News Are patriotism and nationality still relevant in today's world?

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No, I don't waste my time on hypothetical: the fact that you must resort to them to try and make a point indicates to me that you cannot provide precise and exact evidence to support your nationalism claims. I have no problem with you criticizing something, provided you back it up with some good solid evidence.
You don't have a strong grasp of all forms of thinking. Hypothetical examples provide an unbiased comparison for evaluating something biased in an unbiased way. Patriotism biases people emotionally and cognitively in favor of national realism. If as many brainwashing techniques were devote to installing loyalty and faith in Mother Gaya as national institutions, people would cling just as dearly to that ideology. You are trying to exploit the normalization of nationalism in modern hegemony by refusing to compare hypotheticals.

Again, no. I generally roll my eyes when I read stuff that comes off as crackpot.
Again, nationalist realism. You are so obsessed with elevating the status of nationalism that you will call anyone who wants to regard it as just another social institution as crazy. If I was questioning the reality of fiscal stimulus programs or racial discrimination, would you call me crazy?

If you are going to make a statement like this, which from what I read here you are recognizing that nations are both culturally and legally different from other nations, then this does not jive with your earlier statements in this thread:
It's not that they aren't different. It's that it is irrelevant that they are. States can be compared and contrasted as well, as can businesses, families, individuals, books, etc. Just because two books are different doesn't mean they're not both books or that they both don't say similar things. To a chemistry teacher, two different chemistry books are probably worlds apart whereas a student probably couldn't tell the difference. Oh, sorry, I forgot you can't comprehend analogies. What I'm saying is that difference is relative and subjective.

Being legal means just that, coming to this country via legal immigration means. What part of this don't you understand?
The part where migration controls are constitutional. Slavery was legal too, for many years, but was eventually found to be inconsistent with the founding principles. Instead of bickering over existing laws, we should be discussing the fundamentals of why the US was created as an independent republic in the first place. Was it to create a protected global elite who could enjoy the privileges of international trade while limiting access to new citizens or was it for people to go someplace to live free and survive by their own labor?

And currently, they are......illegal
The same way escaped slaves were illegal, along with anyone who harbored them, when laws required slaves to be returned to their rightful owners. Further, do you realize the emancipation proclamation was declared as an executive act? Ok, the congress created an amendment later, but who is to say it was ethical to take those slave owners' property away from them like that? Are you capable of reasoning about ethics without reference to the law or are you only capable of seeing something as right or wrong by its legal status?

What do you mean "so-called" - brainstorm, say this with me: "They are here illegally" this is not a 'so-called', it is a FACT. This is an absurd amount of liberal spin on your part.
Half the republican party is so liberally spun at this point they think Lincoln and abolitionists were democrats.

Were not discussing slavery.
Migration control has nothing to do with labor rights?


Who said it is unethical, other than you? It is not unethical, and the fact that you are asking why anyone should be illegal to start with is beyond me. People and goods have to be regulated when moving across boarders - I can't imagine you not being able to see why this is so, your not that stupid. (bringing up Nuremberg and WWII.....really? Yet another wild tangent trying to play on the emotions for a lack of a cogent argument :rolleyes:)
Your only argument against any of my very relevant examples it to call them tangents. The question is if you're really interested in border regulation for constructive reasons, why don't you put those on the table instead of just making vague reference to them to try to prove you're right that nationalism is good? It's like you're more interested in winning than backing up your opinions with reason.

You made a claim about his point of view, then back it up - otherwise, don't bring it up. Again with this class-standards nonsense :rolleyes:. You should try moving to North Korea, they like your radical views there. :wink:
"Love it or leave it," huh, Nationalist? People who think like you make me laugh because when you finally win the argument, which is of course pre-determined by the amount of inertia behind nationalism, then you insist that the point of the US nation is democracy and having a free republic. In reality, you just want the US to be a national-socialist totalitarian regime with zero-tolerance for democracy or any kind of freedom unless you're rich enough to live without being employed. The constitution is wasted protecting views like yours.
 
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I love how you got it even down to the half hour - Great job Nostradamus!

Again, let's stop speculating. Want to say the travel time will be reduced, sure fine: but don't start giving me a time down to the half hour.
Speculating would be if I said, "maybe at some point faster planes will be developed." What I am saying here is that it is more than likely that air travel times will decrease in the future based on historical trends of technological progress. Besides, the point is not about transit times - it is about using geography as a logic for drawing national boundaries. Like I said, if that was the case then the EU could fuse into a single nation. When that was attempted, it was exceedingly unpopular.
 
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You don't have a strong grasp of all forms of thinking. Hypothetical examples provide an unbiased comparison for evaluating something biased in an unbiased way.
  • You - claim: nationalism is really just there to separate people and maintain a standard of living
  • Me - ok, provide me some evidence as to how you have arrived at this conclusion.
  • You - well, let's make up a bunch of hypothetical senarios

I'm sorry, brainstorm, but it just doest work this way.

Patriotism biases people emotionally and cognitively in favor of national realism. If as many brainwashing techniques were devote to installing loyalty and faith in Mother Gaya as national institutions, people would cling just as dearly to that ideology. You are trying to exploit the normalization of nationalism in modern hegemony by refusing to compare hypotheticals.
I'm not refusing anything, I've simply said (for the millionth time now), for you to provide evidence of this without your hypothetical arguments.


Again, nationalist realism. You are so obsessed with elevating the status of nationalism that you will call anyone who wants to regard it as just another social institution as crazy. If I was questioning the reality of fiscal stimulus programs or racial discrimination, would you call me crazy?
No, I'm calling your posts crazy and nonsense. If someone else wants to argue your very same position with better evidence, I will be more than willing to listen. No one is questioning the reality of fiscal stimulus or racial discrimination -stop trying to shift focus.


It's not that they aren't different. It's that it is irrelevant that they are. States can be compared and contrasted as well, as can businesses, families, individuals, books, etc. Just because two books are different doesn't mean they're not both books or that they both don't say similar things.
But its not irrelevant that they are different - you just think they are. This is incorrect from a legal standpoint.

To a chemistry teacher, two different chemistry books are probably worlds apart whereas a student probably couldn't tell the difference. Oh, sorry, I forgot you can't comprehend analogies. What I'm saying is that difference is relative and subjective.
Two chemistry books are not worlds apart if they both explain the same theory. Your analogy is horribly wrong. Le Chatelier's principle is Le Chatelier's principle, no matter who the author of the book is.

The part where migration controls are constitutional. Slavery was legal too, for many years, but was eventually found to be inconsistent with the founding principles. Instead of bickering over existing laws, we should be discussing the fundamentals of why the US was created as an independent republic in the first place. Was it to create a protected global elite who could enjoy the privileges of international trade while limiting access to new citizens or was it for people to go someplace to live free and survive by their own labor?
Ugh, again with this slavery nonsense? Look - stop. Slavery was perfectly legal until it was eradicated by constitutional amendment. The way you described it is dishonest, at best. The US is not, and never was, created to be a place where anyone and anything could openly flow through its boarders. Pick up a history book, and read it.

The same way escaped slaves were illegal, along with anyone who harbored them, when laws required slaves to be returned to their rightful owners. Further, do you realize the emancipation proclamation was declared as an executive act? Ok, the congress created an amendment later, but who is to say it was ethical to take those slave owners' property away from them like that? Are you capable of reasoning about ethics without reference to the law or are you only capable of seeing something as right or wrong by its legal status?
I wasn't aware 100 year old dead slaves were coming back to life in zombie form and crossing our boarders to do day labor.

Half the republican party is so liberally spun at this point they think Lincoln and abolitionists were democrats.
Why is this relevant?

Migration control has nothing to do with labor rights?
We're not talking about slavery.

Your only argument against any of my very relevant examples it to call them tangents. The question is if you're really interested in border regulation for constructive reasons, why don't you put those on the table instead of just making vague reference to them to try to prove you're right that nationalism is good? It's like you're more interested in winning than backing up your opinions with reason.
Please, do tell me what opinions I've stated thus far (Look closely, you'll find I've actually made none, only complained about yours!)

"Love it or leave it," huh, Nationalist? People who think like you make me laugh because when you finally win the argument, which is of course pre-determined by the amount of inertia behind nationalism, then you insist that the point of the US nation is democracy and having a free republic. In reality, you just want the US to be a national-socialist totalitarian regime with zero-tolerance for democracy or any kind of freedom unless you're rich enough to live without being employed. The constitution is wasted protecting views like yours.
Actually, I am quite a big fan of the constitution, which thanks to the 1st amendment, allow even the crackpots to voice their opinions. However, that doesn't mean the rest of us don't just roll our eyes in the process. Come back and play when you have an argument, and not an agenda.
 
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  • You - claim: nationalism is really just there to separate people and maintain a standard of living
  • Me - ok, provide me some evidence as to how you have arrived at this conclusion.
  • You - well, let's make up a bunch of hypothetical senarios

I'm sorry, brainstorm, but it just doest work this way.
What other purpose does nationalism have then? To create a social bond among people? Why not have a single global nation then so everyone can bond? What else? A common language? Why not have a national language instead of freedom of speech and culture then? What kind of "evidence" do you expect?

No, I'm calling your posts crazy and nonsense. If someone else wants to argue your very same position with better evidence, I will be more than willing to listen. No one is questioning the reality of fiscal stimulus or racial discrimination -stop trying to shift focus.
But you're not giving any grounds for refuting anything I say. All you're doing is rejecting things I say and claiming the burden of reason is on me. You're basically exploiting the fact that nationalism goes relatively unquestioned by trying to discredit any questioning of it. That's different than validating it. You are basically trying to avoid validating it by normalizing it. That's not a strategy based in any kind of reason.

But its not irrelevant that they are different - you just think they are. This is incorrect from a legal standpoint.
Laws are institutionalized beliefs. Again, you're trying to use the law to justify the belief it institutionalizes. You can't say that taxes are the law, therefore it makes sense for the government to expect people to give a certain amount of their income. There has to be an antecedent reason to justify the belief the law institutionalizes. Otherwise it's just circular logic.

Ugh, again with this slavery nonsense? Look - stop. Slavery was perfectly legal until it was eradicated by constitutional amendment. The way you described it is dishonest, at best. The US is not, and never was, created to be a place where anyone and anything could openly flow through its boarders. Pick up a history book, and read it.
It was not dishonest at worst. It was total usurpation of the right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. If colonial rulers had treated the colonists that way, they would have claimed it to be in violation of their inalienable rights. The same is true of westward expansion. If people living in the west had required following legal procedures to move west, people would not have accepted it. Americans have always migrated wherever they wanted and what right do they have from excluding other people from doing the same?

Actually, I am quite a big fan of the constitution, which thanks to the 1st amendment, allow even the crackpots to voice their opinions. However, that doesn't mean the rest of us don't just roll our eyes in the process. Come back and play when you have an argument, and not an agenda.
How's this: separating the global economy into separate national regions with different labor laws and currencies allows people living in some national regions to attain a material standard of living higher than people living in others. It also promotes social and cultural separation and control that reduces individual freedom to go and do where they please.
 
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What other purpose does nationalism have then?
Nationalism functions based on a social contract between the people and the government. The people put their trust in the government; thereby giving up some of their free-will, for the return of security and protection. This is a Government 101 question you've asked me, I can't imagine you're not being facetious here.

To create a social bond among people? Why not have a single global nation then so everyone can bond?
Because not all people share the same language, religion, or cultural values. For what reason do we need to be a 'global nation'. You need to think the ramifications of this through a little more, at a more serious level. Put all the cultural nonsense aside, how will you do this from a legal standpoint (Hint: you can't, and wont).

What else? A common language? Why not have a national language instead of freedom of speech and culture then? What kind of "evidence" do you expect?
......Why not have a national language instead of freedom of speech and culture..... Oyi, where to begin. First, there is no such thing as freedom of 'culture'. Furthermore, a national language has no bearing, nor is even related to, freedom of speech. Freedom of speech and a national language are apples and oranges.

But you're not giving any grounds for refuting anything I say. All you're doing is rejecting things I say and claiming the burden of reason is on me.
Because it's all baseless. You claimed nationalism is to inherently exploit other people, so back it up. It's not my problem if you cant. Next time, hopefully, you wont make such a statement.


You're basically exploiting the fact that nationalism goes relatively unquestioned by trying to discredit any questioning of it. That's different than validating it. You are basically trying to avoid validating it by normalizing it. That's not a strategy based in any kind of reason.
Honestly, enough with the conspiracy theory stuff. Like I said, you want to question it - fine, by all means knock yourself out. But please have the information to support it. I suggest you spend half the time and effort replying to me about my probing you for information, and use that to produce some actual evidence. What is the point of 'questioning' something, if you are not going to take the time to find the answers? Seems to me you just want to put your idea out there and hope it popularizes without doing any of the legwork.

Laws are institutionalized beliefs. Again, you're trying to use the law to justify the belief it institutionalizes.
You don't like a law, change it. But don't pick and choose which laws you want to view as legitimate - you won't win this argument because its a wrong one to hold.

You can't say that taxes are the law, therefore it makes sense for the government to expect people to give a certain amount of their income.
Did I say taxes are the law? Did I mention taxes anywhere, at any point prior to this post? It makes sense if you have any basic understanding of the function and relationship between the government and its citizens (I outlined this at the very start of this post, I suggest you go back and reread it at this point).

There has to be an antecedent reason to justify the belief the law institutionalizes. Otherwise it's just circular logic.
It's called the will of the people, we elect representatives to institute laws, provided said law falls within the guidelines of the US constitution.

It was not dishonest at worst. It was total usurpation of the right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. If colonial rulers had treated the colonists that way, they would have claimed it to be in violation of their inalienable rights. The same is true of westward expansion. If people living in the west had required following legal procedures to move west, people would not have accepted it. Americans have always migrated wherever they wanted and what right do they have from excluding other people from doing the same?
I am holding back from answering your question on life, liberty, and happiness, because I am not going to make this thread go off topic about past American history. Moving forward, Americans migrated where they wanted to, by force. Now, if the day laborers want to try and rebel against the government for citizenship and win, then thats their prerogative. But to sit here and make it sound as if Americans took a horse and buggy and just went out west, has no historical basis. Heck, some of it was purchased thanks to Jefferson, and Johnson.

How's this: separating the global economy into separate national regions with different labor laws and currencies allows people living in some national regions to attain a material standard of living higher than people living in others. It also promotes social and cultural separation and control that reduces individual freedom to go and do where they please.
That is a claim. What are you basing this on? Why are you ignoring internal factors, such as type of government, possible religious or ethnic oppression, level of industrialization, education, cost of living, and the list goes on....again, there's just no basis to anything you say.
 
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You are attempting to paint me as someone who is merely concerned with my own well being but you don't have any idea.
I'm sorry, I don't intend to polarise our discussion in that way.
My concern is with maintaining the quality of life that my country has developed and earned, not merely with maintaining my own tv's flatness.
How can you possibly say your country has "earned" such a higher state of development? I suspect your higher state actually has more to do with a history of prodigious utilisation of fossil power reserves than it has with the work ethic of the populace. But even if I'm wrong about that, it wasn't you who earned it, you were just lucky to have inherited it (rather than to have been born to somewhere else so to say, it certainly wasn't you who advised your ancestors migration).

The more important philosophical question is: why do you mostly say you are concerned with the quality of life of your "country"?? Why don't you say "suburb" instead of country? I think almost nobody does, whether we move suburbs or not, we never emblazen ourselves with the symbols of our suburb. Why don't you say "planet" (or even "race" or "gender") instead of country? Actually, "district/electorate" would be a good choice according to the justification you've suggested, since it has an exclusive representative in government (analogous to how each nation's interests are represented on the international stage), yet most people vote on the basis of preferred national-scale party affiliation (indicating concern for the interests of the nation foremost) rather than seriously considering which candidate might better serve the sole interests of the smaller electorate region alone. (Does anyone even know where the borders of their electorate are?)
You make it sound rediculous that I am concerned with whether or not my neighbor can find a job or whether or my government chooses to spend my tax dollars where I and my fellow citizens feel it should be spent.
(Is that the American spelling of ridiculous? .. lol, just googled it: how-to-spell-ridiculous.com rants "why do so many people spell it rediculous? Subtle, maybe even unconscious, communist sympathies? ..")
Look, your neighbour is fine. She lives in a land of opportunity. The police will protect here from threat of violence. Social welfare will protect her from homelessness and starvation, and treat her sicknesses. Even if she loses her job, and has to forgo a few luxuries while she learns a skill that is more useful to the community, she is comfortable and far from danger. Your concern for her is unnecessary. But we can't say this for all of your fellow human beings.

Now, you don't object to your tax dollars being spent outside of your own small district. So why are you obsessed with whether they serve the sole interests of your countrymen rather than the common interests of your continent?

Why are you preoccupied with the wishes of your countrymen, rather than of mankind (or exclusively your local neighbourhood)? Why do you feel national borders should be where you draw the line?

And have you considered the consequences of choosing to draw the line there? It isn't a zero sum game. For example, the rest of the world is starting to benefit from the development of China. Another example, we have seen time and again that birth rates drop after child mortality is addressed, so dealing with world poverty is the solution to the world population crisis (which otherwise stands to hurt your country, because they all share the same environment). Third, do you understand "comparative advantage" in economics (that perhaps contrary to intuition, both sides benefit from trade interaction)? A rising tide lifts all boats. Fourth: I hear the cost of the war (can we call it that if war hasn't been declared?) in Afghanistan is equivalent to a quarter century of their GDP. Imagine how effective that money might of been if they were viewed as fellow men rather than competitors to your nation. If someone were willing to give half as much as I expect to earn in my whole lifetime, just to win my "heart and mind", I reckon I'd be listening to them pretty sympathetically provided they didn't just spend it all on force..
Your idealized Japanese man hypothetical or real doesn't really qualify in this discussion because a world citizen apparently requires the income level of his nation's elite to maintain the lifestyle that you have described. I enjoy travel and one day will be able to afford to travel around the world, but today as a college student 1,500 dollars on average just to get to Europe and back is a bit out of my reach. Perhaps you can afford to be a world citizen, but most of the world's citizens can not.
Did you deliberately write "his nation"? Which nation would that be? My whole point was the fallacy of ascribing a single country to each person. Anyway, he isn't what you would consider wealthy (though of course he is an exceptional individual). It might be fairly expensive to travel the world as a tourist (though I think you are exagerating since my "below the national poverty line" student stipend was able to take me as far as Japan and back) but I recommend you instead go and find work overseas for six months or so (this pays for itself, and is far more likely than superficial tourism to build true personal connections that transcend national boundaries).
You also take many stabs at the lifestyle of the average American, but I challenge you to look at which countries provide the most foreign aid to the most foreign places.
Go look up the stats, per capita (or as a percentage of GDP).
 
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The fallacy here is to try to identify some optimal scale of organisation when what actually matters is things are organised across all scales.

Societies are organised on the principle of competition~co-operation.

From the bottom-up comes the individuating or differentiating tendency. The expression of freedoms to do things that are percieved of local benefit. People are in competition, towns are in competition, nations are in competition, and this can be good - enterprising and creative. It produces the necessary variety which allows adaptive learning in a system.

Then from the top-down comes the collectivising or integrating tendency. This is also good when it works. People work together, towns work together, nations work together. There emerge common constraints, general laws, that act downwards to produce co-operation. What gets locally invented can become generally practiced as an adaptive habit.

So an organised society, or organised world, would find this balance between competition and co-operation across all scales. They would be in dynamic equilibrium.

This is the general principle. Both tendencies are necessary, even if they appear mutually opposed. (In fact, they are synergistic - oppositions that produce a complex adaptive system.)

Patriotism and nationalism are just a particular scale of competition that arose once human societies became large enough to bump into their neighbours. And co-operation also needs to be negotiated at this scale. Trade is as old as warfare. The exchange of ideas just as old as the rejection of them.

The evolution of the adaptive system at this level has not been smooth. We have been through a lot of competition-dominated times - all those world wars. And with globalisation, the EU, human rights charter, and other trends, some could say there is now too much co-operation going on.

But anyway, it is essential to see that you have two tendencies that need to strike a balance at any scale of social organisation. And it is a dynamic pragamatic balance, not some absolute one.

Which then leads to another bigger issue - is the system stable or growing? You can have stable equilibriums and also growing or accelerating ones.

An example of a society with a strong stability ethic was confucian China. Confucianism is explicitly a systems philosophy (the locally good, in the terms of smart and inventive scholars, can rise to the top of ths system, while those at the top had great responsibility to look after their subjects - not that they always did, but we are talking about the philosophy).

An example of a society with a strong growth ethic is the anglo-saxon one. Growth was unlocked by technology. First coal, then oil, were harnessed by technology to create a new growth based social system.

The same general competition~co-operation dynamic applied. But the settings were subtly different. Well, not so subtly I guess.

But anyway, when asking about patriotism and nationalism (the proper place for competition, and thus proper place for co-operation at this scale of social organisation) we then have to consider the further question of should the system ideally be steady-state or freely growing?

If you feel there are no limits to energy and resources, then free growth can be the goal (and you can set your competition~co-operation settings accordingly). Otherwise...you can't.
As usual, this reply of yours seems deeper and broader in scope than anything I could come up with. So, assuming that you've identified some pertinent corollaries to the OP, then also assuming that patriotism and nationalism will remain relevant, then how do we minimize the possible negative effects of those natural and predictable orientations and maximize the involvement in a more cooperative internationalistic agenda? That is, what do you see as the primary problem confronting humanity? And, how should we address it?

Of course, it follows that if we, all of us humans, are working toward a common goal, then our patriotic and nationalistic 'tendencies' will be necessarily minimized for at least as long as it takes to, collectively, reach that goal.

I think the answer lies in the collective exploitation of solar energy. What do you think, apeiron?

Wrt to the OP, are patriotism and nationality still relevant in today's world? Of course. Is that necessarily a good thing? Of course not.
 

Office_Shredder

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Using just government foreign aid numbers is silly. Private donations can account for a large amount of cash, and also is more likely to be spent on actual charity. As an example

http://www.globalissues.org/article/35/foreign-aid-development-assistance

As an aside, it should be emphasized that the above figures are comparing government spending. Such spending has been agreed at international level and is spread over a number of priorities.

Individual/private donations may be targeted in many ways. However, even though the charts above do show US aid to be poor (in percentage terms) compared to the rest, the generosity of the American people is far more impressive than their government. Private aid/donation typically through the charity of individual people and organizations can be weighted to certain interests and areas. Nonetheless, it is interesting to note for example, per latest estimates, Americans privately give at least $34 billion overseas—more than twice the US official foreign aid of $15 billion at that time:

* International giving by US foundations: $1.5 billion per year
* Charitable giving by US businesses: $2.8 billion annually
* American NGOs: $6.6 billion in grants, goods and volunteers.
* Religious overseas ministries: $3.4 billion, including health care, literacy training, relief and development.
* US colleges scholarships to foreign students: $1.3 billion
* Personal remittances from the US to developing countries: $18 billion in 2000
And then it goes on to breakdown how in 2004 private giving had raised to 71 billion dollars
 
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As usual, this reply of yours seems deeper and broader in scope than anything I could come up with. So, assuming that you've identified some pertinent corollaries to the OP, then also assuming that patriotism and nationalism will remain relevant, then how do we minimize the possible negative effects of those natural and predictable orientations and maximize the involvement in a more cooperative internationalistic agenda?
First false assumption: Why do you assume out of the gate that they are predictive and negative cooperations?

That is, what do you see as the primary problem confronting humanity? And, how should we address it?
Sustaining 6 billion people at a middle class standard of living.

I think the answer lies in the collective exploitation of solar energy. What do you think, apeiron?
This is pure nonsense. Based on what, because its the cool word to throw around these days?

Wrt to the OP, are patriotism and nationality still relevant in today's world? Of course. Is that necessarily a good thing? Of course not.
Wrong answer, again. Why do you assume it's not a good thing?
 

apeiron

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I think the answer lies in the collective exploitation of solar energy. What do you think, apeiron?

Wrt to the OP, are patriotism and nationality still relevant in today's world? Of course. Is that necessarily a good thing? Of course not.
Thanks Thomas. My general approach would be to "follow the money". To understand geopolitics, you look to the economic engine, and then to what fuels it. If energy is free and cheap (after externalities like pollution, etc, are taken into account), the world can be in a free growth mode. If energy becomes constrained and expensive, the world will enter some new state. Everything else we may believe is fixed about the world will in fact be shaped by the flow of energy through the system.

So globalisation has been a natural part of the growth phase. And if we go into energy descent - a constrained energy situation - then we can expect the reverse. Relocalisation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transition_Towns

If the contraction is stong, even national level organisation may begin to unravel. We could head back to provinces and city states as the prime level of affiliation and patriotism.
 
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Thanks Thomas. My general approach would be to "follow the money". To understand geopolitics, you look to the economic engine, and then to what fuels it. If energy is free and cheap (after externalities like pollution, etc, are taken into account), the world can be in a free growth mode. If energy becomes constrained and expensive, the world will enter some new state. Everything else we may believe is fixed about the world will in fact be shaped by the flow of energy through the system.

So globalisation has been a natural part of the growth phase. And if we go into energy descent - a constrained energy situation - then we can expect the reverse. Relocalisation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transition_Towns

If the contraction is stong, even national level organisation may begin to unravel. We could head back to provinces and city states as the prime level of affiliation and patriotism.
There is plenty of clean energy for generations to come, namely, nuclear power (and it will be coming back as fossil fuels start to run low).
 
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First false assumption: Why do you assume out of the gate that they are predictive and negative cooperations?
Their predictability seems self evident. Their negativity follows from their necessarily exclusive orientation -- which, I'm assuming, necessarily precipitates conflict with other exclusive entities. If we continue to emphasize our differences and artificial dividing lines rather than the common problems that we face as a species, then I think we are in for a very very difficult time in the not too distant future.

Sustaining 6 billion people at a middle class standard of living.
The problem will most assuredly get worse than this. Envision an America circa 2100 with 100 million people living in shantytowns with no electricity.

This is pure nonsense. Based on what, because its the cool word to throw around these days?
My guess is that the availability of electricity will be one of the primary differentiators between the haves and the have nots in the latter part of this century -- unless we begin to seriously address it now.

Nuclear power. Ridiculous. It's not going to happen. For god's sake, we have a virtually unlimited supply of absolutely clean energy impinging on us every day. I personally think that the technology will continue to advance to the extent that, maybe even in my lifetime, the average home will be able to supply all of its electrical needs via conversion of solar to electrical energy -- the virtual obsolescence of the current 'electrical grid(s)'.

This is where I think we should be putting large sums of money into research and development. There's lots of money to be made wrt this. Unfortunately it also puts some very big players, and their infrastructures, on the sideline. So, I'm not optimistic. I think that the likely scenario is that we'll put off seriously collectively dealing with the problem until it's effectively too late. And then it will just be too late. And you'll have hundreds of millions living in shantytowns. But of course the hundreds of millions not living in shantytowns won't give a s**t. Pretty much like it is today, except with much much more poverty and suffering.

Wrong answer, again. Why do you assume it's not a good thing?
Because it's simple minded and exclusionary. Am I really any different from somebody who happened to be born and is living in Nigeria or Romania or Iraq or Afghanistan or wherever? Don't we all have a common goal? Don't the masses of the world simply want to be left alone to do their work and raise their families? Who is it that interferes with what might be a wonderful common equilibrium among most human beings who just want to experience the simple joys of life?
 
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Their predictability seems self evident. Their negativity follows from their necessarily exclusive orientation -- which, I'm assuming, necessarily precipitates conflict with other exclusive entities. If we continue to emphasize our differences and artificial dividing lines rather than the common problems that we face as a species, then I think we are in for a very very difficult time in the not too distant future.
I see no reason to support this assumption, competition is always a good thing and it drives innovation, and, there is no reason why countries can't and don't already work together - they do, on a daily basis.


The problem will most assuredly get worse than this. Envision an America circa 2100 with 100 million people living in shantytowns with no electricity.
Why would I imagine a nonsensical hypothetical such as this?

My guess is that the availability of electricity will be one of the primary differentiators between the haves and the have nots in the latter part of this century -- unless we begin to seriously address it now.
Ummm....what? Nuclear energy can provide all the power we need for a long time. Are you implying that people are not addressing it now? If so, you're wrong.

Nuclear power. Ridiculous. It's not going to happen. For god's sake, we have a virtually unlimited supply of absolutely clean energy impinging on us every day. I personally think that the technology will continue to advance to the extent that, maybe even in my lifetime, the average home will be able to supply all of its electrical needs via conversion of solar to electrical energy -- the virtual obsolescence of the current 'electrical grid(s)'.
Yes, we do. It's called nuclear energy and it is clean. Solar energy is not the panacea you make it out to be. The only thing that holds back nuclear power is people completely ignorant about the technology - hint.

This is where I think we should be putting large sums of money into research and development. There's lots of money to be made wrt this. Unfortunately it also puts some very big players, and their infrastructures, on the sideline. So, I'm not optimistic. I think that the likely scenario is that we'll put off seriously collectively dealing with the problem until it's effectively too late. And then it will just be too late. And you'll have hundreds of millions living in shantytowns. But of course the hundreds of millions not living in shantytowns won't give a s**t. Pretty much like it is today, except with much much more poverty and suffering.
This is moronic.

Because it's simple minded and exclusionary. Am I really any different from somebody who happened to be born and is living in Nigeria or Romania or Iraq or Afghanistan or wherever? Don't we all have a common goal? Don't the masses of the world simply want to be left alone to do their work and raise their families? Who is it that interferes with what might be a wonderful common equilibrium among most human beings who just want to experience the simple joys of life?
Let's all hold hands and sing kumbaya. Yes, you are very different from many other people and cultures - this isn't a bad thing.
 
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Nationalism functions based on a social contract between the people and the government. The people put their trust in the government; thereby giving up some of their free-will, for the return of security and protection. This is a Government 101 question you've asked me, I can't imagine you're not being facetious here.
So you're saying the point of the US constitution is to provide a social contract to limit individual freedoms instead of protect them? Which parts should I re-read to get which freedoms are enumerated for sacrifice?

Because not all people share the same language, religion, or cultural values. For what reason do we need to be a 'global nation'. You need to think the ramifications of this through a little more, at a more serious level. Put all the cultural nonsense aside, how will you do this from a legal standpoint (Hint: you can't, and wont).
You are right that separatist interests are powerful and there is always a great deal of resistance to any attempt to forge a merger between nationalized regional governments. The EU is supposed to be trying, along with other supernational entities, but the obstacle is ethnic identity and the propaganda that spreads fear of mixing with ethnic-national "others."

In practice, several developments are resulting in diminishing significance of nationalist separatism. The first is the fact that there is decreasing interest globally in challenging military hegemony. People would rather cooperate, for the most part, with a national government perceived as strong/dominant than to stand up against it with military force. So, in that sense, most national governments exercise power to harmonize their policies with the interests of other national governments, provided those don't conflict. This could, theoretically at least, lead to global consensus among national governments, which would be the same in practice as having a single global government.

Second, in a peaceful multinational global world, there becomes increasingly less reason to prevent intermigration among nationalized regions. Thus evolves the logic of multi-cultural or multi-national regions, depending on how much resistance and hostility there is to ethnic intermingling among the individuals involved. When hostile nationalist movements emerge in a region, this serves as a deterrent to voluntary migration to that area. To many nationalists, this probably seems positive, the way KKK supporters saw it as positive to create a hostile climate toward 'non-whites' in order to deter the development of multi-ethnic neighborhoods. However, there is also a global ideology forming that dislikes nationalist hostility toward "foreigners" and thus it is possible that regions where such hostilities are evident will become stigmatized the way discriminatory racism has become stigmatized.

......Why not have a national language instead of freedom of speech and culture..... Oyi, where to begin. First, there is no such thing as freedom of 'culture'. Furthermore, a national language has no bearing, nor is even related to, freedom of speech. Freedom of speech and a national language are apples and oranges.
Freedom of culture is fundamental in the concept of a republic, where the people are free to govern themselves. Freedom of religion (separation of church and state) is also cultural freedom. Freedom of speech (freedom from censorship) is also cultural freedom. Which form of culture do you presume is NOT protected by the US constitution? Also, why would you think that speech in any language wouldn't be protected by the 1st amendment?

Because it's all baseless. You claimed nationalism is to inherently exploit other people, so back it up. It's not my problem if you cant. Next time, hopefully, you wont make such a statement.
I don't know that it's inherent. I think it's just what happens in practice, and it is part of the reason people seek strong national protection (i.e. to avoid exploitation), and it allows people to be segregated into separate labor markets, which promotes exploitation of one labor market while protecting workers in others from the same conditions. Unemployed people in the US and EU, for example, are prevented from seeking employment in Asia. Similarly, workers in Asia would would like to move to the US or EU to take advantage of better labor conditions, minimum wage, etc. are prevented from doing so. If people living in the US and EU are benefiting economically from oppressive labor conditions in Asia, how is this not nationalism facilitating labor exploitation?

Honestly, enough with the conspiracy theory stuff. Like I said, you want to question it - fine, by all means knock yourself out. But please have the information to support it. I suggest you spend half the time and effort replying to me about my probing you for information, and use that to produce some actual evidence. What is the point of 'questioning' something, if you are not going to take the time to find the answers? Seems to me you just want to put your idea out there and hope it popularizes without doing any of the legwork.
The evidence is common everyday knowledge. It's the interpretation of it you are fighting over. And what I don't understand is why you don't just discuss it openly and directly instead of resorting to posturing and put-downs. That only makes discussion more tedious.

You don't like a law, change it. But don't pick and choose which laws you want to view as legitimate - you won't win this argument because its a wrong one to hold.
You don't have to change the law to evaluate it as incorrect on various grounds. An unjust law may not change in your lifetime, but that doesn't magically make it just or ethical, does it? Sure, you can argue for pragmatism - i.e. it's not going to change so just accept it. Or you can say that whether it is going to change or not it is unacceptable. Some people can live with ethical consciousness while others have to put on blinders to live in the dream that corruption is absent. If you're one of the latter, there's no real point in engaging in political discussions. You'd be happier doing other things that don't involve conflicting points of view.

Did I say taxes are the law? Did I mention taxes anywhere, at any point prior to this post? It makes sense if you have any basic understanding of the function and relationship between the government and its citizens (I outlined this at the very start of this post, I suggest you go back and reread it at this point).
I used taxes to illustrate my point. Apparently, you want to block yourself from understanding my point enough to avoid understanding the illustration. That or you're just not capable of thinking on very many levels. The point was that you can't say that a tax is legitimate because it is the law. The tax has to have a purpose, a reason, etc. that you agree with. It's the same with any law. The fact that it is a law doesn't legitimate it. It has to be a just, ethical, etc. law - otherwise it makes no sense to defend it as being the law.

It's called the will of the people, we elect representatives to institute laws, provided said law falls within the guidelines of the US constitution.
The question is why it falls within the guidelines of the constitution to repress people's right to live in the US. Do state governments have the right to impose migration controls? If so, maybe international migration is a state issue. I don't know what the constitution says about any of this exactly, but I do know that it is supposed to check "the will of the people" where individual rights are being abridged. Sorry to bring up slavery again, since it seems to make you uncomfortable, but do you remember that the Kansas-Nebraska act made slavery allowable by majority vote at the state level (i.e. the will of the people) - and this is supposedly what instigated Lincoln to address slavery as a universal issue of inalienable rights?

Moving forward, Americans migrated where they wanted to, by force. Now, if the day laborers want to try and rebel against the government for citizenship and win, then thats their prerogative. But to sit here and make it sound as if Americans took a horse and buggy and just went out west, has no historical basis. Heck, some of it was purchased thanks to Jefferson, and Johnson.
But didn't many individuals simply pack up a covered wagon and trek west? Wasn't this validated by the ideology of "manifest destiny?" I should research the details of this because I just have a vague slogan in my memory - but couldn't you say that people globally have a "manifest destiny" to migrate whereever they please and live freely? What gives anyone globally the right to subjugate and exclude people on the basis of anything other than individual property rights?
 

apeiron

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There is plenty of clean energy for generations to come, namely, nuclear power (and it will be coming back as fossil fuels start to run low).
In the light of solar vs nuclear arguments, this looks like an interesting read. Obviously it is a lobbying paper so needs critical reading, but then what research in this area doesn't?

http://www.ncwarn.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/NCW-SolarReport_final1.pdf

Solar photovoltaic system costs have fallen steadily for decades. They are projected to fall even farther over the next 10 years. Meanwhile, projected costs for construction of new nuclear plants have risen steadily over the last decade, and they continue to rise. In the past year, the lines have crossed in North Carolina. Electricity from new solar installations is now cheaper than electricity from proposed new nuclear plants.
 
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First, thanks for the link(s) apeiron. I'm in Florida now. LOTS of sunshine here. What a shame to allow it to go to waste. I think that the development of PV technology is in its infancy.

And to reply to Cyrus (keeping in mind that the OP of this thread is about patriotism and nationalism -- and I don't want to derail it):
ThomasT said:
Their (patriotism and nationalism) predictability seems self evident. Their negativity follows from their necessarily exclusive orientation -- which, I'm assuming, necessarily precipitates conflict with other exclusive entities. If we continue to emphasize our differences and artificial dividing lines rather than the common problems that we face as a species, then I think we are in for a very very difficult time in the not too distant future.
Cyrus said:
I see no reason to support this assumption ...
Ok. It's just one of many possible sets of assumptions. Can we, however, assume that things will get more complicated, and solutions more difficult, with the addition of hundreds of millions (billions on the global scale) of (mostly unskilled) people, increasing scarcity of fossil fuels, and deterioration of existing infrastructures, etc., unless we, collectively as a species, begin to actually deal with these things now? That is, assuming that the USA implements the necessary programs to provide a more or less comfortable life (basically what virtually all Americans have access to now) for the, projected, 500 million Americans of 2100. What about current Third World countries whose populations will most likely increase at a faster rate than the USA? The patriotic and nationalistic attitude is that, well, it's their problem, and, if they have resources that we need, then we'll take them. I'm thinking that, at some point, that attitude can become self injurious to the species. But maybe not. I don't know.

Cyrus said:
... competition is always a good thing and it drives innovation ...
I agree that competition drives innovation. But competition with what? With the problems that face humanity as a whole, or just with each other?

Does cooperation ever trump competition?

Cyrus said:
... and, there is no reason why countries can't and don't already work together - they do, on a daily basis.
I agree, to a certain extent. But, I ask myself whether or not we could, collectively, raise the standard of living of everyone if we weren't so polarized by these notions of patriotism and nationalism and ethnocentrism, etc.? And I think that, yes, the world would be a better place if these notions weren't so predictable and necessary a part of our upbringing.

But they are of course. Should we consider the deaths resulting from the conflicts that these divisions give rise to as a sort of necessary 'trimming of the herd'?

ThomasT said:
The problem will most assuredly get worse than this. Envision an America circa 2100 with 100 million people living in shantytowns with no electricity.
Cyrus said:
Why would I imagine a nonsensical hypothetical such as this?
I agree that it's very unlikely. And, things don't have to get worse. However, will extreme patriotism and nationalism help things to get better? I don't think so.

It's also possible that the world will become less polarized via patriotic and nationalistic orientations as our collective problems become more accute.

ThomasT said:
My guess is that the availability of electricity will be one of the primary differentiators between the haves and the have nots in the latter part of this century -- unless we begin to seriously address it now.
Cyrus said:
Ummm....what? Nuclear energy can provide all the power we need for a long time. Are you implying that people are not addressing it now? If so, you're wrong.
Of course they're 'addressing' it. A study, a conference, a symposium, here and there. Corporate execs and politicians do get together and seriously discuss the profitability and doability of this or that nuclear project. But the scale at which this has to be undertaken is staggering. I just don't see it happening. I see a large scale dependence on fossil fuels in the next few decades, with a few nuclear plants being built, and a concomitant increase in the cost of operating a vehicle and providing electricity for homes and businesses. Which means that, for most of us, disposable income and buying power decreases.

What current indicators lead you to believe that by, say, 2050, enough nuclear facilities would be functioning so that the relative cost of electricity hasn't drastically increased?

Cyrus said:
Yes, we do. It's called nuclear energy and it is clean. Solar energy is not the panacea you make it out to be. The only thing that holds back nuclear power is people completely ignorant about the technology - hint.
Solar cell, fuel cell, and battery technologies (with augmentation from wind and nuclear technologies) can free us from our dependence on fossil fuels. Of all these, nuclear energy is the least clean, the most dangerous, and the most expensive to implement.

I agree with you that nuclear energy is a viable (if it were sufficiently funded) alternative to fossil fuels. But, as you've indicated, it's a hard sell. Also, insofar as it's based on a nonrenewable resource, whereas the others aren't, then, to me, it makes sense to focus on the solar, water, and air sources of energy.

How much money do we spend annually on the development of these technologies? How much money do we spend annually just occupying Europe with our military via patriotic and nationalistic interests? How much money have we spent on our invasion and occupation of Iraq?

Cyrus said:
Let's all hold hands and sing kumbaya. Yes, you are very different from many other people and cultures - this isn't a bad thing.
We are also, and, in imo, in much more important ways, very much like other people and cultures. Do you think that's a bad way of looking at things?

I went through a decidedly patriotic and ethnocentric phase in my development as a human being. (I grew up in the South.) I generally refer to it as my 'idiotic' phase. I'm well aware that we are, after all, animals, and that it's natural to feel the sorts of feelings that lead to racism, ethnocentrism, patriotism and nationalism. However, just as we have developed, and can continue to develop, technologies that can free us from our current dependence on fossil fuels, we have developed, and can continue to develop, ways of thinking that can minimize our natural tendency toward patriotic and nationalistic behavior.

And here's the point. Once one gets somewhat past those patriotic and nationalistic tendencies, then one can begin to be a good citizen -- of the world.
 

apeiron

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I agree that competition drives innovation. But competition with what? With the problems that face humanity as a whole, or just with each other?

Does cooperation ever trump competition?
Well put. Competition unconstrained leads to destruction. Co-operation unconstrained is also bad too as it leads to rigidity, a lack of innovation. It is all about the proper balance.

And the OP is about the largest scale of co-operation.

At the moment, we have strong nation-level institutions. Co-operation - in the form of laws, customs, national purposes, national identity, and other constraints on individual and group action - is strongly enforced.

But what happens above that scale or organisation? Should nations be in unfettered competition? Or should we have again another strong level of enforced co-operation - international laws, a planetary sense of identity, etc - at the world scale of human organisation?

Clearly, nationalism and unfettered competition will lead to planetary destruction. In the past, we have recognised this when it comes to nuclear weapons, or pandemic diseases. And when we have seen the threat as game-changing enough, we do create that international framework even if it means nationhood becomes subsumed.

We just have not taken that step with energy and green house gases and population - the big three threats of the next 50 years.
 
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Ok. It's just one of many possible sets of assumptions. Can we, however, assume that things will get more complicated, and solutions more difficult, with the addition of hundreds of millions (billions on the global scale) of (mostly unskilled) people, increasing scarcity of fossil fuels, and deterioration of existing infrastructures, etc., unless we, collectively as a species, begin to actually deal with these things now?
And why do you believe that this can't be solved at local levels?

What about current Third World countries whose populations will most likely increase at a faster rate than the USA? The patriotic and nationalistic attitude is that, well, it's their problem, and, if they have resources that we need, then we'll take them. I'm thinking that, at some point, that attitude can become self injurious to the species. But maybe not. I don't know.
I'm not loosing sleep over what happens in 3rd world countries, they have to deal with their problems, and I deal with mine. When there is an overlap on our needs, our governments can work together. You have no basis to believe that this behavior is self injurious to the species.

I agree that competition drives innovation. But competition with what? With the problems that face humanity as a whole, or just with each other?
Competition for energy, resources, policy, human rights, etc.

Does cooperation ever trump competition?
Competition does not mean a lack of cooperation.

I agree, to a certain extent. But, I ask myself whether or not we could, collectively, raise the standard of living of everyone if we weren't so polarized by these notions of patriotism and nationalism and ethnocentrism, etc.?
On what evidence do you think the standard of living is low because of Nationalism and Patriotism? I see no evidence as to why this statement is true.

And I think that, yes, the world would be a better place if these notions weren't so predictable and necessary a part of our upbringing.
You can think that, but that doesn't mean its true.


But they are of course. Should we consider the deaths resulting from the conflicts that these divisions give rise to as a sort of necessary 'trimming of the herd'?
I don't know what you mean by this.

I agree that it's very unlikely.
Then why did you make this statement?

And, things don't have to get worse. However, will extreme patriotism and nationalism help things to get better? I don't think so.
I feel like a broken record here, and your basis for this belief is........?

It's also possible that the world will become less polarized via patriotic and nationalistic orientations as our collective problems become more accute.
Possibly, it's impossible to predict the future.

Of course they're 'addressing' it. A study, a conference, a symposium, here and there. Corporate execs and politicians do get together and seriously discuss the profitability and doability of this or that nuclear project. But the scale at which this has to be undertaken is staggering. I just don't see it happening. I see a large scale dependence on fossil fuels in the next few decades, with a few nuclear plants being built, and a concomitant increase in the cost of operating a vehicle and providing electricity for homes and businesses. Which means that, for most of us, disposable income and buying power decreases.
What is so staggering about building more nuclear power plants that we already know how to build, and have been using for decades, versus your claim about using this magical solar power that is still new and not at an energy density to even be comparable to nuclear?

What current indicators lead you to believe that by, say, 2050, enough nuclear facilities would be functioning so that the relative cost of electricity hasn't drastically increased?
The price of any technology can be related to is usage. Building one nuclear power plant is expensive, building hundreds of them across the country drives the costs down.

Solar cell, fuel cell, and battery technologies (with augmentation from wind and nuclear technologies) can free us from our dependence on fossil fuels. Of all these, nuclear energy is the least clean, the most dangerous, and the most expensive to implement.
What is "dangerous" about nuclear power? I'm curious about this statement. Batteries require energy to charge, they are only energy storage devices. Of all these, nuclear is proven, and works - and works safely.

I agree with you that nuclear energy is a viable (if it were sufficiently funded) alternative to fossil fuels. But, as you've indicated, it's a hard sell. Also, insofar as it's based on a nonrenewable resource, whereas the others aren't, then, to me, it makes sense to focus on the solar, water, and air sources of energy.
It's a hard sell because of widespread public paranoia and ignorance due to 3 mile island. Why do you think nuclear is nonrenewable? - you can use it all you want.

How much money do we spend annually on the development of these technologies? How much money do we spend annually just occupying Europe with our military via patriotic and nationalistic interests? How much money have we spent on our invasion and occupation of Iraq?
Why is the invasion of Iraq relevant here?

We are also, and, in imo, in much more important ways, very much like other people and cultures. Do you think that's a bad way of looking at things?
Ummm, no - were not. I am not, and do not want to be, like a highly religious culture of a middle eastern country that justifies the rape of women. If you wan't to be part of this global 'community' knock yourself out.

However, just as we have developed, and can continue to develop, technologies that can free us from our current dependence on fossil fuels, we have developed, and can continue to develop, ways of thinking that can minimize our natural tendency toward patriotic and nationalistic behavior.
....why?

And here's the point. Once one gets somewhat past those patriotic and nationalistic tendencies, then one can begin to be a good citizen -- of the world.
Baseless, unsupported nonsense.
 
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But what happens above that scale or organisation? Should nations be in unfettered competition? Or should we have again another strong level of enforced co-operation - international laws, a planetary sense of identity, etc - at the world scale of human organisation?

Clearly, nationalism and unfettered competition will lead to planetary destruction. In the past, we have recognised this when it comes to nuclear weapons, or pandemic diseases. And when we have seen the threat as game-changing enough, we do create that international framework even if it means nationhood becomes subsumed.

We just have not taken that step with energy and green house gases and population - the big three threats of the next 50 years.
This makes a lot of sense to me. Now, I want to pin you down a bit on the energy alternatives. I respect your opinion, and assume that you might well be more familiar with certain technologies than I am.

So, what should we be concentrating on? Nuclear? Solar? Or something else? Or what combination in what ratios?

And, if you haven't gotten to the point where you feel confident in answering this yet, then I understand.
 

apeiron

Gold Member
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So, what should we be concentrating on? Nuclear? Solar? Or something else? Or what combination in what ratios?
Actually wind would seem to be first cab off the rank. Along with tidal, geothermal and more hydro. Europe is already going that way fast.

PV would be nice, but (despite that study) I have the impression that it is at least 15 years from being big. Whereas wind can be big now.

Though what may accelerate PV hugely would be an actual energy crisis. As soon as people feel insecure, they will pay over the odds for some homescale system. A powerplant of their own. Price won't matter. So there could be a surge in PV just because it is perhaps the most straightforward personal energy scheme.

Nuclear makes me dubious. Yes, a baseload supply is needed. And the greenhouse gas argument is another factor in its favour. But who would trust the industry on waste disposal? The economics are also untrustworthy (too much entanglement with military reasons for having nuclear). So a big trust gap still. However nuclear will be built.

As to ratios, that's too detailed a question for me. This Shell study gives some views...

http://www-static.shell.com/static/public/downloads/brochures/corporate_pkg/scenarios/shell_energy_scenarios_2050.pdf

See p17 for example. They give nuclear a small share and biofuels a large one (suprise!).

I forgot to mention biofuels. Brazil's sugarcane shows something of the potential. Algae and other crops like jerusalem artichokes will have promise elsewhere.
 
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Thanks, apeiron, for your reply. Comments and link(s) duly noted. A bit surprising that you would say wind is the leading non-nuclear alternative to fossil. Nuclear will happen of course, but not sufficiently I think, and it's so much more complicated than the others. Anyway, I'm pushing solar. I don't want to take this thread away from its OP focus any more than I have, so I won't post here any more. At least not about energy. Maybe a new thread with some energy alternative questions when I've done some more reading on it.

Cyrus, thanks for your input, and kumbaya.

And, cesiumfrog, I liked some of your comments. Was going to complicate them a bit, but have decided not to.
 
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I'm not loosing sleep over what happens in 3rd world countries, they have to deal with their problems, and I deal with mine. When there is an overlap on our needs, our governments can work together. You have no basis to believe that this behavior is self injurious to the species.
This statement illustrates a major problem with nationalism. It promotes the assumption that some people are more natural subsidiaries of progress (scientific, technological, and economic) than others. Why would you assume that random people are natural subsidiaries of progress in the developed world just because they have been recognized as having the same nationality as other people who developed the science, technologies, and economic institutions that benefit them? Imagine that a person living in the mountains or a rural undeveloped community in the 19th century had been denied access to developing urban regions and education. If that had happened, there would be even more underdeveloped individuals in developed nations than there already are. For this reason, it seems quite arrogant to me whenever people say that people in developing countries have to take care of their own problems. I wonder if they realize how they would be living if they had been caged inside a bounded undeveloped region and withheld access to education, technology, and economic means of development.
 
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Let's steer this thread back into the realm of sensibility and order (Impossible on the Internet, everyone knows that :P)...

brainstorm brings up part of a view that I share, generalized into seeing nationalistic ideas as utterly irrelevant. It limits social mobility both within a country and between nations, obviously effecting the economic conditions in every nation that adopts this kind of fortress-<country> mentality. As this grows, your nationalists become more irrational, eventually violent (or otherwise stagnant and therefore irrational in a postmodern, hi tech, etc., blah blah blah world - we all know how fast-paced current society is).

Immigration is an obvious issue; ignoring the decreasing rate of latin american immigration (and the increasing rate from elsewhere), the nationalistic idea that the US should be a closed-borders, "American"-only society is idiotic. This issue was hammered to death in another locked thread, so I'll leave immigration for now though I hope that it is apparent that nationalism acts only as a detriment.

All of the negatives have been discussed and rediscussed; the positives? What's anyone's ideal society? An egalitarian one, of course (I'm assuming this is one important "end-game" goal, though I think it could function today in the US... that's for another thread). Oh, but wait. "We must protect the Meritocracy," or else something very similar to that, is spouted out nonsensically by your ultra-nationalists (Tea Party, Libertarians, Neocons, Conservatives, occasionally Liberals, anyone?). Being the backbone of the US (a Meritocracy, I mean), any sort of equality/social programs are difficult to pass through any level of government. Technological progress can move forward. The funding, application, and mass utilization of that tech isn't exactly forthcoming, however (i.e. renewable energy).

Another assumed positive: Democracy. Rule by the majority. You have your nice, tiered centralized government all across the US (which I'll continue to use as our main example). Ah, but here lies another problem: How easy is it to manipulate a majority? You can fright people into not exercising their rights (A problem up until the 1960s in voting, in some ways even today it remains one though almost as a non-issue). You can keep them uneducated and them suggest that an uneducated life isn't a terrible one (and this is terribly difficult to resolve). You could always solve these seemingly obvious problems through increased funding: Take away from fluff (a portion of the military, which I hope someone covers later on as I won't, as well as other excesses and inefficiencies) and refunnel it to places that need it. This is primarily the education system. Coming from California... it's not happening soon.

Would you like you know the astonishing answer as to why? After all, it's a big problem: education translates into a validation of a Meritocracy (our nation, the focus of nationalism). Here it is: People don't care. More importantly, the majority doesn't care enough to sacrifice some of x program (plug your favorite one in) to benefit education.

This is leading nowhere. Your nationalists will carry you nowhere. Your ultra nationalists will make things worse. How do we fix it? Remove the emphasis on nationalism. Stop calling the military valiant heroes. Take out the moral fluff when it is quite honestly not necessary. Improve the education system. Provide wide-ranging social benefit programs. Use the lowest-tier of society as a benchmark. Anger the hell out of the wealthiest citizens. Let the highest tier corporations leave should conditions suggest they should. Reform the country by rebuilding it. This time around, avoid nationalistic leaders that, whether for an ostensible or real reason, rouse the deep-seated nation-loving emotions too many people share.

Ah, and another important part: remove the Democracy for a temporary period of time, or else replace it with something more efficient.

Now, all of this nonsensical stuff will no longer appear:
Why is the invasion of Iraq relevant here?
Envision an America circa 2100 with 100 million people living in shantytowns with no electricity.
Nuclear power. Ridiculous. It's not going to happen.
Get the picture?


But this is TL;DR AND IS THEREFORE A GIANT WALL OF DEADLY TEXT. IT is too late over here, so I leave it up to you guys to eat this post alive. Maybe I'll have thrown in a good idea or two. Just read this:

There are plenty of holes here (particularly problems with motivating members of an egalitarian society to strive above and beyond, and all of that jazz). The entire patriotism/nationalism problem is very general, so reshape societal organization (at least change government, throw it out and start from scratch), and only then will it be realistic to consider implementing large-scale solutions to those very general problems facing us today: Energy use, Pollution, Climate change, Poverty, 3rd-world distress and war, bickering low-tier nationalistic leaders (I'm pointing at Venezuela, Iran, North Korea, etc.). Move on to the specifics. Ultimately this won't just redirect where the money flows, but most importantly where the public attention is locked onto.

Now here is the real question: How the hell do you go about doing all of this, even gradually (but I prefer: violently :D)?

Just my 2c and overly-long post.
 
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I agree with your basic perspective that nationalism hinders more than it helps (for most people in most situations globally, anyway, although not exclusively). Still, I think you are misunderstanding some aspects:

As this grows, your nationalists become more irrational, eventually violent (or otherwise stagnant and therefore irrational in a postmodern, hi tech, etc., blah blah blah world - we all know how fast-paced current society is).
You should understand that having "fast paced society" is really more in-line with nationalism than it is opposed to it. Technological progress makes economic processes more efficient, meaning you can do more for more people in less time. Why, then, does 'society' become more fast-paced instead of less demanding, which would be logical with more efficient and mechanized production processes? The reason, oversimplified perhaps, is that social complexity allows for more forms of interaction through more network channels, because larger numbers of people are integrated in multiple networks.

National unification originally facilitated this kind of social bustle by promoting standardized language, regulation, cultural norms, scheduling/time, etc. In this sense, nationalism was a form (part) of globalization that created the idea of homogeneity in translocalism.

You shouldn't think that it is not possible to increase the self-sustainability and relative independence of localities without isolating and insulating them against interaction, including intermigration with other relatively self-sustaining localities. In my view, the US republic was always meant to allow free movement among localities, but people were always supposed to operate as independently as possible in doing, as good stewards of natural and social resources. People were free to migrate and harness the bounty of nature, but they were not supposed to pillage or leave resources depleted for those who came after them. Why should this not be true of the world globally?

), the nationalistic idea that the US should be a closed-borders, "American"-only society is idiotic.
national identity is not a logical basis for regulating migration. ability to steward resources is a better one. Still, you cannot evict people from everywhere because of their short-comings, or channel them to 'dump' regions - so you're left with the rights of the inept that have to be respected, of which some form of "homeland" may play a role. I.e. people should really not be clinging ethnically, but in reality venturing into the cosmopolitan diaspora exposes people to ethnic violence and/or economic discrimination and so it makes sense for them to have an economy to retreat to rather than become casualties of diaspora. But how can diaspora and homeland be balanced to promote both parts of people's lives, i.e. the venturing out as well as the seeking refuge?

"We must protect the Meritocracy," or else something very similar to that, is spouted out nonsensically by your ultra-nationalists (Tea Party, Libertarians, Neocons, Conservatives, occasionally Liberals, anyone?). Being the backbone of the US (a Meritocracy, I mean), any sort of equality/social programs are difficult to pass through any level of government.
Meritocracy is a simulation of an imagined free market situation in which people with better skills fare better economically. It is a simulation because the skills learned are not utilized directly, but rather tested and translated into credentials that are rewarded with money, i.e. the means to consume what is mostly produced by others. People defend this as division of labor in a complex modern economy, but at the individual level it translates into relatively litte control over one's own economic productivity.

Another assumed positive: Democracy. Rule by the majority. You have your nice, tiered centralized government all across the US (which I'll continue to use as our main example). Ah, but here lies another problem: How easy is it to manipulate a majority?not happening soon.
A lot of people misunderstand democracy as centralized representative government that represents the majority and exercises domination over non-majority, but this is just one part of democracy - i..e the part that checks minority autonomy. Minorities also have the ability to check majority power through courts and lobbying, as well as simply through free speech and public critique. Bush was strongly majority-endorsed initially, but became a critic of majoritarianism by the latter part of his presidency. Both functions are part of democracy.

Ah, and another important part: remove the Democracy for a temporary period of time, or else replace it with something more efficient.
What could you possibly replace democracy with that would liberate people from nationalism or some other form of oppression? Don't assume that democracy promotes nationalism just because the US national ideology is about democracy and freedom. It does occur that people usurp the ideals of democracy and freedom to promote relative forms of authoritarianism BUT it's important not to throw the baby out with the bath water. The US is really nothing more than a fairly elaborate and successful ideological project to promote republic, democracy, etc. in practical application. People can construe the US as being about a "people" or specific economic practices, but who the people have become and the economic practices they engage in are really just the latest expression of the freedom promoted by US ideology. So democracy and freedom should be able to be carried forward in a way that doesn't sacrifice some people's work and opportunities to promote others. But people who have "attained the dream" should also not forget how freedom and democracy facilitated it and continue to facilitate their freedom to construct their own way of life, and support this for others as well, imo.
 
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This statement illustrates a major problem with nationalism. It promotes the assumption that some people are more natural subsidiaries of progress (scientific, technological, and economic) than others.
Not true, as I stated, if people in another country are in pursuit of technological development that is beneficial to both countries, then such a partnership is perfectly fine.

Why would you assume that random people are natural subsidiaries of progress in the developed world just because they have been recognized as having the same nationality as other people who developed the science, technologies, and economic institutions that benefit them?
Ummmm, .....because they typically paid for it......:confused:

Imagine that a person living in the mountains or a rural undeveloped community in the 19th century had been denied access to developing urban regions and education. If that had happened, there would be even more underdeveloped individuals in developed nations than there already are. For this reason, it seems quite arrogant to me whenever people say that people in developing countries have to take care of their own problems. I wonder if they realize how they would be living if they had been caged inside a bounded undeveloped region and withheld access to education, technology, and economic means of development.
They do have to take care of their own problems, don't expect others to solve all your woes. Apparently, you think everyone should be given handouts and free passes. That's your opinion, we are all entitled to one; however, don't think that makes you some sort of moral champion.
 
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