Non-Tribalist Politics Megathread

Why is this link important? Does it have to do with that westerners view the war differently because it is in a westernised country in Europe, or that the guy in the video is calling it racist that westerners are viewing the war differently?

The reporters are racist.

I don’t trust the author, particularly what he said about the US/Iranian nuclear deal. But it talks about some important points: Ukraine had nukes, gave them up in return for treaties, and has now been betrayed.

Here’s another article about it which also has problems:

There are lots of articles warning about appeasement re Ukraine, and comparing it to Czechoslovakia in 1938. I skimmed some:

And an article from 2014:

I didn’t think of it as racist when I first watched it.
Roughly I thought of it something like this: Generally they made comparisons to Middle Eastern and African countries. Countries in that region generally are not free or semi free countries nor have made substantial efforts to become so.
I think most of those reporters would have made similar statements as in the post in regard to colored people in a European country. I think they were talking about countries and cultures. Not races.

I find it hard to tell whether this was about race or economic development. Because of the historical correlation between race and economic development people often make comments about one as a proxy for the other.
One way I think about whether it’s racist is whether the reporters would have made the same kind of comments if instead of Ukraine it was Japan or South Korea or Taiwan being invaded.
In other words, were their comments about the effect of war on countries with one race vs. another, or were they about the effect of war on countries with a developed economies vs. poor economies?
My guess is they would make the same kind of comments about rich but non-white countries being invaded. But I don’t have high confidence in that guess; I can’t rule out that they’re racist.

Did you miss a “not” between “would” and “have”?

Lots of issues @anonymous48 and @Lebowski, including:

Litigating the term used to name the bigotry should not be the primary response to bigotry and ingroup/outgroup tribalism taken to the extreme of suggesting it’s not very important when people in the outgroup get bombed/invaded/killed.

The race-adjacent and race-correlated traits that people dislike tend to change. When the jews are poor, the anti-semites hate poor people. When the jews are rich, they hate the rich. When black people sound like current black stereotypes, people are just being classist. But if they all started sounding like haughty europeans, then American racists would complain about that. I think men stopped wearing pink or dresses when those things became associated with women, and they tend to stop using names that women start using.

People are generally more racist against middle east and african people, and blacks and browns, than against asians. So bringing up Japan doesn’t clarify well.

These people don’t know what the economic development of various countries is and don’t care to know. I think they know the racial makeup a of countries a lot more accurately than they know economic traits. They talk in terms of the “third world” which is 1. wrong and outdated and 2. a problematic cold war term related to which countries were on our side, their side or neutral during the cold war (and which people now use based on e.g. assuming africa and the middle east are a bunch of third world countries, with no attempt to actually look up what side they were on during the cold war nor to look up how wealthy they are).

The comments about traits that are widely assumed to be race-correlated were them choosing their words carefully on purpose so viewers would get the idea without being directly told. They said this.

The clip included a comment about what Ukrainians “look like”.

See also

Are you saying that the comments might have been about the fact that Ukraine is a country with a developed economy, whereas the other countries they are taking about (African and Middle Eastern countries) have poor economies?

By a lot of measures, Ukraine actually has a poorer economy that many of the “less developed” countries they are less concerned about.

E.g., if you list countries by GDP per capita, Ukraine is 133 on the list if you use nominal GDP, and 120 on the list if you use PPP GDP.

And there are people in Ukraine who live in the kind of poverty that is normally associated with “less developed” countries.

I know that many people will say things like that they didn’t mean that kind of poor economy. They meant some other kind of poor economy. Ukraine’s relative poverty doesn’t count because… reasons. But that is the kind of goalpost moving that biased people use to justify their biases.

The use of proxy traits in bigotry is widespread. Another example is masks during COVID. People form opinions allegedly about what the science says, or allegedly about whether masking is a good or bad idea … but what they are actually doing is siding against the other political tribe. They don’t come up with an opinion about masks first, independently, and then see which political tribe it puts them in (personally I did do that – I have been pro-mask the entire time – but a lot of people aren’t like that). Their opinion about masks is downstream of their political allegiance.

It’s the same with global warming and a bunch of other issues – people’s opinions on that are caused by their tribal membership but then they pretend the dispute is actually about global warming itself and they try to debate global warming instead of directly debating which tribe is better. And they will mock people for believing or not believing in global warming – but it’s really bigotry based on political tribe.

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Right-leaning Objectivist podcast posts outrageous headline legitimizing Putin:

I watched the first 2 minutes which was dumb and didn’t contradict the apparent meaning of the headline.

EDIT: Here’s the current title in case they edit it:


Also, I may not be Canadian, but I did notice that they spelled Trudeau wrong.

Prior to looking it up just now, my guesses about where Ukraine fell on the HDI rankings (relative to some non-European countries) were badly wrong. The same probably holds for a lot of people, and I agree that racist premises could be part of the reason why.

Another possible reason for this miscalibration is that I think people have bad intuitions about how poor the USSR was, which is at least partially due to the USSR & its sympathizers lying about its economic development back in the day.

This explanation of the use of race-adjacent and race-correlated traits as perpetuating bigotry/racism is very helpful for me. I had never heard this argument before but it does make sense to me as far as I can tell (my meta-knowledge is not good). However, I have not researched race/ethnicity topics either. I did take an ethnic studies class in college that discussed bigotry but I don’t think anything like this explanation was discussed. The explanations I heard in that class were more like “ethnic bias/racism are kind of inherent to people”. There were lots of historical anecdotes about racism in that class too.

I was thinking more about how free a countries citizens are from i.e. political oppression.
China might be a powerful nation economically in some respects, but its citizens are very politically oppressed.

No. What I intended to say was that I think that if there were people of different races in Ukraine, that the comments from the reporters would be of a similar character.
I think that France and the UK are more diverse than Ukraine when it comes to people of different races living there. If this had happened in, say France or the UK, I think that the reporters would have said similar things (at least).

I agree regarding the name of the term being used not being that important in this context.

I don’t think I understand the last part (“not being that important” part).
I do think that all humans matter, but I also think that there is a difference between what states get bombed and why. I’ll try to explain what I mean.

Let’s imagine three different states. State A, state B, and state C.
State A is working on moving closer towards classical liberal values and individual rights, but it still has a way to go.
State B is an authoritarian dictatorship that does not care about individual rights. It has no movement towards or current aspirations to change this.
State C is similar to state B.

I think that it is worse, morally, if state B or C attack state A, than if state B attacks state C or vice versa (C attacks B).

You are right. I think that that is a clearly tribalist thing to say. I did not think of that.

Asian economies were the first ones I thought of since a lot of specific goods with “made in” tags I’m familiar with come from there. I’d guess that UAE, Bahrain, or Qatar could be examples from the middle east, but my exposure to those countries is a lot less.

And also, I think it’s less likely reporters would make the same comments about UAE, Bahrain, or Qatar.


Seems plausible, but I haven’t looked into it.

Also something that seems plausible but I haven’t looked into. I assumed part of Europe = relatively well developed economy.

I agree with the main point of the article, that the sharing of screenshots from the meeting was appalling. I actually do not understand why they thought that was acceptable. It would not occur to me to post anything about any details of that meeting or that it even happened. I would just assume all war time communications should be confidential. Did they not know about assignation attempts (or at least the potential for attempts) on Zelensky’s life? My guess is that they did but they just do not really care if he gets killed.

I was also surprised and a bit worried to see that 74% of Americans support a no-fly zone over Ukraine. I guess that they do not understand that means a declaration of war. I also get the impression that most people do get how any state of war between NATO and Russia, no matter how limited, would be terribly precarious a situation.