The Handmaid's Tale

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

  1. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    4,214
    Likes Received:
    2,154
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    As I have just pointed out (above) to Invictus, our system is supposed to protect the minorities from the "mob rule" mentality of the majority. It is a good system and it has worked well for 200 years, although Democrats are threatening to overthrow it in their rush to push aside the conservative minority.
    I would be remiss if I failed to point out that Trump made a deal with the Taliban, under which the US agreed to be out of Afghanistan by the end of May, and Biden's administration reneged on the deal; thus the Taliban dramatically stepped up their aggressiveness these past couple of months. Biden mangles everything he touches. Yet IMO a Taliban takeover by some eventual means is probably inevitable, because the Afghanis as a people are not ready for a representative system of governance based upon godly morality and protection of human rights. (I'm not sure that the citizens of the US are morally and mentally fit for such a system any longer, either, and that's why it is slipping through their fingers; as John Adams famously stated, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.")

    TBH, I have always felt (since 2001) that the US should not involve itself with Afghanistan. And once we did, we should have gotten clear of the place ASAP instead of lingering in a no-win situation. There was never any way to make that country into a nation of fair-minded, freedom-loving, moral-acting people.
     
  2. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,680
    Likes Received:
    1,500
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Episcopalian
    Distinction without a difference. One word derives from Latin, the other from Greek, and they both mean, roughly, “rule by the people”. Any country that aims at universal suffrage with popular elections is a popular government, a representative democracy, an elective republic. The Founders used the term interchangeably. Jefferson, Jackson, and Lincoln used the word “democracy” to describe the American system and ideal all the time, to name but a few examples. The “republic not a democracy” slogan has no linguistic basis as well as no basis in the actual use of the term throughout American history. It should never come up in any serious discussion about American government.

    The reason many in the GOP hate the word anyway is, of course, because they don’t believe that each vote cast should have the same weight. That’s a pathology of the GOP. The Constitution assumes with the Declaration of Independence that all people “are created equal.” The GOP’s position here is profoundly un-conservative and certainly opposed to the spirit of the Constitution, seeking as they do to undo decades of progress on voting rights just so they can hold onto power with only a minority of the votes. I have zero tolerance for that view. It’s deeply un-American.
     
  3. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    4,214
    Likes Received:
    2,154
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    And therein lies the problem: you see no difference.
    A red herring and a falsehood.

    We are a thousand miles apart on this, so we will have to 'agree to disagree.'
     
  4. ZachT

    ZachT Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    498
    Likes Received:
    477
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Anglican
    Well, just to continue the vibe of being unnecessarily pedantic, a res publica is "the public thing", not "rule by the people". A republic can be non-democratic, e.g. the old Dutch Republic, or medieval Venice. The Latin word meaning "people rule" doesn't really exist, but if it did it would be popularem, not res publica. Cicero tended to just transliterate it into the word "Democracy" (the classical Greek being demokrata) instead of using a Latin equivalent.

    And yes, although technically Rexlion is right, you are correct in that no nation on Earth is a democracy, so when we say "democracy" we actually mean "democratic republic". It's profoundly unuseful to correct someone when everyone knows what is meant by the incorrect usage.
     
  5. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,680
    Likes Received:
    1,500
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Episcopalian
    Yes, I know all of that. Hence my use of the word “roughly”. Some republics were functional oligarchies. My point is that in this country (the USA), when those on the Right repeat the “republic not a democracy” slogan, it’s a dogwhistle. They claim to be making a historical point (which turns out to be false), but are actually saying they don’t want majority rule (because they don’t represent the majority). The way you get to minority rule in a representative republic with universal suffrage is by having devices that counter the will of the majority, i.e., by ensuring that not all votes carry the same weight. In the USA, the Senate and the Electoral College achieve this unequal representation by place representation. The value of a vote for a US Senator is thus far greater for a resident of Nevada than it is for California. And the GOP is adamantly opposed to the reform of the institutions to better reflect the actual results of elections. Yet there is no moral basis for one person’s vote to count less than another’s just because of where he or she lives. That is the heart of the matter, not silly ahistorical slogans.
     
  6. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    4,214
    Likes Received:
    2,154
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    BTW, you all should see the photos of equipment the US left behind in Afghanistan for the Taliban to walk in and take. Stacks of firearms, motorized troop carriers, you name it. The previous administration would not have left billions of dollars worth of useful equipment lying around, I'll bet.
     
  7. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,680
    Likes Received:
    1,500
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Episcopalian
    That happens whenever we leave a major theater of operations. ISIS used mostly American equipment. They were undoubtedly resupplied by those who had access to American equipment (Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia). You can bet the same thing will happen with the Taliban. It’s a great argument for not getting militarily involved in those places. Strategically though, the withdrawal is a sound move. It will weaken Iran and give the Russians and the Chinese something new to worry about.
     
  8. Ananias

    Ananias Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    842
    Likes Received:
    708
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    ACNA
    The Handmaid's Tale is a garbage book for reasons completely unrelated to its subject matter. It's trite, blunt, badly written, and is terrible at the basic kind of sci-fi world-building you see in good novels. It's basically a third-wave feminist monster-closet, a predecessor of modern junk like The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner.

    If you want to read an excellent sci-fi novel that deals with some of the same themes as The Handmaid's Tale (but way better), you should read Vernor Vinge's A Deepness in the Sky. Or some of the books in the Dune series (specifically how the Honored Matres came to be what they are).
     
    Invictus likes this.
  9. Othniel

    Othniel Active Member Typist

    Posts:
    131
    Likes Received:
    73
    Country:
    Canada
    Religion:
    Christian
    You mean like the equipment the US gave them decades before to fight the Russians?
     
    Invictus likes this.
  10. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,680
    Likes Received:
    1,500
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Episcopalian
    Anyone who wants to talk about Afghanistan really needs to read the book Charlie Wilson’s War by George Crile. On top of being one of the best books I’ve ever read, our relations with Afghanistan were already so complicated prior to 9/11 that one really can’t properly evaluate our post-9/11 policy without a thorough understanding of exactly what happened in the 198os, including Iran-Contra, the Iran-Iraq war, and, of course, the US-UK-Saudi-backed Afghan guerrilla campaign against the Soviets. Invading both Iraq and Afghanistan within 2 years of each other put Iran simultaneously in a good strategic position and gave them the most incentive to pursue rapprochement with the US (since we were effectively on the same side). When they actually offered it in 2003 (including an open apology for the hostage crisis), the Bush administration, in a move of sheer idiocy, rejected it. That administration was almost completely incapable of sound strategic thinking when it came to the ME.
     
  11. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    3,418
    Likes Received:
    1,714
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    I'm on Series 2 chapter 13.

    Whoooo, if you like your religion served up hot and strong, spiced with hate and OT law, control freak madness, Gilead's the place for you. No wonder the Pharisees hated Christ. They clearly wanted a 'Messianic Kindom', Afghan Taliban style.

    Gilead's like Waco on speed and crack combined. From hypocritical, puritanical, literalist religion, good Lord deliver us.
    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2021
    Invictus likes this.
  12. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    3,418
    Likes Received:
    1,714
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    Series 3 Episode 1 is a doosey.

    Many waters cannot quench love,
    neither can the floods drown it:
    if a man would give all the substance of his house for love,
    it would utterly be contemned.

    Good bonfire. :clap:
    .