Communism, Democracy, and Anarchy

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In order to achieve justice, we need to be able to compromise to come to some agreement about what justice actually is.
This is a central issue, the dichotomy of justice and government. To govern is to stear or limit, as in setting the course for a ship of state. However, a captain stearing a ship does not depend upon classical Aristotlelian logic alone. Neither does justice, but all astractions of national government articulated to date, that I know of, do.

To create a truly new government then, is not merely a question of shuffling the deck. It is more pointedly a question of inspiring and making popular new concepts that transend the old. "Freedom" was a popular theme in the creation of the american government, for example, even though freedom in an increasingly dangerous, polluted, and resource strapped world is beginning to sound insane to many. At the time it was proposed, however, it was radical and refreshing and it has proven durable even in the face of the more unpleasent realities of life such as I have just mentioned.

Thus, if you are to help create a more responsive and socialist world, it must have a motto or central theme, or concept around which it inspires organization. You can modify the already existing themes if you want, or get really creative. Both approaches are time honored, but the creative is of course the more risky. :0)
 
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Anyone notice a couple of people here can't seem to talk without treating others as though they are stupid? Since when is assuming the position of an arrogant jerk a valid argument?
I'll be paranoid for a moment and assume one of those people is me. If that's the case then I apologise for giving that impression. It certainly hasn't been my aim. As far as the 'arrogant jerk' bit goes, I can see that if you feel I have treated people as stupid that you would reach that conclusion. Again, sorry 'bout that. I've tried to be honest about my own views and honestly don't believe I've treated others as stupid. I've actually made strong comments on people doing that before in other threads so I try my hardest to avoid just that. I will try to be extra mindful of it.

Raavin
 

Les Sleeth

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Originally posted by Raavin
I'll be paranoid for a moment and assume one of those people is me. If that's the case then I apologise for giving that impression. It certainly hasn't been my aim. As far as the 'arrogant jerk' bit goes, I can see that if you feel I have treated people as stupid that you would reach that conclusion. Again, sorry 'bout that. I've tried to be honest about my own views and honestly don't believe I've treated others as stupid. I've actually made strong comments on people doing that before in other threads so I try my hardest to avoid just that. I will try to be extra mindful of it.
LOL Raavin! I worried sincere participants would be the first to take blame. I would never criticize someone for being passionate, or even angry occasionally. That's a sign you are still alive and care.

After thinking about it, I decided if no one here is bothered by anyone's demeanor, then why should I stick my nose in. I apologize for interfering.
 
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Phew!!, well if it's not about me, then that's a different story. Let's get the bastards!!!!

Hehehehe

The comments of the author of this post may not actually reflect the beliefs of the author
 
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After thinking about it, I decided if no one here is bothered by anyone's demeanor, then why should I stick my nose in. I apologize for interfering.
That's politics for you. Every politician criticizes the others for criticizing them. I still don't understand why a political thread is on the philosophy bulletin board. Kerrie evidently has more of a sense of humor than I gave her credit for. :0)
 
R

RageSk8

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.
Well, my point was that we are far from being in a position to make the major changes needed. We are in a daunting situation. By saying "we can't change", I should have said "we shouldn't change". I was getting at we must first recognize the situation, a situation far bigger than most would like to admit. We must then look for solutions. No practical, pragmatic solutions for the big problems, no course of action has been found. This leaves the liberal with one option: continue exposing lies and corruption, organizing groups and voting blocks, staging demonstrations, writing books, and what not.

These postings are abhorrent. Liberalism and idealism are not quixotic, nor are they futile.
Well, I hate to say that you may be wrong, but I agree with the rest of your post. Acting is exactly what liberals do and what I said "we couldn't change". It is part of knowing our faults. We simply do not have the economic or political structures in place to make large scale changes. Any attempt, any movement, if violently attacked by the FBI in America. Even after COINTELPRO was revealed, the FBI continued to actively seek out and "neutralize" political dissidents. The majority of liberals today live in a fantasy world. Just think back to Clinton, NATO and Yugoslavia. The liberal press praised NATO and Clinton for helping Yugoslavia become more humanitarian. Speeches at NATO condemned all human rights violations. Liberals wrote essays proclaiming change was happening. A few intellectuals became sick to their stomachs - people like Noam Chomsky knew and wrote about what was going on in Yugoslavia. Just weeks before the NATO conference heralded by the liberal press, NATO helped Yugoslavia bomb the Kurds. US supplied F-16s destroyed hundreds of villages. Tens of thousands Kurds were killed and 2-3 million refugees were created. This to a people who were not actively violent. Sure are great times we live in! Dissident voices are censored non-violently – they simply are denied any way to reach the mainstream.
 
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Sure are great times we live in! Dissident voices are censored non-violently – they simply are denied any way to reach the mainstream.
As communism has fallen the capitalist world has become less free in many respects and human rights violations in the "free" world have increased. The war in Iraq has demonstrated this pattern dramatically. Ten years ago when the US attacked Iraq it made the unprecidented move of banning all cameras and reporters. A "free" country without a free press. Now because of competition from news groups like Algazeera american reporters are all over Iraq attempting to spin the story in a very different light.

This is how western science and philosophy are thought to have originated as well. Three thousand years ago criticizing the Greek religion with it's bizarre pantheon of gods was punishable by death. Instead of directly criticizing the religion then, people began inventing one rediculous metaphysics after another to highlight the absurdity of the situation.

Eventually, this trend taken to its extreme led to the creation of formal logic based upon the idea of the absurd. That is, based on the idea that some things just do not make any sense whatsoever.

Progressives have been cast for years in the west as absurd, but now the tables are turning. It is becoming increasingly difficult for conservative agendas to avoid being cast in an absurd light. After the US is through stamping out the bigger snake nests it has helped to create and all the animosity it is currently engendering at home and abroad comes home to roost, just how absurd and counter productive the conservative agenda is will become self-evident.

Even the capitalist mass media won't be able to avoid pointing out the absurdity of the situation. The absurdity of a "free" country without a free press, with the largest prison population in the world, with the worst human rights record in the developed world, with a scandalous voting system, and with a great deal of opposition from the rest of the free world.
 

russ_watters

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Originally posted by wuliheron
Ten years ago when the US attacked Iraq it made the unprecidented move of banning all cameras and reporters. A "free" country without a free press. Now because of competition from news groups like Algazeera american reporters are all over Iraq attempting to spin the story in a very different light.
So when there are very few reporters, its suppression of the free press, but when there are a lot of reporters its spin? Gee, I guess we really can have it both ways.
 
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So when there are very few reporters, its suppression of the free press, but when there are a lot of reporters its spin? Gee, I guess we really can have it both ways.
Oh no, there were just as many reporters in both cases, they just weren't allowed in on the action in the first war. I remember watching Brian Gumble interview a Harvard professor of constitutional law during the first Gulf war. Having nothing else to do, the reporters were interviewing everyone who might have something meaningful to say.

Anyway, at the end of the interview Gumble did what reporters are prone to do, he threw a zinger at the guy. Quite clearly and forcefully he rhetorically asked if the US was becoming more fascist. This three piece suit Harvard professor proudly puffed up his chest and said, "Of course!"

Understandly, money talks in the US. Hence there is some competition among reporters, but they know who pays their saleries. Three people now own just about every mass media outlet in the country today. That is, unless you count the National Enquirer and whatnot. Gumble wasn't just criticizing his loss of freedom, he was pointedly criticizing the loss of revenue he and his network suffered as a result.

Nobody wants to watch Harvard professors tell them they are lossing their freedom when it is already patently obvious. If the government wants to control the mass media it has to pony up. Either that, or settle for a soviet style Pravda which is no more credible than the National Enquirer, but nonetheless outsells every newspaper in the US combined. In other words, if the US wants at least a somewhat credible pretense of a free press it can't just shut them out of the picture as it attempted to do during the first Gulf war.

Gumble and others made sure the government either supported their particular gravy train or admitted the sad reality of the situation.

"Nobody ever lost money underestimating the average intelligence of the American public."

P. T. Barnum
 

FZ+

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Originally posted by russ_watters
So when there are very few reporters, its suppression of the free press, but when there are a lot of reporters its spin? Gee, I guess we really can have it both ways.
I would cite the emergence of "embedded" reporters as an example of how that actually does happen.

There is a difference between reporters giving out propaganda, and free reporters giving out information. We are seeing more of the propaganda, and less of the information. Face it, all governments know what people like to watch. The Iraqis do it well. So does the US.
And in the end, nobody knows anything.
 

drag

Science Advisor
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That Al-Sahaf is SOOOO funny !!!
I bet he's just preparing for his libaration
so he could go to the US and give lectures
at 100-grand for each. I mean, he looked
so happy and optimistic denying the tanks
were there when everyone could see'em across
the river...
(Maybe the regime wasn't all bad if they
had someone as funny as Al-Sahaf in it. )

Live long and prosper.
 
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Yeah, its that National Enquirer and World Weekly News mentality. Most people really want a healthy dose of humor with the news it seems. Pravda was the soviet union's version of such rags and it had all the same kind of silly nonsense mixed in with real news so thoroughly its all but impossible to figure out what might be true.
 
S

securitysix

Unfortunately the posting mechanism of PF3 doesn't show the whole thread so cutting and pasting is a pain. Just wanted to make a comment about the belief that all western democracies have a constitution. Australia doesn't. Thank god. What a disaster that has been in America. Not sure about others. Anyway...
I guess I really am stupid, but you have me confused...How exactly is the US Constitution a disaster? Yeah, there were some things that were less than ideal in it, but I would hardly call it a disaster.

Find out what the people need
Find out what the people want
Figure out how to supply it
Figure out how to administer it
Herein lies the problem. Some people want their government to protect them from everyone and everything including themselves. Some people want absolutely no government interference in anything whatsoever, especially in their own lives. Then there are shades of everything in between. There is too much variation between different sects, even in American society, to make a single form of government that can be accepted by all. The trick is to find the balance that everyone can live with, but not everyone will be willing to live with it. How do you administer that?

Anyone notice a couple of people here can't seem to talk without treating others as though they are stupid? Since when is assuming the position of an arrogant jerk a valid argument?
Woohoo! I'm an arrogant jerk! Actually, I don't know if this is about me or not, but it would be funny if it were, because I'm actually just trying to figure out how some of these theories work. You are right, though, acting like a jerk does nothing to advance your argument, but then, when you're countering someone who is not going to listen to you, it doesn't really hurt your arguments against them. It also doesn't help convince anyone who might be listening, either. If I came off as an arrogant jerk to anyone here during any of my mosts, I apologize, as that was not my intent. If it were my intent, well, I wouldn't apologize. :)
 
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Getting back to the subject, is anyone actually interested in having a play at coming up with a solution. I'm willing to compromise on some of my values for the greater good. I'm even willing to entertain some 'Capitalistic' elements. Principally though, I'm not willing to give up the basic socialistic premise. That could come through higher taxing of the 'rich' though but I don't think that works. Anyone interested?

Raavin [?]
 
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Kurt Vonnegut came up with a good one. He suggested feeding the names of all the qualified candidates for president in to a computer and having it randomly select one. Of course, one of the major qualifications was that none of the candidates wanted the position, but would knuckle down and do the job if chosen.

This isn't too far from my own ideas on the subject. Already large advanced countries are dependent upon extremely complex systems and science. The single largest source of error and inequities that crop up now originate with people, but increasingly everything is being automated. Sometime within the next fifty years computers should attain something near the level of complexity of the human brain and, if not exactly possessed of conscious thought, be indistinguishable from conscious beings. As this occurs I suspect people will increasingly surrender more of their autonomy to the machines and just let them manage everything.
 

drag

Science Advisor
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Greetings !
Originally posted by wuliheron
Kurt Vonnegut came up with a good one. He
suggested feeding the names of all the
qualified candidates for president in to a
computer and having it randomly select one.
Of course, one of the major qualifications was
that none of the candidates wanted the position,
but would knuckle down and do the job if chosen.
That is intresting.
Has there been some serious consideration of this ?
Also, how do you know the person actually doesn't
want to be a president ?
In addition, almost any politician will want to be
one and so will all other "leaders" in the world.
So, if we select folks like scientists and so
on - who don't want it, them being smart won't
help much - it's not like they have to "create"
discisions in the modern world - they have
to decide upon provided options - the job of
leaders.
Originally posted by wuliheron
Sometime within the next fifty years computers
should attain something near the level of
complexity of the human brain and, if not
exactly possessed of conscious thought, be
indistinguishable from conscious beings.
As this occurs I suspect people will increasingly
surrender more of their autonomy to the machines
and just let them manage everything.
Yep. Star Trek hit the nail on the head -
"We are Borg. Resistence is futile."
Thinking of the future as objectivly as
possible I can't help but reach this very likely
pessimistic conclusion - we and the machines
will all become one.

We can see an example of that right here and
now. If we could enhance this forum to neural
pathways comminication - wouldn't we ? And would
we not do that "through" and "together with"
machines ? And once we saw how useful and fun
it is - would we want to "log off" ? And once
we are all "loged in" - wouldn't individulaty
dissapear ?

Live long and prosper.
 
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Whether or not you see humans today as individuals or collectives is a question of perspective, context. Human beings are not raised in a vacuum, but instead, share distinctive languages, cultures, etc. The rare child found not raised in this manner has died before reaching puberty. In some sense then, we already are a collective mind.

However, I would point out that the insect like hive mind so many science fiction authors have speculated on has never succeeded in nature beyond the most rudamentary level. This alone suggests it is not competitive for more intelligent animals with longer lifespans than insects. Instead of the borg we'd likely have Data and a whole host of hybrids.
 

drag

Science Advisor
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Originally posted by wuliheron
However, I would point out that the insect like hive mind so many science fiction authors have speculated on has never succeeded in nature beyond the most rudamentary level. This alone suggests it is not competitive for more intelligent animals with longer lifespans than insects.
Purhaps, however, you could regard such a step
being taken by "intellegent" life as just a
part of evolution.

I for one see no problem for this to happen -
once the people and the computers are all
in the same network, and keep at it because
of all the "advantages", it seems natural
that a certain new order "formation" will
take place. And as "immoral" and strange that
might sound today - can any of us really predict
the future ? :smile:

Live long and prosper.
 
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as "immoral" and strange that
might sound today - can any of us really predict
the future ?
Well, if you want to get technical, yes we can predict the future to a significant extent. That's what science is all about.

Of course, we could become borg-like hive creatures, we could blow the planet up, destroy the environment so that only insects and rats will survive, or any number of possibilities. Until such things begin to look really likely I'll settle for more realistic speculations that extrapolate from our current understanding of nature. :~0
 

Njorl

Science Advisor
245
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Originally posted by RageSk8
The majority of liberals today live in a fantasy world. Just think back to Clinton, NATO and Yugoslavia. The liberal press praised NATO and Clinton for helping Yugoslavia become more humanitarian. Speeches at NATO condemned all human rights violations. Liberals wrote essays proclaiming change was happening. A few intellectuals became sick to their stomachs - people like Noam Chomsky knew and wrote about what was going on in Yugoslavia. Just weeks before the NATO conference heralded by the liberal press, NATO helped Yugoslavia bomb the Kurds. US supplied F-16s destroyed hundreds of villages. Tens of thousands Kurds were killed and 2-3 million refugees were created. This to a people who were not actively violent. Sure are great times we live in! Dissident voices are censored non-violently – they simply are denied any way to reach the mainstream.
Rage,
You're usually pretty careful about what you post, so I'll assume you got some very strange information.

Yugoslavia never bombed the Kurds. Do you mean Kosovars? Do you mean Bosnians? Even so, Yugoslavia never had any f-16's. They used MiG's.

Njorl
 
R

RageSk8

Sorry, it was Turkey.
 

russ_watters

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Originally posted by Raavin
Getting back to the subject, is anyone actually interested in having a play at coming up with a solution. I'm willing to compromise on some of my values for the greater good. I'm even willing to entertain some 'Capitalistic' elements. Principally though, I'm not willing to give up the basic socialistic premise.

Raavin [?]
Ravin, therein lies the problem. Many people, myself included think we already have the solution. You can find it http://www.house.gov/Constitution/Constitution.html [Broken]

Any way you slice it, that is the most successful government document in the history of the world.

That could come through higher taxing of the 'rich' though but I don't think that works. Anyone interested?
Raavin, IMO, that is the crux of the issue with socialists: Eat the rich. If you can't make your own living and don't want to steal it, get the government to steal it for you. That idea is wholly incompatible with a free society.

Woohoo! I'm an arrogant jerk! Actually, I don't know if this is about me or not...
No, securitysix, thats probably meant for me. I am higly intolerant of people who cling to failed theories and I don't apologize for it.
Whether or not you see humans today as individuals or collectives is a question of perspective, context. Human beings are not raised in a vacuum, but instead, share distinctive languages, cultures, etc. The rare child found not raised in this manner has died before reaching puberty. In some sense then, we already are a collective mind.
Thats certainly true, wuliheron, but it doesn't necessarily mean a system based on collectives will work. Humans aren't that simple - we are social creatures but also fiercely independent.
 
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Thats certainly true, wuliheron, but it doesn't necessarily mean a system based on collectives will work. Humans aren't that simple - we are social creatures but also fiercely independent.
Insect collectives are largely organized by chemistry and its been shown they can think to a limited extent collectively. We, on the other hand, are decendent from pack hunters. On the hunt we have to able to think independently yet act as a pack. With the advent of technology we can now organize ourselves by the millions and, increasingly, the speed of communications is the key. Still, we remain pack hunters most capable of interacting effectively in small groups.

Raavin, IMO, that is the crux of the issue with socialists: Eat the rich. If you can't make your own living and don't want to steal it, get the government to steal it for you. That idea is wholly incompatible with a free society.
It is also often the issue of the rich as well, they want to eat the poor. Unlike insects who use chemistry to choose their queen and regulate their roles in life, the alpha male in human packs fights his way to the top. If too agressive the pack itself may tear the alpha apart, if too wimpy they don't make it to the top.
 

drag

Science Advisor
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Greetings !
Originally posted by russ_watters
Ravin, therein lies the problem. Many people, myself included think we already have the solution. You can find it http://www.house.gov/Constitution/Constitution.html [Broken]

wuliheron and russ, I think you guys have somewhat
limmited imaginations (Who could imagine computers
a century ago ?), then again - it could be my wild
one...:wink:

"Reality is more surprising than fiction."
me

Live long and prosper.
 
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Oh no, I've got quite a bit of wild ideas on this subject I just haven't gone into here for the sake of clarity and to not stray from the subject too much. The most intreguing for me is the possibilities of Quantum Neural networks. No one's built one yet, but theoretically at least they should be capable of things our more prosaic brain cells just can't do and fit inside something the size of the period at the end of this sentence.

As Arthur C. Clark said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Frank Herbert once wrote a science fiction book about an AI that became God when it achieved consciousness. I'm not yet willing to start going that far out on a limb in speculating, but it does seem reasonable to assume meritocracies in which people increasingly surrender their autonomy to machines are inevitable.

In a sense, most people already surrender most of their autonomy to machines..... corporate and governmental ones that is. :0)
 

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