Originally Posted by SDW2001
I disagree that Bush is trying to "impose it." As I said, I don't think that's even possible. Of course, if we run off toppling regime after regime for the purpose of installing a new government, you have a point. But we're not doing that. There were many other reasons in Iraq and Afghanistan, and even if we do go to war with Iran, I don't hear the kind of talk "about regime change. Do you?
Not much any more but that is probably because they have fucked up the project. I used to hear it a lot and the people who were driving it - as well as those who mindlessly parrotted it - are still at large.
That sir, is crazy. You seem to have this perception of almost all people in the world being sheep...except for yourself of course, and you're a free thinker! There are certainly sheeple in the world, I agree. You just seem to think that there a lot more of them than perhaps there really are. And only you and your band of free thinking liberals seem to be able to tell the difference. Sort of a self-reinforcing delusion, I suppose.
Hmm....you're starting to gibber a little...
I know many people who are not sheep as it happens.
But actually I am using the term interchangeably with 'right-wing supporter' so however many of them there are; that's your number.
But directly speaking, I disagree that freedom is the ability to not have to follow some false authority or what not. It's the ability to choose one's destiny and live one's life as one sees fit. If one is too stupid or too lazy to be free thinker, that is that "one's problem.
Ok, let's accept that definition. I would argue that you do not have the ability to not have to follow some false authority or what not
Nor do you have the ability to choose one's destiny and live one's life as one sees fit.
What you do have is CHOICE
- a lot of choice granted and the menu is impressive and massive but someone somewhere draws up that menu for you
, they decide what goes on it and what stays off it for you
and because it would take you a lifetime to work through the choices you believe them when they tell you it is freedom.
But it is not freedom for you and is even less so if you happen to be black, gay, the wrong class, disabled, of a strange religion....
Your freedom is merely a list of choices which someone draws up for you and you happen to believe is all there is because by amn accident of birth you happen to not want any of the choices excluded from the menu.
Fair enough. But don't call it freedom - it is an equivalent of an agoraphobic being put under house arrest. Sure, he would never have left the house anyway and sure, he may be better off as he is now looked after by the State but to call it 'freedom' is a brawling obscenity and when extrapolated to other people and cultures who MAY want to leave the house it is a major crime.
I think what you're saying is that you perceive the Iranians to be more "Free thinking" and less willing to follow the herd. They're certainly not more free in their daily lives not by any stretch of the imagination.
That's what I said.
Though actually they are more free in some ways. They are free because they know their rulers are corrupt and oppressive - most people in the West do not believe this about their own rulers but it is nevertheless true.
They are free because they can see through their Government's propaganda. Most in the West - you for example - cannot even see there IS a Western propaganda.
They are more free because they are more 'real' - instead of living lives of inertia centering around the next visit to the mall and what make of refrigerator to buy in order to keep up with Mr Jones next-door, they are living 'on the edge'.
Instead of doping their lobotomized atrophied braincells with 'Big Brother' and 'American Idol' they are perhaps thinking of how to read a subversive book, how to organize the next demonstration, how to be REALLY free in fact.
You then further share a perception of US society, one that frankly baffles me. We have dissent all over the place in the US. We have written and oral opinions galore, on the web, in print, on TV. Our entire culture is based on individualism (and to a fault, according to some).
There is no dissent.
Get back to me when the cars start burning on the street.
Democracy is about self-determination and self-governance. The earliest forms of Democratic government were Greek, yes? That's not exactly "West," but whatever. My point is that true freedom cannot exist without democracy, because without Democracy there is no self-determination en masse. List any form of government you like...they are ALL oppressive compared to Democracy. Notice I didn't say Jefersonian Democracy. I just said Democracy in general.
The Western system is based completely on the Greek that's where it comes from. Via the Arabs in Spain actually so there is also a large amount of Islamic influence in the West (not enough though obvioulsy) and I think you'll find that the Western model is generally regarded as being essentially based on that of the Greek with Islamic accretions.
That's a particularly bizarre notion. Advertising is not a Western phenomenon. It's a capitalistic one. Seems that what you are really taking issue with is capitalism and the profit motive itself, not Western ideals per se. The problem with that is that as much as you hate Viagra ads and Burger King commericals, capitalism works. Sure, it needs to be regulated, but the profit motive and private enterprise solve problems and provide abundance. I fail to see what you would condemn them wholesale...no pun intended.
There is advertising and advertising. Actually you are technically correct because the sort I refer to has its roots in Chinese research.
In the Korean war many US prisoners were found to have converted to Communism whilst being held as POWs. After the war they were examined and the techniques they were subjected to were isolated. These are surprisingly few and you can research this - it's very interesting.
Basically from the 60s on these techniques were used in advertising and still are. They over-ride choice by manipulating desire. This has a knock-on effect to society.
Actually I am a capitalist and am not above using certain manipulative techniques in a business setting. It is when applied to groups and cultures that I object.
Look at Germany in the 30s for example - certain techniques facilitated the rise and support of the Nazis. The German people did not 'choose' Hitler. Nor did they 'choose' to oppose Hitler. They were deprived of power. That is what is happening in the West now imo - NOTE, I mean to a different end than that of the Third Reich... in this case it is essentially beningn in comaprison and aimed towards profit rather than totalitarianism.
But the notion that somehow the poor people of the Middle East are not sophisticated enough to understand advertising is particularly odd, and I think racist as well.
It would be but that is not what I said.
They have not been exposed to it wholesale and therefore do not have an immunity. YOu should visit the region - you would see what I mean.
I have my issues with the corporatization of the entire globe as well, but that doesn't mean I condemn the profit motive and consumerism in general. They in large part are good things. They've provided the Western World with a standard of living beyond anything in history. Why is that a bad thing?
Depends on certain variables:
1) Who you are
2) Whether you do indeed partake of these 'advantages' - not everyone does
3) What the price tag actually is when the bill arives
4) Whether we will ever see the bill of whether it will just be deducted from our accoount at exhorbitant interest rates.
And why wouldn't you want the poor (literally) peoples of the Middle East to have the same thing? When left to their own devices, peoples all over the world have chosen to engage in free commerce, pop culture, etc. What is the problem?
I would not want them to 'have the same thing' if the price was the 'death of their own thing'.
And it is.
Right...except in your stupendously independent mind. Seems just a tad arrogant to me.
I do it well though no?
But that's not your point. Not at all. You were taking issue with the West vs. the East. You were taking issue with the sheeple and hive mind of the US vs. the awesomely free Iranian populace.
Can't answer this - you're wigging out again......it's incomprehensible...
Now, if it's a secondary point, it's one I could partially agree with. It's true that one of the US's great hypocrisies is to talk of freedom and then engage with a state like Saudi Arabia. Totally agree with that. It's also one reason we need to get off the Saudi crack pipe known as Oil.
Yes but neither of us should hold our breath...well, you can if you want
However, while your scenario of everyday life in Syria may be accurate, I don't judge freedom solely based on my ability to get stone drunk and laid on a Friday night (if I did, you would concede and proclaim me the Most Free Man, Ever).
Nor me....actually it is one of the things in Syria that make me sometimes ponder whether the jihadis
may not have a valid point.