The Bran Report

It's good for parts of you that you'd probably rather not think about.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Upshot of a conversation on the stairs.

Things my housemate apparently believe:

1) All white Americans, regardless of their words or lifestyle or voting record in the Democratic primary, are (in their heart of hearts) afraid of "The Blacks" and want to oppress them. (Citation: Bowling for Columbine).

2) Immigrants, regardless of their words or behaviour, in their heart of hearts, don't respect England and they are ruining the country and should be deported immediately.

3) Time is a social construct.

To be fair, she didn't use the exact words "social construct", but when I asked "I measure the time interval as X seconds. You measure it as X+5 seconds. Is it possible for us both to be correct?", she answered "Yeah, why not?".


At 4:55 pm, August 04, 2007, Blogger Nathan said...

Note: point two includes Sir Trevor Macdonald and even British-born "migrants" such as Sanjeev Bhaskar.

My arguments were not considered persuasive, but to be fair that's because a fairly major plank of my defence was "You are self-evidently wrong".

At 8:16 pm, August 04, 2007, Blogger Charlie said...

Well, she has at least two points right. I am afraid of the dirty Blacks, and I do want to oppress them, as well as the lazy Hispanics, the lying Asians, the stealing Jews and the terrorist Arabs. Frankly, if I could, I'd start to oppress whites, too.

And I made it my personal mission to ruin your country when I was in it. Unfortunately, since I was lazy, accident prone and semi-incompetent, the furthest I got was using the NHS a few times while not paying taxes.

At 8:31 pm, August 05, 2007, Blogger Peter said...

Your roommates sound super duper cool.

At 9:16 pm, August 05, 2007, Blogger Nathan said...

We took the issue to the internet.

My results.

"1.Social Liberal: you regard individual freedom as paramount, but include "being poor and illiterate" as a form of oppression.
2. Social Democrat: You aim at increased economic equality, but the inherent problems of planned economies make you sad."

Her results:
1. Anarcho-capitalist: The market can do anything the government can do, only better.
2. Fascist: you have strong views on social values, a love of nation, and a willingness to impose this on others."

This is not to say that different politics are neccesarily a problem: I'm pretty sure Charlie doesn't share my sector of opinion-space. However, I find it significant that our lists were so neatly inverted, with her top two results being unambiguosly the ones that happen to be wrong and dumb.

At 1:16 am, August 06, 2007, Blogger Charlie said...

Let's see;
1. Market Liberal.
2. Anarcho-Capitalist.
3. Social Liberal
4. Anarcho-Communist.
12. Third Way.

Explains my disdain for Blair and Clinton...

And I think I might just take offense at your attack on Jeffersonian ideals (#2 - "wrong and dumb"), or at least I would if I hadn't followed #1 and #2 with #3 and #4. Admittedly, though, #s 1, 2, and 4 all dislike the state and that's what I'm all about.

Of course, I always get confused by the questions. I think communism is a great voluntary concept, but I don't think we should force it upon people, and so if they ask if I agree with Marx' "to each according...", I'd say yes. Perhaps I should start saying no.

At 8:58 am, August 06, 2007, Blogger Nathan said...

Privately-run police? Privately-run courts? Privately-run fire service? Really?

At 9:07 am, August 06, 2007, Blogger Nathan said...

Evidently we're afraid of different conglomerations of people, though it's nice that liberalism is high for both of us. I guess it would be rude to ask where Fascism placed.

At 4:05 pm, August 06, 2007, Blogger Peter said...

My results mirror Nathan's. I think it's because I hear the cry of the poor, just like that old church song.

At 4:06 pm, August 06, 2007, Blogger Peter said...

Also, I stopped thinking that communism was good "in theory" or "as a concept" when I finally had to read a bunch of Marx. Turns out he spends 99% of his words on how communism is inevitable (making it sound like a terrifying storm approaching) and less than %1 on what communism actually is. On the plus side, he gives pretty good details on the dictatorship of the proletariat and the necessary massacre of the bourgeois. Then again, some of his details have already come to pass - employees owning stock in the company and psychotic industrialization for instance. Communist philosophy seems to be 1) kill everyone with capital; 2) try to convert to a command economy, slaughtering/displacing members of the proletariat; 3) realize you fucked up; 4) call capitalism and ask what it's doing tonight; 5) start cheating on communism; 6) Leave communism, yelling, "The only thing I got from this relationship was herpes."

At 5:52 pm, August 06, 2007, Blogger Nathan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 6:06 pm, August 06, 2007, Blogger Nathan said...

I like to assert that nuclear families operate on Communist principles, but to be fair one of the few things I know less than Marxism is parental feeling.

I feel confident that Communism could work out with groups of anywhere up to 150 people- that is, up to the point where everyone is able to recognise everyone else. Of course, in those numbers, you never get to build a dystopic industrial nightmare.

Oh, and more gold from the mountain: Britain should not be part of the EU because europeans (specifically Italians and Spaniards) are rude and smell bad. Cross-examination suggests that there's an axis that runs from Bremen to Athens and a gradient of rudeness to odour exists along this line.

At 12:05 am, August 07, 2007, Blogger Charlie said...

9. Classical Socialist
10. Fascist
11. Communist
12. Third Way.

It's never rude to ask me about things. If I don't want to answer them, I'll just bitch slap you next time I see you.

But yeah, I think the state should exist, but have little power. Things like police and courts. I'm undecided on infrastructure and fire services - haven't really given it a lot of thought, and it's not like they'd be high on my list to eliminate (first up - military spending). And there's a reason I detest Marx, but I like some of the stuff that he writes. Just not the authoritarian bits.

But at least it's good your flatmate has some sense about things. White Americans, immigrants, the EU. If only she could throw in the disabled somewhere, like a eugenics program. Then I'd really like to meet her.


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