Society/Culture Victoria Cross winner Ben Roberts-Smith - Allegations of war crimes

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Richard Pryor

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pokerspiv was the guy. Also that 1800's aristocrat who would team up with blackcat in threads was another classic character on this board.
 

Malifice

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Are you saying that there are no laws made in the interests purely of conserving the state? Because that's manifestly untrue, and provably so.
Such as?

Bear in mind laws that allow conscription in time of war are liberal (an enemy invading the country causes great harm to all) as are laws that prohibit treason, espionage or insurrection (bearing in mind the State is the manifestation of the collective will of the people as expressed through their elected representatives, and treason or espionage can lead to great harm to the citizens of the State).

Here's the thing; chaos and mayhem certainly did ensue in both of those revolutions,
See my point on the dangers of treason and insurrection above. It seems we agree on the harm that treason and insurrection can cause citizens of the State, and thus the legal and moral authority of a liberal State to prohibit both acts (proportionately).

Chaos is not our natural state; we are co-operative by nature, not competitive.
I wholly disagree with you on that latter point. We're actually both. See also the ritual absurdity of sport (where we enshrine our competitive nature in an utterly absurdly complex theatre where we chase an inflated animal carcass around a grassy field in front of hundreds of thousands of adoring fans), politics, religion, economics, etc and divisions around race, politics, culture, ethnicity, geography, resources, gender, or even simply the fact we turn to drama and conflict resolution as our primary form of entertainment in the arts etc etc etc.

Like all species on this planet we are naturally competitive. Fiercely so. We're one of (if not the) most competitive species on the planet, capable of massacring millions of people over nothing more than a difference in ideology, or ethnicity.

Not only are we competitive, we ritualize our competitiveness in Sport, and lament about coming up second best in romance in song.

If you've ever seen a group of blokes and how they interact with women around out 'alphing' each other you'll know what I'm talking about. We're no different to any other species in that regard, locking horns with other males to prove our worth to women. Women also compete with each other for the Alpha male, and also compete with each other and form hierarchies (watch your girlfriends next book club if you dont believe me). Humans are overwhelmingly concerned with status, respect, dominance and submission.

Not all men and not all women. But Im sure you've seen this enough times to know what the heck I am talking about.

If the Zombie apocalypse comes, and anarchy rules, you'll see what I'm talking about when the laws that govern civilized society go out the window.

Or in the context of this thread (and to bring our side discussion back on point) see what happened when a bunch of SASR alpha males determined the laws that govern civilized conduct no longer applied to them. This whole murder-fest was literally spawned by alpha males, competing with each other for kill counts and acting like they were above the law.

Let that one sink in for a bit.
 

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Gethelred

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Such as?

Bear in mind laws that allow conscription in time of war are liberal (an enemy invading the country causes great harm to all) as are laws that prohibit treason, espionage or insurrection (bearing in mind the State is the manifestation of the collective will of the people as expressed through their elected representatives, and treason or espionage can lead to great harm to the citizens of the State).



See my point on the dangers of treason and insurrection above. It seems we agree on the harm that treason and insurrection can cause citizens of the State, and thus the legal and moral authority of a liberal State to prohibit both acts (proportionately).



I wholly disagree with you on that latter point. We're actually both. See also the ritual absurdity of sport (where we enshrine our competitive nature in an utterly absurdly complex theatre where we chase an inflated animal carcass around a grassy field in front of hundreds of thousands of adoring fans), politics, religion, economics, etc and divisions around race, politics, culture, ethnicity, geography, resources, gender, or even simply the fact we turn to drama and conflict resolution as our primary form of entertainment in the arts etc etc etc.

Like all species on this planet we are naturally competitive. Fiercely so. We're one of (if not the) most competitive species on the planet, capable of massacring millions of people over nothing more than a difference in ideology, or ethnicity.

Not only are we competitive, we ritualize our competitiveness in Sport, and lament about coming up second best in romance in song.

If you've ever seen a group of blokes and how they interact with women around out 'alphing' each other you'll know what I'm talking about. We're no different to any other species in that regard, locking horns with other males to prove our worth to women. Women also compete with each other for the Alpha male, and also compete with each other and form hierarchies (watch your girlfriends next book club if you dont believe me). Humans are overwhelmingly concerned with status, respect, dominance and submission.

Not all men and not all women. But Im sure you've seen this enough times to know what the heck I am talking about.

If the Zombie apocalypse comes, and anarchy rules, you'll see what I'm talking about when the laws that govern civilized society go out the window.

Or in the context of this thread (and to bring our side discussion back on point) see what happened when a bunch of SASR alpha males determined the laws that govern civilized conduct no longer applied to them. This whole murder-fest was literally spawned by alpha males, competing with each other for kill counts and acting like they were above the law.

Let that one sink in for a bit.
1. Zombie apocalypses are dumb, for several reasons: there are simply too many humans, and we're pretty bloody good at co-operating when things go to sh*t ahead of just going Mad Max.

Plus, zombies are slow, and we made our name with various ranged weapons throughout the ages.

2. Desertion is a crime against the state, with no other purpose than to ensure the state's protection. Treason is another. Resisting arrest is perpetuating the state's monopoly on violence.

3. To what extent is competitive behaviour a social construct? Because we kind of idolize it in the west. We celebrate it, cultivate it, do our best to embody it.

Shorn of that socialization into that area, could we react differently? Possibly.
 

Malifice

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1. Zombie apocalypses are dumb, for several reasons: there are simply too many humans, and we're pretty bloody good at co-operating when things go to sh*t ahead of just going Mad Max.

Plus, zombies are slow, and we made our name with various ranged weapons throughout the ages.
When civilized society breaks down, it becomes every man for himself.

2. Desertion is a crime against the state, with no other purpose than to ensure the state's protection. Treason is another. Resisting arrest is perpetuating the state's monopoly on violence.
Desertion is a crime because if a Solider deserts his post it affects operational integrity of the unit (and puts his former comrades at risk) and endangers the whole nation. If the whole Army deserts, the nation (that means us) gets conquered by a foreign force.

Treason is a crime I already covered. It has the potential to harm the citizens of the nation (like insurrection would).

And resisting lawful arrest is not 'perpetuating the States monopoly on violence'. Law enforcement requires the powers of arrest or else murderers can just walk free and assaults and rapes cant be stopped. There are strict and serious limits on the power of the Police (and courts) to arrest you (they need reasonable suspicion you've committed a crime).

Cops arent just walking around arresting people for no reason in Australia. To assume so is to live in a fantasy land ignoring reality tantamount to thinking Communism is a good idea in practice.

To what extent is competitive behaviour a social construct? Because we kind of idolize it in the west. We celebrate it, cultivate it, do our best to embody it.
Seeing as competitive behavior is evidenced in every single other species on the planet, and it's the entire cornerstone of evolution by natural selection, it's highly unlikely it's a social construct.

Its still evidenced in human mating preferences and behavior. We're (as a species) rapidly growing taller, in a large part due to women (the sexual selectors of our species) mostly preferring taller men. And that's just one example. Intelligence and social skills (evidenced by a quick wit, or good job or a 'good personality') are also generally preferred, as is good health (physically strong, full head of hair, erectile function which indicates good circulation), inherent talent (ability to sing or be good at sport) and so forth.

Weirdly self destructive and impulsive or risk taking behavior is also preferred. Nice guys finish last and all that.

Whether you like it or not, its all one big competition. Anyone who has ever used Tinder or been to a nightclub can tell you that. You're in direct competition with every other dude there, whether you like it or not.

Same thing happens in social settings with pecking orders and hierarchies forming. Ditto the workplace. Ditto all strata of society.

And competitive behavior isnt just a 'Western' Concept. Native Americans from the Inuits to the Inca, Asians from all corners of that continent, and Africans and every single human civilization have embraced elaborate hierarchies, warfare (often over nothing but power, ethnicity, conquest or ideology), sport and other competitive behaviors.

Its why communism doesnt work, and in countries that tried it, hierarchies formed anyway, and the supression of competition, stagnated growth.

It's also why an Anarchy wont work. People are gonna try and take your sh*t, dominate you and those hierarchies will form, as will States.

Shorn of that socialization into that area, could we react differently? Possibly.
Would male Elks or Elephant seals react differently in mating season if raised away from others of their kind? Those competitive behaviors are largely hardwired into us thanks to millennia of evolution (though an element of socialization is no doubt a factor, and there are always exceptions).
 

Malifice

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Where has Communism been tried?
Russia, Eastern Europe, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea.

Among other places. In every case it was an abject failure that fell apart and resulted in nothing more than a tyranny. Compare East Germany to West, or Hong Kong and Taiwan to China, or South Korea to North Korea. They're basically culturally identical, but which countries thrived and which stagnated (until largely ditching much of Communist doctrine)?
 

Baltimore Jack

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Russia, Eastern Europe, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea.

Among other places. In every case it was an abject failure that fell apart and resulted in nothing more than a tyranny. Compare East Germany to West, or Hong Kong and Taiwan to China, or South Korea to North Korea. They're basically culturally identical, but which countries thrived and which stagnated (until largely ditching much of Communist doctrine)?
I don't think you understand what Communism is
 

Malifice

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I don't think you understand what Communism is
Because Lenin, Marx, Castro, Mao, Che Guevara, Pol Polt and Uncle Ho were not Communists?

The reason it morphed into what it morphed into (a single party tyranny) is because that's what Communism invariably becomes. Usually pretty much straight away in fact.

I guess you could have some imaginary world where everyone in the Communist State embraces Communism, but that's like some kind of bizzaro land where everyone is an Anarchist and just leaves everyone else alone to go about their business and doesn't mess with anyone else.

It aint going to happen in anything less than a small group of people on a farm somewhere, and even in those environments, hierarchies form.
 

Gethelred

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When civilized society breaks down, it becomes every man for himself.
For a little bit. Chaos finds a level, then it disappears, as man's social nature - and the desire for safety, association, etc - reasserts itself.

Seeing as competitive behavior is evidenced in every single other species on the planet, and it's the entire cornerstone of evolution by natural selection, it's highly unlikely it's a social construct.

Its still evidenced in human mating preferences and behavior. We're (as a species) rapidly growing taller, in a large part due to women (the sexual selectors of our species) mostly preferring taller men. And that's just one example. Intelligence and social skills (evidenced by a quick wit, or good job or a 'good personality') are also generally preferred, as is good health (physically strong, full head of hair, erectile function which indicates good circulation), inherent talent (ability to sing or be good at sport) and so forth.

Weirdly self destructive and impulsive or risk taking behavior is also preferred. Nice guys finish last and all that.

Whether you like it or not, its all one big competition. Anyone who has ever used Tinder or been to a nightclub can tell you that. You're in direct competition with every other dude there, whether you like it or not.

Same thing happens in social settings with pecking orders and hierarchies forming. Ditto the workplace. Ditto all strata of society.
You sound like a medieval treatise on the rightful subservience of the serfs to the rule of kings.

Psychology is a rather new science as far as things go, and there's a good deal more going on behind the scenes than what you've laid out.
And competitive behavior isnt just a 'Western' Concept. Native Americans from the Inuits to the Inca, Asians from all corners of that continent, and Africans and every single human civilization have embraced elaborate hierarchies, warfare (often over nothing but power, ethnicity, conquest or ideology), sport and other competitive behaviors.
Which isn't what I said. I said that, in the west, we glorify the individualist, the competitive, the guy who got there first. There's a different weighting to it. And there's enough evidence within each society that while competition is something we are drawn to, so too are we pulled towards each other for communal benefit.
Its why communism doesnt work, and in countries that tried it, hierarchies formed anyway, and the supression of competition, stagnated growth.

It's also why an Anarchy wont work. People are gonna try and take your sh*t, dominate you and those hierarchies will form, as will States.
I know that.
 

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Ned_Flanders

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Because Lenin, Marx, Castro, Mao, Che Guevara, Pol Polt and Uncle Ho were not Communists?

The reason it morphed into what it morphed into (a single party tyranny) is because that's what Communism invariably becomes. Usually pretty much straight away in fact.

I guess you could have some imaginary world where everyone in the Communist State embraces Communism, but that's like some kind of bizzaro land where everyone is an Anarchist and just leaves everyone else alone to go about their business and doesn't mess with anyone else.

It aint going to happen in anything less than a small group of people on a farm somewhere, and even in those environments, hierarchies form.
Socialism was supposed to be a stepping stone required to get to the end destination of communism

for a number of reasons (ie corruption, paranoia, and refusal to relinquish power) the various powers that be rarely went beyond step one.

btw this isnt me saying communism was even a possibility to achieve, but pretty much all hide behind the "the people are not ready yet" lie (there was a belief that only once the whole world adopted socialism could communism be a realistic possibility, but thats a cop out for me)
 

ferball

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Anarchism is like Communism in that it both doesnt work, and isnt possible.

People being people, we will always form hierarchies, and strive for dominance over others.
Anarchism is about the existence of a state not necessarily the hierarchy. Indigenous Austrtalian societies were anarchistic imo. So are wild primate bands. They didn't have a state and were governed by elders or individual leaders but those leaders had to be able to hold their ground either by themselves or with support from loyalists. Anarchy is not so much about removing hierarchies as minimising them and their power. Hierarchies and leadership have their uses, especially for organising stuff.

A key part of indigenous societies was negotiation and discussion. But they were also violent societies cos they hadn't surrendered their right to violence to the state's monopoly. And that does carry on today. Its why RWNJs always concern troll about "indigenous Domestic Violence" without understanding its just a subset of overall indigenous violence. (often while glorifying other forms of violence.) But its also a consequence of the violent occupation of country, not just a holdout from pre invasion times.
 

Gethelred

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If a system requires ideal conditions within which to come about, it isn't the most stable of systems and will not survive very long. That, essentially, is my criticism of communism; that while historical hypotheticals are interesting - for example, what if instead of suffering the worst famine and coldest winters in Russian history, the USSR had much milder conditions and thus much more food? Would communism have been less doomed? If Mao wasn't a power hungry politically savvy dictator (even when he was young) and they had instead been lead by someone like Gandhi who could come to terms with the Kuomintang in full alliance, could China have been a much more socialist democratic state rather than the one party authoritarian behemoth it became and is now? If the USA weren't so utterly terrified of communism's outbreak that they actively undermined and financed revolutions against democratically elected governments, could another state have evolved a version of communism/hard socialism that worked? - it seems to either devolve into a plutocracy or a single party authoritarian regime, in which the state has all the power and the citizens both have less and are less free.
 

ferball

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If a system requires ideal conditions within which to come about, it isn't the most stable of systems and will not survive very long. That, essentially, is my criticism of communism; that while historical hypotheticals are interesting - for example, what if instead of suffering the worst famine and coldest winters in Russian history, the USSR had much milder conditions and thus much more food? Would communism have been less doomed? If Mao wasn't a power hungry politically savvy dictator (even when he was young) and they had instead been lead by someone like Gandhi who could come to terms with the Kuomintang in full alliance, could China have been a much more socialist democratic state rather than the one party authoritarian behemoth it became and is now? If the USA weren't so utterly terrified of communism's outbreak that they actively undermined and financed revolutions against democratically elected governments, could another state have evolved a version of communism/hard socialism that worked? - it seems to either devolve into a plutocracy or a single party authoritarian regime, in which the state has all the power and the citizens both have less and are less free.
Alot of that US anti communist activity was also at the behest of well connected business people who wanted to maintain profits and the benefits of their empire. its wasn't just fear of communism.

But alot of those other questions are interesting ones. Gandhi (allegedly) said he didn't believe non violent resistence would have worked against the Nazis. It was the fundamentally fair nature of post enlightenment societies or something along those lines than enabled it to work. Post ww2 in Britain and the US people had different attitudes to justice and fairness.

But imagine if someone had shot Stalin in the early 20s. things may have been different.

The biggest isuue I have with Communism is the idea of the dictatorship of the proletariet. Any dictatorship sucks and its clear the people pushing for that form of government weren't interested in making power fair, just finding a way to monopolise it themselves.

That is why these days I see democratic institutions differently. Fair trials, the seperation of powers, free and fair elections, military answering to civilian control etc etc ... all these things limit power and protect most of us from the most brutal (often the most wealthy) in a society.
 

Malifice

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Why do people confuse Totalitarian States with Communism?

If I say I am a Millionaire, does that make me one?
Communism by nature requires totalitarianism to function. Unless everyone is on board with the revolution and voluntarily down with that equality of course, which will never happen.

Totalitarianism is also the natural consequence of a unitary single party State that controls the means of production.

Its why Liberals place barriers and limits on the powers of the State (limits on law making powers via laws needing to conform with liberal ideals, separation of the powers, adherence to the Rule of Law, democratic elections, Capitalist economies where the means of production are in private hands, free and open Media, higher laws like a Bill of Rights or Constitution that binds even the Executive and cant be altered by the Legislature, etc etc).
 

Baltimore Jack

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Communism by nature requires totalitarianism to function. Unless everyone is on board with the revolution and voluntarily down with that equality of course, which will never happen.

Totalitarianism is also the natural consequence of a unitary single party State that controls the means of production.

Its why Liberals place barriers and limits on the powers of the State (limits on law making powers via laws needing to conform with liberal ideals, separation of the powers, adherence to the Rule of Law, democratic elections, Capitalist economies where the means of production are in private hands, free and open Media, higher laws like a Bill of Rights or Constitution that binds even the Executive and cant be altered by the Legislature, etc etc).
I would truly like to have an open and honest debate with you but I fear our disproportionate status would become an issue

Perhaps another time
 

Richard Pryor

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Communism by nature requires totalitarianism to function. Unless everyone is on board with the revolution and voluntarily down with that equality of course, which will never happen.

Totalitarianism is also the natural consequence of a unitary single party State that controls the means of production.

Its why Liberals place barriers and limits on the powers of the State (limits on law making powers via laws needing to conform with liberal ideals, separation of the powers, adherence to the Rule of Law, democratic elections, Capitalist economies where the means of production are in private hands, free and open Media, higher laws like a Bill of Rights or Constitution that binds even the Executive and cant be altered by the Legislature, etc etc).
If I'm not mistaken Marx considered this transitional, that a period of totalitarianism was required which would be followed by "true" communism. The issue of course is that why on earth would those in charge of the transition ever give up their power? Also a dictatorial enforcement of communism would serve primarily to alienate the populous from the "mission" thereby invalidating its purpose.

I was on a bus from uni once and one of these Socialist Alliance whackos got on the bus and started yelling about people having to come to a protest. When everyone awkwardly avoided eye contact he started going off "I guess you people don't ******* care about high uni fees" or something like that. Pretty much encapsulated the above issue, if you try to serve a demographic by bullying and abusing that demographic you're not going to get very far without resorting to violent oppression.
 

ferball

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Yes, that my point....so, I'm a Millionaire
How do I know you aren't?

You are some user name on BF. I literally know nothing about you. (Apart from a few inferences and a couple of things you have said, none of which would give me any idea about your financial position.) I understand what you are saying, but that is also my point.

If the all the Western world (ie ordinary people) really knows about "communism" is the two authoritarian states claiming to be "Communist" and "an ocean to a fish" worth of anti Communist propaganda how could anyone come to any other conclusion?
 

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