The Empire Strikes Back

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23 May 2019 05:00 #338743 by Adder
Replied by Adder on topic The Empire Strikes Back
I think when Trump says 'again' he is referencing a more Reagan type of era, trying to manage soft landings economically while not sticking their heads in the sand geopolitically. The later tends to let problems grow until they get too big to ignore, and while more popular locally and easier on the economy in the short term, its a short sighted approach which has shown to be more costly in the longer run seemingly. It's this short v far sighted approach which seems to best define the left v right these days IMO.

And assertions of 'empire' seem a bit of a stretch, sort of in line with that left approach to actually ignore a whole basket of problems as if they were not there by making them out to be creations of engagement with them. But if I had to pick countries closer to acting like an empire it would be the two large Eurasian powers, but that is more an ideological growing pain as they are both fully entrenched and engaged in the wider globalized free market capitalist economy now. It's more about old habits securing national political identity so the old guards can stay in charge in the face of higher personal wealth - because wealth equals power. In those socialist communist hybrid economies its still the minority of ultra wealthy elites, its just the machinery under them which is different. The more compelling argument for me is that they actually disconnect the population from accessing wealth while democracy enables it. The downside in both is that if you don't have money, you don't have power - its just capitalism enables one to actually move from zero to hero, while the other system has a solid ceiling which cannot be broken through.

So in regards to security, its more complicated... to assert empire would seem to be using the old language of competing cultural nations when the current world is a globe of competing national economies. So in the context of security, its global. And the Cold War was the transition from cultural nations to national economies, two systems duked it out across the globe and capitalism won out by virtue of its efficiencies enabling advantages. It was that which defined US foreign policy for the last 70 odd years... not some US hegemony.

Basically economic security is now a global responsibility, and where conflict interacts with economic activity it tends to be addressed by those economies willing and able to do so. The US just happens to be the one who is most able to do so, and it and others still fears that some other nations might abuse the system if given the chance.... like Russia in Crimea, Georgia and Syria or China in the Spratly Islands, Tibet and Taiwan. Which leads the discussion to the trade war currently.... it could be argued that in the last century China was afforded huge market advantages so that it integrated away from socialist isolationism and moved like it has to free market capitalism, and that now its success and integration is such that it is unfair to remain with those advantages. Trump might say that a re-balancing needs to occur to even the playing field... and China might say that is unfair to move the goal posts.

But a good place to start might be defining what an Empire might look like in this current world, rather then trying to pick attributes from various nations. To me a SW Empire is one which exerts military power to control governance of resources, be it human capital, minerals, transport corridors etc. The problem is providing security to enable a free market can appear like this if its only one entity doing the security... which is where we sort of are now with the US. But in reality there are other nations participating in securing free market, such as in the NW Indian Ocean there are various nations navies protecting shipping to and from the Suez Canal from pirates launching from places like Yemen and Somalia etc. So I think its easy to cast the US as an empire, but I think its inaccurate. For instance, the US in Iraq invited Saddam to hand himself over to avoid an invasion, but he denied. And once in they switched to a security role against foreign Jihadists rather then domination and colonization. They worked to setup self governance and when able, packed up and left. That is not what an Empire does. Naturally the area is a mess because that area has existing long standing problems but that is beside the point. Not only that but it destroyed the main narrative of Al Qaeda that the US were trying to occupy and control the Mid East, and the younger generation throughout the Arab world reacted with the Arab Spring Uprising to try and reject their status quo and move closer to the West. But its a very complicated topic with lots of variables, both seen and unseen.... and the mainstream media is often not the best way to understand what is going on.

So to me the 'Sith' hehe, would be those who lie and misrepresent the bigger picture rather then the smaller details... because the bigger picture is the more important game and getting that wrong means everything else does not matter. Unfortunately an example would be Obama in trying to appeal to Iran seemingly created the conditions for Iran to start supplying weapons to Yemeni terrorists and the whole of Yemen become a disaster since then, not to mention now there are attacks on shipping in the Persian Gulf and increased terrorist attacks against Israel. So ignoring the wider reality to be popular would be an example of focusing on the small at the expense of the large. I think the role of federal level government is specifically to focus on the large, and other more local levels of government can focus on the smaller issues, down to who is the most popular local mayor to reflect local sentiments on small issues. Perhaps Empire does away with that structure as well to some extent, all hail the emperor... or else.

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23 May 2019 06:27 #338749 by Tyfighter
Replied by Tyfighter on topic The Empire Strikes Back
As Jedi I believe we should seek to be responsible and informed citizens. While simultaneously distancing ourselves to some extent from the influences of political pressures and the extremist ideologies which plague these institutions. I do not believe that the U.S. is an empire although it is an Imperialistic, Capitalist system and its Republican governing bodies have become decayed and manipulated as in the old republic in Star Wars

"The hope of artificially creating an atmosphere of passion, is fundamentally ludicrous" - Aldous Huxley (1927)
בֵּית־הַמִּקְדָּשׁ‬

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23 May 2019 14:04 - 23 May 2019 14:04 #338756 by Kyrin Wyldstar

ZealotX wrote: . I cannot even ask for that wealth or those weapons.


Why on earth would you ever expect to be able to just ask for that wealth??!! Its not your wealth. Asking for it, i.e. social distribution, is just thievery. You did not earn it, why should you be entitled to it?

This guns for hire, even if we're just dancing in the dark.
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Last edit: 23 May 2019 14:04 by Kyrin Wyldstar.

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23 May 2019 19:50 - 23 May 2019 19:52 #338766 by ZealotX
Replied by ZealotX on topic The Empire Strikes Back

Kyrin Wyldstar wrote:

ZealotX wrote: . I cannot even ask for that wealth or those weapons.


Why on earth would you ever expect to be able to just ask for that wealth??!! Its not your wealth. Asking for it, i.e. social distribution, is just thievery. You did not earn it, why should you be entitled to it?


Gee... I dunno. The same way Trump could go bankrupt 6 times and keep asking for Loans and keep getting loans to the point that he owes Deutsche Bank more money than I will ever earn in my life. How is that fair? Who's money is that? Let's not ignore the fact that people "borrow" money all the time. I don't know a single American that has never used a Credit Card. For somethings (like car rental) it's hard to do without it. And what is an unsecured credit card? Is it your money? Or the banks? But wait.... is it really the banks money? Or is it the collective money of all the people who have accounts + some extra magical juice that the bank is able to borrow from the government. And whose money is that?

So when Chase wont loan me $500 (I'm sure they probably would since my credit isn't that bad) which isn't their money to begin with how it is this not a transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich when the rich can borrow millions of dollars under the presumption that the risk will be worth the reward?

And let me be perfectly clear. If you gave me $300 million dollars because you're willing to invest in me, I guarantee you I would buy assets that would generate enough wealth, not only for me to be rich, but to pay you back with interest. It's not that difficult. The test is whether you can manage those assets and Trump has failed many times in doing so. You can hire people to help you if you have a large enough portfolio. My wife is a property manager. I wish a bank would give us $300M. But no, Trump gets it and he gets it because he helps the bank wash money. Let's be real. US banks wont touch him for good reason. And once again, where does this money come from? Did he earn it? When the government gives subsidies to corporations, did they earn it? When the government gives tax breaks to the rich did they earn it?

That's simply not how our US economy works. Massive amounts of money are redistributed ALL THE TIME from the poor to the rich so that the rich can employ the poor to make stuff to sell that the poor have to pay for. And the poor have to pay for earning money as well as spending the same money they earned. And this enables corporations, not only to get free money like Amazon just got free money, but also get government contracts that they can pretty much bribe people into giving them. So there is a WHOLE HELLUVA LOT of giving other people money away. Redistribution of wealth IS the system (sorry for shouting) but again... its in denial so you can choose not to see it if you don't want to. But we all know "it takes money to make money" but most of us can't walk into a bank and ask for $300 million. So this system operates for the benefit of those who can ask and have it be given.

And yes... to get a traditional loan you can leverage assets like your house. If you don't have a house or other assets the bank can take from you if you fail you can put up a percentage of the funds. Therefore you can save up, maybe put 10K to get a house and then leverage your house to start a business. Of course, this is the way it works for some people more than it does for others which is why I said what I did about asking for wealth.
Last edit: 23 May 2019 19:52 by ZealotX.
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23 May 2019 21:35 #338769 by Kelrax Lorcken

Kyrin Wyldstar wrote:

ZealotX wrote: . I cannot even ask for that wealth or those weapons.


Why on earth would you ever expect to be able to just ask for that wealth??!! Its not your wealth. Asking for it, i.e. social distribution, is just thievery. You did not earn it, why should you be entitled to it?


We've built a society where people need money itself as a resource for survival. Far too much of it is being hoarded by far too few, more than they could ever use, never mind need.

There are valid, solid moral and ethical arguments to be made, but in light of our culture's self serving perversion of such things, I'll emphasize a practical argument:

Ask the French how well it works out when you maintain a policy of "Let Them Eat Cake ".

Kelrax "Stormcaller" Lorcken
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23 May 2019 22:49 #338770 by Carlos.Martinez3

Kelrax Lorcken wrote:

Kyrin Wyldstar wrote:

ZealotX wrote: . I cannot even ask for that wealth or those weapons.


Why on earth would you ever expect to be able to just ask for that wealth??!! Its not your wealth. Asking for it, i.e. social distribution, is just thievery. You did not earn it, why should you be entitled to it?


We've built a society where people need money itself as a resource for survival. Far too much of it is being hoarded by far too few, more than they could ever use, never mind need.

There are valid, solid moral and ethical arguments to be made, but in light of our culture's self serving perversion of such things, I'll emphasize a practical argument:

Ask the French how well it works out when you maintain a policy of "Let Them Eat Cake ".


www.britannica.com/story/did-marie-antoi...ay-let-them-eat-cake

en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let_them_eat_cake

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23 May 2019 23:22 #338773 by Kyrin Wyldstar
I'm not even sure how to respond to these strawman arguments...

You want 3m bucks, work for it like trump did, it's a hell of a lot more complicated than running down to the bank. Also bankruptcy does not mean failure, out of 515 business ventures to only have 6 get in trouble is pretty damn good. And it just means restructure of debt much of the time. I really see these arguments as jealous whining. If you want something then you sacrifice and bust your butt and work for it. Equal opportunity not equal outcome and if you even claim the opportunity is denied you then talk to the hand my friends, cuz that's just bull.

This guns for hire, even if we're just dancing in the dark.
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24 May 2019 03:24 - 24 May 2019 03:48 #338778 by LTK
Replied by LTK on topic The Empire Strikes Back
I'm having a hard time understanding which line in the sand is the jumping off point for a person having too much wealth that they are seen as hoarding it. 100k a year? 10mil a year? 50k a year? To the destitute, 50k a year may be hoarding wealth. And is everyone worthy of a handout that's simply poorer than the ultra rich or do you have a criteria they must meet?

I'm not a Trump fan, but I'm neither a fan of socialism. Why is there a moral obligation to share your wealth with others?

As an aside, I do feel a moral obligation to share my wealth with my wife and kids; I don't feel the same obligation to share it with my neighbors. Are you saying I should if I was making enough money? How much would that be?

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Last edit: 24 May 2019 03:48 by LTK.

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24 May 2019 10:52 #338787 by Adder
Replied by Adder on topic The Empire Strikes Back
One is poor if they need to work to survive..... time poor, becuase someone else dictates a large part of their existence. But even having a loan means your working for the bank just to some much smaller extent. While money is not everything, surviving is, and getting more freedom is wealth. So I wouldnt attack wealth, but attack abuse of its potentials. The problem is its much much easier to lose then create - which is why handouts dont work. So while it might be easier to make money with more money, its also easier to lose. Hording is not greed, its economics..... its just the relationship with money has to change if its to grow.

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24 May 2019 14:34 #338796 by ZealotX
Replied by ZealotX on topic The Empire Strikes Back

Kyrin Wyldstar wrote: I'm not even sure how to respond to these strawman arguments...

You want 3m bucks, work for it like trump did, it's a hell of a lot more complicated than running down to the bank. Also bankruptcy does not mean failure, out of 515 business ventures to only have 6 get in trouble is pretty damn good. And it just means restructure of debt much of the time. I really see these arguments as jealous whining. If you want something then you sacrifice and bust your butt and work for it. Equal opportunity not equal outcome and if you even claim the opportunity is denied you then talk to the hand my friends, cuz that's just bull.


First, I will remark on what I could but wont remark on in order to keep this discussion civil:
"jealous"
"whining"

These are personal which, years ago, would make me defensive and look for an opening to hit the same ball back like in tennis. However, since I'm fairly certain that no one here will give credibility to these attacks I'll just practice restraint and ignore them.

To the point... which is quite ridiculous...

"You want 3m bucks, work for it like trump did"

Trumps father made him a millionaire. This is now a recognized fact. Fred Trump made Donald a millionaire by age 8.

www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/10/02/u...p-family-wealth.html

Fred also cheated on his taxes and taught Donald how to do the same. The Trump family didn't simply "work for it". They cheated for it; lied for it.

www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/03/donald-t...sche-bank-loans-lies

Where do you get the number 6? How exactly are you counting? There are websites have a "Top 10" of his business failures and a lot of the things Trump's name is on he doesn't actually manage at all.

www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-n...ness-failures-59556/

He didn't write the Art of the Deal (and the actual author thinks he's a dangerous idiot). He didn't make The Apprentice successful because it was a fake reality show the whole time and had little to do with real business.

Sacrifice? Trump hasn't had to sacrifice a day in his life. Even though his personal loses accounted for an entire percentage point of the country's losses for one year in question, his ability to borrow (other people's money) is what keeps him rich and keeps his name marketable. He's not a stable genius. It's an illusion that other people create in order to profit on everyone who buys into that name as a "brand".

Ivanka tells a story that I know is true; about how they passed a homeless man and Trump said the homeless guy had more money than him. Think about that. At some point the homeless guy probably had a job. He worked. But because he wasn't making 200k a year, between his debts and expenses he could no longer sustain a place to live. Most people live paycheck to paycheck. It doesn't take one being jealous to see this as unfair; that because Trump was born with a silver spoon and was able to lie to banks, that he should get to have a life of extreme wealth and materialism, cheat on his wives with porn stars and playboy models, while the rest of us do actual work and all he has to do is borrow more money. And again... where does this money come from? Thin air? No. It comes from the people who work for it and put their money in the banks that Trump lies to.

I don't have an opportunity equal to that. Even if I lied (which I wouldn't do) no one would believe I was already wealthy and would investigate any assets I claimed to have. This is easily done these days with title searches and the like. Trump only managed to get away with it, even then, because the assets he claimed were his were in the family. I have zero interest in getting rich by conning and manipulating other people. That's why I am not and could never be jealous of Donald Trump. If I am envious of anyone it's Elon Musk. Now there's a self-made man!
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