Communism, Democracy, and Anarchy

  • Thread starter Ishop
  • Start date
  • #1
Communism is for the intellegent dreamer,
Anarchy is for the ignorant dreamer,
Democracy is for the realistic.

Democracy, unlike the other two, is compatable with human nature. The problem with the other two is that it does not take into account that human nature is greed and power. Survival of the fitest. Unfortuantly Survival of the fitest is not mostly beneficial as it seems in society. So what we get is a dull, unmoralistic working democracy. Anarchy cannot work simply because of the nature of it. No government. The problem is that someone somewhere will start to gain authority (human nature) and eventually a dictatorship will rise (not anarchy). Of course there is no way for anarchy to defend itself simply because there is no government in which to enforce non-government. I think we've all seen the problems with Communism, it doesn't work because man will seek out more power than he is alloted in Communism and corrupt it. Democracy, while working the best of the three, still has its potential of coruption. However since the power is dispursed to many instead of just a few or one, the coruption isn't as severe and it can be held.

Question: Is there a better way we have not yet used? Another form of government that we have not come up with.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
zk4586
87
1
Another form of government that we have not come up with.

How would we know?
 
  • #3
wuliheron
2,135
0
Exactly, this is nothing short of pure propoganda and has no place on the philosophy bulletin board. For your information, communism and democracy are not mutually exclusive terms. Fascism is the word you are hunting for, and ignorant statements such as this contribute to the spread of fascism.
 
  • #4
zk4586, i was asking for some ideas in coming up with one, not that there is one and we just don't know it. Sorry, should have made it more clear I suppose.

wuliheron, where did all that come from? If it doesn't belong on the board then it will be moved, its not your decission. For your information communism, democracy, and anarchy are philosophies so yes they belong on a philosophy forum. And no, I do not mean facism. I said communism, I meant communism. How dare you call my statement ignorant and say that they lead to facism! You don't know me. Propaganda defined by Websters Dictionary is: ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause I have no cause here. Only wishing intellegent conversation of new ideas in government. There's no need to viciously attack someones thread like that. You seem to acuse me of having agendas every time we are on the same thread. No one else reads these. Nothing will change and I will not become ruler of the world someday because I wrote something on some forum. If you have nothing intellegent to put forth do not say anything at all. Stop upping the count of your posts by ridiculing every thread I start or post in.
 
  • #5
Democracy, unlike the other two, is compatable with human nature.

This is absurd. We have seen communism is the same sense that we have seen democracy. Both have been patterns of human behavior. Communism failed in Russia not because it was battling against human nature but because it was poorly economically managed. Cuba is still in "communism" (again, in the same sense that I can use "democracy') and still better off than it was under American set-up dictatorships before Castro. I am not a communist. I am definitely not a Communist. Our "democracy" is better in most ways than any modern "communism" anyone has seen or thought of (in the industrial world).

This brings me to my next point: Both Democracy and Communism ideally are forms of anarchy. Anarchy is simply a system of free association. The perfect (but overly idealistic and mystical) example of pure democracy is Locke's natural world populated by natural man. Here government is simply a system of reciprocal trust to protect rights - it is constituted by men who freely associate. In pure Communism the revolution ends and the proletariat shares both in communal resources and political rights. So, anarchy can be seen as simply an idealized liberal government based upon free association. It should be mentioned that "pure democracy" (at least in any Englightenment driven post-Roman philosophical sense) must also have shared resources. Property has to be separated from from resources. This is because property is created by an individual out of the communally owned "world". If Locke wrote 150 years later, he would have had to stuipulate, like Marx, some type of distribuation of wealth (distribuation of wealth in Marxism is philosophically arrived at to harmonize the dialect of prodoction and the means of production - in order for Locke to keep his core premise of "natural rights" he would have been forced to say the same in an industrial context).

What does this all mean? Nothing other than you are really, really wrong. Theory is nice but it hardly ever gets one anywhere - this is because there is no nice little box to conceptualize human political and economic interaction. There will always be problems. As a liberal who believes that democracy has the most promise for the future I can only say this: We will never be done. We have no map to go by. All we can do is try to learn more and see what works in certain circumstances. Circumstances will never be the same so solutions will never be the same. Sometimes it takes imagination and experimentation. What we should do (here is the ethnocentric liberalism) is try to expand the benefits we, the lucky few, have received (regretably, often times by exploiting others). We have to learn about different types of people we normally wouldn't associate with. Litterature and ethnography are great for this. This does not mean we have to accept or respect what we find, often times we won't and can't. But by creating dialague, by creating conversation, we find the only hope for progress (progress in, I admit, a very ethnocentric context),
 
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  • #6
zk4586
87
1
There does seems to be this common misconception that communism has actually developed in some countries. If one is talking about true communism, the way Karl Marx envisioned it, then one must concede that no country has ever gotten past the socialist revolution.
 
  • #7
wuliheron
2,135
0
wuliheron, where did all that come from? If it doesn't belong on the board then it will be moved, its not your decission. For your information communism, democracy, and anarchy are philosophies so yes they belong on a philosophy forum. And no, I do not mean facism.

For your information I Live on an Anarchistic Commune which practices Democracy.

http://www.ic.org/acorn/

Again, these are not mutually exclusive terms by any stretch of the imagination. Nor are they philosophies, they are lifestyles. There exists a great deal of philosophy that supports each lifestyle, but ideas are not the reality. There is no single philosophy anyone wrote called "democracy" because it is not a philosophy any more than "matriarchy", "patriarchy", "mob rule", etc. are philosophies.

There's no need to viciously attack someones thread like that. You seem to acuse me of having agendas every time we are on the same thread. No one else reads these.

Sorry, but this thread is personally insulting. I'm not accusing you of having any private agenda here, just of ignorantly regurgitating rather insulting propoganda.

In general more communistic countries claim that without financial equality democracy is impossible while more capitalistic countries stress the right to vote. They are both correct as far as I am concerned. Without equality democracy is impossible.

What distinguishes a wild mob from a democratic group is equality and considered decission making. The ancient Athenian motto was, "Strike if you must! But hear me first!" Modern democracies all have constitutional rights to protect the minorities against the majority which can and will take care of itself, sometimes at the expense of the minorities.
 
  • #8
FZ+
1,599
3
I would step in and say that what matter is not how well a government fits the amorphous entity of human nature to decide which is better, but how well it fits in with the culture of the nation in which it is conducted. In many early, militaristic civilisations, dictatorships were in fact best, prizing the values of individual strength, stability and vigor that these civilisations found important. There is no one holy "best" way.
 
  • #9
arivero
Gold Member
3,398
123
ok, let's speak of it

I do not like to enter this kind of question because of the propaganda war and all that. But well, let's go. I'll try to get attached to science and physics, by the way :)

The question of survival of the fittest was addressed by Kropotkin in his book "Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution". http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/kropotkin/mutaidcontents.html. One of his motivations to write the book was to counterweight the political use of Evolution Theory. Kropotkin was naturalist and geologist (compare with E. Reclus, another famous anarchist thinker). So he agreed with Darwin from the point of view of Natural Selection, but strongly disagreed with Huxley, Thomas Henry, because of the so-called Social Darwinism, which was interested reinterpretation of the Theory. TH Huxley was indeed the author of the 1888 article "The Struggle for Existence and Its Bearing upon Man".

Say that, the real papers converting me towards anarchism where the Conquest of Bread, http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/kropotkin/conquest/toc.html, (specially chapter 9, http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/kropotkin/conquest/ch9.html) as well as its companion volume, Fields, Factories and WorkShops, http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/kropotkin/fields.html and in a minor way an small booklet titled "Science and Anarchy", http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/kropotkin/science/toc.html.

These works pointed to the possibility of a model where capital flows without restrictions, increasing productivity over the limits of capitalist models. I sketched this point in my pamphlet "Overproduction goal, or Why property is thief",
http://www.algonet.se/~rsm/actual/archive/overprod.htm [Broken]. Also, from the point of view of econophysics, or Physics of Ownership one can interpret Kropotkin's economies as a kind of scale-invariant economy from were capitalism comes as a perturbation, exactly the same way that a first-order transition comes from a second-order transition... if market had a renormalization group, Anarchist economies would be the fixed points from which the renormalized lines outflow.

Yours,

Alejandro


PS: The Cynosure pointers are mirrored in http://ispp.org/Anarchist_Archives/index.html
 
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  • #10
wuliheron, I could care less what your response is. Your first post was not warranted and you are not talking on the subject this thread was meant for. You said:
Again, these are not mutually exclusive terms by any stretch of the imagination. Nor are they philosophies, they are lifestyles.
Hold on, let me go tell the professors in the Humanities department to stop teaching Marx in their philosophy classes lol.
You also said:
For your information I Live on an Anarchistic Commune which practices Democracy

Then you live in a democratic commune. Most probably you are simplifying the arrangement of authority where you live so I will not argue about where you live since you live there and I do not. However a commune is not a government. It is a commune. ANd this thread is about governments. Most likely your form of authority on this commune would not work with millions or billions. Try going to the hood and telling them "okay, no more cops, we're just going to agree to be equal and work together" BANG!

FZ, interesting outlook. Don't you think that a change of government can change that culture though?

zk4586, exactly. I am talking about the philosophy of communism, not the actual misused practice of it. The communism being practiced today and in the past is not the perfect model of communism. Niether is the democracy in America. No government will ever be practiced with perfection because of coruption. The idea of communism is actually a superior form of government than democracy. However the practice of it by humans makes it fall a great deal short of democracy which is created more constructivley for reality.

RageSk8, of course there is working communism, I did not mean to say that there wasn't. However you do bring up the economic problems of Russia and to be honest Cuba itslef is not a rich country. China is also having problem economicaly. Not that America isn't but come on, obviously we are the richest nation in the world. Capitalism seem to be a better part of the argument here. China considering capitalism nationwide, much like Hong Kong already practices showed that capitalism is the best working economic status right now. I could see communism working economicly only if the entire world was communist.
 
  • #11
wuliheron
2,135
0
wuliheron, I could care less what your response is. Your first post was not warranted and you are not talking on the subject this thread was meant for.

Your original post is promoting social darwinism using capitalism disguised as democracy. If you don't like the fact that I and others are protesting this and offering counter arguments, perhaps your vision of "democracy" doesn't include free speach.

Then you live in a democratic commune. Most probably you are simplifying the arrangement of authority where you live so I will not argue about where you live since you live there and I do not. However a commune is not a government. It is a commune. ANd this thread is about governments.

To govern is to limit or steer as in steer a ship of state. Size is not an issue. Virtually every organization from the red cross to the co-op bakery has their own internal government.

Most likely your form of authority on this commune would not work with millions or billions. Try going to the hood and telling them "okay, no more cops, we're just going to agree to be equal and work together" BANG!

Maybe where you live in your ivory towers they can be depended for the protection of lilly white heterosexual conservative americans, but not where I live and there are countless millions like me across the US. The increasing popularity of handguns, school shootings, race riots, and rap music among other things provide graphic proof of how highly regarded your cops, laws, state, and federal governments are as protectors and promoters of the peace.

You can depend upon the cops, but I'll go out and buy a gun of my own before ever calling those pigs again. Been there, done that. My daughter was mollested twice and all the cops did was ask the person who molested her if we were growing pot. Then the person who molested her shot our van full of nine mm holes and, again, nothing from the pigs but trouble. Of course, they also threatened to lock me up if I don't report any future problems.

My sista Nell just got bit by a rat, and whities on the moon playing golf. They aren't interested in justice or protecting people, that's not what they get paid for no matter what their motto is.

As for democracy vs communism, I still say the two are not mutually exclusive terms. However, I will admit that no large scale communist government has yet become democratic. However, many democracies have increasingly become more socialistic. Just as laze fare capitalism is no longer viable, neither is communism.

However, socialism leaning towards communism has proven viable and, in fact, England during WWII is often cited to have been the most communistic country during the last hundred years. When survival is threatened, not to mentional the money and assets of capitalists, they'll cough up the goods and share like good little boys and girls.
 
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  • #12
There are really two different concepts here that must be parsed out. There are systems of GOVERNMENT and systems of ECONOMICS.

Communism is more a system of government than of economics, and so belongs on the same spectrum with democracy, oligarchy, monarchy, anarchy, etc.

But Communism is usually thought of as administering an ECONOMIC system of SOCIALISM, which belongs on the spectrum with capitalism. However, it's possible for there to be other combinations of economic and governmental systems than we've seen in application.

For instance, the communist party is merely a political party, like any other. If we voted in a communist president, and then voted in a bunch of communist laws, we'd have a communistic democracy. What we had in russia was basically a tyrany (tyranical oligarchy that is) enforcing a one-party system, which happened to be the communist party.

Now, the communists like socialism, or really a variant of it, and it is really more often this ECONOMIC system that people talk about when they bring in the subject of human nature.

I myself am convinced that capitalism is not only superior to socialism in the sense of practicality, but also morally superior to it. Those who would advocate a socialistic democracy do not realize that the ability to own property it intrinsically linked to liberty. Socialism therefore inevitably leads to corruption and state-dominated systems of oppression.

It's true that Marx's version of communism has never been realized - and that is because it can only take place in a fantasy world, where human motivation is completely ignored. Therefore, Ishop is onto a real point when he brings up "human nature" although some of our definitions and categories may be a little unclear.

Capitalism may not be perfect, and it may require a "plugging up" of its holes, such as help for the needy, equal education opportunities, minimum wages, and basic medical care for all). Nevertheless, it IS a far cry better than socialism - An ideology (and YES - both a philosophy and a lifestyle) which denies basic human motivation and the ethical imperative of ownership and reward for work.
 
  • #13
wuliheron
2,135
0
com·mu·nism

A theoretical economic system characterized by the collective ownership of property and by the organization of labor for the common advantage of all members.

If communism is a form of government than capitalism and socialism are also forms of government. Money and ownership are no doubt central issues any government must deal with, but bottom line what distinguishes different types of government is how the government itself is organized and functions.

As for the superiority of capitalism over socialism, you couldn't tell that from studying the demographics. The US, that bastion of capitalism, has consistently refused to sign any of the UN human rights charters for over thirty years now. Both Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch groups are actively campaining against the US. Among other things, some eighty or ninty percent of all children in the US live around the poverty line.

You can, of course, call these merely "cracks" in the system, but they are systemic cracks involving large percentages of the population. Less capitalistic and more democratic governments exist that do not have these kinds of systemic problems. I'll take results over moral superiority any day of the week.
 
  • #14
wuliheron said:
Among other things, some eighty or ninty percent of all children in the US live around the poverty line.
What "High Times" magazine did you get that from? LOL.
Your original post is promoting social darwinism using capitalism disguised as democracy.
No its not. It's not promoting anything, just asking for new ideas in government. If you have a problem with my ideas on government then respond like an intellegent adult. Not like:
Maybe where you live in your ivory towers they can be depended for the protection of lilly white heterosexual conservative americans, but not where I live and there are countless millions like me across the US. The increasing popularity of handguns, school shootings, race riots, and rap music among other things provide graphic proof of how highly regarded your cops, laws, state, and federal governments are as protectors and promoters of the peace.
Why am I reminded of high school kids?

Your personal experiences with police have no bearing on the subject of government. Your views are extreme and I seriously doubt your numbers are in the "countless millions". Show me a million man anarchist walk and I'll agree lol. I'm tired of listening to these childish remarks. You do nothing but pick arguements with anyone you can. People either ignore you or you kill any chance of real thought with your useless and unwarranted bickering. You damage these boards more than anyone else. I'm tired of dealing with idiots like yourself. I'm finished with this board.

PS: Maybe you could count on police for your families protection better if you didn't choose to live in a anarchist commune. Why did you call the police if you live in an anarchist commune? Seems hypocritical. Don't bother answering. I'm deleting the link to here. Dealing with you only lowers everyones IQ and NO ONE agrees with you.
 
  • #15
wuliheron
2,135
0
What "High Times" magazine did you get that from? LOL.

Laugh all you want, that particular figure comes from Utne magazine, the largest and most respected alternative publication in the US. If you like, here is a website dedicated to collecting such statistics. The US consistently has had two and three times the childhood poverty rates of any modern western nation.

http://www.nccp.org/main4.html [Broken]

The figures are dismal and have always been dismal. The richest country in the world has the worst human rights record for children of any country in the developed world and refuses to sign the UN charter for children's human rights. One in three girls is molested, one in five boys. One quarter of all women are raped and one third of all rapes involve children under 11 years old.

No its not. It's not promoting anything, just asking for new ideas in government.

I maintain it is ignorant regurgitation of right wing capitalist propoganda with serious darwinian socialism overtones.

If you have a problem with my ideas on government then respond like an intellegent adult.

Oh, so I should be making derogatory remarks about your sources such as referring to them as "High Times" magazine and laughing about the plight of children. Much more mature.


Your personal experiences with police have no bearing on the subject of government. Your views are extreme and I seriously doubt your numbers are in the "countless millions". Show me a million man anarchist walk and I'll agree lol.

What ivory tower were you hiding in during the Rodney King riots. Million man marches are not the only way to protest. Columbine and other forms of protest have become more popular since the love-in days of the sixties. The politicians and majority have clearly demonstrated since Reagan was elected they couldn't care less, so people are taking matters into their own hands when desperation sets in.

What comes around goes around. Call it extreme if you want, but it is the majority and the politicians who have created this extreme situation. If they hadn't spent a ton of money creating the largest prison population in history it'd be even worse.
 
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  • #16
Seems we have a breakdown in definitions here. I'd like to take the time to point out that capitalism is NOT A FORM OF GOVERNMENT, it is an economic system.

From Dictionary.com:

cap·i·tal·ism ( P ) Pronunciation Key (kp-tl-zm)
n.
An economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and development is proportionate to the accumulation and reinvestment of profits gained in a free market.

Communism is both:

com·mu·nism ( P ) Pronunciation Key (kmy-nzm)
n.
A theoretical economic system characterized by the collective ownership of property and by the organization of labor for the common advantage of all members.
Communism
A system of government in which the state plans and controls the economy and a single, often authoritarian party holds power, claiming to make progress toward a higher social order in which all goods are equally shared by the people.
The Marxist-Leninist version of Communist doctrine that advocates the overthrow of capitalism by the revolution of the proletariat.

And socialism, in a way:

so·cial·ism ( P ) Pronunciation Key (ssh-lzm)
n.
Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.
The stage in Marxist-Leninist theory intermediate between capitalism and communism, in which collective ownership of the economy under the dictatorship of the proletariat has not yet been successfully achieved.

Democracy is split up into several definitions:

de·moc·ra·cy ( P ) Pronunciation Key (d-mkr-s)
n. pl. de·moc·ra·cies
Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives.
A political or social unit that has such a government.
The common people, considered as the primary source of political power.
Majority rule.
The principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community.

And:

pure democracy
n.
A democracy in which the power to govern lies directly in the hands of the people rather than being exercised through their representatives.

A common mistake is to consider the United States of America as a democracy rather than a republic.

re·pub·lic ( P ) Pronunciation Key (r-pblk)
n.
1.
a. A political order whose head of state is not a monarch and in modern times is usually a president.
b. A nation that has such a political order.
2.
a. A political order in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who are entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them.
b. A nation that has such a political order.

The United States of America were originally designed to follow definition 2a of a republic. People forget this.

That aside, one must determine the proper role of a government before they can decide the ideal form of same. So, what do you want your government to do? I expect my government to respect and protect my rights and the rights of others. I expect my government to deal with foreign nations in such a way as to serve to protect and respect my rights and the rights of my fellow citizens. I expect my government to protect my interests and the interests of my fellow citizens - preemtively when possible, vengefully if necessary - through whatever means are appropriate - preferably diplomatic, but by force if necessary. While the republic that stands in the United States is not perfect, it does an acceptable job at performing these tasks to suit my tastes, though I do not argue that it has its flaws.

I do not expect my government to provide charity to those who are too lazy to work. I will tolerate my government supporting those who are unable to work. I do not expect my government to deal with foreign nations who deny people their rights with the same degree of diplomacy as they would a nation who protects and respects the rights of their own citizens. I expect my government to recognize my sovereignty and to not try to forfeit it to some foreign body.

Last, but not least, I expect my government to leave me alone when it comes to matters that do not concern them. If my actions do not interfere with the rights of others, then my actions do not concern them. But then, that's just me. What do you want from your government?

PS. >Sorry my post is so long, just had to get that off my chest.<
 
  • #17
wuliheron
2,135
0
Just as the Soviet Union regulated its economy, the US regulates its economy. With a rather complex system I might add in which one quarter of the population's income goes to the federal government. Although the Soviet Union theoretically owned everything, that just wasn't the reality. Half their economy was the black market and individuals still had to buy their own washers and dryers, etc.

Thus, such dictionary definitions of communism as a form of government are meaningless propoganda to me. They simply do not reflect the reality of what we call communism much less capitalism.

As for socialism, that definition is yet another gross oversimplification of the reality as well. There are literally hundreds of definitions of socialism, but essentially they break down to the idea of property being owned and regulated for the public good rather than just for the necessity of the government to continue functioning. Most socialist countries just own the more basic economic engines of their economies such as the chemical industries, power, etc.

The US government owned and operated the postal service for the common good, but could easily make a case it is not a socialist country because it only did so out of necessity. Eventually it did actually farm that particular business out to private business, but notably it still owns such things as the national park system in the name of the public good. And, yes, the US is a republic, but it is a representative democratic republic. We elect officals who elect and appoint other officals.

I hope that isn't too confusing, but that's politics. I'm no political expert, but I do know enough to recognize gross over simplifications and political rhetoric.
 
  • #18
The United States are hardly perfect, far from it, in fact. That said, I cannot think of another governmental system that has been tried that I would prefer to live under. That is not the point of the original poster's question, though. The question was: "can we think of a better form of government than any that has been tried?".

I've already given a list of what I expect from my government, so find me one that can do that. That would be better than what the United States currently have. Until then, while the US government isn't perfect, it's close enough for jazz.
 
  • #19
drag
Science Advisor
1,100
1
Greetings !
Originally posted by Ishop
Communism is for the intellegent dreamer,
Anarchy is for the ignorant dreamer,
Democracy is for the realistic.

Democracy, unlike the other two, is compatable with human nature. The problem with the other two is that it does not take into account that human nature is greed and power. Survival of the fitest. Unfortuantly Survival of the fitest is not mostly beneficial as it seems in society. So what we get is a dull, unmoralistic working democracy. Anarchy cannot work simply because of the nature of it. No government. The problem is that someone somewhere will start to gain authority (human nature) and eventually a dictatorship will rise (not anarchy). Of course there is no way for anarchy to defend itself simply because there is no government in which to enforce non-government. I think we've all seen the problems with Communism, it doesn't work because man will seek out more power than he is alloted in Communism and corrupt it. Democracy, while working the best of the three, still has its potential of coruption. However since the power is dispursed to many instead of just a few or one, the coruption isn't as severe and it can be held.

Question: Is there a better way we have not yet used? Another form of government that we have not come up with.
This is superb Ishop !

Your first paragraph is extremely accurate
and your question is something I've often wodered
about but never found an alternative (so far).
I think this is a very important and interesting
subject to discuss.

You're central paragraph is also very general but
accurate nevertheless. I'd like to though, if I may,
offer a small change in the sentence - "Democracy...
is compatable with human nature." What you say after
that already shows this not to be the case.
A more appropriate claim would probably be -
"Democracy... is the best currently known
way to allow a large human society to
exist and prosper despite human nature."

So, any ideas people ?

Live long and prosper.
 
  • #20
drag
Science Advisor
1,100
1
Greetings !

I can think of "limmited" democracies like
vote and rule rights for military/high education
people, but they all seem to lead to
disadvantages like uneven rule.

Maybe increasing the vote age a bit.
Or, maybe choosing presidents for
shorter/longer periods.

Any other ideas ?

Live long and prosper.
 
  • #21
Njorl
Science Advisor
285
17
New form of government:

HIVE MENTALITY

In the near future we can genetically engineer a super being of nearly transcendent intelligence and wisdom. To eliminate the possibility of jealous rivalry, there will only be one at a time. Other beings will be gnetically engineered to fill various niches in our model society. Thinkers will be made with great intelligence, but no envy. Workers will be made who enjoy labor with minimal reward. All will have obedience to the super-being bred into them. It will be a utopia. Please let me die before I see it!

Njorl
 
  • #22
wuliheron
2,135
0
Any other ideas ?

Abraham Lincon said he freed the slaves because the majority never would have. Maybe he was exaggerating a bit, but there is little doubt it might have required another hundred years to occur otherwise. Similar laws have been created and struck down, such as Row vs Wade, that overturned the strongly held opinions of the majority for better or worse.

Supposidly the better alternative to communist, socialist, and capitalist democracies and republicanism is Meritocracy... rule by the good deed doers. This might sound like so much pie in the sky wishy-washy liberal thinking, but there is a great deal of precident to suggest this is indeed where the world is headed.

Grameen Bank presents one of the clearer examples of this newly emerging trend and how it is expected to change the world dramatically along with future technological developments ( http://www.grameen-info.org/ ).

Essentially, ninty percent of the world's economy today is pure speculation, mostly in the stock market, on what will be the next hot development. The result has been that in twenty years the oceans are estimated to no longer be commercially fishable, in fifty years every land animal larger than a dog is expected to be extinct or only exist in zoos. Currently the Japanese are sinking rainforest harvested trees in the deep pacific expecting that their value will skyrocket when they become either extinct or too rare to cut down anymore.

The world's food reserves are now at an all time low, the topsoil is washing away, etc. etc. etc. Short of several technological miracles occurring, either Meritocracies and bootstrap systems like Grameen Bank become ubiquitous in the near future or chaos will result. Even the supposidly greatest economists and ecological scientists in the world today agree on this point. As usual, however, I expect national governments and economies to remain reactionary for the most part and lag behind in these developments which will be largely grass roots in origin.
 
  • #23
drag
Science Advisor
1,100
1
Greetings !
Originally posted by wuliheron
Supposidly the better alternative to communist, socialist, and capitalist democracies and republicanism is Meritocracy... rule by the good deed doers.
Who will separate the good from the not good ?
Will the good excercise military strenght if the
not-good decide they've "had it" ?
Have you heard the expression - "Absolute power
corrupts absolutely." ?
Such a rule, again, is opposed to human nature and
hence it can not last.

I think that the key point of searching for
a good social order is not to try to please
and "fit" everyone's wishes and opinions - human
nature, but rather to search for an order
that will allow people to co-exist in the
best possible way while their human nature does
not conflict with that order and each other.
Originally posted by wuliheron
Grameen Bank presents one of the clearer examples of this newly emerging trend and how it is expected to change the world dramatically along with future technological developments...
I disagree with that having any connection
or positive effect on the world.

The point is that there are just too much of
us and we live too laxurious - high resource
demanding lives. How does giving money to people
help anything ?

It's always interesting to see these guys from
Green Peace opposing mining and so on and yet
supporting peace and "normal" life. Just how
do they think people are gon'na live ?!

People need their "space", the only way to stop
this is to limmit the people or seriously
limmit the life style (because other methods
like science and preservation can't keep up).
The majority of "average" people when
confronted with the question of whether to earn
their pay/limmit their life style or cut a
tree in the forest will make the logical and
only reasonable - to them, choice. And they'll
keep doing it until there are not enough trees
left and we all die from lack of oxygen, until
the ozone layer holes grow over the entire planet
and we all have cancer and until almost all
animals are extinct. The only way to stop it
is to have strict "birth" laws, like they do in China,
and thus decrease the world's population instead
of increasing it. And, as strange and cruel as it
may sound, a big war or two with lots of
cajualties could also help. When trees grow
you need to cut some of the branches to let
them grow better and upwards. But - nooo...
we are too obsessed with this sanctity of
human life stuff. And, of course, humans
are all knowing and all powerful and our
science can solve everything in time - we can't
just loose big time like this suddenly, no way !

And if you think I'm saying crazy stuff, just
keep living your "normal" lives as you do for
several more decades and the end will be
swift and painless - I hope.

But, that was way off topic...
So, forget about it... (in the De-Nero style):wink:

Live long and prosper.
 
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  • #24
wuliheron
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Who will separate the good from the not good ?
Will the good excercise military strenght if the
not-good decide they've "had it" ?

People will, just as the do now. It's a mistake to think of government as merely the offical system. To govern means to limit or to steer as in steering a ship. As I have already pointed out, the majority and the most powerful don't always get their way even in a democracy or dictatorship.

Twenty guys armed with nothing more than ten cent razor blades just brought the world's strongest economy to its knees. That situation isn't going to get better, its going to get worse. Either the US learns how to be a good deed doer and stop supporting repressive dictatorships and exploiting people for money, or it simply won't survive in the long run. Eventually the good deed doers themselves will shape who does what as everyone else gets the message and gives them the room they need to work.

This is essentially how nature works as well, if you insist on talking about "human nature". Aggression is advantageous in the wild, but too much is self-destructive and can threaten the group as well. Among chimps, if the Alpha male becomes too aggressive a chimp low in the hierarchy will sneak up behind him and bash his brains in with a club. If not, the females will jump behind the bushes with their favorite male the minute they go into heat and make sure the Alpha doesn't reproduce. Eventually he'll leave the troop and join a new one at the bottom of the social ladder.

A study of African tribal history and human history in general showed pretty much the same results as what I have described with the chimp troops. If one group was too violent all the others would gang up on them. The world just can't allow such insanity to continue much longer. The days of the expanding Roman, Mongal, European, and American empires are over. There is no more new frontier, we have got to make it here.
 
  • #25
Meritocracy... rule by the good deed doers.

I think I saw an episode of The Outer Limits like this once, well, not quite, anyway.

A bunch of women decided that men were the cause of too much violence and war in the world, so the decided to destroy them. Use of an airborne chemical agent that affected only the Y chromosome (sp?) killed something like 97% or 98% of the male population of the planet. The women then decided that the other 2 or 3% had to go, so they started killing them some other way (shooting them, I think). Some of these men escaped into the wilderness and hid out for a while and the women forgot about them. Propogation of the species was carried out through cloning, without the Y chromosome, and no more men were born. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, a man appeared who was too young to be a survivor of the original chemical attack, and when the women found out, they went nuts. They started trying to wipe out the men again, even though they had not been harmed by this man or any others in years.

Anyway, the point is, the "kinder, gentler, doers of good deeds" are not always the best people to govern the rest, it really depends on the situation. You can't account for all possibilities all of the time, so you have to try to account for most of the possibilites most of the time and hope the rest don't come back to bite you in the arse.

If we could trust Meritocracy to work, I'd be all for it, as it does sound like a better system on paper than anything else, and I'm sure it works on a smaller scale. Can it work on a national or multi-national level?
 
  • #26
wuliheron
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I think I saw an episode of The Outer Limits like this once, well, not quite,

Not even remotely, but it does bring up an important point. Ninty percent of all violent crimes are committed by young men between 18 and 25, and the majority of these men have been linked to a particular genetic makeup. Aggression as I said is supported in nature as survival advantage, but nature prefers to remain flexible on such details. Thus you have cultures like the !Kung who had only one serious rape, murder or theft every fourhundred years before the the white man came. Many have already suggested gene therapy to deal with the problem.

Anyway, the point is, the "kinder, gentler, doers of good deeds" are not always the best people to govern the rest, it really depends on the situation. You can't account for all possibilities all of the time, so you have to try to account for most of the possibilites most of the time and hope the rest don't come back to bite you in the arse.

"Kinder, gentler" are your words, not mine.

Grameen Bank doesn't just give money away, they demand services in return. The vast majority of the people they loan money to are women. The reason why is women are not only less violent, but tend to manage money better and be more reliable in keeping their end of the bargan. Grameen is now worth over a billion dollars and claims to have never had a single person renige on the bargan. The women make sure of that with the ferocity only an outraged mamma can bring to the situation.

However, Grameen presents a threat to loan sharks everywhere who prey on the destitute. If any of them attacked the bank though, they'd have hell to pay not only from these women but their husbands and everyone else as well. Other grass roots organizations such as this, like habitat for humanity, have also proven their ability to survive. In olden times, banks and other corporate interests might have easily destroyed such efforts.

I'm not talking about some kind of perfect lovey dovey Utopia. If you like fiction, Star Trek presents a much better example of the kind of meritocracy I am talking about. The behind the scenes story of Star Trek is that the Earth has become a meritocracy in which money plays a vanishingly small role. If someone wants something, they just walk up to the nearest replicator and ask for it. As for maintaining order and being prepared for the unexpected, they have star fleet which serves the entire world.

To a great extent, this process has already begun. As I've already said, ninty percent of the wealth of the world today is essentially speculation, in other words, information. Already one quarter of international trade today is barter trade. It simply makes no sense whatsoever to use money when the Russian Ruble changes value so quickly. Likewise, just as computers keep getting cheaper and more powerful every few years the same thing is happening across the board. Cars today cost one third what they used to, last three times as long, and come with lots of fluffy extras.

These are all trends economists and others have remarked upon for over ten years now. Huge changes in the world economy are expected sometime in the near future, but exactly what they will be and how it will occur are matters of intense speculation. However, a few things everyone agrees upon is that money will play a smaller role, information and barter trade will play an even larger role, and eventually these changes will entirely eclipse the current military/industrial complex just as it eclipsed the agracultural revolution.

I could go on and on, but if you wish to really understand long term economic, political, and cultural trends you should just read up on the subjects. What is certain is that describing them largely in terms of ancient fears, the present, and ethnocentric terms is misleading to say the least. Of all the people that have ever lived in civilization, half are alive today.
 
  • #27
drag
Science Advisor
1,100
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What's up with all that optimism Wuliheron ?
Why are people so headstrong and certain that
humanity will be all right and thrive, why
do they think that if they went so far then
there's no chance they can fall ?

Live long and prosper.
 
  • #28
wuliheron
2,135
0
The original question invites optimistic anaswers,

"What is a better form of government?"

In addition, nature and history provide optimism. Flexible species like humanity are survivors that adapt to changing conditions. People occupied every single continent on earth, for example, before the advent of civilization and today have no natural preditors.

However, if you want pessimism as well there is plenty that goes with this question. I already mentioned that twenty guys armed with razor blades just brought the world's largest economy to its knees. With the invasions of Afganistan and Iraq its evident the road to meritocracy will not be an easy one for countless millions.

The mongol empire is gone as is most of the culture that supported it, but the mongols remain. Albeit, almost as impoverished as ever. It was this extreme poverty that compelled them to invade china by the millions when starvation set in and the chinese to build enough walls to circle the Earth 36 times. Today, the Han chinese are the decendents of some of these mongols and the remaining mongols' war horses have been replaced by food aid. Not an easy way to get a bite to eat.
 
  • #29
drag
Science Advisor
1,100
1
Originally posted by wuliheron
However, if you want pessimism as well there is plenty that goes with this question. I already mentioned that twenty guys armed with razor blades just brought the world's largest economy to its knees. With the invasions of Afganistan and Iraq its evident the road to meritocracy will not be an easy one for countless millions.
That is not what I'm talking about, but
that is a clear example of the optimism
part. Everyone thinks that history is a
good guide and shows that we always adapt.
But, in the past we always had where to
go. At present, the human race reproduces
at such rate that soon the planet will
not be able to support us in many ways
even condsidering the most dramatic scientific
and engeneering achievments.

Getting back to the subject of this thread,
purhaps, in light of the above, we need
to think in terms of global goverments
taking drastic steps to save us from
these potential future catastrophies.

Live long and prosper.
 
  • #30
wuliheron
2,135
0
Everyone thinks that history is a
good guide and shows that we always adapt.
But, in the past we always had where to
go. At present, the human race reproduces
at such rate that soon the planet will
not be able to support us in many ways
even condsidering the most dramatic scientific
and engeneering achievments.

Actually, the latest census figures show that AIDS and other problems are slowing down population growth. Many have also argued that the remaining overpopulation problems are largely due to women being unempowered. In other words, whether or not science and technological developements will be able to keep pace is still up in the air. They may not have to keep pace for one thing.

Getting back to the subject of this thread,
purhaps, in light of the above, we need
to think in terms of global goverments
taking drastic steps to save us from
these potential future catastrophies.

Thinking alone never got anyone anywhere. For thoughts to be productive rather than merely counterproductive distractions requires that they be put into practical concrete actions.

Currently the US is by far the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world today. One could even argue that it already constitutes a defacto world government and the evangelical Bush administration is already putting its rudamentary world governing principles into action in defiance of the UN. Rather than merely reacting to attacks from various states or waiting for support from the majority of nations, the US is taking pre-emptive action in extreme cases.

Along these same lines, the US is updating and shaping the IMF policies, international trade, etc. all in effort not only to promote the interests of the US, but those of other nations as well. Unless other nation's economies thrive, that of the US itself will stall not to mention the resulting wars and terrorism that thrive under poverty.

Of course, you can argue that if the US constitutes a world government, it is not a democratic one and is failing to regulate the environment and what not effectively enough to stave off disaster. That is where meritocracy comes into play. If it isn't enough fast enough, hello stone age. However, there are at least a dozen fully self-sufficient underground cities around the world today. Civilization will likely make a speedy recovery.
 
  • #31
drag
Science Advisor
1,100
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Originally posted by wuliheron
Actually, the latest census figures show that AIDS and other problems are slowing down population growth. Many have also argued that the remaining overpopulation problems are largely due to women being unempowered. In other words, whether or not science and technological developements will be able to keep pace is still up in the air. They may not have to keep pace for one thing.
As far as I heard, annual world population growth
is 100 million + . According to a very crude estimate
that puts us at 10 billion before 2030.
Unless, of course, the above mentioned drastic
measures or alternativly catastrophies occur.

Live long and prosper.
 
  • #32
wuliheron
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0
The estimated maximum population for the Earth is fourteen billion. I know it doesn't look good, but thirty years or more in the future is a long term trend. I refuse to be either pessimistic or optimistic about such things, but instead, perfer to be reasonable. Sorry if that isn't comforting enough for you.

A great deal of the population growth in the world resembles what they call "fish pond" population trends. Boom and bust cycles. Africa's repeated famines and current AIDS epidemic are examples of what often occurs with such cycles. It ain't pretty, but that's the way it goes.

The current thoughts on the subject are that such boom and bust cycles are perpetuated by the disempowerment of women, political strife, and people living on land that simply will not support them. The next major additional cause of such boom and bust cycles is expected to be around access to water. Genetic engineering is making it possible to grow food in the desert and technology is making it possible to not only grow food in briney soil but to desalinate water, so to a significant extent it is the other two problems that are proving to be the most intractable.

As I've already indicated, the US is beginning to assert itself economically, politically, and militarilly as no longer willing to put up with terrorism and the other nasty by-products such totalitarian and repressive cultures and governments create. Exactly how it will all shake out in the end is anyone's guess, but for sure the environment will never be the same and the gravy train capitalist countries have enjoyed to date is on the downhill slide.
 
  • #33
russ_watters
Mentor
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Wow, nothing like a little political theory to piss people off. Ishop, your assessment is ALMOST exactly correct, but maybe a little (very little) simplistic...
Originally posted by Ishop
Communism is for the intellegent dreamer,
Anarchy is for the ignorant dreamer,
Democracy is for the realistic.

Democracy, unlike the other two, is compatable with human nature. The problem with the other two is that it does not take into account that human nature is greed and power. Survival of the fitest.
There are many aspects of human nature. You forget selfishness Anarchy fails because it is unstable - people will not live together in peace without laws. It is human nature to want power and eventually someone siezes it.

Communism is similar in that it is also unstable, but it is actually LESS stable than anarchy because it requires absolute cooperation between all participants. Anarchy does not. At the very least anarchy recognizes that people are different frome each other.

Clarification (someone else touched on it): The "communism" I speak of is Marxism or "pure" communism. Various watered down forms of communism have been tried and a few have even remained stable for a while. NONE have really worked though. Not even Cuba.

Also, I subscribe to the political theory of self determination: In order for a government to be "legitimate," the power MUST be derived from the PEOPLE. In practice, the ONLY form of government that meets this criteria is the various forms of democracy. Marxist communism would meet this criteria, and even complete anarchy would. But neither can actually function in REALITY. They are utopian pipe dreams.

Seems we have a breakdown in definitions here. I'd like to take the time to point out that capitalism is NOT A FORM OF GOVERNMENT, it is an economic system.
Capitalism is the economic system that goes with deomcracy. Socialism is the economic system that goes with communism. So I often say "democracy/capitalism" and "communism/socialism" to represent the two systems. Many people use the words interchangeably. Though not technically correct, that's what they mean when they say it.

Editorial note: I find it pathetic that some people can't have a reaonsable discussion (arguement even) without being able to remain civil. Might that be a reflection of the type of government they advocate?
 
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  • #34
drag
Science Advisor
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Greetings !
Originally posted by wuliheron
The estimated maximum population for the Earth is fourteen billion.
Can I see that part in a report or something ?
Where's that figure coming from ?

Live long and prosper.
 
  • #35
Iacchus32
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Can you have such a thing as a true democracy without a republic? Or would that be anarchy?
 

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