COVID-19: Unwinding the Lockdown and Long Term Epidemic

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Jason

Re: COVID-19: Unwinding the Lockdown and Long Term Epidemic

Post by Jason »

I don't think there is a widespread police issue. But there is a police union issue which the politicians do not want to confront in order not to lose their vote and that explains why there was a police offer with 18 previous complaints on the job that day. I am a licensed professional. I am long gone before I get 18 complaints.

IlliniDave
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Re: COVID-19: Unwinding the Lockdown and Long Term Epidemic

Post by IlliniDave »

Part of the difficulty I have is that it is spun as red-bad/racist, blue-good/utopian. And just elect Blue and it will all be better. But this happened in the bluest state in the country (by number of consecutive presidential elections voting blue), in one of the bluest cities we have. The blue team has controlled that area for 3-4 generations, or more. I don't think a blue white house or blue congress will change things one bit. That's been the promise of politicians on the left side of the aisle my whole life, and they themselves are now the ones shouting the loudest that it ain't getting better. Areas that perceive they have among the worst problems locally maybe need to look to a new paradigm instead of putting their faith in the same old gang of people who have failed for decades. Or alternately, if the blue powers that have ruled those areas for so long have done good and made things better, why are they spinning the opposite narrative now? Something just doesn't add up in all of this, IMO.

AxelHeyst
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Re: COVID-19: Unwinding the Lockdown and Long Term Epidemic

Post by AxelHeyst »

The elites have police, state-legitimized violence, bailouts, institutional racism, "success leads to more success" inequality ratchets, and access to politicians. Tools. Most are legal, because the elites control the laws. Some are just what they are, some are clearly cruel, unethical, anti-human, etc.

The oppressed have smartphones, peaceful protests, rioting, looting, and violent attacks on cops. Some legal, some not. Some are just what they are, some are clearly morally abhorrent (looting, running over cops with SUVs, etc).

The middle classes (small business owners, workers, etc) have... an internet to argue on. A vote. Aspersions to cast. Opinions that make them feel better, like they have some control over things. But mostly they just work, a lot, to generate income, which is taxed heavily, and goes to the elites, who use it to perpetuate institutional racism, success ratchets, handouts to the oppressed to make them not riot and loot, entertainment to ensure the middle classes don't get too wise to what's up, etc.

I find the discussion of whether someone "supports" looters or not to be somewhat besides the point, a distraction. Okay, yes, I don't support looters, lock 'em up, agreed. Can we talk about the systemic mechanisms now? Can we talk about how looting and rioting is something that you can expect at a system level in a country that is so broken? The short-term solution to looting is to arrest the looters. The long-term solution to looting is to stop oppressing a whole people group, end the success ratchets, reform policing, unfuck health coverage (Paul Krugman's email today was about how segregationists killed universal health care in 1948 because they didn't want integrated hospitals)...

One of the main reasons I dislike looting is because it immediately derails the conversation. "They're looting! They've ceded the moral high ground!" Yeah, but... really? Thousands of dead black people, and a few million $ in broken windows and stolen goods and we don't get to talk about the dead black people anymore? Or the elite/plutocrat-legitimized looting of the entire economy?

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Re: COVID-19: Unwinding the Lockdown and Long Term Epidemic

Post by jacob »

I don't think this is a case of being for or against looting but accepting it as part of the [conflict] domain. Clausewitz said that war is a continuation of politics by other means. It's possible to view politics in terms of escalation, e.g. voting, donating, letter writing, campaigning, protesting, illegal protesting, rioting, looting, armed resistance, civil war, revolution. I'm probably missing a few here and maybe some are in the wrong order.

I would not go so far as to draw a line. Case in point: "free speech zones" in which "you're free to raise your objections as long as you're standing over there out of sight". Drawing a line might constrain the ability to pursue politics---like saying you're only allowed to go to war using nerf guns(*). This can both be good because it creates an orderly society if everybody agrees to hash it out in the ballot box. OTOH, constraints can also be bad insofar they prevent change and act to reinforce an unjust status quo [from the perspective of the protestors].

(*) Or only allowed to criticize the government using Newspeak vocabulary.

Of course it depends on the motivation. Do people riot because they've tried everything else ... or do they just join the herd when the first delinquent crash the liquor store. And how do you tell the difference? For example, a lot of lefty anarchists see private property as a form of oppression, whereas a lot of righty "free market" people see private property as a human right. Without a way to resolve this conflict at the meta-level in a way that both parties agree to, the right-side can't effectively insist that property rights are non-negotiable when it comes to politics in any way that the left-side agrees to. Because this insistence is exactly what leads to the escalation of (re)solution-methods once the frustration-tolerance has been exceeded and the appropriate trigger occurred.

In summary, the escalation happened exactly because the problem wasn't resolved at the level that created it.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: COVID-19: Unwinding the Lockdown and Long Term Epidemic

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

I do not think we are going back to Square One, this is the Fourth Turning.

Exploitative Revenues, Law Enforcement, and the Quality of Government Service
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ertyu
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Re: COVID-19: Unwinding the Lockdown and Long Term Epidemic

Post by ertyu »

There was a twitter post of a chart with the comparative share of national wealth of the top 1% (ever-rising since '77) and the bottom 40% (steadily falling since '77). The chart was titled, "this is the forest. looting is the trees." I am not American, and it's neither my circus nor my monkies, but I agree. These are people who attempted to make their voices heard on numerous occasions and were disregarded. There was the anthem-kneeling, there was occupy -- all of that was taken as a minor inconvenience to be disregarded until it blows over rather than addressed. It saddens me, because I think americans are better than this -- better than the few sociopaths puppet-stringing whatever's been going on for the past 30 years.

AxelHeyst
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Re: COVID-19: Unwinding the Lockdown and Long Term Epidemic

Post by AxelHeyst »

ffj wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:07 pm
If you want to have a conversation then all of the truth has to come out, and that is one hell of a discussion. It would piss everyone off if truth were the goal, and everybody has a vested interest in not telling the whole story. Pay attention to the various narratives being portrayed in the media and contrast them to logical questions any sane person would have, and then compare your questions to what the news media actually covers or talks about.
I basically agree. I should have added "control of news media" to my list of tools at the disposal of elites. Mainstream media at all ends of the political spectrum seems to be a dumpster fire every time I check in on it, which isn't often.

AxelHeyst
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Re: COVID-19: Unwinding the Lockdown and Long Term Epidemic

Post by AxelHeyst »

jacob wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 12:42 pm
I don't think this is a case of being for or against looting but accepting it as part of the [conflict] domain. Clausewitz said that war is a continuation of politics by other means. It's possible to view politics in terms of escalation, e.g. voting, donating, letter writing, campaigning, protesting, illegal protesting, rioting, looting, armed resistance, civil war, revolution. I'm probably missing a few here and maybe some are in the wrong order.
Yes... the looting is as much a part of the system (not the System as in The Man, but the system of american society) as police brutality is. Saying "we need to stop the looters" is missing the point as much as "we need to arrest crooked cops". Well, duh. But if our system didn't have institutionalized racism baked in to it, we wouldn't have a systemic crooked cop problem. If we didn't have an economically and violently oppressed lower class (combined with a shameful farce of an education system), we wouldn't have looting. All barrels have a bad apple or two, but's that not our situation: our barrel is on fire.

Jason

Re: COVID-19: Unwinding the Lockdown and Long Term Epidemic

Post by Jason »

Sometimes I think the issue is rather simple. Young people just enjoy breaking shit.

nomadscientist
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Re: COVID-19: Unwinding the Lockdown and Long Term Epidemic

Post by nomadscientist »

Jason wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:53 pm
Sometimes I think the issue is rather simple. Young people just enjoy breaking shit.
Sure, but as jacob points out, the real conflict is over when you're allowed to unleash the stampede of cattle, where/on whom, and who actually has and administers that power.

Young people certainly do not riot every time they think it would be fun and they do not necessarily riot in response to objective ill-treatment that disproportionately affects them personally either (e.g. non-dischargeable college debt).

George Floyd was middle aged and had little personally in common with the student protesters. There are other factors in play.

oldbeyond
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Re: COVID-19: Unwinding the Lockdown and Long Term Epidemic

Post by oldbeyond »

When ten people riot, it is a law and order problem. When 10000 people riot, the problem has shifted, and you have to ensure the integrity of the system. Sort of like the old quip about who has a problem when you owe the bank enough money. In that sense, I understand that the police and the politicians have to change tactics, even if the victims of assault, larceny or even murder still are actual human beings who deserve justice.

In the end, power rests on violence, and people without power resort to violence to overturn acting regimes. The morals of this are not simple to ascertain. But there is definitely an art to using violence to further political aims, and you can easily destroy your political aims with the wrong kind of violence. What has been gained here with the rioting (apart from Nikes and Apple products?). It’s not merely a moral question (is it right for the oppressed to loot and burn?), but also a question of efficacy (what does the looting and burning achieve?). There are people on each side who’s minds are long since made up, but a larger share of the population are part of a broader middle. They will likely be repelled by the rioting.

To me there seems to be very specific changes that could be made in the area of criminal justice and law enforcement that could change things for the better. More likely, the left will blame racism, and affluent liberals will bemoan their sins, ever-present and irradicable as any original sin is, while nothing changes. This will make the right rally around more of the status quo to stave of a collapse into anarchy, glossing over the glaring injustices and dysfunctions.

ZAFCorrection
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Re: COVID-19: Unwinding the Lockdown and Long Term Epidemic

Post by ZAFCorrection »

IlliniDave wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 12:34 pm
Part of the difficulty I have is that it is spun as red-bad/racist, blue-good/utopian. And just elect Blue and it will all be better. But this happened in the bluest state in the country (by number of consecutive presidential elections voting blue), in one of the bluest cities we have. The blue team has controlled that area for 3-4 generations, or more. I don't think a blue white house or blue congress will change things one bit.
I wasn't taking quite so fatalistic a turn, but I was thinking along similar lines this morning. Policing and prosecution policy, at its most abstracted, is a state-level issue. More functionally, it is an issue of the policies of each specific police department. So blue states and blue cities could probably enact far-reaching policy changes in however long it takes to write a new policy, irrespective of anything that is going on at the federal level. This could also be used to win the intranational immigration game if all the talented minorities want to move to your state so they can exercise in gym clothes without being treated like a gangbanger.

The focus on Trump in this situation, who arguably has zero authority over on-the-ground policing, is telling that people have a strong preference for more autocratic and centralized government.

Laura Ingalls
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Re: COVID-19: Unwinding the Lockdown and Long Term Epidemic

Post by Laura Ingalls »

I am convinced that white people need to start talking about race to non-white people. And not superficially. Historically, it hasn’t happened because white folks collectively are “uncomfortable “ with it. Now is the time.
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IlliniDave
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Re: COVID-19: Unwinding the Lockdown and Long Term Epidemic

Post by IlliniDave »

ZAFCorrection wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 2:29 pm
... Policing and prosecution policy, at its most abstracted, is a state-level issue. More functionally, it is an issue of the policies of each specific police department. So blue states and blue cities could probably enact far-reaching policy changes in however long it takes to write a new policy, irrespective of anything that is going on at the federal level. ...
This. I had a small scale epiphany quite a while back when I was thinking of voting in my fourth presidential election. It occurred to me the "sides" were still squabbling over the same issues, making the same accusations, pointing out the same problems, as they were 16 years prior. Over the 16 years both parties had held power in at least eight of the years. That's when I figured out it was essentially a game of "fool the voters". Now we're verging on insurrection. I honestly don't know if this is more "fool the voter" or if people en masse are starting to see through the pathetic BS both parties have been shoveling at us for the last 30, 40, 50 years. And data, lets get the data behind the accusations out there for all to see. I think both sides are misrepresenting both statistics and trends.
Last edited by IlliniDave on Tue Jun 02, 2020 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ZAFCorrection
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Re: COVID-19: Unwinding the Lockdown and Long Term Epidemic

Post by ZAFCorrection »

@Laura

To be fair to the white people (of whom I am one), we also get told to "listen" and "make space." There are a lot of mixed messages about what a woke white person is supposed to be doing at any given time. That's why usually I am happy to be classified as non-woke.

nomadscientist
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Re: COVID-19: Unwinding the Lockdown and Long Term Epidemic

Post by nomadscientist »

I think the pro-riot people are also OK with the virus (since five days ago).

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Re: COVID-19: Unwinding the Lockdown and Long Term Epidemic

Post by theanimal »

Augustus wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 3:55 pm
So y'all want me to accept murder and be okay with it, but you are not okay with a virus doing it.
There's a rather large difference in magnitude. Since the protests have started, an estimated ~20 people have died due to direct causes surrounding the protests/riots. In that same time period, ~6,000 people have died from the virus.

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Re: COVID-19: Unwinding the Lockdown and Long Term Epidemic

Post by theanimal »

I think you are projecting what you are hearing elsewhere to views of those on this forum.

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Re: COVID-19: Unwinding the Lockdown and Long Term Epidemic

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Another important factor in play, which is obvious to me because I have been teaching in wide variety of school districts over last few years, is the difference in historical minority demographics according to age in the U.S. The very youngest generational cohort is poorer by far than the average American. The median white American is 59 years old and the median minority group American is 27 years old. The educational and other support systems are in almost constant state of emergency mode. If you think things are bad now, wait until the impoverished little ragamuffins in Gen After-Z hit the streets.

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Re: COVID-19: Unwinding the Lockdown and Long Term Epidemic

Post by jacob »

@Augustus - These are both complex predicaments that relate multiple issues and causes. Reducing the conversation to being for or against a specific issue or generated by a single cause is overly simplistic. For starters, it should be possible to accept that someone might understand a position without necessarily agreeing with it. It should also be possible to accept that others might not agree that whatever single issue is being raised is the most important aspect of the problematique.

For example, people will "happily" accept thirty thousand car deaths per year, yet have a hard time dealing with one commercial plane crash. Why is that? Clearly, it's not about the morbidity of the two modes of transport. IOW, morbidity is not the primary issue in both cases or even either of the cases. Insofar you think other people are being inconsistent to the point of expending your entire smiley quota on lol faces, it's more likely that you're not prioritizing the same variables as they are or you're ascribing values to them that they do not hold.

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