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About DocWatts

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  1. Agreed; knowing what I do about Gorbachev, the idea that he's at 'one right way' Blue or even corporatist Orange is just not correct, for the reasons you outlined. I think people have trouble separating him from the larger Soviet system. And while it's true that in order to gain power in that system he had to at least pay lip service to Blue rhetoric early on, what's clear is that he was playing by the Rules in order to Change the Game, so to speak. By the time he stepped down from the Presidency in 1991, he was clearly a Social Democrat. And since that time, he's been advocating for Green political ideals. Assuming that Gorbachev is Blue just because he emerged from the old Soviet system is just as misinformed as assuming that every American politician is an Orange corporatist.
  2. Let's just let every freedom loving American the right to buy an Abrams Tank while we're at it...
  3. I realize this was probably supposed to be an Edge-Lord comment, but let's not become a left leaning reflection of those MAGA idiots.
  4. While Bernie Sander lost the opportunity to become president, the position he's in now is arguably one of the most advantageous he could be in under present circumstances, short of becoming Senate majority leader.
  5. Convince me that contemporary popular art, that music by 'Radiohead', popular films like 'Arrival' , and shows like 'Bojack Horsemen' are somehow shallow when compared to stuff like eighties hair metal music, Schwarzenegger action movies, and hilariously shallow older TV programs like 'The Brady Bunch', and I might begin to take this contention more seriously. I'd contend that modern popular art is better than it's ever been; mostly because there's just more of it. And that will include more dumb stuff for sure, but also more intellectually and emotionally engaging things as well.
  6. For those not aware of how big of a deal this actually is, it will essentially give Bernie Sanders enormous leverage to push for progressive economic policies using the process of budget reconciliation to override Republican obstructionism through the use of the filibuster. Why this is important is because, unlike traditional Legislation which requires a two thirds majority in the Senate to pass, budget reconciliation requires only a simple majority. In the past, Republicans in the Senate have used the process of budget reconciliation to push through unpopular policies such as tax cuts for corporations, the flip side of that is that the same process can also be used to pass policies that aim to help ordinary people. Of course it's important to manage expectations, as there are limits on what can be achieved using this method, but it does at least give the incoming Biden administration an avenue to pursue policies like Covid relief, investments in Green energy and in Infrastructure, and support for families and small businesses. And for the record Joe Biden is far from a Social Democrat like Bernie, but from what we've seen so far he does seem amenable to popular pressure for needed reforms, and has been willing to work with more progressive Democrats in several areas. **I'm aware that using budget reconciliation to pass policy is far from ideal, but until the Senate filibuster is either reformed or removed, this is one of the few methods available to prevent public policy being held hostage to the obstructionism of a minority political party. Explanation of the Senate Budget Committee
  7. All of this screams of someone who was taken in by an Authoritarian Cult of Personality... Predictable fear base response that Authoritarian figures cultivate; that they're the only one who can save the country from nefarious forces. You're being manipulated my dude.
  8. That's just factually incorrect on Don Beck's part (Beck's a analysis of Gorbachev, not the quote). By the end of his Presidency in 1991 he was pretty clearly a Social Democrat who was pushing market reforms and trying to establish more of a mixed system in Russia, similar to the Social Democracies of Western Europe. As to Don Beck, he was clearly a Conservative guy in some respects, and his analysis was likely due to personal biases on his part. Also Beck is apparently a Trump supporter now, so let's not put him on a pedestal...
  9. I'll also point out that he deserves more credit than any other Individual for ending the Cold War, which was a great accomplishment for the entire world. He was well and truly deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize he was awarded in 1990, and more than anything else this should be looked at as his crowning achievement.
  10. Coincidentally I just finished reading an excellent Pulitzer Prize winning biography on Gorbachev, which I'd highly recommend to anyone who wants an in depth examination of one of the most important world figures of the last fifty years. I would agree with the assessment of him at Orange/Green, with the Biden comparison being an apt one. By the end of his presidency in 1991 he was clearly a Social Democrat; anyone who places him at Blue clearly doesn't understand him very well, and what made him so different from the mostly Red/Blue leaders in Russia who came before him. I would also think this comes as a result of being unable to distinguish Gorbachev as an individual from the larger Soviet system that he emerged from. Yes, the Soviet Union was at roughly SD-Stage Blue when Gorbachev came to power, but that doesn't mean that all individuals who emerged from that system were Blue themselves. Also keep in mind that Gorbachev was far from a static figure, his thinking evolved and changed throughout his public life. One thing that I've consistently come across in everything I've read and learned about the man is that he was a decent person who just happened to be living under an incredibly dysfunctional political system. He was also highly curious about other cultures and was willing to learn from them, which is a trait that emerges in Orange/Green (rather than Blue). I'll also cite his unwillingness to use force as a means to preserve the crumbling Soviet Union, which had begun falling apart partly as a consequence of the democratization he introduced during his six years of leadership. Of course he had his faults just like everyone else, not the least of which were his sense of pride and his tendency to butt heads with other political figures in Russia who would go on to become lifelong enemies, with Boris Yelstin being the most important of these. He was also much better at maneuvering within the old Soviet bureaucracy than he would be at playing the game of parliamentary politics that he fought so hard to introduce to Russia (when he decided to run again for President in 1996, he only managed to win about %0.5 of the Vote, and would end up in Pizza Hut commercials to fund his post presidential work). He also failed to anticipate how democratization would ignite nationalistic fervor in the other Soviet Republics, leading them to want to break away from the Soviet Union. The economic reforms he introduced into the Soviet Union, though well intentioned, sadly weren't enough to revitalize the Soviet economy and reverse it's longstanding trend of stagnation, and also weren't enough to fight the systemic inefficiency and corruption within that system. The chaos that the country was thrown into in the nineties made things worse in many ways for ordinary people (though how much of this is Gorbachev's fault as opposed to Yeltsin's is debatable).
  11. Thanks again for the recommendation. One of the most impressive things about the book so far is how its tone of sincere irony is so effective at conveying profound ideas in such an engaging (and self demonstrating) way. Or the way it uses this to convey important ideas in a way that undercuts it's own self importance. Brilliant. Humour is such a good way of creating emotional engagement with ideas, it's a pleasant reprieve from the dry academic tone that I've come to take for granted in philosophical works. Also brings to mind some of my favorite works of fiction that make use of sincere irony to leave a lasting impact (the Good Place comes to mind...).
  12. Something in between a fictional novel and a philosophical treatise (the book is a Socratic dialogue between a man and a gorilla, and is an examination of human culture through an ecological and mythological lens), I read this back in my early twenties, and credit it in large part for helping me to move from SD Stage Orange to Green.
  13. Couldn't institutions like banks (whether worker co-cops or credit unions) provide many of the functions of Venture Capitalists? Is there any reason why investment in a company has to come from individuals with hundreds of millions of dollars, rather than through publicly owned or worker run institutions? Couldn't public grants and low interest loans for pro-social business also cover a portion of that as well? Is the idea of a worker owned business whose model is to invest in other businesses that wildly unrealistic? As to the stock market, while it does serve an important function under our current system, the resulting legal requirement to prioritize maximizing profit over any other consideration has led to a host of societal problems, of which I'm sure you're well aware. I would propose that the stock market would still exist, but rather than investors getting to dictate how a company is run when it goes public, they would gain some form of Representation in the decision making process of the company. Perhaps boards of directors might be made up of something like %40 representing the interests of Investors, and %60 representing the workers. Under many Social Democracies, companies have a legal requirement to include worker representation on thier boards of directors. What I propose would simply be an expansion of this. Obviously this would only apply to co-ops that decide to go public under this sytem. If either of these two ideas are unworkable in your view, I'd be interested to hear why that's the case. And again I would argue that the system as a whole is an evolution of Capitalism and Social Democracy, rather than a complete restructuring of society. Or you could perhaps think of it as a democratization of the current system.
  14. Or sanitizing racism to make it palatable for a wider audience, as another way of putting it.