Guns of Infinity



What’s funny is that your link in fact proves that there is regulation regarding the shape of cucumbers in the EU. As the EU legislature had a habit of justifying its existence by regulating things that don’t need regulation. I’m all for regulating screw sizes and banks but some things regulate themselves.

And my other point was the contradiction of the CDU’s usual slavish subordination to EU regulations and needs and Merkel going against them in a case where it really hurt her people (financially).

The whole migrant crisis itself is just a huge cluster of EU stupidity. On which I have a lot of mixed emotions and opinions. My go-to guy for all matters dealing with the Arabic world however is a Bosnian Muslim who fought against the Serbs back in the day. His main concern is that he mostly sees able bodied young men coming here when they should be fighting for their country. In a similar but different way I’m concerned about immigrants who arrive without papers, lie about their age or country of origin and the inability to really tell asylum seekers from parasites.

The case of a young man who claimed he was 17, is probably 25 and attacked and raped a young woman before dropping her into a river where she drowned is probably an extreme case that would call for two shots in the back of the head. But the fact that he’d already been imprisoned in Greece for attacking another woman shows me that this whole migrant thing isn’t working. Just letting just about anyone into any country is probably not the right way to deal with it however.


I don’t think that’s a meaningful distinction, myself. As The Godfather demonstrated, a good racketeer is one who can not only break your kneecaps, but keep other kneecap-breakers away from you so you can work to earn the whack you kick up to him. Even most medieval kingdoms figured that out.


I think you’ll enjoy the more modern ruminations on the topic by Charles Tilly then.
I’m not actually as cynical as made it appear, do I think our modern democracies are anywhere near fair or representative, I do not, however I do think we have gotten increasingly better at the veneer of civilization and our new laws are in most cases better than the old ones used to be and modern democracy has generally succeeded in getting the top 5% of people involved, instead of the 1% or even the .001% as it used to be in days of yore.

Yep, like I said the veneer of civilization and it has gotten increasingly better and more refined.

That would be institutional failure, it unfortunately happens from time to time and yes, anyone who knows me on these forums knows misses Merkel is hardly my favourite politician in Europe and I was hoping she would be gone, but the German public decided otherwise, unfortunately. On the other hand you do not have the psuedo-democracy where the Kaiser could just appoint whomever he wanted as chancellor and the input of the voters was no more than mere suggestion, so that would be progress even if that progress is still limited.

I won’t dispute this, why do you think I’m a democratic socialist at heart.

It is actually probably both as for the past ten years now our conservative governments have been publicly in favour of Europe while privately backing British opposition. Cameron’s inability to keep order in his own party and caucus ended that comfortable position for our conservatives where they could alternate and play between Britain and Germany against their center.

And that concern is legitimate as anyone who spoke a few words of Arabic and studied Lonely Planet’s Syria guide could claim to be a Syrian “refugee” and our authorities would eat it up like sweet cakes. I wish we really could have a vetting system like the US. As the main true nationalities of our Syrian refugees turned out to have been 1) Eritrean and 2) Albanian. In other words economic migrants, while I am not against economic migration we need clear laws and true enforcement of the labour codes and standards to deal with that.
Also as a small country we obviously cannot take each and every economic migrant who wants to come and we need to make our selection carefully.


One of the reasons Benjamin Franklin‘s on our hundred. He was kind of like the ultimate early American. Controversial free least by American standard his promiscuous behavior at least now is view more charming then not. Self made became financially independent we will without out the need of are “particular institution” and renown charming polymath. Think is like you said it’s a combination of being treated like their English subjects not Irish. The Merchant and the planter wanted the ability to sit in house of common. So what does English government tax with any political power of typical political power then garrison their home with soldiers of the middle and lower middle class.


I think it’s more important to acknowledge that everyone who knows you on this forum knows and respects your supernatural ability to turn respectful gender titles (Mr, Mrs) into sarcastic insults. I personally find it truly inspiring.


That said I think I’d enjoy a mostly benevolent autocrat more than the illusion of freedom. Historically there have been as many good kings as bad ones and even more that never amounted to anything. It’s pretty much the same with democratically elected leaders, isn’t it? So in the end all it would do is save me the effort of being annoyed with my fellow voters and allow me to concentrate on being annoyed at my government.

We agree on the immigration bit and I’d have thought it to be common sense. But politics and common sense seem to be two concepts that shall never meet.


Here you all are debating real heavy handed stuff and I am internally debating the philosophy of the sith code. Sometimes I don’t like being this relaxed.


Don’t forget that if you control the unions and construction businesses, you can go and siphon as much money as you want on big infrastructure projects. Everyone knows the Mob has quite a few of the unions under their thumb still. Same with large construction firms or shipping companies.

Which is why the unions should totally be broken up. Not only do they stifle businesses, they also are rackets for organised crime. And everyone knows how hard it is to get mobsters, either someone else has to shoot them, or we need to get them on something like tax evasion and throw them in jail for 30 years over it.

In case people are wondering, I’m not being serious.


The problem isn’t necessarily with the autocrat himself but with the institution of autocracy. While your one autocrat might be benign, there is no guarantee of competence in the form of their successor. In a more-or-less functioning democracy, the elevation of an incompetent or malicious leader is the result of decades of slow institutional failure (see: the United States), and even when that failure comes to fruition, enough of those norms and institutions remain in place to severely undermine that leader’s ability to consolidate power or destroy what’s left (see again: the United States).

Historically, there have been a lot more bad absolute kings than good ones, and the good kings in particular tend to create political environments that foster bad ones by creating environments for their heirs of security and entitlement within the space of one or two generations without mechanics to bind them to their obligations and duties. There’s a reason absolute monarchies tend to either fall apart so calamitously or dive into centuries-long death-spirals as the “sick man of [continent]”.

A competent autocrat can get shit done (which I bring up each time I mention Jiang Jieshi), but autocracy as a system of governance is unsustainable beyond a generation.


Except the shit that he needed to get done, i.e. land reforms. The nationalists failure to appear sufficiently concerned about the fate of the peasants is what apparently gave Mao all the political space he needed.
Anyway the end result, as in the anarcho-capitalist hellhole China is now would still have been the same, just without the Communist intermezzo. You’ve got a lot more faith than I do that the Chinese Nationalists could have built anything on mainland China like what they accomplished with Taiwan alone, as with the move to Taiwan they also literally and figuratively shed a lot of the things and in many occasions people most opposed to the necessary reforms.

True, Plato’s dream doesn’t exactly work in reality.


The Japanese Invasion was what gave Mao the political space he needed. At the time of the Xi’an Incident, Mao and a few thousand followers were literally in the same place militarily as Osama bin-Laden was in the beginning of 2002: hiding in caves, trying to stave off the end.

The fact also remained that the Guomindang couldn’t enact land reform so long as the country was mostly ruled by hostile warlords and the central government’s own authority relied on the acquiescence of “allied” warlords who had their own agendas. No sort of sweeping societal reform could have been accomplished without legitimate and stable state institutions and the necessary industrial/economic/political infrastructure. It should be noted that limited third-party organisations like the Rural Reconstruction Movement were allowed to spring up in the areas which were under Jiang’s direct control with the Guomindang’s limited support, and that these programmes were quite successful until they were trampled by the Japanese and then driven into exile by the Communists.

However, there was no ability to enact more sweeping reforms through the mess that China was at the time (and still is). Mao did end up trying the kind of programme you seem to be demanding while ignoring these requirements, it was called the Great Leap Forward, and it didn’t go so well.


On the other hand the likely best the Nationalists could have accomplished on the mainland would have been rural reforms akin to the ones in India, meaning on the landlord’s terms, so that would have accomplished very little at all.
I think in the very best case scenario of their institutional stability you’d have perhaps seen something like the Quebec of Duplessis writ large in China and that would have been by the end of the 20th century.

The sort of people they mostly lost and who certainly lost most of their influence on the flight to Taiwan, which allowed them to build up state institutions and reform. Smaller states are not always bad Cata, for one they’re a lot more manageable. Of course formally breaking up China was never on the table and still isn’t now.


I feel like you’re underestimating how fucking disastrous the Great Leap Forward was. Simply avoiding that would have been worth the rivers of blood Jiang’s anti-communist paranoia would have spilled had he remained in power.

The Quebec of Duplessis was a nightmare by first-world standards, but it is also a dramatically superior alternative to the People’s Republic of China in reality.


Well it wouldn’t just have been Chiang, his allies might have launched their own even nastier campaigns in their parts of the country. I mean wasn’t the KMT “allied” with someone called “dogmeat general” (Zhang Zongchang)? Who was every bit as bad or maybe even worse then Mao.

Even today? I mean I was trying to be optimistic for the end of the 20th century under hypothetical Nationalist rule of the mainland, not the 1970’s or before.


The Guomindang fought the Dogmeat General, removed him from power, and took over his holdings. That was kind of the whole point of the Northern Expedition.

You’re not doing your argument any favours here.

I can’t give firm judgments as to “today”, but as of my last visit (in 2006), absolutely.


Wasn’t that only after they had offered him multiple King’s ransoms and positions in their government? Or am I getting my warlords crossed here?

Hmmm…well I suppose haven’t exactly gotten the most favourable impression about the willingness of Chiang’s Nationalists to try for economic and especially land reforms.
While this article is about Tibet it does show that for all their great many glaring faults the Chinese Communists ultimately (they too tried the local elites first, but they didn’t ultimately cling to them as much as Chiang’s Nationalists had done) weren’t afraid to reform, which according to the article is among the chief reasons the CIA backed Tibetan uprising failed, because at that point the general population did not want their old masters back.
I get the feeling that in a Tibet under Nationalist China the Nationalists would just have continued to look the other way, much the same as in most parts of the Chinese countryside apparently.

I do agree no cultural revolution would have made China a nicer tourist destination, on the other hand how much ordinary Chinese would have profited from that by now.


Mind you, the Guomindang tried to co-opt just about everyone, under the completely understandable reasoning that civil war was bad.

The GMD’s nominal ideology was still that of “Democracy, Nationalism, and Social Justice”, and they did actually institute land reform just before they lost the Civil War, thanks to the lobbying of the RRM. That seems to imply that they were willing to give it a try, for purely pragmatic reasons if nothing else.

Well, considering that a very large number of them wouldn’t have been beaten, robbed, or murdered by Red Guard, including the intelligentsia who actually behind the successes which Mao’s regime did manage, a Great fucking deal.

At this point, you’re reaching the equivalent of “The Hunger Winter was quite good actually, and maybe the Nazis weren’t so bad because at least they removed the monarchy”.


The problem with that is they then become your internal opposition to the necessary reforms, often necessitating purges or accidents, which are less messy then civil wars, if you can get away with it that is, on the other hand inviting them in also potentially allows them to take over (for a modern example just ask mr. Lucke who originally founded Germany’s rising AFD) and if your purge goes drastically wrong you can end up with the civil war you were trying to avoid anyway.
Of course such judgement calls are much easier to make with the hindsight of history then when you’re actually in that mess.

While knowing only today’s Communist China I think it would be pretty safe to say the first and third principle of the three would have been relegated mostly to rhetoric and symbolism, much like the teaching’s of Mao in today’s PRC (although they’re now being supplanted outright by the teachings of Xi it seems :unamused: ).

On the other hand how many would have suffered comparable fates under anti-communist or even general anti-leftist campaigns conducted by the Nationalists instead. While we like to think it would be millions less, those kinds of things can get out of control very badly, very fast. Though I think a Nationalist China that somehow managed to win out after WWII would have been more bloodthirsty then one that can somehow avoid a Japanese invasion and significant effects of that war altogether.

And the PRC’s nominal ideology is still Communism (unless the teachings of Xi is going to change that I suppose).
While knowing only today’s Communist China I think it would be pretty safe to say the first and third principle of the three would have been relegated mostly to rhetoric and symbolism, much like the teaching’s of Mao in today’s PRC (although they’re now being supplanted outright by the teachings of Xi it seems :unamused: ).

That the RRM enjoyed its greatest level of official support just before the end in itself implies they needed to get pretty desperate in the first place before supporting it on the mainland though. Which isn’t unique in and of itself, our elite has also always needed to be jolted to acquiesce to major reforms. However as a small country the shocks needed for it can be both mostly external (meaning they cause no actual damage here) and of lesser magnitude then what is needed to scare the elites of huge and often powerful countries into actions.


Especially when you really don’t have the luxury of fighting more than one warlord at once, and knowing that the others will probably jump in on you the second you’re distracted.

Almost certainly far less, for the reason that the anti-communist purges and the Cultural Revolution were different in nature. The former was a centrally organised operation with specific targets, whereas the latter was a decentralised reaction to Mao rage-quitting government with instructions that basically boiled down to “kill anyone who you don’t like.”

It should also be noted that Jiang reached party leadership the old fashioned way (by being his predecessor’s protege) instead of murdering his way to the top as Mao did, which probably implies a rather different temperament.

Again, almost certainly. Jiang’s first Anti-communist purges were intended to co-opt a communist takeover. I don’t think that metastasized into paranoia until it became clear that the CCP was more interested in undermining any kind of post-war GMD government than peace, compromise, or actually fighting the Japanese.

Actually, it isn’t.
Officially, China’s ideology is “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics”, which is basically a nonsense phrase that means whatever the hell Beijing wants it to mean.


So, need some definitions: who is the “elite” here, and what would it take to “jolt” them in a “large” country?