World War IV

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Woden

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« Reply #150 on: August 23, 2017, 07:28:51 pm »
Now just to get these things out there and get rid of our currently lame systems. How do we go about that lol? I don't suppose violent coups are on the table...

This is the problem. It is very unlikely that people would agree to lose their right to vote for a "greater good" and vote such a constitutional modification.
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Wilshire

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« Reply #151 on: August 23, 2017, 07:52:22 pm »
Forever War and Starship Troopers are both on my list to read. When I'll ever get to it, who knows, but I'm very interested.
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MSJ

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« Reply #152 on: August 23, 2017, 08:11:26 pm »
I get what you guys are saying. I certainly know our system isn't perfect, ummm, just look at the White House. I just don't see how any of these being proposed would be better and would not lead to basically a tyrant(s) ruling over us.

And, as I said, when only a certain portion of the public gets to vote and that portion all has the same thing in common, that would tend to not have any variance of views, wouldn't it? Also, I mean duri g the last 100 year's this country has fought for the right for women and blacks to vote. A bloody fight, mind you. And, we would just take away that right for the majority of the country?

Its just seems fanciful in my mind. There be no way I could see the majority of America wanting that. Maybe it would be better, you'd never know until you try, I guess.
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Hiro

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« Reply #153 on: August 23, 2017, 09:50:01 pm »
I mean to say that I'm very confident that as soon as one's own life is at stake, of your own wife or daughter is raped and killed, one has no problem with morality, moralizing and clear moral choices.
...
The question therefore is, why can't you apply that personal stake to others as well? Which is succinctly expressed in various religions as 'do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself' (paraphrasing a bit here).
...
the dignity of our own life and that of others.
...

- Both of these points lead to the recognition that our own life and that of others are not separate. Therefore, a basis for morality being relative is tenuous.

Defending yourself doesn't make it moral: ie, Hitler defended himself until he gave up. Does that justify his war because he knew if he lost that he'd be killed? I don't think it does.

Defending another doesn't make it moral: All war could be justified as defending your compatriots against the evil invaders.

I think people hold their own lives in high regard, but not those of others. See: war, or any other act of violence.

So, imo, your points point out only the disfunction of beliving in some type of objective morality: that self preservation is the only thing that 'morality' ever leads to. I'd rather not live in a world where "I" am the only thing that matters, justified by each persons personal sense of 'what is right'. There isn't objective morality that I've seen - I think if there was, then we'd all agree on it, certainly after thinking about it for 2000+ years.

W, I'm not sure where you are coming from here. Or I've been extremely unclear. I do not recognize anything, of what you write in response, in connection to what I wrote, or at least meant:

I stated, in other words, that to extend morality outside your own life to the recognition that all life has value and dignity, is a worthwhile model of a non-relative moral. That's about the opposite of what you wrote down. Isn't it?



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Wilshire

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« Reply #154 on: August 24, 2017, 11:54:57 am »
I stated, in other words, that to extend morality outside your own life to the recognition that all life has value and dignity, is a worthwhile model of a non-relative moral.

While that might be a worthwhile thing for everyone to do, I don't think that's how people operate. I don't disagree that this model would be useful in avoiding people fighting/killing/violence et al , I just don't think that's how people work.

I get what you guys are saying. I certainly know our system isn't perfect, ummm, just look at the White House. I just don't see how any of these being proposed would be better and would not lead to basically a tyrant(s) ruling over us.

And, as I said, when only a certain portion of the public gets to vote and that portion all has the same thing in common, that would tend to not have any variance of views, wouldn't it? Also, I mean duri g the last 100 year's this country has fought for the right for women and blacks to vote. A bloody fight, mind you. And, we would just take away that right for the majority of the country?

Its just seems fanciful in my mind. There be no way I could see the majority of America wanting that. Maybe it would be better, you'd never know until you try, I guess.


Just like democracy, any system only works insofar as it avoids corruption. You can have a tyrant in a democratic system - this is why we have term limits in the first place - but its probably less likely than, say, a dictatorship, or a divine monarchy.

People in the thread kept saying that the system was bad, so I asked them to suggest something else. I think the given examples provide interesting alternatives, and they align well with my general feeling that 'letting everyone vote' is a silly idea.

An ideal governance system, to me, has to start with agreeing on whats 'right' and whats 'wrong'. We never have had an agreement on what that is, so its difficult for a bunch of people with different starting points to come to a common end. (not even mentioning that these things change over time).

But once you've done that, once everyone agrees on what the government should do, you then need a system that prevents corruption. The way we attempted to set up our democracy tried to do that, and probably do a good job for a while, but its a mess at this point. Many of the rules are archaic and don't make sense. There's too many people, imo, that have spent their whole lives in the system, to many family political dynasties, too many old names. Any system that's been around long enough will eventually be subsumed by those who wish to control it.

Anyway, if you assume that you've accomplished those two things, any conceivable governing system is probably just as good as the next. In fact, if you assume the above, letting a bunch of people randomly select a leader based on their charisma alone is probably one of the worst ways to do it.

Think of it like the Vatican/Pope. You get a bunch of people who are ostensibly only interested in the enrichment of humanity. All of them are devoted to the cause for their whole life. Stick them in a room, and let them decide who among them they think is the best of the best. IMO, that would probably lead to a better leader (assuming minimal corruption), than our current system. It lessens the chance that a demagogue of any description takes control...

But I don't know where you'd ever find a sufficiently large and diverse enough group that are so altruistic as to be immune from corruption.

Any system will be hacked eventually. The trick is to prevent that eventuality for as long as possible, make it hard, but also to have mechanisms in place to reverse it once it happens. 

For the US, I think a big part of that would be to stop allowing people/families to build political dynasties, to be entrenched in the system for a lifetime, for generations. That kind of nonsense leads to corruption - you don't want people around so long that they start meta-gaming our democracy lol (which has probably been happening for a long time). And for that, at least trump wasnt another clinton/bush/kennedy/etc.
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Woden

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« Reply #155 on: August 24, 2017, 12:58:34 pm »
I think that the US system needs a resumption. It was created for a very different country than it is now.
Not to mention that the election year is a complete loss of time, resources and money, I hate our election campaigns but fortunately they aren't like the USA ones and don't last for eons.
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Woden

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« Reply #156 on: August 24, 2017, 02:49:29 pm »
The assumption of we are living in democracies is at best wishful thinking.
Aristotle pointed perfectly 2300 years ago how democracies degenerate in demagogies and ochlocracies. It is clear for me that this is our case, our democracies are so flawed that are not democracies any longer and had become some kind of mixed demagogy, ochlocracy and (last but not least) oligarchy.
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Wilshire

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« Reply #157 on: August 24, 2017, 03:23:10 pm »
The assumption of we are living in democracies is at best wishful thinking.
Aristotle pointed perfectly 2300 years ago how democracies degenerate in demagogies and ochlocracies. It is clear for me that this is our case, our democracies are so flawed that are not democracies any longer and had become some kind of mixed demagogy, ochlocracy and (last but not least) oligarchy.

Love this quote, from the associated wiki page:

"Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses"
- Juvenal (circa A.D. 100)

Explained: "Roman politicians passed laws in 140 B.C. to keep the votes of poorer citizens, by introducing a grain dole: giving out cheap food and entertainment, "bread and circuses", became the most effective way to rise to power."

I don't know if that's so much a flaw in democracy as it is a flaw in people. Engage, satisfied, and educated citizens shouldn't be so easily goaded, and yet, we have thousands of years of this history repeating. Very clearly, democracy isnt the best solution, but I still hold that people are the problem. I don't know how you fix that. More people doesn't solve the problem, and neither does less. At best, its a cultural thing, and specifically the US has fallen into the same trap as Rome 2000 years ago.

All our leaders more/less run on the same idea, and its not a new one: make people emotional and they vote for you. I don't want our leaders to be picked solely for their charisma and their ability to tap into the mobs emotions.

But the human condition is to follow these types of people. Its how we are wired. People make decisions based on emotions, based on TDTCB, not based on logic and reason. Alas, great leaders are great largely because they can make people feel a certain way, and therefore do certain things. As with Churchill, as with Hitler. The difference is not how they come to power, but what they choose to do with it.
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themerchant

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« Reply #158 on: August 24, 2017, 04:12:24 pm »
Well we don't elect all the decision makers.

In the UK the civil servants make a lot of decisions, never voted in. Same with upper echelons of military and intelligence services. Plus all the Lobbying groups etc.

TaoHorror

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« Reply #159 on: August 24, 2017, 04:43:41 pm »
Friends, I spot read through this thread, not reading all posts, so forgive me if I’ve missed elements that renders my point moot. Friendly advice – don’t make your posts so long! You bore the rest of us. Here is my brief contribution:

The “Founding Fathers” of United States democracy originally considered only allowing those who owned property the right to vote, the thinking being if you didn’t own property then you most likely weren’t educated and couldn’t be trusted with the responsibility to vote for competent leaders in lieu of demagogues promising the sky and taking advantage of the sorry masses. The “Pursuit of Happiness” part of the US Declaration of Independence was “The Right to Property” in its original draft. They finally agreed to forgo property and afforded the right to vote for any/all white men of legal citizenship.

There are benefits/detriments for the different styles of government. Dictatorship is seductive with the promise of allowing for rapid change without bureaucratic or political obstacles; it’s weakness ( among other things ), absent objective criteria for transfer of power, the competition for power intensifies and becomes violent leaving the dictator paranoid and ruthless to hold on to power compromising his/her ability to lead the country and becomes a hotbed for corruption. Monarchy is an attractive alternative to dictatorship, allowing for a more stable society with the nice feature of mentor-ship for those next in line. Transition of power is objective and typically peaceful and the new king/queen typically has at least some idea on how to lead the country given the ruler was their parent. The primary weakness is what do you do when the “next in line” is either uninterested or not up to the task of leading - yielding mad kings, etc.

Democracy is a mess. But in the chaotic stew that is democracy, a society can achieve a strength of culture ensuring peaceful transition of power ( in the sense of non-violent, still can be mad competitive ) and provides the highest morale in the citizenry over the other forms of government. The weaknesses of democracy are sharp and costly, but overall appear to be the better of the alternatives. It may never change. I’m proud my country has constitutional mechanisms to keep a fraud in check ( a risk of democracy, the citizens voting in their destroyer ) and maintaining rights which cannot be voted away. There’s a beauty to it – the mad process of reconciling so many diverse views into action, but peacefully. I’ll take lies/deceptions which can be freely vetted/debated over violence. While imperfect ( obviously ), it’s the better way to go. Manipulation/Propaganda/Deception are far the better evil to deal with than slaughter/assassination.

The power of the culture really drives the success of government. We have plenty of variations of democracy/republics and most of them are doing just fine – they’re a reflection of their people. Many of the criticisms I’m seeing have been expressed over the decades of my life, yet here we are, still alive, still with time for fun. The corruption we witness in our democratic governments has not risen to the level of "breaking" society - it sucks, but some corruption can be sustained. Much of what we call corruption is the very real human activity of networking, the you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. The network of the ruling class has been around for thousand+ years, yet humanity still grows. Not saying don't root it out and jail people, just saying to not get too worked up about it, it's not the major threat to our society.

In my 2 pound brain opinion … restricting the right to vote is a mistake; only the costs of such an approach would be endured, no benefits of “easier” government. You can’t have the beauty of our differences without the mess of reconciling those differences for government. The system is not bad … it’s the system yielding the best morale while reflecting the limitations of society. Not to say it can’t be improved – figuring out how to take money out of politics would be cool.

This stuff about morality is dicey. Humans are indeterminately moral. Best you can hope for is to live in a moral society with “i-moral” constituents. Could be worse, could live in an immoral ( Rome ) or amoral society ( Soviet Union ). The morality of the society provides a framework for citizens to live; the individuals are ( beautifully? ) morally abstract. You could be a racist firefighter harassing a mixed couple in the morning and risk your life to save the same mixed couple from a burning house in the afternoon ( the movie Crash did a nice job of demonstrating this ). The only path for us is to follow the wisdom of Dory and just keep swimming. You want a better world, be a better person … the rest will take care of itself. If you’re one of the few who can dynamically effect people, then feel free to promote a better world beyond your friends/family sphere. Don’t beat yourself up too much when you falter, you’re only a creature apparently arbitrarily showing up in a space/time of not your choosing having to live among so many who don’t share your cosmology with limited understanding of the universe trying to survive the violence of humanity/cosmos all the while you’re looking up.

« Last Edit: August 24, 2017, 04:47:22 pm by TaoHorror »
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TLEILAXU

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« Reply #160 on: August 24, 2017, 08:37:59 pm »
The assumption of we are living in democracies is at best wishful thinking.
Aristotle pointed perfectly 2300 years ago how democracies degenerate in demagogies and ochlocracies. It is clear for me that this is our case, our democracies are so flawed that are not democracies any longer and had become some kind of mixed demagogy, ochlocracy and (last but not least) oligarchy.

Love this quote, from the associated wiki page:

"Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses"
- Juvenal (circa A.D. 100)

Explained: "Roman politicians passed laws in 140 B.C. to keep the votes of poorer citizens, by introducing a grain dole: giving out cheap food and entertainment, "bread and circuses", became the most effective way to rise to power."

I don't know if that's so much a flaw in democracy as it is a flaw in people. Engage, satisfied, and educated citizens shouldn't be so easily goaded, and yet, we have thousands of years of this history repeating. Very clearly, democracy isnt the best solution, but I still hold that people are the problem. I don't know how you fix that. More people doesn't solve the problem, and neither does less. At best, its a cultural thing, and specifically the US has fallen into the same trap as Rome 2000 years ago.

All our leaders more/less run on the same idea, and its not a new one: make people emotional and they vote for you. I don't want our leaders to be picked solely for their charisma and their ability to tap into the mobs emotions.

But the human condition is to follow these types of people. Its how we are wired. People make decisions based on emotions, based on TDTCB, not based on logic and reason. Alas, great leaders are great largely because they can make people feel a certain way, and therefore do certain things. As with Churchill, as with Hitler. The difference is not how they come to power, but what they choose to do with it.
Really cool that you mention the bread thing. A professor once told me that people don't actually care that much about who or what governs them as long as they have food on the table. This was the true reason for the Arabic Spring, she said. Economic problems had made food-prices sky-rocket, the reason was not that people were "hungering for democracy, freedom, and the total enlightenment of secular humanism" like the media painted it. I'm inclined to believe she was right, at least somewhat.

Wilshire

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« Reply #161 on: August 24, 2017, 09:27:34 pm »
That's an old concept.

There's some saying/idiom:

"There are only nine meals between mankind and anarchy” was said by writer Alfred Henry Lewis (1855-1914) in a March 1906 issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine. “It’s only nine meals between men and revolution” was cited in print in 1943. "

Basically that hungry people will topple governments, and we aren't as civilized as we like to think.
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MSJ

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« Reply #162 on: August 24, 2017, 11:44:37 pm »
TaoHorror, TL;DR....lol!

Guys I would be cool with any form of government that would improve upon what we currently have. I wants Whats best for everyone though, that's where my concern lies.

Wilshire, yes, our democracy, if not for Trump was basically turning into an oligarchy(I believe that's the term in looking for), between the Bush's and Clinton's. And, if a new type of government restricted voters and it was done well and considered the welfare of everyone, id be happy with that. That said, I don't agree with your sentiment that even you shouldn't have a vote. Dude, your not a uneducated person (I can tell your quite articulate from this forum), and I'm sure you have views that mean alot to you. Your voice counts man.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

TaoHorror

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« Reply #163 on: August 25, 2017, 12:57:07 am »
That's an old concept.

There's some saying/idiom:

"There are only nine meals between mankind and anarchy” was said by writer Alfred Henry Lewis (1855-1914) in a March 1906 issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine. “It’s only nine meals between men and revolution” was cited in print in 1943. "

Basically that hungry people will topple governments, and we aren't as civilized as we like to think.

Except when led by Kellhus  ;)

Reminds me of one of the funnier parts of TUC ... when some ran down "deserters", I did laugh out loud at that one. Is there a thread documenting the humor of the series? I can start the thread if not already done. ( paraphrasing ) the if someone hung hell from the ceiling would think it would yield more light ( another one that got me laughing ).
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Wilshire

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« Reply #164 on: August 25, 2017, 12:01:23 pm »
lol, there is, but just make a new one if you don't want to dig it up ;)
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