Eupathic Impulse

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About Eupathic Impulse

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    abstract noun

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  • Location Saarbrücken
  • Nationality Canadian
  • Gender Male
  • Interests My meaning.

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  1. Trump's Presidency: Is this the next domino to fall?

    I'm carrying coals to Newcastle by saying that Trump is worse than Obama, but Obama probably won't be remembered kindly by history. The Obama presidency ended up being about a futile attempt at preserving a ideological and political status quo that had already expired, making compromise after compromise with bad-faith players in the hope of preserving technocratic "norms" that never existed.  The Trump presidency is the "reward" for the Obama presidency.  Much better would have been to pre-empt the right and run a presidency devoted to overturning ideological norms, in the opposite direction.  But that would have been against Obama's entire discourse and style.  That's why he wasn't a good president.
  2. Trump's Presidency: Is this the next domino to fall?

      This is of course an excellent question, although @AlexTr is right and it really deserves another thread, which I may or may not participate in depending on demands on my time.  Unfortunately, this is one of those cases where US foreign/economic policy has had huge direct and indirect effects, helping to keep disconnected elites in power in Latin American countries to the detriment of economic justice and indeed, the overall livability of these countries.  Either the USA must drastically change its policy towards these countries or, if it must maintain those practices, accept much larger migrations northward.  (The other alternative being as you have seen here: punitive imprisonment of migrant children.)
  3. Trump's Presidency: Is this the next domino to fall?

      Among the things I despise is the refusal to admit to the moral consequences of what appear superficially to be "common sense" and "pragmatic" positions. I know that building a better world will require overturning a lot of what exists presently, so I hope I am never one of those who deal in false equivalence.
  4. Trump's Presidency: Is this the next domino to fall?

      Mobilizing is very good, the question is, whether the mobilization focuses on the underlying conflicts or on the symptoms of the conflict. One of the problems I have with the approach that many American liberals have taken is conflation of cause and effect and an excessive focus on superficial procedural conflict rather than the emotional and political/ideological underpinnings of the conflict.  Just like the refugee crisis in Europe, the US southern border is the type of conflict in which the reality of the situation defies any attempt at procedural fix or appeal to legal interpretation.
  5. Trump's Presidency: Is this the next domino to fall?

      Who said anything about legal or illegal here? From the perspective of Trump's supporters, crossing a border uninvited in a moral offense against them, a source of paralyzing fear; that's all that matters.
  6. Trump's Presidency: Is this the next domino to fall?

      The old chap did that? I don't come around these parts very often these days. It's so in character. I assume his Guatemalan neighbours (he must have these? He's best friends with every other ethnic minority, I'm given to understand) have assured him that it is normal in their culture to keep children forcibly separated from their parents by strangers.
  7. Trump's Presidency: Is this the next domino to fall?

      I appreciate efforts to curtail the enormously corrupt business of prison (especially, but not only, in the USA), although it will take more than forbidding for-profit detention centers, which are just the tip of the iceberg. There is an entire supply and procurement chain, down to the jobs for the guards, that also creates bad political incentives to expand the prison/detention/whatever population.    But it is not only venality, in a monetary sense, that is at issue. There is also self-aggrandizement, of course, and a deep ideological nucleus that has brought this about.  People move. Children move. If you want to stop them from moving, you have to punish them. The punishment must be severe enough to outweigh the cost/benefit analysis of moving.  In this world, that punishment must involve conditions one would otherwise consider to be torture.
  8. Trump's Presidency: Is this the next domino to fall?

      What they argued in court and what I wrote are not incompatible. To the court, they will argue that they don't have to give the basics of existence to small children in their power if they don't want to. To Congress, they will argue that if Congress does want to give the basics of existence, it should allocate more money to the camps. To DHS/ICE, they will say, take any new money and build more camps, but deny the basics to small children as a deterrence. If Congress denies them the money, they will say to their supporters in the public, "See? Even the Democrats don't really believe their own moral posturing, they won't give any more money to the children in the camps," and as you probably know, their supporters will eat it up.   It's all win-win for them.
  9. Trump's Presidency: Is this the next domino to fall?

    Part of the point of maltreating children in these camps is to demand that Democrats send more money to fund them, which will then be used to expand the detention camp system, which will then be individually underfunded leaving more children in squalid conditions, and so on.  The political benefits of this are vast: convincing the border control rubes that the invaders (children) are being punished for making them feel unsafe, sending money to their cronies, who charge rates per child far higher than expensive hotels, and so on.   What is happening to those children is what borders are for.
  10. Politics Gen XYZ

      So I think this is exactly the problem I was pointing out. You automatically associate utopic thinking with the worst form of cultist, denying the possibility of a spectrum of ideal-driven individual thinking, voluntary utopic community, etc, etc. The problem is that we now have a world in which, increasingly, the only means to express idealistic affiliation and community are via acts of consumption.   Unfortunately I think there is a supply and demand issue here: there is demand for the possibility of utopia, and by squeezing out all possibility of enacted utopia in visible, public space, we have left this to the worst forms of clandestine online recruiters. It's basically like other forms of prohibition.  What you're proposing is a utopia-to-prison pipeline, so to speak.
  11. Politics Gen XYZ

      This is definitely a factor. I would say that there is another factor at work, and not just on white men in Western democracies. One of the flaws in the modern world, really starting from the mid-70s, is the drastic reduction in the spaces where we can imagine and construct positive utopias, utopic experiments, communities aspiring to utopic goals.  The reasons why we became suspicious of utopia, well, some of them are good, but I think things went too far.  When you squeeze out the positive utopias, what do you have left?  The negative utopias, the ones psychologically founded on individual resentments, the ones that punch downward, that are willing to break the rules and hurt people.
  12. Trump's Presidency: Is this the next domino to fall?

      I don't understand why you think I'm a fan of the House of Saud or somehow approve of their stewardship of the holy sites or somehow don't know that they're propped up by other powers in order to control the price of oil.
  13. Trump's Presidency: Is this the next domino to fall?

      I don't...entirely understand how you are a leftie but actually, I also do get the Trump thing, in that there's a good chunk of the Democratic party that when faced between a choice between eating poop and pizza would adamantly insist that the pizza have a little bit of poop topping for fairness' sake.
  14. Emanuel's outrage is really rich. Wake me up when Chicago seriously starts prosecuting criminally violent cops.
  15. The Christchurch mosque massacre

      Much of alt-right white nationalism tries to hearken back to a currently unauthorized version of traditional Catholicism, an imagined form of "true" Age of Faith Christianity of the fabled Knights Templar, with slogans like "Deus vult!" (the literal Latin translation of "Insh' Allah"...).  Some of it goes back to a version of pre-Christian mythology -- the Nazis attempted to revive some of this form of paganism via the Ahnenerbe SS, and you see echoes of their work throughout white supremacism. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahnenerbe   But even without a specific "traditional" religious colour, there is a religious element to all forms of ethnocultural nationalism. The rituals of the "nation" represent the immanent, earthly form of a Higher Reality in which the souls of all the nations members are metaphysically connected into a racial-national "oversoul". Threats to the integrity of that "oversoul" are reflected in earthly social de-cohesion, family breakdown, disruption of the traditions that lead to social solidarity.  This is fascism 101 -- a deeply spiritual concept.   Movements with explicit religious colour have elements of this idea also.  ISIS explicitly represented an attempt to inhabit an esoteric version of the Wahhabi interpretation of traditional Islamic law.  Its attraction to some of its Western convert members, however, can be seen in the yearning for an authentic experience of belonging in the Higher Reality that some Western, secular societies deny or socially police.  Often, these ISIS converts have/had comparatively little idea or interest in more than very superficial aspects of Muslim life and tradition, other than the parts that gave them that emotional satisfaction.   That's where "religion" comes in -- religion construed broadly, as in, an appeal to a Higher Reality that applies constraints to real-world life.  That could be God, it could be The Nation, it could be The Ancestors, ...