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A Voice for Men’s post on feminism destroying humanity is not only daft; it’s plagiarised

Eyes on your own paper, Mr. Bean!
Eyes on your own paper, Mr. Bean!

UPDATE: The plagiarised posts on AVFM have been taken down without explanation or apology; see my post here for more details and perhaps a little schadenfreude. 

UPDATE 2: Elam has belatedly posted an acknowledgement of (some of) the plagiarism. Then he called me fat. See my take here.

You may remember Amartya Talukdar, the marital rape legalization advocate and Holocaust denier who is also a regular contributor to A Voice for Men.

Yesterday, he graced us all with a post on AVFM featuring the ominous title Feminism and Destruction of Humanity.

Not “Feminism and the Destruction of Humanity,” mind you, but “Feminism and Destruction of Humanity.” His previous post for AVFM was titled “Why Capitalists Are Playing Footsie With Feminist.” Not “With Feminists,” or “With Feminism” but “With Feminist.”

AVFM has 19 people on its masthead. It has a “managing editor,” an “assistant managing editor,” and a just plain “editor.” It has three other ostensible “editors” and three more people who are “news directors” of various sorts.

Apparently none of these people — nor anyone else on AVFM’s “staff” — bothers to read posts or their headlines before they go up on the site.

The post is full of sentences that are appalling both in what they say and in how they are written.

Here are some of my favorites:

Feminism not only ascendance in the western world but was exported to other countries through the UN, CEDAW and massive funding.

The Feminist also abhor religion and promote lesbian subculture. 

It’s obvious that high divorce rates, lower birth rates and gay subcultures were instrumental in downfall of Rome. It will similarly lead to downfall of modern human civilization under the grip of Feminism.

Thing is, only portions of Talukdar’s post are grammatically disastrous. The first half is a competently written, if rather dull, discussion of Malthusianism and its supposed implications for the contemporary world. Other sections, while sort of loopy in their arguments, are also more or less grammatically correct.

Suspicious, I cut and pasted Talukdar’s post into an online plagiarism checker and, well, let’s just say that the results were about as shocking as an M Night Shyamalan “twist ending.”

Most of the post is plagiarised word-for-word from an assortment of texts easily found online.

In most cases, Talukdar didn’t even bother to alter the wording even a little bit; he basically cut and pasted various passages together from these sources, added a few misshapen sentences of his own, and put his name at the top.

Here’s the opening of Talukdar’s post:

Thomas Malthus (1766-1834) postulated in his Essay on the Principles of Population (1798), that food production, limited by the land available, can only grow at an arithmetic rate (1,2,3,4,5…), while population growth tends to grow at a geometric rate (2,4,8,16,32…). 

Here’s the original passage, from some lecture notes someone put online:

Malthus postulated in his Essay on the Principles of Population (1798), that food production, limited by the land available, can only grow at an arithmetic rate (1,2,3,4,5…), while population growth tends to grow at a geometric rate (2,4,8,16,32…).

The only change Talukdar made was to add Malthus’ first name and the dates of his birth and death.

Talukdar’s post continues:

These trends, he argued, would result in a point at which a society experiences war, poverty, and famine as the need for food surpasses its availability.

That sentence came, literally word for word, from a page on Neo-Malthusian Theory put online to supplement a college course.

These trends, he argued, would result in a point at which a society experiences war, poverty, and famine as the need for food surpasses its availability.

Talukdar then moved on from Malthus to The Population Bomb:

The Population Bomb was written by Stanford University Professor Paul R. Ehrlich in 1968. It warned of the mass starvation of humans in the 1970s and 1980s due to overpopulation, as well as other major societal upheavals, and advocated immediate action to limit population growth.

Ta da! He got all that from Wikipedia.

The Population Bomb is a best-selling book written by Stanford University Professor Paul R. Ehrlich and his wife, Anne Ehrlich (who was uncredited), in 1968.[1][2] It warned of the mass starvation of humans in the 1970s and 1980s due to overpopulation, as well as other major societal upheavals, and advocated immediate action to limit population growth.

I think you’ve got the idea here.

Other cut-and-pasted sources for “Talukdar’s” post include pieces in The Economist and Forbes; a somewhat loopy post about Feminism and the Destruction of the Nuclear Family on  on a site called The Radical Conservative; an op-ed on an Indian site called The Daily O, which itself seems to have been partly plagiarised from an article from The Weekly Standard that someone posted on FreeRepublic; something called the Palmetto Family Council; and an article on the fall of Rome on a site run by the United Church of God.

Even Talukdar’s sentence blaming the fall of Rome on “high divorce rates, lower birth rates and gay subcultures” turns out to have been half-plagiarised.

And there may be more; I used the free version of the plagiarism checker, which doesn’t check each and every sentence.

The obvious next question is: What about his earlier articles?

Well, I ran “Why Capitalists Are Playing Footsie With Feminist” through the plagiarism checker as well, and, yep, it’s heavily plagiarised too. 

Sources for that Talukdar (Not-so) Original include: Wikipedia; Wikipedia; a post on Quora that seems to have been “borrowed” from an old version of a Wikipedia article; a giant chunk of the same Daily O article he also plagiarised in “Feminism and Destruction of Humanity”; Europa.eu; the Green Global Foundation Journal; Foreign Affairs; and (somewhat ironically) a piece by socialist feminist theorist Nancy Fraser in The Guardian.

I’m not going to bother to check any of his others.

So the question now is whether this evidence of massive and obvious plagiarism lead AVFM to finally show Talukdar the door?

I honestly don’t know. After all, they kept publishing him after I presented them with clear evidence he was a Holocaust denier, so what’s a little plagiarism between friends?

By the way, here’s the Mr. Bean skit I got the screenshot above from:

 

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History Nerd
History Nerd
5 years ago

Hitler is pretty popular among right wing nationalists in India. Especially people who like the caste system.

kupo
kupo
5 years ago

Not Alan Rickman. 🙁

Viscaria
Viscaria
5 years ago

Wishing you all of the best, Mockingbird. Also, you are well liked. Also also, you have every right to to feel however you feel about this, and anyone who rolls their eyes at you for your desire to express those feelings is a doucheface.

opium4themasses
opium4themasses
5 years ago

People talking about the Eastern Empire. I am totally going to shamelessly promote a fun YouTube history series. This is the first video about Justinian and Theodora.

https://youtu.be/H_2E0RxVHH4

Also, long time no comment. Hello.

AltoFronto
AltoFronto
5 years ago

@ Mockingbird – best of luck with your consultation. I hope it’s good news, or at least something manageable.

It’s obvious that high divorce rates, lower birth rates and gay subcultures were instrumental in downfall of Rome.

Except, the lecture he plagiarized clearly states that societies fail when population outstrips food production… so lower birth rates = A Good Thing according to his chosen supporting evidence.

Yet, despite everything about war, famine, pestilence, death, etc… he still pins everything on Teh Gays and divorce.

Rule number 1 of plagiarism – it doesn’t work as a means to make yourself look smarter than you are, if you fail at basic reading comprehension when writing up your conclusion.

mockingbird
mockingbird
5 years ago

@maghaven –

All of the decadent shit Romans are known for were a feature of Roman elite life in the 1st century BC. Rome “fell” in 476 AD. If that shit caused the fall then it took ~500 years to finally work.

It was a slow game.
The deviousness of those degenerate liberals knows no bounds. /s

@VictoriousParasol @Alan @EJ @opposablethumbs @dhag @AltoFronto @Viscaria – Thanks 😀comment image

This sucks.
I don’t want to blow what is very likely no big deal (that is, just a painful and annoying thing that can pretty easily be remedied) so I haven’t been talking about it IRL, but I keep randomly crying when I think about my husband as a widower (stream of consciousness worries: What will my ex do? He barely has any contact with our two oldest and my husband’s done the bulk of the ‘dad-ing’ for most of their lives – he left before my middle was one year old – and we’ve kept things loose with custody, etc – he sees them whenever he’s in town and would like to, he hasn’t paid full child support in years or at all in months, but we have no intention of pressing things. If I die, will he let my husband raise them? He’s said that he wants to. Will our youngest have minimal contact with her sisters? Will he be OK? He’s had a history of depression…), about its impacts on our older children, about our youngest potentially not remembering me, and (because we’re in the US) about the potential financial fallout. It’d be a nice extra kick in the teeth to be a wifeless, motherless, and with some hefty medical debt. I had life insurance for like 100k through his employer, but companies have just shifted and I haven’t yet had the new physical so I’m almost certain there’s nothing now.

But there’s exactly zero to be done about it now while I wait for tests and their results.

It’s not a bad day out, so I’ll clean out the chicken coop, see if I can haul over some wood that the neighbor’s offered us, and engage in other domesticity. Keeping busy’s the best medicine for this kind of thing.

Thanks for the space to vent.
I know this isn’t particularly the time or place for it, but it’s appreciated.

dhag85
dhag85
5 years ago

There were seels right next to the penguins. I love seels, but these seels were booooooriiiiing. My phone is not able to take exciting photos of tiny seel heads in the distance. :p

However, I did fall in love with a very cuddly thornback ray:

http://i374.photobucket.com/albums/oo188/dhag85/e03b1820-52ed-4a41-83fc-c4964bdbcdfc_zpslwjna7eu.jpg

Tastefully failed picture of an eel:

http://i374.photobucket.com/albums/oo188/dhag85/20160114_124916_zpswfpb1ca9.jpg

Invisible nightmare fish:

http://i374.photobucket.com/albums/oo188/dhag85/20160114_125033_zps1l9m9quh.jpg

I think I love fish now. The cods were adorable. I had a predictably emotional response to being close to animals. :p Dunno what’s wrong with me, but I had a moment where I had to tell myself “okay, I can’t let anyone see me crying because of how pretty this wolf fish is, get it together!”

There was also an unknown birb who probably didn’t even belong there:

http://i374.photobucket.com/albums/oo188/dhag85/a3730b6d-0caf-40d0-81b1-50c167663813_zpsrhi6ekyy.jpg

Amazing city of Ålesund, from the Fjellstua terrace:

http://i374.photobucket.com/albums/oo188/dhag85/20160114_140452_zpsozodcipm.jpg

I also found out 6 bottles of Corona cost about $25 here. But other than that, things are great. 🙂

Miss Andry
5 years ago

Rape apologia and Holocaust denial are one thing, but PLAGIARISM?! *faints*

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ guy

So you did! 🙂

nparker
nparker
5 years ago

@ Moggie

I’m imagining one of those terrible political cartoons, where everything is labelled and Lady Liberty is crying again.

Oh God, those political cartoons. I had to see so many in history classes. I think it counts as a ‘if you have to explain the joke, its not actually funny.’

sunnysombrera
sunnysombrera
5 years ago

Argh, just as we’re barely getting over the loss of David Bowie, news breaks that Alan Rickman has now passed on as well. FUCK YOU TOO, DEATH. 🙁

makingcomments
makingcomments
5 years ago

Every time I engage in discussion with an MRA (which I try to avoid), everything they say is cut and pasted. They always discuss the same stupid talking points with the same “statistics” that they take completely out of context. The other day, this guy told me not to assume anything about him. He went on to say things that, not kidding, I had literally predicted in my head what he would say.

It is like a broken record. Talking points:
-Custody issues (completely ignore the role that women have taken for millenia as primary caregivers)
-The draft (ignore the fact that this hasn’t been relevant since the 70s and the fact that women have been fighting to have combat roles. One guy brought up feminists from WORLD WAR ONE – was feminism even a thing then?)
-Talk about male victims of sexual assault and domestic violence (ignore that services actually are provided to male victims and completely ignore the nuances that are involved in all of the issues)
-Talk about how men should be able to have more control over their own “reproductive rights” (i.e., they should be able to have unprotected sex without consequences, because if a woman gets pregnant, they should be able to just walk away with no responsibility for the child)
-Blame feminism for not addressing all of the needs of men, claiming that feminism would if it were truly “egalitarian” (although feminism does in fact address a lot of these issues, if they were bothering to listen)

What else am I missing? I am trying to get better at just ignoring the trolls, but it is still difficult for me. The other day, an MRA troll had the arrogance to tell me, after I had talked about my professional experience working at a DV counseling center, that domestic violence agencies were biased against men. And this was a young guy! I don’t get it.

Moggie
Moggie
5 years ago

How can the Metatron die? I’m not having it!

RosaDeLava
RosaDeLava
5 years ago

@mockingbird
Hoping for the best!
We change subjects so quickly here, and everyone is so nice I don’t think the “time and place” could be a problem.

Fabe
Fabe
5 years ago

I’m imagining one of those terrible political cartoons, where everything is labelled and Lady Liberty is crying again.

You mean like this?
http://www.theonion.com/graphic/oregon-wildstrife-refuge-52144

yeah they’re pretty ridiculous but on the bright side its the oinion so its all satire. real satire,not ‘we got caught saying something horrible so we’re going try and excuse out horribleness by saying it was just satire’ satire.

Freemage
Freemage
5 years ago

Mockingbird: Best of luck to you, hope everything works out well. My wife’s had to deal with those cysts as well; very much not fun.

nparker
nparker
5 years ago

Really sad about Alan Rickman now. I can’t really express my feelings right now, so I won’t try. Two inspirations gone recently. Death is never fair.

He was special to so many, across multiple generations. I only saw him as Snape, but he holds much meaning for me.

Also, on the topic of satire that is actually indefensible shit, http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/charlie-hebdo-alan-kurdi-cartoon-1.3403085.
So we are supposed to mourn the journalists who died, but the magazine is allowed to mock any deaths they like in the most insensitive and heartless way? I’m kind of glad I never said ‘Je Suis Charlie’ in public.

dhag85
dhag85
5 years ago

@nparker

Didn’t they also have a cartoon about girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram, in which the girls all came back pregnant and demanding welfare? Yeah, I don’t suis Charlie either. So gross.

Bazia
Bazia
5 years ago

Wasn’t it only about a year ago or maybe two that AVFM fired John Hembling (John the Other) for plagiarism? Weren’t there several strong statements about how AVFM would immediately fire anybody who plagiarized?

Of course in Hembling’s case AVFM was looking for an excuse and in Talukdar’s case they aren’t. So let’s see how they apply their strict anti-plagiarism policy.

nparker
nparker
5 years ago

I hadn’t heard about that actually. Well, I think I recall something about it, but not much in any case.

Of course, no one is disagreeing the shootings were sickening, but the way some people talk about them, they somehow have the impression that it is more than just an offensive rag, but it isn’t.

nparker
nparker
5 years ago

Clarification: the way people talk about the magazine.

Megan Rivera
5 years ago

David Bowie raped a 13 year old girl so in my opinion he can get bent and I feel nothing but contempt for him….but I cannot believe Alan Rickman died. THAT is what I am sad about.

WeirwoodTreeHugger
WeirwoodTreeHugger
5 years ago

Rickman too 🙁

If the universe take Ian McKellen or Charles Dance too, I don’t know what I’ll do!

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
5 years ago

As a french, I am not surprised people don’t understand the Charlie’s humor. It’s not just an offensive rag, but one of his goal is to actually do the blackest sort of humor.

It’s the newspaper for which nothing is sacred, in all sense of the term. It’s not for everyone, and I would prefer people to remember that Charlie Hebdo is about attacking everyone and everything, not just acceptable target.

Now, the question being, is it a good newspaper ? Well, the articles are good. The comics aren’t all that great, and they lost their very best caricaturist in the attentat. The one who did the controversial drawing is pretty much the bottom of the barrel to me. I still stand by the fact they should be authorized to do that and that their antics are a lot less bad than … about anything from the far right.

Also, context is importants. This drawing is a graphical depiction of one of the commonly mocked by Charlie Hebdo line of though, AKA immigrants are all the same. I can think that better done parody would make the point easier to see, but the removal of all context from the picture is problematic.

Je suis Charlie, and not just when they do thing that are easy to agree with.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

Sleep well, Rickman. You drink at Christopher Lee’s table now.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
5 years ago

@mockingbird – Hoping for all the best for you. Please keep us posted.

Re: plagiarism, I’m actually fine with not adding anything new to the total quantity of manosphere crap. Let’s keep it constant. Let them all just keep re-circulating and ripping off the same tired old ideas. Let them turn into parrots, unable to formulate a single original thought. Let their readers get bored with reading the same stale passages over and over again. It just goes to show that there’s no intellectual vigor behind the movement.

@dhag – Great photos. Looks like you’re having a wonderful time! I’m seeing some cute penguins myself this evening (it’s Antarctica Night at my kids’ preschool and they’re going to be doing a penguin dance).

Kestrel
Kestrel
5 years ago

mockingbird – Best wishes and kitten snuggles. Please keep us updated on your condition.

JoeB
JoeB
5 years ago

Late to the Rome party but have to share.

Second the Mike Duncan recommendation and appreciate the other reading rec.

I’ve always liked the line (can’t remember where from, and probably paraphrasing) that “There are 1001 reasons why Rome fell and most of them are true.”

Though my particular favorite as the biggest reason was that once Rome was so large and so openly a military dictatorship it became impossible to both keep large well-led armies on all of the frontiers and avoid frequent coups and civil wars. Anyone leading an army large enough to effectively defend the borders had a pretty good shot at making himself emperor, so quite often they took their shot.

LindsayIrene
5 years ago

*sigh* Looked at my Instagram feed this morning, saw Alan Rickman’s face all over it, and went, “Oh, shit.” Here’s some penguins beng jerks to help us all feel better.

http://i.imgur.com/CiXJjXc.gif

http://a.fod4.com/misc/Penguin%20Cross%20Sea%20Lion.gif

comment image

http://i.imgur.com/PF5ji.gif

dhag85
dhag85
5 years ago

@Buttercup Q. Skullpants

Yay for penguins!

While I am still thinking of the penguins, I have just found out we will be visiting a giant husky farm with 500 huskies (including many puppies) and we’ll be going on a 35 minute husky sled ride. So that’s all I can think about right now. :p

Funny how every vacation ever turns into me desperately chasing cute animals around.

sunnysombrera
sunnysombrera
5 years ago

If the universe take Ian McKellen or Charles Dance too, I don’t know what I’ll do!

I don’t know who Charles Dance is but I’ll miss McKellen when he goes. Though I think that the celebrity death that will most affect me will be Patrick Stewart.

Sleep well, Rickman. You drink at Christopher Lee’s table now.

That puts a happy image in my mind. Thanks EJ.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

I don’t know who Charles Dance is

http://data.whicdn.com/images/68462232/large.gif

Charles Dance, however, knows exactly who you are.

nparker
nparker
5 years ago

The last thing I watched Charles Dance in was that And Then There Were None adaption I think was for the BBC? (I’m not going to mention the original book’s title.)

He was really good in it, but one thing bugged me about the whole thing: I don’t know how much they changed for the adaption, but how on Earth could the great Agatha Christie have written something so.. crap?

(Sorry, had to get the frustration off my chest somehow. It just… wasn’t for me.)

Again, Charles Dance is great though!

LeftWingFox
LeftWingFox
5 years ago

Best wishes, Mockingbird.

(I just found out Brian Bedford also passed away. Amongst other things, he was the voice of Disney’s Robin Hood. The fox.)

katz
5 years ago

This has been a hard week.

msexceptiontotherule
msexceptiontotherule
5 years ago

@Dhag85

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with desperately chasing cute animals around, whether it’s on vacation or the opportunity comes along during regular day to day life.

Seeing as I do that myself and all, and am thoroughly against processionals of shame be they accompanied by bell-ringing stone-faced matrons chanting “Shame. Shame. Shame.” or not.

Time to go squeeeee! over baskets of baby otters, piles of squishy-faced puppies, and rambunctious herds of kittens. 🙂 Maybe a bunch of baby goats playing “king/queen of the mountain” with the ‘mountain’ being people/bales of hay/random barnyard pals with resigned expressions/trees/a roof.

History Nerd
History Nerd
5 years ago

Pagan Rome was fairly patriarchal and misogynistic without Christianity and not much changed. Christianity became popular for a number of different reasons, but partly it happened because churches were better at providing services to poor people than Pagan temples and the government. Julian the Apostate recognized that as a flaw in traditional Paganism and tried to institutionalize charity and welfare as Pagan religious duties.

History Nerd
History Nerd
5 years ago

The Western empire was very weak and couldn’t even enforce religious uniformity.

WeirwoodTreeHugger
WeirwoodTreeHugger
5 years ago

Adding Idris Elba to the protective bubble we need to put the cool British men in.

Dance was Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones. He was also one of the people in the MGTOW colony in Alien 3.

Bazia
Bazia
5 years ago

To follow up on my earlier comment where I wondered if AVFM will give Talukdar, who Elam loves, the same heave-ho he gave Hembling, who he ceased to adore. It looks like he took down the Talukdar article unless I missed it somehow and am dreaming a happy dream. I hope Elam has contacted you David to thank you for bringing that to his attention.

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

mockingbird
January 14, 2016 at 5:25 am
O/T but related to the site and a call back to a previous post (TW for potential ablism):

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/13/louisiana-theater-fatal-shooting-trainwreck-journal-released-john-houser-dylann-roof

Apologies if it’s already been mentioned, haven’t read through comments. Browsing the web while starting a fire. Well, while enjoying the fire I’ve started.

*clicks the article*

The mentally unstable gunman who shot up a Louisiana movie theater last summer left a rambling, hate-filled journal in which he called the US a “filth farm”, railed against women, gay people and black people, and thanked a man accused of killing nine churchgoers in South Carolina for his “wake up call”.

The first fucking line. The first fucking words out of this writer’s keyboard was to immediately label this man “mentally unstable”.

comment image

(The gif seemed appropriate considering the sad, sad news of his passing. Rest in peace, you beautiful, beautiful human being.)

Also, sending out good wishes into the world for you Mockingbird. I only apologize I can’t do much more than that.

History Nerd | January 14, 2016 at 12:36 pm
Pagan Rome was fairly patriarchal and misogynistic without Christianity and not much changed. Christianity became popular for a number of different reasons, but partly it happened because churches were better at providing services to poor people than Pagan temples and the government. Julian the Apostate recognized that as a flaw in traditional Paganism and tried to institutionalize charity and welfare as Pagan religious duties.

It’s actually very much stuck to this day. I’ve been doing a little bit of research into how to traditionally celebrate pagan holidays, and most places I looked at said that Yule especially embodies charity and doing good for your fellow hoomans.

nparker
nparker
5 years ago

@Ohlmann

Oh God. Where the hell do I start?

I’m certainly surprised- surprised that someone could think mocking a dead child is ever acceptable.

I believe that what the magazine did was disgusting. I don’t give a damn whether it was ‘satire’ or not, I think it was a particularly nasty, offensive, disgusting thing to do. I don’t care how good the reporting and the articles are, and I don’t care one jot about the artistic quality of the cartoons.

I never once said they should not be allowed to do that. Never said that once. I am not in any way saying we should deprive them of free speech. What I am doing is saying that it was terrible to use their free speech in that way. The right to free speech does not mean that saying anything that comes to mind is right. It just means we have the freedom to say it or display it if we like.

The ‘goal’ of the magazine is irrelevant. If the goal is to set out to offend everyone and anyone that is a bad goal to have. I will defend their right to do this, but the ‘goal’ is stupid.

The fact that the magazine mocks everyone, not just one or two groups of people, is not a defence for what they published. If the magazine mocks everyone, that is still absolutely no defence for what they did. If I stood up at a film ceremony and made fun of all the directors during my presenting stint, that is fine. It would never automatically justify any comment I could make. I only have the right to say it, not the right to not be met with disgust, and it doesn’t make jokes that sound reprehensible not so.

“The one who did the controversial drawing is pretty much the bottom of the barrel to me.”

Because of the artistic quality? Really?

As feminists and fans of this website, we CANNOT deride Roosh V making his ‘rape legal on private property’ article and calling it ‘satire,’ if we then turn around and excuse Charlie Hebdo from MOCKING A DEAD CHILD to make a ‘satirical’ point.

The mocking of a real life, living not that long ago, dead child is NEVER alright.

And no, really, really don’t imply this is because of some form of cultural differences. This is about fucking HUMAN differences.

contrapangloss
contrapangloss
5 years ago

Dhag, your vacations sound kind of like my vacations!

There’s nothing wrong with chasing cute and fluffy (or feathery, or scaley, or slimy) animals around.

Have fun on the sled ride! May the dogs be happy, healthy, and want to run-run-run. 🙂

Condolences and hugs for all you all with the tough times, too. 🙁

Ben
Ben
5 years ago

Important for any discussion about the “fall” of the Roman Empire (which many historians describe more as a “transformation” or “disintegration” nowadays anyway) is Alexander Demandt’s 1984 list of every reason ever given for it: https://web.archive.org/web/20151011002723/https://www.utexas.edu/courses/rome/210reasons.html

Personally, I think that the important factors are Caracalla’s extension of the franchise to all natural-born inhabitants of the empire, which removed a lot of its ability to keep manpower reserves full with second-class citizens eager to become first-class; the conquest of all traditionally profitable territory around it starving the engine of endless war that fed the empire with land, loot, and slaves; the diplomatic and economic pressure that the empire exerted on its neighbors creating enemies in its own image that wanted to be Rome rather than just fight it; and the slow consolidation of wealth and power into family clans that looked after themselves and not the empire. And that’s not even comprehensive!

As much as Christianity is responsible for a lot of the “bad” things in history, I’ve never seen any convincing argument that it’s responsible for the fall of Rome (if that can even be considered a bad thing), although I’ve seen plenty of otherwise good historians embarrass themselves trying.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
5 years ago

Can I just say that the idea of a Feminist playing footsie with an anthropomorphic version of Capitalism sounds hilarious?

The image that came to mind for me was Pink sumo-wrestling Uncle Sam from the Raise Your Glass video.

dlouwe
dlouwe
5 years ago

@nparker

Seconding basically all of that. Saying that mocking everyone absolves them from scrutiny is similar to the idea that presenting both sides of any given argument with equal weight is “balanced.” Distributing an equal layer of shit over everyone doesn’t mean that you’re not shitting on people that don’t deserve it.

nparker
nparker
5 years ago

@ dlouwe

“Distributing an equal layer of shit over everyone doesn’t mean that you’re not shitting on people that don’t deserve it.”

I think this would be my title if my comment was an article!

I hope my anger didn’t overshadow the points I was making. I was just really furious that I had to go through those points in the first place- I really shouldn’t have had to, especially not here.

Also going to say the ‘balanced’ argument is a good point.

dhag85
dhag85
5 years ago

@nparker

I would also like to add that if your “satire” is 100% indistinguishable from what actual 4chan nazis say and believe, then why the hell should anyone give you the benefit of the doubt. Behave like a nazi and I will assume you’re a nazi. Can someone give Charlie Hebdo a link to the wikipedia article on satire?