising neoliberal movement. As such, it has given up to a lot of its previous goals and generally tried to rebrand itself as a "pragmatic" alternative to the right. It de-emphasizes its historical legacy and outright denies its roles as the representative of a social class. Main figures include Tony Blair, Gerhardt Schröder, Felipe Gonzalez, and possibly Matteo Renzi.
77  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Favorite country starting with "H"? on: February 27, 2015, 01:44:21 pm
I have discovered a trend here, everytime a Finno-Ugric country are running, people complain extra much about people voting for a White country. The conclusion I come to is that the people complaining is a bunch of Indo-European supremacists, who in their bigotry can't stand the thought that a non-Indo European country wins.

I voted for Finland.
78  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Chomsky v. Zizek on: February 27, 2015, 01:40:13 pm
Chomsky is a boring hack, but you can't deny he's reasonably intelligent and generally knows what he's talking about. Zizek is a rambling buffoon.

Unless your grasp of Lacano-Hegelianism is substantially more elaborate than mine, you can't really be in a position to deny that Zizek knows what he's talking about most of the time.

He should stick to philosophy then, and stop thinking his political views are so cool and edgy.
79  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Issues that you have personally vacillated on on: February 27, 2015, 01:39:04 pm
There is no issue where I've gone from being fully convinced of position A to being fully convinced on position B. There are several issues where I've refined my views by acquiring more knowledge (I guess economic democracy would be one, as well as drug legalization). There are other issues where I still have some doubts or think a case by case basis is more appropriate (free trade for example, or wearing religious symbols in public places). But these are fairly rare.
80  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Chomsky v. Zizek on: February 27, 2015, 01:32:28 pm
Chomsky is a boring hack, but you can't deny he's reasonably intelligent and generally knows what he's talking about. Zizek is a rambling buffoon.
81  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Alternate US States on: February 27, 2015, 01:17:28 pm
1988



George Bush: 389 (-37)
Michael Dukakis: 149 (+37)

This election produces a pretty big shift in the Electoral College, comparable to 1968. Bush's victory now looks much less lopsided on the electoral map, and more in line with what one would expect considering his PV margin of victory. He does a little better than Clinton in OTL 1996 EV-wise, while running slightly behind PV-wise. Thus, this map is much more helpful than the actual one for the sake of identifying Dukakis' areas of strength. The most striking of them is a chunk of States spanning from the mid-Atlantic (Maryland) to the Lakes (Erie), where Dukakis did impressively well in historical perspective. For example, he is the only Democrat in this period to carry Allegheny while losing (rather heavily) Pennsylvania. His performance in the urban Northeast is rather mediocre by contrast: he only wins the historical Democratic strongholds of NY and MA. The rural northern Midwest remains one of his strongest areas, like in IRL - and once again, the contrast is striking with the urban State of Chicago (which, by narrowly voting for Bush, takes away 1988's peculiarity as an election where all States were won with an absolute majority). Dukakis also unsurprisingly adds Pacific to his column (which actually is his best State nationwide), forming a strip of red on the West Coast that spans from Santa Barbara to Seattle. Finally, Rio Grande also throws its support behind its favorite son Lloyd Bentsen and his running mate. All these gains are what allow Dukakis to come close to 150 EVs, a far more honorable loss than IRL. The only split that works to Bush's advantage is New York, and he also regains some lost ground through the chopping off of Eastern OR/WA. Bush breaks 60% in a rather disparate set of States, located in the southern Midwest, the Southeast, and the Plains area.

PVI map:


Bush: 308 (+22)
Dukakis: 230 (-22)

However, the structural electoral dynamic follows almost exactly the same scheme as 1984. Only five States, representing 49 EVs, switched sides between the two elections: Tennessee from D to R; CT, AD, MO and NM in the opposite direction. This reduces the disadvantage under which both Democratic candidates had to compete in these years a bit, but such disadvantage remains larger than IRL (Dukakis could have counted on 252 EVs in a tied race in OTL 1988). The main culprit is, once again California. IRL, Pacific's emerging status as a Dem stronghold was enough to carry the rest of the State along. With this map, he remains an underdog to carry the 37 EVs held together by CA and CS. The two other splits that are significant in this map both work to Dukakis' advantage, handing him Rio Grande and Erie. However, and less visibly, the mergers actually do a lot of damage to his Electoral College position. IRL, the States of VT, SD and MT all had a Democratic PVI that year, meaning that Dukakis would have won nearly half of the EVs from New England and Lincoln - both of which now lean R. The end result is still a map that works to Bush's advantage.

Swing/trend map:


What's really striking in these maps is how much the urban centers - especially those that form the core of the Democratic party arguably since its foundation - disliked Dukakis (or at least liked him less than Mondale). New York, Chicago, Pennsylvania (Philly), Maryland (Baltimore/Washington) all trended Republican, the latter two by more than 5 points. Clearly Bush's campaign portraying Dukakis as "soft on crime" played a big role in this movement. At a time when concern about law and order was at its historical peak, crime-ridden big cities clearly expressed their repudiation of Dukakis' anti-death penalty stances. At the same time, rural States saw big swings to the Democratic side. This rural/urban divide appears rather clearly in the New York and Illinois divides, and manifests itself fully in the Plain States. The only anomalous case is California, which trends toward Bush while its coastal neighbors PC and CS move to the left - clearly a reflection of the emerging new divide in California. Finally, it's rather hilarious to see South Florida trending R by an infinitesimal amount for the second time in a row.

State Data:
- Most Democratic: Pacific (PVI +21.77)
- Most Republican: Utah (PVI -26.44)
- Closest: Chicago (margin -0.21)
- Bellwether: Colorado (PVI -0.05)
- Tipping point: Louisiana (PVI -2.48), after CO, MI and CA
- Strongest Democratic Trend: Oklahoma (trend +10.80)
- Strongest Republican Trend: Tennessee (trend -10.56)
- Most Stable (absolute): Tennessee (swing -0.07)
- Most Stable (relative): South Florida (trend -0,06)
82  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: RIP Leonard Nimoy on: February 27, 2015, 12:45:18 pm
Wow. RIP.
83  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Am I really such a bad person? on: February 27, 2015, 08:50:55 am
Don't be silly. It's nearly impossible for anyone on the internet to judge whether you're a good or a bad "person". All we can talk about is your value as a poster.

I'm calling bullsh[inks] bullsh**t here, Tony.  Ask Gully about his off the forum antics to rid us of opebo because opebo was a bad person in Gully's opinion.

Well, there are exceptions of course, if a poster exhibits a particularly heinous/deranged behavior (think Kyle Mercado) or if they expose certain... eh, aspects of their private lives. But this is no concern to 95% of the forum community.
84  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Am I really such a bad person? on: February 27, 2015, 08:41:39 am
Don't be silly. It's nearly impossible for anyone on the internet to judge whether you're a good or a bad "person". All we can talk about is your value as a poster.
85  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Revised Economic Growth: Only 2.2% in Q4 on: February 27, 2015, 08:39:07 am
"Only"? Most Europeans would dream of such numbers.
86  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Which left is your favorite? on: February 27, 2015, 08:34:26 am
Old Left, ie those who actually got sh*t done.

I'm always surprised by how much you and I agree when it comes to this sort of thing, but I feel like we honestly are on the same page, policy-wise, we just totally disagree from a tactical standpoint.

Yes, I've always thought the same. The economic policies that I would advocate (if they were feasible in the current context) are probably not too far from yours. Especially as I think I've moved slightly to the left over the past 5 years. I just think that, while keeping sight of our major goals, the left should also strive to improve the condition of the working classes here and now, on a more incremental basis. Like Bernstein, I care about the movement more than about the end result.
87  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Favorite country starting with "H"? on: February 27, 2015, 08:22:50 am
This forum is awful. Just f**king awful.

What provoked that reaction? (this time)

Just realizing that boring white countries won literally every poll so far (OK, I voted for Canada, Denmark and Finland, but come on).

Okay, it just seemed like a weird time for such an outburst now that Haiti is winning.

I actually posted before even voting, then edited my post to avoid misunderstandings. Thank God Hungary isn't winning...
88  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Favorite country starting with "H"? on: February 27, 2015, 07:37:49 am
This forum is awful. Just f**king awful.

What provoked that reaction? (this time)

Just realizing that boring white countries won literally every poll so far (OK, I voted for Canada, Denmark and Finland, but come on).
89  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Which left is your favorite? on: February 27, 2015, 07:35:49 am
Old Left, ie those who actually got sh*t done.
90  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: House of Cards on: February 27, 2015, 05:16:16 am
I stopped watching this show because of how they're making such an evil couple into the protagonists...

Are you serious?

Why wouldn't I be?

Because that was the whole point of the show from the very beginning. Tongue
91  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone III - The Whinge Binge on: February 27, 2015, 05:13:21 am
There's nothing wrong with showing off your knowledge a bit, as long as you don't act as a pretentious jerk in the process. It's all about the tone and attitude you take to discuss these topics.
92  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Gubernatorial Race: Teachout (D) vs. Cuomo (WF) vs. Astorino (R) vs. Hawkins (G) on: February 27, 2015, 05:08:04 am
Cuomo representing only the "Working Families" party would be pretty hilarious.
93  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Which Carolina do you like more (or dislike the least)? on: February 27, 2015, 05:05:51 am
North Carolina easily. 
94  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Favorite country starting with "H"? on: February 27, 2015, 05:05:01 am
This forum is awful. Just f**king awful.

Voted Haiti.
95  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Elbridge Gerry on: February 27, 2015, 04:57:20 am
I'm not so certain that the problem is gerrymandering more as it is how/where/why it's done.  Politics isn't some clean sport and people who play "fair and balanced" tend to lose out.

I'm sorry, I understand that sometimes the end justifies the means, but no. Gerrymandering is a cancer of the political system that sucks out the very soul of representation, turning the representatives into mindless party hacks with no connection to an actual constituency. It might lead to good outcomes under certain conditions at a certain point in time, but in the long run it wrecks democracy to pieces.

And it's ridiculous to say gerrymandering will always be there. Most democracies in the world (see Britain or Canada) have completely done away with it. Hell, even some US States have solved the problem very easily, with citizens' commissions. It doesn't get eradicated through politicians' goodwill, of course, but rather through stricter rules and oversight.
96  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Democrats Only: Hypo 2016 OH-Sen Primary - Strickland vs. Sittenfeld on: February 27, 2015, 04:46:07 am
I think you guys already know how I'll vote. Tongue

Write-in ED FITZGERALD? Tongue
97  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Joe Republic Bureau of Funny Post Archival on: February 26, 2015, 06:06:46 pm
"Atlas Forum, where t_host1 is seven ages for the severed economic thrust up while even my HAIR seeks restitution for the horrors of this regime."
98  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Should Prince George of Cambridge be put to death? on: February 26, 2015, 06:04:49 pm
I'm a republican through and through, but I'm not a killer.

Moderate Hero!
99  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Hugo Black on: February 26, 2015, 05:12:10 pm
HP all the way

All the way? Also when he voted for civil rights legislation?

He's a Libertarian. Presumably he opposes Civil Rights because muh States Rights.
100  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: The last movie you've seen thread 2014 and 2015 on: February 26, 2015, 04:27:50 pm
Has anyone seen Kingsman? I'm considering going to see it, but it sound like the kind of movie that could either be a lot of fun or absolutely godawful. Is it worth the time?

I liked it.  It's very campy, it kind of reminds me of a mix of James Bond, Austin Powers and the Indonesian movie, The Raid.  Nothing amazing certainly, but pretty good.

That sounds good. I don't mind camp, if done smartly enough.
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