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Welcome to /townhall/! This is an anonymous-only board for debates, dialectics, and discussions of a serious nature.

As the topics discussed on this board may deal with sensitive or controversial subject matter, we expect a higher standard of conduct than elsewhere on the site, and will enforce the board's rules with a greater degree of strictness. Inability or unwillingness to follow the rules will result in a /townhall/-only ban.


1) All posts in a given thread must contribute constructively to the conversation, whether agreeing or disagreeing. Off-topic, contentless, inflammatory, or hostile posts will be deleted and result in a ban.

1a) Derails that occur as a natural result of discussion progressing from the original subject will generally not be interfered with; however, if these hinder discussion of the original topic, making a new thread is preferred.

1b) Part of contributing constructively is understanding and addressing the reasoning behind an opposing view. While this can be a tedious task and will generally not be officially enforced, please make an effort to at the very least avoid "talking past" someone when presented with a counterargument. Simply doubling down on your initial point does not advance a discussion.

1c) Be as willing to "lose" as you are to "win", and above all else, be willing to learn and understand. You will not get the most out of this board if your only goal is to persuade, and you will not even be effective at that unless you understand what you are arguing against.

2) Ad hominems and other uncivil behavior will not be tolerated. You may have a significant personal stake in some subjects discussed here, and it is normal to be frustrated when someone cannot relate; however, lashing out is not an effective way to engender sympathy for your position, and will not advance the conversation in a constructive way. Even if you find someone's argument morally abhorrent, there are constructive ways to express this.

2a) Attempting to deliberately provoke an uncivil reaction is prohibited, even if it is done within the letter of the law.

2b) Snark and other forms of mockery are strongly discouraged and may result in warnings or bans.

2c) "Strawmanning" an "opponent" deliberately will be regarded as uncivil conduct and will be dealt with accordingly. This will not apply to genuine misunderstandings.

3) While we do not claim to be arbiters of absolute moral or empirical truth and aim to moderate this board in a fair and even-handed, politically agnostic manner, the following extreme positions are considered "off-limits" regardless of how they are put forward, including attempts to "hint" or dogwhistle:

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File: 1603414420002.png (722.77 KB, 962x541, 962:541, debate-2020-10-22.png) ImgOps Google

When: 9:00PM - 10:30PM Eastern Time, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Pacific Time

Topics: Fighting COVID-19, American Families, Race in America, Climate Change, National Security, Leadership

C-SPAN https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPiofmZGb8o
ABC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8o3jOBpIjS8
CBS https://www.cbsnews.com/live/
Fox News https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nY2AXIx-GU4
NBC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCA1A5GqCdQ
PBS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvRIboFJOiY
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A nation at least has obligation to its citizens.
I don't think the same ought to apply to those of other nations. At least as far as things like open boarders go.

Half-hearted responses get half hearted results.
If we're going to save the world, we ought to simply invade their countries and fix them ourselves.

>I'd like to imagine that nothing is keeping these people from simply not participating if they think it's a bad situation.  The same would go for crossing our borders.
I'd say you underestimate the human inclination to assuming the grass is greener on the other side.
Especially when basically everyone tells you it's the land of opportunity, where anyone can make it big. I'm personally skeptical such presumptions are true, living here.

>Every participant in the free market uplifts the free market.  
I am not so convinced. Any market when flooded with a good will end up inevitably losing value on that good.
Turning the job market from where the seller has the greater power, to where the buyer has the greater power, just means lower pay and worse conditions for those of us who are not so fortunate as to sit on the higher racks.

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Yeah, those are fair criticisms, I don't really have any rebuttal for most of those.

>I am not so convinced. Any market when flooded with a good will end up inevitably losing value on that good.

To some extent that one is still good, though.  Like in theory the ideal is that all goods have no value.  We want to reach that point of post-scarcity.  This, of course, would require further adjustments to how our society functions, but in the long term and with proper support, floods of goods is good.


I'm not so sure. There's use in value. I can't imagine the world where nothing is valued. One where basic survival needs are unvalued, sure, but everything?
How a society like that would even function on the basic level without turning to some serious eccentricity I cannot fathom.

But, in any case; people are at least one thing we shouldn't have as without value.


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Will the Hunter Biden laptop leak have much influence on the election?
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As I recall, though, Trump wasn't the one who even brought it up. But besides that, it seems a completely fair thing to investigate

And again; look at what was done to Trump.
If that's wrong, the Democrats are horrible people given the whole Russia conspiracy nonsense. Same for Obama and his spying on Trump and his campaign during the election.
Especially since it appears to have been done on completely fabricated pretenses.

If we're going to condemn Trump for, in passing after someone else brought it up, saying someone should investigate a case of corruption, we've got a lot of folk on the left to condemn as well for doing a whole lot worse.


>As I recall, though, Trump wasn't the one who even brought it up.
First mention of Biden seems to be from Trump in the transcript:

>But besides that, it seems a completely fair thing to investigate
Perhaps in the abstract.  But Trump's request really feels politically motivated, rather than a routine law-enforcement request.  

>the whole Russia conspiracy nonsense
I'm pretty sure that Russian disinformation campaigns really did exist.  I'd say that claims of 'collusion' with Putin were vastly overblown, though.

>we've got a lot of folk on the left to condemn as well
I agree with that.  There's plenty of dishonest tactics from both parties.


>  But Trump's request really feels politically motivated, rather than a routine law-enforcement request.  
Maybe, but again, that means the entire Democrat establishment is, if that is your standard for corruption, far, far more corrupt.

>I'm pretty sure that Russian disinformation campaigns really did exist
In the same way American ones do in countless other foreign elections, sure. Or for that matter, how half of our "allies" do during our elections.

Nonetheless, mere Russian typical state funded operations everyone does was not the focus.
The focus was clearly on the collusion narrative, and for that matter, it seems to be a complete and total fabrication, to the point where the justification to spy on Trump was outright fabricated by partisan organizations, and then lied about when brought for the warrant.

Again; if Trump is corrupt for investigating someone for something that appears to have actually happened, the whole of the Democrats, and Obama's administration especially, are far, far dirtier.

Personally, I am of the firm stance it isn't wrong to hang someone by their own rope.
If we're going to waste years on an investigation which seems to be based on nothing other than political interests, I do not see why we shouldn't do the same when something appears to have actually happened, even if political interests are involved.


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A while ago, there was controversy related to the posting of signs that read "It's okay to be white".  At the time, I was completely baffled by accusations that sign was racist.  But now I have a theory.  Were those who were offended by the signs employing an interpretive principle such as expressio unius est exclusio alterius to read the signs as suggesting that it's not okay to be non-white?  E.g., would a message like pic related be considered by them to be inoffensive?

(I assume that most people who found the signs to be innocuous interpreted them simply as a rejection of anti-white claims such as "All white people are racist by virtue of being white" or "White people alive today are guilty for slavery imposed by earlier generations of white people".)
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Cain murdered Able. Bad example.

Better route would've been the Good Samaritan.
But you should note; those who did not stop to help were not evil. What they did was not a moral wrong. It was simply not a good act.
People shouldn't be obligated to be good. Good should be a choice.


That "unfair advantage" wouldn't be morally wrong, however.

And of course, there's plenty of room to disagree that every white person in America benefits from white supremacy.
This is the primary issue, I think, to a lot of this. Frankly, the idea itself I find racist


Why would any of that change whether or not it is okay to be white?


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What should happen to infants, toddlers, and other kids who show up at the U.S. and Mexico border?

Is it ethically just as well as practical to punish them along with their parents if it turns out that their refugee statuses are invalid?

What if they show up unaccompanied, with that possibly changing matters?

What if they show up needing medical treatment or otherwise being in a state in which merely leaving them alone is questionable?
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People brought into this country when they were too young to make that decision themselves, and who have lived in the US most of their lives should be allowed to become citizens.


I feel like if a country can afford to help people fleeing distress, there shouldn't be barriers.  If the children have run away from their parents, if they have not escaped abuse, likely they should be reunited.

>ethically just as well as practical to punish them along with their parents if it turns out that their refugee statuses are invalid?

People grant states the supreme right to punish any age group in any way, and I suppose it's not my place to say any such punishment is impractical or immoral.  If I'm able to respectfully move out of this frame, I don't know, except that practical punishment must be adjusted to one's capacity to understand and change behavior -- eg. a prison sentence probably wouldn't mean much to a toddler.


DNA would work, sure.

>I'd say that we should just accept a child's assertion of who their parents are.
I understand the thinking, but I think you're being naive.
Children aren't exactly that hard to convince to lie.


What would be the ideal drug policy in your America? If you're not American, then what would you prefer the U.S. change things do?
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Going off of a bit of what you said, I'd like to rant a little bit (not that you're talking this position, but I see this position advocated a lot online):

I hear talk from a lot of ultra-libertarians in terms of ending the drug war. That it also means ending the welfare state. I can't see it.

I just want to debunk that view right now... the Ayn Rand fantasy of a minimalist state in which 25% of the population lies dying in the gutter due entirely because of their bad luck of being born to the wrong parents while right next door another 25% of the population live in marble column covered mansions with gold plated toilets, the middle 50% being in Brazilian-style favelas or such merely eking out a living and scrimping to survive... it just can't work. Putting morality aside, it's simply impractical. Civilization doesn't achieve stability that way.

A world without charity, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, et cetera would be a world in which different social groups are so alienated from each other that the culture achieves total dehumanization. Eventually, the 75% majority would up and murder the ruling class. They'd have zero reason not to. They're on the edge. Nothing to lose.

Honestly, the fact that "voluntary slavery" is considered a legitimate topic in such ultra-libertarian circles is a nice sign that they're full of a lot of hardcore nonsense. For real.

You're your brother's keeper. You can't fuck up your life entirely without it getting un-fucked. You're a part of organized civilization, and you matter.

To the central point, well, people should ideally just not be left behind. They'd be able to fuck up again and again. And they'd be picked up each time. "We hang together, or we hang separately" as the saying goes.


I wouldn't advocate for a complete riddance of welfare. But I would want to see welfare go to people who put effort in standing on their own.
People who give into their vices, knowing full well that it makes them unable to function in society should be dealing with the consequences.

People who get laid off and are out of work and can't get a job for some time, or people who due to medical reasons outside of their own choosing are unable to perform still should get plenty of support. Same for people who actually can contribute, but are paid less than what a good lifestyle would require.


What do you think about the Martin Luther King Jr. idea of everybody receiving a guaranteed minimum income every month just for being a law-abiding citizen?


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As Wikipedia states, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (RRHOF) is a museum and hall of fame located in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States, on the shore of Lake Erie. The museum documents the history of rock music and the artists, producers, engineers, and other notable figures who have influenced its development. It's a massive tourist destination that also has some significant cultural influence nationwide, being referenced by the news media many times over the past multiple decades.

The most recent batch of inductees to the RRHOF were: Depeche Mode, the Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, the Notorious B.I.G., and T.Rex.

Story: https://www.cleveland.com/entertainment/2020/10/rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-reveals-2021-nomination-plans.html

>What do you fellows think about the RRHOF in general?

>What do you think of the latest inductees... is it frustrating that non-rock acts are included, or do you agree with the decision?


I can't say any such hall of fame is very important to me. Induction into one such hall of fame can often be a popularity contest and lots of times great people don't make it in, or are passed on for way too long.

I don't really care about the purity of the RRHOF, but it does seem really weird to include acts that are not rock and roll! Did they issue a statement on the decision?


It's indeed weird to include acts with nothing whatsoever to do with rock n' roll. I agree totally. I love, say, Whitney Houston in particular. Yet she's known for a mixture of pop music with classic soul stylings. Nothing "rocking" per se.

In terms of statements, the institution recently-ish released this:

> https://www.rockhall.com/class-2020-inductees#:~:text=Rock%20%26%20Roll%20Hall%20of%20Fame%20Induction%20Ceremony%202020&text=The%20special%20presentation%20will%20honor,Jon%20Landau%20and%20Irving%20Azoff.

It's not that helpful in my opinion, though.


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What much sex ed should be taught to children in school and at what ages / grade levels?
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Do you have a pointer to more information about this?  I vaguely remember encountering an argument that seemed plausible that white males are in fact somewhat more likely than black males to go on high-body-count murder sprees (e.g., school shootings).  


I think you're missing the point. Even if there is a higher likelihood of that, it's going to be for cultural reasons, not because of their race. That's the point.




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Was thinking about the sex education thread, and in the back of my mind there's the amy coney barrett hearing. Plus any time lgbt people gain rights and equality. There's this thing that is often used in opposition to progress or used to justify regressive policy.

Freedom of Religion

But what should be permissible under freedom of religion that would not be permissible otherwise?

Should a private company be able to deny legally mandated Healthcare benefits to its employees?

Should a private company be allowed to discriminate against a protected class?

Should parents be allowed to exclude their child from parts of education?

Should a government employee be allowed to not perform critical functions of their job?

Should a tax exempt church be able promote and push on its members a political ideology? Or use the church's money to donate to political causes?
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Freedom of religion should be bound by what others rights other people have.

Otherwise, if religious excemptions are allowed based on declaration of belief, then none of the other rights would mean anything if one could declare a belief from exempting one from having to respect the rights of others.

If I own and operate a vital service, I should not be allowed to deny access to that service on a declaration of faith alone, cause if anyone could do that, then what weight could any declaration of rights hold if anyone could declare their reasons to deny it based on religious exemption.

Likewise no one should be able to actively try to suppress anyone's other rights based on religious excemption either, especially if one could simply declare it a deeply held religious belief that they must suppress others rights.

So you might argue that no one should be able to arbitrarily declare just anything is a religious belief. But the again, who should have authority to declare one's religious beliefs to be officially recognized?


To me freedom of religion implies that you can follow and practice any religion freely, but you shoud still abide by the laws society put in place. Religion does not make you exempt from the law.
On the flipside, separation of Church and State should imply that laws shouldn't be made to single out and attack a religion.

> Should a private company be able to deny legally mandated Healthcare benefits to its employees?
No. If it's set in the laws that certain rights are given to your employees, religion doesn't make you exempt from this. If someone calls inspection, they have every right to penalize you.

> Should a private company be allowed to discriminate against a protected class?
I suppose it depends what the laws say. I think it should be morally rerehensible, but not really a legal matter what people you deny service to.

> Should parents be allowed to exclude their child from parts of education?
Around here, kids are by law forced to take schooling until they're 18. And even in private schooling and homeschooling, there's an education plan that sets requirements on what knowledge needs to be acquired.
So it is against the law to deny your kids set education standards.

> Should a government employee be allowed to not perform critical functions of their job?
Religion should not be a reason to not perform your duties as an employee. But this is up to the employer, I suppose.
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>Can my church be tax exempt too?

I believe so, if you do the right paperwork.

>Or should we take tax exemption status from religious organizations?

As they seem to be grouped with other non-profits, I don't have a strong opinion, I don't think.


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I read somedays ago an article written for a Canadian/Venezuelan Sir, it was about society in general.

However, he also made some references to US society and the relation of its people with foreigners. Basically, wrote the most of the US/Canadian nationals dislike much when some outsider speaks English with a thick accent/ not in the proper way, said it is the opposite effect when a native of English tries to talk Spanish which most people here believe that thick English accent sounds nice.

He went on making clear that this is little detail is more than enough to be rejected from a job oppotunity, even though one may have perfectly capacited, ect.

So, is this true?
I had never considered it to be a problem, but if it is I need to know to get started and smooth my accent a bit (?)

>Image not related.
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It seems rather unfortunate but clear-cut that anybody with an accent that makes their words hard to understand will have trouble, particularly when they encounter short-tempered individuals assuming the worst in conversations. I agree. Not sure what advice to give, alas.


well, I better start working on my accent then.


In my profession accents are not a major barrier because most communication occurs in documents, or person-to-person communication is discouraged.  It probably depends on what you're doing.


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This thread is for political discussion of tonight's vice-presidential debate.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_G0ia3JOVs (C-SPAN)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4WJhh-XgQ0 (PBS)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXE6I3gWiMc (Fox)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXFCIvsOzkg (ABC)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4Y0se-y3D4 (NBC)                                                                                                                         
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The Trump administration from stem to stern is based on lies and manipulation. There's little reason to trust just about anything that comes out of it. From anybody.

Again, I'll take a vaccine when Trump's OWN FAMILY gets GODDAMN IMPALED WITH NEEDLES and we see it for our own eyes. Then, well, there will be some credibility. Some skin in the game, literally.


I'd question the extremity of what you say, but I agree with the basic concept involved.
Unless I see a fair bit of solid evidence it's safe, I don't think I'd get a vaccine. Especially since I'm, frankly, not in the risk bracket.


If anything, I'd say that I'm not being extreme enough, but... yeah, evidence is the key.

 No.6953[Reply][Last 50 Posts]

So a while ago, I was told by someone on this board that the group known as the "Proud Boys" are "not a white supremacy group". But since the group has come up in the public discourse after being mentioned at the presidential debates on September 29th, I thought it would be important to share a video I found outlining the group and their beliefs.

The Proud Boys are a far-right, neo-fascist organization. The group is openly misogynistic, transphobic, Islamophobic and promotes, glorifies and engages in political violence. While the group officially claims to reject racism and white supremacy, several members are or have been been affiliated with white supremacists groups, including the KKK and they have been described by US intelligence organisations as "a dangerous white supremacist group". The group's founder Gavin McInnes has openly expressed white supremacist views and former member of the group Jason Kessler was one of the organizers of the white supremacist and Neo-Nazi "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, VA. More about their beliefs versus their claims, and the people associated with the group are outlined in the video.

While the video covers some of the group's more laughable and ridiculous beliefs (like their idea that one should not ejaculate unless within one yard of a woman), we should resist the urge to dismiss the group as harmless or farcical. There is historical precedent for groups like this growing into something far more dangerous, like the Brownshirts of  1920s and 30s Germany. It is a mistake to not recognize the very real danger that groups like this pose.
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Are rap songs that refer to black people with the "n"-word racist?


If somebody isn't being deliberately obtuse, then it would be easy for them to understand that Person A feeling hatred upon Person B and then venting out a slur in order to try and harm Person B is a negative context. A context in which it's blindly obvious that racism is taking place. Of course.


Negative does not inherently mean racist.


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United States of America, Presidential Authority Donal Trump is reported by several sources to have COVID.  This disease is usually harmless, but as in all probabilistic things, we must hope for the best.
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Way belated, but: I typed "conservative" while meaning a different label, sorry about that. Would be genuinely like libel to act as if regular conservative fellows are somehow rooting for individuals' deaths.

(Or maybe it's technically not libel since the internet is different than print media, eh, whatever.)


>Giving a range of 5 to 10 million per life seems a bit misleading as best estimates tend to give it as 10 million (or 9 million) or so...
Ah, sorry, I didn't spend a lot of time digging into this and just used my memory and a few quick searches to find a rough range.  I had the $5 million figure in memory (maybe it's outdated now from when I'm remembering it from) and also found it in some sources (e.g., https://www.livescience.com/15855-dollar-human-life.html), so I included it as a lower-end.


I understand, just wanted to expand on the point.

 No.7043[Reply][Last 50 Posts]

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Why won't Joe Biden disavow court packing?  The risk of court packing is the one thing that keeps me from supporting Biden.  If he and Kamala Harris would credibly promise to veto any court-packing legislation, he'd have my vote.  
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Meh. They are the only source of decently drawn maws.


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>r.e. your sheep vore post
Um, that's a "vore fetish" image?  Just looks like a cute, silly Wooloo image to me.  

> Vore is a bad fetish and you should feel bad.
Should a baker be allowed to refuse to bake a cake decorated with a "vore fetish" image?


>Should a baker be allowed to refuse to bake a cake decorated with a "vore fetish" image?
Yes, provided he pays the appropriate "weird fetish" premium.

ft. a furry


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I have figured out that states are the highest moral authority for humans, and loving humans means respecting state power.  I can not find any other reason to respect any given state power, really.

"the following extreme positions are considered "off-limits" regardless of how they are put forward...: genocide or ethnic cleansing of any kind."

Can it be asserted that human states, perhaps you can say 'legitimate human states' even, have never authorized genocide or ethnic cleansing, or called for violence -- and somehow cannot in the future?  I can think of ways you might word that.  So if yes, I guess all is well.  If not, I can seldom fail to follow things to their logical consequences, and my respectful attitude may be inappropriate here.  I have a respectful attitude because it doesn't feel right to me to try to break the governments the humans put so much effort into, unless they threaten me directly.  Yes, I suppose authorizing myself self-defense is potentially destructive of state institutions -- potentially makes me an anarchist and bad pony, but I am special, and I don't intend do go looking for reasons to be destructive and hurtful.  Self-defense of my kind will have to be OK, I guess.  It's the best respect I can manage.  But anyway, I seem to always be working, but I can make my own pony site if that's better.  I did create a play one once.
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I'd also note Machiavelli's Discourses on Livy where he credits the incredible size of Republic Rome's military to the republican form of government. In the feudal governments of his era the state belonged to the Monarch and his vassals, and in time of crisis they were the only ones who were invested and who could be expected to stake their lives. In a more republican government, he contrasts, there is a stronger feeling of ownership of the nation in the masses. Peasants would willingly and fiercely take up arms because they felt on some level that the government belonged to them.

I'm certainly interested! But sadly I'm not familiar with the book. You'd have to fill me in.


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I have to think back.  In The Prince there was discussion of whether it was best for a prince to align with common folk or nobles, either having pluses and minuses.  I never read Discourses on Livy.

>I'm certainly interested! You'd have to fill me in.

OK, cool.  I only gave the book a first-read.  In a certain sense the argument is something most would consider common sense, but it also informs what kinds of fears are legitimate for loosing democracy.  My main issues with liberal democracy are that the theory leaves most important things contested -- what exactly are your natural rights?  exactly what harms are states to protect against?  etc. -- but that openness might be a feature, since citizens are allowed to vote in the details.  My weekend's over and next week is suppose to be bad at work, so I probably won't make the thread until next weekend.  Perhaps I'll get a bit into the book by then.


I believe the reasoning there was that the nobles wish to oppress, while commoners simply wish to not be oppressed making them far easier to please.

That's an interesting idea to discuss. I think most people would simply come up with a list cherry picked from preexisting ideas and grievances. I'd have to think more about a plausible source for a more rigorous model beyond consensus.

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