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Carinthium comments on Traditional Capitalist Values - Less Wrong

38 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 17 October 2008 01:07AM

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Comment author: Carinthium 02 December 2010 02:22:08AM *  5 points [-]

1- Why should a good historical theory have an innate 'symmetry"?

2- Since I haven't seen the justifications for myself, could you actually link me to some of the relevant research?

3- The U.S.S.R was not popular as of it's overthrow, nor was the government it overthrew. North Korea was the sucessor state to Japanese rule of Korea, and thus did not (as far as I know) replace a popular government.

4- If most people are too stupid to understand, you are presumably saying that it is the "elites" of Muslim societies who are responding based on exploitation. Post the Cold War, shouldn't they have been smart enough to see it would happen less?

Things which could be called exploitation in a broad sense exisited (troops guarding Mecca if I remember right, Israel, western-installed governments), but they should have realised that with the end of the Soviets it would be toned down. Saddam's invasion of Kuwait was opposed by most of the Muslim world, so it wouldn't count. (pointing out in case you argue that)


5- Come to think of it, individuals are probably no more free under a traditional Middle Eastern government then an American puppet. Presumably you are talking about the nationalist sense of freedom?

Comment author: Aurini 03 December 2010 12:52:16AM 1 point [-]

1 - The same reason that a good Physics Theory, or Mathematical Theorem has an innate symmetry and beauty. When something feels 'ugly' there's usually a reason why.

2 - I don't have any of the relevant documents at hand; it's been a while since I focussed on History specifically. www.tremblethedevil.com, however, does an excellent job explaining the roots of modern terrorism (you may have to web archive his stuff).

3 - If the theory I outlined above was my be-all-end-all theory of history, I would be going against what I wrote about history being scientific; in science there's more than one way to make a flying machine, it's magic where only one incantation works.

The overthrow of the Czar was an internal matter, so it doesn't apply - and the USSR wasn't viciously theocratic or misogynist. It was a lot of other things, but it wasn't the two I listed above.

As for North Korea - which is not a history I know - from what you said, their previously, presumably popular, government was toppled by imperial powers and a vicious theocracy (which I would expect to be misogynistic) took its place.

4 - It's not the elites 'manipulating' the masses out of some sort of historical understanding, it's a broader gut instinct amongst the plebs. There are historical events which led up to it, and which form legitimate grievances. The plebs just know that they hate the west.

There's no reason for them to realize that, with the withdrawl of the Soviets, that things would be toned down. The plebs aren't that smart, first of all, and second of all, it's arguable that - if anything - it's been escalated.

5 - eing a slave under your home-grown dictator is preferable to being a slave under a foreign invader. As I saw it put, once, "I hate the US government, but that doesn't mean I look forward to the Chinese 'freeing' me."

Comment author: Carinthium 03 December 2010 03:42:25AM 2 points [-]

1- A good theory can feel "ugly" simply hecause it is counter-intuitive.

2- Checking up now, so not deciding to agree or disagree yet.

3- You listed North Korea, the U.S.S.R, and Iran as examples- I was refuting them.

4- Muslim Middle Eastern commoners aren't that well educated- what signs would they have of American influence? And what reason would they have to delude themselves.

5- Why should it be preferable? I don't see a good reason. Even your example doesn't work- the U.S government is in many ways bad, but is better then the Chinese.