Linkworld: A Brutal World

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Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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20 Responses

  1. Avatar PD Shaw says:

    [Mo3] “The student is not alone in his ignorance. As a country, we are woefully uneducated about the realities of the British Empire. . . . I find it troubling that the British Empire is credited with ending the transatlantic slave trade, something it started.”

    The British Empire did not start the transatlantic slave trade, that would be the Portuguese, and the British Empire is not credited merely with ending that, but being most responsible for the end of de jure slavery in both the Old and New World as well.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to PD Shaw says:

      The transatlantic slave trade existed for over a hundred years before the United Kingdom managed to get a foothold on the New World, let alone import slaves to it.

      Whether the world would be a better place or not without the era of imperialism is a very difficult question to answer. It would certainly be a very different place. I think you can make a good faith argument that without colonialism, most humans would be living in very traditional and hierarchical societies. The anti-colonialists never seem to explain how liberal and modern technology would spread without free trade, and many of them are trade skeptics to. The Indian subcontinent could easily be split into several Hindu and Muslim kingdoms rather than three republics.Report

      • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Yeah, I agree with this, and am reluctant to be tricked into the pro-colonial position, but it would be a good debate topic in that one could marshal facts on both sides.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to PD Shaw says:

          Colonialism was clearly not a good thing. Many atrocities were committed under its name like King Leopold II’s regime of thievery and murder in the Congo. At the same time, the best I can say for a world without colonialism is that it would be different but not necessarily better. I can see it being worse in many ways from a small or big l liberal point of view. Many anti-colonialist argue that without colonialism, indigenous societies would modernize on their own terms like Meiji Japan. Others really seem to argue that but for colonialism, leftist utopianism.

          I’m not seeing this. Lots of non-European countries and empires attempted Meiji style modernization and failed because of internal and external forces. Ethiopia managed to avoid being conquered but the Ethiopian elite decided not to go the entire way to modernization because it suited them. The Meiji state wasn’t exactly a beacon of liberal values but it was more based on Prussia’s bureaucratic government. I’m guessing that Ethiopia is going to be more common than Meiji Japan. Meiji Japan will be more common than liberal democracy.Report

  2. Avatar dragonfrog says:

    [Jo1] the bus drivers were still picking people up – they just weren’t accepting their money. Free rides for everyone. A brilliant move, really. The transit authority was the one done out of fare revenues; they could have ordered the drivers to stop but then they’d really be the villains.Report

  3. Avatar pillsy says:

    [Ci6] & [Ci7] Waiting for the stories about how the San Francisco housing crisis has reached Baghdad.

    [Im1] This is exactly the sort of story that drives antipathy towards immigration enforcement, and support for sanctuary cities and similar policies.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to pillsy says:

      There was something similar happening in Kabul at the height of the US presence (circa 2010). Between expatriates re-entering the country, rural residents migrating to the city, and money flowing into the capital (and into people’s pockets) from all the contract services, numerous new exclusive developments were built around the city center while the poor people accumulated in ad-hoc shanty towns around the periphery.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to pillsy says:

      Im1: The definition of a dick move.Report

  4. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Ci2: And in America, poor people comes with a heavily racial component. This makes matters more complicated. The automobile-centric, strictly zoned suburb that emphasizes single-family homes on generous lots is a real effective way to exclude poor people.

    Ci6: I’m not surprised. Out-ring suburbs in the Bay Area are also fighting new housing. The housing crisis is a political crisis. It probably won’t be solved until enough boomers die to prevent construction at the lower level or when a solution can be imposed from above.

    Im2: ICE is an entirely dubious political identity that exists to inflict pain and suffering. Its not surprising that their methodology used to distinguish between children and adults is equally dubious.

    Im3: Its rich that xenophobic Arizona is using immigrants to bust citizen labor.

    Im5: The entire debate is on the relationship between culture and nationality. Many countries like Japan, the Koreas, Israel, Iran, Hungary, and France like to emphasize that they have a particular culture and want the citizens of the nation to embrace this. The wariness about immigrants in general, and Muslim immigrants in particular, is that they will not embrace the national culture and might even hate it and speak against it.

    Im6: This is horribly unjust.Report

  5. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Ci1-

    Preservation is a matter of ecology as much as aesthetics. “There’s this phrase that’s bandied about a lot: the greenest structure is the one that’s already there,” Grimley said. “The amount of energy, whether it’s labor of the people that made it, the actual material energy of the building itself, or the embodied energy it takes to remove it—it’s wasteful on so many fronts.”

    Michael Siegel’s great piece on path dependence notwithstanding, this is the worst argument for maintaining brutalism I’ve ever seen. Built in an era of cheap energy (which people thought was going to get even cheaper) they are for the most part, the Anti-LEED

    Ci4 – in Bang York one *does* get their kicks below the waistline.

    Jo4 – To consider Portland OR a minor league tech hub on par with Wilmington and Columbus is an odd categorization. Portland ME maybe.

    Mo6 – some of their explanations are not merely disputed, they are also not the most likely explanation for the origin

    Mo8 – I am surprised Canadian law is structured like this. I thought official bilingualism was only at the federal level and in the province of New Brunswick. .Report

  6. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    [C16] What’s the point of having a Kansas City? Well I’ve heard they have some crazy little women there and it’s possible to get you one.Report

  7. Avatar Dark Matter says:

    [Ci2] : (From Link) …Studies have shown that integrated learning environments are beneficial for children of disadvantaged households and do no harm to children whose families have higher incomes.

    This seems doubtful (and I’ve never heard it). Are they’re defining “do no harm” to mean something very different than “reach their full potential”?Report

    • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Dark Matter says:

      [Im3]: But critics argue the teachers are being taken advantage of in a practice that helps keep wages low and perpetuates yearslong austerity policies.

      It’s not “austerity” if the gov is spending more money. Part of what is preventing Teachers from being paid more is the gov’s resources are being squeezed by unfunded pensions and other entitlements.

      In a way it’s clever. If we’re going to insist on both high gov services and low taxes, then the gov needs to be creative on how it does things.Report

  8. Avatar Jaybird says:

    They have John Goodman doing an ASMR commercial for McDonald’s.

    We deserve whatever is coming.Report

  9. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Tamara Winter’s observation on the importance of national mythology relates to Im5. The immigration skeptic argument is that they oppose immigrants because immigrants are unlikely to fully buy into national mythology. A non-European or even a European immigrant to Iceland is unlikely to take up belief in elves. I think that this is a dumb reason to limit immigration. It also shows that national mythology can serve as a big double edged sword. It can divide and exclude as easily as it can unite. This is true even when dealing with citizens. Leftists have been generally treated with disdain for not fully buying American mythology.Report

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