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Neoliberalism Has Poisoned Our Minds, Study Finds

ZiprHead

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“Institutions can promote well-being and solidarity, or they can encourage competition, individualism, and hierarchy.”
The dominance of neoliberalism is turning societies against income equality.
At least, that’s according to a study published Tuesday in Perspectives on Psychological Science. A team of researchers at New York University and the American University of Beirut performed an analysis of roughly 20 years of data on from more than 160 countries and found that the dominance of neoliberalism across social and economic institutions has ingrained a widespread acceptance of income inequality across our value systems in turn.
“Our institutions, policies, and laws not only structure our social life but also have a great influence on the kind of people and society we become,” Shahrzad Goudarzi, a Ph.D. candidate at NYU and lead author on the paper, said in a press release.
Their analysis found a correlation between the embrace of neoliberalism and the prominence of what social psychology scholars call “equity-based reasoning,” or a preference for merit over a preference for equality: the line of thinking in which material outcomes, like payment, wealth, and social status, should be proportional to inputs, like productivity, effort, ability and time. In short, the dominance of neoliberalism has promoted the belief that the wealthy have earned their spot in society just as much as the poor have.
“Institutions can promote well-being and solidarity, or they can encourage competition, individualism, and hierarchy,” Goudarzi said. “In our work, we find that neoliberalism has fostered preference for greater income inequality not just in industrialized nations, but throughout the world.”
The researchers find that political systems definitively shape beliefs, and within a period of four years—but they neglected to find a correlation in the other direction, that widespread beliefs have the power to change systems within the same period of time.
“If individuals’ distributive beliefs shape intuitions at all, such a process may require more than a few years to play out,” the paper reads.

“While it is perhaps intuitive that human beings shape the nature of the economies in which they live, our work shows the reverse—that economic systems mold human psychology to fit them,” Goudarzi said in the release. “Neoliberal, free-market reforms appear to increase people’s preference for high levels of income inequality.”
 

SigmatheZeta

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Generally, I am rooted in both ancient Epicurean and ancient Pyrrhonist sentiments, although I am somewhat sympathetic toward the intentions behind ancient Cynicism.
This is unremarkable. It is normal for people to tend to assume that they live in the best of all possible worlds. It is necessary for them to think so if they are going to function well in their day-to-day lives. It is a sort of pragmatic madness.

Nevertheless, the consequences of inequality will eventually start to show, and we will rediscover, eventually, why extremes of inequality never really last forever. We still have not reached the level of inequality we experienced during the Victorian Era, but we will eventually. The consequences are likely to be similar. Revolutions, political instability, and so on.

Inequality unto itself never really bothered me, but I have always been realistic about its likely consequences. If the people want another Spring of Nations, then they can have it.
 

Elixir

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Some degree of inequality is desirable. What we have now is medieval - level inequality. It will probably not last as long as the medieval period, because nukes.
Also because nukes, global dominance by dictators autocrats and kleptocrats will grow as they consistently supplant and subvert democracies. They will be the increasingly dominant form of governments going forward for the same reason that the Republican minority controls the US. They cheat, they lie, they’re ruthless and they’re lawless.

If you’re the grandchild of someone born today, it will be up to a very few what you do, what you see and what you believe.
 

SigmatheZeta

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Generally, I am rooted in both ancient Epicurean and ancient Pyrrhonist sentiments, although I am somewhat sympathetic toward the intentions behind ancient Cynicism.
Some degree of inequality is desirable. What we have now is medieval - level inequality. It will probably not last as long as the medieval period, because nukes.
Also because nukes, global dominance by dictators autocrats and kleptocrats will grow as they consistently supplant and subvert democracies. They will be the increasingly dominant form of governments going forward for the same reason that the Republican minority controls the US. They cheat, they lie, they’re ruthless and they’re lawless.

If you’re the grandchild of someone born today, it will be up to a very few what you do, what you see and what you believe.
It would seem that even the "desirable" inequality is something to be diagnosed and addressed. If somebody is not producing enough to live with the same quality of life as others, then we should wonder why. Some people have psychiatric disorders that are treatable. Others have plenty of potential, but we have not succeeded at winning over their confidence in the system. If one person would rather play video games and smoke marijuana, It seems that only a fool would stop at just judging that person. It feels more enlightened to try to figure out what could have so gravely damaged that person's belief that it is worthwhile to try to do more.

I understand the compulsion to disengage all too well. That disengagement was based on principle. I was disgusted with the system. I think that there are other people like me out there that are also disgusted with the system. I envision many minority groups out there that remain poor for the same reason. People that have been insulted over and over have no motive to reward insult.

However, if that trend continues, then it will eventually result in revolution. If people that have the potential to do better continue to disengage from the system because the system will never reward them commensurate with what they feel they are worth, they will not just stop having the leadership potential that they are holding back. They will eventually find an outlet for their leadership potential, and it will not be an outlet that benefits the people that are in power. Eventually, a breaking point is approached.

Eventually, there is going to be a version of Elon Musk that has all of the indigenous strengths of character that led to Elon Musk becoming wealthy and powerful, but that person will not have an economic system that is likely to reward them with lavish wealth. That person will have millions of disaffected people that are quickly starting to feel vengeful or even bloodthirsty.

We have reached a point where the wealthy and powerful are not going to do anything to stop the advancement of wealth inequality. It is not in their self-interest to do so, and it is very much in their self-interest to do whatever they can to entrench and to defend their hegemony. We have already crossed a point-of-no-return, but the wealthy and powerful are fools if they think that that leads to some glorious destiny where the "elite and the wonderful be rewarded for being inherently better than all of those other losers." That is not how it works.

What we are on collision course for is another time-period like the Spring of Nations. The big protests in the past few years are just the start. Anybody that thinks that they are just a "flash in the pan" is a fool. Even the followers of Donald Trump are really a lot more like the Black Lives Matter protesters than most people think. They are really driven by the same force, only one is reactionary because they falsely believe that they can fix everything by forcing us into a backward march while the other is revolutionary and thinks they can use force to deliver themselves unto justice. The causes of their behavior are really the same, and it is going to get a lot more intense over the next several years.

I really consider it unlikely that we can stop it from flourishing into another series of political uprisings like the Spring of Nations period in the mid-19th Century, and I am, quite frankly, at peace with it. I have survived poverty and devastation and homelessness. I can sleep a full night's rest in a ditch. I am a tiny dragon, folks. I can sleep on a tree branch or a ledge. I tell you your future for your benefit, not for mine.
 

Harry Bosch

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This is unremarkable. It is normal for people to tend to assume that they live in the best of all possible worlds. It is necessary for them to think so if they are going to function well in their day-to-day lives. It is a sort of pragmatic madness.

Nevertheless, the consequences of inequality will eventually start to show, and we will rediscover, eventually, why extremes of inequality never really last forever. We still have not reached the level of inequality we experienced during the Victorian Era, but we will eventually. The consequences are likely to be similar. Revolutions, political instability, and so on.

Inequality unto itself never really bothered me, but I have always been realistic about its likely consequences. If the people want another Spring of Nations, then they can have it.

Yea, I have to say that inequality has never bothered me in the least. Wealth is greatly overrated. I have friends who are extremely successful, but work 90 hours a week. Not for me. I'd rather work 50 hours a week and ski on the weekends! I'll bet that the average American with median wealth is not bothered by the fact that median wealth in the US puts him/her in the 1% compared to third world countries. Wealth is relative.

I'm no expert in the Victorian era. But I would guess that the revolutions then were more due to the fact that there was incredible lack of mobility then. Your success was primarily due to where and whom you were born to. If we want to avoid future disruptions, we should continue to find ways to lower the barriers to success and help people move up when they want to.
 

SigmatheZeta

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Generally, I am rooted in both ancient Epicurean and ancient Pyrrhonist sentiments, although I am somewhat sympathetic toward the intentions behind ancient Cynicism.
This is unremarkable. It is normal for people to tend to assume that they live in the best of all possible worlds. It is necessary for them to think so if they are going to function well in their day-to-day lives. It is a sort of pragmatic madness.

Nevertheless, the consequences of inequality will eventually start to show, and we will rediscover, eventually, why extremes of inequality never really last forever. We still have not reached the level of inequality we experienced during the Victorian Era, but we will eventually. The consequences are likely to be similar. Revolutions, political instability, and so on.

Inequality unto itself never really bothered me, but I have always been realistic about its likely consequences. If the people want another Spring of Nations, then they can have it.

Yea, I have to say that inequality has never bothered me in the least. Wealth is greatly overrated. I have friends who are extremely successful, but work 90 hours a week. Not for me. I'd rather work 50 hours a week and ski on the weekends! I'll bet that the average American with median wealth is not bothered by the fact that median wealth in the US puts him/her in the 1% compared to third world countries. Wealth is relative.

I'm no expert in the Victorian era. But I would guess that the revolutions then were more due to the fact that there was incredible lack of mobility then. Your success was primarily due to where and whom you were born to. If we want to avoid future disruptions, we should continue to find ways to lower the barriers to success and help people move up when they want to.
If the system rewards following the rules, then those with ambition will follow the rules. If the system punishes following the rules, then the shit will eventuly hit the fan.
 

Harry Bosch

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This is unremarkable. It is normal for people to tend to assume that they live in the best of all possible worlds. It is necessary for them to think so if they are going to function well in their day-to-day lives. It is a sort of pragmatic madness.

Nevertheless, the consequences of inequality will eventually start to show, and we will rediscover, eventually, why extremes of inequality never really last forever. We still have not reached the level of inequality we experienced during the Victorian Era, but we will eventually. The consequences are likely to be similar. Revolutions, political instability, and so on.

Inequality unto itself never really bothered me, but I have always been realistic about its likely consequences. If the people want another Spring of Nations, then they can have it.

Yea, I have to say that inequality has never bothered me in the least. Wealth is greatly overrated. I have friends who are extremely successful, but work 90 hours a week. Not for me. I'd rather work 50 hours a week and ski on the weekends! I'll bet that the average American with median wealth is not bothered by the fact that median wealth in the US puts him/her in the 1% compared to third world countries. Wealth is relative.

I'm no expert in the Victorian era. But I would guess that the revolutions then were more due to the fact that there was incredible lack of mobility then. Your success was primarily due to where and whom you were born to. If we want to avoid future disruptions, we should continue to find ways to lower the barriers to success and help people move up when they want to.

I made a mistake above! My guess that much of the Victorian unrest was more due to lack of mobility. If you weren't born in the right area and with the right parents, you were stuck.
 

Jarhyn

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This is unremarkable. It is normal for people to tend to assume that they live in the best of all possible worlds. It is necessary for them to think so if they are going to function well in their day-to-day lives. It is a sort of pragmatic madness.

Nevertheless, the consequences of inequality will eventually start to show, and we will rediscover, eventually, why extremes of inequality never really last forever. We still have not reached the level of inequality we experienced during the Victorian Era, but we will eventually. The consequences are likely to be similar. Revolutions, political instability, and so on.

Inequality unto itself never really bothered me, but I have always been realistic about its likely consequences. If the people want another Spring of Nations, then they can have it.

Yea, I have to say that inequality has never bothered me in the least. Wealth is greatly overrated. I have friends who are extremely successful, but work 90 hours a week. Not for me. I'd rather work 50 hours a week and ski on the weekends! I'll bet that the average American with median wealth is not bothered by the fact that median wealth in the US puts him/her in the 1% compared to third world countries. Wealth is relative.

I'm no expert in the Victorian era. But I would guess that the revolutions then were more due to the fact that there was incredible lack of mobility then. Your success was primarily due to where and whom you were born to. If we want to avoid future disruptions, we should continue to find ways to lower the barriers to success and help people move up when they want to.
If the system rewards following the rules, then those with ambition will follow the rules. If the system punishes following the rules, then the shit will eventuly hit the fan.
I think more there is an issue where some folks want to only allow "following the rules" to be rewarding within a limited band: just rewarding enough to prevent revolution, but not rewarding enough to effectively penetrate station, regardless of merit.

There is a certain kind of glass ceiling that is beneficial to anyone in power because "power over people" is a zero sum game: there is only so much available to be had, and when someone has enough "power to", there is no more holding "power over" them.

So, to have more "power over" folks, they must limit "power to" do as people wish to below the threshold beyond which people may hold no real power over them beyond the power we would all exert to prevent the existence of assholes.

I do not think we ought accept the continued existence of this behavior. We ought name it, recognize it when it happens, and then disrupt the activities of such interests.
 

rousseau

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I think more there is an issue where some folks want to only allow "following the rules" to be rewarding within a limited band: just rewarding enough to prevent revolution, but not rewarding enough to effectively penetrate station, regardless of merit.

There is a certain kind of glass ceiling that is beneficial to anyone in power because "power over people" is a zero sum game: there is only so much available to be had, and when someone has enough "power to", there is no more holding "power over" them.

So, to have more "power over" folks, they must limit "power to" do as people wish to below the threshold beyond which people may hold no real power over them beyond the power we would all exert to prevent the existence of assholes.

I do not think we ought accept the continued existence of this behavior. We ought name it, recognize it when it happens, and then disrupt the activities of such interests.

I believe there is a risk of attributing agency to some kind of faction that is 'keeping people down', and it not just being a systemic problem. Everyone, in almost any position is going to leverage what existing power they have to acquire more power. And if they're a part of an organization that brings with it another dynamic entirely.

In practice those with power are effectively stripping wealth from those with less wealth, but that's a structural, political, and historical problem, not an intentional conspiracy. The individual actions are intentional, but those actions are disparate, diverse, and emerge because of a weak political system. There isn't a coherent 'top' or 'bottom', there are just unrelated people with a lot of power, and the ability to acquire more because of an uninformed polity and spineless politicians.

There is also a fallacy at play in the belief that quality of life should always improve for everyone, all the time. That's the goal, but in practice the movement of history should see a little more rhythm and back and forth. Some states grow, some contract, some communities completely flounder, others prosper. The world is dynamic and doesn't always move 'upward'.

All of that isn't to say that equity shouldn't be a goal, but if we're going to make it a goal we should understand the root of the problem, and be realistic about what's actually possible.
 

Jarhyn

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I think more there is an issue where some folks want to only allow "following the rules" to be rewarding within a limited band: just rewarding enough to prevent revolution, but not rewarding enough to effectively penetrate station, regardless of merit.

There is a certain kind of glass ceiling that is beneficial to anyone in power because "power over people" is a zero sum game: there is only so much available to be had, and when someone has enough "power to", there is no more holding "power over" them.

So, to have more "power over" folks, they must limit "power to" do as people wish to below the threshold beyond which people may hold no real power over them beyond the power we would all exert to prevent the existence of assholes.

I do not think we ought accept the continued existence of this behavior. We ought name it, recognize it when it happens, and then disrupt the activities of such interests.

I believe there is a risk of attributing agency to some kind of faction that is 'keeping people down', and it not just being a systemic problem. Everyone, in almost any position is going to leverage what existing power they have to acquire more power. And if they're a part of an organization that brings with it another dynamic entirely.

In practice those with power are effectively stripping wealth from those with less wealth, but that's a structural, political, and historical problem, not an intentional conspiracy. The individual actions are intentional, but those actions are disparate, diverse, and emerge because of a weak political system. There isn't a coherent 'top' or 'bottom', there are just unrelated people with a lot of power, and the ability to acquire more because of an uninformed polity and spineless politicians.

There is also a fallacy at play in the belief that quality of life should always improve for everyone, all the time. That's the goal, but in practice the movement of history should see a little more rhythm and back and forth. Some states grow, some contract, some communities completely flounder, others prosper. The world is dynamic and doesn't always move 'upward'.

All of that isn't to say that equity shouldn't be a goal, but if we're going to make it a goal we should understand the root of the problem, and be realistic about what's actually possible.
There is no "faction" but billions of folks disconnected except in their common hold on their self-interest and unacknowledged subconscious drives.

As I understand it the word for such is "zeitgeist".

This is specifically around the zeitgeist, however, of power of the selfish-but-informed. I expect few if any explicitly know this is what they are doing; it doesn't work as effectively when someone knows they are doing it!

Still, there is a steady, visible trend towards behaviors and ideas that self-perpetuate only in systems that thrive on a particular brand of unthinking ignorance and this means that if the behavior is persistent, and it is, it is persistent because it incorporates behaviors that protect the core behavior from "the corrupting influence of knowledge".

My expectation is that book burning stems as a behavior from a latent widespread meme that knowledge is doubt of parental unput, and doubt of parental input is the end of parental attempts at "downloading into their children", and in many ways, this is true.

It's just not a bad thing to let people grow into themselves rather than demanding they be little copies of their parents
 
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SigmatheZeta

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Generally, I am rooted in both ancient Epicurean and ancient Pyrrhonist sentiments, although I am somewhat sympathetic toward the intentions behind ancient Cynicism.
This is unremarkable. It is normal for people to tend to assume that they live in the best of all possible worlds. It is necessary for them to think so if they are going to function well in their day-to-day lives. It is a sort of pragmatic madness.

Nevertheless, the consequences of inequality will eventually start to show, and we will rediscover, eventually, why extremes of inequality never really last forever. We still have not reached the level of inequality we experienced during the Victorian Era, but we will eventually. The consequences are likely to be similar. Revolutions, political instability, and so on.

Inequality unto itself never really bothered me, but I have always been realistic about its likely consequences. If the people want another Spring of Nations, then they can have it.

Yea, I have to say that inequality has never bothered me in the least. Wealth is greatly overrated. I have friends who are extremely successful, but work 90 hours a week. Not for me. I'd rather work 50 hours a week and ski on the weekends! I'll bet that the average American with median wealth is not bothered by the fact that median wealth in the US puts him/her in the 1% compared to third world countries. Wealth is relative.

I'm no expert in the Victorian era. But I would guess that the revolutions then were more due to the fact that there was incredible lack of mobility then. Your success was primarily due to where and whom you were born to. If we want to avoid future disruptions, we should continue to find ways to lower the barriers to success and help people move up when they want to.
If the system rewards following the rules, then those with ambition will follow the rules. If the system punishes following the rules, then the shit will eventuly hit the fan.
I think more there is an issue where some folks want to only allow "following the rules" to be rewarding within a limited band: just rewarding enough to prevent revolution, but not rewarding enough to effectively penetrate station, regardless of merit.

There is a certain kind of glass ceiling that is beneficial to anyone in power because "power over people" is a zero sum game: there is only so much available to be had, and when someone has enough "power to", there is no more holding "power over" them.

So, to have more "power over" folks, they must limit "power to" do as people wish to below the threshold beyond which people may hold no real power over them beyond the power we would all exert to prevent the existence of assholes.

I do not think we ought accept the continued existence of this behavior. We ought name it, recognize it when it happens, and then disrupt the activities of such interests.
I am just going to watch and laugh.
 

Jimmy Higgins

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If political systems shape beliefs, what shapes the political system?
Access to necessities. When those needs are met, then stupidity and insanity take charge.

After all, look at the US. Things chugging along with Clinton as President, and the nation votes for the other party because... umm... And since then, gay marriage to CRT (and now even a stolen election not contested by the guy who it was "stolen" from) issues have been the main driver of the GOP to influence voters.

When things go too good for too long, people start thinking it is a natural state of existence... not that work or sacrifice was needed to meet those conditions.
 

Elixir

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If political systems shape beliefs, what shapes the political system?
Access to necessities. When those needs are met, then stupidity and insanity take charge.
And the media. When some frivolous thing becomes the “trending” item du jour it suddenly attains the importance of a necessity. Even if it’s not real. Take the GQP’s manufactured urgency to get rid of CRT in kindergarten. The fact that it doesn’t exist is irrelevant. People can still be stirred to lethal rage, believing with all their hearts (and lacking the heads to know better) that they are crusaders for good. They become willing to tolerate, and even commit, atrocities for “the cause” even though it’s just a political gimmick.
 

jab

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If political systems shape beliefs, what shapes the political system?
Access to necessities. When those needs are met, then stupidity and insanity take charge.
And the media. When some frivolous thing becomes the “trending” item du jour it suddenly attains the importance of a necessity. Even if it’s not real. Take the GQP’s manufactured urgency to get rid of CRT in kindergarten. The fact that it doesn’t exist is irrelevant. People can still be stirred to lethal rage, believing with all their hearts (and lacking the heads to know better) that they are crusaders for good. They become willing to tolerate, and even commit, atrocities for “the cause” even though it’s just a political gimmick.
I am not sure how this relates to the topic at hand--it seems to me both "sides" in North American democracies want to deflect from serious consideration of economic inequality to mulling over cultural issues.---partly because, on economics, neo-con and neo-lib sing from the same hymnbook.
 

Loren Pechtel

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Yea, I have to say that inequality has never bothered me in the least. Wealth is greatly overrated. I have friends who are extremely successful, but work 90 hours a week. Not for me. I'd rather work 50 hours a week and ski on the weekends! I'll bet that the average American with median wealth is not bothered by the fact that median wealth in the US puts him/her in the 1% compared to third world countries. Wealth is relative.
For a lot of them I think it's like my former boss--making it work was one of his main pleasures in life. It wasn't a case of work-life balance, work was life. What we would see as hell he didn't.
 

Jarhyn

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Yea, I have to say that inequality has never bothered me in the least. Wealth is greatly overrated. I have friends who are extremely successful, but work 90 hours a week. Not for me. I'd rather work 50 hours a week and ski on the weekends! I'll bet that the average American with median wealth is not bothered by the fact that median wealth in the US puts him/her in the 1% compared to third world countries. Wealth is relative.
For a lot of them I think it's like my former boss--making it work was one of his main pleasures in life. It wasn't a case of work-life balance, work was life. What we would see as hell he didn't.
Making it work, in many respects, is also a main pleasure in life for myself. The issue is that for the majority of such people, there is no mobility from "making the widget work" to "making the dream project work".

If there was, we might see more dreams existing in the times our eyes are open.

I want a chance to run, not to be bled dry of my inspiration so as to fill a pocket but to bleed myself dry of my inspiration into the things I truly love.
 

Bomb#20

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It's a free country.
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...
Nevertheless, the consequences of inequality will eventually start to show, and we will rediscover, eventually, why extremes of inequality never really last forever. We still have not reached the level of inequality we experienced during the Victorian Era, but we will eventually. The consequences are likely to be similar. Revolutions, political instability, and so on.

Inequality unto itself never really bothered me, but I have always been realistic about its likely consequences. If the people want another Spring of Nations, then they can have it.
...
I'm no expert in the Victorian era. But I would guess that the revolutions then were more due to the fact that there was incredible lack of mobility then. Your success was primarily due to where and whom you were born to. If we want to avoid future disruptions, we should continue to find ways to lower the barriers to success and help people move up when they want to.
Which Victorian-era revolutions are we talking about? Victorian Britain never had one. If you mean the Russian Revolution, that would never have happened if Russia had been governed as competently as Britain was. For that matter, it would never have happened if Germany had been governed as competently as Britain was. The Victorian age broke down because its enemy had ineffective civilian control over the military and the only civilian in a position to hold the generals back was an idiot with an inferiority complex over his lame arm who liked wearing an army uniform and who thought he could prove his manhood by conquering France. Revolutions aren't caused by inequality or immobility, but by stupid governments.
 

Bomb#20

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It's a free country.
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If political systems shape beliefs, what shapes the political system?
Access to necessities. When those needs are met, then stupidity and insanity take charge.

After all, look at the US. Things chugging along with Clinton as President, and the nation votes for the other party because... umm...
No we didn't. The nation voted for Gore. It was the electoral college and five SCOTUS judges that voted for the other party.
 

SigmatheZeta

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Generally, I am rooted in both ancient Epicurean and ancient Pyrrhonist sentiments, although I am somewhat sympathetic toward the intentions behind ancient Cynicism.
...
Nevertheless, the consequences of inequality will eventually start to show, and we will rediscover, eventually, why extremes of inequality never really last forever. We still have not reached the level of inequality we experienced during the Victorian Era, but we will eventually. The consequences are likely to be similar. Revolutions, political instability, and so on.

Inequality unto itself never really bothered me, but I have always been realistic about its likely consequences. If the people want another Spring of Nations, then they can have it.
...
I'm no expert in the Victorian era. But I would guess that the revolutions then were more due to the fact that there was incredible lack of mobility then. Your success was primarily due to where and whom you were born to. If we want to avoid future disruptions, we should continue to find ways to lower the barriers to success and help people move up when they want to.
Which Victorian-era revolutions are we talking about? Victorian Britain never had one.

Palmerton negated the need for a revolution in the United Kingdom. Besides, if Prince Albert had not talked the queen out of attempting to dismiss him, then there might have been a real revolution in the United Kingdom. The fact that Prince Albert was so determined to encourage a lawful outlook on the limits of constitutional democracy has successfully led to the United Kingdom becoming one of the most stable constitutional monarchies in human history. This was why Palmerton was able to get away with giving words of support to those revolutions abroad.

Ireland actually did have a revolution in 1848, actually, but the severity of the famine there, not to mention the poor organization of the Young Irelander movement, led to that revolution turning out to be an unmitigated failure. More than anything, this really just proves how lunatic it is to rely too heavily upon one crop. When it is struck by a blight, the whole country starves.

Another thing that I believe helped to undermind Ireland's 1848 revolution was the fact that the government of the United Kingdom sponsored the emigration of starving Irish people to the United States. This was really a brilliant move because, without a large force of disaffected and hungry people to serve as manpower for the revolution, there was just nobody really there to fight it. About 30% of Ireland's population was offered a free trip to the United States, where they were going to be able to live under a republic just the way they had wanted, and they were not going to pass it up in favor of a misguided revolution that would have cut them off from the assistance that ultimately saved many of their lives. It would have been madness.

So yes, the Young Irelanders lost their attempted 1848. Big whoop. The reasons for the failure of that revolution and the fact that the UK was not really any breeding for revolutionary sentiment come down to a few important factors:

A) Prince Albert was a political genius that succeeded at talking the Queen of England out of biting off her nose to spite her face, which would have otherwise cost the British a tremendous amount of their confidence in the royal family's willingness to hold up their end of the social contract that preserved their constitutional monarchy, and​
B) Irish agriculture had utterly failed to modernize. Not only did many Irish pay for this with their lives, but it also cost the country any chance of independence in a year when there was otherwise a tremendous amount of political energy toward nationalist movements in that particular year. And​
C) Palmerton was really a very influential liberal politician. In fact, he was literally the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom that represented the Liberal Party. In a way, the rise of the Liberal Party was really a sort of political revolution in its own right. They overthrew the domination of the Whigs vs. the Tories and introduced a whole new era in British politics. To say that Palmerton's leadership in the newly formed Liberal Party did not make him, in a way, a revolutionary would set one up as having a profoundly narrow-minded idea of what constitutes a revolution. The fact that the Whigs and the Tories were both overthrown was a big deal. Even though this occurred only 11 years after the Spring of nations, it still represents a major change, in British politics, that happened during the time-period.​

My opinion is firmly that the United Kingdom was every bit as affected by the forces that were behind the Spring of Nations as any other government, and I argue that it was only the talented statesmanship of several important, identifiable individuals and sheer dumb luck that prevented a more forceful revolution from shaking up the United Kingdom.

It is correct that "stupid governments" tend to play a role in the causes of revolutions, but to pretend that the more widespread causes of a revolution do not have any affect at all on political discourse would be outright demented.

Anyhow, my opinion is that the Spring of Nations was what really put the European continent on course for World War I and, eventually, for World War II.

I am strongly of the opinion that we only have a couple of decades of relative stability left before this country has gotten into a frame of mind that will be amenable to being turned to revolution. I think it is possible for reasonably competent statesmanship to hold off any serious upheavals until then, but we are going to reach a certain point where the only thing capable of stopping a major revolution would be another Palmerton-like figure, which is essentially an aggressive reformer that gives people a means of venting their revolutionary sentiments in a manner that does not result in overturning the established order. It is possible, and there is precedent for it. However, that is not really stopping the political motion: it only really constitutes redirecting the energy along less destructive routes, but it still has to go somewhere.

Fact: white people WILL be a minority group, in the United States, by the year 2045. This is going to be a major political turning point, and it will have consequences. I am not sure what those consequences are going to be. I will nonetheless be very interested in finding out.
 
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bilby

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Irish agriculture had utterly failed to modernize. Not only did many Irish pay for this with their lives, but it also cost the country any chance of independence in a year when there was otherwise a tremendous amount of political energy toward nationalist movements in that particular year.
You say this as though the Irish had some degree of choice or influence in the matter.

Irish agriculture was whatever English landlords told the Irish it was going to be. Modernisation had happened, to a degree, with regard to the raising of wheat, barley and other cereal grains, by English landowners, for export to (mostly) England. Irish farm workers were not permitted access to this produce, however; They fed themselves from the land not wanted or used by their employers, which was unwanted specifically because it was unfit for growing grain - the only food crop able to to be grown on such marginal land was potatoes, so they grew those. Not because they didn't want to grow something else, but because nothing else would grow well.

Indeed, the modernisation of Irish agriculture had already significantly reduced the number of low-skilled labourers required by the English landlords, and the Irish people had become a liability, rather than an asset; The opportunity to remove them from the land (freeing up more land for profitable uses) by shipping them off to America, was a godsend for these landowners.

Like the similar Highland Clearances (that by this time had been routine for almost a century, and were winding down simply because there was almost nobody left to evict), the removal of excess Irish peasants so that English landlords (many of whom had never set foot in the country) could make even more money from modern agriculture was welcomed. If the peasants went to America, or if they simply died, was of little concern, as long as they weren't still around.

The Irish produced plenty of food throughout the famine. But they didn't own that food, and couldn't afford to buy it, so they starved to death.
 

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Irish agriculture had utterly failed to modernize. Not only did many Irish pay for this with their lives, but it also cost the country any chance of independence in a year when there was otherwise a tremendous amount of political energy toward nationalist movements in that particular year.
You say this as though the Irish had some degree of choice or influence in the matter.

Irish agriculture was whatever English landlords told the Irish it was going to be. Modernisation had happened, to a degree, with regard to the raising of wheat, barley and other cereal grains, by English landowners, for export to (mostly) England. Irish farm workers were not permitted access to this produce, however; They fed themselves from the land not wanted or used by their employers, which was unwanted specifically because it was unfit for growing grain - the only food crop able to to be grown on such marginal land was potatoes, so they grew those. Not because they didn't want to grow something else, but because nothing else would grow well.

Indeed, the modernisation of Irish agriculture had already significantly reduced the number of low-skilled labourers required by the English landlords, and the Irish people had become a liability, rather than an asset; The opportunity to remove them from the land (freeing up more land for profitable uses) by shipping them off to America, was a godsend for these landowners.

Like the similar Highland Clearances (that by this time had been routine for almost a century, and were winding down simply because there was almost nobody left to evict), the removal of excess Irish peasants so that English landlords (many of whom had never set foot in the country) could make even more money from modern agriculture was welcomed. If the peasants went to America, or if they simply died, was of little concern, as long as they weren't still around.

The Irish produced plenty of food throughout the famine. But they didn't own that food, and couldn't afford to buy it, so they starved to death.
Would you say it was sort of comparable to the Holodomor?

Edit: I decided to look up an opinion on that thought. Apparently, at least this writer disagrees with the comparison.


According to you, though, the British government nevertheless seemed to be complicit in the causes and definitely reaped a benefit by clearing out many indigenous Irish.
 

bilby

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Irish agriculture had utterly failed to modernize. Not only did many Irish pay for this with their lives, but it also cost the country any chance of independence in a year when there was otherwise a tremendous amount of political energy toward nationalist movements in that particular year.
You say this as though the Irish had some degree of choice or influence in the matter.

Irish agriculture was whatever English landlords told the Irish it was going to be. Modernisation had happened, to a degree, with regard to the raising of wheat, barley and other cereal grains, by English landowners, for export to (mostly) England. Irish farm workers were not permitted access to this produce, however; They fed themselves from the land not wanted or used by their employers, which was unwanted specifically because it was unfit for growing grain - the only food crop able to to be grown on such marginal land was potatoes, so they grew those. Not because they didn't want to grow something else, but because nothing else would grow well.

Indeed, the modernisation of Irish agriculture had already significantly reduced the number of low-skilled labourers required by the English landlords, and the Irish people had become a liability, rather than an asset; The opportunity to remove them from the land (freeing up more land for profitable uses) by shipping them off to America, was a godsend for these landowners.

Like the similar Highland Clearances (that by this time had been routine for almost a century, and were winding down simply because there was almost nobody left to evict), the removal of excess Irish peasants so that English landlords (many of whom had never set foot in the country) could make even more money from modern agriculture was welcomed. If the peasants went to America, or if they simply died, was of little concern, as long as they weren't still around.

The Irish produced plenty of food throughout the famine. But they didn't own that food, and couldn't afford to buy it, so they starved to death.
Would you say it was sort of comparable to the Holodomor?
In many ways, yes. Though the motive appears to have been disinterest in the fate of the Irish, while Stalin appears to have been more deliberately cruel to Ukraine.

The Irish famiine was a liberal free market famine; The food produced on the island of Ireland was sold to the highest bidder, and the free market left to find the optimum distribution of the resources - which turned out not to include distributing food to people with no money and few prospects. There was never anything preventing starving Irish peasants from buying some of the grain with their own money, but they had no money, and would be hanged if they stole either money or food.

The Holodomor was the same thing, but centrally planned; Send the grain to Moscow, or get shot.
 

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Irish agriculture had utterly failed to modernize. Not only did many Irish pay for this with their lives, but it also cost the country any chance of independence in a year when there was otherwise a tremendous amount of political energy toward nationalist movements in that particular year.
You say this as though the Irish had some degree of choice or influence in the matter.

Irish agriculture was whatever English landlords told the Irish it was going to be. Modernisation had happened, to a degree, with regard to the raising of wheat, barley and other cereal grains, by English landowners, for export to (mostly) England. Irish farm workers were not permitted access to this produce, however; They fed themselves from the land not wanted or used by their employers, which was unwanted specifically because it was unfit for growing grain - the only food crop able to to be grown on such marginal land was potatoes, so they grew those. Not because they didn't want to grow something else, but because nothing else would grow well.

Indeed, the modernisation of Irish agriculture had already significantly reduced the number of low-skilled labourers required by the English landlords, and the Irish people had become a liability, rather than an asset; The opportunity to remove them from the land (freeing up more land for profitable uses) by shipping them off to America, was a godsend for these landowners.

Like the similar Highland Clearances (that by this time had been routine for almost a century, and were winding down simply because there was almost nobody left to evict), the removal of excess Irish peasants so that English landlords (many of whom had never set foot in the country) could make even more money from modern agriculture was welcomed. If the peasants went to America, or if they simply died, was of little concern, as long as they weren't still around.

The Irish produced plenty of food throughout the famine. But they didn't own that food, and couldn't afford to buy it, so they starved to death.
Would you say it was sort of comparable to the Holodomor?
In many ways, yes. Though the motive appears to have been disinterest in the fate of the Irish, while Stalin appears to have been more deliberately cruel to Ukraine.

The Irish famiine was a liberal free market famine; The food produced on the island of Ireland was sold to the highest bidder, and the free market left to find the optimum distribution of the resources - which turned out not to include distributing food to people with no money and few prospects. There was never anything preventing starving Irish peasants from buying some of the grain with their own money, but they had no money, and would be hanged if they stole either money or food.

The Holodomor was the same thing, but centrally planned; Send the grain to Moscow, or get shot.
I see, so where the Irish famine was, to a large extent, a product of carelessness, the Holodomor was definitely more sinister.

However, Palmerton had many surprisingly liberal ideas. Do you think that the Irish famine would have gone differently if a strong anti-Irish, anti-Catholic Tory government had remained firmly entrenched in lieu of the more liberal Palmerton having a period in power? I do strongly feel that Palmerton's influence might have been a part of why any sort of aid at all was given to the Irish. I suspect that a Tory government would have done nothing at all to help relocate those people, and they would have dealt with the inevitable revolution via outright genocide.
 

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Irish agriculture had utterly failed to modernize. Not only did many Irish pay for this with their lives, but it also cost the country any chance of independence in a year when there was otherwise a tremendous amount of political energy toward nationalist movements in that particular year.
You say this as though the Irish had some degree of choice or influence in the matter.

Irish agriculture was whatever English landlords told the Irish it was going to be. Modernisation had happened, to a degree, with regard to the raising of wheat, barley and other cereal grains, by English landowners, for export to (mostly) England. Irish farm workers were not permitted access to this produce, however; They fed themselves from the land not wanted or used by their employers, which was unwanted specifically because it was unfit for growing grain - the only food crop able to to be grown on such marginal land was potatoes, so they grew those. Not because they didn't want to grow something else, but because nothing else would grow well.

Indeed, the modernisation of Irish agriculture had already significantly reduced the number of low-skilled labourers required by the English landlords, and the Irish people had become a liability, rather than an asset; The opportunity to remove them from the land (freeing up more land for profitable uses) by shipping them off to America, was a godsend for these landowners.

Like the similar Highland Clearances (that by this time had been routine for almost a century, and were winding down simply because there was almost nobody left to evict), the removal of excess Irish peasants so that English landlords (many of whom had never set foot in the country) could make even more money from modern agriculture was welcomed. If the peasants went to America, or if they simply died, was of little concern, as long as they weren't still around.

The Irish produced plenty of food throughout the famine. But they didn't own that food, and couldn't afford to buy it, so they starved to death.
Would you say it was sort of comparable to the Holodomor?
In many ways, yes. Though the motive appears to have been disinterest in the fate of the Irish, while Stalin appears to have been more deliberately cruel to Ukraine.

The Irish famiine was a liberal free market famine; The food produced on the island of Ireland was sold to the highest bidder, and the free market left to find the optimum distribution of the resources - which turned out not to include distributing food to people with no money and few prospects. There was never anything preventing starving Irish peasants from buying some of the grain with their own money, but they had no money, and would be hanged if they stole either money or food.

The Holodomor was the same thing, but centrally planned; Send the grain to Moscow, or get shot.
I see, so where the Irish famine was, to a large extent, a product of carelessness, the Holodomor was definitely more sinister.

However, Palmerton had many surprisingly liberal ideas. Do you think that the Irish famine would have gone differently if a strong anti-Irish, anti-Catholic Tory government had remained firmly entrenched in lieu of the more liberal Palmerton having a period in power? I do strongly feel that Palmerton's influence might have been a part of why any sort of aid at all was given to the Irish. I suspect that a Tory government would have done nothing at all to help relocate those people, and they would have dealt with the inevitable revolution via outright genocide.
Well obviously it's impossible to know what might have happened in an alternative history, but certainly that would be consistent with what I know of the Tories.
 

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Well, my way of thinking is that the next 25 years could go one of two ways:

We could have an American version of Palmerton, who would--no matter how imperfectly--pursue a "national unity" version of liberalism. This was Palmerton's approach, and it was brilliant. I would compare it vaguely with Teddy Roosevelt's nationalistic yet progressive ideas, which Teddy Roosevelt called "New Nationalism." This would successfully win over people that would otherwise follow someone like Donald Trump by appealing to the underlying jingoism in their motives, but regardless of the unsavory aspects of this scenario, it would succeed at unifying the country. This would usher in a period similar to the Progressive Era.​
On the other hand, we could end up with a situation similar to what happened in France. I consider this to be less likely but also possible. We could end up with a despot not unlike Trump. Let us imagine that, for women's rights and for LGBTQ rights, shit went completely sideways for an entire generation. The Republicans entrenched themselves deeply and seemingly permanently in power. We had an authoritarian government similar to that of Vladimir Putin, democratic on paper but undeniably rigged as hell. Criticism of that government were being treated as a crime and "fake news." The parents of transgender kids were routinely sentenced to ten year prison terms if they so much as called their kid by the right pronoun. Abortion doctors were executed every Friday at sundown before gloating mobs of conservative evangelicals. And Franklin Graham were as happy as a pig in shit. It is a possible future. Also, the monarchy in France was actually gleefully confident, during this time period, that they could never possibly be deposed, and they actually would have laughed hysterically at the concept that something like 1848 could possibly happen. The revolution, by the time it happened, was long-overdue.​
*snaps her tail irritably at the thought*​
I do not like revolutions. They lack elegance.​
To guide us into the first version, which I think of as the Palmertonian version, we would need a movement, among the Democrats, that embraced a sort of progressive nationalism, sort of like Theodore Roosevelt's idea of "New Nationalism" or like the very very very pro-British liberalism of Palmerton. We could do it as long as we made peace with the fact that the only way that you can really control people like white nationalists is to give them the idea that their country's very diversity and progressive culture is a part of what makes their country so much better than others. It can be done, in my opinion.​
It is not utterly deterministic, and it is not utterly random. There are different paths you can go by, but you cannot just choose a random vision and expect that vision to be the result. You have to choose between what is possible and what is also possible. It is very much like the economy. You can steer it, to an extent, but to an extent, it also has a mind of its own and often rebels against any attempt to control it.​
 

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The Irish famiine was a liberal free market famine;
Oh for the love of god. The 19th-century famine happened because the 16th- and 17th- and 18th-century British governments stole the Irish people's land! You might as well call the Mafia "a liberal free market".
 

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Palmerton negated the need for a revolution in the United Kingdom. Besides, if Prince Albert had not talked the queen out of attempting to dismiss him, then there might have been a real revolution in the United Kingdom. The fact that Prince Albert was so determined to encourage a lawful outlook on the limits of constitutional democracy has successfully led to the United Kingdom becoming one of the most stable constitutional monarchies in human history.
I think you're overestimating Victoria's power. Parliament settled its right to fire a king in 1690, and royal authority declined steadily all through the 1700s. I don't think any member of the House of Hanover ever vetoed a single Act of Parliament. If Victoria had made any serious effort to control public policy Parliament would have just ignored her and done what they were going to do anyway, and somehow managed to be exceedingly respectful about it.

C) Palmerton was really a very influential liberal politician. In fact, he was literally the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom that represented the Liberal Party. In a way, the rise of the Liberal Party was really a sort of political revolution in its own right. They overthrew the domination of the Whigs vs. the Tories and introduced a whole new era in British politics. To say that Palmerton's leadership in the newly formed Liberal Party did not make him, in a way, a revolutionary would set one up as having a profoundly narrow-minded idea of what constitutes a revolution. The fact that the Whigs and the Tories were both overthrown was a big deal. Even though this occurred only 11 years after the Spring of nations, it still represents a major change, in British politics, that happened during the time-period.

That's a weird way to look at it. The Liberal Party was the Whig Party, renamed, and reinforced with disaffected Tories. Palmerston was the Whigs' foreign secretary in 1848 and through most of the period leading up to it.
 

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According to you, though, the British government nevertheless seemed to be complicit in the causes and definitely reaped a benefit by clearing out many indigenous Irish.
The English landlords, many of whom were also a part of the British Government insofar as they had seats in parliament, were certainly complicit in the causes, and likely also reaped a benefit; But the British Government itself did neither.

The Irish Famine was a negligent homicide, as opposed to the premeditated murder of the Holodomor. Nobody wanted Irish peasants to die, but then, nobody wanted their Irish land holdings to generate lower profits, either.

The point was that few of those in a position to choose between lives and profits felt any inclination to prioritise the former over the latter.
 

bilby

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The Irish famiine was a liberal free market famine;
Oh for the love of god. The 19th-century famine happened because the 16th- and 17th- and 18th-century British governments stole the Irish people's land! You might as well call the Mafia "a liberal free market".
You might as well call the modern US economy an organised crime gang. It's based on the theft, between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, of Native American land.

The fact was that a bunch of peasants were the tenants of a bunch of mostly absentee landlords, and that having had their ancestors establish this situation (by fair means or foul; mostly foul) the rule of law, respect for property ownerhip, and liberal free market principles meant that the Irish starved because they had made the dreadful social faux pas of being born to poor families, and not rich ones.

Much as African Americans today are not direct victims of slavery, nor White Americans today slaveholders, so the Irish peasants of the 1840s were not victims of theft, nor their landlords perpetrators thereof.

All of the principles of liberal democracy were in play. Nobody was stealing anything from anyone. Of course, people's grandparents had been the victims (or perpetrators) of an astonishing and bald-faced theft on a grand scale. But that's been true in every economy in history, and is certainly just as true in today's liberal democracies as it was in the UK of the 1840s.

That most of the capital and real estate would be in the hands of the descendants of those who stole it is so obvious and unremarkable that I didn't bother to mention it.

It changes nothing about the fact that liberal free market economics did (and does) nothing to prevent people from starving to death if they lack both cash and assets.
 
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SigmatheZeta

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Generally, I am rooted in both ancient Epicurean and ancient Pyrrhonist sentiments, although I am somewhat sympathetic toward the intentions behind ancient Cynicism.
According to you, though, the British government nevertheless seemed to be complicit in the causes and definitely reaped a benefit by clearing out many indigenous Irish.
The English landlords, many of whom were also a part of the British Government insofar as they had seats in parliament, were certainly complicit in the causes, and likely also reaped a benefit; But the British Government itself did neither.

The Irish Famine was a negligent homicide, as opposed to the premeditated murder of the Holodomor. Nobody wanted Irish peasants to die, but then, nobody wanted their Irish land holdings to generate lower profits, either.

The point was that few of those in a position to choose between lives and profits felt any inclination to prioritise the former over the latter.
It makes a tremendous amount of sense that the Irish eventually did form an independent state, rather than staying with a government that had treated them in that way.
 

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The Irish famiine was a liberal free market famine;
Oh for the love of god. The 19th-century famine happened because the 16th- and 17th- and 18th-century British governments stole the Irish people's land! You might as well call the Mafia "a liberal free market".
You might as well call the modern US economy an organised crime gang. It's based on the theft, between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, of Native American land.
... All of the principles of liberal democracy were in play. ...
In the first place, the analogy to the U.S. is pretty poor -- you've got the tail wagging the dog. Agriculture is about 0.6% of the U.S. economy. Americans have alternatives to living by farming; 1848 Irishmen typically didn't.

In the second place, no, the principles of liberal democracy weren't in play. Only about 10% of the adult population had the vote.

And in the third place, there was no free market. The Corn Laws keeping food prices artificially high weren't repealed until 1849. They were repealed in order to relieve the famine.
 

SigmatheZeta

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Palmerton negated the need for a revolution in the United Kingdom. Besides, if Prince Albert had not talked the queen out of attempting to dismiss him, then there might have been a real revolution in the United Kingdom. The fact that Prince Albert was so determined to encourage a lawful outlook on the limits of constitutional democracy has successfully led to the United Kingdom becoming one of the most stable constitutional monarchies in human history.
I think you're overestimating Victoria's power. Parliament settled its right to fire a king in 1690, and royal authority declined steadily all through the 1700s. I don't think any member of the House of Hanover ever vetoed a single Act of Parliament. If Victoria had made any serious effort to control public policy Parliament would have just ignored her and done what they were going to do anyway, and somehow managed to be exceedingly respectful about it.

*twists her head around sideways* Like I said, Prince Albert was firm on pointing out exactly that. In fact, my opinion is that Prince Albert probably did more, to restore the reputation of the royal family, than any reigning monarch ever did. I think there is widespread agreement that Prince Albert was a talented statesman.

C) Palmerton was really a very influential liberal politician. In fact, he was literally the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom that represented the Liberal Party. In a way, the rise of the Liberal Party was really a sort of political revolution in its own right. They overthrew the domination of the Whigs vs. the Tories and introduced a whole new era in British politics. To say that Palmerton's leadership in the newly formed Liberal Party did not make him, in a way, a revolutionary would set one up as having a profoundly narrow-minded idea of what constitutes a revolution. The fact that the Whigs and the Tories were both overthrown was a big deal. Even though this occurred only 11 years after the Spring of nations, it still represents a major change, in British politics, that happened during the time-period.

That's a weird way to look at it. The Liberal Party was the Whig Party, renamed, and reinforced with disaffected Tories. Palmerston was the Whigs' foreign secretary in 1848 and through most of the period leading up to it.

British politics acclimated to the changing times. To claim that successfully weathering such change constitutes evidence of an absence of change would be folly. There is just no argument to be made on the subject. The mid-19th Century was a period of social change that affected much of the European continent, and the fact that the British government succeeded at preserving their monarchy is an encomium to both talented statesmanship and to pure dumb luck.

*snaps her tail for attention*

Heed me. It is equally imperative to dissect a success as it is to dissect a failure. You can take that to the bank.

The formation of the Liberal Party, in the United Kingdom, constituted a very critical political alliance between the free trade-supporting Peelites, the previously politically excluded radicals, and the Whigs. This could have gone very differently, and the outcomes would have been very different. Letting the radicals form a part of a large political alliance, rather than continuing the previous pattern of the suppression and silencing of that political faction, was a historic decision in the history of British politics.

Over the next 20-25 years, I feel very certain that the political pressures behind both Trumpism and the Black Lives Matter movement are going to continue to mount, and this is going to be happening as we approach a historic milestone, in American history, at which we will cease to be a "white majority" nation. Those political pressures are not going to go away.

The concept of statesmanship is an important one. You do not have to be a politician in an elected office in order to practice it, actually, but it is particularly important for people in positions of power to practice it. Someone is not a statesman only because they hold a position of power. To say that someone is a "statesman" is very abstract, and it is like saying that someone is a "good person." When we say that someone is a "statesman," we mean that that person has done something important to preserve the stability and the best interests of the state. It implies having acted with wisdom and foresight. Quibble over specific definitions if you choose. I believe that I have defined it closely enough.

We are going to need talented statesmanship in the years to come, and this must occur, in my opinion, at all levels of society, even in the discussions that might occur on a small secular humanist discussion board.

In years to come, it will be important to work out a political alliance between otherwise disparate and contentious groups in our society. The alternative could turn out to be a more serious decline into barbarity that could result in a revolutionary sort of climate, and while there can sometimes be good outcomes to a revolution, I again insist that I do not like revolutions because revolutions are messy affairs and an utter insult to elegance.

I believe that we can do it, and we will do it. It will not be only because of the statesmanship that we practice on this small secular humanist discussion board, but it will be because of similar discussions that are being had in many other places. Other conversations like this one are occurring in bars, at local book clubs, and in classrooms. It is not happening here alone, but it is happening all over he country. None of them alone can do it, but all of them together can.

New political alliances must form over the generation to come, and I believe that we can make them occur if we let ourselves be informed by history in how we bring those alliances together.
 
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Loren Pechtel

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In many ways, yes. Though the motive appears to have been disinterest in the fate of the Irish, while Stalin appears to have been more deliberately cruel to Ukraine.

The Irish famiine was a liberal free market famine; The food produced on the island of Ireland was sold to the highest bidder, and the free market left to find the optimum distribution of the resources - which turned out not to include distributing food to people with no money and few prospects. There was never anything preventing starving Irish peasants from buying some of the grain with their own money, but they had no money, and would be hanged if they stole either money or food.

The Holodomor was the same thing, but centrally planned; Send the grain to Moscow, or get shot.
I see, so where the Irish famine was, to a large extent, a product of carelessness, the Holodomor was definitely more sinister.

However, Palmerton had many surprisingly liberal ideas. Do you think that the Irish famine would have gone differently if a strong anti-Irish, anti-Catholic Tory government had remained firmly entrenched in lieu of the more liberal Palmerton having a period in power? I do strongly feel that Palmerton's influence might have been a part of why any sort of aid at all was given to the Irish. I suspect that a Tory government would have done nothing at all to help relocate those people, and they would have dealt with the inevitable revolution via outright genocide.
I wouldn't even say carelessness--nobody did stupid things to cause it. Rather, it was a market failure--the potato problems drove the cost of food above poverty wages and the state did not adequately step in to alleviate the problem. Note, however, that this was before the state was expected to step in in situations like that, we should not be applying modern standards.
 

Jarhyn

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In many ways, yes. Though the motive appears to have been disinterest in the fate of the Irish, while Stalin appears to have been more deliberately cruel to Ukraine.

The Irish famiine was a liberal free market famine; The food produced on the island of Ireland was sold to the highest bidder, and the free market left to find the optimum distribution of the resources - which turned out not to include distributing food to people with no money and few prospects. There was never anything preventing starving Irish peasants from buying some of the grain with their own money, but they had no money, and would be hanged if they stole either money or food.

The Holodomor was the same thing, but centrally planned; Send the grain to Moscow, or get shot.
I see, so where the Irish famine was, to a large extent, a product of carelessness, the Holodomor was definitely more sinister.

However, Palmerton had many surprisingly liberal ideas. Do you think that the Irish famine would have gone differently if a strong anti-Irish, anti-Catholic Tory government had remained firmly entrenched in lieu of the more liberal Palmerton having a period in power? I do strongly feel that Palmerton's influence might have been a part of why any sort of aid at all was given to the Irish. I suspect that a Tory government would have done nothing at all to help relocate those people, and they would have dealt with the inevitable revolution via outright genocide.
I wouldn't even say carelessness--nobody did stupid things to cause it. Rather, it was a market failure--the potato problems drove the cost of food above poverty wages and the state did not adequately step in to alleviate the problem. Note, however, that this was before the state was expected to step in in situations like that, we should not be applying modern standards.
Are you kidding? Looking at the problems of the past and applying present standards is how you avoid the problems of the past repeating in the present.
 

SigmatheZeta

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Generally, I am rooted in both ancient Epicurean and ancient Pyrrhonist sentiments, although I am somewhat sympathetic toward the intentions behind ancient Cynicism.
In many ways, yes. Though the motive appears to have been disinterest in the fate of the Irish, while Stalin appears to have been more deliberately cruel to Ukraine.

The Irish famiine was a liberal free market famine; The food produced on the island of Ireland was sold to the highest bidder, and the free market left to find the optimum distribution of the resources - which turned out not to include distributing food to people with no money and few prospects. There was never anything preventing starving Irish peasants from buying some of the grain with their own money, but they had no money, and would be hanged if they stole either money or food.

The Holodomor was the same thing, but centrally planned; Send the grain to Moscow, or get shot.
I see, so where the Irish famine was, to a large extent, a product of carelessness, the Holodomor was definitely more sinister.

However, Palmerton had many surprisingly liberal ideas. Do you think that the Irish famine would have gone differently if a strong anti-Irish, anti-Catholic Tory government had remained firmly entrenched in lieu of the more liberal Palmerton having a period in power? I do strongly feel that Palmerton's influence might have been a part of why any sort of aid at all was given to the Irish. I suspect that a Tory government would have done nothing at all to help relocate those people, and they would have dealt with the inevitable revolution via outright genocide.
I wouldn't even say carelessness--nobody did stupid things to cause it. Rather, it was a market failure--the potato problems drove the cost of food above poverty wages and the state did not adequately step in to alleviate the problem. Note, however, that this was before the state was expected to step in in situations like that, we should not be applying modern standards.

You mean you are not aware of how the corn laws worked?

@bilby, would you help me with this one?
 
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