I just saw comrade Dore advocating various forms of activism like boycotting firms and voting in local elections. What do you think of such behaviour?

Let's start with stuff like delete Uber or other boycotts. When people advocate this, I like to tell them that this effort is misguided. There are no good companies you can chose instead, ALL consumption under capitalism is unethical. Whenever you spend a cent of your money, you are contributing to the exploitation of workers elsewhere, be it minor exploitation in the west or literal slave labour. By attempting to force companies to act ethical, all you'll do is make them start a pretend campaign and hide their actions better. If your movement is active enough, you'll get an entire appeasement industry to feed off your goodwill, like organic food.

As for voting, politics corrupts people. The internal party structures are undemocratic, meaning that anyone that wishes to even gain the chance to be voted on must compromise himself to a point where he is unfit for any meaningful change. We don't know if Obama was a clever liar even before his term or if he actually intended to change things in his earlier days, but let's give him the benefit of the doubt here to make my point. He gains the presidency, gets briefed by the secret services and suddenly continues the activities of the predecessor he criticized with more brutality. After 8 years, he accomplished barely anything and his hair turned grey. So if the energy of this current protest movement is channelled into candidates, even on the local level, they will just end up being force to betray their ideals. At best they'd bring about some more band aids on a tumour.

Still, while this all might be true, we leftists aren't really doing anything. The protestors are energetic, spontaneous and they might actually get some shit done. Do you think that letting them go on like this will lead them to the conclusion that they can't win with their current methods, which might radicalise them, or will their energy vanish into acceptance after a little appeasement by the porkies?
Also, what else could they do instead of what they are doing right now? Should we encourage anti Trump people to take over factories that have long left Burgerland for the third world?
I have no idea.

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True but consider it gateway activism. It's the start of a broader effort to delegitimize these companies. I'm a aware of the zizekian critique of buying ideology, but it only hurts these companies if the boycott is around not buying shit rather than buying the idea of charity like he critiques. Not buying shit is always good for you and the earth and keeps money out of some assholes pocket. There is no harm in that so I don't see a need to get negative as long as people don't think this is where activism begins and ends.

The problem with disengaging entirely from everyday politics is you immediately give away any stake in the game. Withdrawing your vote only matters if you were going to vote in the first place. The best thing to do is to put minimal effort into this aspect of politics but just enough that you still matter. Voting every couple of years wont kill you and can help people live in the short run. Just don't put all your eggs in the is basket. We need a multifaceted approach too try and take over one major party and open up the floodgates for smaller players at the same time.

Protests and strikes need to have a point and they need to happen often enough and big enough that it scares the other side. Yes we should encourage worker take over of factories, Chomsky already suggested this decades ago. We also need colleges to strike and protest for workers rights as hard as they do for identity politics and other issues. They can start by freeing their own financial futures and striking for free college and an end to existing and future student debt. Get corporations away from school research and divest their endowments from the fossil fuel industry.

Yeah, this all seems like good ideas. It's easier to turn an active protest culture into revolutionaries than one that has long given up.

By the way, I'm just an european taking interest in americas struggle. Nothing much to do here in germany, unless you have any good suggestions.

I'm sick of boycotts and signholding and fucking "activism." Call me when you're putting bricks through windows and burning down mansions.

Not true,

We do actually. People have remarked on his education and the type of person he is back in the '90s and predicted the kind of president he would be.

Germany has a law that if a political party gets enough support they get a subsidy to enact political change in any manner they see fit. There is a leftist German party who uses that money to fund leftist efforts in other countries. I cant currently remember their name and I have a damn headache. Richard D. Wolff Talks about them occasionally and gives high praise. It isn't much but voting for them could help in the short run.

Also taking part in 350 global divestment efforts in fossil fuels. I'm not sure Germany does that as much America and some European countries still do, but if they have a protest/sit in etc the more the merrier.

I think any sort of advocacy for electoral politics must come hand in hand with advocating for election reform. The following things are sorely needed:

-Return to hand-counted paper ballots that can't be rigged as easily as black box electronic machines
-Approval Voting to eliminate the so-called spoiler effect and other strategic voting bullshit
-Attacks on anti-democratic forums like the Maryland League of Women Voters that only allow debates between Republicans and Democrats
-Getting unfettered corporate money out of campaigns
-Instant and irrevocable voting rights the moment someone turns 18
-Proportional representation of political parties (someday)

As you can see, electoral politics is pretty fucked at the moment. The system is designed to suppress the vote, restrict voter choice, and accommodate cheating. If you're going to tell people to vote for the right guy in a local election, you better be doing something to make sure that election even has integrity.

Die Linke?

Why in the hell is this allowed? And yes, I can ask this question as I strongly oppose any and all US 'democracy building' groups (IRI, NED, USAID). Every cunt needs to stop trying to impose their ideology outside their own borders. rEEEEEEE

This is absolutely idiotic reasoning. Why don't you wear that Sonic The Hedgehog image too whilst you're at it you autist.

Of course you can say such sophistry without care because you're not in the sweat shops yet.

So much for "an injury to one is an injury to all".

Look, some purchases you make are less ethical relative to others, you enable the behaviour of certain enterprises or are even its blood supply. You can't just pretend it's ALL THE SAME and wash your hands of it. This is worse than virtue signalling, because it glosses over the and attempts to diminish the plight of workers as well as pretending economic action ie boycotts makes no difference.

This is especially ignorant given that major corporations will funnel your money into lobbying the state into doing its bidding.

And yes in the UK at least, Cooperatives lobby politically through the Coop Party with the money that you spend with them and said party does set up cooperatives with public money in areas in which it controls a majority of the local government.

Why not do the stuff CGP Grey talks about like single transferable vote? Also, what do you mean with "so-called"? According to my knowledge, the spoiler effect is just a malfunction of americas shitty first past the post system that results in successful third parties making their strongest enemy win the election, thus punishing movements for change. Is there something here I don't know?

They aren't funding invasions, they're just sponsoring political parties in other countries. It's called solidarity.

It's not like they're funding para military groups to do violent coups they're giving money to help fund efforts and parties that are pre-existing.

It sounds like the right one.

This webm makes so much butthurt in webm threads.

Just a sidenote, the most fun part of any argument is when you stop making points and start arguing about what you really meant.


As your quote shows, I clearly distinguish between minor and major exploitation. I'm not saying that it's all the same, I'm saying that under the capitalist system you can't win. You can make things better for some as part of company appeasement politics but they will always fuck over people in some way.
I'm calling this kind of protest misguided, not because it's all the same or that it can't change anything, but because it carries the assumption that capitalism can be fixed via reforms. Someone needs to be fucked over for the system to work, so the focus should be fighting against the system, not making a tiny part of it slightly better for a short while.

Single transferable vote is a form of instant-runoff voting that shares its significant downsides. IRV does not do enough to eliminate strategic voting and it manifests some grotesque situations quite regularly such as where a voter's preferred choice would have won if they had abstained from voting. A case example of this is the 2009 Burlington, Vermont mayoral election that so enraged the voters with its outcome that they voted to repeal IRV and revert back to first-past-the-post the very next election. There is evidence that IRV does not do enough to empower third parties to successfully share power in a two-party-dominant system. All the places where IRV has been adopted have largely maintained their two-party strangleholds. Australia, where they use IRV to facilitate single transferable vote is a good example.

IRV simply isn't good enough to empower voter choice for alternate parties to maintain meaningful power, and its side effects are nasty enough that they could result in angry reversion back to first-past-the-post for another 50 years before voters are willing to give an alternative voting system another try again. If we're going to have proportional representation we should do it the right way.

Don't just vote in local elections; get active in them yourself! The way forward for the Left is to use whatever power is available in local government to devolve decisions made on a municipal level to the people themselves, creating local assemblies for them to direct policy according to their own wishes rather than the wishes of politicians who serve the national interests of their party or cannot think outside the state. As we make the people themselves the ones who make the decisions regarding their own fate, and we do this in multiple municipalities which can then extend aid to one another to help in this self-governance, we may start to reshape society from the bottom up, which would eventually come to threaten the power of the state and draw it into conflict with our directly democratic municipal confederation.

And by the way I say Approval Voting not because it's the ultimate expressive voting system (that would be Score Voting), but because it's super simple to understand and can be converted with existing ballots incredibly easily. The immense complexity of understanding instant-runoff voting mechanisms is another one of its downsides.

Fuck, I can't watch this shit before work.

The first world needs another 9/11

Well shit, apparently you can do proportional representation with Approval Voting. Seems that it ends up computationally intensive with the more candidates and positions you have though.

As media soaked as the USA is, I'd think them quite capable and willing to rate their pols on a scale of 0 to 10, thanks to the influence of the Olympics and other exhibition sport.
Expressiveness isn't everything. If there must be representation, and I'm not at all sure that's the case, representatives need to serve at the pleasure of the workers rather than as their lord. As important as it is to get the right person in there, it's even more important to get the wrong person out of there ASAP before they have a chance to complete their evil and/or stupid designs. The Venezuelan constitution recognizes (or used to?) a right of recall that, while solid, could be loosened and broadened if the evil US empire weren't stirring up shit all the time.

I think a scale of 0-2 or 0-3 would be good enough for Score Voting system in elections. The real issues are that it takes a bit more to explain its mechanics to people and more importantly they have to redesign their ballots to facilitate it.

Another election thing I've heard about recently that might not be a bad idea is adding the option for None Of The Above on ballots. The idea is if you get repugnant enough candidates for a position that None Of The Above wins, the election has to be done over again with new candidates over the course of a month or so.

Inability to honestly express themselves due to the self-sabotage of strategic voting is one of the reasons that the US had a 55% voter turnout rate in its last election. People don't want to vote when they feel like their options are Plutocrat A and Plutocrat B.

Even if you don't want a republican democracy, alternatives to FPtP are still important when coming to a directly democratic decision on issues.

I just don't like the term "spoiler". Either everyone is a spoiler of everyone else or nobody is. It's a term of political bigotry used to discourage those without power or majoritarian opinions from running.

The expressiveness of score voting is in the width of its scoring system. 1-5 (or blank) would be a bare minimum.
I'm not too worried about accommodating existing counting systems, since existing implementations are designed to be "fixable" and are best pic related. Printing is a solved problem. Ballots need to be redesigned for every election anyway. A raspberry Pi and a generic scanner, or a recent Android tablet, would suffice to scan ballots, reject dust, count, reject duplicates, mismarks, and incompletes, and store independently recountable photos of each scan for anyone with software to come along and count later. In a blockchain, if you're into that sort of thing.

I didn't dismiss expressiveness entirely. Comrade Stalin pointed out that those who count the votes decide more than those who cast them. Which is why playing games with constraints on voting systems is uninteresting to me. I'm really more interested in replacing hierarchical, fixed-term ersatz representation with something more like at-will agents with a fiduciary duty to their constituents. And that is why liberalism needs to die.

is that jay jay abrahms?

thats consumerism
individualism if you will

The problem with any currently proposed form of secure electronic voting is that it kills the secret ballot. If you know what someone votes for you can squeeze them.

Good. People need to start holding each other responsible for this shit, and to do so in smaller doses, more often. You might be brainwashed by the Burkean notion that deliberation and debate and, dare I say it, deal-making and deal-enforcement is only for the elites. Which is yet another absurd, arrogant result of the dying ideology of liberalism, and more than enough reason to reject liberal praxis as a valid starting point for any other theory.

Oh, okay.
English is not my first language, so I never really thought about the word "spoiler" in the effect. For me, spoilers were always information about a games ending or something but now that you say it, it comes from "to spoil" which means ruining something. So the third party ruins everything for themselves and the party they agree with, meaning that the term itself contains a form of judgement.

I…. kind of agree. A few years back I'd have complained but.. nope.
Nonsecret ballot puts gives the opportunity for people, if in competition with porky and rulers, to shape the vote.Secret ballot just makes the outcome of "democracy" entirely up to whoever has the most resources to shape the underlying culture, unhindered by discussion by the politics taboo.

ftfy. The secret ballot is designed to make it impossible for any person to know whether their vote has been counted in order that choices can be constrained to those deemed safe to the status quo order. The concern-trolling about people being manipulated into selling their vote serves mainly to discount the people's interest, including but not limited to verifying that their own votes have been counted, as legitimate matters of governance. The taboo against discussing politics in polite company, as supported by zealous, blind partisanship, also serves that end.
Not that liberals ever honestly intended to listen to the people anyway. That's not what liberalism is for.

In mathematical voting-system analysis, a spoiler is a candidate for whom both these statements are true:
1. this candidate doesn't win.
2. removing the candidate from the ballots and counting again changes who wins (to be precise, whether the relative winning probabilities between the other candidates change is what we want to know, so random ballot is considered spoiler-free).
Whether somebody is a spoiler depends on the voting system used, and when the ballot design isn't rankings, there are some ambiguities about what erasing the spoiler candidate means.

Instant runoff voting cannot be spoiler-free. Proof: When there are only two candidates running, the one who is preferred by the bigger group wins. Why is this enough to know it isn't spoiler-free? Consider the simple cyclic majority pattern: One third of the voters got the preference A>B>C, one third got B>C>A, one third got C>A>B. This means two thirds prefer A over B, two thirds prefer B over C, and two thirds prefer C over A. So, whatever your pick as the winner is, the winner can be confronted with an alternative situation running against only one other candidate and losing. This proof is not dependent on the voters being perfectly divided into precisely equally-sized thirds, so this isn't just a weird and super-improbable tie. (The situation is a bit unusual though.)

Some voting systems that use ratings instead of rankings are spoiler-free, but only in the sense that the repeated count with some deleted losers never changes the winner IF people don't change their ratings. In that sense, average ratings (promoted under the name range voting) and top-flop (see the /freedu/ thread) are spoiler-free.

This shit always hits me right in the feels.

Can't access YT where I am right now, but I happen to know about that topic, so. It is also true of any STV method that the complexity increases when you have more seats. If the video talks about a combinatorial explosion, then it's probably about a version of proportional approval voting that goes through all possible allocations of seats and computes some total happiness score. The most simple version of trying all seat combinations is the one where a voter's score is based on the number of candidates approved by that voter that do get a seat, each additional candidate gives less additional happiness, like this: One candidate getting a seat is worth one point, two candidates is worth on and a half point, with a third candidate we end a third of a point to that one and a half, with a fourth candidate getting a seat we add a quarter of one point to the last number and so on. Going through all the seat combinations by hand count is unfeasible.

But there is a much more simple variant (which is a bit less proportionally accurate): Count like with normal approval voting to assign the first seat, then reduce the weight of approval marks on ballots that supported that candidate by one half. You go on like this: Reduce the weight of a ballot based on the number of already elected candidates supported by that ballot, elect the candidate with the highest score, reduce weights of ballots that support that candidate, and so on. Marking a candidate as approved doesn't cost the voter anything until the point is reached in the count when that candidate wins a seat.

The weight of a mark on a ballot is = 1 /(number of already assigned candidates approved on that ballot + 1)

The video is all about your latter method. There's an extra proportional % that I'm not sure I understand where they get it from though. You can get the spreadsheet used for demonstration here. Each row is one voter.

It seems to me that the latter method actually invents a spoiler effect however. If someone votes for a Green and a Democrat and a Democrat gets elected moving through the list, it reduces the weight of their Green candidate vote then, doesn't it? Seems like it undermines the entire point of Approval Voting.

Correct. And that's not the standard definition of what a spoiler is. A spoiler is a candidate that doesn't get a seat and prevents somebody else from getting a seat. Both methods described in share with normal approval voting that approving non-winning candidates costs you nothing. So both these methods are spoiler-free in its standard meaning.

What you are getting at is a generalized version of the sincere-favorite criterion used for analysis of single-seat winner methods, which is passed by normal approval. SFC:
The generalized version for multi-winner elections would be about a winners, that is, excluding some candidates from your most-supported set shouldn't increase the number of candidates from your most-supported set winning. This criterion is passed if you just take the candidates who received the most approval marks, second-most, and so on, as the winners; but that method does nothing to guarantee proportionality. Proportionality requires that getting candidates elected costs the voters something, so it is in principle incompatible with this criterion.

>The generalized version for multi-winner elections would be about a winner's
Sorry for speaking in Super-Mario accent.

What I mean is it's a thing that will reintroduce strategic voting. Someone isn't going to vote for one candidate if it reduces the chances of another candidate winning. That seems to be what proportional approval voting does.

Really? Is there a proof for this somewhere? There must be a way…

You should start
one worker coop every year

The way I see it, is you still have to live within the system while it is around. You have to go out and buy food, clothes, roof over your head, to meet everyday material needs. You also probably will have to keep a job to afford even these basic necessities. You can't escape the system, basically.

So you might as well take the best options available, as proposed. Vote as much as possible, it takes no effort, and can make a difference. Consume as little as possible. Avoid buying ideology. Avoid brands (the ideology is not even hidden). Protest in favor of certain causes. If there is one, join a union at your workplace.

All of these actions are the least harmful ones open to you, and take minimal effort on your part.

I know that you mean that and you are right that the various proportional approval schemes don't meet that and I can tell you that your wish is incompatible with any sort of counting rule that reduces the weight of ballots that support winning candidates, including those not invented yet.

Consider the simple case where people literally have binary preferences, that is, what they think of the candidates, whether they vote honestly or not, is that every voter only makes a distinction between some people being okay and others being not okay. Is it true then that your optimal vote is to just vote according to your binary preference? In standard single-winner approval voting, the answer is yes. And if you just assign several seats based on approval scores, the answer is still yes. And that isn't proportional, for example a voter group that is the majority can control all the seats that are assigned. If you have any sort of ballot-reweighting scheme to make the allocation proportional, the following situation can happen: You like two candidates, one of them you are sure will get a seat, the other is on the brink of being elected, and supporting a winning candidate costs you something and makes your ballot weaker, so take a guess whether your optimal strategy is honest expression here.

This issue is called Hylland free riding and exists also in reweighted range voting and all proportional STV systems.

It's in everyone's interest that everyone vote their genuine preference. The secret ballot is what enables them to manipulate the system without being disciplined by their peers in the community. The facile objections to the public ballot center on "protecting" voters from having their votes bought or from making enforceable deals with one another, as if that were a muh privilege that should be reserved to officials only. You can tell when you're getting close to their levers of power when they concern-troll.

And how do you do magically know that some statement is a genuine opinion or not? Imagine you are in Britain and it's 1955 and you do a poll about what should be done about the homos. Do you think secret balloting would be less accurate about what people really want than publishing all the filled-out ballots with names attached? People have a tendency to go with the flow, to go with what appears to be the common opinion. Appears to be.

You're conflating a non-binding, barely informative opinion poll on a manufactured controversy over an imperalist cultural imposition by some overarching authority who should be put to the wall for even thinking they should have an opinion on what other people do… with a binding referendum to determine the state's policy on the matter, which is absurd.
Try again with something material.



Get well soon.

More proof that the left prefers symbolic victory and fears having actual power.

Seriously, what did Delete Uber even accomplish? Cool, you got the CEO to abandon an entirely symbolic position within Trump's administration. He's still a taxi union busting billionaire that exploits the labor of millions of people around the globe.

This thread is peak liberalism.

The proper thing is not protesting, but developing a similar platform that cuts out the middleman. I read someone is already at that, forgot the name though :/