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Thread: Socialist Revolution

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    Senior Member Makers's Avatar
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    Socialist Revolution

    So there’s Ferguson, the inciting incident I’m using to denote all the recent protests over the undervaluation of black lives, and which has established certain perimeters for debate. Liberals suppose police need more accountability. They suggest cops should wear cameras, like a band-aid to cover a festering sore. On the contrary, conservatives suppose that blacks need more personal accountability. They argue 300 years of racial oppression are not limiting factors to success, despite studies that have shown the wealth gap between whites and blacks has tripled since 1984. To add onto that, the average white household is worth over 100,000; the average blacks, 5,000. I can cite both statistics.

    Needless to say, I find the general conversation completely mislead. Of course, Blacks and every other alienated class of America have the right to protest no matter the guilt of those who’ve engendered this situation, because after all, the real guilty are those who’ve spent years secure in their McMansions spending more money on their weekend outings than some families have to eat for an entire year.

    I’m cynical there’s anyway out of the clusterfuck our country has created. The problem will not silently go away considering technology continues to supplant the means for the working class to earn a decent living. All the while, the money lost from the bottom is siphoned to the top. However, enough rioting, enough looting and screaming in the streets has the opportunity to do one thing.. that is disrupt the comfortable existence that middle-class American’s wish to so obliviously enjoy, thereby forcing sides. Either you’re for the states power or against it.

    Anything that rises from the ashes must be socialist in nature. No longer can people put their property above people. Human nature can not rationally explain the premises our society is based on, only apathy from the people can.
    Last edited by Makers; 12-27-2014 at 08:07 PM.
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    libertine librarian sandwitch's Avatar
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    What are you currently doing for the cause? Genuinely interested.
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    Senior Member Makers's Avatar
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    Teach. I have one year, and I will teach in a disadvantaged, inner-city school system. Now, I teach as a volunteer.
    Last edited by Makers; 12-25-2014 at 10:58 AM.
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    libertine librarian sandwitch's Avatar
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    How do you intend to (or currently) deal with the school's role in the system? Have you found approaches to teaching that you believe support the cause in ways better than others?
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    Senior Member Makers's Avatar
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    Change comes from within and without the system. I ascribe to Paulo Friere, the author of Pedagogy of the Oppressed, and Ken Robinson whose YouTube video linked below clearly illustrates the need to enliven students to the aesthetic experience. I've found, in my limited time, that students are interested in education, not indoctrination. And they are quick to perceive the difference. The state may mandate certain requirements are met, but that doesn't mean important issues clearly affecting their community can't be addressed.

    My students now are policy debaters. During the course of my teaching they've become quite good, and that's only because I understood the basic material, conveyed it, and allowed them to pursue topics they're genuinely interested in. I hold discussions with them from an equal vantage. That way, we can problematize each other’s perspectives and help each other grow. The relationship is reciprocal.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U
    Last edited by Makers; 12-25-2014 at 11:11 AM.
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    Member Zephyrus's Avatar
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    While our upper class has become a depraved aristocracy who owe their wealth and power to rent-seeking, my experience is that conservatives are mostly right about black people. There's common characteristics I have seen from black people: they do hip hop and rap, they sag their pants, they act as though private property is common property, they do not maintain their dwellings, they come late to work, they don't work hard, they outright disrespect authority and let disagreements escalate, and they have babies out of wedlock. Seriously, I can't respect people like that, and I do not want them in my neighborhood.

    What is really compelling to me is that all the blacks who remain employees where I work are immigrants. That tells you something, doesn't it? There's something wrong with Black American culture.

    On the other hand, I agree there is some police discrimination against blacks, because the blacks I know who were adopted by white families also complain about discrimination by the police. However, their experiences with the police are also more positive. Although they seem to be stopped and approached by the police more often than white people, they have clean criminal records and are often forgiven for minor offenses (e.g. speeding) and allowed to go on their way. What that tells me is that the police are generally more suspicious of black people, but are empathetic and treat them like human beings once their suspicions are cleared. Although, I suspect that a large percentage of officers from small, predominately white towns far away from a state's metro may actually be racist.

    So, my hypothesis is that the cause of police discrimination against black people is a result of white people associating black people with hip hop culture, and having negative experiences with hip hop culture, not racism perse, and the solution is to assimilate black children in to "white culture."

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    Senior Member Makers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephyrus View Post
    While our upper class has become a depraved aristocracy who owe their wealth and power to rent-seeking, my experience is that conservatives are mostly right about black people. There's common characteristics I have seen from black people: they do hip hop and rap, they sag their pants, they act as though private property is common property, they do not maintain their dwellings, they come late to work, they don't work hard, they outright disrespect authority and let disagreements escalate, and they have babies out of wedlock. Seriously, I can't respect people like that, and I do not want them in my neighborhood.

    What is really compelling to me is that all the blacks who remain employees where I work are immigrants. That tells you something, doesn't it? There's something wrong with Black American culture.

    On the other hand, I agree there is some police discrimination against blacks, because the blacks I know who were adopted by white families also complain about discrimination by the police. However, their experiences with the police are also more positive. Although they seem to be stopped and approached by the police more often than white people, they have clean criminal records and are often forgiven for minor offenses (e.g. speeding) and allowed to go on their way. What that tells me is that the police are generally more suspicious of black people, but are empathetic and treat them like human beings once their suspicions are cleared. Although, I suspect that a large percentage of officers from small, predominately white towns far away from a state's metro may actually be racist.

    So, my hypothesis is that the cause of police discrimination against black people is a result of white people associating black people with hip hop culture, and having negative experiences with hip hop culture, not racism perse, and the solution is to assimilate black children in to "white culture."
    It's all the same, B.S. narrative. You can continue disregarding every critique of capitalism since Marx, but that won't decrease their relevance. Poverty and disparity are the root cause. Men in end up in prison, because the manufacturing jobs that brought them from the south during the great migration are no longer available. Drugs are the only real source of income. The education system is underfunded, broken, not that children could pay attention anyway, because they often don't have enough to eat. There is no stability, no direction, and rather than address the issue, you get these bigots blaming black culture.
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    Member Zephyrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Makers!* View Post
    It's all the same, B.S. narrative. You can continue disregarding every critique of capitalism since Marx, but that won't decrease their relevance. Poverty and disparity are the root cause. Men in end up in prison, because the manufacturing jobs that brought them from the south during the great migration are no longer available. Drugs are the only real source of income. The education system is underfunded, broken, not that children could pay attention anyway, because they often don't have enough to eat. There is no stability, no direction, and rather than address the issue, you get these bigots blaming black culture.
    The cause of black culture is irrelevant. The fact is that a Black American culture exists and it is depraved. White people see this, and they are right to be suspicious of black people who appear to be members of black culture. Police officers see the same thing, and they are right to also be suspicious of black people.

    I agree that an effective solution requires the state to adequately fund its education system, but personal responsibility has a lot to do with it. For example, the terminated blacks where I work at made the choice not to reliably show up for work.

  9. #9
    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Makers!* View Post
    My students now are policy debaters. During the course of my teaching they've become quite good, and that's only because I understood the basic material, conveyed it, and allowed them to pursue topics they're genuinely interested in. I hold discussions with them from an equal vantage. That way, we can problematize each other’s perspectives and help each other grow. The relationship is reciprocal.
    Hey you! Nice to see you around again. It is fucking awesome that you're using teaching as an opportunity to influence young minds.

    As you say, I don't think indoctrination is an effective way to reach out to young people. Both my parents had left-leaning political ideas but they never discussed politics with me once (aside from my father calling me a peronist anytime I did something wrong, but that doesn't count since I had no fucking clue what that meant xD). They just set a certain example in the way that they addressed everyday life or problems. Teaching fraternity, solidarity, independent thought, incomformity or even rebellion, that doesn't have to be tied to any doctrine.

    I've always been most impressed by teachers who simply made me reflect on questions more than I would have done on my own. One of my most memorable moments in high school was when someone asked our Philosophy teacher what Philosophy was useful for, and she said, "Nothing. It's useful for nothing." She said it with a big smile on her face, and if she had said anything different, I would have given a lot less thought to the question.

    Aside from that, discussing current events in school and during class hours is probably one thing I'd want to see incorporated into the educational system. Left-leaning teachers do it here on their own initiative, and the more conservative ones strictly forbid it ("You are hear to learn" BS). School should be a place where young people can have lively discussions about politics and the course of society. Trying to transform schools conceived as fishbowls separate from real world events is the perennial struggle of leftists.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Heh. We've been here years now.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Makers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madrigal View Post
    Hey you! Nice to see you around again. It is fucking awesome that you're using teaching as an opportunity to influence young minds.

    As you say, I don't think indoctrination is an effective way to reach out to young people. Both my parents had left-leaning political ideas but they never discussed politics with me once (aside from my father calling me a peronist anytime I did something wrong, but that doesn't count since I had no fucking clue what that meant xD). They just set a certain example in the way that they addressed everyday life or problems. Teaching fraternity, solidarity, independent thought, incomformity or even rebellion, that doesn't have to be tied to any doctrine.

    I've always been most impressed by teachers who simply made me reflect on questions more than I would have done on my own. One of my most memorable moments in high school was when someone asked our Philosophy teacher what Philosophy was useful for, and she said, "Nothing. It's useful for nothing." She said it with a big smile on her face, and if she had said anything different, I would have given a lot less thought to the question.

    Aside from that, discussing current events in school and during class hours is probably one thing I'd want to see incorporated into the educational system. Left-leaning teachers do it here on their own initiative, and the more conservative ones strictly forbid it ("You are hear to learn" BS). School should be a place where young people can have lively discussions about politics and the course of society. Trying to transform schools conceived as fishbowls separate from real world events is the perennial struggle of leftists.

    Generally, I think it's important to address literature in two ways. One is based on Oscar Wilde's premise that, "All art is quite useless." Now, on the surface this seems distasteful. But when you observe that capitalism fundamentally tries to reduce things and people to a monetary value, an anti-utilitarian principle is revealed. It’s okay enjoying things for their intrinsic nature, right? Like respect people, just for being people. The manner of reading this implies is to look directly within the book. What kinds of things is the author doing to make his art function? Why is it aesthetically pleasing?

    To digress, this same sort of principle applied to philosophy seems kind of worrying, as philosophy can, and arguably should, serve to further humanities ethical standards. However, I realize it has of late become more of a show—a big word game. I'd hope, anyway, that philosophers could push past this notion.

    The second way of reading is to use the book to address issues outside itself. Here, it befits the teacher to understand common critical perspectives, like Marxism, feminism, gender theory, and so on, if only to breathe it into the classroom. However, I've found kids are often much more attuned to reasonable attitudes than theory needs to explain. Showing how their attitudes are, or are not, reflected in the workings of their society is another matter. That is exactly when bringing contemporary issues into focus seems worthwhile.
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