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The Absurd Claim that "Capitalism Kills"

Posted by Darkademic in Politics   0 comments   Add comment

Background

In response to declarations that communism and/or socialism have killed in excess of 100 million people, it has become common on social media to see claims that capitalism is responsible for an even greater number of deaths. The reasoning behind such assertions is rarely made clear, but ultimately they amount to blaming a significant portion of humanity's problems on a notion of capitalism so all-encompassing as to be meaningless. Here are some examples:

In a recent article on The Guardian website, Owen Jones listed the trans-atlantic slave trade, colonialism and the rise of 20th century fascism as either components or consequences of capitalism. Add starvation, disease, war and natural disasters into the mix and it should be painfully obvious that—far from providing evidence of "killer capitalism"—the conditions and institutions that are being described have no casual or necessary relationship with capitalism, and range from the merely coincidental to the fully irre… continue reading

Jeremy Corbyn: The Disturbing Sway of Socialist Demagoguery

Posted by Darkademic in Politics   0 comments

Background

Jeremy Corbyn has been the leader of the UK's Labour Party since 2015 when, in the face of high profile Labour MPs claiming that he would render the Labour Party unelectable, he won a leadership contest with a vote share of 59.5%. After the EU referendum in 2016, around two-thirds of Corbyn's Shadow Cabinet resigned and a vote of no confidence was passed by Labour MPs with 172 votes to 40. Despite this, Corbyn retained the party leadership through another leadership contest with an increased vote share of 61.8%, putting the parliamentary Labour Party squarely at odds with its wider membership.

After being rejected by his own MPs and ridiculed by both the media and his political opponents for most of his time as leader, dismal local election results left the Labour party looking fractured and weak. Theresa May decided to take advantage of the situation by calling for a general election, with a crushing defeat for Labour being widely predicted. However, in the month leading up… continue reading

UK Austerity: Heinous or Hyperbole?

Posted by Darkademic in Politics   0 comments

Background

One of the most prevalent narratives propagated in the run up to the recent general election in the UK—which continues to generate significant amounts of public outrage and media attention—is that of "savage" public sector cuts; the great evil that is austerity.

For anyone reading without any knowledge of UK politics, the 2010 election saw the end of a thirteen year reign of the Labour Party. The Conservative election campaign had strongly criticised Labour's record on the economy, accusing them of reckless spending and borrowing, particularly in the years leading up to and following the 2008 financial crisis.

Since the crisis was global in scale, the degree to which Labour were directly responsible for the huge (£153bn) budget deficit in 2010 is up for debate, nonetheless Labour's credibility was severely damaged. One of the primary stated goals of the Conservatives was to reduce the deficit and bring the country's finances back under control, which would involve rolling ba… continue reading

Guild Wars 2 Endgame: You Actually Get to Eat the Carrot

Posted by Darkademic in Gaming   55 comments

Introduction

Something which has been debated and discussed extensively within the Guild Wars 2 community is the issue of the so-called "endgame". Anyone who has played an MMO will more than likely be familiar with the term, which basically means content which exists for players who have reached the level cap.

In this article I will discuss the nature of the endgame in existing MMOs, the approximately equivalent features present in Guild Wars 2, and the concerns that have been raised about the radically different approach Guild Wars 2 is taking. I will not be covering PvP features here (I intend to do so separately at some point in the future).

The Endgame Model of Most Other MMOs (Raids)

In most MMOs (World of Warcraft being the most obvious example), reaching the level cap is accompanied by a significant shift in both the content available and the rewards offered. Prior to the level cap, quests and 5-man dungeons are the most common PvE activities, rewarding the player with enough XP… continue reading

Racism vs Multiculturalism = False Dichotomy

Posted by Darkademic in Philosophy   0 comments

You often see debates between those who favour racism/ethno-nationalism/religious nationalism, and those who favour multiculturalism/tolerance, as if these represent two ends of a spectrum.

It's the short-sighted, backwards desire to preserve (i.e. enforce) racial, ideological or cultural hegemony within a given geographical area, versus the naive, careless and dangerous desire to tolerate any and all cultures.

The value of a specific group, versus the value of all groups indiscriminitely.

However, these two positions are two sides of the same coin. One type of collectivism vs all kinds of collectivism. The former is a misallocation of value - seeing value in something which possesses none. The latter is a rejection of value altogether - promoting diversity for diversity's sake.

Individualism is the true alternative to these two doctrines. The appreciation of value in individuals, as individuals.

Guild Wars 2: Reasons for Being Excited

Posted by Darkademic in Gaming   1 comment

I've decided to write in detail my reasons for being excited about Guild Wars 2, because I think it looks absolutely amazing and I want to express my thoughts on it. Maybe this will help to stir up even more enthusiasm for what I hope will be an incredibly successful game. I should also mention that my guild is starting recruitment early, so head over and apply if you're interested.

I played the original Guild Wars since its release in 2005, consistently for maybe a year, and then on-and-off since then. I'm currently trying SWTOR, and recently stopped playing World of Warcraft after spending a lot of time in it. I've also played Warhammer Online, Age of Conan, Rift and Allods Online, so I'd say I have a decent amount of experience with MMOs.

Since World of Wacraft was released, many MMOs have come along and struggled (usually failed) to live up to its standards. For example, Warhammer Online seemed incredibly promising but turned out to be unpolished, clunky, and generally lacking in m… continue reading