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virginia_kyu
08-21-2002, 09:09 AM
So you think socialism is the answer? The worst totalitarian regimes, Nazis, Soviets, China, used similar socialist philosophies to enslave their nations.

Deb Fisher
08-21-2002, 01:11 PM
There is a big difference between socialist and socially responsible. What exactly is socialist about what Kevin is saying?

opherdonchin
08-21-2002, 01:16 PM
And, of course, the idea that Soviet Russia or Red China represent socialism in any sense is the same as the idea (pulled over here from another thread) that the inquisition and the crusades represent christianity.

Wiley_Allard
08-21-2002, 01:50 PM
Lets face it politicans that are truely noble are a rare thing if they exist at all. Politcations rely on image and by twisting words and invoking greater men then they could ever hope to be they further thier own causes. This deeply upsets me but i remember one simple rule. The universal truth is that those who abuse anything will have thier own misuses returned to them in a new form. So rather then hate i pitty them

Kevin Leavitt
08-21-2002, 02:14 PM
wow,

never been called a socialist before!

Not sure how you get out that socialism out of actions I take as an individual to put me at peace with myself!

Anyway, socialism in theory is not all bad, but it has it's problems that has not proven to work very well with human tendencies to greed etc.

Capitalism also has it's issues, but seems to work better to channelize these same tendencies.

Don't confuse what I am saying on a personal level with my collective concepts such as social models of communism and socialism.

Kevin Leavitt
08-21-2002, 02:30 PM
On a philosophical note...

We can enslave ourselve personally in a capitalist society by getting caught up in consumerism.

We work long hard hours to meet our standard of living that Television commercials project to us to sell us goods and services that they tell us we all need to "live the good life"!

virginia_kyu
08-21-2002, 02:31 PM
Kevin, so long as those are personal choices and, not laws, I have no problem whatsoever with them. I apologize for not reading your post close enough, it seems that is exactly what you were saying. :)

Kevin Leavitt
08-21-2002, 02:46 PM
no problem, what works on a personal level doesn't translate necessarily onto a macro level. Everyone must make their own choices!

That is what is great about America!

virginia_kyu
08-21-2002, 02:53 PM
i agree

Neil Mick
08-21-2002, 04:29 PM
Lets face it politicans that are truely noble are a rare thing if they exist at all. Politcations rely on image and by twisting words and invoking greater men then they could ever hope to be they further thier own causes. This deeply upsets me but i remember one simple rule. The universal truth is that those who abuse anything will have thier own misuses returned to them in a new form. So rather then hate i pitty them
That would all be fine, if all the bad politicians lived on an island and left the rest of us alone. Unfortunately, they drag the rest of us down with their lousy decisionmaking.

Besides, our system elected these bad-apples; if we are not going to accept responsibility, then who is?

(BTW: there are a FEW politicians who try to look out for others, besides their own narrow self-interests (Barbara Lee, voting against bombing Afghanistan, etc), but they are few and far between).

virginia_kyu
08-21-2002, 04:43 PM
Barbara Lee is a wacko

Deb Fisher
08-21-2002, 05:51 PM
What's the point in calling Barbara Lee a wacko without even backing up why? Man, you just stooped to name-calling. You didn't even say, "Barbara Lee behaved like a wacko" or "IMHO, Barbara Lee is a wacko".

Why engage in a discussion and then contribute shut-downs like that?

Why is that helpful? From one opinionated person to another, Michael, you might do well to check your reasons for being here. What do you want from this? What's your intent?

virginia_kyu
08-21-2002, 10:02 PM
What's the point in calling Barbara Lee a wacko without even backing up why? Man, you just stooped to name-calling. You didn't even say, "Barbara Lee behaved like a wacko" or "IMHO, Barbara Lee is a wacko".

Why engage in a discussion and then contribute shut-downs like that?

Why is that helpful? From one opinionated person to another, Michael, you might do well to check your reasons for being here. What do you want from this? What's your intent?

No, I really think that Barbara Lee is a wacko. Sorry if it sounds harsh but that is what I believe. I find her so ridiculous that there is no better way for me to describe her.

She is absolutely a dangerous woman.

I am not making such remarks about anyone in the this discussion. If you choose to use controversial political figures to attempt to bolster your argument then I think you are asking for it.

In fact I think Neil knew exactly what he was doing when he tossed her name in.

virginia_kyu
08-21-2002, 11:22 PM
And, of course, the idea that Soviet Russia or Red China represent socialism in any sense is the same as the idea (pulled over here from another thread) that the inquisition and the crusades represent christianity.
You forgot the Nazis, North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, etc..

There are endless examples of the horrors of socialism. But anyway I think we are all going off topic here.

erikmenzel
08-22-2002, 04:12 AM
You forgot the Nazis, North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, etc..

There are endless examples of the horrors of socialism. But anyway I think we are all going off topic here.
Nazism is an example of socialism??

Neil Mick
08-22-2002, 06:01 AM
No, I really think that Barbara Lee is a wacko. Sorry if it sounds harsh but that is what I believe. I find her so ridiculous that there is no better way for me to describe her.

She is absolutely a dangerous woman.

I am not making such remarks about anyone in the this discussion. If you choose to use controversial political figures to attempt to bolster your argument then I think you are asking for it.

In fact I think Neil knew exactly what he was doing when he tossed her name in.
OK, Michael, you lost me here. What "was I doing?" I thought I was pointing out a politician who went beyond her "narrow self-interests (big $$)." Frankly, I don't think that she is controversial at all; when the news asked me why I tried to get into Palestine, I gave them the same reason Barbara Lee gave: "I thought about the children." It's too bad you find that controversial.

It's also too bad that you do feel that you dodged Deb's question: you didn't justify your assertion. I can call lots of ppl wacko's, but merely because I "really feel that way" does not make it so. Have you listened to her speeches, read her voting record...talked to her psychiatrists?

To try to understand your perspective better, I've read some of your previous posts. You have a tendency to make claims about the world without backing up your statements, some of which are, simply, wrong. Fascism isn't socialism, and you fail to see the differences between what the mainstream news calls a thing, and what is actually going on.

I'm not going to document these points, because I have better things to do, than grade your political arguments (as, I bet, do you :p ).

But you know? I think its great that you disagree with me. I value a good exchange of views, especially those who can back up what they say. I don't care how "harsh" your political views may sound, but please: cease with the name-calling. If you have a point to make, be prepared to back it up with a reason.

mike lee
08-22-2002, 07:20 AM
Amen. If one lacks the maturity and intelligence to contribute constructively to this thread, which is 99% outstanding, then they should remove themselves rather than continually seeking to derail the discussion simply because they fail to grasp its significance. Grow up or shut up. If that doesn't work, find another way to be the center of attention.

virginia_kyu
08-22-2002, 09:50 AM
Nazism is an example of socialism?? Yes they were very much socialists, I don't think this is anything new.

"Mass murder and other hideous crimes against individual rights do not reflect the 'degeneration' or 'misuse' of socialism, but rather its essence. As is the case with socialism of the Marxist-Leninist variety, the essential lesson of German National Socialism is that collectivism kills, and that the lawless state - in whatever form - is the real enemy."
-R.J. Rummel



OK, Michael, you lost me here. What "was I doing?" I thought I was pointing out a politician who went beyond her "narrow self-interests (big $$)." Frankly, I don't think that she is controversial at all; when the news asked me why I tried to get into Palestine, I gave them the same reason Barbara Lee gave: "I thought about the children." It's too bad you find that controversial.

Barabara Lee is the one acting in her narrow self interests, to get re-elected in her extreme left wing district to appease the many left wing groups that give her big $$ for her campaigns. She is willing to let terrorists attack us at will and thinks we should do nothing with our military to defend ourselves. Yes I find that wacko, someone who is willing to brush aside what happened on 9/11 using the "children" and the "innocent" lives of Afghanis as as PR props to excuse her actions. If she was the President OBL would still be operating a full capacity and we would certainly be dealing with another catastrophe by now. I find her dangerous and yes, bordering on insane.
Amen. If one lacks the maturity and intelligence to contribute constructively to this thread, which is 99% outstanding, then they should remove themselves rather than continually seeking to derail the discussion simply because they fail to grasp its significance. Grow up or shut up. If that doesn't work, find another way to be the center of attention
Mike, Spare me your phony moral indignation, please. I have seen many of your posts on this forum and you seem to do exactly what you are criticising here.

You are attacking me directly while I was attacking a controversial political figure who is not on these forums.

opherdonchin
08-22-2002, 03:22 PM
The tone is slipping towards the nasty and personal here. Let's try to stay friendly and remember that EVERYONE (and I've "read posts" as they say by everyone contributing here) is doing their best to express their opinions in the best way they can.
"Mass murder and other hideous crimes against individual rights do not reflect the 'degeneration' or 'misuse' of socialism, but rather its essence. As is the case with socialism of the Marxist-Leninist variety, the essential lesson of German National Socialism is that collectivism kills, and that the lawless state - in whatever form - is the real enemy."

-R.J. Rummel
Actually, just by having the word 'Socialist' in its party name didn't make the Nazi's socialist in any sense. They were, historically speaking, a party strongly opposed to the socialists at the time.

It seems to me that what you are doing, Michael, is lumping together three ideas that are really distinct. They are socialism, communism, and facism. Your real objection seems to be to facism. Facism is a dictatorship or highly centralized power structure justified through a claim to some sort of enlightened insight into the 'people's will' and deligitimizing opposition through claims that it is 'against the people' (because the government is seen as the ultimate expression of the people's will). Many people on the left hear strong echoes of a variety of fascist leaders in the rhetoric of Bush, for instance.

Communism is similar to fascism in that it sought to be the 'dictatorship of the proletariat.' The difference between communism and right wing fascism is that it is not the 'folk values' of the people that the dictatorship claimed to be expressing, but rather their 'class ideals.' In practical terms, this worked out to be a subtle distinction. If you like, communism is to socialism as fascism is to constitutional monarchy.

Socialism has nothing to do with fascism. Historically, it is entirely compatible with democracy. Many countries in Europe have had strong socialist leadership for many years at a time. Israel was founded, to a large extent, on socialist principles and was run as a socialist country for its first 45 years. Socialism, as I understand it, is the philosophy that says that government's responsibility to empowering the underprivileged is more important, to a certain extent, than property rights or the freedom of the market economy. To a certain extent, our system pays lip service to socialism by guaranteeing education to every child, by enforcing a minimum wage, and by using labor laws to enforce the right of workers in different industries to form unions.

Deb Fisher
08-22-2002, 03:25 PM
Ugh! I was born to a family of arguers and debaters and always hate to shy away from a heated exchange... but I am officially signing off this thread.

Michael, this isn't about conservative v liberal ideology - if it were it would be a really interesting thread. Instead, a bunch of people who would love to echange ideas with you are - with as much patience as they can muster - attempting to teach you how to engage in a useful conversation. You are responding in an unduly combative manner, and the discussion is devolving into a shouting match.

These people want to hear your ideas, and they want you to listen to their own. You know, an exchange. A conversation. We are all interested because we could learn so much from eachother. It saddens me that your dismissiveness is making that impossible.

Chris Li
08-22-2002, 06:13 PM
Barabara Lee is the one acting in her narrow self interests, to get re-elected in her extreme left wing district to appease the many left wing groups that give her big $$ for her campaigns. She is willing to let terrorists attack us at will and thinks we should do nothing with our military to defend ourselves. Yes I find that wacko, someone who is willing to brush aside what happened on 9/11 using the "children" and the "innocent" lives of Afghanis as as PR props to excuse her actions. If she was the President OBL would still be operating a full capacity and we would certainly be dealing with another catastrophe by now. I find her dangerous and yes, bordering on insane.
If you check her voting record you'll see that she voted in favor of a large number of resolutions and extraordinary measures against terrorism. She voted against one resolution because of concerns that it removed the power of congress to provide a check on presidential military actions, this is a concern that I share. For the record, however, I would have voted in favor of the resolution.

Best,

Chris

virginia_kyu
08-22-2002, 10:00 PM
Ugh! I was born to a family of arguers and debaters and always hate to shy away from a heated exchange... but I am officially signing off this thread.

Michael, this isn't about conservative v liberal ideology - if it were it would be a really interesting thread. Instead, a bunch of people who would love to echange ideas with you are - with as much patience as they can muster - attempting to teach you how to engage in a useful conversation. You are responding in an unduly combative manner, and the discussion is devolving into a shouting match.

These people want to hear your ideas, and they want you to listen to their own. You know, an exchange. A conversation. We are all interested because we could learn so much from eachother. It saddens me that your dismissiveness is making that impossible.

Look, I agree that the conversation is over, it was over along time ago because people could not stick to the subject here as well as in the other thread "Peace or Righteousness." I decided that is was futile to keep on subject because people kept throwing in political snipes at Bush or the U.S. etc.

Give me a break with the pointing of fingers that somehow I am the one degenerating the conversation here. I will readily admit when I think I wrong but I don't see it in this instance.

In fact I find your complaints along with Mike Lee's very patronizing and passive aggressive.

All I did was criticise a controversial public figure and you use that as an opportunity to attack me personally.

If you want to talk politics you had better be prepared to be challenged and you might also have to be able to deal with having your political idols criticised.

Politics gets heated, if you can't deal with it then don't talk politics.

virginia_kyu
08-22-2002, 10:27 PM
and Opher I would love to continue this debate about socialism on another thread if you want to start one. I am wary of starting any new topics myself.

Brian H
08-23-2002, 11:18 AM
yet another political thought:

I have never been a real ran of the Left Vs. Right model of politics.

I my mind there is no real difference, in practice, between totalitarian governments. Does it really matter if the man who has his boot heel on the back of your neck is doing it in the name of Fascism, Communism, Socialism, or for "Homeland security."

My answer is to use the Individualist vs. Collectivist model.

Kevin's lifestyle changes are, no doubt, the result of much contemplation and bring him a measure of comfort and personal satisfaction. It is an individual choice made to benefit himself. By sharing his personal journey with us, he has inspired us.

This sort of thing is individualism at its finest. Kevin is not harming anyone by his choices (well, maybe the beef industry, but I will do my part to keep them happy for him), but he is "being a good example." Not that bad examples don't have there place too.

Collectivists are those that believe that they can make those choices for you. Ban this, enforce that, there should be a law against that. Laws are a good thing, if you harm somebody else, you should be held a accountable (individually)

I find Kevin's choices inspiring and admire him for making them, but they are not for me. If I was forced to make the same lifestyle changes, for the good of all, it would be oppressive and I would be unlikely willingly obey (and thereby become a criminal). What works for Kevin sucks for me.

An incident that occurred several years ago comes to mind (not sure why) where a boy was lost in a designated wilderness area. A helicopter located him. However, for the good of all, it was illegal for any powered vehicles to be in the park and the helicopter could not land. So the boy had to spend am extra night in the woods and wait until a team hiked in to rescue him the next day. While I agree that all can benefit from an unspoiled park and individuals can find other places to ride ATVs and 4x4s, why should we risk the life of a boy to reach that utopian collective goal.

The "Aiki-me" strives to do the right thing, sometimes with the support of others and sometimes despite the lack of it.

Creating a mybrid of petty laws and edicts does not seem to be the answer. Better to have a lot of Kevins.

opherdonchin
08-23-2002, 11:40 AM
Agreeing and disagreeing with you, Brian. To me it is not 'individualistic' vs. 'collectivist' thinking so much as an issue of respect for human rights. The problem with the 'I'm allowed to do whatever I want as long as I'm not hurting anyone' idea is twofold. First, it's really hard to tell what does and doesn't hurt people (cigarette smoking is a classic example; not working or not educating my children would be more complicated issues). Second, the collective has a certain amount of responsibility for what it is that you end up wanting to do. For instance, by giving advertisers almost completely unfettered freedom to shape our minds, we create a society of pseudo-freely chosen excessive consumption that is in nobodies interest.

So, I, at least, am in favor of attempts to rationally regulate (or give governmental direction to) a wide variety of topics such as health care, education, minimum wage, environmental protection, access to legal representation, and transportation. There are probably more. I don't mean that the governmental has to micromanage these industries, or that there is no place for free market style competition in these industries. I just mean that it is the collective responsibility to see that they are done right, and living them up to individuals is (and has historically been) a recipe for disaster.

On the other hand, the bill of rights was truly a monumental achievment in the united states. I believe it has been instrumental in preserving our real freedoms. Separation of powers (which actually serves to help protect the bill of rights from being undermined) is another key factor. These are the things that build a healthy society.

Neil Mick
08-23-2002, 01:42 PM
...and then you have to consider appropriate scale in terms of regulation (see my other post in the "spiritual" section).

The essential nature of an organization changes the larger it gets. A 20-person nonprofit, for instance, could be governed by a form of benign anarchy, where everyone spontanously agrees to new rules whenever a problem comes up.

A 2000-person organization, on the other hand, could not be organized in this matter. As such, the needs of the individual become secondary to the needs of the system running it.

The larger it is, the more abstract the organizational concerns.

In response to your post above, Opher, I'm not sure I agree. Your examples are all clear examples of harm: cigarrette smoke does harm, as well as not educating your kids. Personally I think its more about where the TRUE values lay, in this country.

We invest more in prison (much more expensive) than education because there are ppl who benefit from this investment, namely those in power. Its the same with tobacco: for years we were told that cigarrette smoking was "good for you." Then, even after the Surgeon General warnings on the box, we still have cigarette advertising.

Advertising, BTW, is not unfettered. This too is subject to money'd interests. You don't see too many anti-pollution ads, certainly not in the same volume as car and cigarrette ads.

I agree that the Bill of Rights is a great document, but its purpose has been corrupted by money (take the amendment allowing freedom of speech. It was argued, recently, that secretly filming a moment when a woman in a car accident was begging her attendant to let her die when she discovered that she lost her legs, was freedom of speech. This case went to court and the woman lost. The mainstream press has taken the concept of freedom of speech and twisted it to mean something the Founders never even conceived).

Kevin Leavitt
08-23-2002, 06:36 PM
Yea Opher, you bring up a good point....the motorcycle helmet law is an example of one such law.

simple logic would say that it should be okay to not have a helmet law since the individual is the only one harmed by his action.

But, in reality, I believe statistics would show that the cost to society and families is high in accidents that happen when no helmet is worn.

I look at this as a protective law that would fall under the "harm" category.

Morality laws such as the sunday blue laws or fairly few and far in between in todays society, but they do exist.

I am sure you could argue a valid point drawing a correlation for "harm" on all laws...

But, remember, our society had very convincing arguments for why institutions such as slavery and segregation were actually better for african americans as well!

Kevin Leavitt
08-23-2002, 06:38 PM
Mick,

Couple of thoughts you raised in my mind. Prison are obviously necessary...but the point is to try and do things to keep people out of them to begin with!

Again, we are getting back to one of the principles of aikido that centers around prevention.

I have no solutions right off hand!

virginia_kyu
08-23-2002, 06:55 PM
So, I, at least, am in favor of attempts to rationally regulate (or give governmental direction to) a wide variety of topics such as health care, education, minimum wage, environmental protection, access to legal representation, and transportation. There are probably more.

Giving the government a wide variety of topics to regulate is exactly what repressive socialism is. Sure many of these things sound great, who doesn't want a healthy environment, good health care, etc. But in reality human beings run these agencies and human beings have agendas and twist and shape these principles is all sorts of ways eventually using the regulations as weapons against politcal rivals or just simply to wield power over the people.

Which brings me full circle to the orginial subject of this thread, "The Misuse of Aikido Philosophy," that many aikidoists use the general philosophy of Aikido, twist it for their own purposes, then try to tell the rest of us that we are being UNAIKI if see politics differently. Or even if we practice the physical aspects of Aikido differently training more for the practical applications.

Many of these same people say that they do not believe in God or religion but seem to have turned their warped version of Aikido into a religion all in itself, and use their dogma to hammer us with their morality.

Kat.C
08-23-2002, 09:54 PM
Mick,

Couple of thoughts you raised in my mind. Prison are obviously necessary...but the point is to try and do things to keep people out of them to begin with!
Don't you think individuals should be responsible for keeping themselves out of jail rather than everyone else?

Neil Mick
08-24-2002, 12:52 AM
Don't you think individuals should be responsible for keeping themselves out of jail rather than everyone else?
In a perfect world, yes. Even in an imperfect world, a lot of the time. There are, however, certain indisputable facts:

-The majority of prisoners are African American, even though they do not commit the majority of crimes;

-In my state (CA), prisons are the fastest growing industry in the state. Whole towns have sprung up which use the nearby prison as its major source of income. Worse, in some cases the towns use what influence they can to extend the prison terms, because they get $$ for the inmates staying longer.

-The prison system is no longer about rehabilitation; its about isolation and separation. When a prisoner is released, his options are limited. In many states, he can't vote, he is listed with the local police (depending upon the crime, such as a sexual offender), not to mention his slim chances in finding a job with upward mobility.

-In some states, recent laws take the judicial discretion away from the judges, such as "three strikes," which requires a judge to sentence the maximum, even if the crimes or minor.

If you've done something wrong, you should go to jail, but the details in between are far more complex.

Don't even get me started about the death penalty...

Neil Mick
08-24-2002, 03:33 PM
Is anyone else irritated about how often O'Sensei's philosophy is taken out of context and used to promote political agendas?
I've been avoiding responding to some of Michael's posts because, frankly, he has misinterpreted the intent of much of my response.
Which brings me full circle to the orginial subject of this thread, "The Misuse of Aikido Philosophy," that many aikidoists use the general philosophy of Aikido, twist it for their own purposes, then try to tell the rest of us that we are being UNAIKI if see politics differently. Or even if we practice the physical aspects of Aikido differently training more for the practical applications.

Many of these same people say that they do not believe in God or religion but seem to have turned their warped version of Aikido into a religion all in itself, and use their dogma to hammer us with their morality.
Now here I am puzzled: nowhere in the forums I've followed have I seen anyone accuse anyone else of being "un-Aiki" for having a different political perspective. In fact, I have said that I welcome your differences, just please support your beliefs with the facts and avoid name-calling.

There are as many reasons for practicing Aikido as there are Aikidoists: if you like Aikido purely for the physical exercise: great! Who is anyone to say why anyone else should engage in a discipline?

If you practice a martial art of harmony and do not believe in the things others do, more power to you! If you do not consider the spiritual underpinnings of Aikido, I might pause to wonder what drives you to pursue it instead of, say, Capoeira, but your choices are your own, your Way is yours and not mine (or anyone else's).

By the same token: who are you to say that there is no correlation between politics and Aikido? Or for that matter: Aikido and pottery, psychology or religion (or anything else)? O Sensei was not a Christian, yet many ppl see a relationship between their religious beliefs and Aikido. I am not a Christian, yet I fully respect their right to their beliefs.

In some of my posts, I have tried to express that its not what you believe, but how you come to that belief and how you support your thoughts.

Name calling and ego-battles are what is un-Aiki, not a diversity of thought or opinion.

virginia_kyu
08-24-2002, 10:32 PM
Thanks for giving me a perfect example:
Name calling and ego-battles are what is un-Aiki, not a diversity of thought or opinion.
Neil, I have moved past the previous political discussion and I am attempting to bring this thread back to its original topic.

But you and a couple of others seem to want to keep attempting to capitalize on some sort of perceived "un-Aiki" sin I am guilty of, the calling of Representative Barbara Lee a wacko.

I wish you would get over it. I am entertained by your notion that I am the one here with a delicate ego.

Also, I have no idea how I have misrepresented your response, your response to what?

There is no conflict or anger here, I had a smile on my face when I took issue with Rep. Lee. Why are you all trying to make so much out of this? Why all of the raw emotion?

I think these discussions are great and alot of fun. So do you want to continue to argue over something really meaningless or move forward to more discussions?

Kami
08-25-2002, 04:24 AM
If you practice a martial art of harmony and do not believe in the things others do, more power to you! If you do not consider the spiritual underpinnings of Aikido, I might pause to wonder what drives you to pursue it instead of, say, Capoeira, but your choices are your own, your Way is yours and not mine (or anyone else's).
KAMI : I would like just to point out that Capoeira is completely linked with the religion of CandomblÚ. The fact that some Capoeira instructors (just like the majority of Aikido instructors) know nothing about that does not mean that Capoeira has not strong spiritual underpinnings.In the same way, Ueshiba Kisshomaru, intent on spreading Aikido to the World, did take out all underpinning of spirituality from Aikido : the shinto rituals, the obligation of Kamidana; the chanting of Norito; etc...To say that Aikido, today, is a spiritual or religious practice is uncorrect. Some teachers may still practice it like that. Not the great majority.

There is even a ritual, in Capoeira, to "shield the body", making it "protected from all harm", through their religious practices.

Some Capoeira fighters are said to be "Sons of CandomblÚ Gods", such as Xang˘ or Ogun and, as such, specially dedicated to that God.

Respectfully

guest1234
08-25-2002, 05:14 PM
The Nazis as socialists...now I've heard everything :D

I was disappointed Kevin had to explain the connection between riding a bike and terrorism :(, but I guess not really surprised.

I think the point is, one particular view or another is not aiki or un-aike [sic], but the ability to see a subject from the others' point of view is what is aiki.

I think it is important to see ourselves as others see us through our words and actions. We have military bases in nineteen countries around the world. How many other countries have bases on our soil? The Cold War is over, the USSR is no longer a threat, we have recognised China's government, and China and Russia have diplomatic and economic relations with North and South Korea; we, on the other hand, have 37K troops on 65.5K acres of South Korea, and have said the reunification of Korea would not be a reason to remove them. 42K of our troops are in Japan, and our bases occupy 20% of Okinawa's prime agricultural real estate. Income from those bases produces only 5% of Okinawa's GDP, or a loss of 15%. Noise and crime from the bases interfere with the main industry of tourism.

We deplore the war crimes of others, yet refuse to agree to any tribunal that may try Americans; we urge the trying of Khmer Rouge, as long as we limit the time of crimes to after our carpet bombing and before we aligned with them to fight the Vietnamese. We deplore (and rightly so) Tianemen Square, but are silent about our actions (or more correctly, inactions) in Cheju and Kwangju.

We set up bases in Turkey to support Iraqi Kurds against Hussein, while selling arms to Turkey to supress their own Kurdish insurgents. Our blockade of Iraq has been partly responsible for an estimated 500K Iraqi civilians in the last decade due to disease, inadequate medical care, and starvation. We've kept 35K troops in Saudi, with the Gulf War finished over a decade ago.

I read two interesting articles in The Stars and Stripes last week: one was about the UK taking an air traffic controller to trial over the midair of two US F15s. There was no report of quibbling: the British found his actions incorrect and he would stand trial. On the next page the USAF was naming a different general to determine whether the F16 pilots involved in the friendly-fire deaths of Canadian troops should go to trial; the general who was originally responsible was quoted as saying shortly after the incident that he couldn't see how we could hold the fighters responsible. Remember the Marine crew who flew too low and too fast, while against the rules were videotaping their unauthorized acrobatics, and cut the cables on the Italian cable cars? They were aquitted, an unfortunate accident.

There are reasons some are willing to die to make their point about our behavior, and until we openly examine those reasons, we are in for a very long fight. If you have lived your life in a camp, watched loved ones die for want of medical care, know there is little hope for education or economic gain, then death in the attempt to change things may not seem pointless.

This is not to say terrorist acts are right, but I am more interested in preventing future ones rather than 'winning' an unending arguement over which bad action led to which bad reaction; to do that I think we need to understand why they occur, and if we are doing something that provokes it, consider modifying our own behavior.

virginia_kyu
08-25-2002, 09:33 PM
The Nazis as socialists...now I've heard everything :D

Why can't many of you accept the fact that the Nazis (National Socialist German Workers' party) were socialists? It is historical revisionism to claim otherwise.
I think the point is, one particular view or another is not aiki or un-aike [sic], but the ability to see a subject from the others' point of view is what is aiki.
How does seeing things from other people's point of view have anything to do with being aiki or not? This is another perfect example of what I am talking about.
I think it is important to see ourselves as others see us through our words and actions. The Cold War is over, the USSR is no longer a threat, we have recognised China's government, and China and Russia have diplomatic and economic relations We have military bases in nineteen countries around the world. How many other countries have bases on our soil? with North and South Korea; we, on the other hand, have 37K troops on 65.5K acres of South Korea, and have said the reunification of Korea would not be a reason to remove them. 42K of our troops are in Japan, and our bases occupy 20% of Okinawa's prime agricultural real estate. Income from those bases produces only 5% of Okinawa's GDP, or a loss of 15%. Noise and crime from the bases interfere with the main industry of tourism.
So what you are saying is that you know that N. Korea and/or China is no threat at all to that region. That somehow the noise and crime from military bases should shame us into abandoning a critically strategic region of the world? North Korea is on our list of terrorist sponsoring nations and China is still very much a threat to the free world. I think it would be nuts to just pick up and leave.
We deplore the war crimes of others, yet refuse to agree to any tribunal that may try Americans; we urge the trying of Khmer Rouge, as long as we limit the time of crimes to after our carpet bombing and before we aligned with them to fight the Vietnamese. We deplore (and rightly so) Tianemen Square, but are silent about our actions (or more correctly, inactions) in Cheju and Kwangju.
Wow this sounds like it came right from the mouth of Jane Fonda in the 60's, I am not trying to engage in name calling in saying this, I really think it sounds all too familiar and it best describes my thoughts about your statements. I know the Aiki Police will frown on my comments. :D

I also think you are distorting history here. The Khmer Rouge did not come to power until 1975 after they defeated the U.S. backed Khmer Republic.
We set up bases in Turkey to support Iraqi Kurds against Hussein, while selling arms to Turkey to supress their own Kurdish insurgents. Our blockade of Iraq has been partly responsible for an estimated 500K Iraqi civilians in the last decade due to disease, inadequate medical care, and starvation. We've kept 35K troops in Saudi, with the Gulf War finished over a decade ago.
Iraqi's are dying because of Saddam Hussein, period. My understanding is that Iraq is allowed to sell oil for those very same medical and food supplies, yet instead Saddam channels the funds into rebuilding his army.

We give funds to Turkey because they are our allies.
I read two interesting articles in The Stars and Stripes last week: one was about the UK taking an air traffic controller to trial over the midair of two US F15s. There was no report of quibbling: the British found his actions incorrect and he would stand trial. On the next page the USAF was naming a different general to determine whether the F16 pilots involved in the friendly-fire deaths of Canadian troops should go to trial; the general who was originally responsible was quoted as saying shortly after the incident that he couldn't see how we could hold the fighters responsible. Remember the Marine crew who flew too low and too fast, while against the rules were videotaping their unauthorized acrobatics, and cut the cables on the Italian cable cars? They were aquitted, an unfortunate accident.
To get to the bottom of these cases we would have to examine all of the evidence involved in each of them, it may be unfair to tie them all together the way you have here.
There are reasons some are willing to die to make their point about our behavior, and until we openly examine those reasons, we are in for a very long fight. If you have lived your life in a camp, watched loved ones die for want of medical care, know there is little hope for education or economic gain, then death in the attempt to change things may not seem pointless.

This is not to say terrorist acts are right, but I am more interested in preventing future ones rather than 'winning' an unending arguement over which bad action led to which bad reaction; to do that I think we need to understand why they occur, and if we are doing something that provokes it, consider modifying our own behavior.
The only behavior the terrorists want us to modify is our support for Israel. I don't think handing Israel over to them is a humanitarian way of solving this problem.

The only way to solve this problem in the most humanitarian way possible is to defeat the terrorist network quickly and decisively.

virginia_kyu
08-26-2002, 09:06 AM
I still think you have your definition of socialism wrong, but I recognize the underlying point and tend to agree with it. On the other hand, the history of 'unfettered capitalism' is pretty bleak, too, from the sweat shops of the late 18th century to the robber barons of the railroads, unfettered capitalism has inevitably led to slavery in one form or another, as well as to growing disparity between rich and poor up to and including real starvation. It seems to me that the best chance of success is to define pretty clearly what the responsibilities of government really ought to be (health, education, basic welfare, stewardship of the public resources would seem like candidates) and then find a way to set up systems of checks and balances that will prevent the kind of repressive brutality that you are worried about. This is how democracy has worked for us until now (and it is how it is starting to fail now). It is how the bill of rights has protected us. There is now reason it could not work with a few other things, too.
I agree that capitalism has its problems as well, however I think the main thing that has been hurting capitalism is the abuse of it rather than its core principles. I also think however, that politicians often claim there is abuse when there is not in order to excuse more regulations and taxation.

Capitalism works and offers the best opportunities for the greatest amount of people where socialim has failed to accomplish its goals in every instance it has been tried.

deepsoup
08-26-2002, 09:33 AM
I think it is important to see ourselves as others see us through our words and actions.
Colleen, I admire you more and more. Thankyou for your sanity. :)

Sean

x

opherdonchin
08-26-2002, 09:37 AM
I agree that capitalism has its problems as well, however I think the main thing that has been hurting capitalism is the abuse of it rather than its core principles.Wouldn't this apply to socialism as well? I mean, if it weren't for selfish people who abuse the system, almost any system could work quite well. That traditional argument for capitalism over socialism is that the selfish interests of the individual are harnassed for the public good in capitalism, but are stifled in socialism leading, ultimately, to economic collapse.

Capitalism has consistently failed to better the conditions of any but a very, very small minority of the population whenever it was tried in any seriousness. No country in the world really institutes a true capitalist system because they don't really work. The U.S. is the only country that even subscribes in any sense to a capitialist ideology, and that is because it became an issue of ideology for many Americans as a result of the Cold War, and not for any realistic understanding of how the different systems work.

Every single succesful state in the world (and throughout history, actually) has assumed responsibility for protection of its poorest and weakest members. Every single succesful state has regulated industries when it seemed to be in the national industry to regulate them. To a large extent, the sucess of a state can be predicted from the thought and centralized planning that go into its transportation system. To a large extent, the success of a state can be predicted from its investment in education.

Ultimately, it is not a question of ideology: the Capitalists against the Socialists. It is a question of pragmatism. How does one build a succesful nation, and what is the appropriate balance of centralized vs. local vs. individualized control? It's hard to imagine that anyone thinks these questions would have easy, one word, answers.
Why can't many of you accept the fact that the Nazis (National Socialist German Workers' party) were socialists? It is historical revisionism to claim otherwise.There are lots of reasons. Their political opposition to the left wing parties (socialist and communist) in Germany would be one. A tendency to define the central issues facing German society (and the world) in racial terms and not in economic terms would be another. I think that the only link that can be made between the National Socialist party of 1920s Germany and Socialism is that the National Socialist party grew out of an authentically left wing party called the German Worker's Party, and that both made an effort to appeal to the lower and lower middle classes. Any other points of ideology, political or economic agenda, or world view seem to me to have nothing in common.

virginia_kyu
08-26-2002, 11:32 AM
Capitalism has consistently failed to better the conditions of any but a very, very small minority of the population whenever it was tried in any seriousness
It has been tried in seriousness in the United States and the opposite is true, a very, very small minority of the population is desperately poor.
There are lots of reasons. Their political opposition to the left wing parties (socialist and communist) in Germany would be one. A tendency to define the central issues facing German society (and the world) in racial terms and not in economic terms would be another. I think that the only link that can be made between the National Socialist party of 1920s Germany and Socialism is that the National Socialist party grew out of an authentically left wing party called the German Worker's Party, and that both made an effort to appeal to the lower and lower middle classes. Any other points of ideology, political or economic agenda, or world view seem to me to have nothing in common.
Just because the Nazi's were opposed to the Soviet brand of socialism does not mean they were not socialists.

They were both collective societies with state control over everything, the very definition of socialism. The Nazi's thought the Aryan race was superior, and the Soviets thought proletariat was superior. I think their world views and political ideologies were remarkably similar, they just chose to hate different segments of the population.

virginia_kyu
08-26-2002, 11:38 AM
Anyway I was a little irritated when this thread was moved to the "Chit Chat" forum and now that the forum name was changed to "Non-Aikido Discussions" when many of the threads here are related to Aikido, I am not going to bother posting here anymore.

I hope to see you all on the mat sometime practicing Aikido regardless if we agree on political issues or not.

Take care you guys (& gals) and best wishes.

opherdonchin
08-26-2002, 11:48 AM
Capitalism has consistently failed to better the conditions of any but a very, very small minority of the population whenever it was tried in any seriousnessIt has been tried in seriousness in the United States and the opposite is true, a very, very small minority of the population is desperately poor.Unfortunately, poverty in the United States is actually embarassingly high and growing at an alarming rate. When it has been tried in seriousness (efforts by industrialists to break the labor unions around the turn of the century, for instance), it has seriously failed. Currently, we live in a welfare state with a minimum wage, health care for the poor, anti-monopoly laws, subsidies for important national industries, and heavy national involvement in some industries like agriculture, transportation, and the banking industry. Each of these vital socialist aspects of our economy came in response to a failure of a previously capitalist aspect of the system failed disastrously.

Not that I'm a historian, so I will defer to any real historians out there who know better.
They were both collective societies with state control over everything, the very definition of socialism.Actually, the Nazis believed strongly in the sanctity of private property. Nazism and Soviet Communism shared an ideology and that ideology is usually called fascism today. It involves a cult of a supreme leader (Hitler or Stalin) who interprets the will of the people for the greater good. It has, at it's heart, an understanding that dissension from this interpretation of the will of the people is treasonous and necessarily must be met with violence. In this sense Soviet Communism and German Nazism were very similar. Most people (on the right and the left) would agree with that.

However, socialism, as the idea is currently propounded, is an idea completely consistent with democracy and not necessarily incompatible with an economy that is substantially market driven. Moreover, it is the dominant (although losing ground over the last ten years following the Thatcher / Reagan revolution (but gaining ground now as privatization fails in more and more cases) ) model of governments for most of the western democracies, including the united states.

akiy
08-26-2002, 11:50 AM
Hi Michael,

I'm sorry to hear you are leaving. The reason why I moved this thread to this forum was due to its main focus becoming non-aikido related. I hope you will understand my thoughts that non-aikido related threads shouldn't be labeled as such.

Also, please note that most of the threads that are here in the "Non-Aikido Discussions" were started here.

I hope you will reconsider leaving.

Regards,

-- Jun

virginia_kyu
08-26-2002, 01:33 PM
The title of this thread is "Misuse of Aikido Philosophy" and I began the thread to talk about it. Others then began throwing in politics etc. and diverted the thread away from its original purpose. I think a more fair resolution would have been to split the thread but I think it would be pointless to do so at this point.

What are we supposed to do if people interupt a discussion in order to insert their politics? After experiencing this on two threads "Peace or Righteousness" and this one I decided it was futile to stay on subject so I decided to engage them.

Don't get me wrong, I love discussing politics but I find it rude how the subjects on these threads were hijacked. Also, I am amused that when I decided to engage these people they immediately became offended and began to blame me for the direction of the conversation.

I just find it unfair that me and others who were interrupted in our discussions should be punished by having our threads removed when we can not control what subject people decide to discuss when posting on the thread.

Can we appeal to you in the future to have posts removed from threads that stray far off course from the original topic?

I think this would be much fairer than punishing everyone on the thread by removing it and placing in an obscure area of the website. I am not saying that people are intentially doing this but it is possible that people could sabatage threads they do not like by deliberatly posting off subject material and in effect shutting down their discussion.

I would love to stay on the AikiWeb forums but I think we need a clear and strong policy regarding this or I think it is pointless in beginning anymore discussions, especially those that deal with potential controversial subjects.

guest1234
08-26-2002, 01:35 PM
Michael,

Sorry, but the Khmer Rouge OVERTHREW the Cambodian government in it rise to power in 1975, but it was a movement before 1970, and some Asian political historians feel the bombing of rural Cambodia in the early 1970's (more bombs dropped there by the US than in all of Japan during WWII and killing 3/4 million Cambodians) helped turn Cambodians to their support of Pol Pot, in a similar way that Japanese brutality in China helped drum up popular support for Mao.

I think most men, in the end, have the basic desires of food and safety for themselves and their families. Once you have killed someone's loved ones, it is going to be pretty hard to win them over later. They don't just go and follow some crazed leader for no good reason.

I know you don't see 'aiki' in looking through another's eyes, but I do and there we will have to differ. I think about how I would feel in the place of these others; think about family you might have, how would you feel if a soldier from an occupying force raped your daughter or sister. If you saw your wife die for lack of medical care, your son dispair because he'd never have a chance for education or a job, perhaps never a chance to marry for want of that job?

Sometimes you have to read more than the popular news to find out the history of something. I was stationed in Korea in the early 1980's, and knew that when I went to Kwangju, I was not allowed into town, and it had to do with 'some sort of riot at the university', related as not really anything to do with the US, and that the citizens of Kwangju were just unreasonably hostile to us for no good reason. Imagine my surprise to later find that in 1980 college protestors against a military coup and establishment of martial law (with closing of the universities, the Assembly, and arrest of political opponents) were met by ROK special forces who used bayonets and flamethrowers on them. Citizens councils in the region rebelled, and asked for US embassy intervention. Instead, the US released the ROK troops from the UN Command that would be used to retake the cities, with the numbers of dead reported between 240 and 3000 dead or injured.

Being American, and being patriotic, does not mean complete and utter denial of any wrongdoing on our part. Sometimes people make mistakes, sometimes nations do, but I think the way to deal with mistakes is an honest apology and a look at how to avoid them in the future. I wish I could say that our country has never made a mistake, and always treated other nations fairly, but I do not beleive that has always been the case; I would like it to be so in the future.

akiy
08-26-2002, 02:17 PM
Can we appeal to you in the future to have posts removed from threads that stray far off course from the original topic?
I think that's a fair enough request. I've done such in the past with some threads.

The reason why I didn't (haven't) done so with this thread in particular was due to its length -- so many posts!

What I'll do, though, is take a look through this thread to try to find where the thread veered "off-topic" and try to split the thread then. I'll then take the original thread (which was, indeed, quite aikido related) and put it back into the Spiritual section. I know you might think, "too little, too late," but it might enable you to revive the original intent of the thread.

How does that sound?

In any case, I do appeal to everyone here to please take "off-topic" threads to the "Non-Aikido Discussions" form (which I'm thinking of changing to "Open Discsussions"). Thank you...

-- Jun

virginia_kyu
08-26-2002, 02:26 PM
That sounds fair and if I happen to be on the receiving end of this, having one of my posts deleted, so be it. :)

akiy
08-26-2002, 02:36 PM
Just to follow-up, I wouldn't be deleting the posts but putting them into another thread...

Thanks for your thoughts.

-- Jun

akiy
08-26-2002, 02:48 PM
The thread has been split. The original threas, "Misuse of Aikido Philosophy" is now in the Spiritual section.

-- Jun

virginia_kyu
08-26-2002, 03:21 PM
Thanks for your attempt to make sense of this mess of a thread but I think it went off subject way before it went into socialism, Post #23 on the "Misuse of Aikido" thread comes to mind. But I think it splintered in so many directions that it is impossible to make sense of any of it, especially because some mentioned socialism, misuse of aikido, and politics together all in one post.

I think it might be better just to start a new thread and not continue any discussions here.

I am going to start a new thread "World Politics" to continue any discussions here.