The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Indrajala » Thu Jul 04, 2013 6:53 am

Malcolm wrote:No, Fascism never comes about because of a popular mandate.


Okay, fascism is a relatively recent development. Let's say Caesarism or something to that effect.
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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 6:55 am

Malcolm wrote:
Indrajala wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Sentiments such as these are precursors to Fascism. Similarly, Obama's suggestion that we must weigh security against privacy, etc., are also such precursors.

M


Fascism is a natural response to failed alternatives. It can only come to exist through enough people supporting it, i.e., the mandate of the people.


No, Fascism never comes about because of a popular mandate.
History disagrees. From Caesar to Mao, dictators (which is what I assume you are referring to) have usually come into power through the passion of the people.
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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Indrajala » Thu Jul 04, 2013 6:58 am

jeeprs wrote:Do you really believe that fascism comes about by popular vote? Has that ever happened?


Let's say Caesarism since fascism is a relatively recent development in history.

In the case of Caesarism, plenty of tyrants in the past were supported by the masses.

By the way, by far the two largest famines in recent history happened under Joseph Stalin and his 'forced collectivization' and Mao's "Great Leap Forward".


Poor leadership and economic management. Communism is inherently flawed as it works for a utopia, which is untenable.

The USA in the last century and decade has been responsible both directly and indirectly for millions of civilian deaths. The government is elected and speaks of human rights, too.

I'm not advocating an extreme like Maoism. I'm simply saying democracy and "freedom" are not necessarily applicable to all cultures. We need to avoid talking in extremes. The alternatives to western liberal democracy are not limited to Stalinism or Maoism.
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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Indrajala » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:04 am

Konchog1 wrote:History disagrees. From Caesar to Mao, dictators (which is what I assume you are referring to) have usually come into power through the passion of the people.


Fascism though is a specific and quite recent ideology. Nowadays liberals tend to throw the word around to invoke terror and slander on their opponents. Any rival ideology is labelled fascist or totalitarian, but that's a misplay on words.

At this point in history in the west, democracy is working sufficiently well enough, but I believe it will inevitably fail given the dispersal of power (think Polybius' theory) and the overproduction of elites that the system entails. With excess elites and the dispersal of power there will be too much competition at the top and not enough solid decision making, resulting in chaos and the downfall of democratic institutions that have outlived their usefulness.

Political processes work in cycles. I agree with Polybius:

http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/R ... us/6*.html

    We should therefore assert that there are six kinds of governments, the three above mentioned [kingship, aristocracy, and democracy] which are in everyone's mouth and the three which are naturally allied to them, I mean monarchy, oligarchy, and mob-rule.

    Now the first of these to come into being is monarchy, its growth being natural and unaided; and next arises kingship derived from monarchy by the aid of art and by the correction of defects. Monarchy first changes into its vicious allied form, tyranny; and next, the abolishment of both gives birth to aristocracy. Aristocracy by its very nature degenerates into oligarchy; and when the commons inflamed by anger take vengeance on this government for its unjust rule, democracy comes into being; and in due course the licence and lawlessness of this form of government produces mob-rule to complete the series.

    The truth of what I have just said will be quite clear to anyone who pays due attention to such beginnings, origins, and changes as are in each case natural. For he alone who has seen how each form naturally arises and develops, will be able to see when, how, and where the growth, perfection, change, and end of each are likely to occur again.
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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Sönam » Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:59 am

Konchog1 wrote:
jeeprs wrote:Russia is perhaps not quite as oppressive but don't forget, 4 women were recently jailed for playing rock music in a church. We ought to carefully consider who the real enemies of freedom are.
No.

Sorry, but I have to disagree.

They sung a song about the virgin mary being a whore during mass. This is the same group who had one of their members steal a frozen chicken from a supermarket by sticking it up her vagina while on camera. One of the singers also had sex with several men while being eight months pregnant while on camera.

This organization has published footage of all of these three acts on the internet.

If that is freedom, I'd rather be a slave.


Freedom and fight for freedom concernes precisely what enslave our minds. So Pussy Riots made it exactely where it hurts ... only to see your answer.

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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Sönam » Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:15 am

Dan74 wrote:I guess this board is predominantly left-leaning, but I am interested in the full spectrum of views, so any conservatives/republicans - please feel welcome to contribute.

What caught me by surprise in this saga was the willingness of European governments to cowtow to the US and first obstruct Bolivian presidential plane in violation of diplomatic norms and then fall over each other in denying Snowden asylum.

I think the pejorative "imperialist" has been used quite frequently and I am surprised just how far the US influence extends. It seems that the powerplay between the three countries involved in this saga, namely the US, China and Russia, has been brought in sharp relief by these events. Europe seems to have come out as a US vassal, much to my surprise and possibly many of its citizens.

The other aspect is how far are the governments going to go to pursue inconvenient citizens like Snowden, Assange, Manning, etc? How many conventions and human rights are going to be trampled on, how much intimidation goes on behind the scenes and what of sovereignty of smaller powers?

I'd be interested in comments because I am still quite puzzled by it all.


THis is the world supposed of freedom we are living in. There has been the time of the great dictatures, Hitler, Mussolini, Staline and few others. They are over and oldies. Today the process is much more subtile ... why to use dictature as we can use democraty? We can even fight against dictatures ... peoples love that. Why to enslave peoples, as they do it by themself?
Time for dictatures and citizen is over, now we have democracy and consumers. Now we are great because we fight against terrorism (eluding that we have built those terrorisms) and this fight against terrorism is the best tool we ever had, dictators are really old crusts, with such a tool we are free to do what we want, spy on a large span, replace democratic law with what arrange us, we can make any monkey business useful to us and families and friends ... and so on. And time for revolution is over, first because we are given enough objects (tv, cars, houses ...) that we do not want to take the risk to loose, and also because army and police is so strong that no popular uprising cannot happen anymore.

This is the end, beautiful friend,
This is the end my only friend, the end

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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby greentara » Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:42 am

I have no doubt Snowden is brave; both independent in thought and action! He knows the government has become 'big brother'. It takes incredible courage to do as he has. Most people wouldn't have the 'knowledge' or the nerve. A real maverick! I hope one of the South American countries help him out so he's not trapped in transit for an indefinite period. I guess they're trying to break him!
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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Indrajala » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:00 am

Sönam wrote:THis is the world supposed of freedom we are living in. There has been the time of the great dictatures, Hitler, Mussolini, Staline and few others. They are over and oldies.


The groundwork is being laid for future western dictators or at least juntas of some sort. Speculative fiction even addresses the potential. Years back there was Escape from LA and Escape from New York which explored this possibility.

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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Simon E. » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:10 am

As a sidebar I find myself wondering , and not for the first time , if some citizens of the USA realise how this kind of hysterical over -reaction makes them appear in the eyes of the rest of the world.
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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Sönam » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:27 am

Indrajala wrote:
Sönam wrote:THis is the world supposed of freedom we are living in. There has been the time of the great dictatures, Hitler, Mussolini, Staline and few others. They are over and oldies.


The groundwork is being laid for future western dictators or at least juntas of some sort. Speculative fiction even addresses the potential. Years back there was Escape from LA and Escape from New York which explored this possibility.


Why should they ... democraties are doing the job!
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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Sönam » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:39 am

Simon E. wrote:As a sidebar I find myself wondering , and not for the first time , if some citizens of the USA realise how this kind of hysterical over -reaction makes them appear in the eyes of the rest of the world.


Long time the rest of the world has no illusion about ... to pretend today that USA is the biggest democraty is a (very bad) joke. Everybody knows that ... except maybe US citizen?
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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Simon E. » Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:01 pm

Sönam wrote:
Simon E. wrote:As a sidebar I find myself wondering , and not for the first time , if some citizens of the USA realise how this kind of hysterical over -reaction makes them appear in the eyes of the rest of the world.


Long time the rest of the world has no illusion about ... to pretend today that USA is the biggest democraty is a (very bad) joke. Everybody knows that ... except maybe US citizen?

I am sure that many Americans would find the reaction of its government just as puzzling as we Europeans do.
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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby seeker242 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 3:01 pm

Indrajala wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Sentiments such as these are precursors to Fascism. Similarly, Obama's suggestion that we must weigh security against privacy, etc., are also such precursors.

M


Fascism is a natural response to failed alternatives.


One could even argue that it is an "Iron law" that inevitably results from a democracy for various reasons. Probably why Thomas Jefferson believed periodic revolution, “at least once every 20 years,” was “a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.” Always found this theory to be quite interesting! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_law_of_oligarchy
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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:05 pm

Konchog1 wrote:History disagrees. From Caesar to Mao, dictators (which is what I assume you are referring to) have usually come into power through the passion of the people.


That depends very much on whose history one reads.

Actually, Facism in Italy, Germany and Spain came about because of lack of participation. For example, in 1933 in Germany, the Nazis only won because electiral turnout was abysmal.

Further, Mao and Ceasar did not come into power because of a popular mandate. They came into power through manipulation. In Ceasar's case, it was with the backing of his army.
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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Sönam » Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:13 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Sönam wrote:
Simon E. wrote:As a sidebar I find myself wondering , and not for the first time , if some citizens of the USA realise how this kind of hysterical over -reaction makes them appear in the eyes of the rest of the world.


Long time the rest of the world has no illusion about ... to pretend today that USA is the biggest democraty is a (very bad) joke. Everybody knows that ... except maybe US citizen?

I am sure that many Americans would find the reaction of its government just as puzzling as we Europeans do.


I was of course not speaking about the club of peoples we know ... but the majority of US citizens, down the country side.
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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:14 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Sönam wrote:
Simon E. wrote:As a sidebar I find myself wondering , and not for the first time , if some citizens of the USA realise how this kind of hysterical over -reaction makes them appear in the eyes of the rest of the world.


Long time the rest of the world has no illusion about ... to pretend today that USA is the biggest democraty is a (very bad) joke. Everybody knows that ... except maybe US citizen?

I am sure that many Americans would find the reaction of its government just as puzzling as we Europeans do.



We do. I saw a billboard the other day that quipped " who said government doesn't listen?"

Everyone knows that the NSA has been recording all internet traffic and phone calls for at least decade. Snowden merely produced documentary evidence that is irrefutable.
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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Nosta » Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:01 pm

Speaking about the plane situation, I must say that I feel ashame for my government (portuguese) actions. Its natural to let a presidential plane to land on amy countrys, unless such countrys dont have any diplomatic relationship.

The Venezualan and Bolivian people said many bad things about portuguese government; if they stick just to the government (I hope they dont think the same about the people), I completly agree with them. Its a disrespect to do such act, forbid a president to land on a friendly country. Portugal its just a puppet in the hands of USA gov. Portugal should start to show respect for itself: If I was in the lead of my country I would demand respect and explanations from Obama! Spying all the citizens in the world? What the hell do they want? Why are they always thinking that they are in control of the world? As a citizen I am very concerned about my privacy! I dont have nothing to fear or to hide from USA gov, but I dont have nothing to show them either! My life is my life, I have the supreme Right to my freedom and privacy!

Edward Snowden deserves my consideration. He is a hero for me!
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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby cdpatton » Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:34 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:History disagrees. From Caesar to Mao, dictators (which is what I assume you are referring to) have usually come into power through the passion of the people.


That depends very much on whose history one reads.

Actually, Facism in Italy, Germany and Spain came about because of lack of participation. For example, in 1933 in Germany, the Nazis only won because electiral turnout was abysmal.

Further, Mao and Ceasar did not come into power because of a popular mandate. They came into power through manipulation. In Ceasar's case, it was with the backing of his army.


Thank you, Malcolm. Ceasar's coming to power was a military coup by a General wildly popular with his troops - thus, they would do anything he commanded, including to seize Rome itself and fight a generation long civil war with the Republic. (Does anybody remember these details?) Mao was the leader of a military organization as well, that defeated the rival one. Most Germans in the political system (especially the military officers) couldn't stand the democracy forced on them by the Western Powers. Hence, the German State (the people populating it) were fine with democracy going away - though most of those conservatives wanted a return to monarchy, not fascism - Hitler played the field well. The moral of the story is that it is the people who have the weapons who determine the forms of government that exist.

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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby cdpatton » Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:44 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Simon E. wrote:
Sönam wrote:
Long time the rest of the world has no illusion about ... to pretend today that USA is the biggest democraty is a (very bad) joke. Everybody knows that ... except maybe US citizen?

I am sure that many Americans would find the reaction of its government just as puzzling as we Europeans do.



We do. I saw a billboard the other day that quipped " who said government doesn't listen?"

Everyone knows that the NSA has been recording all internet traffic and phone calls for at least decade. Snowden merely produced documentary evidence that is irrefutable.


What I find absolutely bizarre (and, for over 10 years now, I feel I live in an free-roam insane asylum, BTW) is that a generation ago, the US & NATO had been horrified by the surveilance of ordinary citizens and the compilation of dossiers collected by the political police in the Warsaw Pact. So strange, so nightmarish it would be to live in such a society! And, now, today - we live in a society ideological polarized on a level to rival any other with a government that has the ordinary conversations of its citizens at its fingertips - and people are only vaguely disturbed by this! It's fantastic to me. Simply fantastic. You can't make this stuff up.

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Re: The Hunting of Ed Snowden - the evolving power-play

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:49 pm

Sönam wrote:
Dan74 wrote:I guess this board is predominantly left-leaning, but I am interested in the full spectrum of views, so any conservatives/republicans - please feel welcome to contribute.

What caught me by surprise in this saga was the willingness of European governments to cowtow to the US and first obstruct Bolivian presidential plane in violation of diplomatic norms and then fall over each other in denying Snowden asylum.

I think the pejorative "imperialist" has been used quite frequently and I am surprised just how far the US influence extends. It seems that the powerplay between the three countries involved in this saga, namely the US, China and Russia, has been brought in sharp relief by these events. Europe seems to have come out as a US vassal, much to my surprise and possibly many of its citizens.

The other aspect is how far are the governments going to go to pursue inconvenient citizens like Snowden, Assange, Manning, etc? How many conventions and human rights are going to be trampled on, how much intimidation goes on behind the scenes and what of sovereignty of smaller powers?

I'd be interested in comments because I am still quite puzzled by it all.


THis is the world supposed of freedom we are living in. There has been the time of the great dictatures, Hitler, Mussolini, Staline and few others. They are over and oldies. Today the process is much more subtile ... why to use dictature as we can use democraty? We can even fight against dictatures ... peoples love that. Why to enslave peoples, as they do it by themself?
Time for dictatures and citizen is over, now we have democracy and consumers. Now we are great because we fight against terrorism (eluding that we have built those terrorisms) and this fight against terrorism is the best tool we ever had, dictators are really old crusts, with such a tool we are free to do what we want, spy on a large span, replace democratic law with what arrange us, we can make any monkey business useful to us and families and friends ... and so on. And time for revolution is over, first because we are given enough objects (tv, cars, houses ...) that we do not want to take the risk to loose, and also because army and police is so strong that no popular uprising cannot happen anymore.

This is the end, beautiful friend,
This is the end my only friend, the end

Serge
It's the time for Democracy? Why you do believe that? Germany, Italy, and Russia were democracies before they became dictatorships.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

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