North Korea says it has conducted hydrogen bomb test

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by Explorer, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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  2. OmegaSlayer

    OmegaSlayer SS.org Regular

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    Kim Jong Un farted
     
  3. Jeesan

    Jeesan Regular

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    It's just sad where we have come as a species.

    You know what? The world has bombs that can destroy cities. But it doesn't have bombs that can annihilate planets. That'll make it easier to bomb the entire world.

    That's where we are headed. I know this is a very naïve view considering how every nation is trying to lookout for themselves. But it's very very pathetic in case we don't realize it.

    I wish Kim Jong just spent more time with technological advances/ scientific breakthroughs, instead of trying to be intimidating to the rest of the world. The same goes for any leader who spends excessively on warfare technologies. That just creates a cycle that does nothing. I wish I could offer a solution, but I am just an observer here.
     
  4. Rev2010

    Rev2010 Contributor

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    These days I can't help but look at most of our species as children mentally. If you look at how much conflict is caused by things that matter so little, or not at all. Even small divisions in religion cause bloody conflicts (Shiites and Sunni's, Protestant and Catholic), it's just so mind boggling stupid. India and Pakistan can't get along and they border each other. We are so intensely driven to care about shit that simply doesn't actually affect our lives but we make it affect our lives trying to force our will on it to meet what we approve.

    I've always said, we'll never reach a utopian society until we figure out how to fundamentally change human nature.


    Rev.
     
  5. OmegaSlayer

    OmegaSlayer SS.org Regular

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    Wind it up...people gets mental for the colour of the fence dividing their gardens...
     
  6. StevenC

    StevenC SS.org Regular

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  7. Rev2010

    Rev2010 Contributor

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    This part in the Matrix is probably the best way I can define us:




    Rev.
     
  8. AugmentedFourth

    AugmentedFourth X:1 K:C [c^f]|

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    Gonna play devil's advocate here.

    I think you have this exactly backwards. It should look something more like "human nature will never fundamentally change until we reach a different (utopian or otherwise) society."

    Blaming over-defence and aggressive acts on human nature is a little bit like inspecting a factory that is leaking pollutants into the air inside of it and saying that it's human nature to cough. There's perhaps another way of tracing back the impetus of these kinds of actions that is more conscious of the history and the material conditions involved, for example:

    The creation of the DPRK was, at least originally, a noble effort to establish Juche in Korea. Unfortunately, it's sometimes difficult to make any kind of change when you are being vehemently opposed by anti-communist imperialist countries (viz. the U.S. and U.K. in the Korean War). It's not surprising that after being pushed back in such a manner and having your country devastated in the process toughens the conditions that one has to work with. The DPRK have never been able to establish socialism, and now one of the only things they have to latch on to besides Korean nationalism is anti-imperialism (which makes some sense considering the Korean War was not that long ago and the U.S. and other western countries continue to misrepresent the conditions in the already struggling country of the DPRK). Being "big and bad" is one way to do that. Why did the U.S. and U.K. take the imperialist actions in the first place? In the interests of global capitalism. Is global capitalism human nature? No, of course not. It's a result of material conditions and the certain course of human history to this point.
     
  9. Rev2010

    Rev2010 Contributor

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    LOL, nooo I sure as heck don't have it backwards and history can attest to that. Often it's seen that people in supreme positions of power still want more power. People in positions of extremely wealth still want more wealth. And people can't get along with each other over ridiculously insignificant differences in opinions or life choices or religious choices etc.

    And having a utopian society with our current nature would leave no challenge. It's like Smith said in the Matrix, the original Matrix was designed so everyone could be happy but it was a disaster as no one would accept the program. I know, it's just a movie, but it sure seems pretty dead on when referring to human nature.


    Rev.
     
  10. AugmentedFourth

    AugmentedFourth X:1 K:C [c^f]|

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    That seems purely anecdotal; you are just picking out events in your mind that signify to you what you already think human nature is. The only reason you think that human nature is in some way egoistic ("People in positions of extreme wealth still want more wealth," etc.) is because that's what you've been told in order to make you think that this is just the way it is and you therefore have to be O.K. with it to some extent.

    If we look at history another way, it seems even more compelling that human nature is cooperative. This might suggest that perhaps there is no such thing as human nature, or at the very least it's much more influenced by material conditions than you seem to think. Consider the (vast) majority of the time that humans have existed, in which we (as a species, that is) lived in primitive communism. Examples of mutual aid abound in human history (and in non-human animals for that matter), more so than acts of apparent egoism.

    This isn't surprising if we take an evolutionary biology take on it, either. If humans really were as you describe, it seems doubtful we would have made it this long and developed the capacities that we have for collaboration, mutual aid, sharing in kind, natural language, music, etc. etc.

    Once again, these kinds of things only happen when people are put in situations where egoism is encouraged. Just as a quick example we might point to the carving up of Africa by European imperialist countries (a system that encourages egoism as you well know) and it resulting in all sorts of conflict across the continent that could never occur otherwise. Or, to use a more modern example of imperialism, conflict created in oil-rich countries by imperialist countries like the U.S. that rely on extracting those resources for their economy.

    It's not difficult to use a bit of imagination to consider other possible modes of organization.
     
  11. Adam Of Angels

    Adam Of Angels The GAS Man Contributor

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    Given that we are intelligent and have the capacity to live in such a way that is harmonious with nature, it is not humanity that is inherently virus-like, it's Fear.
     
  12. Rev2010

    Rev2010 Contributor

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    The Matrix video was meant more tongue in cheek. Obviously we don't just consume all resources then spread out to other areas, we're still occupying a tremendous amount of land on this planet. Outside of that video the only thing I recall saying to describe humanity is being like children. So you say "if humanity is how I describe it" , please explain how exactly you are thinking I'm explaining society as being so black and white. Yes we have cooperation, collaboration, human aid, etc. I never said we're pure evil or incapable of anything good. I said we need to change our nature before we can achieve utopia. If our planet only has a finite amount of resources, yet everyone continues to quote their God given right to continue to multiply exponentially, while simultaneously not wanting to incur the cost to maintain a sustainable future as a result of a greedy and "not my problem I'll be dead before that happens" mentality I think that constitutes a problem with a large portion of our behavior.

    Of course not everyone is like this, but the proof is so plain as day with all the conflicts and problems we continue to face still to this day due to petty emotional responses.


    Rev.
     
  13. AugmentedFourth

    AugmentedFourth X:1 K:C [c^f]|

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    I didn't mean to say that you thought of humans as black-and-white egoists. I know you know what mutual aid is and that it happens. But as you said in the post I replied to:

    "[W]e'll never reach a utopian society until we figure out how to fundamentally change human nature" [...] "history can attest to that."

    Which sounds to me like you are saying that there is some fundamental human nature that isn't changed by the society it is placed in, at least not significantly enough such that we need to change it before society can dramatically improve. I'm saying that when you pick out those examples from history, you are trying to paint an image of human nature based off of those examples as they existed in their own context and material conditions. Therefore you may not use them to generalize to some "fundamental human nature" that can be changed in order to transition to a better (or just different) society.

    To further that point I pointed out that mutual aid is just as prevalent depending on what you look at. I'm not trying to insult your intelligence by pretending that you don't know that mutual aid exists. I'm just saying that since I can point out examples just as well (or better if you consider primitive communism to weigh more due to its taking up the vast majority of the time humans have existed), it seems ridiculous to say that

    --

    I'm curious how you define utopia. For many people, part of the definition of the word "utopia" (and other forms like "utopian") is that it doesn't exist and cannot exist. Calling someone a "utopian" is a common term of disparagement. That being said, by some definitions I am a utopian so I just wonder what you mean by it.

    All of that stuff "God given right to continue to multiply exponentially," "not wanting to incur the cost to maintain a sustainable future as a result of a greedy and 'not my problem I'll be dead before that happens' mentality," etc. is all due to material/societal conditions.

    Take an easy example. We know from years and years of studying human geography/sociology that people stop having so many children when they have access to developments (easy access to bread/food, clean water, medical care, education, and so on). This is a simple (well, easy to say but a complicated interaction to be sure) example, but it's powerful to think that Malthus and similar doomsayers were wrong perhaps because people don't just keep doing the same dang stuff regardless of their conditions and society.

    You mention a sustainable future. I feel that. We seem to be on the wrong track for an ecologically sound Earth, no? But that isn't because there is something wrong with people. Humans are just damn fine, and it's only been until verrrrrryyy recently that it's become a problem. Why? Because of our material/societal conditions, once again. Viz., global capitalism incentivizes behavior that is detrimental to the environment even if the behavior isn't obviously harmful to anyone from the actor's point of view.

    Once again, you're being fed the idea that people just have "petty emotional responses" and incur detrimental conflicts just because. That's only going skin deep, if even that. The only reason people trot around these ideas (in spite of actual academic bodies, incl. sociologists, human geographers, anthropologists, historians [materialist or otherwise], biologists, ecologists, critical theorists, etc.) is because it supports the idea that that is just "the way it is," and that supports the interests of the couple people who rule over and benefit from the current system.

    You might be tempted to say that it's just human nature that a handful of people (at least in this case) start getting some power/wealth concentrated into their hands and naturally want to increase it


    But in reality, it's just that certain systems that function in that way and reinforce the power of those who already have it (to put it simply, profit and exploitation of labor) are stable. They exist for the same reason certain shapes of buildings are more stable than others (i.e. don't collapse under their own weight). That doesn't mean that it's that nature of atoms and molecules to form the Eiffel Tower. These kinds of systems naturally prop themselves up and can persevere only because they physically create positive feedback loops.
     
  14. StevenC

    StevenC SS.org Regular

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    Maybe unfair to tackle this example, but I'd say that doesn't help your point as I'd argue religion isn't human nature. And then to that specific example, of course you won't care if you believe everything you need will be provided as long as you pray in the correct way.

    To the second paragraph, it should be noted in a lot of these cases that people are biased against positive stories and need around 5-10 times more positive than negative to think things are neutral. For every greedy billionaire, we assume they're all like that, and every nice one we assume is the exception.

    To AugmentedFourth, I won't make assumptions about your politico-economic ideologies, but it's fair to say that a lot of capitalist inspired imperialism from the US and UK, post WWII, is more reactionary to procommunist imperialism from Russia than their own specific goals. A lot of what we're dealing with today is still the fallout from WWII.
     
  15. AugmentedFourth

    AugmentedFourth X:1 K:C [c^f]|

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    I'm not sure where you got that, but "communist imperialism" is a straight-up oxymoron. Communism is inherently anti-imperialist because imperialism is a mechanism of capitalist societies. Especially Marxism-Leninism and Stalinism (if you consider Stalinism to be a distinct ideology).

    You are right in a sense that the US and UK were being reactionary against communists. But they were reactionary not because they were just trying to help those poor countries who might (god forbid) be improved through conversion to communist economies. If you've read Marx you already know that it's not imperialism on the part of the USSR going on there; in materialist views it is inevitable that capitalism becomes communism (because it is so, so greatly favorable to 95+% of the population; "you have nothing to lose but your chains," etc). The US and UK just artificially stopped those transformations and created terrible conditions (as you say, "what we're dealing with today is still the fallout from WWII") in the places that they once were because it was threatening to the dominion of global capitalism.
     
  16. StevenC

    StevenC SS.org Regular

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    Well, let's be honest, the first thing the USSR did when they got the chance was conquer Poland. "We could handle another World War, but not another liberation by the Russians."

    And as the USSR expanded and spread they're brand of communism and gain allies, the US and UK did the same. All this because it was assumed that immediately after WWII, they'd end up fighting the USSR. So while everyone did this, we ended up with some places that eventually became successful and others that still haven't.

    I'm sure you don't need the history lesson, just wanted to point out that the capitalists aren't solely to blame. I definitely don't think they were trying to save anyone from communism, but rather build up a group of friends to be as big or bigger than the opposing side's friends, and naturally instilled political and economic situations resembling their own; same as the USSR was instilling their own system in their friends.

    While everyone was trading with everyone else back then, the US wasn't really interested so much in what was going on in the rest of the world until after WWII. That's when all the anticommunist/socialist propaganda began to shape America into what it is today. It's understandable in hindsight, given how USSR was up for a fight at the time. And it's fair to say that by that stage the British Empire was very much on the down swing.

    It's deeply fascinating how much of the world today was shaped by WWII, I think.
     
  17. AugmentedFourth

    AugmentedFourth X:1 K:C [c^f]|

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    Well I'm not here to defend Stalin, but that just seems like a deliberate twisting of what actually happened. Yes, Poland became a satellite state of the USSR after it was annexed in 1939. But "conquered" isn't exactly the right word for it, considering that at the time, there was no Polish government at all (exiled to Romania) and many Polish folks were already communist. This last bit is not surprising considering that Poland was sandwiched by the then-USSR and Germany, and Germany was originally expected by most folks to be the most likely country to have a successful communist revolution... until of course it failed (because stuff happens I guess). Grover Furr even went as far as to say that it was not an invasion at all, which sounds twisted, but he makes some potent points.

    That being said, consider this. Stalin famously had Trotsky assassinated, right? (Those damn ice axes.) Consider that the biggest difference between their communist ideologies was that Trotsky wanted to make communism as international as possible (if you've read Marx, once again you understand why that's the case). Stalin was extremely paranoid (to a fault) and defensive, trying just to establish "communism-in-one-country," so to speak (Trots will tell you that communism-in-one-country is a bad idea, or impossible). The states that would later be satellites only became so because they were disposed to it at least partially, and because Stalin knew that there was going to be a lot of opposition from capitalist imperialists who wanted to retain global hegemony.

    This doesn't really explain the actions of the U.S. in Korea, Vietnam, etc., ruining what was possibly successful socialism. Those places are now failed communist countries that never got close to even lower-stage communism. That means that, for example, Vietnam has had its poverty maintained (which is convenient when all you want is just some workers you can pay a few pennies to make you shirts and hoodies for sale in the U.S.).

    The "USSR was up for a fight at the time"? You have it backwards. The fact that the "USSR was up for a fight at the time" (i.e. trying to combat imperialism defensively) was only because of "all the anticommunist/socialist propaganda," and the whole rest of the anti-communist shebang of course.
     
  18. StevenC

    StevenC SS.org Regular

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    I'm going to go read some more.
     

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