Critical Theory is a critique of social structures and cultural assumptions in an attempt to better understand, illuminate, and challenge power structures.
Is Critical Theory in opposition to empiricism? Is Critical Theory the basis of movements like Black Lives Matter? Does Critical Theory, in its critique, bring up legitimate problems that we can all agree on?
We discuss this and more in this episode of Politics In Its Place.
Rioting is still occurring in Portland, yet the Portland mayor does not want any help. When will the rioting end?
Businesses love going woke. But, some have found out the hard way that go woke, go broke is a pretty accurate saying. While these businesses want to be on the right side of the ’cause’..it has backfired in the past. Red Bull made a decision recently to go against the woke movement. How will it go for them?
The Senate filibuster is a mechanism that makes it impossible to pass legislation and make Presidential appointments with agreement from both parties. Will the filibuster be removed at some point?
We also discuss a news agency threatening to post Tucker Carlson’s home address in an article they are releasing about him.
Finally, a story from Canada about govt. recommendations on safe sex during Covid. You won’t believe the recommendations.
Progressivism is a political philosophy that is in support of social reform. The key is that it is just a political philosophy (in short, and in its most simplistic form..this means that Progressivism only prescribes what ought to be/the norms for government (or any practices/institutions concerned with government) and how these things should work and be organized.
This means that Progressivism is and can be grounded in any social or economic philosophy…including socialism or liberalism.
Elvis and I have a conversation of past Progressivism and contemporary Progressivism, among other things.
On this episode, we discuss the latest developments with the St.Louis Gun Wielding couple, Nick Cannon’s anti-white and antisemitic comments, and we look at a recent election poll that suggests bad news for Trump.
Is Healthcare a right? Well, this depends in part on whether you see a right as INACTION on the part of others…ie others NOT preventing you from your free speech rights, or if you see a right as only possible if others also ACT..ie others provide you with either a good or service because it is seen as part of the common good.
But beyond this..there are practical considerations when discussing the role of government in healthcare.
In this episode you’ll learn about the Canadian healthcare system, see the advantages and disadvantages, and will give our American audience some advice on moving forward.
Lately, we’ve seen a big increase in athletes talking about politics. Occasionally, their lack of knowledge leads to some great laughs. This weeks title for the podcast is based on one of these moments. (thanks to former Toronto Maple Leafs goalie, Jonathan Bernier).
Both Elvis and Ermin have been hockey fans for a long time (Elvis still is but Ermin’s passion waned almost a decade ago).
On this episode, they discuss athletes getting involved in politics.
Tyranny of the Masses or Majority has been a concern for a long time. Constitutional author James Madison in Federalist 10 wrote about the destabilizing effect of “the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority” on a government .
He wrote about the dangers of the majority class with no property getting control of the US Federal Government and then transferring wealth from the minority who are the property owners. (IE. the wealthy class).
On the whole, his essay focuses on efforts to mitigate factionalism generally. He was also concerned with minorities forcing the majority. This is why he believed that there had to be a good balance and division of power between the US Federal government and the State governments.
Federalism in the United States is the constitutional division of power between U.S. state governments and the federal government of the United States.
The Federalist Papers are a collection of 85 articles and essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay to promote the ratification of the United States Constitution.
Federalist No. 10 is an essay written by James Madison. It specifically addresses the question of how to reconcile citizens with interests contrary to the rights of others.
Madison, Hamilton, and Jay wanted the federal government to have more power since under the plan at the time, The Articles of Confederation, States were essentially sovereign nations. The only unity among the States was a military alliance for the purpose of gaining independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
For these three men, federalism was the solution. Federalism was a way for the federal government to get more power so the US States would have more in common than just a military alliance.
Madison, in Federalist 10, wrote a lot about human nature and his worry about factions. He saw factions as being quite natural due to human nature.
He understood that people hold differing opinions, have differing amounts of wealth and own differing amount of property, so they will form alliances with people who are most similar to them and they will sometimes work against the public interest and infringe upon the rights of others.
Interestingly enough, he didn’t worry about just the tyranny of the majority but also the tyranny of the minority. The wisdom of this cannot be understated.
Part of his plan to combat factions was to suggest that a large Republic, both in territory and in people, would create more factions but ones that were smaller in size, creating a nice balance of interests where one would not win over another.
What is nihilism? First off, there are different types of nihilism. In this episode we’ll mention nihilism throughout this podcast but we will mostly be focusing on existential nihilism which sort of encompasses all other types. Nihilism is the belief that life is pointless, meaningless, without value.
NIHILISM OR JUST STANDING UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT?
We first discuss groups like antifa and blm. Do these groups lack meaning or is it just naive, young, standing up for a cause?
With blm you can make a case for both. This is due to the fact in poor black communites there is real suffering going on. The issue can very well be considered as existential nihilism. Now, even though police brutality isn’t some large scale problem, it is still an issue that gives many African Americans a more negative view of the world they live in.
With antifa group, this is a little harder to figure out. The group is often enough composed of middle class or higher, young people. They don’t really spend much time around those living in poverty. Very few have experienced racism, poverty. They are anti white supremacy, which they believe very much exists. For this reason it’s more likely that the antifa group is more about young and naive looking for something to do. Even if they’re naive and don’t really pay attention to the truth, it’s for a good cause. As they mature and experience life more, do research, these types usually leave those groups and such ideas behind.
We talk about growing up in former Yugoslavia and not being social. Elvis mentions how over time he dreamt of moving to America. This happened after seeing American movies and shows on tv. It seemed like a much more exciting place with a ton of things to do when compared to his small village. He spent overwhelming amount of time playing war all by himself. The real war eventually happened as we mentioned in another civilwar episode . We eventually came to Canada where Elvis’s pattern of loneliness stayed the same. He finally did meet people and had quite a few friends but the feeling of loneliness was still there.
CULTURE AND WHY IT MATTERS
Elvis explains that he has a view on culture where it’s one of the only things that truly gives you meaning. He started thinking this way after experiencing different cultures. One close friend where he payed attention closely and realized this to be true. There was this amazing closeness to others. Participation in religious ceremonies, great food and other traditions. Over time it gave him this realization that there was nothing better to do.
He likes certain amount of structure in his life. When he was young and went drinking with friends, he didnt see the point in alcohol and such. He found it silly, pointless and at times destructive. This was the case when his father was young and drunk very often. Nietzsche said that people drink to dull pain and suffering. He thought that they shouldn’t do it.
IS IT ENVY?
The discussion about whether envy played a role in Elvis’s view on sex and women was next. He explains that his mind on promiscious types never changed from before. He believed at a young age in finding someone who you will want a long term relationship. Someone to build a solid foundation. It was never about sexual conquests. It was never about this idea that others have so many women and so because you cant have it, you are against it. Jordan Peterson made a very clear point that many including including Elvis agree with: ‘Seek what is meaningful not what is expedient’.
He did admit that when it came to men who were rich and powerful was a bit of a different story. Guys always compete when it comes to wealth so wanting to be that rich guy was definitely on his mind. There was this dislike of the rich, elite types in the younger days and so in this case it was without a doubt about envy.
JORDAN PETERSON AND BEARING YOUR BURDEN
Jordan Peterson who these days seems like a father figure to many young men is also someone who helped Elvis become more optimistic. His teachings on ‘life is suffering’ and how we have to bear the burden life throws our way has been quite helpful. He teaches you how over time you can strengthen yourself especially if you have aim in life. Many young men these days are without aim and they don’t realize that they need it badly and even attempting to aim poorly is better than not aiming at all. Reason being is that if you have a specific goal in mind, as long as you keep working towards some goal, no matter whether you change paths along the way, you will still find a way to do what you are meant to do. So even if you aim badly, do aim because rewards will be much greater than if you not aim at all.
FEAR AND LAZINESS
Several things keep people from reaching their true potential. The most important ones are fear and laziness. When you are stuck in some situation and not wanting to change in direction of productivity and betterment of your own life, it’s easy to keep staying in that same situation. Change is hard there’s no doubt about that and fear plays a role in this as well. As the saying goes: ‘fear kills more dreams than failure ever could’. This is extremely on point.
If you have ever tried anything difficult in your life, you know that there are many obstacles in your way…Fear of failure keeps us away and yet the real truth is that those who push through and fail(sometimes very often) end up being more successful in the end. This is also why being in that same state of fear it’s very easy to become nihilistic and believe that there’s no point to anything. Instead of letting fear consume us, we need to take as much burden as we can bear and what you will notice is that you will feel as if you can handle pretty much anything else.
RELYING ON SCIENCE AT ALL TIMES
Science tells us what something is, religion tells us how we should live. Opinions are split on where the West(in particular USA) is heading. Elvis believes that multiculturalism, identity politics, lack of religion and meaning in many people’s lives, is going to cause a lot more division. Ermin believes that while he’s not optimistic when it comes to other Western nations, USA should be safe from any large conflict. This is partly due to the fact founding fathers built a system that is much safer from the kind of downfall Elvis believes is going to happen. In his view, Ermin think that if USA goes downhill then pretty much no other country is safe from this either.
In this episode of PIIP Original, we discuss the issue of police brutality. We begin by offering a different approach to having conversations when it comes to these issues. For example, if someone were to start off by assuming that the other person is wrong already, the conversations wouldn’t continue very well. Folks do not like when they are being told they are wrong. This is especially true right from the start of conversation or debate. Instead, we might begin a conversation by at least partially agreeing with the other person.
START OFF BY AGREEING FIRST
You might say something like, if you go by what the media is reporting in the news, it seems as if police brutality is a huge problem. After this you might start your own argument. If you compare this news to statistics that show number of people killed by cops each year, the picture doesn’t look anywhere as bad. This way you are not calling anyone wrong really. You’re starting with confirming what they already think as true. After that you’re adding your own thoughts based on whatever data and research you have read.
WHY DO PEOPLE FALL FOR IT?
We believe in video and what news tells us more than we believe numbers. In fact most of us don’t even look or care to look at numbers. But let’s look at another example. It explains clearly why this is more of a overly emotional reaction and why stats are important.
If we take a city like Toronto as an example, it has over 6 million people. We see 40-50 shooting deaths per year. Let’s say as usual that this is all covered in the news.
By this we might be very afraid and assume that the city of Toronto is extremely unsafe. However to get a clearer picture of how safe or unsafe a city is, we cannot do it based on videos and articles alone. We must do it by comparing the number of homicides in that city to the number of homicides in a different city of similar population. Once you do this, you might find that Toronto has way less deaths compared to other cities of similar size.
HOW CAN WE DO BETTER?
Every system can be improved by at least a little bit. It doesn’t mean that police officers cannot do their job better to prevent even more deaths. One of the issues police officers have when engaging with suspects is that they do not know how to deal with certain suspects. Those might be having a panic attack or other mental issue. The officers are not trained in that sense. If the suspect doesn’t comply and very quickly, there is a problem of escalating an issue. The issue could have been handled differently had the officer been trained in some basics on mental health.
VISION OF SOME UTOPIA
Some people do not understand that it is not possible to save every person and eliminate hate and evil for good. They have this belief in utopia which does not exist anywhere. Because they have this comparison to utopia these folks that believe in huge issues with police brutality also think there is a perfect system only they can implement that would pretty much get rid of this problem. There are those who are far removed from what minorities are experiencing and so they love to criticize others and the system in place without even realizing what they are actually saying. Take for example rich folks who live in their gated communities and virtue signal every time someone they feel is being wronged.
RULES FOR THEE, BUT NOT FOR ME
An espn reporter recently during the rioting across the nation felt the need to tweet ‘burn that shit down’. Now who would condone destruction of homes and businesses like this? Well those who don’t live in the same reality as the rest of us. Those who are so far removed from reality that they create their own little fantasy world as if this is some game.
What happened shortly after though is very telling what these folks are about. The reporter noticed that rioters were at his community as well and started burning things. His reaction this time? Well it wasn’t to burn it down..It was something like ‘someone call the cops and get these animals out of here’. So basically it’s ok if they do it to other communities but not your own? This is what being in your own fantasy world looks like and what happens when you theorize a lot and don’t really have skin in the game.
EVERYTHING SEEN THROUGH RACISM
We then discuss the fact everything including police brutality is seen through the lens of racism. People do not even realize the fact bias is part of every human being and so some of the time it’ll play a role in police interactions with suspects.
If you look like you could dangerous in some way, maybe you’re fidgeting a lot, reaching in your pocket, some cops might be more on the edge than others. That kind of behaviour might be ok with some but definitely not every cop. I and most other folks will always choose to trust our own kids and family first. This is something we just naturally do and it’s definitely bias at play. However, I do not know any person that believes his/her race is more superior and that others aren’t worthy of respect simply because they are somehow different. That is behaviour that a very small number of folks who are true racists believe in. Cops do not go out and as Lebron James would say ‘hunt black people’ and there is absolutely no proof of this.
DEFUND THE POLICE?
Ilhan Omar and AOC types which thankfully are not in the majority when it comes to this opinion, would like to defund the police. Some suggest that we can perhaps replace with combination of regular citizens policing and social workers or mental health experts coming in. While there could be some potential positives to social worker or mental health expert coming in, there are issues with this as well. Police are highly trained when it comes to those situations. When taking out the suspect is the only option there could be more deaths on both sides if untrained individuals come in.
Defunding police is a terrible idea and again it’s a good thing that not many people believe in this. In fact, if you ask most blacks if their communities need less policing, polling shows that most blacks believe they need more police presence. They also believe that more training is needed for officers which we also agree with.