Monday, October 22, 2012

Politics, Clarified

I get asked to do the "what do you think about _______?" regarding my personal politics from time to time, more so now because it's an election year, but I also get a lot of feedback that I keep such things off the mainpage. I don't really see why - everything has a political dimension, so the idea of having some expectation of an apolitical presentation simply because a site is "about" movies instead of a live feed from congress or whatnot seems silly to me - but let it never be said I'm not accomodating: If you don't want the discussion of anything important to interupt your day, feel free to stop reading after this paragraph and go watch a funny cat video. (not my joke, acknowledged) Or whatever...

So... pretty much every time I have anything to say vis-a-vi politics people either try to "figure out" where I stand or assume they know, and the whole back and forth can get a little tiresome. So, hopefully just this once, I'm going to explain as best as I'm able "where I'm coming from." Bookmark it for later if you wish - especially if you're going to nitpick everything I've said for a decad-plus of web presence looking for "hypocrisy," that never gets old.

I'll do this in the form of an arbitrarily numbered list - if it's good enough for the "winner" of a presidential debate, it's good enough for me:

1.) I do not have an "ideology." Political ideology doesn't make sense to me. Actually, moral/philosophical "codes" don't make sense to me, period. I organize my life around situational, practical reason - something is "good" for as long as it achieves the optimal result sought (for me, "optimal" generally includes "causes no direct unwarranted harm to others," just so we're clear), when it ceases to do so it becomes neutral, when it becomes harmful and/or counterproductive it becomes "bad." Ideology means doing counterproductive things because you've subscribed to some kind of "value system" that says this is the right thing to do even when it doesn't work; and while I understand why that sort of psychological masochism works for some minds ("my suffering will be rewarded in heaven!") it doesn't work for mine.

2.) Example for #1: I am an environmentalist. I am NOT an environmentalist because it makes me feel good, or because I believe myself a steward of the Earth, or because I believe Mother Gaia has been wounded by industry, or because I'm awash in concern for the fate of My Fellow Man. I am an environmentalist because I breathe air, I drink water, and I am likely to live longer and healthier if those things are uncontaminated. Simple as that. This is why the supposed "gray area" of "You can't regulate the ______ industry out of existance! Think of the JOBS!!!!" doesn't really move me all that much overall - I sympathize, to a degree I'd rather not get too deep into, with people who finds themselves suddenly unemployed; but given the choice in bad outcomes between "me dying early of mercury poisoning" and "someone else's hopefully-brief unemployment"... sorry, I'm taking the option clearly less likely to shorten my life - and I take no "moral" exception with people who support the opposite option based on the same calculation. Law of the jungle and all that.

3.) Lack of ideology DOES NOT mean I lack empathy or am "selfish." Case in point: Another part of the reason that I do not see "jobs will be lost" as a reason not to pursue an aggressive environmental policy is the demonstrable knowledge that the "liberal" politicians I am likely to support for their environmental policies are of the same party/persuasion that consistently vote to extend and increase benefits and The Safety Net to said unemployed people. The notion that reason is a poor substitute for "morality" is a falsehood far more often than it is a truth; as almost all great historical evils supposedly conducted in the name of "logic" were in fact conducted in the name of ideology in the guise of logic or, simply, based on bad logic. That's the one drawback to reason on the macro level: to use it properly, you have to be reasonably intelligent yourself - which cuts a lot of humanity out of the user-base. Bringing us to...

4.) We are NOT "all in this together." My votes as far as politicians go swing pretty reliably toward Democrats and/or liberals, but please don't mistake that for an embrace of "one big happy human family" liberal piety. The fact is, everyone has not always needed everyone else, and as the world becomes more technologically-centered and more mechanized it becomes less true by the day. There are varying degrees for this, of course, and varying types of measurement i.e. worth in the societal-machinery sense versus worth as assigned by relations (friends, family, loved-ones, etc) but it doesn't change the basic and (admittedly, unpleasant) truth we do not all "matter" equally or at all... at least in the strict physical-world sense - obviously, if you believe in God or some other transcendant assigner of worth then there's another dimension for you. To put it another way: If I'm hanging off a cliff, and the guy with the cure for cancer is hanging off a cliff, save the cancer guy - he's more important. However...

5.) #4 is NOT nihilism or cynicism. In fact, I consider it a great motivator: Because I don't accept that I am "entitled" to worth simply by virtue of drawing breath, I am driven to make sure that I make myself worth something. HOWEVER...

6.) Acknowledging #4 and #5 is NOT a license to ignore the plight of others. Accepting that we are not "all in this together" is not (and can never be) an excuse or justification for cruelty, malice or any other denial of humanity to others. One can debate the "worth" of this or that life as an intellectual exercise, but even the lowest of us have a right to our lives and to fight for them; and no matter how much more "worthy" you may think yourself (or may well be) you are not in charge of who lives and who dies. I'm not certain that the universe has or needs a metaphysical god, but it definitely doesn't need a tangible one here among us. This isn't based on emotion or philosophy, but once again on LOGIC: It makes more sense to help others, within reason, than to not help others.

7.) Example for #6: The so-called "Safety Net." Having explained why I don't subscribe to "liberal" ideology, let me now explain why I reject "conservative" ideology as well. While I'm accepting of Natural Selection and a chaotic universe, I'm also accepting of reality. And in reality, the baseline right-wing approach to society of removing "Safety Net" social programs in order to let Survival of The Fittest do it's thing just doesn't work out. Even if you were cold and inhuman enough to cut the disadvantaged, undereducated, homeless, mentally-unwell, etc loose from help to fend for themselves... it's not going to "work." These people will not simply "die off" or "disappear," the species is too resilient for that. They will survive, they will "organize" in one form or another, and they'll likely exact a certain amount of payback upon those who decided to cut them loose... which they will deserve. Hence, this is another illustration of why I tend to vote for liberals even though I find "liberalism" fairly foolish: Since a "third option" does not exist, I would rather pay the comparitively SMALL price in taxes it costs to provide the chronically-disadvantaged with basic needs and even methods of mobility out of their disadvantage than pay the much HIGHER cost (in multiple sense of the word) of containing or "putting down" (with all the nightmarish and amoral conotations that word conjures) a 21st Century version of the French Revolution.

8 -I.) As you will be unsurprised to learn, I am generally disillusioned with democracy. I fully agree with Winston Churchill's famous quote about democracy being the worst system except for every other system... except that Churchill meant it as a clever turn of phrase and I mean it as a sobering reminder that we seem to have stopped trying to find something better. The basic tenet of democracy - citizens choosing their leaders - is sound, but in the modern world it has a fatal (and ironic) flaw: It's become much too easy for "the people" to actually effect lawmaking directly, while at the same time "the people" seem to be getting progressively less capable of making those decisions intelligently. The days when voting and political engagement in general required a greater investment of time, intellect and effort may having been taxing in their own way, but at least it helped keep those too dumb and/or unengaged to bother being involved from getting involved and mucking things up. Today, thanks to the internet and cable news, the uninformed are now JUST informed enough to show up and vote the way Sean Hannity tells them to. I'm NOT saying I wish to be "ruled" by some kind of dictator, I'm saying that right now I am living under laws made in part by polticians elected by pandering to (and doing the bidding of) the nation's thriving population of idiots - and that just doesn't seem right or reasonable to me: For example, I should not be denied access to life-saving medicines or life-improving technologies/activities because I'm outnumbered by a population of fools with some kind of "moral" superstition that considers them (or the research into them) "taboo." Speaking of population, see #9...

8-II.) Case in point: Not everything should be up for a vote. The most obvious example here is the current fascination with putting gay marriage and other equality issues up for a popular vote, but I can only assume that anyone who's read this far "gets" how asinine and awful that is. I'm thinking more about things like science, technology or environmental policy: Things that simply aren't a matter of opinion - science either works or it doesn't - shouldn't be decided by opinion and definitely shouldn't be decided by people who don't actually "get" what they are voting on. Why do we put politicians in charge of these things when we know they are susceptible to their constituencies over the facts and that they cannot be trusted to fully grasp the often complicated things they

9.) Overpopulation is a REAL and serious problem, and saying so does NOT make one a Nazi, a eugenicist or "anti-human." Y'know why the jobless rate isn't getting better faster? Because the collapse of the labor market isn't an accident - it's a reality check. The fact is, American society has been becoming mechanizing at a faster and faster rate. Manufacturing, construction and even war-fighting are increasingly replacing men with machines, while the developing world is undercutting the ones that remain by doing what developing regions do: Having major manufacturing booms. This has been going on at a steady pace for a long time, and would not necessarily be as big a problem had the U.S. not continued to reproduce at rates that are only sustainable if you need a massive and ever-increasing physical labor force and physical boots-on-the-ground military... and we don't really NEED either of those things to anywhere near the degree we used to. Things change. Unfortunately, because the U.S. has remained committed "traditional values" about family-planning and other related topics ("traditional values" that were invented in order to encourage population-expansion in the eras when it WAS needed) the arithmetic of the whole mess is adding up in a bad way. It's actually even worse than it seems, because we spend massive amounts of money subsidizing the agriculture industry - not because that farming can't be done cheaper and more efficiently via export or by further mechanization but because without artificially-prioritized farming jobs to keep citizens employed whole communities and even whole regions of the country could be decimated by mass unemployment (see #7.)

10.) However, overpopulation does NOT require any kind of draconian or force-of-law "solution," and to suggest that is does IS both anti-human and lazy. Our overpopulation muck is going to be a problem for a long time, but it's not a crippling one, it can be mitigated and maybe even reversed. The first step goes back to #7 again: Once you accept that we simply have more people than we have jobs to fill them, the only rational answer is once again the so-called "liberal" answer: YES, we've got to spend some money on taking care of folks who ultimately can't find work or can't create a livelihood. Crappy situation, but better than the alternative. And hey, y'know what else "liberal" policies ultimate support? Expanded and well-funded family-planning (YES, including abortion) services, funded and more widely-disseminated birth control, science-based (as opposed to "values"-based) sex education and in general the emergence of a secular society wherein individuals are not told that monogamy, early-as-possible marriage and "traditional" family dynamics (those things are fine if you choose them, of course) are the only proper course of action - and what do ALL of those things have in common? They all at once increase individual freedom while having a strong potential for (gradually, over time) stabilizing (following an initial period of "slowing") the overall birthrate in a given society. Of course, to do most of that you have to take care of the elephant in the room...

11-I.)  Roe vs. Wade is the most important Supreme Court decision still considered to be "up for discussion," and if it is reversed America is OVER as a nation of greatness. I'm what you could call "emphatically" pro-abortion rights - not only because I support equal rights but because I support the basic idea that individual, sentient humans ought to have final, absolute control over their own bodies and the importance of de-mythologizing the life-sciences to human improvement: Laws governing science (and medicine) should be made based only on science - not on emotion, not on superstition, not on ancient taboos. Science. Knowledge. FACTS. Apart from it's immediate effect of being the ultimate equalizer of gender in American society (now neither sex needs to be "locked-in" to an unwanted pregnancy), Roe is a massively important symbolic victory of science and progress over superstition and "tradition." The statement of Roe as a peice of U.S. law is: "This country's laws are made based on the universal truths of reason and logic, not on the subjective spiritual or emotional "truths" only held by some." That's vitally important. That's what makes us a modern, relevant nation capable of surviving into a future that is only going to get more secular, scientific and mechanized. The superstitions (and I'm not necessarily talking about "all religions" or even "religion" itself here so Atheists please zip your pants back up) that animate, say, the pro-life movement or the anti-gay movement are not long for this world as taken-seriously institutions, and if American law (and culture) regress back into them now we will be swept off the table with them later...

11-II.) ...As such, so long as the Republican Party is reliably the party of inserting religion, superstition and "tradition" into lawmaking I cannot consider any Republican electable to any office. There are a lot of things I agree with Republicans and/or the political "Right" about. On balance, probably moreso than Democrats. But they are all of lesser importance, to me, than the solidifying of a secular, science-focused, reason-based America for the future. An America that is still wringing it's hands over whether a petri dish has a "soul" a generation from now is an American that doesn't matter a generation from now. So long as "the religious right" exists and so long as they can exercise a SLIVER of power over the GOP, I have to oppose at all levels on all fronts (politically.) On the day that religious fundamentalists in America have equal or lesser "political clout" than, say, Trekkies or some other devotional subculture; the Republican Party might be worth giving a second look to. Until then, they're in the way. I don't like things being like that - one party having a monopoly on reason-based lawmaking isn't a good thing - but thats how things are. And before anyone asks...

11-III.) "Libertarianism" doesn't work for me, either. Libertarians are good people, by and large. I pretty-much like all the flavors, from the committed "realist Right" to the "we just want legal weed" College dudes to the "we want a lable but Dems and Reps are just too mainstream" poli-hipsters. But apart from their useful function in siphoning away votes from Republicans and ensuring Democrat victories in certain races... I don't think it's that practical of an ideology. "Small government" is a nice ideal, but in the practical reality of the real world right now a strong, central and activist government is the only way I can see to implement and solidify the long overdue transformations that this country needs in a timeframe that will keep it strong and competitive into the future. Also, it lends itself too handily to weak-minded conspiracy-fetishists; if you really think that the U.N. is out to get you, that The Rothschild Family has been controlling the world from behind the scenes like S.P.E.C.T.R.E. or that we'd actually be doing better as fifty autonomous mini-countries, I've got a bridge to sell you... and no, I will not take payment in gold.

12.) The most important reasons to vote for president are defensive. American Presidents, by design, have less power than we think they do and less ability to direct that power than people tend to want them to (when it's "their guy," at least.) Unlike congress, their role is often reactive - whatever they may WANT to do as President will be shaped, subsumed and even pushed aside by what they HAVE to deal with. We really can't say whether George W. Bush would have been such a disaster without a 9/11 response to screw the pooch on, and I don't think anyone really expected anti-war Democrat Barack Obama to be a cold executioner of terrorists or the political father of America's unprecedented leap into robotic warfare. As such, I consider the most reliable reasons to vote for a president is the basis of what they WON'T do or what they'll PREVENT congress etc. from doing. I'm counting on Obama, for example, to stop congressional Republicans from doing... pretty much anything they want to do, and I know he won't put pro-life judges on the courts.

13.) A Romney victory in 2012 would be a major disaster, long term. I am not a Barack Obama "fan." His clear dislike for political bloodletting annoys me, and as I'm a supporter of a Space Program I don't like that he seems to genuinely buy into the "why are we spending money on moonrocks when people are going hungry!!!???" bleeding-heart mentality. But, by and large, he can be relied upon for the judicial appointments and vetos I need to see made, so he's "the guy" for now. And, of course, I appreciate the symbolic importance of his victory four years ago... which is why I appreciate the very real disaster of his possible loss this year: A Romney victory will be, fair or not, the most racially-divisive event in American culture since the O.J. Trial; in that it will be seen as a "repudiation" of the so-called "browning of America" and the re-installation of the "rightful" white/hetero/male power structure - as surely as Reagan's victory was seen as a "repudiation" of the social-progress made from the 60s onward and a "mandate" to turn back to the clock to "the good old days." The fact is, everything from demographic trends to the sweep of history indicates that the New America represented "symbolically" by Obama (less monolithically white, less religious, less partriarchal, etc) is something of an innevitability - but "pausing" that overwhelmingly positive transformation now so that Mitt Romney can cosplay as Ronald Reagan (while "traditional family values America" plays we're-still-the-center-of-the-universe make-believe) for four years until Hillary sweeps him out will be a vacation from reality we can't afford to take. The better, more enlightened America will get here soon enough regardless... but if it gets here sooner it can be a more prosperous America as well.

Okay, there you go. That's what I think about... pretty much everything - with the caveat that if a plausibly-electable presidential candidate of either party were to lead with "we're canceling every single known program and jacking up taxes so we can pump every dollar into space travel so that Bob can see something resembling Starfleet in his lifetime"... I'd volunteer pro-bono to run that campaign myself. Because a man has to be honest about his priorities, in the end.

Election is November 6th. Get out there and vote - and whoever you're thinking of pulling for, ask yourself "am I doing the right thing?" before you do.

79 comments:

Aldowyn said...

Hmm. There are a lot of things that I agree with, and some that I don't. That happens, especially with politics.

#4 and #5 sound vaguely like the best parts of objectivism, while 6 repudiates the worst. That works.

As far as the pro-choice part... You talk about it being a religious, spiritual issue, but it's essentially the same moral issue as killing a baby. You just have to draw a line and say "this is okay to do" and "this isn't okay to do". Abortion in the first trimester seems reasonable to me...

As for the post as a whole... your definition of "ideology" seems different from mine. It doesn't have to be moral, or philosophical. Indeed most of the time it isn't. A political ideology is (quoting from wikipedia's reasonable definition) 1: an idea of how society should
work and 2: the appropriate ways to achieve that idea. In your case, the belief that we should have a "safety net" to protect people from circumstances outside of their own control.

Charlie Tunoku said...

It's like my views, with ten-plus years of life experience to reflect and expand on them. Wonderful post.

Cyrus said...

In one of the recent discussions, I asked our dear boy James about his stance towards women and homosexuals, in response to his insistant whining that Obama was just as bad as Romney. He never replied (why would he, really, since he's only here to pester Bob, rather than engage in a proper discussion), but point 11-II sums up nicely why in the current political landscape, the democratic canditate will always be the lesser evil by default ... unless, of course, one harbors resentment towards aforementioned groups. That being said, yeah, it IS a damn shame, that the dems have a de facto monopoly on sanity in the US.

Regarding the rest of the post: Thank you Bob, for being so open with us, especially in a time where people are becoming increasingly more guarded about discussing their views on these things in public. Maybe you can expand on the apparent contradiction between "some people > other people" and the need ot the Safety Net in a later post or vid?

Nameless said...

3 comments as I start typing, I am reading this before the inevitable flame war hits of individuals unable to reconcile the paradox of others not sharing their views.

I generally avoid the comments section on posts like these, it can make me somewhat sad. I normally keep politics away at arms length in my life, all too often it tends to bring out the crazy in otherwise okay individuals.

To me it seems that any and all "solutions" to the problems faced by modern society are inherently imperfect. The very real chance that any seemingly good idea may go awry exists, and it always feels like our modern civilization as a whole exists more out of luck then fate.

In regards to #8, while I am probably stating the obvious, democracy at least provides a potential check against oppression and totalitarianism. I say "potential" because democracy is still reliant on the worldviews of those that exist within it. Meaning that the line between democracy and mob rule can be thin indeed.

I think the nature of our democracy makes the true political battlefield in this country to be one of ideology. Each side trying to impress their ideas onto others, wars over our education systems and curriculums, wars over portrayal of this idea or that in any form media. Many are fighting against contradictory ideas and viewpoints, their trying to shape the next and current generation in a way to more guarantee political representation and power.

Anonymous said...

Try to spin it all you want, Bob, but you have shown in the past that you ARE selfish, that you DO lack empathy, that you are content with ignoring the plight of others if it suits your goals, you ARE nihilistic and cynical, you ARE anti-human, you HAVE supported eugenics in the past; hell, you're a borderline sociopath in my opinion.

Also, fuck you and your anti-libertarian propaganda, you left-wing Limbaugh. I'm voting for Gary Johnson, because unlike you, I care about people other than myself.

(PS: prove you have a spine and actually respond to this)

Steve said...

@Anonymous: You realize you haven't actually said anything? If you want a response to "hurf durf" just go back and read the post again.

DBones said...

@Anonymous I enjoy the fact that you are challenging MovieBob to prove he has a spine while posting anonymously.

As far as the post goes, I like what you have to say, especially 11-III. However, I would like to hear your opinion on when a person starts being a person. Religion gives us an easy answer, but clearly you aren't taking that, so I'd like to know what you think about at what point a fetus becomes a baby.

The Mason said...

@Anonymous: Uh, what exactly could he respond to, if he were inclined? Because all you have said is a loud, masturbating version of "I disagree".

Your constant screaming on the blog is tiresome. You are like a crazy homeless person, chasing one specific person down the street, shaking your penis at them, and screaming incoherently. You offer no actual opinion or discussion other than "Fuck you, you're wrong, political bullshit".

Either say something worthwhile or please FUCK RIGHT OFF!

Also, @Charlie Tunoku, I wish I could high five someone through the internet for using that as a comment handle. Bravo, sir.

Aiddon said...

there was one time where Shithead was kind of amusing in a very perverse way, but nowadays he's just boring. Reminds me of every other dipshit kid who fails to grasp politics despite pretending to be knowledgeable about them

Anon1 said...

@Anon James
Hey, remember when that guy posted a link to your facebook page and Bob did you a favor and removed it? For someone constantly harasses and gets called "inhumnan" by creeps like you, that seems pretty un-selfish, non-sociopathic, and caring to me.

Anon1 said...

correction
*For someone who constantly gets harassed

Mister Linton said...

I lol'ed at your 7th point-- "Revenge of the Bums"

Anonymous said...

bob, when you lose your job at screwattack, I'm going to bust a nut on my laptop and spray ropes of cum all over your neckless face and shit green screen. I cannot wait

Anonymous said...

Let me ask you all something; when Bob says such narcissistic shit like "we do not all "matter" equally or at all", or "the nation's thriving population of idiots", or "I'm outnumbered by a population of fools", do you REALLY think he cares about anyone but himself? Bob is a sociopath, plain and simple. When he claims to have even a sliver of empathy or compassion for others, he is lying.

Allan said...

That was easily the biggest load of political ejaculation and bullshit I've ever seen and all it it is completely negated by your first point: I don't ahve an idealogy.

Yes you do, Bob. You're a Liberal and the things you believe are the things Liberals believe.

Maybe the reason you don't care about other peoples jobs is because yours is so bullshit easy. You've never worked in construction like I have, never gotten a pink slip and a layoff because the plant doesn't have the money to keep you on staff. Never had to call your wife and tell her your next paycheck is the last one. I suppose we SHOULD preserve the enviroment, because under four more years of Obama, we'll all be homeless and living under the stars, so we might as well enjoy it.

You can bitch and moan about Romney's upcoming win all you want, it won't make any difference. And when your liberal tears spill onto this homepage, I will be here...laughing.

Aiddon said...

I hate it when people write porn fanfiction on comments section; it's really pathetic

Anonymous said...

On point 12: There isn't much to extrapolate from since 9/11 happened so early on, but I can't help but think that GW Bush would have had a primary challenger or two from the right in 2004 if 9/11 didn't happen. Especially if the Hainan incident was the biggest foreign policy problem of the first term.

Anonymous said...

@Allan

Well, if it isnt our new James! Awesome, this blog really needs more overly hostile, narrowminded Limbaugh fans to provide a counterpoint so the rest of us seem well adjusted.

Fat Americans said...

Three Things

1. I agree with Allan. This post is pretty much just Liberal-Progressive masturbatory tripe, disguising your political beliefs as "the most logical choice". The problem with that is that Conservatards can just as easily justify their own beliefs as "logical" by doing some mental acrobatics with "Pascal's Wager" or some other bullshit.

2. While I applaud your candor, your obsession with space travel is evidence of your disconnect with reality. Not only because it isn't happening, but even if it did, I doubt they're going to be manufacturing XXXL space suits.

3. You really could have used this as the opportunity to make this into an episode of "American Bob", even splitting it into multiple episodes for more page views. The fact that you didn't do this is a testimony to your laziness. Maybe you should change your name to "MovieSlob with a BovineMob", as it seems to better describe you and your legion of brainless fanboys.

Cyrus said...

@Mister Linton: Has it occured to you that Occupy was the nice, PG version of what could have happened to Wall Street after these guys where done gambling everyone's retirement money away?

Anonymous said...

Allen may be getting nasty, but... he's right.

Bob... you do have an ideology... and you just put it in print for us... look at you #11-II.

You've been inadvertently honest with us, Bob... time to be honest with you about it.

-Megabyte

岩倉レイン said...

It's strange to read half a dozen different thoughts that are palatable to me, and then to read a few more from a perspective I hadn't considered.

I don't vote for a lot of reasons. Mob rule is one.If there were a real difference between political parties (perhaps the health care issue finally makes this relevant), my life would be shaken up every 4 years, and that doesn't happen. There's some statistical analysis that, due to uninformed and unintelligent voters being conditioned by their favorite talking heads (or God), shows that individual voters are nearly useless comparatively, etc.

But I hadn't considered all the facets of the presidential power from an informed/scientific vs denying/religious stance. Suddenly I wonder if it might be better to vote this year. You know, just in case.

Long intro, but I would like to hear, from MovieBob or someone with an equivalent view, how it could make more sense that a top-down, centralized, bureaucratic authority could instigate the radical transformation that MovieBob seems to want. Admittedly, he didn't label it radical as such, but if it requires long overdue transformation, then it does seem to be changing something at the root; and bureaucracy isn't known for nimbleness.

I mean, if everybody/city/state became autonomous, that'd encourage more personal accountability, and foster a habit (or duty) of being informed and making informed decisions ... right? Or at least, sooner than later? Ideally?

Redd the Sock said...

Personally I don't hold much respect for people that don't have an ideology. It just tends to lead to a system of people of all sides complaining the other side is doing what they did. "How dare you spend us into oblivion after I spent us into oblivion and will probably do so again next time I'm in power." There's nothing wrong per se about "me first" as an ideology, so long as it's accepted that others share the shame philosophy and as such you can't complain when an others' selfishness bites you in the ass.

On the other hand you hit it on that being self interested doesn't mean you should ignore the bigger picture. It's where republicans have lost me over the years as they somehow have become divorced from the effects their policies can have, or the firm belief they can control them to an ideal. For example, I've yet to meet a right winger that liked welfare, but ask them to get into job creation and suddenly a pragmatic solution gets replaced with yelling at poor people, simply due to a desire for the easiest solution for them to be the ideal solution to the problem. Then they get indignant at the thought the people they've ignored vote for the other guy making a better offer. Some capitalists.

It would be nice to have a party that could stand up and say our plan didn't work and needs to be re-thought if not abandoned because we care about getting our outcome, not imposing our solution. That party doesn't exist, and it's doubtful it will ever be the republicans to whom the imposed solution can be the real outcome they want. Libertarians vary by degrees, but have great trouble accepting people aren't always rational and can be fucking things up themselves without that "evil government". Guess I vote democrat by default.

WyrmWithWhy said...

The fat jokes really make you conservatives seem classy and intelligent. I'm glad we've got you to contribute such wonderful insights.

Cyrus said...

@岩倉レイン: Ideally? Yes, of course, but we'd essentially just hit the reset button and start over in hunter/gatherer or city state mode and hope for everybody being extra nice to everyone else. Even if human beings are by and large hardwired towards social behavior (personally, I'd like to think so), once the scarcity of resources kicks in, things will get ugly - unless you have a previously agreed upon, regulatory entity.

Less abstract: If you look at the European Union today and at what happened on the same soil over the course of the 20th century alone, it should become apparent why large-scale collaboration is desirable, even if it is for the sake of peace alone.

Note that I didn't choose this example just because the EU just got the Nobel Peace Price for exactly that reason, but rather because the recent economic unrest, coupled with ever-increasing cries for more separatist approaches is making a lot of people, myself included very nervous.

Hope this helps to illustrate at least a facet of the whole issue for you.

MovieBob said...

@Allan,

Are... are you really doing the "I'm the superior man because I WORK WITH MY HANDS!!!!" thing? Really? I get to be that lucky this week?

Anonymous said...

@Bob: How is what Allan's doing different from you're "I'm superior because I think I'm smarter than everyone else" schtick? Seriously, what have YOU ever done for the scientific or academic community?

Nixou said...

"@Allan,

Are... are you really doing the "I'm the superior man because I WORK WITH MY HANDS!!!!" thing? Really? I get to be that lucky this week?"

The best part being that he claims to deùonstrate his "superiority" by voting for the useless, inept, parasitic, mansion-raised bully who never worked with either his hands nor his brains and probably needed a maid to teach him how to jerk off correctly.

***

"Long intro, but I would like to hear, from MovieBob or someone with an equivalent view, how it could make more sense that a top-down, centralized, bureaucratic authority could instigate the radical transformation that MovieBob seems to want."

Because that's how absolutist France and imperial China and Soviet Russia were administred and it always ended in abject failure because such systems do not have any fail-safes against generalized nepotism, which always leads to the sort of decadant and parasitic aristocracy that every would-be revolutionnary dreams of toppling in a bloody, glorious revolution.


***

"Seriously, what have YOU ever done for the scientific or academic community?"

Huh... Entertained the handful of scientists who watch his shows?
Not that I want to look pedantic, but that most probably put Bob's net worth as a human being way above half of the USA's political class.

UNHchabo said...

岩倉レイン: "But I hadn't considered all the facets of the presidential power from an informed/scientific vs denying/religious stance. Suddenly I wonder if it might be better to vote this year. You know, just in case."

At the very least, register. Some states have early deadlines; California's deadline is tomorrow.

I reject Bob's idea that we must vote against a candidate we don't like rather than voting for a candidate we do like. I'm voting third-party, and I'll feel good about doing it.

The moment you stop believing that a third-party vote is a wasted vote is the moment you become right. Outside of the swing states, isn't your vote essentially wasted no matter who you vote for? So why not vote for the candidate you'd most like to see in office, regardless of feasibility?

Steven said...

@MovieBob

MovieBob said...
@Allan,

Are... are you really doing the "I'm the superior man because I WORK WITH MY HANDS!!!!" thing? Really? I get to be that lucky this week?


Well as all the hospitals and scholls were built by people who work with there hands, then yes.


Overpopulation will sort itself out with an increase to 9 billion by 2046 due to people living longer not more children being born.

Infact the amount of children being born globally on a yearly basis is already decreasing and has been for years.

It will then fall to depending who you believe (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs or US Census Bureau) either to 8 or 6 billion by 2100 and then continue falling indefinitely.

Steven said...

My kingdom for a fucking edit button!

I blame watching Megamind again.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Bob that we need to stop this primarily white culture we live in, but Obama isn't the guy for it. It's not worth the national debt, its not worth the unemployment rate, its not worth the taxes, its not worth the higher gas prices. Everyone's hurt by that. Some day someone will come to bring this change. Its not him, regardless of his skin color

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna agree that you do have ideology. But it's unique to you (as all ideologies are, really). That definition posted earlier does show you have a clear sense of how society should be.

But I'm not going to call you a fat hypocrite because you said you don't have an ideology and then state an ideology. Because I get what you meant and I am capable of imagining others complexly.

You may share a lot of ideas with Liberals but unlike what some commenter stated I don't think that makes you a liberal. You just share a lot of the same ideas.

If I share a lot of opinions with ice cream men it doesn't make me an ice cream ma. It just means they have ideas that help define them as ice cream men and I agree with a lot of them. I like metaphors.

And as cynical as you may be towards morons in this great nation that doesn't make you anti-human, because as a person (therefore a complex person) you aren't anti-human.

Whatever I'm just being devil's-advocate to the extreme devil's-advocates.

Jake said...

@last anon
Maybe he was joking, but in his NASA video he stated he doesn't want to help starving people because he got beat up in high school, so therefore all of humanity is like that. I really hope he was joking.

Anonymous said...

@Jake: Nope, Bob is a cynical dick who doesn't care about humanity. He can deny it all he wants, but he's shown his true colors countless times on his blog, videos, and twitter account. Bob is fine with people suffering and dying as long as "his goals" are achieved.

Pat said...

Like others, I have to agree with Allan's FIRST point. Bob does have an ideology, he just doesn't like to think of it as one.

But yeah, sorry Allan, you're kind of an asshole and I don't feel sorry for you at all.

When you say "You've never worked in construction like I have, never gotten a pink slip and a layoff because the plant doesn't have the money to keep you on staff. Never had to call your wife and tell her your next paycheck is the last one," the only point you seem to make is that Bob managed to get a better job than you.

The only way your point holds any water is if Bob got his job because of privilege that you don't have. Well, what's stopping you from making bullshit videos on YouTube? You appear to have a computer. Just buy a cheapass microphone and get started.

I don't mean to be an asshole, but a lot of the jobs designed around building infrastructure are, by their very nature, unreliable and unstable, and the manufacturing jobs that used to be stable have been moving overseas and they will probably never come back.

The only way we'll get those jobs back is if Americans are willing to work way more for much less money. Given that you have a family to provide for, I don't think that's what you'd want.

What you CAN do is go to a technical school and get the training necessary for the jobs we DO have. There are a lot of well-paying jobs out there, but there's just not enough educated people to fill them. Some businesses have had Engineering positions open for years just because there aren't a lot of people with the necessary skillset.

I'm sorry you got laid off, but no one is going to give your jobs back. Not even Romney. Even if taxes do lower, businesses will just give the extra money to the executives. They'll only invest in new jobs if it stands to earn them more money, which it probably wouldn't.

Sorry Allan, but your hard times aren't Bob's fault. They're not Obama's fault. They're not really any American politician's fault. If you want someone to blame, blame China for treating its working class so poorly and blame American industry for willingly taking advantage of it, caring more about the bottom line than the economy that gave them their opportunities in the first place.

Fat Americans said...

@ Jake
"Maybe he was joking, but in his NASA video he stated he doesn't want to help starving people because he got beat up in high school, so therefore all of humanity is like that. I really hope he was joking."
Sadly, Bob is not joking. He blames society for his own antisocial behavior. I bet if Bob took the time for some serious introspection, he would probably find out that he was like "Liz Lemon". His memories are fabricated to protect himself from the truth, that he was probably a douchebag who said annoying shit and thought he was smarter than everybody else. This, of course, is in spite of the fact that some of his classmates went on to become doctors, while Bob couldn't even hold a job at Gamestop or Circuit City, because he feels that he's too good for service jobs.

The Almighty Narf said...

I liked that post.

Sure, I disagreed with nearly all of it. But, you actually gave a clear and logical argument for your position with out just objectifying and vilifying people who disagree with you.

You should try to do that more often.

Aiddon said...

@Fat Americans

Sheep are caprinae, not bovinae. Way to screw up a retort. Dick

Joe said...

Allan is right. That's why I cry myself to sleep every night over all the hunter-gatherers that were put out of a job by agriculture and animal domestication, and all the blacksmiths and buggy whip makers that became unemployed when people started driving cars, and why I'm so sad his kids won't be able to follow him into the construction trade after the robots take all those jobs away.

Allan said...

@Moviebob.

Ah, classic liberal schtik. Putting words into my mouth and passing it off my own.

Now, Bob, you're a smart guy and I like you, I really do. Don't think I'm James successor. I'm not going to hound you in every post, but I will call out BS if you post it.

Now I never said I was better than you because I used to work with my hands. I left that field and work as a nurse now, but that field was a nightmare. I said your job reviewing movies and games and then making videos about them (while being single) is far FAR easier and less stressful than carrying the weight of an entire family on your shoulders when the plant decides to cut you out. Face the facts: plants and refineries ando il rigs ARE jobs. Decent paying jobs for the middle-class that the president claims to be for while bowing to the people in his party who jack off at the thought of deindustrialization.

Look, I want us off fossil fuels, too, but you can't mandate the demand end of supply-and-demand economics. And until that day happens that someone makes a solar cell that turns gasoline obsolete, there's no sense in destroying our fuel sources and refineries before it happens.

It's like selling the car you own because you anticipate buying a car in the future. What are you going to drive until then?

Jake said...

@Allen
Might I recommend a website? http://www.perc.org/

The Property and environment research center believes (and a lot of economists agree), that most environmental problems stem from inadequate protection of property rights. I can't go into explaining negative externalities right now but you might be interested in a way to protect the environment that actually attacks the problem and doesn't (for the most part) kill jobs.

Cyrus said...

@Megabyte: What definition of "ideology" are you referring to? Because if being adamant about the separation of church and state constitutes an irrational or stubbornly held-unto line of thought, then Thomas Jefferson must be spinning in his grave.

Megabyte said...

@Cyrus: Think about it... read 11-II and think about it. Bob basically told us his votes are pretty much always against one party due to influences in it... even though he more often then not agrees more with them then his guys...

If his first answer wasn't a flat out lie, those ideas would be what matters, NOT the source.

Anonymous said...

Still waiting for an answer, Bob: why don't you care about the deaths and suffering of others? You said you had no problem with drone strikes.

Nathan said...

@ Allan and Moviebob
It seems to me that both sides seem to think it either one or the other. Either we have millions of jobs with no concern with the environment, or we have kill all jobs in order to protect the environment.
Now I'm not sure whether Bob subscribes to this but it sure seems like you do Allan. Do we have to through all caution to the wind for the shortsightedness of having more jobs, or can we build businesses around a central focus of not harming the community around them?

@Anon James fucking again

What does Bob owe you? Fucking nothing. He doesn't have to respond to insults or questions from every psychopath and or stalker if he doesn't want to. It doesn't mean that he is a coward or any of the other bullshit you accuse him to be. It means he is done with you. You don't want Bob to answer your questions so you can understand where he is coming from, you just want confrontation.
Now it is up to you if you want to respond to this or not, but I do strongly consider seeking help of some kind and leaving all this behind because the patience of the community is wearing thin and we are all sick of you. You do understand that your name has now become an insult that people on here use in the community?

@Moviebob
I would strongly suggest that you remove anonymous posting again. Yes it will be a pain in the ass for some of us to make an account and have to log in every time, but it will allow the community to know who can take serious among the anonymous. If other members support, please let Bob know.
Sincerely Nathan (formally Anon1)

Allan said...

@Nathan.

Preserving and protecting our planet isn't something I scoff at, but I won't stand for the notion that the only way to do this is to completely undo the last one hundred years of innovation and industry.

Rosa Night said...

I'd like to respond to your 8th point, about democracy being a failed system. I disagree, mainly because I regard democracy as analogous to William James' definition of the mind; i.e., that it" does not exist in itself, but rather, works under conditions". Democracy itself is not a system; instead, it is an arena for competing systems, the only indication of its presence being the consideration and acceptance of the prevailing argument, each position gaining or losing ground over time in a Darwinian struggle.

Anonymous said...

@ Nathan

Bob should really just move the site to Wordpress. Google is smart enough to carry over page rank and Adsense, so the only real issue is one of temporary inconvenience.

Aqua said...

Sad thing is, I found myself agreeing with you a lot more than I thought I would. But, at the same time... I've been unemployed for over a year now. I've put in more applications than I can even remember, called every establishment within ten miles, and yet I've gotten nowhere. I'm sorry, but I guess I'm more selfish than James keeps calling you. I'd rather the country 'Suffer' another four years than to spend just one more day without a job. I just can't live like this much longer...

岩倉レイン said...

@Cyrus

I shudder to hear you joke about hitting a reset button. That sort of wholesale destruction seems so very ... weak. Like we can't simply grow or develop into something better.

But I was going to cheer you up! It turns out that cooperation is a pretty natural part of being human. Just check out The Evolution of Cooperation by Robert Axelrod, or Freedom Evolves by Daniel Dennett. Both very interesting.

But ... I'm pretty sure property rights are, how do you say, the most optimal solution to resource scarcity. My only concern is that you think we only need one regulatory entity, rather than a dozen. I mean, if there's only one regulator, there's only one obstacle. A dozen on the other hand ...

Ole-Albert said...

For the most part I agree with the conclusions you reach in this post. I do however respectfully disagree with your means of reaching them.(Im sorry that this is so long).

You say in #1, which in many ways forms the foundation for the following points, that:

"I organize my life around situational, practical reason - something is "good" for as long as it achieves the optimal result sought (for me, "optimal" generally includes "causes no direct unwarranted harm to others," just so we're clear)"

There are two problems here I think:
(1) Reason has no normative aspect. Reason is only instrumental. I.e. it can help us reach goals. Which goals we choose however is up for serious ethical and political discussion. In such a discussion reason is definitly useful, but for our ulitmate conseption of what "the good" is I don't think reason can help us. In the end we will come to a point where we have to say that "THIS, is good", and we can not justify it beyond that.

It think this problem in your reasoning is particularly evident in 11-I where you argue that science has some sort of authoratitive stance on abortion, and I don't think that is correct. That dilemma is in it's essence ethical, not scientific. (Though I do agree with your conclusion).

(2)You say that your idea of "optimal" consists of "causes no direct unwarranted harm to others". This view completly excludes any ethical agency to produce or do good. The best thing one can do is to not cause harm. Therfore the perfect life is really one that is not lived at all. You are were close to adopting a posistion of utilitatianism here, and I think you would be better of if you embraced it completly.

I hope you find these arguments interesting! I love your blog and read it regurlarly!

(Excuse any spelling og gramatical errors. English is not my first languag).

Cyrus said...

Well, you did inquire about the possibility of "everybody/city/state" becoming autonomous, which was the scenario I responded to - no hitting of the reset button (or for that matter, joking) on my part. :)

I also wasn't referring to a singular regulatory entity, but rather the basic concept of previously agreed upon rules and institutions - essentially the framework of a state, which yes, I do consider preferable to a form of society that takes humanity's better nature on faith alone.

In practice, this makes me the kinda guy who wouldn't outlaw the stock market but regulate the hell out of it, lest the gambling addiction of certain individuals ends up sinking an entire economy.

Cyrus said...

Note that my previous post was in reply to 岩倉レイン.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bob, this might have been mentioned above but your #8-ii case in point kinda trails off in the middle of your thought. I assume it ends with "they are voting on." but I'm mentioning it anyway in case you had more to say on the subject.

Anonymous said...

Bob, you're a pretty cool guy. Really well spoken, too.

Jake said...

@Moviebob
While I don't have the time to respond to your whole post I just want to comment on your point that we need a Safety Net: the vast majority of people in this country, including conservatives (and even some libertarians) aren't against welfare for those that truly need it, and if it gives them a hand up and not a hand out. What they are against is a welfare state (and I do think there is a difference). I don't know what conservatives or libertarians you've come into contact with, but don't limit them to just Ron Paul fans. And on the States Rights thing, if I'm understanding correctly, I've already explained in another post that there are libertarians who support the federal government going after states that violate rights and still support small government.

Nixou said...

"the vast majority of people in this country, including conservatives (and even some libertarians) aren't against welfare for those that truly need it, and if it gives them a hand up and not a hand out. What they are against is a welfare state (and I do think there is a difference)"

Translation:
Most conservative -and even the less deluded among Ayn Rand's fanclub- are aware that they benefit from the safety net. What they want is to keep on benefiting from it while diminishing its cost by refusing its access to people of different ethnic/social backgrounds using the entirely fictionnal Welfare State/Welfare Queens mythology to pretend that their dishonest and craven egoism is in fact some sort of high-minded principle.

Jake said...

@Nixou
OK, that's a bit harsh. Are there some that think that? Sure, but I don't think that's fair to most of them. I going to guess that you probably don't know many conservatives in real life (I could be wrong). You're right that the "welfare queen" is a myth, that doesn't mean that dependency isn't real or not degrading.

Omorka said...

I would just like to point out to the grumblebunnies claiming that Movieob has just outed himself as a liberal here that I probably do qualify as a liberal by almost everyone's standards (actually, I tend to agree with Mary Daly* that "liberal" simply doesn't go far enough; I prefer to identify as a radical sex-positive socialist, but no one ever gives that as one of the three choices on the survey, so liberal it is), and a little more than half of this strikes me as grotesquely libertarian. It's what happens when Objectivism meets the real world, honestly - still coming from that me-first place, but having gotten past me-only, at least. Perhaps age will mellow him a bit more.


* Which is not to say that I agree with Daly on much more than that; I find her transphobia and sex-negativity appalling and her apparent lack of concern for the liberation of women of color problematic at best.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting, Bob. Real interesting. I think you'd be categorized as a centerist, more or less. But it seems the US has no centerist party, or that party is the democrats. The republicans are clearly the very right wing party, but the US lacks for a truly leftist (read socialist) party.

Anonymous said...

I will say Bob's "Let them eat cake" attitude towards people who have to work real jobs is pretty horrible.

He doesn't realize how lucky he is to have the privilege to earn his living making internet videos about things he likes vs. having to bust ass at a retail chain or work hard at a sawmill for your living, regardless of your education level. He might get a rude awakening when he sees somebody with a master's degree in biochemistry managing a McDonald's instead of having a job in their field.

Then again, Bob may feel a certain sense of superiority as he might actually make more money than somebody who's worked harder and longer than him for their achievement. All the while denying his white/straight/male privilege of having a job that pays him despite producing nothing of any real value whereas the aforementioned Master's Degree is a black woman forced to labor at a fats food joint while Bob tut-tuts at her plight from behind a camera in front of video games.

Somebody has to scrub the toilets, and Bob says that your work has no meaning, so get back to work and be thankful your job hasn't been replaced by a robot, peon.

Nixou said...

"He doesn't realize how lucky he is to have the privilege to earn his living making internet videos about things he likes vs. having to bust ass at a retail chain or work hard at a sawmill for your living"

Huh... Bob did bust ass at a retail chain, and said several times in the past that he hated it and aknowledged how lucky he had been to escape this career path.

Also, notice that Bob is voting against the party who want to force your "black woman with a Master degree" to work in a McDonald so that their lazy white kids will inherit their parents' social status without having face competition

***

"a little more than half of this strikes me as grotesquely libertarian. It's what happens when Objectivism meets the real world, honestly"

That's what happened in Europe: most libertarian grudgingly joined ranks with the Left when they realized that the "evils" of Big Government were much less harmful than the very real evils of an hereditary lutocracy.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @2:43 - Bob is showing his true colors that he doesn't care about anyone but himself. The man is a narcissistic sociopath who wrongfully believes himself to be superior to most everyone else on the planet.

Anonymous said...

@Nixou

I don't really care who Bob votes for. The more liberals in office, the better. But this isn't about who Bob supports, politically. It's about Bob himself.

Bob has never really shown any empathy for people stuck in shitty jobs and can't get out. He got out and onto a cushy job and then turns around and tries to condescend to those now "beneath him" denigrating people who "work with their hands" and painting them all as stupid alpha male jocks who deserve to be outsourced.

It's the sort of "Fuck you, I got mine" attitude that makes a person into an asshole.

And speaking for liberals, Bob, I'm going to tell you what my conservative buddy tells his psycho religious snake-handling nuts. Thanks for your vote, but I hope you never get anywhere near the policy pen.

Nathan said...

@Anon James
Yea Bob thinks he is better than everyone, that's why he stated between him and the guy with the cure to cancer you should save the guy with cancer first. There are people in this world that are more important than others. If you just believe that everyone is equal including murderers and rapists, than you have a child-like view of the world. Grow the fuck up James. Bob disagrees with you and your bullshit won't change that.

@Anon about the working man thing
Bob never said if you work with your hands you are beneath him. He was angry at the guy for what thought was him saying Bob knows nothing because he doesn't work with his hands.
Also when has he ever said that anyone's jobs deserved to get outsources? You are putting words in his mouth. If you want to disagree than do so, but please at least quote him directly so there are no misunderstandings or assumptions.

Jake said...

@Nathan
In his "Jobbed" video (again he could be joking) he said he reviled in the fact that stereotypical alpha male lunch pale carrying workers where losing there jobs and smart people were gaining jobs.

Anonymous said...

@Nathan

"If you just believe that everyone is equal including murderers and rapists, than you have a child-like view of the world."

Actually it's you that has the childlike view of the world. Separating people into good vs. evil like that shows pretty crude understanding of human circumstances. Remember 10,000 years ago what we consider "rape" today would just be considered "Law of the Jungle" and "Survival of the fittest" as Bob would put it. (This is why Objectivists, including Ayn Rand herself, seemed to not mind rape and used it as a positive transformational event in The Fountainhead) We also don't consider soldiers murderers even though some of them have killed more people than those currently on death row.

"Also when has he ever said that anyone's jobs deserved to get outsources?"

It's implicit in his "Jobbed" video where he feels no need to stem the job loss overseas to what he considered to be jobs made "obsolete" by mechanization, and says that we are an arts technology based economy. Well that's too bad for the people not good at those things, eh? And I doubt replacing manufacturing with "Pop culture criticism videos" is going to fill the hole that the lost jobs creates. And his only plan is to just "help" those this move affects. Great, take people working for 20 years in a job and retrain them to talk about He-man or something. That's fix that economy right up.

What a sick joke.

Fallen Angel said...

Anyone else got any intricate, insightful, reeeeeeeaaaaaaaallllly deep conspiracy theories about how Bob is an evil person by simply sharing his personal politics on his blog?

Gotta say, I'm having a lot of fun reading 'em. ;)

Jake said...

@anon
I'd like to elaborate, I think the main reason why he wants to revile in the fall of workers (not trying to sound communist) is because, like a lot of his opinions, it stems from the fact that he got beat up in high school by jocks and now hates anything related to them. And he'll tell you as much, in his "Magneto was Right" video, he literally said that him being bullied effects almost every single aspect of his world view today, and when you take this into account, this also seeps into his video game reviews, like the fact that he hates first person shooters so much (because jocks like those games) make me very worried about Bob.

@Moviebob
Please, hear me out, I don't want to be the new James, but I really think you need some counseling (I mean this in the most sincere way possible). I was bullied too, but the fact that you've let this eat away at you into your 30s is not healthy. You can't keep blaming the whole world for what happened to you. If you do choose therapy, it might be the best decision you've ever made.

Megabyte said...

Im going to also add a little something to Jake's entry... this is for Bob...

Bob... as a game reviewer... why cut away an entire type of game? Ok, so COD is probably not going to be for you.. and Im pretty sure you will reject Halo outright, but what about Metroid Prime, Conduit, or the myriad of actually unique titles on PC?

Actually, I bet you would LOVE the original Deus Ex.

Jake said...

@Bob
One more thing Bob, you might be interested in this: http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/

The Saarai'ari said...

Really like the list of reasons, Bob. Looks to be somewhat of a Liberal-Libertarian hybrid of viewpoints. I'd say that I myself am close to being in the same thoughts on those subjects.

Also, please please do at least "one" American Bob video before the election. All I ask is one, and I think a lot of people would like to see one too. With the election near to it's end, the people hearing various points of view about the election is important. And while I very much enjoy your thoughts on politics, I think you putting them only on your Twitter or your blog mainly here won't reach as many as say a YouTube video would.

Also, if I remember once reading on your twitter, you mentioned yourself writing a book. If it's political, I'd give it a look. But if it's non-fiction or it's about thoughts on games, that be fine too.

Anonymous said...

You know it's easy for Bob to say that if he were dangling off a cliff next to a future cancer doctor or something that we should let him drop, and this is true for the reason that a thin, gaunt cancer doctor would be much easier to haul up a cliff side by yourself than his fat ass. But since we'll probably never have the opportunity to test this hypothesis, it's easy for Bob to say let him die, although he would probably beg for his life anyway like a craven shit.

But what about other permutations? Obviously since he believes in comparing worth of himself to other humans, he must think himself to be BETTER than some folks, no? And he bases this on future worth to human society. So how about a 3-year-old? I mean Bob is a movie critic of very little repute, but he is somewhat popular on the internet and has created something of little value for society. A three-year-old has done jack shit, whereas Bob has made videos about 80's movies, and created value. Should we try to p[edict if the 3-year-old will turn into somebody more worthwhile than Bob in the future? Would Bob consider himself superior to the toddler in that instance?

Or what about a hot girl? I mean I personally would have more reason to save the hot girl vs. a fat movie critic, regardless of that person's impact, as she would be more worthwhile to me personally. And she may have not done as much with her life as Bob, but I know I'd rather pull her up instead of him.

What about Sarah Palin? Even as a lightning bolt polemicist and con artist, she still has done more with her life and more for human society than Bob ever has or will, as the author of three several books, a sponsor of several charities despite her batshit insane political views. Would Bob really tell us to pull her up instead of him? Something tells me no.

Even worse, what if YOU were the one dangling off a cliff and it was Bobs turn to save somebody? Now we know he'd base your salvation on his personal opinion of your worth to human society. So if you're next to a set designer of Avengers 2, and all you've been able to do your life is get a job at Burger King despite your English degree, he'd let your ass drop so that he could get more comic book movies faster.

What a person.

Anonymous said...

Great post Bob and I agree with a lot of it. I do think it is worth noting that from what I have experienced of Libertarians that number 7 very much applies to them as well. They seem to also want to get rid of all social programs and safety nets so they can free people to pull themselves up with hard work.

Paul.
S_A_Pauie.

JR Ralls said...

How does Captain America feel about Affirmative Action? What is Spider-Man's position on Israel? Does Super-Man support Roe vs Wade?

There is a reason we don't know the answer to these questions; We want to like the characters and knowing that somebody has different political beliefs than you can automatically create distance between you and them for many many people. Therefore it's often just best to not have characters talk poltics unless the character is explicitly political.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see an American with a healthy viewpoint on their own political system! Great post.

josh said...

The entire world revolves around me, my position, how I feel about things, whether I'm in a good mood or bad mood, whether I me I me my me my I ME

Jesus, do you hate people so much that you've organized your politics around it? Seriously, your moral foundation is baseless individualism - the same philosophy that nerds, perverts and rich people love so goddam much; justifying the worst things by turning self-centeredness into a virtue or something.

If you got a billion dollars, according to your philosophy, you wouldn't immediately give it a way for some higher cause or use it for some great, world-changing purpose. You would do whatever you want and become a libertarian to justify being a rich dude. The foundation of your politics is basically hedonism, objectivism, and the libertarian wing of the GOP. And the repugnant elitism just makes conparisons to the ultra-right even more profound.

This whole thing is just reprehensible evil nonsense. Moviebob, get therapy and sort yourself out. This is probably some of the most bizarre crap I've ever seen written by a guy I thought wasn't crazy.

And, jesus, after the therapy go talk to people who aren't nerds who agree with your insane views.


josh said...

Oh god, I hadn't even read the part where you talk about democracy being terrible and how the safety net should exist to prevent the rabble from becoming riotous communists and how oh dear god kill me now.

Moviebob, you have some horrible, laughable, misinformed political views. I was literally laughing anytime I wasn't appalled and offended.

Seriously, everything here is just wrong in some way or another. Its fascinating in how profoundly repulsive it is. Jesus Christ.