Society/Culture Why I blame Islam for the fact it's raining today....

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How on earth can you say Europeans are the shining light of liberalism and democracy?
Easy. I compare those countries with European culture to the countries that are not European.

You do realise that the US, Australia etc are essentially European culture countries? I.e. parts of what is collectively thought of as the West, inheriting traditions and philosophies from the Greeks 2500 years ago. Trying to split hairs and pretend Europe is as politically backwards as the Middle East or greater Asia is laughable.

The UK, Ireland, and former British colonies (Canada, the USA, NZ and OZ, plus South Africa and so forth) have never slipped into out and out Fascism or similar
I think there’d be a fair disagreement about whether Oliver Cromwell was not an illiberal authoritarian to claim “never”.

Democracy has a 2500 year history on the continent. Nowhere else can say that.
 
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Replace 'European' with 'British Common Law based' and you might have something. The UK and her colonies (USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia etc) are, and have always been stable liberal democracies valuing human rights and liberty since they made the transition centuries ago.

The rest of Europe though? Are you kidding? Spain, Portugal, Germany, France, Italy and others have all overthrown Democratic and Liberal governments in the past century alone, and replaced them with Far Right Wing ultranationalist unitary party regimes led by a Populist leader.

It's literally the place that spawned Hitler, Napoleon, Mussolini, Franco, Salizar, Petain and others.

How on earth can you say Europeans are the shining light of liberalism and democracy? Did you somehow miss the last 2 World Wars or something? That Hitler fellow? Spain? Portugal? Italy?

I wholly refute any premise that Europe is the shining light of liberalism. Continental Europe flip flops between liberalism, far right wing ultranationalist unitary party bullshit and Communism all the bloody time. I was hopeful the EU might finally put an end to all that bullshit but those Europeans cant help themselves. The Nazis now have a seat in the German Parliament, Macron has all but handed France to the Fascists, and the whole place is going to shit (again). Ultra nationalism is on the rise, and with it comes right wing populism and the usual results.

Seriously. The UK, Ireland, and former British colonies (Canada, the USA, NZ and OZ, plus South Africa and so forth) have never slipped into out and out Fascism or similar, which I put down to a unique aspect of the Common Law and a strong independent Judiciary that supervise the Executive arm of government. This independent Judiciary, with the ability to make laws outside of political populism, and ensure the Executive abide by the law, is something you dont find in Continental European nations and the Civil Law (possible exceptions include France to a certain degree, but they're up to their 5th go at a Republic now, plus 2 Dictatorships under Petain and Napoleon, so they arent exactly a stable liberal Nation either, despite largely inventing the whole 'liberty, fraternity, equality' thing).

Scandinavian nations are probably the other exception. Those guys just kind of get everything mostly right all the time.
You also need to look at geographic features of many of these countries; Australia, the UK, New Zealand, Ireland (ish), even the US and Canada. They're all either islands held solely by a single country, or where two countries do border e.g. US / Canada or England / Scotland, they're both ex-British Colonies with very similar legal systems.

Continental Europe is a very small geographic area containing a wide variety of religions, languages and cultures that are largely distinct from one another.

Is it the British system itself that has caused the relative stability, or that there's other factors (such as Australia and NZ both being complete island nations that don't share any borders with other countries) that have allowed for a far more stable period than would have been possible in other areas?

Switzerland has also been able to remain fairly stable and democratic for quite some time now.
 

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The issue with people like Malifice is that they will talk at length about the rise of nationalist and populist right wing movements contributing to world instability without ever once really and honestly looking into how those movement arise and gain traction to begin with.
To understand that everything is a reaction to something else is not something they'll ever consider too deeply, because it requires an honest self-analysis.

It's an observable phenomenon that the left-wing pursuit (and imposition) of "liberty" is resulting in the most authoritarian policies and law seen for a very long time, in the west. It's begun to govern how we speak, how we "feel", how we dress and even our sense of humour. If you don't believe in their morality, or their notions of equality, then you lack intelligence, or you're sub-human.

People don't like being told what to do, and they don't like to be made to feel guilty, or bad. In the west, in particular, they will react to it, and that reaction gives rise to movements which give them a sense of self, whether those forms be left or right. It's really that simple, and has almost nothing to do with "left" or right", as the identity politicians want you to believe.
 
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The issue with people like Malifice is that they will talk at length about the rise of nationalist and populist right wing movements contributing to world instability without ever once really and honestly looking into how those movement arise and gain traction to begin with.
To understand that everything is a reaction to something else is not something they'll ever consider too deeply, because it requires an honest self-analysis.

It's an observable phenomenon that the left-wing pursuit (and imposition) of "liberty" is resulting in the most authoritarian policies and law seen for a very long time, in the west. It's begun to govern how we speak, how we "feel", how we dress and even our sense of humour. If you don't believe in their morality, or their notions of equality, then you lack intelligence, or you're sub-human.

People don't like being told what to do, and they don't like to be made to feel guilty, or bad. In the west, in particular, they will react to it, and that reaction gives rise to movements which give them a sense of self alternate movements, whether those forms be left or right. . It's really that simple, and has almost nothing to do with "left" or right", as the identity politicians want you to believe.

Your logic dictates that the left-wing pursuit of... is a reaction to.....

And so we can go back through history to find the point that suits our argument to blame the other side.

1. The construct of left and right and is just that, a construct.
2. Nothing wrong with the construct as long as it is not simply a proxy for anything that doesn't suit our own agenda.
3. Left good, right bad. Right good, left bad = Meaningless illogical argument.
 

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More or less. Left and right aren't merely constructs, though, they're two different methods by which society strives to achieve the same goals.
Everyone wants peace, safety, and security. Divisions in ideals as to how we achieve those things are what results in conflict.

Nor is the argument meaningless or illogical, necessarily, as long as people don't think shallowly or reactively... which is what most do.

Too much of one thing, too fast, and the pendulum swings.
 

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The issue with people like Malifice is that they will talk at length about the rise of nationalist and populist right wing movements contributing to world instability without ever once really and honestly looking into how those movement arise and gain traction to begin with.
To understand that everything is a reaction to something else is not something they'll ever consider too deeply, because it requires an honest self-analysis.

It's an observable phenomenon that the left-wing pursuit (and imposition) of "liberty" is resulting in the most authoritarian policies and law seen for a very long time, in the west. It's begun to govern how we speak, how we "feel", how we dress and even our sense of humour. If you don't believe in their morality, or their notions of equality, then you lack intelligence, or you're sub-human.

People don't like being told what to do, and they don't like to be made to feel guilty, or bad. In the west, in particular, they will react to it, and that reaction gives rise to movements which give them a sense of self alternate movements, whether those forms be left or right. . It's really that simple, and has almost nothing to do with "left" or right", as the identity politicians want you to believe.
Malifice is a Whig historian. Liberalism is inexorable - even if he doesn’t believe that it should be externally imposed on populations, he thinks, like someone clinging to Fukuyama’s end of history, that it is the end state of all humanity.

But even he acknowledges in “common law” countries, which he thinks are the best bet for liberalism, that there is a trend to reaction and illiberalism, citing Trump and Brexit. And countries which participated in the Enlightenment in Europe and whose philosophers provided foundations for liberalism have plunged in and out of demagoguery, suggesting that even if you have the philosophical basis for liberty, its practice isn’t strong.

Liberalism might be right and the one true way for him, but it isn’t for the vast majority of people on this planet. And even countries that are better at it than the rest of the world, eg continental Europe, struggle to maintain it.

Malifice might not believe in imposing liberalism on other countries, but he does believe that liberal culture and illiberal ones can coexist in the same polity. We call this “multiculturalism”. Like opening up trade was meant to liberalise China, just as toppling Saddam was meant to liberalise Iraq, so too is it believed that importing people from countries who still pay the bride price, practice patriarchal forms of polygamy and see women as little more than cattle meant to liberalise them.

Meanwhile the host countries are expected to alter their culture to include them, with little expected in return from the introduced cultures to change.

I wonder why liberalism is failing worldwide?
 
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Malifice

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You do realise that the US, Australia etc are essentially European culture countries?
What is this 'European culture'?

And no, we're not. It's much more accurate to say we're 'Anglosphere' culture countries. Australia, NZ, Canada and the USA have a lot in common with our parent country (the UK; which we all share a direct historical link to on account of being colonies of the place). We share the same language, the same legal system (the Common Law), virtually identical political systems (Westminster in some variation with us and the USA being the least similar due to Federal system and Constitution) belong to the same Commonwealth (barring the USA) and (again barring the USA) have the same head of State. Australia and NZ both still do cricket and rugby. The Yanks copied parts of the French Federal and political system, and we copied a bit of that creating a mash of the American Constitutional Federation and Westminster government.

Culturally we (like the Yanks, Kiwis, and Canadians) are clearly closest to the UK. The differences are mainly cosmetic.

We're culturally closer to India (also a Common law country, that likes Cricket, has the Queen as head of State and basically speaks English as its main language) than we are to Italy or Spain (who speak a totally different language, have a totally different legal and political system a totally different head of State etc).

Tell me, what 'cultural similarities' do we share with France, Germany, Spain and Italy that we dont also share with India and Japan? Religion maybe (the latter are mainly Hindus and Atheists or Buddhists/ Shinto or whatever)?
 

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Malifice might not believe in imposing liberalism on other countries, but he does believe that liberal culture and illiberal ones can coexist in the same polity. We call this “multiculturalism”.
What the actual **** are you on about?

Liberalism isnt a culture. Ergo I can peacefully exist (as a liberal) alongside people like you (a racist and a nationalist, and likely a fascist) within the same culture. You're entitled to your own views as long as you dont unreasonably affect anyone elses freedoms with them (such as by trying to impose those views on everyone else).

I wonder why liberalism is failing worldwide?
Because of people like you.

And it's not failing. I dont call 10 nazis at a rally on St Kilda beach as a failure of Liberalism. There are plenty more of us then there are of them.
 

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You're entitled to your own views as long as you dont unreasonably affect anyone elses freedoms with them (such as by trying to impose those views on everyone else).
You'll apply power to silence those who say something that doesn't fit with your approved discussion points. The definition of unreasonably is very subjective and I think drawing a line anywhere costs something. I appreciate you don't see a value in purely negative racial or otherwise bigoted discussion, I see it as a chance to find out the truth about people and a chance to offer alternative views. It would mean you can't label someone a fascist.

I'm not trying to be disrespectful because I understand your position very well, I'm not in a position of power here so I can hold any idealistic view I choose, but you do see the irony in the guy holding the big gun calling someone a fascist?
 

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You'll apply power to silence those who say something that doesn't fit with your approved discussion points. The definition of unreasonably is very subjective and I think drawing a line anywhere costs something. I appreciate you don't see a value in purely negative racial or otherwise bigoted discussion, I see it as a chance to find out the truth about people and a chance to offer alternative views. It would mean you can't label someone a fascist.

I'm not trying to be disrespectful because I understand your position very well, I'm not in a position of power here so I can hold any idealistic view I choose, but you do see the irony in the guy holding the big gun calling someone a fascist?
This isnt that posters first incarnation on this site, and based on years of his posting history (more-so in prior incarnations, he's more reserved this time around) I'm all but convinced he's both a racist, a nationalist (both of which he has all but admitted via vociferously advocating for positions based on scientific racism and so forth, clear support for European ethnocentrism etc) and likely a fascist (cant be sure of the last bit though, hence why 'likely' was used. Doesnt extactly seem to be a liberal based on his postings).

And I havent silenced him. As long as he doesnt cross into bigotry or racism or flat out personal abuse, he's free to post. Which of course he's aware of; being both smart, and previously banned for doing both.

If you want to post far right wing or bigoted stuff, there are other forums for it.
 

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We're culturally closer to India (also a Common law country, that likes Cricket, has the Queen as head of State and basically speaks English as its main language) than we are to Italy or Spain (who speak a totally different language, have a totally different legal and political system a totally different head of State etc).
This is absolutely not true. You are looking at differences in political institutions, not cultural ones. India is an honour culture, Western European cultures are dignity-based cultures. Every cultural survey in the world exposes how different WEIRD (western, educated, industrialised, rich and democratic) cultures are from the rest of the world.

Spain and Italy don't have huge problems with female infanticide, for example. No rigidly culturally enforced caste structure, or arranged marriages, or dowries.

What the actual **** are you on about?

Liberalism isnt a culture.
Of course it’s a culture. It's a set of practices and principles that determine how people live together. It is, as you noted yourself, strongest in Northern and Western Germanic countries and their descendants.

Ergo I can peacefully exist (as a liberal) alongside people like you (a racist and a nationalist, and likely a fascist) within the same culture. You're entitled to your own views as long as you dont unreasonably affect anyone elses freedoms with them (such as by trying to impose those views on everyone else).

Because of people like you.
This is hilarious from someone who openly admits to having been a One Nation member.
And it's not failing. I dont call 10 nazis at a rally on St Kilda beach as a failure of Liberalism. There are plenty more of us then there are of them.
You admitted a few posts back it is failing. You even cited Brexit, the motherland of your beloved liberalism.
 
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What is this 'European culture'?

And no, we're not. It's much more accurate to say we're 'Anglosphere' culture countries. Australia, NZ, Canada and the USA have a lot in common with our parent country (the UK; which we all share a direct historical link to on account of being colonies of the place). We share the same language, the same legal system (the Common Law), virtually identical political systems (Westminster in some variation with us and the USA being the least similar due to Federal system and Constitution) belong to the same Commonwealth (barring the USA) and (again barring the USA) have the same head of State. Australia and NZ both still do cricket and rugby. The Yanks copied parts of the French Federal and political system, and we copied a bit of that creating a mash of the American Constitutional Federation and Westminster government.

Culturally we (like the Yanks, Kiwis, and Canadians) are clearly closest to the UK. The differences are mainly cosmetic.

We're culturally closer to India (also a Common law country, that likes Cricket, has the Queen as head of State and basically speaks English as its main language) than we are to Italy or Spain (who speak a totally different language, have a totally different legal and political system a totally different head of State etc).

Tell me, what 'cultural similarities' do we share with France, Germany, Spain and Italy that we dont also share with India and Japan? Religion maybe (the latter are mainly Hindus and Atheists or Buddhists/ Shinto or whatever)?
Go to India , all of it , look at how they do things.
Go to Italy, look at how they do things.

Culture is more than having been occupied by the British and paying lip service to their Monarchy, and as such i think you are taking a narrow view.
Testimony to this would be the almost seamless success of Italian and Greek immigration policies last century.
 

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Of course it’s a culture. It's a set of practices and principles that determine how people live together. It is, as you noted yourself, strongest in Northern and Western Germanic countries and their descendants.
The Germanic people and their descendants?

The guys that kicked off WW1 and WW2, ran the largest genocide ever (conducted on an industrial scale) of millions of people, colonised over the top of literally hundreds of other peoples (British colonialism) and so forth?

Those guys?

They're the shining light of what principles and practices people should follow so we can all live together peacefully?
 

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Im reminded of the Simpsons.

German ambassador: 'Mr Burns, we Germans are not a war-like people, but even we have our limits.'

In case you missed it, that was supposed to be an ironic joke when one takes into account, you know, history.
 

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The Germanic people and their descendants?

The guys that kicked off WW1 and WW2, ran the largest genocide ever (conducted on an industrial scale) of millions of people, colonised over the top of literally hundreds of other peoples (British colonialism) and so forth?

Those guys?

They're the shining light of what principles and practices people should follow so we can all live together peacefully?
You cited the Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon cultures as leading lights for liberalism. Are these not Northern and Western Germanic cultures, respectively?
 

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You cited the Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon cultures as leading lights for liberalism. Are these not Northern and Western Germanic cultures, respectively?
I'm pointing out the absurdity in lumping those cultures together as some kind of holistic grouping.

The Germans have been far from the leading light in liberalism (they remain the leading example of where it can all go wrong and descend into far right wing ultra-nationalist garbage, and a further example of where exactly far right wing ultra-nationalist garbage leads to). The British too have had their fair share of Imperialism and Colonialism (and all the crap that that entails).

Im happy to say the British and her colonies have possessed the most stable form of Liberalism over the centuries. But I'm not prepared (as you were) to hold 'Germanic peoples' (including Anglo-Saxons etc) as some kind of shining light for 'how people should treat other people'. Not only are European nations almost perpetually at war with each other (the past 65 or so years of peace in Europe has been one of the longest periods of peace on the European continent in all of recorded history), you can pluck out repeated examples of genocide, colonialism, imperialism, fascism, dictatorships, pogroms and worse on the European continent, and in most of those examples (World Wars, Nazis and the Holocaust, Colonialism etc) the Europeans are almost an outlier in just how bad they've been.
 

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I'm pointing out the absurdity in lumping those cultures together as some kind of holistic grouping.

The Germans have been far from the leading light in liberalism (they remain the leading example of where it can all go wrong and descend into far right wing ultra-nationalist garbage, and a further example of where exactly far right wing ultra-nationalist garbage leads to). The British too have had their fair share of Imperialism and Colonialism (and all the crap that that entails).

Im happy to say the British and her colonies have possessed the most stable form of Liberalism over the centuries. But I'm not prepared (as you were) to hold 'Germanic peoples' (including Anglo-Saxons etc) as some kind of shining light for 'how people should treat other people'. Not only are European nations almost perpetually at war with each other (the past 65 or so years of peace in Europe has been one of the longest periods of peace on the European continent in all of recorded history), you can pluck out repeated examples of genocide, colonialism, imperialism, fascism, dictatorships, pogroms and worse on the European continent, and in most of those examples (World Wars, Nazis and the Holocaust, Colonialism etc) the Europeans are almost an outlier in just how bad they've been.
You’re the one who espouses liberalism as the best form of politics. Politics is the formalisation of culture.

Where does liberalism come from? Why is it readily accepted and practiced in some cultures, while violently rejected by others? Why is liberalism strongest in the region of Europe that comprises the Low Countries, Scandanavia and the British Isles, and worldwide, the former colonies of these countries?

Perhaps because they’re all culturally related?
 

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I'm pointing out the absurdity in lumping those cultures together as some kind of holistic grouping.

The Germans have been far from the leading light in liberalism (they remain the leading example of where it can all go wrong and descend into far right wing ultra-nationalist garbage, and a further example of where exactly far right wing ultra-nationalist garbage leads to). The British too have had their fair share of Imperialism and Colonialism (and all the crap that that entails).

Im happy to say the British and her colonies have possessed the most stable form of Liberalism over the centuries. But I'm not prepared (as you were) to hold 'Germanic peoples' (including Anglo-Saxons etc) as some kind of shining light for 'how people should treat other people'. Not only are European nations almost perpetually at war with each other (the past 65 or so years of peace in Europe has been one of the longest periods of peace on the European continent in all of recorded history), you can pluck out repeated examples of genocide, colonialism, imperialism, fascism, dictatorships, pogroms and worse on the European continent, and in most of those examples (World Wars, Nazis and the Holocaust, Colonialism etc) the Europeans are almost an outlier in just how bad they've been.
This is almost like everywhere though, and we have designed a pathway to mix everybody together. There is much to do.
 

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You’re the one who espouses liberalism as the best form of politics. Politics is the formalisation of culture.
And yet a few posts above you tried to disassociate or play down the common political and legal institutions of the UK and her colonies (Representative Westminster style government, Separation of the powers, Common law, the formation of the Commonwealth under the Crown, independent judiciary who are empowered to make law outside of populism etc).

Which is it? Does the shared polity, language, history and political and legal institutions of the UK and her colonies make them Culturally unique from the rest of Europe, or doesnt it?

Where does liberalism come from? Why is it readily accepted and practiced in some cultures, while violently rejected by others?
Liberalism has been violently rejected in Europe also, in virtually every European country other than the UK and her colonies. You keep ignoring this rather inconvenient truth that counts against your central premise that 'European' should count as some kind of unique mono-culture that rejects violence, treats others with respect and kindness, and adheres to liberal ideals.

Liberalism is always at risk from within. In particular from conservatives and nationalists. Every liberal State that has ever fallen from Liberalism, has fallen due to a combination of those two factors (Franco, Hitler, Salizar, Petain, Napoleon etc).

It's why I oppose fascists, nationalists, conservatives and right wingers. I've seen what happens when you guys get your way, and it's never good.
 

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It’s not the institutions, Malifice, it’s the culture. The first parliament in the world was in Iceland. The City of London has ancient freedoms that even the Norman invaders observed, and further freedoms and restraints on power were instituted by the Magna Carta. These notions of personal freedom as a means to do politics all have roots in the seafaring cultures of North Western Europe.

Democracy is even older, dating back to the Greeks. The lineage of what you so dearly love as the best political system in the world is entirely European.

As a Whig historian, you think it is the natural end state of humanity, when it is anything but. It is a peculiar innovation unique to a specific group of people.

Pakistan, for example, will never be a successful liberal democracy, not until things like the practice of consanguineous marriage ends.
 

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It’s not the institutions, Malifice, it’s the culture. The first parliament in the world was in Iceland. The City of London has ancient freedoms that even the Norman invaders observed, and further freedoms and restraints on power were instituted by the Magna Carta. These notions of personal freedom as a means to do politics all have roots in the seafaring cultures of North Western Europe.

Democracy is even older, dating back to the Greeks. The lineage of what you so dearly love as the best political system in the world is entirely European.

As a Whig historian, you think it is the natural end state of humanity, when it is anything but. It is a peculiar innovation unique to a specific group of people.
And I wholly disagree for reasons already stated.
 

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And I wholly disagree for reasons already stated.
But your disagreement is immaterial: the Germans were Nazis. So what? Cao Cao, Timur, Genghis Khan were all as bad. The history, and prehistory, is filled with people killing people en masse.

Nazis aren’t the first and won’t be the last mass murderers.

It is ignorance of non-Western history that makes you think Europe is particularly bad.
 

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Malifice is a Whig historian.
I don't regard Malefice as any kind of historian, really, western or otherwise. An understanding of cause and effect isn't his strong point.
Reading what he's written above, I'm getting a distinct impression he believes nazism arose because... they were German, and prone to that sort of thing?

I'd never heard of Whig historians. interesting little concept... and yes, apt.
 

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But your disagreement is immaterial: the Germans were Nazis. So what? Cao Cao, Timur, Genghis Khan were all as bad. The history, and prehistory, is filled with people killing people en masse.

Nazis aren’t the first and won’t be the last mass murderers.

It is ignorance of non-Western history that makes you think Europe is particularly bad.
I can't see one good counter argument to the premise that liberal democracies with mixed economies (anywhere from Reagan to Sanders/Whitlam) are the best forms of organisation we've developed.

But you're smart enough to know that we've been implementing it piecemeal for the last few centuries. And notions of 'we' are fairly loose; and almost irrelevant.

Do you see there are pockets with liberal democracies which want to take us back to the blood and honour and race stuff?
 
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The issue with people like Malifice is that they will talk at length about the rise of nationalist and populist right wing movements contributing to world instability without ever once really and honestly looking into how those movement arise and gain traction to begin with.
To understand that everything is a reaction to something else is not something they'll ever consider too deeply, because it requires an honest self-analysis.
The bigots and Nazis latch onto small issues, stoke fear, and ride the wave to power as a solution to the problem. The problem they invented.
 
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