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R_P

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Posted: May 13, 2024 - 5:50pm

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R_P

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Posted: May 13, 2024 - 2:37pm

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:
Sing it bro!  that is precisely the problem with one-party rule. Alternative to Putin in Russia's last election? forget it. Xi in China? Forget it.  Dictatorships can be beneficial but very often they are not and tend to foster perpetuation of the ruling elite. That is precisely the problem.

and yes, all the usual caveats about democracies still apply.  

It was aimed at systems, not parties. Whether it is capitalist or not. And whether it has 1 party or 10. And whether it's democratic (people rule/participate in power) or authoritarian. Putin's Russia is not Xi's China is not North Korea is not Egypt is not Iran, etc.

NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: May 13, 2024 - 2:30pm

 R_P wrote:

They will have them, but they are different. No doubt aimed at the functioning of The Party, which can still be democratic (as offering choice on candidates, etc.).

The Chinese believe their system is democratic (the people rule) within the hierarchical and ideological constraints.

Any system can produce good and bad, and historically has. I don't buy e.g. Thatcher's TINA (There is no alternative). There are always alternatives. Preventing alternatives is worse. It's dogma.



Sing it bro!  that is precisely the problem with one-party rule. Alternative to Putin in Russia's last election? forget it. Xi in China? Forget it.  Dictatorships can be beneficial but very often they are not and tend to foster perpetuation of the ruling elite. That is precisely the problem.

and yes, all the usual caveats about democracies still apply.  
R_P

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Posted: May 13, 2024 - 2:22pm

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:
But for all your detractions concerning the US system, autocratic, one-party systems avoid all such checks and balances by their very nature. They just do whatever the ruler(s) decide is best. They maybe wise. But they may also be incompetent or just downright deranged. There is no way this can be better than the US system.

They will have them, but they are different. No doubt aimed at the functioning of The Party, which can still be democratic (as offering choice on candidates, etc.) and stratified/decentralized.

The Chinese believe their system is democratic (the people rule) within the hierarchical and ideological constraints.

Any system can produce good and bad, and historically has. I don't buy e.g. Thatcher's TINA (There is no alternative). There are always alternatives. Preventing alternatives is worse. It's dogma.

haresfur

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Posted: May 13, 2024 - 2:17pm

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:


Fair point.. it is quite possible for a fascist government to be democratically elected. Happens all the time. Well, sometimes. And then a democratic system is basically no different to an autocratic one.
To stop this, you need to have checks and balances anchored in something that the electorate cannot throw out, which is kind of what the founding fathers tried to do.. 
It is also why I am in favour of proportional representation rather than two-party first-past-the-post systems. They are more moderate by nature because they are forced to form coalitions.

But for all your detractions concerning the US system, autocratic, one-party systems avoid all such checks and balances by their very nature. They just do whatever the ruler(s) decide is best. They maybe wise. But they may also be incompetent or just downright deranged. There is no way this can be better than the US system.


This is where I disagree with you. Proportional representation can be more extreme because they give the balance of power to the extremist minorities. Well, when the extremists are in the minority that is. 

NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: May 13, 2024 - 1:54pm

 R_P wrote:

In essence, when it comes to those actions, no. Changing parties or being allowed to criticize (to some extent, see increasing bans/media conformity/shunning) makes no difference. You can actually see the interests converge along party lines.

The only accountability is to vote them out? That has no effect on those actions performed with impunity while in office. And every time, after the fact, we can say: well, something should have happened, but didn't.

You can't bitch about international law when you mostly ignore it at will.


Fair point.. it is quite possible for a fascist government to be democratically elected. Happens all the time. Well, sometimes. And then a democratic system is basically no different to an autocratic one.
To stop this, you need to have checks and balances anchored in something that the electorate cannot throw out, which is kind of what the founding fathers tried to do.. 
It is also why I am in favour of proportional representation rather than two-party first-past-the-post systems. They are more moderate by nature because they are forced to form coalitions.

But for all your detractions concerning the US system, autocratic, one-party systems avoid all such checks and balances by their very nature. They just do whatever the ruler(s) decide is best. They maybe wise. But they may also be incompetent or just downright deranged. There is no way this can be better than the US system.

R_P

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Posted: May 13, 2024 - 1:40pm

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:
Oh, not very well at all. But it should have. 
IMO  US should sign up to the UCHR and obey it. It would be waaaay  stronger on the international stage  if it lived up to its principles. It is one of the great tragedies of the modern age that it doesn't, instead putting national interest ahead of some higher system of universal rights and accountability, such as international law.

But again, you are missing my  point. I do not hold the US up to be the paragon of virtue that we should all aspire to. 
All I am saying is it s a lot better than an autocratic or even fascist regime that doesn't even pay lip service to any competing values-based system. Not because the US upholds certain values more than the other regimes (although I think it does to some extent), but because the US government  is at least held accountable by the electorate and can be criticised in the media, including the internet. That is not true of the other two major powers.
It is not perfect. But it is massively better than nothing.

In essence, when it comes to those actions, no. Changing parties or being allowed to criticize (to some extent, see increasing bans/media conformity/shunning) makes no difference. You can actually see the interests converge along party lines.

The only accountability is to vote them out? That has no effect on those actions performed with impunity while in office. And every time, after the fact, we can say: well, something should have happened, but didn't.

You can't bitch about/extol international law when you mostly ignore it at will.

NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: May 13, 2024 - 1:27pm

 R_P wrote:

Human rights is the context cudgel for all those past, present and future conflicts. Care to point out how accountability succeeded in those cases vis-a-vis international law?



Oh, not very well at all. But it should have. 
IMO  US should sign up to the UCHR and obey it. It would be waaaay  stronger on the international stage  if it lived up to its principles. It is one of the great tragedies of the modern age that it doesn't, instead putting national interest ahead of some higher system of universal rights and accountability, such as international law.

But again, you are missing my  point. I do not hold the US up to be the paragon of virtue that we should all aspire to. 
All I am saying is it s a lot better than an autocratic or even fascist regime that doesn't even pay lip service to any competing values-based system. Not because the US upholds certain values more than the other regimes (although I think it does to some extent), but because the US government  is at least held accountable by the electorate and can be criticised in the media, including the internet. That is not true of the other two major powers.
It is not perfect. But it is massively better than nothing.

R_P

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Posted: May 13, 2024 - 1:11pm

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:

Nuance is not really your strong suit either is it?  
My standing on selected US foreign policy over the years

Vietnam War - misguided, ill-informed, driven by McCarthy-esque fear of communism
Chilean coup to put Pinochet in power - appalling. Replacing a democratically elected government with a right-wing despot
General Latin American policy - hair-raising. OTOH local politics in Latin America always does seem to be hair-raising. I'll admit, I'm out of my depth here.
Kosovo war - outstanding intervention without which things would have got very very messy as Europe stood there totally hamstrung watching atrocities unfold.
!st Gulf War - understandable given Iraqi aggression. Commendable that it stopped at the Kuwaiti border.
2nd Gulf War - inexcusable and a war crime.
Afghanistan - doomed to failure as every other intervention in the country has been

.. this is getting tedious.  Point is, US foreign policy can be brilliant when it pursues the role of upholding the international charter of human rights. But it can also fall into the same pitfalls as any other major power of thinking it has to make dirty compromises to further its national interest. It basically sells itself too short and is itself responsible for a lot of its tarnished image.

So I am in, hook, line and sinker? I don't think so.

Human rights is the context cudgel for all those past, present and future conflicts. Care to point out how accountability succeeded in those (bad) cases vis-a-vis international law?

NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: May 13, 2024 - 1:07pm

 R_P wrote:

Nope, you swallow the US (hegemonic) line along with the hook and sinker. And the rod if you could.


Nuance is not really your strong suit either is it?  
My standing on selected US foreign policy over the years

Vietnam War - misguided, ill-informed, driven by McCarthy-esque fear of communism
Chilean coup to put Pinochet in power - appalling. Replacing a democratically elected government with a right-wing despot
General Latin American policy - hair-raising. OTOH local politics in Latin America always does seem to be hair-raising. I'll admit, I'm out of my depth here.
Kosovo war - outstanding intervention without which things would have got very very messy as Europe stood there totally hamstrung watching atrocities unfold.
!st Gulf War - understandable given Iraqi aggression. Commendable that it stopped at the Kuwaiti border.
2nd Gulf War - inexcusable and a war crime.
Afghanistan - doomed to failure as every other intervention in the country has been

.. this is getting tedious.  Point is, US foreign policy can be brilliant when it pursues the role of upholding the international charter of human rights. But it can also fall into the same pitfalls as any other major power of thinking it has to make dirty compromises to further its national interest. It basically sells itself too short and is itself responsible for a lot of its tarnished image.

So I am in, hook, line and sinker? I don't think so. 

No, you are confusing my passion for pluralism with US hegemony. They share common ground, but they are not the same thing.


R_P

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Posted: May 13, 2024 - 12:48pm

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:
sigh,   and again not what I said. You are trying to tie me to US realpolitik.  The "he may be a sonnabitch but he's our sonnabitch" side of US foreign policy. That's not my calling. Surprisingly, I am free to criticise all three great powers at the same time. Marvellous isn't it? One of the benefits of pluralism, they don't lock you up when you criticise the government.

Nope, you swallow the US (hegemonic) line along with the hook and sinker. And the rod if you could.

NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: May 13, 2024 - 12:40pm

 R_P wrote:

It makes your crusading rhetoric against "authoritarianism" hollow and self-serving. It's ultimately always about economic interests. For all parties involved.



sigh,   and again not what I said. You are trying to tie me to US realpolitik.  The "he may be a sonnabitch but he's our sonnabitch" side of US foreign policy. That's not my calling. Surprisingly, I am free to criticise all three great powers at the same time. Marvellous isn't it? One of the benefits of pluralism, they don't lock you up when you criticise the government.

And no, I strongly disagree that it is "ultimately always about economic interests, for all parties involved." Though it is becoming clearer by the day, that ultimately you see things through this prism and therefore have no problem relativizing the various horrors of your regime of choice. 

But if you throw out values for a purely economic-driven model, what do you have left? Not much I would argue. It kind of leaves you as hollow and vacuous as the German government kowtowing to China each time there is a state visit or selling out its gas industry to Gazprom and inviting. Russian spies into the highest level of government out of some weird combination of Schuldgefühl and modern-day appeasement, with a dash of making a quick personal monetary gain.

No, I'm more the Lithuanian kind of guy.

R_P

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Posted: May 13, 2024 - 12:28pm

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:
That's not what I said either.

It makes your crusader rhetoric against "authoritarianism" hollow and self-serving. It's ultimately always about economic interests. For all parties involved.

NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: May 13, 2024 - 12:26pm

 R_P wrote:

That's what it means. Though there are exceptions to the rule. See the dictators armed and supported by The West.



That's not what I said either.
R_P

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Posted: May 13, 2024 - 12:23pm

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:
That's not what I said.

That's what it means. Though there are exceptions to the rule. See the dictators armed and supported by The West.

NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: May 13, 2024 - 12:20pm

 R_P wrote:

You can abuse power as long as your democratic. Yum-yum.



That's not what I said.
R_P

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Posted: May 13, 2024 - 12:20pm

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:
Oh, I am not excusing any of the abuses of power that the US have been guilty of since WWII nor am I saying that the US is a paragon of accountability. All I am saying is that of the three, the US has the most accountability.  Paradoxically, Trump is perfect proof that democracy is actually alive and kicking in the US. You can't say that about either Russia or China.

You can abuse power as long as you're "democratic." Yum-yum.

NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: May 13, 2024 - 12:16pm

 R_P wrote:

Sounds like special pleading and another gratuitous rim-job.



Oh, I am not excusing any of the abuses of power that the US have been guilty of since WWII nor am I saying that the US is a paragon of accountability. All I am saying is that of the three, the US has the most accountability.  Paradoxically, Trump is perfect proof that democracy is actually alive and kicking in the US. You can't say that about either Russia or China.
R_P

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Posted: May 13, 2024 - 12:11pm

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:
Yet of the great powers, the U.S. is the one with the most accountability.

Sounds like special pleading and another gratuitous rim-job.

NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: May 13, 2024 - 12:07pm

 R_P wrote:

Bravo!


Why, thank you. Now for my next act.. let's talk about your blithe disdain for the plight of the Uighurs but foaming-at-the-mouth outrage about the plight of the Palestinians. Shall we go on? 

.. maybe not. The point stands, you are only outraged when you can blame it on the U.S. If it is Russia or China, you turn a blind eye. Yet of the great powers, the U.S. is the one with the most accountability. Ergo your true target is not the source of moral outrage, but the accountability for it.
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