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Old 10-07-2011, 02:43 PM   #6 (permalink)

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Originally Posted by Benzo View Post
Yet they protest in designer clothes, tweet from their iphones after they are done they go to the store and buy what they want, watch some tv and crawl into bed. We have access to more information than ever before in the history of the universe. We watch sports and play video games, we go to movies and are free to express ourselves as we please.

My question is, are things really so bad? Forget the overarching politik of unions vs corporations. Our poor in north america would be considered by 90% of the world to be some of the luckiest people on the planet.

Finance capital is a result of people with power and money making the rules so they continue to have power and money. I would just rather they have it than Idi Amin.

If those protesting the system truly hated the system they should not be enjoying the fruits of the system.

So while we talk about Raptors, Comic Books and You Tube Videos, we have the ability and the forum (pun intended) to rail against the "great injustice" while some in the world are not allowed to drive to speak or have an opinion. I would like to protest that, I would like to protest the hypocrisy.
you are protesting the hypocrisy right now.

there are a number of logical issues with your argument. i will try to get at those first. some of them may bleed into things that are not simply logical criticisms because of how they are linked:

1. this is not a homogeneous group of people. while there may indeed be designer clothes-wearing, iphone-having hipsters amongst the group, they are not the only ones, and the overall set of motives is too disparate to be clumped together under the criticism you have described. this is either an ad hominem or a fallacy of composition. or both. it is also an appeal to ridicule.

2. all of those things about access to information and sports, movies and video games, etc do not mean that the system is working properly, that people should not take issue with it and express that as protest, or that anyone has any more access to power and control over their lives than they used to. it is a non-sequitur.

3. you say you would rather the rich and powerful have access to the rules to obtain more riches and powers than idi amin. idi amin, or any other dictator, is not the only alternative. that's a red herring and also a false dilemma. i would say that i would rather than the power lie in altogether different sorts of hands. this would be another huge conversation. it suffices to say that you only presented two of many of possibilities and set them as the only choices. this is simply not the case.

now for some things that are less about the logic of your argument and more about the ideas in general:

-you mention about 'us' being the luckiest on the planet (i am paraphrasing as a point of reference, i know this isn't exactly your point). this protest is not simply directed at north america, nor is it simply representative of north american voices. i would guess that most of the ire against wall street is not about how americans are poor, it is about global poverty, about environment, about access and equity - it is a global issue manifesting itself against an american institution that holds power and influence on a global scale.

for many people in the world, and for many people in north america, things really are so bad. we're talking about poverty, about institutionalized poverty, about marginalization, about access to oppportunity. we may have a dream that anyone can make it big, but that is simply not true. many of the protesters would argue that this is a critical problem for the well-being of nations and of individuals, and many more would argue that this is a major destabalizer of peace. if someone has a strong belief in that and a good argument to back it up, they probably should be protesting. the fetishization inherent in finance capital is both a contributing cause and a symbol of power disparity.

-the fact that you dislike a system does not mean that you should not enjoy the fruits of it. in fact, it is nearly impossible not to be a part of the system in some way. this does not mean that you can't critique it and can't hope that it changes. but it would be senseless to not make any money, not invest anything, not buy food from stores or clothes in the winter just so that you can be pure when you protest. the 'system' is so vast and deep rooted that you have no choice but to participate on some level. i would be astonished if you truly felt that by buying food and clothes and a place to live you give up your right to protest without being labeled a hypocrite. (as a logical flaw this could be described as poisoning the well, although that could be debated).

the position you are supporting is entrenched on a daily basis. you are welcome to protest the hypocrisy, but i don't know that it is needed. it is especially unwarranted when directed at a heterogeneous group as if they are all the same and all have the same flaws.
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