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Old 10-02-2018, 06:22 AM   #41
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: Revolutionary Supers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Cule View Post
You know it really isn't censorship.

It's discrimination against people of opposing views. It's demanding a price for your services that some people may have problems paying (but that's traditional in deals for magical services).

But it's not censorship. The people with opposing views would say that no-one had a right to the services of a particular physician nor even to the government ensuring access to health care and to be consistent they would have to agree the specialist can set what price they please.
It isn't censorship when it's done by one person. But it's censorship when done by a state; "if you criticize the state's policies you will be denied services of which the state is effectively the only provider" cannot help having a coercive effect, as an application of monopoly power. And the theme of this thread is supers as revolutionaries—that is, as people who aspire to create a new political order. One must assume that whatever standards of conduct they choose to follow will also be applied by whatever new system they aim to establish through the overthrow of the existing system. If they are not censors yet, it's not for want of trying.

I would also say that while a person who refuses to read a newspaper, or to invest in it, or to advertise in it, is not engaged in censorship, a person who smashes up its offices, or threatens its reporters, or bombs it, IS engaged in the forcible suppression of opposing speech, and not calling that "censorship" is a bit of a technicality, like not calling Mafia protection money "taxes."

My take on supers is that the more powerful ones are in effect one-person armies or states, and stories about them offer analogies to the behavior of governments or political movements. And I think that's the intent of the OP here.
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Old 10-02-2018, 06:48 AM   #42
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Revolutionary Supers

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
Rhett does end up as a member or supporter of the KKK. But I have to say he evokes less Batman than his precursor the Count of Monte Cristo.
"I've always had a weakness for lost causes once they're really lost." -- Rhett Butler
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Old 10-02-2018, 11:27 AM   #43
Michael Cule
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Default Re: Revolutionary Supers

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
It isn't censorship when it's done by one person. But it's censorship when done by a state; "if you criticize the state's policies you will be denied services of which the state is effectively the only provider" cannot help having a coercive effect, as an application of monopoly power. And the theme of this thread is supers as revolutionaries—that is, as people who aspire to create a new political order. One must assume that whatever standards of conduct they choose to follow will also be applied by whatever new system they aim to establish through the overthrow of the existing system. If they are not censors yet, it's not for want of trying.

I would also say that while a person who refuses to read a newspaper, or to invest in it, or to advertise in it, is not engaged in censorship, a person who smashes up its offices, or threatens its reporters, or bombs it, IS engaged in the forcible suppression of opposing speech, and not calling that "censorship" is a bit of a technicality, like not calling Mafia protection money "taxes."

My take on supers is that the more powerful ones are in effect one-person armies or states, and stories about them offer analogies to the behavior of governments or political movements. And I think that's the intent of the OP here.
As I read the original suggestion it was a healing gifted super, one person and not a state, saying they would only give people the unique benefit of their talents if they would if not support at least refrain from fighting against the provision of universal healthcare.

The metahuman healer here is a (very polite) revolutionary trying to overthrow what they see as an unjust state.

And assuming they win that is not enslavement nor preventing anybody from hiring private health care. It's just ensuring a level of government provided care for all.

You would have to be Frederich Hayek to call that a step on the road to slavery.
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Old 10-02-2018, 11:43 AM   #44
whswhs
 
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Default Re: Revolutionary Supers

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Originally Posted by Michael Cule View Post
You would have to be Frederich Hayek to call that a step on the road to slavery.
I largely agree with Hayek, but I think he was far too moderate as an advocate of a purely voluntary society.

But the proposal to adopt that approach was made in the context of a question about revolutionary supers. Revolution is a process of changing society as a whole, and imposing the change on everyone, often through the power of the state, though there are revolutionaries who want to destroy the state. Revolutionary supers would be those who used their powers to do this (like the Authority, or Miracleman, or V); or, more broadly, supers using their powers to do individually what revolutionary movements do collectively. The proposal for a miraculous healer was advanced in that context, so I took it as intended not just as one person's choice, but as a model for the policy of a revolutionary regime. Though even as a purely personal choice I find "I'm not going to perform the service of providing you with health care unless you accept my political agenda" unspeakably vile.

If I had superhuman powers, on a cosmic scale, and used them to strip governments of their coercive powers, I could argue that this was defending individual freedom of choice, but that too would be something I would be imposing on everyone, based on my personal theories as to when force is justified. And it's probably just as well that I don't; I might start out as Tom Bombadil and end up as the new dark lord.

But tell me, if I did that, would you say, "Oh, he's not a government, and he's not using force against anyone except in the defense of other people's freedom, so that doesn't count as acts of war"? Because I don't think many governments would view it that way.
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Old 10-02-2018, 11:50 AM   #45
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Revolutionary Supers

Many revolutionary supers will probably start out with good intentions, but the application of their power will corrupt them because they will exceed the limits imposed by society. For example, imagine a super who can turn people into stone in the manner of a medusa. The afflicted individuals are not dead, they are just in a form of suspended animation, but they are trapped until someone frees them. Since it does not involve murder though, it becomes more acceptable for a 'hero' to do, so a 'hero' may use her powers to inhibit the people that she disagrees with. Imagine such a 'hero' petrifying elected officials, appointed judges, etc. until the world starts to reflect her ideals.
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Old 10-02-2018, 11:58 AM   #46
David Johnston2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: Revolutionary Supers

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Originally Posted by Michael Cule View Post
As I read the original suggestion it was a healing gifted super, one person and not a state, saying they would only give people the unique benefit of their talents if they would if not support at least refrain from fighting against the provision of universal healthcare.

The metahuman healer here is a (very polite) revolutionary trying to overthrow what they see as an unjust state.

And assuming they win that is not enslavement.
No. It's more like bribery.
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Old 10-02-2018, 11:58 AM   #47
ericthered
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Default Re: Revolutionary Supers

Supers who use their powers to primarily serve one cause or who habitually target a specific type of crime or primarily protect one demographic could be seen as revolutionary. Though that brings up one of the reason vigilantism is seen as a crime and not a public service: it often is anything but balanced.



Some super powers have strong economic potential. One form of revolution would be to build a new nation somewhere (depths of the jungle, bottom of the sea, in space, at the north pole) and try to establish it as a utopia, or at least better than the previous society.
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Old 10-02-2018, 12:24 PM   #48
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: Revolutionary Supers

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
No. It's more like bribery.
As I understood the proposition, it was, "I'm going to cure this disease that's killing you. But if you go against my political ideas, I'm going to take away the cure." That looks like a threat of death to me.

And you know, we say "bribery" when it's addressed to a political official, but not when it's addressed to an ordinary citizen; that usage is semantically odd.
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Old 10-02-2018, 12:30 PM   #49
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Revolutionary Supers

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
As I understood the proposition, it was, "I'm going to cure this disease that's killing you. But if you go against my political ideas, I'm going to take away the cure." That looks like a threat of death to me.

And you know, we say "bribery" when it's addressed to a political official, but not when it's addressed to an ordinary citizen; that usage is semantically odd.
It applies when you offer an ordinary citizen payment for voting the "right" way. And to be actually effective it pretty much has to be an offer you make to people with the power to shape government policies. Providing it to random ill people will have no significant political impact because you'll only only be controlling a few hundred thousand votes even if you are very energetic.
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Old 10-02-2018, 01:05 PM   #50
whswhs
 
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Default Re: Revolutionary Supers

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It applies when you offer an ordinary citizen payment for voting the "right" way. And to be actually effective it pretty much has to be an offer you make to people with the power to shape government policies. Providing it to random ill people will have no significant political impact because you'll only only be controlling a few hundred thousand votes even if you are very energetic.
I don't think, though, that it applies to paying a private citizen to advocate a political cause, and those are likely many of the people who would be targeted; ordinary government officials aren't all that influential either.

But, you know, I still think that "I made this fatal illness go away, but if you don't take the position I want, I'll bring it back" sounds like a threat of death; it goes beyond simple bribery. I think a contract law judge would probably go for calling it duress, at the very least.

At a certain point, it's time to say, "I'm a doctor, not an extortionist."
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