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Unread 9 Apr 2015, 21:31   #1
Tietäjä
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on the farce of the left

george orwell once remarked that political thought, especially on the left, is a sort of masturbation fantasy in which the world of fact hardly matters. that's true, unfortunately, and it's part of the reason that our society lacks a genuine, responsible, serious left-wing movement

(chomsky)



now i've worked with those little things and i can definitely agree here
is there hope
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Unread 9 Apr 2015, 21:32   #2
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Re: on the farce of the left

the question of course is asking for a double bluff

if facts cannot change the way it operates then you should of course attempt to change the ideology it operates towards the facts, that is, participate in the masturbatory process. which relates to zizek's changing the chicken.
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Unread 27 Apr 2015, 20:32   #3
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Re: on the farce of the left

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tietäjä View Post
george orwell once remarked that political thought, especially on the left, is a sort of masturbation fantasy in which the world of fact hardly matters. that's true, unfortunately, and it's part of the reason that our society lacks a genuine, responsible, serious left-wing movement

(chomsky)
Are you paraphrasing Chomsky or using him as an example of Orwell's proposition?



Quote:
Originally Posted by tietaja
now i've worked with those little things and i can definitely agree here
is there hope
There is a huge conflation I think between completely different aspects of thinking lumped together as "The Left". Pretty much any and all theories in the history of the humanities can be described as "Left", simply by virtue of their questioning the status quo. That is to say... Conservative values. To lump all these different concepts/theories together, simply because right wing thoughts/values are so hegemonic isn't particularly meaningful - especially when a lot of them share very little in terms of epistemology, methodology or ethics.

A lot of "Leftist" thought is indeed pretentious, ego driven drivel. But no one's claiming Leftists have transcended all the toxic aspects of our chimp brains. They've just managed to be a meaningful amount better than right-wingers.

Evryone would like to position themselves as the serious, sceptical, apostle of empiricism - that whatever the numbers say is their position. But the principle reason why the economics profession has the prescriptions that it does is not because of empiricism, it's because it is corrupted by money. The bankrolling of universities, foundations, think tanks, media outlets. This is the front-line of the class warfare that Buffet recently referenced as only one side fighting. And it's true.
In a world like this, you are going to seriously struggle to stick to analysis of numbers and stats in order to get to the truth and put forward a good case for Left values.

That is why you can't shy away from the subjective, the interpretive, even testimony, in the building of your case. History and psychology are the keys to a coherent, convincing case for the Left*. If you play solely with the numbers you are going to lose. The numbers available are rigged and the interpretation of them is bankrolled. That said, when you are able to find prodigious thinkers (Piketty, Steve Keen) who can take on such titanic resources through the sheer size of their brains, great. I have no doubt that they are the most potent weapons of the Left. But don't paint with one brush those who offer other avenues for convincing argument.

I have to say I'm not familiar with Zizek's "changing the chicken" (cba to google), but off the top of my head he's probably in the top ten culprits of what you're complaining about. He's a big name and the last time I remember trying to listen to him speak, he was interpreting cinema with psychoanalysis. Now that's a dead end if ever I saw one




*A great example being very cheap experiments in psychology completely smashing rational actor theory -an underlying pillar of free market economics- in the 70's.
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We are talking about defence sharing so in that aspect they are not.
That we have a trustworty ally in HEROES is no secret nor has it ever been one. Is its Ult or HEROES fault other alliances cant trust eachother?
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Unread 1 May 2015, 12:48   #4
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Re: on the farce of the left

Quote:
Originally Posted by oil View Post
Are you paraphrasing Chomsky or using him as an example of Orwell's proposition?
paraphrasing. chomsky i suppose is something of a leftist.



Quote:
There is a huge conflation I think between completely different aspects of thinking lumped together as "The Left". Pretty much any and all theories in the history of the humanities can be described as "Left", simply by virtue of their questioning the status quo. That is to say... Conservative values. To lump all these different concepts/theories together, simply because right wing thoughts/values are so hegemonic isn't particularly meaningful - especially when a lot of them share very little in terms of epistemology, methodology or ethics.
yes there is a minor issue with the definitions here. however i do not believe "Left" has any virtue of questioning the status quo by themselves. it is always easy to refer a two-party system, such as the america, where left is "liberal" and right is "conservative", and divide lines by this. there are, however, liberal right wing parties, and from economic perspective, left is in fact the antithesis of liberal.

for example, we have a multiparty system in finland. the social democrats (left) are extremely conservative in an institutional sense. they'd prefer if not much in the way of say, public institutions or labour market institutions would change. (in this sense, the left is often conservative). the swedish folk party, economically right wing (that is, narrow state), are in many fashions extremely liberal (pro gay marriage, pro many kinds of changes).

to argue that left has some inherent tendency to "liberal" or "challenging the status quo" is to simplify in a similar sense as to say that the left has an inherent tendency to fascism, since well, the political agenda of the national socialist german worker's party is at parts indistinguishable from the modern internet mainstream leftism (against capital, against capitalist, pro workers, so on so on).

i think we at least partially agree here though. left wing values aren't so hegemonic either.

Quote:
A lot of "Leftist" thought is indeed pretentious, ego driven drivel. But no one's claiming Leftists have transcended all the toxic aspects of our chimp brains. They've just managed to be a meaningful amount better than right-wingers.
the thing is there are so few jose muricas out there. most of the left are just the same people, with a different marketing strategy. the ape wants to be the chieftain of the herd, and when this position has been achieved, behaves like any other chieftain of the herd. (as a funny side note, the left party lost a few seats in the previous elections here, and are now negotiating staff reductions in their party office. so far no suggestion of the elected members dipping in from their 7000 euro a month salaries for the lesser bourgeoisie who drafted their ad programs).



Quote:
Evryone would like to position themselves as the serious, sceptical, apostle of empiricism - that whatever the numbers say is their position. But the principle reason why the economics profession has the prescriptions that it does is not because of empiricism, it's because it is corrupted by money. The bankrolling of universities, foundations, think tanks, media outlets. This is the front-line of the class warfare that Buffet recently referenced as only one side fighting. And it's true.
In a world like this, you are going to seriously struggle to stick to analysis of numbers and stats in order to get to the truth and put forward a good case for Left values.

That is why you can't shy away from the subjective, the interpretive, even testimony, in the building of your case. History and psychology are the keys to a coherent, convincing case for the Left*. If you play solely with the numbers you are going to lose. The numbers available are rigged and the interpretation of them is bankrolled.
yes, sokal & bricmont discussed this thoroughly in their book.

Quote:
That said, when you are able to find prodigious thinkers (Piketty, Steve Keen) who can take on such titanic resources through the sheer size of their brains, great. I have no doubt that they are the most potent weapons of the Left. But don't paint with one brush those who offer other avenues for convincing argument.
Steve Keen only seems to be a "prodigious thinker" among those people who have not really paid much attention. If Steve Keen and Piketty are the most potent weapons of the left, then we are TRULY in dire straits. this is precisly the masturbatory process detached of any reality. i won't go deep into these subjects because both characters have been discussed thoroughly.

steve keen for example here and here. keen only really seems to have high ratings amongst the people inside the very mentioned masturbatory circle jerk.

for example varoufakis (who is a little bit of a demagogue but an extremely intelligent a man) has discussed piketty with some credit. there's a lot of methodological questions such as the real estate question raised by some college guy i won't go into, but additionally piketty just neglects the fact that returns on capital do not have to be local in the sense returns on labour do, when we establish that financial assets are capital. welcome to globalization. piketty i think is mostly credited as creating an interesting conversation rather than having any really strong evidence on various issues.

these two items precisely describe the masturbatory process.


Quote:
I have to say I'm not familiar with Zizek's "changing the chicken" (cba to google), but off the top of my head he's probably in the top ten culprits of what you're complaining about. He's a big name and the last time I remember trying to listen to him speak, he was interpreting cinema with psychoanalysis. Now that's a dead end if ever I saw one
zizek is highly amusing. the chicken analogue has to do with sublime object, and is perhaps a little lenghty a discussion here. zizek however has no solutions to any problem he presents, but he doesn't pretend he has either. he simply has some apt critique. (i'm not refering to cinema). once you skip all the lacan references, sublime object is a decent work on how for example these political masturbations work.


Quote:
*A great example being very cheap experiments in psychology completely smashing rational actor theory -an underlying pillar of free market economics- in the 70's.
to call rational actor theory debunked is simply strange. a more correct term would be that it's been improved at parts. for example, kahneman, tversky, and so forth have brought us with a lot of understanding on asymmetry in decision making. the fact that risk aversion is asymmetric of course does not dictate that decision making would be irrational. unless you have a really strange idea of rational. klein and so have brought us further understanding on how the decision making process itself works. behavioural economics is a branch that takes this information. (without going into detail into the 70s, which has more to do with imperfect information). theories do have a property of rarely being correct at the first spot but improving over time.



there is a lot here that exactly have to do with the masturbatory process that caves into a bunch of people talking to each other about their prophets and completely ignoring any other conversation that has to do with their prophecies. it might do one good, to occasionally apply the revolutionary potential and challenging of the status quo, and the strong social theory, to critisize ones own mirror image too. but i'm glad to have someone here to prove the point again to myself if nothing else.
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Unread 1 May 2015, 14:46   #5
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Re: on the farce of the left

(to be precise, the reason why steve keen attracts followers in certain dogma is not because his work would have much in the sense of logical arguments, but because his conclusions appeal to the followers and he happens to hold some degree in some university somewhere. the idea is of course never to discuss or critisize how he exactly he argues his position, because this is not purposeful. it won't hold any closer inspection, but it's not supposed to, and the followers are just happy to agree on the conclusion and dogmatically repeat it. no one on "his side of the camp" will openly challenge him on say, fundamental logical problems, because that would be the equivalent to offending the high priest).
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Unread 7 May 2015, 22:47   #6
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Re: on the farce of the left

Sorry mate, was going to read those references last night but didn't. Next week ftw.
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Quote:
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We are talking about defence sharing so in that aspect they are not.
That we have a trustworty ally in HEROES is no secret nor has it ever been one. Is its Ult or HEROES fault other alliances cant trust eachother?
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Unread 8 May 2015, 19:14   #7
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Re: on the farce of the left

yeah, i wouldn't bother with keen if i were you. it's just sad.

i really encourage you to listen to some of varoufakis' things, there's plenty else of his on youtube too. whilst i may not agree with him on all aspects, i think he is currently the most intelligent (kind of) leftist there is.
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Unread 22 Jul 2015, 00:00   #8
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Re: on the farce of the left

OH MY GOD. Tomorrow I promise.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wouter View Post
We are talking about defence sharing so in that aspect they are not.
That we have a trustworty ally in HEROES is no secret nor has it ever been one. Is its Ult or HEROES fault other alliances cant trust eachother?
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