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The United Socialist States of Violet-Red wrote:Judicial sentences should of course be based on the seriousness of offense - however, only on the condition that the concepts of sentence, seriousness, and offense are thoroughly revolutionary.


The true target of legal punishment is not the criminal, but the social conditions that produced the crime. Hence, the desire to enact more punishing sentences - for rapists, for example - in the sense of longer prison sentences or execution is merely a sham of justice, because the goal is merely to enact revenge by causing harm rather than addressing the underlying social cause. A proper "more severe" punishment for rape is not harsher penalties places on rapists, but further efforts to dismantle the social causes that produce it (i.e. patriarchy). Furthermore, this is precisely not to say, for example, that a criminal should be allowed to go free so long as they sincerely promise not to offend again - rather, the criteria for imprisonment should be practical necessity: the question of whether detainment is necessary for the safety of society and the benefit of the fight against the underlying causes of the crime. I will conclude with a clarification: the ethics of killing and violent revolution are distinct from judicial considerations; my arguments here are regarding capital punishment enacted by the judiciary of a state, and do not pertain to killing on the part of a revolutionary movement.

Thank you comrade Violet-Red; your posts are always appreciated and on point. I felt this was very thought-provoking to say the least.

The Defender Alliance and Communal Earth

I had to change my name because, I no longer represent a pacifist or an isolationist state rather a military focused state after past legislations.

The Defender Alliance

The People's Republic of Irish Peoples Liberation Force wrote:But just why would someone do that? Why have the name of a "revolutionary ideology" correspond to a well-known fascist dictator? Would it really be that difficult to change the name if they wanted to? They don't want to make that distinction.

It has everything to do with using cynicism as a smokescreen for reactionary ideology. The underlying ideological mechanism of cynicism is a series of means to cling to the illusion of inner distance from a social situation.

To put it in more relatable terms, cynicism is a series of methods by which a reactionary can gain distance from things. The cynic is a self-styled "realist": things shouldn't be taken too seriously because the only thing that matters is 'cold, hard reality'. Radical ideology, 'extreme' political opinions, and belief in religion are all mere fantasies that only stupid or unenlightened people fall for - in contrast to the intellectual realist, who sees things how they really are.

Any leftist can see that cynicism is a farce (and a rather pathetic one, at that). This is especially true for Marxists - Marx was the first to point out the "magic" of money: money "in itself" is literally worthless. Coins, bits of paper, and in today's world little slips of plastic - these things mean nothing on their own. What gives them value is a pure abstraction, a purely arbitrary, virtual thing: money has value because we, humans, have collectively decided that a universal-exchange commodity is valuable. In other words, the value of money is literally fantasy, and this fact, far from making money a mere sham to see through, is precisely what makes money "objectively" valuable. And the proof is practiced everywhere: if I go to a store in any country of the world, I get get commodities in exchange for my money; on the other hand, if I go into a store and explain the cynical point that money is merely a sham, the only "commodity" I receive is a blank stare and maybe a dismissive laugh. In short, money is a fantasy, a pure virtuality, which for that very reason exerts tremendous power upon material reality.

If cynicism is such an obvious farce, then how is it sustained, and why do people cling to it?

Sustaining cynicism requires maintaining a distance towards subjectively-held belief. "Subjectively-held belief" here means, for example, a political opinion or a religious belief that I directly identify myself with, that I hold myself accountable for. Marxism is based upon the dialectical of knowledge and belief: knowledge is the domain of theory, and belief is the domain of praxis (the practice of theory). Cynicism, by contrast, is an ideology that seeks to eschew belief in favor of knowledge - from the Marxist perspective, cynicism is the ideology of theory without praxis, and, as such, is worthless.

The main concrete methods of maintaining a distance are all smokescreens: hiding behind the triad of sarcasm, irony, and realism. The cynic is a centrist, never getting caught up in the illusion of extremist politics. The cynic is perfectly rational, never getting caught up in emotions, which dull judgement. The cynic always includes a note of irony when communicating, a mark that indicates they have anticipated ahead of time all possible criticisms of what they say.

This immediately leads to the answer to the next question, the question of why people cling to cynicism. Cynicism is a timid, cowardly ideology - it is the ideology of cowards who are so weak that they flee in terror at the mere possibility of being open to criticism. Note how literally all aspects of cynicism, from its function to its means of subsistence, allow the cynic to displace all subjective knowledge and belief elsewhere, onto institutions and other people. The cynic responds to literally any criticism with a variation of: "it's not me, it's _____" - the blank space here can be anything, but is often science, data, research, or logic. (The point being, of course, that science, data, research, and logic require subjective interpretation to produce truth - while for the cynic, the truth is objectively self-evident).

Now, to bring all of this back to NationStates - or rather, to any use of irony or satire as a means of disavowing the implication of one's actions.

What we have just recently witnessed is a group of fascists who want to have their cake and eat it too: they want their reactionary ideology without all of the bad connotations attached to it.

The way they attempt to obtain this goal is by deploying the tactics of cynicism: their actual practice of their reactionary ideology is, here on NationStates, presented in the very form of its disavowal. "It's all just a joke", you see. They're just being provocative, they say - they don't really believe it (after all, to the cynic, belief is a mistake). To the cynic, the very fact that others get riled up at their provocations bears witness to their superior intellectual position.

It is presented like this because it's the only way to sustain their ideology; their ideology is necessary to sustain their incessant cowardice in the face of explicit belief in subjectively-assumed principles. Cynicism is a mask of an ideology, an attempt to conceal yet another, repulsive, ideology underneath it.

The Defender Alliance, Comradeland, and Sornian vanguard

The form of cynicism as underlined by Diogenes I find to be rather accurate. Cynicism is constructive. Not necessarily negating beliefs, but questioning them. I find that it is the core of materialism. In the second paragraph of your post, you point out how cynics view religious beliefs as irrational and you seem to disagree with the notion that they indeed are. I will remind you that materialism and cynicism collide, whereas idealism and cynicism do not.

The form of cynicism formed by Diogenes would argue that all societal conventions are indeed relative, purely arbitrary. Objectivity is rejected by the Greek form of cynicism. I would consider myself a cynic in the traditional sense. Greek cynicism argued that ''Eudaimonia is achieved by living in accord with Nature as understood by human reason.
Arrogance is caused by false judgments of value, which cause negative emotions, unnatural desires, and a vicious character.''

To me this sounds more in line with Marxism...Now, if we're discussing cynicism as it is used today, then I agree with your post entirely. However, I will stand by my statement that Diogenes' cynicism was an accurate philosophy.

In Greek cynicism, human arrogance and greed is unnatural. In Greek cynicism: ''One progresses towards flourishing and clarity through ascetic practices which help one become free from influences � such as wealth, fame, or power � that have no value in Nature. Examples include Diogenes' practice of living in a tub and walking barefoot in winter.''

Comrades, can anyone please explain the recent stagnation in NS left action? I feel like I'm missing something.....

The People's Republic of Irish Peoples Liberation Force wrote:Comrades, can anyone please explain the recent stagnation in NS left action? I feel like I'm missing something.....

A lot of people seem to have taken an NS break all at the same time. I only recently came back from mine, wasn't around much for like a month or more.

Post self-deleted by The Defender Alliance.

The Apatheist Simian Thumbocracy of Godless Munky wrote:A lot of people seem to have taken an NS break all at the same time. I only recently came back from mine, wasn't around much for like a month or more.

Same here.

The Apatheist Simian Thumbocracy of Godless Munky wrote:A lot of people seem to have taken an NS break all at the same time. I only recently came back from mine, wasn't around much for like a month or more.

I might be taking an indefinite NS break myself. Depends on whether I end up homeless or not. Yay, poverty

The United Socialist States of Violet-Red wrote:I might be taking an indefinite NS break myself. Depends on whether I end up homeless or not. Yay, poverty

I empathize. I've been on that edge before too, went over it once as well. This is the part where I'd say "I'll pray for you"...... but you know. I hope the best for you.

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