Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

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Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby Khaz » Fri Oct 16, 2009 7:30 am UTC

http://www.rockartbrewery.com/

The front page of this website pretty much has the whole story. It pissed me off.

Here's the gist of it: A small-time brewery in Vermont makes a particular kind of beer that they've decided to call "The Vermonster". Recently, they got a cease-and-desist from the lawyers of the Monster Energy drinks company. This is despite that the names are sufficiently different to not be "copyright infringement", and that in fact the products are in two entirely different categories. The justification the Monster company provided was that they are planning to soon get into the business of selling alcoholic beverages with their brand.

So basically, the little guy's company was there first, and now the massive company is coming in and steamrolling him over to make room for their future products. And they can do so solely because they have deeper pockets, and so can hold the case in court indefinitely until the little guy goes broke and loses by default.

I think this is a disgusting exploitation of the U.S. legal system. Anyone else agree? Or is there another side to this coin?

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Re: Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby LuNatic » Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:19 am UTC

Yup. Thats exactly what it is. Happens all the time, unfortunately.
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Re: Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby fyrenwater » Fri Oct 16, 2009 10:24 am UTC

I... totally interpreted the title as Monster drinks lower sperm count.
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Re: Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby Darkscull » Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:16 am UTC

Khaz wrote:I think this is a disgusting exploitation of the U.S. legal system. Anyone else agree? Or is there another side to this coin?


Exploitation? I thought the U.S legal system was designed for this sort of thing. It certainly seems more common than actual justice.
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Re: Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby Chen » Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:57 am UTC

How exactly do they hold the court case indefinitely anyways? What costs would this incur on the other party anyways?

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Re: Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby tzvibish » Fri Oct 16, 2009 12:14 pm UTC

Well, if Monster can't sue, then Ben & Jerry's might be able to. They have a product called "The Vermonster". It is basically a huge bucket of ice cream and toppings. It's awesome.
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Re: Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby Freakish » Fri Oct 16, 2009 1:43 pm UTC

But can you drink it?
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Re: Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby Decker » Fri Oct 16, 2009 1:43 pm UTC

If you leeave it out of the freezer long enough, sure.
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Re: Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby Philwelch » Fri Oct 16, 2009 1:44 pm UTC

Since you actually lose your trademarks if you don't defend them in court, this isn't entirely Monster's fault.

Also, this is a trademark case, not a copyright case. They are different sets of laws.
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Re: Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby frezik » Fri Oct 16, 2009 3:00 pm UTC

Philwelch wrote:Since you actually lose your trademarks if you don't defend them in court, this isn't entirely Monster's fault.

Also, this is a trademark case, not a copyright case. They are different sets of laws.


This. It's important to distinguish between between the different types of Intellectual Property. They all have very different laws and case precedent.

If you don't defend your trademarks, you lose them. Even just considering how your trademark is viewed in the public consciousness outside of the legal system, there is a danger of going the Kleenex route and having your trademark become a generic term for all products like yours.

"Vermonster" may not be all that close, but I can't say Monster is entirely in the wrong here.
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Re: Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby Garm » Fri Oct 16, 2009 4:00 pm UTC

I think in some places they call this type of behavior "Capitalism".
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Re: Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby Khaz » Fri Oct 16, 2009 4:13 pm UTC

Chen wrote:How exactly do they hold the court case indefinitely anyways? What costs would this incur on the other party anyways?

He explains in the video on the site: Basically, even if the small company takes Monster to court, and WINS, the case can be appealed an unlimited number of times. And each time it is appealed, the little guy is forced to appear again in court, and thus has legal costs to pay. Eventually, the small guy will be driven bankrupt, where it's just a drop in the bucket for the larger company.

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Re: Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby Diadem » Fri Oct 16, 2009 4:17 pm UTC

Philwelch wrote:Since you actually lose your trademarks if you don't defend them in court, this isn't entirely Monster's fault.

Also, this is a trademark case, not a copyright case. They are different sets of laws.

True.

But still the legal system is horribly badly designed. The problem is that big companies win trials over issues like this by default. The opposing side just runs out of money and has to give up.

This is not the fault ofthe big companies. Though they sure know how to exploit it.

To fix this, court sessions should be made faster and shorter. And if the losing side wants to appeal, that is their good right of course, but they should be forced to pay the legal costs of the other side. If the higher court makes the same judgement, all is good. If the higher court reverses the earlier judgement, the state should reimburse them for these costs. I won't claim that's enough to solve all the problems with our legal system (there is a lot more wrong) but it would help a lot.
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Re: Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby Jahoclave » Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:55 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:
Philwelch wrote:Since you actually lose your trademarks if you don't defend them in court, this isn't entirely Monster's fault.

Also, this is a trademark case, not a copyright case. They are different sets of laws.

True.

But still the legal system is horribly badly designed. The problem is that big companies win trials over issues like this by default. The opposing side just runs out of money and has to give up.

This is not the fault ofthe big companies. Though they sure know how to exploit it.

To fix this, court sessions should be made faster and shorter. And if the losing side wants to appeal, that is their good right of course, but they should be forced to pay the legal costs of the other side. If the higher court makes the same judgement, all is good. If the higher court reverses the earlier judgement, the state should reimburse them for these costs. I won't claim that's enough to solve all the problems with our legal system (there is a lot more wrong) but it would help a lot.


Or the big companies could actually play nice, negotiate out of court, and recognize that neither is infringing on each other and that the large company is merely making sure its trademark remains valid. Thus, they can mutual agree that the names aren't the same damn thing.

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Re: Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby General_Norris » Sat Oct 17, 2009 3:29 pm UTC

Garm wrote:I think in some places they call this type of behavior "Capitalism".


Well, then I hope that people doesn't actually live in those places because I don't like people using poor definitions of words. This is not capitalism, at all, capitalism can't exists without free market and competition and a poor judicial system oblitares both.

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Re: Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby MartianInvader » Sat Oct 17, 2009 4:09 pm UTC

Jahoclave wrote:Or the big companies could actually play nice...

Oh, the cheese, how it burns!

Actually, corporations are legally obligated to their shareholders to do whatever gives them the best profits. So not only do they typically not want to play nice, it's actually illegal for them to do so.
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Re: Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby Jahoclave » Sat Oct 17, 2009 7:04 pm UTC

MartianInvader wrote:
Jahoclave wrote:Or the big companies could actually play nice...

Oh, the cheese, how it burns!

Actually, corporations are legally obligated to their shareholders to do whatever gives them the best profits. So not only do they typically not want to play nice, it's actually illegal for them to do so.

And people wonder why I'm a Marxist.

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Re: Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby Philwelch » Sat Oct 17, 2009 9:34 pm UTC

MartianInvader wrote:
Jahoclave wrote:Or the big companies could actually play nice...

Oh, the cheese, how it burns!

Actually, corporations are legally obligated to their shareholders to do whatever gives them the best profits. So not only do they typically not want to play nice, it's actually illegal for them to do so.


I've consistently heard this, but it's probably either a gross oversimplification of fiduciary duty or else a plain old urban legend, because I've never heard any actual evidence for this claim.

Jahoclave wrote:And people wonder why I'm a Marxist.


Yeah, if you take everything you read at face value, no wonder you're a Marxist.
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Re: Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby Diadem » Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:26 pm UTC

Jahoclave wrote:
MartianInvader wrote:
Jahoclave wrote:Or the big companies could actually play nice...

Oh, the cheese, how it burns!

Actually, corporations are legally obligated to their shareholders to do whatever gives them the best profits. So not only do they typically not want to play nice, it's actually illegal for them to do so.

And people wonder why I'm a Marxist.

Because the current system in the US and Marxism are the only two alternatives...
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Re: Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby thicknavyrain » Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:29 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:
Jahoclave wrote:
MartianInvader wrote:
Jahoclave wrote:Or the big companies could actually play nice...

Oh, the cheese, how it burns!

Actually, corporations are legally obligated to their shareholders to do whatever gives them the best profits. So not only do they typically not want to play nice, it's actually illegal for them to do so.

And people wonder why I'm a Marxist.

Because the current system in the US and Marxism are the only two alternatives...


No, but one can be led to Marxism after hearing about shit like this all the time.
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Re: Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby Philwelch » Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:20 pm UTC

And one can be driven to the US system with even a cursory reading of the history of Marxist regimes.
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Re: Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby MrGee » Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:50 am UTC

Let's not open that can of worms here. We had such good posts at the beginning.

Philwelch et all were right: Monster is most likely using this as a throwaway suit to prove that they defend their trademark. Once they have a judge's opinion that "Monster" and "Vermonster" are distinct, it will allow them to create Monster brand alcohol without fear of being sued themselves.

...and yes, there is a real fiduciary duty to shareholders. A manager can be sued for acting against the best interests of the company. Just exactly how likely that is, I do not know.

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Re: Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby Jahoclave » Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:40 am UTC

Philwelch wrote:And one can be driven to the US system with even a cursory reading of the history of Marxist regimes.

And one can not make stupid ass statements when they actually educate themselves. Or perhaps realize that Marxism is not communism and that even then there's different schools, and most Western ones advocate actual democratic processes and not dictatorships (or even elite party members). And it's not like the U.S. system isn't guilty of a shitload of human rights abuses or depends upon substandard conditions for human beings either.

Oh right, I just take everything at face value instead of say, actual knowledge of the theory. But hey, why learn about something when you can just parrot the cold war ideology? Just once it'd be nice if Fox News would have a version of Shark Week for the Left where they actually hire intelligent people to explain the differences and nuances.

@Diadem: I never said there was only two.

MrMgee: sorry about that, I just have a problem with the sort of oversimplification and dumbshit comments that people make about Marxism and the left in general. It's kind of like they've never actually picked up a book on the subject.

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Re: Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby Philwelch » Sun Oct 18, 2009 5:20 am UTC

MrGee wrote:...and yes, there is a real fiduciary duty to shareholders. A manager can be sued for acting against the best interests of the company. Just exactly how likely that is, I do not know.


The fact is, anything like what Monster is doing now can't be successfully argued as a fiduciary duty, because it can be argued that either option in this case might be in the best interests of the company. Fiduciary duty is meant as a guard against outright incompetence or apathy, not as a mandate for shortsightedness.

Jahoclave wrote:
Philwelch wrote:And one can be driven to the US system with even a cursory reading of the history of Marxist regimes.

And one can not make stupid ass statements when they actually educate themselves. Or perhaps realize that Marxism is not communism and that even then there's different schools, and most Western ones advocate actual democratic processes and not dictatorships (or even elite party members).


If you get to argue for an idealized system that's never actually been implemented, so do I.

Most of the countries that bill themselves as having capitalism and free markets fall short. Most of the countries that bill themselves as having Marxism also fall short. We can argue all day about whether your idealized fairy-tale Marxism would work better than my idealized fairy-tale capitalism, but such a discussion quite frankly rises to the intellectual level debating Batman vs. Spiderman.

Since there's a stunning lack of empirical evidence about what would happen if we were to implement either system perfectly, I guess we're stuck measuring the various attempts against each other.

Jahoclave wrote:Oh right, I just take everything at face value instead of say, actual knowledge of the theory.


If all you know is theory though, then you are taking things at face value.

Don't get me wrong, I'm more than capable of debunking the labor theory of value. I just don't pretend that such discussions are useful.

Jahoclave wrote:But hey, why learn about something when you can just parrot the cold war ideology?


"I think fascism would work better than Marxism, it's just that the Germans and Italians fucked it up out of pressure to win the war. All of this is absolutely obvious if you want to study fascist theory. But hey, why learn about something when you can just parrot the Spanish Civil War ideology?"

Jahoclave wrote:MrMgee: sorry about that, I just have a problem with the sort of oversimplification and dumbshit comments that people make about Marxism and the left in general. It's kind of like they've never actually picked up a book on the subject.


Yes, how dare people read history instead of philosophy and make their judgments based on fact rather than theory.
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Re: Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby MrGee » Sun Oct 18, 2009 5:37 am UTC

Philwelch wrote:
MrGee wrote:...and yes, there is a real fiduciary duty to shareholders. A manager can be sued for acting against the best interests of the company. Just exactly how likely that is, I do not know.


The fact is, anything like what Monster is doing now can't be successfully argued as a fiduciary duty, because it can be argued that either option in this case might be in the best interests of the company. Fiduciary duty is meant as a guard against outright incompetence or apathy, not as a mandate for shortsightedness.


I bet I can find an example of shortsightedness being a breach of duty. But in terms of the Monster case, I agree that it clearly is not a breach.

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Re: Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby Jahoclave » Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:14 am UTC

Jahoclave wrote:
Philwelch wrote:And one can be driven to the US system with even a cursory reading of the history of Marxist regimes.

And one can not make stupid ass statements when they actually educate themselves. Or perhaps realize that Marxism is not communism and that even then there's different schools, and most Western ones advocate actual democratic processes and not dictatorships (or even elite party members).


If you get to argue for an idealized system that's never actually been implemented, so do I.

Most of the countries that bill themselves as having capitalism and free markets fall short. Most of the countries that bill themselves as having Marxism also fall short. We can argue all day about whether your idealized fairy-tale Marxism would work better than my idealized fairy-tale capitalism, but such a discussion quite frankly rises to the intellectual level debating Batman vs. Spiderman.

Since there's a stunning lack of empirical evidence about what would happen if we were to implement either system perfectly, I guess we're stuck measuring the various attempts against each other.

Oh look this shit again. A. Theory is a fuck lot different from a fairy-tale. B. Marxism never called for a dictatorship like you find in most Eastern bloc countries. You're closer with South American countries, and they're hardly as fucked up as you would make them, especially when you consider the amount of interventionism from first world nations or that they've never even had the run with Capitalism that would have traditionally preceded the advent of a Marxist system. Even then, this entire line of reasoning you're putting forth ignores a large and substantial part of Marxist concerns. It's a whole hell of a lot more than Government run everything, especially considering the light of what Marx envisioned as a government, which wasn't much.

Jahoclave wrote:Oh right, I just take everything at face value instead of say, actual knowledge of the theory.


If all you know is theory though, then you are taking things at face value.

Don't get me wrong, I'm more than capable of debunking the labor theory of value. I just don't pretend that such discussions are useful.

Yeah, I'm sure you can. I'm just not going to be surprised when you don't because you don't have much of a practical knowledge of what I'm talking about in favor of some bullshit notion you concocted. Perhaps you should go back to your fairy tale land where everything is just dandy and nobody has a shitty time because of the pressures of Capitalism. Wait, I'm supposed to be the one ignoring everything that happens because of an economic system around the world because I only take things at face value. Silly me for noticing things in the world and thinking perhaps we should try to do something about it rather than wax on poetically about how great [strike]feudalism[/strike], I mean, Capitalism is. Exactly where did the notion come that there is no competition in Marxism at? Oh right, probably because you're taking things at face value.

Jahoclave wrote:But hey, why learn about something when you can just parrot the cold war ideology?


"I think fascism would work better than Marxism, it's just that the Germans and Italians fucked it up out of pressure to win the war. All of this is absolutely obvious if you want to study fascist theory. But hey, why learn about something when you can just parrot the Spanish Civil War ideology?"

Actually, you realize that in the early pre-war years Hitler did quite a bit for restoring the German economy, right? Just saying.

My real point is that, and like you're continuing to demonstrate, there's a difference between what people perceive as being Marxist and what is actually Marxist. It is not the same thing as communist, or socialism. It's distinctly different, there's varying schools, and oddly enough actually has some capitalist elements in it as well. Of course, perhaps if you'd actually read about something, other than just assume that Lenin and Stalin are the end all of the theory you might understand these points. Even further so, Modern Marxism isn't the same as it was under Marx, who never actually left a concrete theory. Then again, I'm sure you're absolutely familiar with the work of Fredric Jameson.

Jahoclave wrote:MrMgee: sorry about that, I just have a problem with the sort of oversimplification and dumbshit comments that people make about Marxism and the left in general. It's kind of like they've never actually picked up a book on the subject.


Yes, how dare people read history instead of philosophy and make their judgments based on fact rather than theory.
[/quote]
Because your history is limited to a biased interpretation of a single school that was summarily rejected by Marxists, even during its time. Perhaps you should crack the history books a little more as well. Then again, you also ignore the success of democratic socialism which has quite a bit in common with Marxism. So, your idea that it's a fairy tale theory is a load of horseshit.

Then again, let's just ignore that even theory suggested that the Soviet Union was doomed to fail from the get go.

Your ignorance of the subject, it continues to show. You might want to do yourself a favor, stop acting like every other ninny who wants to rehash the same old stupid shit every time the words Marxism, Communism, and Socialism comes up. They really are stupid and bear little reality to what somebody means. Essentially what your argument boils down to is, "You're an idiot for being a Marxist because I can't make the distinction between what you actually believe and what some people who don't agree with what you believe put into practice under a connected name even though their interpretations of the source material was highly flawed."

Now do yourself a favor and get it through your head that Communism =/= Marxism and never will; because, as far as implementation goes, Lenin and especially Stalin, did a very poor job of implementation. The failure of of the former does not invalidate the later and does not give your carte blange to make up fairy tale capitalism. Doing that in itself shows your lack of knowledge of what Marxism is even dealing with in the first place; which would be the praxis of Capitalist theory in the modern world.

It's the kind of drivel you're spewing that's exactly what I'm talking about because you have no idea what my structure actually is because you've never taken the time to figure out the difference between the ideological assumptions you've been fed versus the actual reality behind the theory.

Democracy was a radical and crazy new idea before as well. Just like letting women vote. Are you saying that we should never try new things in order to fix current problems with the human condition? Hell, Capitalism was a novel fucking idea as well and I'm sure there were some great feudalist thinkers who were up in arms about how it was a real stinker.

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Re: Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby Philwelch » Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:59 am UTC

Jahoclave wrote:Oh look this shit again. A. Theory is a fuck lot different from a fairy-tale. B. Marxism never called for a dictatorship like you find in most Eastern bloc countries. You're closer with South American countries, and they're hardly as fucked up as you would make them, especially when you consider the amount of interventionism from first world nations or that they've never even had the run with Capitalism that would have traditionally preceded the advent of a Marxist system. Even then, this entire line of reasoning you're putting forth ignores a large and substantial part of Marxist concerns. It's a whole hell of a lot more than Government run everything, especially considering the light of what Marx envisioned as a government, which wasn't much.


That's fine. There's still no empirical evidence about how what you would consider to be a Marxist society would operate.

Jahoclave wrote:Yeah, I'm sure you can. I'm just not going to be surprised when you don't because you don't have much of a practical knowledge of what I'm talking about


"Practical knowledge" implies that there is such a thing as Marxism in practice. Name a Marxist society that has actually existed in the real world and we'll discuss it.

Jahoclave wrote:Silly me for noticing things in the world and thinking perhaps we should try to do something about it rather than wax on poetically about how great [strike]feudalism[/strike], I mean, Capitalism is. Exactly where did the notion come that there is no competition in Marxism at? Oh right, probably because you're taking things at face value.


You're assuming that I prefer the status quo. The fact is that I don't, but that doesn't automatically commit me to being a Marxist.

Jahoclave wrote:Actually, you realize that in the early pre-war years Hitler did quite a bit for restoring the German economy, right? Just saying.


That's largely an urban legend, from what I understand.

Jahoclave wrote:My real point is that, and like you're continuing to demonstrate, there's a difference between what people perceive as being Marxist and what is actually Marxist. It is not the same thing as communist, or socialism. It's distinctly different, there's varying schools, and oddly enough actually has some capitalist elements in it as well.


I'm saying that's entirely irrelevant unless there's some society somewhere in history that's actually implemented real Marxism. I'm not misinterpreting you as a Leninist or Stalinist, I'm saying you're advocating a system that's never been implemented so you don't have a leg to stand on.

Jahoclave wrote:Essentially what your argument boils down to is, "You're an idiot for being a Marxist because I can't make the distinction between what you actually believe and what some people who don't agree with what you believe put into practice under a connected name even though their interpretations of the source material was highly flawed."


My argument is that you're an idiot for believing in a fundamentally untested social system.

Jahoclave wrote:Democracy was a radical and crazy new idea before as well. Just like letting women vote. Are you saying that we should never try new things in order to fix current problems with the human condition? Hell, Capitalism was a novel fucking idea as well and I'm sure there were some great feudalist thinkers who were up in arms about how it was a real stinker.


Finally, you get to a substantive argument against what I actually said. If you weren't such a fucking asshole about the rest of it I might even respond, but I can rest assured that, no matter what I say, you are going to just keep beating on your capitalist straw man.
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Re: Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby thicknavyrain » Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:59 pm UTC

Philwelch wrote:And one can be driven to the US system with even a cursory reading of the history of Marxist regimes.


We agree much more than you think*.

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Re: Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby The Reaper » Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:02 pm UTC

Philwelch wrote:
Jahoclave wrote:Essentially what your argument boils down to is, "You're an idiot for being a Marxist because I can't make the distinction between what you actually believe and what some people who don't agree with what you believe put into practice under a connected name even though their interpretations of the source material was highly flawed."
My argument is that you're an idiot for believing in a fundamentally untested social system.

Why do you believe in any written on paper social system, all of which are fundamentally untested, except possibly tribalism?

That being said, I'm sure theres an SB thread for this somewhere.

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Re: Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby Philwelch » Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:08 pm UTC

The Reaper wrote:
Philwelch wrote:
Jahoclave wrote:Essentially what your argument boils down to is, "You're an idiot for being a Marxist because I can't make the distinction between what you actually believe and what some people who don't agree with what you believe put into practice under a connected name even though their interpretations of the source material was highly flawed."
My argument is that you're an idiot for believing in a fundamentally untested social system.

Why do you believe in any written on paper social system, all of which are fundamentally untested, except possibly tribalism?


I don't. I believe in exploring the range of what's politically feasible and taking the most beneficial of options there.
Fascism: If you're not with us you're against us.
Leftism: If you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem.

Perfection is an unattainable goal.

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Re: Monster Energy: Crushing Little Guys

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:14 pm UTC

You're all going on like fucking idiots, and your mindset is essentially part of the problem with politics and systems of government these days.
But that's ok, cos the other person is so obviously wrong, and nothing he says could possibly have merit.
Great things are done when Men & Mountains meet,
This is not Done by Jostling in the Street.


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