militarized society

The Handmaid’s tale is not only spectacularly shot, superbly acted and written, in the current political climate it is going to be the most relevant tv series for a very long while. It’s amazing just on how many different levels it actually touches so many topics at once (fanaticism, bigotry, misogyny, racism, women’s reproductive rights, homophobia, sexual abuse, militarization of society, rise of tyrants and dictator wannabes etc). Which makes it that more terrifying, because it doesn’t feel like a work of fiction at all. Essential in every regard. Whatever you heard about it, no words can really describe just how amazing and important it really is. I was truly blown away. The perfect anti-dote to the Trump like mentality worldwide (not just USA). Timing couldn’t have been any more perfect. 

what i don’t understand is like… where are all the galra women. like have we seen literally any galra girls please help me bc if we have i would love to know educate me i beg u

like i almost expected the Blade of Marmora to be entirely made up of girls or something (fooled once again by the shoulder-waist ratio ahaha kill me) and then Haggar wasn’t even Galra so like. where are they. I have a hard time accepting that the galra women aren’t part of the military at all because a) they’re GALRA and b) Allura went undercover as a galra soldier and no one batted an eyelash so WHERE THEY AT

Please be aware that Katniss Everdeen in the films is absolutely a white savior. She might have better development and is better written than most, but still falls into that category. It’s still a white person who is “inspiring” people in the poorer districts, most of which are brown and black, into rioting and rebelling against a predominantly white, oppressive, militarized society. 

Please also be aware that if a woman of color had played Katniss in the movies instead, the themes of racial oppression and revolution would have been stressed and emphasized more than ever. Which is probably why they went with Jennifer Lawrence instead of someone like Devery Jacobs or Q’Orianka Kilcher. 

Please also be aware that, while these movies are pretty damn good, I can’t help but notice how overthrowing your government to save the poor and abused brown people is only okay if the heroes are all white as well (Haymitch, Gale, Peeta, Prim, Johanna, Finnick) and maybe have a few side characters of color that make an appearance from time to time. Because now you don’t have to worry about “white guilt.” Because in this narrative, it doesn’t require Katniss to actually observe her own people and her own privilege and stand against a government that benefited her because what they’re doing is wrong. Instead, Katniss is the one who gets the shit end of the deal and it makes more sense to rebel in self defense rather than actually critically analyze where you stand in situations like this and still choose to do the right thing (like Cinna or even Plutarch, for example). 

Just figured I’d throw that out there in light of a recent post I made about white saviors. 

What if the Hebitians had made it?

I wonder how Cardassian culture would have developed if the damned planet had had enough resources to sustain all the people, if climate change hadn’t happened. In canon, the culture that came about 10.000 years before what we know as the Cardassians were called Hebitians, an advanced, sophisticated and even spiritual people who tried to live in harmony with nature. All of what is known about them (which isn’t a lot) indicates to me that they were a rather egalitarian, peaceful, kinda artsy-fartsy society - a stark contrast to the culture of the Cardassian Union. So what if the Hebitian culture hadn’t been devastated by hunger and disease? I believe the militarization of society wouldn’t have taken place. I believe there wouldn’t have been a “need” to annex Bajor in order to strip it of its resources. And I like to imagine that if Bajorans had made contact with the peaceful, more open-minded Hebitians when they first explored the Cardassian system with their solar gliders, they might have gotten along. Shared their views on spirituality and religion. Maybe the two species had even cooperated. Grown together. Helped each other. So in my head canon, there exists this happy little hippy-esque parallel universe of Bajorans and Cardassians/Hebitians entertaining strong, stable, supportive relations and private relationships, where Bajor is whole, Kira Nerys was never put through the hell of the resistance and Gul Dukat is probably a chaste monk or something.

Also, I realize that when I escape one horrible fictitious universe because bad stuff happens in it by creating another fictitious universe full of fluff, I am taking my escapism to a whole new level. Don’t care, I’m loving it :3!

Nietzsche contra Capitalism

While Nietzsche undoubtedly paints himself as an enemy of the left, he is certainly no friend of capitalism. 

For Nietzsche, capitalism represents a system of bourgeois values. Insofar as capitalists see the value of human beings, not in their free spirit, great deeds, or artistic creations, but simply in terms of their ability to manage investments, capitalist values are directly opposed to Nietzsche’s thought.

Nietzsche sees the ideal class as an aristocracy: a group of people freed from the toil of labor by the sweat of those less excellent, a “high society” where greatness and free spiritedness can prevail (albeit it for the few).

Nietzsche believes that capitalism creates a completely decedent society (the worst form of society so far, in fact). Against the adolescent reading of Nietzsche, his thinking vehemently opposes so-called “libertarian” philosophies (such as those espoused by Ayn Rand, Paul Ryan, and other teenagers). 

 Consider this passage from The Gay Science (aphorism 40):

Soldiers and leaders still have far better relationships with each other than workers and employers. So far at least, culture that rests on a military basis still towers above all so-called industrial culture: the latter in present shape is altogether the most vulgar form of existence that has existed.

Remember this is the late 19th century, the most laissez-faire era of capitalism. He continues:

Here one is at the mercy of brute need; one wants to live and has to sell oneself, but one despises those who exploit this need and buy the worker.


This even echoes Marx in Capital (in criticism, if not in answer). Yet Nietzsche continues:


Oddly, submission to powerful, frightening, and even terrible persons, like tyrants and generals, is not experienced as nearly so painful as is this submission to unknown and uninteresting persons, which is what all the luminaries of industry are. What the workers see in the employers is only a cunning, bloodsucking dog of a man who speculates on all misery; and the employer’s name, shape, manner, and reputation are a manner of complete indifference to them.

Suffice it to say, Nietzsche hated capitalism, thinking it the worst form of existence so far. Under tyranny, one at least has some great general or leader as a boss. Under capitalism, the greediest buffoon (a person completely uncultured and without taste except for profit) takes command.

While Nietzsche’s ideal form of government certainly isn’t socialism (and indeed these reactionary elements of his thought are troubling), it’s quite easy to demonstrate that the “libertarian” appropriation diametrically opposes his thought, so much so that Nietzsche would prefer a completely militarized society over a laissez-faire democracy.

[Originally posted in /r/ ask philosophy; reprinted with slight revisions]

Politics, Adultism, and Kylo.

Thematically speaking, most of my criticism of TFA is that it reflects the generational bias of a parent with adult children, who still thinks his judgment is superior to theirs and worries about their making choices he disagrees with. The original trilogy owes a lot of its inspiration and longevity to the fact George Lucas still had the sensibilities of a teenager when he made it, and aimed it unabashedly at a young audience. People who were kids when Star Wars first came out packed the theaters when he made the pre-trilogy – and overwhelmingly brought the next generation with them. Unlike so many films made “for kids”, Star Wars never admonished them from the point of view of a stuffy adult. On the contrary, the OT celebrated the wisdom and idealism of youth: even when Luke disagreed with and ultimately disobeyed his mentors, he was right to trust himself. The conflict with his father was developed from this narrative standpoint.

Compare the values of the Empire – an authoritarian structure that prioritized order, security, and the interest of the “haves” in hanging onto all they had – with the sorts of things a lot of parents antagonize their kids over – financial security, material comfort, and adapting them to an imperfect, unjust world without excessive rebellion – and you’ll see that they’re unmistakably echoing each other. Had Luke joined Vader, he would have had wealth, status, and even something resembling safety, as the Empire’s many guns would have been pointing at his former friends instead of him. But the galaxy would have lost its best chance at toppling a dictatorship. And Luke would have lost his ideals and his freedom. He and Vader clashed over it, spectacularly, but Vader realized in the end that Luke was right – right to expect more from him, and right to expect more from life than the Empire’s crushing social Darwinism could offer. They were able to connect, and then Anakin lived on beyond his death because he followed his son into the light.

In short, the OT showed young people fighting by any means necessary against a society that was driving everyone to cynicism and despair. It showed them blowing up their own government’s most advanced superweapon – twice – because they refused to live in a world where the threat of mass genocide would be used to extort obedience. It showed them attaining an overwhelming victory, going from being wanted criminals (traitors, terrorists, and spies, from the point of view of the Empire) to becoming the heroes and leaders of the New Republic. The aunt and uncle who thought Luke should stay on Tatooine and moisture farm were wrong. The Jedi masters who thought Luke needed to murder his father for the greater good were wrong. His father, who thought he should join the Empire instead of attempting to defeat it … you get the idea. The OT is the story of a bunch of kids who went forth and did all the things that people who were older, more knowledgeable, and more experienced told them they were damn fools for trying. In the process, they saved the galaxy, and it’s implied that they would build something better in the Empire’s stead.

So did they? Well, that’s actually one of the disappointments of the latest Star Wars movie.

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Seven Wise Men

The Seven Sages (of Greece) or Seven Wise Men (Greek: οἱ ἑπτὰ σοφοί, hoi hepta sophoi; c. 620 BCE–550 BCE) was the title given by ancient Greek tradition to seven early 6th century BCE philosophers, statesmen and law-givers who were renowned in the following centuries for their wisdom.

The Seven Sages

Traditionally, each of the seven sages represents an aspect of worldly wisdom which is summarized in an aphorism. Although the sages included in the list has sometimes varied, the most usual ones included are the following ones:

  • Cleobulus of Lindos: he would say that “Moderation is the best thing.” He governed as tyranos of Lindos, in the Greek island of Rhodes, circa 600 BC.
  • Solon of Athens: he said that “Keep everything with moderation.” Solon (640-559 BC) was a famous legislator and social reformer from Athens, enforcing the laws that shaped the athenian democracy.
  • Chilon of Sparta: authored the aphorism “You should never desire the impossible.” Chilon was a spartan politician from the 6th century BC, to whom the militarization of the spartan society is attributed.
  • Bias of Priene: “Most men are bad.” Bias was a politician who became a famous legislator from the 6th century BC.
  • Thales of Miletus: Thales is the first known philosopher and mathematician. He famously said “Know thyself”, a sentence so famous it was engraved on the front façade of the Oracle of Apollo in Delphos.
  • Pittacus of Mytilene (c. 650 BC), governed Mytilene (Lesbos) along with Myrsilus. He tried to reduce the power of nobility and was able to govern Mytilene with the support of popular classes, to whom he favoured. He famously said “You should know which opportunities to choose.”
  • Periander of Corinth: he was the tyranos of Corinth circa 7th and 6th centuries BC. Under his rule, Corinth knew a golden age of unprecedented prosperity and stability. He was known for “Be farsighted with everything.”

Sources and legends

The oldest explicit mention on record of a standard list of seven sages is in Plato’s Protagoras, where Socrates says:

The passage in which the above occurs is “elaborately ironical”; so it is unclear which of its aspects may be taken seriously, although Diogenes Laertius later confirms that there were indeed seven such individuals who were held in high esteem for their wisdom well before Plato’s time. According to Diogenes, citing Demetrius Phalereus, it was during the archonship of Damasias (582/1 BCE) that the seven had first become known as “the wise men”, Thales being the first so acknowledged.

[src]

We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.
—  Martin Luther King Jr. ‘67

I think Peridot didn’t got a response from Yellow Diamond because Yellow Diamond probably doesn’t care for her at all. Maybe there’s a ton of peridots in homeworld (or they can just create more), and one won’t be missed. Who knows, maybe it’s the same for Jasper and Lapis. Gem society seems militar and cold, the kind that wouldn’t consider individuals to be important enough to bother saving from the “doomed planet”. — Anonymous

anonymous asked:

I am a young Marxist interested in communist theory, but I can't seem to get a straight answers about some questions. How are goods produced collectively and distributed in a communist society? How have figures such as Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Lenin, and Kim Sung-Il been misrepresented in Western capitalist media? Also, are nationalism and militarism accepted in communist societies? You seem knowledgeable about this, so I hope you will point me in the right direction.

1- How are goods produced collectively and distributed in a communist society?

 ”From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” - Louis Blanc

Marx believed that in a socialist society unhindered by capitalism, the workers will produce an adequate amount of goods, and being free from capitalist vices, they will take only as they need. 

“A communist society establishes, in the form of the distributive organisations, those organs which give collective expression to individual needs and wishes.” [x]

"It has been objected that upon the abolition of private property, all work will cease, and universal laziness will overtake us.

According to this, bourgeois society ought long ago to have gone to the dogs through sheer idleness; for those of its members who work, acquire nothing, and those who acquire anything do not work. The whole of this objection is but another expression of the tautology: that there can no longer be any wage-labour when there is no longer any capital.” [x]

2- How have figures such as Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Lenin, and Kim Il-Sung been misrepresented in Western capitalist media?

A. Joseph Stalin 

"Have you ever stopped to think, comrades, why such a bitter hatred is expressed for Stalin, why the whole glorious period of the soviet people and it’s Party, when Stalin was at the head, is blackened so shamefully?

Don’t you see a logical connection between attacks and slanders against Stalin and songs of praise for the leaders of imperialism, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and others whom N. Khrushchev has called “reasonable men” who “enjoy the absolute trust of their people” who are “earnestly concerned with the preservation of peace”, the death of whom, as in the case of Kennedy he described as a “great loss for mankind” and proclaimed a day of mourning even for the communists?…”

- Enver Hoxha, in an open letter to the members of the communist party of the Soviet Union, October 5, 1964

Generally, Stalin is criticized because he was brutal. The people fail to recognize that revolutions are not made with silk gloves (I believe Stalin said a version of that). 

We are taught that Stalin was the USSR’s version of Hitler because he was a dictator. Those who do so have little understanding of the phrase “dictatorship of the proletariat”.

On the deaths in Stalin’s USSR

B.Vladimir Lenin 

I don’t think Lenin is misrepresented nearly as much as Stalin, but nevertheless, the misrepresentation still exists.

Go through your history textbooks and school curriculum. In Barron’s 4th Edition World History textbook, one DBQ (or at least I think it was DBQ question) asked for the students to write a critique on the USSR. The majority of the documents provided for the students to cite consists of negative criticisms, which, if the student does not have an inkling of marxism, marxism-leninism, marxism-leninism-maoism and the like, the student will not question why Barron’s chose the documents. 

I think most of the misrepresentation of Lenin centers around his position on the Kulaks.

On the other hand, Lenin’s actions are sometimes whitewashed. In his writing “The State in Revolution”, he points out that “After the death of revolutionaries, attempts are made to convert them into harmless icons, to canonize them, so to say, and to hallow their names to a certain extent for the “consolation” of the oppressed classes and with the object of duping the latter, while at the same time robbing the revolutionary theory of its substance, blunting its revolutionary edge and vulgarizing it.” [x]

C. Kim Il-Sung

 Kim is criticized mostly because he founded the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) or North Korea, and the current North Korean government’s actions are unjustly tied to Kim Il-Sung’s name. It is important to note, however, that Kim was a revisionist and did not adhere to Marxist-Leninist guidelines. 

People fail to acknowledge that the anticommunist Syngman Rhee, founder of the People’s Republic of Korea of South Korea, committed atrocities as well.

The misrepresentation stems from Kim’s role in founding North Korea.

More on the Korean War 

Also, are nationalism and militarism accepted in communist societies?

A. Nationalism

Nationalism (when referring to pride in one’s country) is not accepted in communist societies because nationalism does not consider global and united struggles. 

"It is evident that a serious and comprehensive discussion of the national question is required. Consistent Social-Democrats must work solidly and indefatigably against the fog of nationalism, no matter from what quarter it proceeds.” [x]

B. Militarism

Definition: the belief or desire of a government or people that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it aggressively to defend or promote national interests.

Communism is opposed to imperialist militarism, such as Japan’s imperialist militarism during WWII. 

I’m not sure about communism’s stance on nonimperialist militarism. 

More texts

Why Maoism

Anarchism or Socialism?

The Balance Sheet of Fascism

Fascist regimes in Italy, Germany, Spain and Japan were superficially varied, drawing on different histories and traditions. But they had some or all of the following in common:

1. A political philosophy which was a compound of radical ideas and mysticism, of left-wing sounding slogans and conservative policies.

2. A strong state with a powerful executive which did not require democratic consultation before acting, combined with a hatred of bourgeois democracy.

3. Hatred of Communism and Socialism as political movements based on the idea of class differences and class antagonisms. Against this idea, Fascism aimed to substitute a corporative state that denied a divergence of class interests between capital and labour.

4. The formation of a mass party on paramilitary lines which drew its recruits in part from the discontented and disenfranchised working-class.

5. Admiration of power and the deed which found expression in the cult of violence. Training for war and violence gave free rein to sadistic and pathological characteristics.

6. Authoritarian programmes which emphasized conformity, discipline, and submission. Society was militarized and directed by a messianic leader.

7. The cultivation of irrationality - the impulse was more important than logical thought. Irrationality led to a cult of death - witness the Spanish Fascist slogan: Arriba la Muerte! - Long live Death!

8. Nostalgia for the legendary past. For instance, in Italy’s case, the Roman Empire. In Germany, an appeal to the primitive myth of the Nibelungen. The initials of the SS were written in Runic letters from Viking times. Japan resurrected the medieval code of the samurai.

9. Aversion to intellectuals whom Fascism accused of undermining the old certainties and traditional values.

10. Fascism claimed to honour the dignity of labour and the role of the peasantry as providers of the staples of life. With this went an idealized picture of rural life - the healthy countryside versus the decadent city.

11. Machismo. Women were relegated to traditional female roles a housewives, servants, nurses, and as breeders of “racially pure” warriors for the state war machine.

12. Fascism was frequently subsidized by big industrialists and landowners.

13. Fascism’s electoral support came overwhelmingly from the middle-class - in particular the lower middle-class affected by economic crisis.

14. Fascism needed scapegoat enemies - “the Other” on whom to focus society’s aggressions and hates.

- Introducing Fascism, Stuart Hood & Litza Jansz

Armed with pop culture references, a few baseball bats, and an old video camera, five teenage geeks set out to record their adventures in a post-apocalyptic world.

The group is led by Trace, an aspiring journalist, joined by her best friends Harry and Charlie as well as the newest additions to their band, the mysterious Kimber and her little brother Adrian. Left alone after a civilization-ending virus wipes out most of the adult population, the five must face scavengers, starvation, cannibals, and the new societies that have risen to replace the old.

Twelve years later, a bitter young woman from a militarized post-virus society finds the videos and begins deciphering them as she comes to terms with the injury that changed her life forever.

START WATCHING NOW!