Author Topic: Re- Covid19 testing, odd init?  (Read 618 times)

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Re- Covid19 testing, odd init?
« Reply #15 on: 30 Dec 2021 12:00AM »
I think that by the time of the run-up to WW2, the royals in most of the relevant countries had less direct power than before, although they were very firmly part of the influential elite social class.  And of course, Germany was trying to get used to being a republic.  But then, the more I try to make sense of WW2, the more it seems like unfinished business from WW1.

I find it easier to understand WW1.  Classic Greek tragedy.  I can sum up pretty much every classical Greek tragedy thus.  It's a three-episode story in an ongoing soap opera.  Up in heaven, the Gods are having a family bust-up, fighting over the world, so they send the mortals and demi-gods out to fight a proxy war for them, during which horrible things happen.  Then the Gods make up for a while and walk away accepting no responsibility.

WW1.  Three first-cousins George, Wilhelm and Nicholas.  Fighting over who owned which land.  There were all the messy boundaries in Europe and the Scramble for Africa had gone berserk.  So they sent the ordinary mortals and the aristocracy out to fight a proxy war for them, during which horrible things happened.  Then the Royals made up and carried on accepting no responsibility.  Except that some found themselves no longer in power.  Oops.

As we come across news story after news story of fighting within and between countries around the world, sometimes physical, sometimes economic/trade, sometimes both, I sadly slot it into the same mental theme.  Boundaries between peoples that are for the  benefit of the powerful, who keep playing divide and rule and sometimes win by it and sometimes lose.

And so the aftermath of WW1, so many people used as pawns in a game then sent home then suffering horribly at home triggered even more of the political uprisings we'd seen some of before.  The Russians didn't even wait for the end of the war, but that hurt was so easily manipulated in so many countries, and later made worse by the financial crash.  These days I don't see WW2 as separate from WW1, so much as caused by the aftermath of it.

I wish we were more open about how easy it is for people trying to work out whose fault it is that they're suffering to look for a simple answer, which can be manipulated by politicians.  We mock people who follow 'conspiracy theories' without acknowledging that they arise from a simple understanding that powerful people do 'conspire', or, if you prefer, work together, collude, rub one another's backs etc.  How often do you get cheated or hurt before you get suspicious of powerful people?  The alternative is so often to turn on whichever scapegoats we're directed towards.

Ugh, politics, politics.

(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Re- Covid19 testing, odd init?
« Reply #16 on: 30 Dec 2021 04:07PM »
What continues to fascinate me is those times when a group of people, be it a family or a village or a country or whatever comes to the brink of nastiness and pulls back.  I think there'll always be nastiness, but it's relative.

I believe that the reason some bits of welfare state crept in after WW1 in Britain, like some pensions, were due to those running the country being afraid of revolution.  I think that that was also a significant fear after WW2 and was what drove those politicians that would otherwise have opposed the creation of he NHS to allow it.

Imagine you've come back from war.  You ask yourself what it was all for.  Your country is opposed to communism, but communism sells itself as being about things like equality and fairness and helping people.  You ask yourself whether our country's going to look after you better or somewhere like USSR or China. 

Before WW2, you were told Stalinist Russia was dangerous.  Then they became allies and the rhetoric abated.  Now WW2 is over and the rhetoric is upped again.  But whom do you believe?

This isn't about who was right or wrong politically, it's about why a government, opting to take sides with (broadly) capitalist countries as against (broadly) communist might think "Oops, better placate the mob with something."

The alternative approach, beloved of many tyrants through history is to mobilise the mob, but of course that can backfire.  It's a gamble for the powerful - will the mob turn on them?  But you have to have something of a gambling streak to get into power anyway, and to get into hardcore power, some sort of sense you'll be fine if you can only maintain control.

Of course, some with political power swap it happily enough after a while for financial power, social power or whatever.  I think that's quite exploitable by people with political savvy.

But whether it's a question of veering off too far to the left/right (and we'll all disagree about where on the spectrum it tips over into 'too far') there's that delicate tipping point.

I wish it was easy to see how to stop the rise of nastiness.  I've referred to how IDS is symbolic for me of a key difficulty with politicians, which applies from local councillors to world leaders.  How do you incentivise a politician to strike a deal that's approximately win-win if he would rather end up lose-lose than consider a different path? 

Despite all this, I cling onto hope.  Sometimes politicians go "Oops, better placate the mob."  (The mob, of course, may not be rioters, they may be voters or people who in some other way maintain the seniority of powerful people.)
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

JLR2

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Re: Re- Covid19 testing, odd init?
« Reply #17 on: 30 Dec 2021 07:58PM »
"You ask yourself whether our country's going to look after you better or somewhere like USSR or China"

I was reading earlier somewhere that China is now ordering its footballers to have any tattoos they may have removed and telling any who as yet have not had tattoos done not to have them done as they, the Chinese government don't like them and feel they are not right according to their moral  codes.

When I read that I felt what next?  Will the Chinese government be telling the people of China how to dress?  When to eat chicken/fish or whatever form of food takes their fancy?  When, how and what form of passion they should engage in with their partners?

I get the feeling the Chinese government is going a bit loopy, chances are their current leader has already forgotten the meaning of communism and like our Johnson is only concerned with what will benefit himself and his perceived place in history, we might be witnessing the beginnings of another Pol Pot (sp?)

Sorry if my posting is a bit short Sunny, I'm a bit on the tired side of things just now.


Sunny Clouds

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Re: Re- Covid19 testing, odd init?
« Reply #18 on: 30 Dec 2021 10:39PM »
I wasn't arguing that people would be better off if they had a revolution to copy mid-20th century Russia or China, I'm saying that when the soldiers came back from war and the civvies back from their wartime jobs, they'd be tired, world weary, cynical, and some would think they were better off in the country they'd come back to, and others would look around them and think they deserved better and look for different allegiances. 

This then could lead the government to wonder whether they'd have a repeat of after WW1.   

As I see it, in that situation, in power you can do one of three things.  You can get hardline one way or another, with the possibility of it tipping over into another war or some form of extremism, you can ignore it and hope it'll go away, or you can try to placate the populace with some offerings such as healthcare, housing, pensions etc.

As for the left/right thing, well I'm on the left, but I have two broad characterisations of the left/right thing.

The first is the old concept of politics being 'left, right or round-the-bend'.  In other words, I personally don't see much difference between left or right when it goes too far and off the rails.

Secondly, I believe that what the typical leftwinger fears most is actually the same as what the typical rightwinger fears most - extremism characterised by power concentrated in the hands of a few, loss of freedom, great suffering.

We just have different approaches to avoiding that.  To grossly simplify, and talking about those that aren't part of the small, powerful elite...

The left - share ownership between a community of key things so you know you've all got a say in it.

The right - ah but that ends up with the decisions actually being made by unelected bureaucrats and you've no choice.  Free market protects us better.  Competition ensures choice and reduces power concentration.

The left - ah but what about cartels, takeovers etc?   Before you know where you are, there's no choice and the power's in the hands of a few.

Both - well there's less risk my way than yours.  What I don't want is a small number of corrupt  people taking over, exploiting, causing misery...

That's my perception, and as I say, I'm a leftwinger (and I perceive those currently in power in China to be not on the left, but 'round the bend'), so I'd be interested in the response of anyone that sees it from a rightwing perspective.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

JLR2

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Re: Re- Covid19 testing, odd init?
« Reply #19 on: 31 Dec 2021 07:06AM »

Good morning Sunny,

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I wasn't arguing that people would be better off if they had a revolution to copy mid-20th century Russia or China
Sorry if I gave the impression I felt you were arguing with me re China.
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Secondly, I believe that what the typical left winger fears most is actually the same as what the typical right winger fears most - extremism characterised by power concentrated in the hands of a few, loss of freedom, great suffering.
Agreed, though with perhaps one wee thought some of those on the right are content to have power concentrated in the hands of a few so long as it is their hands for example the ERG group within the Tory Party.
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Free market protects us better.  Competition ensures choice and reduces power concentration.

Yup sure reduces power concentration, least it did till the power companies became so greedy and consummated with the idea they had carte blanch to charge customers irrespective of the chances that many would be unable to afford such costs. This greed in the power companies has seen the loss of a fair number of smaller companies outwith the big six but I doubt the Big6 are too concerned as they'll be taking it for granted the government in Westminster will simply print money (eventually) give it to the poorer in society in order that a, the government looks like it cares and b, the government will have little choice as they see it. It's either pay our prices or the lights go out, commonly known as blackmail/extortion.


JLR - have tidied up post for you by putting quotes in, which is what I think you were trying to do! - KK
« Last Edit: 31 Dec 2021 09:17AM by KizzyKazaer »

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Re- Covid19 testing, odd init?
« Reply #20 on: 31 Dec 2021 02:44PM »
I think we'd both distinguish between the general interests of what I'll call 'the man in the street' and what I'll call the 'elite'.

Those that are greedy for things like power, wealth, influence etc. may tip towards right/left general approaches not because they think they're best for most but because they think they'll personally benefit directly or indirectly.

I don't mean that the rest of us don't, just that it can reach a tipping point of personal greed that distorts.  But then that going too far is the thing we're afraid of, isn't it?

Yet what I'll characterise as 'greed for good' or 'passion for good' (which may or may not be as good as it seems) can have many overlapping features, hence people who seem to go all out to bring peace, fairness or whatever then seem to turn to producing nastiness. 

I don't know how to consider this without feeling world-weary and cynical.  If it's difficult to get into power without having influence already and being prepared to make compromises and being pretty hardcore fighter for your career and your rights, and if even nice people can flip, I don't know how we improve things.

Maybe sometimes just offering a combination of "Giving us some niceness will keep us from being a nuisance."  But then that's what some of the government legislation is about, isn't it, suppressing nuisance in the form of things like demonstrations.

There are so many things I'd like to change in the world, but I'd never be able to do it because I'm not hard-nosed enough.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)