Communism, Democracy, and Anarchy

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Main Entry: an·ar·chism
Pronunciation: 'a-n&r-"ki-z&m, -"när-
Function: noun
Date: 1642
1 : a political theory holding all forms of governmental authority to be unnecessary and undesirable and advocating a society based on voluntary cooperation and free association of individuals and groups
2 : the advocacy or practice of anarchistic principles

Pronunciation: 'a-n&r-kist, -"när-
Function: noun
Date: 1678
1 : one who rebels against any authority, established order, or ruling power
2 : one who believes in, advocates, or promotes anarchism or anarchy; especially : one who uses violent means to overthrow the established order

From the Anarchist FAQ page http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/1931/

"While there are many different types of anarchism (from individualist anarchism to communist-anarchism ... , there has always been two common positions at the core of all of them -- opposition to government and opposition to capitalism."

I am not totally against decentralised power, but where does anarchy that you are talking about end, and socialism start. Who is it that takes care of disputes? One might say that local groups deal with it, but if my brother lives in your group and is dealt with in a way that my group disagrees with you start to have problems. I can't see any way around having at least some sort of concensus on basic principles. Even if this is just some sort of constitution. Also, how do you arrange public services and manufacturing. If one group starts a factory making widgits and widgits become a popular or even necessary item, how do you stop them selling them at inflated prices and turning into capitalism. What about people who don't want to or can't work? Who supports them? What about specialisation? One of the advantages of being able to sell your labour, which it seems Anarchy disagrees with, is that you can specialise. What about health care, public transport? There are a million different reasons why this seems impossible on the large scale.

I imagine you might end up with groups deciding to make local laws anyway and virtually split the land up into seperate 'countries' which might end up warring against each other over beliefs. If you want true 'freedom', you would have to allow this to happen in groups who agreed on it, there would also be no-one to stop them. Anarchism by your definition can work in small communities I suppose. But a commune of people who have all come together because of common interests and beliefs is not the same as society.

I'm not trying to be negative here. I suppose I personally just believe in centralised government which encourages free, non-violent expression and where all participants have safety and an equal go, no matter what part of society you come from. I just can't see how a libertarian/anarchy model can cater for this.

Raavin :frown:
 
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1 : a political theory holding all forms of governmental authority to be unnecessary and undesirable and advocating a society based on voluntary cooperation and free association of individuals and groups
Being an advocate for cooperation is not the same thing as being against government or rulers for that matter. This Anarchist FAQ page you found is more biased political nonsense advocating the position that "Either you are with us or you are against us." Such people give anarchy a bad name imo, and demonstrate just how badly other political parties have trashed out the anarchist movement in the west.

People have lived anarchistically and cooperatively since prehistoric times. Usually in small tribal groups of less than fifteen, but sometimes in isolated communes of up to a thousand. These people were not against government, they simply had no need for rulers.

There is a wonderful example of this in the movie "The Emerald Forest." In the movie a white boy is kidnapped by a Yanamamo like tribe in Brazil. His father finds him ten years or so later about to marry a girl in the tribe. At one point he turns to the chief and demands that he tell his son he has to come back to civilization with him. The chief laughs his head off and asks him, "How could I be chief if I told a grown man what to do?"

Such "chiefs" are not rulers. They are given the title as a recognition of their wisdom and the need for a focual point for the group. Native American tribes, for example, would have seperate honorary chiefs for war, for peace, etc. If attacked everyone looked to the chief of war for directions in how to fight back. Not because they had to according to some abstract rule, but for mutual survival and out of recognition and respect for that individual's tactical and fighting skills.

Where do you draw the line indeed. Anarchy is a flexible arrangment and can fade into and out of having rulers. Sociologists have shown that somewhere around three hundred people is when groups become prone to fascism. It is difficult for everyone to know each other well and the temptation to govern by force instead of cooperation can then arise according to the situation.

In the case of isolated agrarian communes and small tribal groups such pressures are nonexistent. Instead of hard and fast rules for everything they have traditions and often these are very flexible traditions. One generation may interpret their religious myths literally and believe ghosts are wandering through the woods while the next generation could interpret all those myths figurately and be composed of largely rational atheists. That is the advantage of Anarchy, it is incredibly flexible and adaptable to the individual. Thus it can inspire incredible loyalty.

For small tribal goups, often this means if one person in the group just doesn't seem to be temperamentally and idiologically in tune with the rest of the group they will leave and join another one. Again, not merely because they might feel they have no choice, but because that kind of profound agreement and cooperation is what they want more than anything.

I remember an interview with a woman from a Yanamamo like tribe who married an anthropologiest and moved to NY city with him. The reporters asked her what it was like going from the stone age to the modern world. She said she liked cars, tv, fast food, and whatnot but what really shocked her was the loneliness.

Her first image of a crowded NY city street defied all expectations. She had grown up with the same thirty people her entire life perhaps seeing one stranger a year. In NY she saw thousands of people crowded onto the streets, yet all looking lonely. Something she herself had seldom experienced.
 

russ_watters

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Originally posted by wuliheron
Sorry, but as an Anarchist myself I can't agree. This is the biased modern western definition of the term. When discussing politics it is difficult to say the least to find unbiased histories and definitions. The winners in any conflict tend to re-write the histories, spin their opponents in the worst light possible, and all the other things that make politics so infamous as an unattractive way to make a living. You are welcome to insist these people and myself are all deluding ourselves and not really anarchists, but that is just so much political nonsense.

The definition I present here is the one many anarchists themselves use, both in socialist and capitalist countries.
Last I checked, we live in the modern western world. Though it may be convenient to ignore the commonly accepted definition of a word in favor of one that sounds better to your particular group, you are not at liberty to do that. Definitions are the groundrules in any discussion. You can't arbitrarily change them to suit your needs. And quite frankly, I see very little difference between the "no rulers" root and the currently accepted definition.

examples:
Hmm, I don't like the currently accepted definition of the word "camel" so from now on, I'm going to call all camels "dogs." Is that acceptable? Any reason to think that might cause a little confusion?

PRC. 'nuff said.

Stick with the dictionary definition and find another word to describe your cause that actually fits it.
 

drag

Science Advisor
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" The major problem - one of the major problems, for there are several - one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get
people to let them do it to them.

To summarize: it is a well known fact, that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem.

And so this is the situation we find: a succession of Galactic Presidents who so much enjoy the fun and palaver of being in power that they very rarely notice that they're not. And somewhere in the shadows behind them - who?

Who can possibly rule if no one who wants to do it can be allowed to? "
Douglas Adams
 
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Last I checked, we live in the modern western world. Though it may be convenient to ignore the commonly accepted definition of a word in favor of one that sounds better to your particular group, you are not at liberty to do that. Definitions are the groundrules in any discussion.

By your reasoning all Native Americans should have settled for being called "Indians", Blacks should have settled for being called negroes and other derrogatory terms, etc. I am what I am and if you can't respect that I will continue protesting. Words have meaning because people agree to and respect those meanings, not because the few who publish the most dictionaries win by default. Nor does the majority decide the issue for everyone. Like many other disenfrachized minorities Anarchists today are once again reclaiming their heritage that was stolen from them by powerful white corporate interests.
 

drag

Science Advisor
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Originally posted by wuliheron
Sorry, but as an Anarchist myself...
Who could've guessed ?!
 
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Who could've guessed ?!
LOL, these fools who insist on stealing everyone's heritage couldn't have guessed. They'd insist on calling me a communist or somesuch, insist that communism is a form of government but capitalism isn't, and insist that it just makes more practical sense to use derrogatory terms to describe minorities.

My sister Nell just got bit by a rat,
And whities on the moon...
Playing golf.
 
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Firstly, Douglas Adams should be declared a prophet.

Secondly, Are you agreeing then that in large scale communities, Anarchy may not be a reasonable form of government?

Thirdly,
By your reasoning all Native Americans should have settled for being called "Indians", Blacks should have settled for being called negroes and other derrogatory terms, etc.
Interesting point only they weren't originally meant to be derrogatory terms. I believe that, Native Americans were called Indians because they thought they had landed in India. The term just stuck. Africans were called Negroes because that was the generic term for the African races and was later transformed into the more unpleasant version because of mispronunciation. When new, more appropriate terms were coined, Native American and African-American, they were used instead. In Australia we are still struggling and use Indigenous Australian, Aborigine and Koori although strictly speaking Kooris are from only a small part of Australia. There are so many different tribes and languages that to generalise and lump people into one group seems somehow condescending. I'm sure the same things apply to Indigenous or Native Americans.

How does this relate to the use of the word Anarchist? What is being said is that it is important that everyone is clear on a definition of the word. If Anarcho-socialist is a better discription of the way you live then that should probably be used rather than just straight Anarchist. Look at the dates on the definitions and you'll see that they have been around for quite a while. Pre suffregette, even pre Industrial. That said, it's interesting to note that in the original draft of the Websters (I think??) dictionary, that a whole lot of definitions were actually submitted by a guy who was locked up in an Asylum. There's a book about it.

I'm a huge fan of the type of Communal-Anarchistic lifestyle you are talking about. I just think it ends up being a bit exclusionist. In a larger context I think it's important to be inclusive and have a safety net for people who don't 'fit in' to the bigger picture. I work in the welfare field supporting marginalised people and it's hard enough when there are services set up. Not to have any sort of organised mechanisms for them would be a nightmare.

Raavin
 
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Firstly, Douglas Adams should be declared a prophet.
No! Not that! A treasure maybe, but not a prophet! Already the Jedi from Star Wars have now been turned into an official religion! If you turn Douglas Adams into a prophet all the humor will be lost!

Secondly, Are you agreeing then that in large scale communities, Anarchy may not be a reasonable form of government?
Well yeah, not in today's world that's for sure. Maybe in some far flung future.

Interesting point only they weren't originally meant to be derrogatory terms.
Some weren't but became used as derrogatory terms anyway. Others like the word "nigger" were deliberately so. A nigger is a common grub worm in the south, considered the lowest form of life on earth.

What is being said is that it is important that everyone is clear on a definition of the word. If Anarcho-socialist is a better discription of the way you live then that should probably be used rather than just straight Anarchist.
The "anarcho-" part is just Anarchist abreviated. In addition, I live in an Anarcho-socialist commune, but I am not a socialist. I'm an Anarchist.

Look at the dates on the definitions and you'll see that they have been around for quite a while. Pre suffregette, even pre Industrial. That said, it's interesting to note that in the original draft of the Websters (I think??) dictionary, that a whole lot of definitions were actually submitted by a guy who was locked up in an Asylum. There's a book about it.
Suddenly the dictionary makes a great deal more sense (LOL).

I'm not arguing that the common use of the word Anarchy should change, I am arguing that it is also the name of a political orientation. There are Republicans, Democrats, Socialists, Libertarians, Anarchists, and people of all sorts of political persuasions. Sure, some Anarchists advocate violent overthrow of the government, but then a lot of Libertarians are socialists as well. What of it? Anarchy remains a politically viable term that describes a broad spectrum of people more clearly than any other words you can come up with.

I'm a huge fan of the type of Communal-Anarchistic lifestyle you are talking about. I just think it ends up being a bit exclusionist. In a larger context I think it's important to be inclusive and have a safety net for people who don't 'fit in' to the bigger picture. I work in the welfare field supporting marginalised people and it's hard enough when there are services set up. Not to have any sort of organised mechanisms for them would be a nightmare.
Believe me, we are preforming a social service function.

Rather than being exclusionary the secular communes I know have rather open doors. One woman I know worked for a company for fifteen years only to have the vice-president run off with everyone's retirement fund (Can you say Enron, etc.) She was left out in the cold, moved to the commune, and became the most vitrolic advocate of socialism I hope to ever come across.

Sure, it ain't as well organized as a big government social program but then, the government ain't doing such things now are they. No.... they're helping to raise the rent and drive people out on the streets. Encouraging white collar criminals like at Enron, and then talking tough rhetoric after they've raped tens of millions of people. Keeping the minimum wage to an all time low in forty years and then kicking everybody off welfare.

As usual, often you have to do an end run around government for the sake of survival if nothing else. The salt of the earth have to pick themselves up by their bootstraps and remember their origins.
 
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I must admit that it's only going on anacdotal evidence but I can see how living in America could make any normal person take the Anarchist (by your definition) line. It would seem to be a case of Capitalism gone crazy.

In Australia, although 'economic rationalism' has dented it a bit, social services here are not bad. Rents have doubled over the last 5 or so years and social services benefits have not increased accordingly, but most people who have a social network can make ends meet. We also have a fairly good public health system and services, like the one I work in, funded by the government. I work with homeless young people with a variety of different issues and I'm not sure how those people would be serviced in an anarchist society.

The original question was

Question: Is there a better way we have not yet used? Another form of government that we have not come up with.
I'm not sure if there are any truly 'new' ones, but I think th point of the question was to try to come up with something that 'works' better on a large scale.

I don't have the solutions but maybe all of us, working together could put something together. You don't necesarrily have to believe fully in every aspect but I think the key is being willing to compromise for the greater good. I'd be very interested in trying a project like this.

Raavin :wink:
 
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I'm not sure if there are any truly 'new' ones, but I think th point of the question was to try to come up with something that 'works' better on a large scale.
Yeah, I never proposed Anarchy as a large scale alternative. I proposed meritocracy. Representative Democracies, Fascism, and Socialism all have their altogether too human limitations and are reaching the extreme limits at which they function.

Modern technology is just too complex and already we are seeing the emergence of fascist Technocracies. Some of these have proven themselves, but most have failed. In no small part due to the winner take all capitalist economy that rules the world economy today. As I already wrote, 9-11 was a wake-up call that the rest of the world will not allow itself to be bullied and exploited in this capitalist economy by big interests. The only viable alternative in the long run is meritocracy, rule by the good deed doers.
 
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Mmmmmm. OK. No further discussion needed then?? ...Don't think so. This is a summary of what I think is needed.

Find out what the people need
Find out what the people want
Figure out how to supply it
Figure out how to administer it

Simple :wink:

Raavin
 
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Find out what the people need
Find out what the people want
Figure out how to supply it
Figure out how to administer it

Simple
LOL, what the people need and want are not always compatable nor is supplying a administering it usually simple. Unless, of course, you are suggesting we all go back to more primitive hunter gatherer and agrarian lifestyles. :0)

. Inaction

Not praising the worthy prevents contention,
Not esteeming the valuable prevents theft,
Not displaying the beautiful prevents desire.
In this manner the sage helps people
To help themselves:
Empty their minds,
Fill their bellies,
Weakening their egos,
And strengthen their bones.
If people lack abstract
knowledge and compulsions
Then their egos will not act;
If their egos do not act
Happiness is retained.
 
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I don't agree. Needs and wants are different I admit but somewhere in there lies the majority of things that, as far as material possessions and services go, I think you can fit most in. Like I said, some things you need to compromise on. We already supply and administer most of these things to an extent just the need stuff isn't enough and the want stuff is owned by capitalists.

About the other bit. I've read the Tao Te Ching too. Like most things of philosophical/religious I find some stuff that is good and some stuff that is bad. The bible, the Koran, different buddhist texts, all suffer from the same affliction. This one I don't agree with, unless it is meant to be sarcastic.

Here is another translation

Not praising the worthy prevents contention,
Not esteeming the valuable prevents theft,
Not displaying the beautiful prevents desire.

In this manner the sage governs people:
Emptying their minds,
Filling their bellies,
Weakening their ambitions,
And strengthening their bones.

If people lack knowledge and desire
Then they can not act;
If no action is taken
Harmony remains.

...just for interests sake.

It actually reminds me of a bit of a part in the Koran when one of Mohammeds desciples (is that the term??) says that their women are going off tap and mohammed says that they should go home and sort them out. Maybe if Mohammed hadn't given women their rights, to not be treated like the slaves of men, to have the right of inheritance and start women thinking like they had any rights at all, there wouldn't have been any problem in the first place. But he gave them something that was rightfully theirs and the women felt like they had some control. Mohammed probably, wasn't trying to take back what he had given them, or say that it was OK to beat women. It could be interpreted that he wanted peace and the result of what he had done was unexpected. That's how people work though. You can't keep people in ignorance just so they don't desire. You have to put all old texts in the context of the time. I'm an athiest, but if Mohammed was really the prophet of god and saw that some people had not progressed any further in creating peace and equality in the world, I'm sure he'd be pissed. I'm sure the same could probably be said of Lao Tse. Siddhartha Gautama, being a spoiled rich kid that abandoned his wife and child 'cause life got a bit too real and never lifted a finger for the rest of his life, I'm not so sure about.

This one's probably applicable to the Anarchic topic

Let your community be small, with only a few people;
Keep tools in abundance, but do not depend upon them;

Appreciate your life and be content with your home;
Sail boats and ride horses, but don't go too far;
Keep weapons and armour, but do not employ them;
Let everyone read and write,
Eat well and make beautiful things.

Live peacefully and delight in your own society;
Dwell within cock-crow of your neighbours,
But maintain your independence from them.


and this to the socialist

Honest people use no rhetoric;
Rhetoric is not honesty.
Enlightened people are not cultured;
Culture is not enlightenment.
Content people are not wealthy;
Wealth is not contentment.

So the sage does not serve himself;
The more he does for others, the more he is satisfied;
The more he gives, the more he receives.
Nature flourishes at the expense of no one;
So the sage benefits all men and contends with none.


Raavin
 
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I should have guessed an Aussie would know the Tao Te Ching.

I'm Agnostic myself, like most Philosophical Taoists. I agree, most of the basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, etc. can be met for the vast majority of humanity and even a great deal of peoples desires. I didn't post that poem to suggest that a meritocracy should keep people pig ignorant, I don't really interpret it that way. Sages inspire us to focus on what is important and meaningful through the example of their lives.

Likewise a Meritocracy could be arranged so. How many people today really admire politicians? A vanishly small percentage of the population if you ask me. Oh, we might approve of the job they do and maybe even admire some of their abilities, but how many people actually think of politicians as wise, compassionate, and humble?

Where I live in the US people don't want politicians like that for the most part, they want tough guys who are fighters. Clever hard liners who can win their fights for them. As the world grows ever smaller at an ever accelerating pace such selfishness and aggression is becoming rapidly unsupportable. It will either fade into the wind like a forgotten bad dream or cause its own demise. If you think the last hundred years or so were full of surprising changes, you ain't seen nothin' yet. :0)
 

russ_watters

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Originally posted by wuliheron
By your reasoning all Native Americans should have settled for being called "Indians", Blacks should have settled for being called negroes and other derrogatory terms, etc. I am what I am and if you can't respect that I will continue protesting. Words have meaning because people agree to and respect those meanings, not because the few who publish the most dictionaries win by default. Nor does the majority decide the issue for everyone. Like many other disenfrachized minorities Anarchists today are once again reclaiming their heritage that was stolen from them by powerful white corporate interests.
Heh, most people still DO call "Native Americans" (an oxymoron btw) Indians. It doesn't matter if they like it or not, thats the commonly accepted definition. Certainly definitions can and do change over time. And the people who publish dictionaries don't decide what words mean they look at how people actually use the words. You have that backwards. You are welcome to attempt to get the definition of "anarchy" changed to something more convenient to you. In the meantime, I'll use the accepted definition.

Your last sentence there borders on conspiracy theory. It is not surprising to me at all that many if not most people who call themselves "anarchists" subscribe to such conspiracy theories.

You may be a member of a group that calls themselves "anarchists" but you are not an anarchist any more than the People's Republic of China is a republic.
 
R

RageSk8

Russ, read anarchist theory, anarchy centers around how people organize themseleves. The vast majority of people think that anarchy equates to radical libertarianism - this is simply false. All classic anarchists are against capitalism, at least the type fo capitalism we have now. Two famous living American anarchists: Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn.




No to be off topic:
Just because Native Americans and Black Panthers were mentioned, I will take this chance to link to research on COINTELPRO (how the FBI wipped their asses, and still probably do, with the US constitution):
On the American Indian Movement:
http://www.icdc.com/~paulwolf/cointelpro/copap7a.htm
On the Black Liberation Movement (a lot on illegal actions agains the Black Panthers as well as Martin Luther King Jr.):
http://www.icdc.com/~paulwolf/cointelpro/copap5a.htm
 
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RageSk8, I believe you are talking to closed ears. The whiteman's burden, communist manifesto, etc. is alive and well. No autrocity is beyond justification for such people. Genocide, racism, slavery, etc. are all justifiable for such people as part of fighting the good fight and destroying evil in the world. Of course, that they profit in the process is merely a secondary consideration and the rest of us are just spinning conspiracy theories.

This, as I keep asserting, is rapidly changing. No longer is it quite so easy to pick out friend from foe as the war in Iraq demonstrates so well. There ain't nobody home but us chickens. Centuries of progress have thankfully made the possibility of killing them all and letting God sort them out untenable for the most powerful nations at least. If nothing else, such "reasoning" turned back onto itself defeats itself. I find it ironic and humorous that today from its lofty pearch as the undisputed king of the hill the US now condems such things while still fighting the good fight against evil and expanding its hold on the world's resourcs.

In the end, the nature always leads back to harmony.
 
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RageSk8

Yeah, but I think liberal democratic ideals still have a shot at reverseing the current. With all honestly, not in my lifetime (and I am 18), but hopefully sometime. This may be misguided romanticism about the power of knowledge, we in the subversive left may be quixotic fools, but we can't change. Noam Chomsky has said he would doubt his own historical and political studies if they were mainstream, common topics of the media. When a view becomes dominant it does so in justification for the dominant classes. Studying history always shocks me - learning how elite buisnessmen and intellectuals in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s started a massive campaign to "manufacture consent" in the masses with the documented co-support of American and British political powerhouses, all under the Madisonian docterin that those without prooperty and have no chance to get property have no right and are too stupid to be given political power presiding over property. The USA, and all Western democracies, is best characterized as politically controlled by those own the land and resources. This is a world where the common man's power is to vote for a candidate out of a predetermined pool, all of who are loyal to the same Multinationals, legitimizing the complete control the elite have in government. If one looks at the structure of American politics, who controls what and how, America is just as fascist as Nazi Germany (we just don't kill nearly as many people, but who we targeted for extermination was strikingly similar under J. Edgar Hoover's FBI). Reading books by powerful and infludential intellectuals and politicians of the past actually talk about "constructing and selling the myth of capitalism" to the American public is amazing, amazing in the blatent evidence available and the incredibly small spread of its recognition. Last thing I learned that I did not know before: JFK, contrary to what you would learn in school, opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, going as far as to both send VP Johnson to europe because he "was too pro civil rights" and sicking Hoover's terrorists (FBI agents) on the Washington demonstrations.
 

arivero

Gold Member
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Someone read Ursula Le Guin's "The Dispossessed"? It could help.
 
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we in the subversive left may be quixotic fools, but we can't change.
Doesn't sound very progressive to me. Sounds like as conservative a statement as any I've ever heard. Conservatives often argue that people are inherently bad and can't change, thus you need to be tough and hard line with them. Some innane editorialist for newsweek once wrote that the sad fate of today's liberals is to become tomorrow's conservatives.

Perhaps the reality of the situation is different then from what moral viewpoints suggest. Like science and logic, moral viewpoints by definition have limits and are causally oriented. They obey the law of the excluded middle. Thus they provide wonderful tools with which to approach life, but by no means describe everything we can observe. When we forget or deny they are just tools and begin to identify ourselves with them, we sacrafice our own freedom and ability to use other tools.

We also sacrafice some of our humanity, if not on a social level, on a more personal one. Thus, we become what we hate the most.
 
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We also sacrifice some of our humanity, if not on a social level, on a more personal one. Thus, we become what we hate the most.
I agree. The reality is that as we get older we do become more conservative and more resigned to the ways of the world. Our ideas change and sometimes I think we start to see some sense in things we once thought were stupid. I'm trying not to do that too much but I must admit it is happening to me. 'Compromise' is often used in a context which insinuates a negative eg to compromise your beliefs, but compromise is about accepting that everything that we believe personally is not necesarrily the only or correct way. I had a look at the Tao Te Ching translation I have at home (penguin classics, I believe it is one of the best translations available. Not so poetic but a more direct and significant translation than others) and the last chapter, 81, that I mentioned (I think??) starts,

Truthful words are not beautiful,
Beautiful words are not the truth.
Persuasive words are not enlightened,
Enlightened words are not persuasive.
etc.

I haven't got it with me, so I can't remember the rest, but one way of interpreting it is that Lao Tse is saying, don't listen to me, just do the best you can for others and the rest will fall into place. As far as politics goes, I suppose that I think that it relates to the element of reasonable compromise for the greater good.

The quote that you mentioned also has heaps more text which makes it clearer and more complicated at the same time .

Raavin :wink:
 
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These postings are abhorrent. Liberalism and idealism are not quixotic, nor are they futile.
Conservatives easily wield their power to control the weaker. I assume that the people here in these forums are bright people, so why are you so depressed? YOU can make a difference in the world. Conservative rhetoric may make you believe that your actions would be futile, but they are not. Believe in yourselves, AND your ideals, and you will see that they DO make a change in the world. Instead of dreaming of whatever you dream, do something about it.
 
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The English language just cannot convey the Tao Te Ching in any single translation. Most say you need to seriously study at least six to ten distinct versions in order to understand the text. The older the version, the more true to its original sentiment and the less distorted by society and politics. Just like people, ancient wisdom can also become more conservative in its old age. :9(
 
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Liberalism and idealism are not quixotic, nor are they futile.
Agree completely. I don't think that was what was being said.

Conservatives easily wield their power to control the weaker.
This may be a bit pedantic, but, think about this comment for a moment. Conservative just means keeping the status quo. Given an 'ideal' government, unwillingness to change would make them conservative.

I would like to change the way that currently Capitalist governments are run. I consider myself a socialist, but I never met a socialist I liked. Most are conservative marxist, exclusionist, elitist snobs more interested in making themselves seem like heroes to the 'weaker' people you speak of than actually creating change. This is a gross generalisation I know, but it has been my personal experience with 'socialists'.

What I am suggesting, and I think it is the topic of the thread, is that we need to find an arrangement that doesn't exclude people but allows people to have all the benefits that a system can provide. It's not about just chastising the rich ad nausium, but providing a platform where human needs and desires can be met in a realistic way. By that I mean realising that people, by and large, do have desires beyond what is truly required for the sustainance of life.

In order to achieve justice, we need to be able to compromise to come to some agreement about what justice actually is. I haven't totally given up on changing the world. I just have other things on my plate at the moment. Right now I'm trying to change my little bit of the world, bringing up my son in a way I feel is right. In my work I do personal advocacy for the 'weak' and work toward policy change within the current government. I don't latch onto flavour of the month causes. I work on things that I see effecting the people I work with.

What I would like to do in my lifetime is to create, or be involved in creating, a governmental model or blueprint which incorporates a socialistic style which provides for all people the means to exist with an increased standard of living. To me, that means a coordinated government which provides a platform for eradication of poverty, safety, liberty etc. and encompasses all people. I don't believe in class struggle. People are people and all have a desire to maintain a standard of living, I would like to think, not deliberately at the expense of others. Do people specifically want to be richer than their neighbour?? I honestly don't think so for the majority. I just think that people have the right to not have to worry about the financial problems that the current systems have brought about. People have enough to contend with. The bare minimums like food, shelter, warmth, healthcare, education and safety should be expected everywhere in the world and governments should be responsible for providing them on a global level. People also need to give their share to make sure it happens. You need to be given the opportunity though by having access to meaningful work. The reason I don't entirely agree with the Anarchist line is that I believe that to recieve the benefits you need to give back to the system. Often that means in ways which may be a compromise to your own beliefs. That becomes difficult. I am a vegetarian. I wouldn't work in the meat industry. I would rather starve. But, I would hope that in a sytem set up for understanding that there would be some scope for differences. That's the key though isn't it. You can't please all of the people all of the time, but I believe that you can please most of the people to an extent that they think that the benefits of the compromise outweigh the negatives.

Raavin
 

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