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Like, the main two types of Stalin apologia I've seen in the West is either excuse/justify his brutality as being necessary or outweighed by his positive accomplishments, or the type of apologia that absolutely condemns and distances itself from the brutality and authoritarianism but points out that not everything he did was bad and that there are some elements that can be lifted out and emulated or that can be learned from.
I guess the idea is to not stop the flywheel of repression until only honest people remain alive and free ==
You're not seriously supporting that, right? Because arguing "the purges didn't go far enough" is...yeesh.
The belief that All Corrupt Politician should be executed is literally the first step of Authoritarianism 101. I don't recommend that.
Edited by KazuyaProta on Jun 12th 2019 at 9:20:07 AM
Laws exist for everyone, good and bad people, like it or not. Instead of trying to subvert it to carry out “justice”, we should try to perfect the laws so that justice can be done without the need of extraordinary measures.
You can trust systems a little more than you can trust people.
But some people want to do everything only through "extraordinary measures" (no matter how effective the Laws are), as it fits in their "Strong Man" narrative.
Edited by VeryVileVillian on Jun 12th 2019 at 6:13:50 PM
Yeah, uh...violent purges are not something to be admired. They're considered atrocities for a reason.
Even pretending that Stalin was only targeting corrupt people and not rivals and people he didn't like (which he absolutely WAS), that's not something to be celebrated. Its not like prisons don't exist, for instance. Or just removing corrupt officials from their posts.
Stalin wanted people to be scared. He wanted them to see him as unassailable. He built up a cult of personality. Because between communism and him, well, he was the more important of the two to him. His goals were not to help the people, they were to help himself.
Stalin is no hero (something I can't believe I have to say), he's a cautionary tale of what happens when you put your faith in a dictator to try to achieve your goals.
Gosh, there's a bit of a Twitter fracas going on over cyberpunk (the genre) because someone created a thread about how a lot of the the Japanese aesthetics in the genre (obviously meaning in the Western canon of the genre) exists because of racism - specifically of the Japan Takes Over the World / Yellow Peril variety that was dominant in the eighties when the genre was born. Cue lots of anti-PC users jumping on it for calling cyberpunk racist, when the OP literally dedicated an entire tweet in the thread clarifying she wasn't calling cyberpunk racist, and basically bringing up all the Japanese cyberpunk as proof that none of what she said is true.
Edited by GoldenKaos on Jun 12th 2019 at 4:45:57 PM
They really tried to deny that was a factor at all?
You mean this thread?
Yeah, they did. Some people kept insisting that the genre somehow did not have xenophobia in its intent, even though elements of anti-Japanese (and anti-Asian in general) racism had quite clearly leaked into the genre.
Edited by AzurePaladin on Jun 12th 2019 at 11:50:42 AM
In that note, it is kind of neat to think Cyberpunk 2077 will prominently feature Keanu Reeves (Asian-Canadian himself) as one of its central characters, from the looks of it. It's something, I suppose.
Edited by Gaon on Jun 12th 2019 at 8:51:24 AM
"something I personally call "historical distance These people lived so long ago that the impact of their actions is more... abstract, for lack of a better word.
Pretty much, remenber older times is almost living in a diferent and alien culture for all that was concern, which is why fantasy suport monachy, because the prevalent state of today are democracy of varied state of fairness or dictatorships, monarchy as fad is just a very retro thing and allow to free with it.
and nazis are not recient in public memory, the efect of the nazis are, that is why they can be used as fantasy evil minion but still edgy enough to have a punch with it.
"Sometimes, things are black and white."
Maybe but saying this also atract a very "it is what it is", stalin was kinda going to happen in russia because russia resist better liberal an democractic influence in general(maybe because is so damn big), stalin is more a peak.
Also and issue with "everybody is grey" is it kinda bad faith arguing at times to promote super duper relativism they throw a way the moment they are winning, as the alt right show up.
I think part of the issue is that it ignores that a good deal of the shinnichi elements of cyberpunk. The idea that Japan in the 80s represented high tech, company loyalty, and zaibatsu with an Old World/New World tradition that America couldn't compete with. Positive Discrimination and all that.
William Gibson had Case in the middle of a unnamed South Asian island that was nevertheless a massive boom economy with hundreds of cultures hocking high-tech ware and used the Yakuza as enemies in Johnny Mnemonic to demonstrate the world had become significantly more interconnected as well as indicate the passing of time.
Frank Miller is unapologetically an enormous Japanophile and is the guy who introduced the Ninja craze as well as being the writer of numerous signature cyberpunk works (Ronin for instance).
In Blade Runner's case, Ridley Scott claims he wasn't actively trying to make a statement of any kind but just reflecting Los Angeles (from Future Noir biography). He made a joke that America was so sheltered that seeing Chinese people in movies meant it was the future for them. I did a review of the book here. https://booknest.eu/reviews/charles/958-futurenoirrevisedandupdatededitionthemakingofbladerunner
Edited by CharlesPhipps on Jun 12th 2019 at 9:01:26 AM
Yeah, that thread.
This thread here was one of the main "counter-arguments", which completely and utterly misses the original point that @CaseyExplosion was making and takes offense for no reason at all.
Edited by GoldenKaos on Jun 12th 2019 at 5:07:32 PM
The issue is, "Positive discrimination", is still discrimination, and one that comes with high expectatives, is very harmful.
And being a Japanphile as sure don't means that you can't be racist, many of the most offensive commentaries on East Asians that I have heard come off from Anime fans (with hilarious hypocresy, of course)
Edited by KazuyaProta on Jun 12th 2019 at 11:07:24 AM
I specifically referred to it as xenophilia in the thread actually.
In the case of cyberpunk, very much the sense that cultures are blending and becoming more and more a stew (versus a melting pot). The 22nd Century being a place where things that were once restricted to one corner of the world are now universal. Which to a cyberpunk author/reader is both thrilling and disconcerting.
Edited by CharlesPhipps on Jun 12th 2019 at 9:09:25 AM
Maybe but is a diferen beast to tackle, is more a fasination with a diferent culture that manage to become great and significant, a dificult challange o f today when everything is westernized to a great extend.
Yeah, it can get a bit weird, that is why there the big debate of "This is modernization or just colonization" in certain groups.
That is some very specific racial subtext to the genre. That in the future, the West (America and Europe) are not the dominate cultural movers and shakers anymore. It's not criticizing it but making it clear the United States/Europe are not going to be powerful forever.
Like say a hypothetical 19th century novel where in the future, the British Empire has fallen and the Steam Empire of India rules the world.
There's a lot of racial connotations there but it's not necessarily a bad message.
(I should mention I write cyberpunk as one of my genres)
Edited by CharlesPhipps on Jun 12th 2019 at 9:14:02 AM
It's really hard to believe that, given the decade it sprang from, that Japan Takes Over the World didn't leak into and influence the cyberpunk genre. But the original OP of that Twitter thread did make it clear she wasn't calling the genre racist.
Edited by GoldenKaos on Jun 12th 2019 at 5:14:37 PM
It’s not necessarily a good message either, when considered in the context of the racial panic of the era. That doesn’t imply cyberpunk is inherently racist or anything, though.
Edited by archonspeaks on Jun 12th 2019 at 9:15:13 AM
Essentially, Japan taking over the world with the Bubble Economy buy outs of things like the Rockerfeller Center and other massive land purchases was viewed with horror by conservative white Reaganites.
It was viewed with fascination by sci-fi fans.
Mind you, not addressing the role of the Bubble Economy on American business in satire of 80s business would be stupid and render any economic depiction toothless. The US and Japan's economies went through some fascinating changes in that period.
It depends how the audience takes it, IMHO. The idea that white Americans will not be forever rulers of the world (or even are now) is a good one—unless they take it as a call to action.
Edited by CharlesPhipps on Jun 12th 2019 at 9:17:41 AM
The Japanese elements was played for "ooooooh disconcerting" and the anti-Capitalist message frequently invoked "foreign" domination to get its point across. After several rounds of cultural telephone, as she hints in the thread, and the dying down of the overwhelming anti-Japanese scare, a lot of it can go over one's head because its so normal to have cultures interconnected that the fact that it is supposed to be dystopian can be completely lost.
Hence controversy over people not wanting to admit that some of the ideas of their beloved genre originated in a...less than benign place.
Edited by AzurePaladin on Jun 12th 2019 at 12:18:52 PM
Personal confession: My main conection with cyberpunk is via Japanese games, I tend to find Western Cyberpunk aesthetics to be lame.
Edited by KazuyaProta on Jun 12th 2019 at 11:19:31 AM
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How well does it match the trope?