The Handmaid's Tale

Discussion in 'The Commons' started by Tiffy, Aug 12, 2021.

  1. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    The Handmaid's Tale, disturbing distopian prophetic prediction of possible right wing religious bigotry takeover of USA or NRA utopian playbook dream of sectarian literal national socialist leaning biblical inerrancy enthusiasts? :hmm:

    Discuss: Anyone here in favour of Giliad?
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2021
  2. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    Never read it or watched it
     
  3. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    My wife watched it, but I didn't find it of interest. Not my cup of tea, and it's really too far-fetched IMO.
     
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  4. Carolinian

    Carolinian Active Member Anglican

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    I hate that those crazy fascists thugs would force women to wear head coverings in that show.....oh...wait? The fascist state in that show supports polygamy and other forms of sexual deviancy...*looks at modern liberal society.* Those fascists in the show shut down anyone who disagrees with their views...that actually sounds very familiar. The fascist state starts to devolve and collapse in the show....* remember what every major city looked like a year ago.* The fascist state is controlled by authoritarians who persecute those who disagree...that's nothing like what we have in our enlightened liberal utopias!
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2021
  5. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    I don;t think Anglicans would do well in a Fundo dominated world
     
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  6. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    A lot of the themes in the show seem to have been tried out in practice, for real, in Germany between 1936 and 1945. The killings, the brood mares, the pseudo religious clap trap and the totalitarian repression, the secret upper echelon decadence, would have all gone on unchecked in Germany had not Hitler been so insane as to have declared war on Europe the USA and the USSR all at the same time.

    Compared with Germany 1930-1945 not 'far fetched' at all really. It's already happened once in history somewhere else than in America.
    .
     
  7. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I used to think thugs storming Capitol Hill with guns and shooting people was 'far fetched', but apparently not any more. :(
    .
     
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  8. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    What a fine example of MSM causing inaccurate perceptions! There is zero evidence that any of the citizens (few or no "thugs") who entered the Capitol building possessed a firearm. There was only one shooting, and it was done by an "officer" (whose identity has never been revealed).
     
  9. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    @Tiffy didn't say that's what happened; he said it's no longer far-fetched since the "thugs storming" part has already actually happened. Why is the word officer in quotes? One of the rioters was in fact shot by a police officer. The fact that at a lot of insurrectionists weren't killed that day is a miracle. The Capitol Police are to be commended for the restraint they showed under tremendous pressure. I saw what happened that day and I believe my own eyes, not what right-wing conspiracy theorists tell me to think. Let's leave the fantasyland stuff aside and just acknowledge the plain facts for what they are.
     
  10. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I put the word "officer" in quotes because they won't release his identity and therefore we don't know for sure what sort of "officer" he was; he could have been anything from Capitol police to a secret service individual to a private contractor to a mere House staffer, but they won't let us know.

    I agree, the "fantasyland stuff" should be left behind, which is why I posted to begin with.
    Read it again, and note the full context. Tiffy said, "thugs storming Capitol Hill with guns and shooting people," which is a fantasyland event that never happened.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2021
  11. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    We could not imagine it before at all. Now we can, because some of it has already happened, viz., the “thugs storming the Capitol” part. As for the rest, they didn’t have guns, but they certainly had weapons, and used them as such. It’s amazing how selectively the Right advocates “support your police”. They certainly don’t when it comes to 1/6, so much so that some of those officers have tragically taken their own lives.
     
  12. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I think it very wise that the officer's name is not revealed. Can you imagine the possible consequences for that officer if his name became public knowledge, and merely for doing his duty in defence of democracy.

    Actually I said "I used to think thugs storming Capitol Hill with guns and shooting people was 'far fetched', but apparently not any more."

    It is not a statement that people with guns invaded Capitol Hill. That is not what was written.

    It is a statement that I no longer find the thought of it happening 'far fetched'. The reason I no longer find the thought of it 'far fetched' is that a mob of people, some of them armed with weapons, (though searches of the few that were actually arrested revealed no guns), stormed Capitol Hill and threatened your Legal Assembly with violence, preventing it from carring out it's function according to the American Constitution.

    'Far fetched'
    means difficult or impossible to imagine something actually happening.

    Consequently it is not 'far fetched' for the fictional film and book of "The Handmaids Tale" to feature the slaughter of Congress and the violent takeover of most of the USA, by extreme right wing factions in a bid to install a system of government more to their liking than the one currently available to them in the USA.

    It has already very nearly actually happened, (apart from the guns and the mass slaughter described in the book and film). Book and film are fiction but not as 'far fetched' as all that, given the undercurrents of political discontent with the system in the USA and the abundant proliferaton of weapons. Prophesies remain fictional until they are actually fulfilled. If they are never fulfilled they remain 'fictional' and are therefore not prophetic. If they are fulfilled they become prophetic at the point of their being fulfilled. Deut.18:21-22.
    .
     
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  13. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I find amusing the senator's list of weapons. Brass knuckles, a stun gun, knives (plenty of tiny jackknives, I have no doubt), hockey sticks, a flagpole... big whoop-de-doo! :rolleyes: I supposed it is to be conceded that every individual who entered the building was armed, since every one of them certainly had one or two arms (not to mention legs, too). :laugh:

    And this makes you think that the idea of "thugs storming Capitol Hill with guns and shooting people" is, to you, no longer far-fetched. Well, okay. For you. And (apparently) for Invictus. But not for me. Honestly, my imagination is just not as fertile as yours, because the idea still seems far-fetched to me personally. However, I concede that I am not as wildly creative a thinker as you. :tiphat:

    And yet, I am able to picture a scenario in which the masses are frightened into surrendering their freedoms in return for promises of safety, health, and welfare. A scenario in which global control and a unified religion hold out promises of peace, universal brotherhood, and equity for all. Perhaps "The Handmaid's Tale" is not so far-fetched after all; perhaps, since art is said to imitate life, this show will somewhat turn out to be a harbinger of things to come. (Rev. 13)
     
  14. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    I think you’re just being obtuse at this point. If a (technically) unarmed mob can storm the Capitol and disrupt an election process it’s really not that hard to imagine an armed mob doing so as well. Why is refusing to concede such a basic (and obviously correct) point your personal hill to die on? It doesn’t make any sense.

    The situation is actually far worse. Because of that stupid riot, the process of the peaceful transfer of power was interrupted, violently. That means that the United States has now failed Huntington’s ‘Two Turnover’ test: we cannot claim to be a democratic country again until the Presidency is handed over to the opposite party peacefully, twice. It means we are no longer the world’s oldest democracy. For a whole host of reasons, that’s not a good place to be.
     
  15. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Oh, really?! Correct me if I'm wrong, but on the appointed day we saw Trump voluntarily step down from office and fly off, and then we saw Biden take the oath of office, all perfectly peacefully. Did we not?? That means the peaceful transfer of power was most certainly not interrupted. The claimed "violent interruption" is more fantasyland stuff from a vivid imagination!!
     
  16. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    If any part of the process is violently interrupted, by the ‘Two Turnover’ test, the clock has to be reset. If we had watched it unfold on TV, as we did, but as taking place in another country, most people would have concluded that it was a highly defective state and it would not be considered a “peaceful” transfer even though the person that won was ultimately inaugurated. People aren’t supposed to storm the Capitol because they don’t like the election result. Members of Congress aren’t supposed to take what’s meant to be a pro forma session and turn it into a vehicle to put doubt into people’s minds over whether the legitimate winner is going to be inaugurated. Trump and the Members of Congress who supported him that day all violated their oaths of office, an act which has not only legal and political but also religious significance. What happened that day - and in the 4 years leading up to it - caused a lot of damage that’s going to take a long time to fix. I’m very concerned about it. A fact-free, anti-science, amoral, post-truth Trumpian authoritarian state is not the future I want the next generation to have to grow up in, and for that reason I work and pray for the goal of the party that caused this mess never winning a national election again.
     
  17. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Why should anyone give a flip about some political science hypothesis hatched by this Huntington fellow? He's not some magical guru with the power to pronounce absolute truth about what constitutes a democracy; it's just his opinion.

    From Britannica:
    Conceptually, a country’s democracy is consolidated when there is no longer a chance that it will revert to authoritarianism. This is difficult to know because only failures can be measured directly, and these only in hindsight. One common indicator is two consecutive turnovers of power. Another is when one political group agrees to give up power to the former opposition, because this indicates a willingness by incumbents to settle disputes through the democratic process and to spend periods of time out of office. However, these measures are somewhat tautological, because the processes that define a democracy are also used to measure its persistence.

    An alternative strategy is to measure the legitimacy of the democratic regime among citizens under the theory that a democracy is consolidated when all political actors recognize democracy as the best system for their society. Consolidation represents a shift in political culture as democratic behaviours become routine and taken for granted. This happens over time through the institutionalization of democratic procedures and the ability of the system to perform effectively.​

    As the article shows us, there are other, competing and equally valid, political science hypotheses.

    Besides, look at what we see now under Biden. Measures being contemplated are more authoritarian than anything we ever saw under Trump. It's common practice for a con or a crook to accuse the other party of that which he himself is guilty of, to avert attention from the real wrongdoing.
     
  18. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    What’s the alternative? It’s not as if there’s some infallible test out there that’s going to tell you with absolute certainty which democracies will fail in the near future. The Two Turnover Test is a measure of risk, not an indication of certainty. Using two turnovers instead of one weeds out most of the statistical outliers. The point is having a reasonable rule or metric that can be consistently applied across multiple democratic types as a proxy for each democracy’s stability as such. Huntington’s Two Turnover Test is one such rule, though not the only one. As a means of assessing risk, it’s certainly a reasonable test, and that’s all that matters for these purposes. I’m certainly not going to entertain sympathy for anti-intellectualism here. Huntington was a veritable giant in the field of political science and his expertise deserves a fair assessment, not dismissiveness. He was an expert on democratic development. Why would anyone not want to know what he had to say about it, given the current state of our society?

    The problem with the alternative strategy you underlined is twofold:
    1) It is a complement to Huntington’s approach, not something in competition with it. There are many different ways of assessing risk and they all have their share of validity and applicability.
    2) It is absolutely not the case that “all political actors recognize democracy as the best system” in the United States. If there’s one thing the GOP doesn’t believe in, it’s majority rule. And that’s a major problem. It’s not at all clear to me why you thought quoting and underlining the part about the Consolidation test would help your case. The situation in the US empirically looks even worse when one applies the Consolidation test than it does when applying the Two Turnover test. It’s impossible to maintain democracy in a country even when just 20-40% of your fellow citizens don’t want it. And that may be where we are.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2021
  19. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    It was no laughing matter at the time, and how would you feel if even a few people entered your home or church bearing similar items. Would you not consider that constituted a threat of violence?
    Mindset revealing perhaps?
    Confession is good for the soul, they say. Well done. :)

    One of the most chilling speeches in the book and film comes from a 'Commander' to a 'Handmaid' describing her predicament. "Better for all can't ever mean for everyone. For some it will always be worse". A speech which could easily have come from the lips of Joseph Goebels, Pol Pot, Mau Tse Dung or any Afghanistan Taliban fanatic, no matter how cleverly they may or may not use scripture to justify their ideology.

    It is not that the imposition of similar conditions has no presedent. It is not only possible, it has also happened before in Germany, Cambodia etc. and is happening right now in Afghanistan, due to the defeat of the International Force caused by Trump's inept and incompetent 'diplomacy' and his naively, meddlesome, Taliban 'Deal'. Welcome to yet one more Vietnam retreat debacle.
    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2021
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  20. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    1. We are a republic, not a democracy.
    2. Pure majority rule is not our way in this republic. Nor should it be. For example, pure 'majority rule' could theoretically say, "caucasians comprise the majority, and the majority rules, therefore caucasians may vote themselves extra benefits to the detriment of the minorities." Our system of government provides for certain protections of the minority viewpoints: hence, for example, the existence of the filibuster rule. We recognize that the majority must never trample upon the rights of the minority (but it seems that this fact is becoming less and less recognized of late).