Poll

I think that the human world is

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0 (0%)
 . addslashes($options[$i]) . "
6 (30%)
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10 (50%)
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3 (15%)
 . addslashes($options[$i]) . "
1 (5%)

Total Members Voted: 20

Author Topic: Are we done for?  (Read 7531 times)

Mandos

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Are we done for?
« on: September 28, 2007, 03:04:11 AM »
So, on some days I am an optimist, and on other days I am a pessimist, depending on what I've been reading.  I've been on a pessimism binge lately.  Actually, that's how it works.  I spend a few weeks in a state of optimism, and then have a few days of intense crash period, where I become a pessimist and start consuming depressing pessimistic writing.

Anyway, it's getting quite tiring and I am wanting to know whether I should be an optimist or a pessimist.  I mean, at least if I decide for good if I'm a pessimist, then I would know that I should expect to starve to death in the next 20 years and get on with life.  If I am an optimist, then I would know that the world is probably going get better than what it is now, and I could get on with life.

But it's so infuriating to be stuck in this ambiguous holding pattern, sometimes.

Mandos

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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2007, 03:26:25 AM »
The first responder voted for "nihil novum sub sole."  Is s/he trying to annoy me? That leaves me in ambiguity.  Help me decide!

GDKitty

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« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2007, 03:47:19 AM »
I haven't voted yet. I am still trying to decide. Getting pessimistic about future of BnR polls  :P

I am usually in the 'we're doomed' category, but some days I don't think about it until it's very quiet and time for bed. Like, right now for instance!

Mandos

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« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2007, 03:51:29 AM »
I sort of suspect pessimism from this group, because optimists in this climate have a tendency to be right-wingers.  If you like Bush...

So actually, I would be pleasantly surprised to see a few people give either of the two optimistic answers.  But don't answer it that way on my account, please.  Answer honestly.  If I'm right, we'll all be in categories 1-3.

justme

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« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2007, 05:38:21 AM »
I'm in the pessimist club, I'm overwhelmed sometimes by what is going on in so many different places. War, climate change, political machinations, corporate ownership of everything but the air we breath (for now).

Aarrrggg, I can't think about it too long, makes me want to just chuck it all in, throw up my hands, and go hide under a rock.

skdadl

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« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2007, 07:05:38 AM »
I voted "nihil novum" because I'm not sure -- some things about human life do seem awfully persistent, both good and bad things.

I'm feeling scared about politics in North America -- I wish I could tell how close the bastards are to dropping the polite lies and just oppressing us openly. And of course that determines so much of what happens everywhere else. I love human creativity and the human ability to learn -- if only everyone were using theirs.   :annoyed:

Toedancer

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« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2007, 07:32:57 AM »
Stay the same. and I don't know what the rest of the sentence means.
For one thing it is way too early and I was only suppose to check my messages before I left for H to see snookums.

I see some optimism in places and I gravitate towards that naturally.
I'm also frightened for N. America and the lack of serious talent making the decisions. I think we need a new political party, maybe a coalition, but everybody hates that idea and I like more everyday. Or at the very least a coalition out in the open to take the Cons. for the next 16 years.
"Democracy is not the law of the majority, it's the protection of the minority." -Albert Camus 1913-1960

brebis noire

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« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2007, 08:20:50 AM »
I voted nihil novum, but my option wasn't really there. I think we're semi-doomed, but it's possible that humans will continue to thrive in some form. Yes, there's lots of awful, but it's never totally awful for everybody all the time. There's always hope for some kind of enlightenment or hope on the horizon. (I'm a bit of a Le Guinest/ Le Guinian...)

I'm reading this ginormous book about medical history (A Medical History of Humanity by Roy Porter, who died soon after achieving this marvel). Even though I *know* about disease, I'm continually flattened to know about how continually prevalent is has always been. And how much has been overcome - not just through medical science.

Berlynn

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« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2007, 10:33:05 AM »
Quote from: skdadl
I'm feeling scared about politics in North America -- I wish I could tell how close the bastards are to dropping the polite lies and just oppressing us openly.


I hear you, skdadl.  With the likes of what we've got leading our military, what would it take for us to become a military dictatorship?

I am awfully pessimistic these days, but that doesn't mean I stop working for equality, sustainable development and peace, among other things.  It means I need to work more effectively.
Never retreat, never explain, never apologize--get the thing done and let them howl.  -- Nellie McClung

Caissa

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« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2007, 10:57:38 AM »
What would it take to become a military dictatorship?

An effective military leadership.

Fortunately, we seem safe on this front.  :D

Holly Stick

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« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2007, 11:00:07 AM »
None of the above.  We're going to change, but some for good and some for ill.
Economics is a human creation, borders are human creations and nature doesn’t give a damn about these things. - David Suzuki

skdadl

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« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2007, 11:12:16 AM »
Quote from: Caissa
What would it take to become a military dictatorship?

An effective military leadership.

Fortunately, we seem safe on this front.  :D


See, I'm not so sure of that. It takes a few someones with perverse brains, that's true, but they don't have to be the military leadership -- those guys just have to be willing to forget where the lines are and start crossing them.

Hitler didn't have that many military geniuses working for him. Goering sort of was early on, but ego overtook him; Rommel was, but he was far too independent so they never gave him political power. But the generals who were at Hitler's side all day every day were snivelling little critchurs of little talent other than political conniving.

I think that if you have a Cheney-brain or a Harper-brain, you're already in trouble, and then if you have thugs like Hillier (who I do not believe is very smart) who are willing to do anything, you're really in trouble. And there are obviously more of all those types available.

lagatta

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« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2007, 11:27:32 AM »
There is no "socialism or barbarism" type choice… I voted for the "confusion and sort-of utopia", because untrammelled pessimism can be very reactionary, fostering passivity and support for dangerous demagogues.

Certainly can no longer follow in the footsteps of the positivist-tinge among 19th century socialists who believed in the inevitability of progress. Since the First World War at least, we realise that progress can also be progress towards doom, and we think of the despair, but then despairing of despair of Gramsci, Benjamin, the Surrealists… Even Rosa Luxemburg’s writings, so marked by the horror of the Great War and the young vanguard of the proletariat in European powers butchering each other, shows evidence of that conscience.

But I was interpreting about ecosocialism and climate change, and the speaker almost wanted to play DOWN the point-of-no-return because it led to grasping desperately for any-old-solution - and many are reactionary and racist, targeting those teeming masses in the Global South…
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Holly Stick

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« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2007, 12:39:10 PM »
A couple of discusssions about economic responses to climate change, with some optimism included.

Eric Reguly, G&M about what's happening in Germany and elsewhere.

DeSmogBlog
Quote
...So how do you frame environmental issues? Well, for one thing, you use optimism--and a sense of can-do spirit--to your advantage. You don't tell people that the world is going to end, or that they're going to be poorer; rather, you tell them there are economic opportunities lying in wait if we address global warming. And then they’re more inclined to listen. Indeed, I would argue that if there's one central reason the climate issue has shifted of late, it's that many energy and transportation industry companies are changing their tune and waking up to the fact that they will still be making money--and perhaps even more of it--in a post-carbon world...
Economics is a human creation, borders are human creations and nature doesn’t give a damn about these things. - David Suzuki

Mandos

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« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2007, 05:30:21 PM »
I deliberately didn't include a "socialism or barbarism" choice, because I wanted to make the question independing of your ideological desiderata.  The question can be rephrased like this:

"Given your ideological desiderata, is the world likely to head towards them or away from them?"

or:

"Is the world going to become closer to what you want or farther away, and by how much?"

So if you think that socialism will lead to utopia (or some approximation thereof, or something slightly better than we have now), and you think we'll get socialism, you should give the positive answers.  If you think we won't get socialism, then the negative.  And if you think that we'll kind of get enough socialism to let us muddle along, then the middle answer.

 

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