capitalism/communism/political ideology

Discussion in 'Politics and Society' started by juantoo3, Jan 21, 2004.

  1. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    As requested, I hope this is suitable. Regards!

    Kindest Regards, Anzac,

    It seems we are discussing three different facets: politics, economics and philosophy. While they are entwined, I wonder if it will help at all to differentiate between each facet.

    Here, I cannot help but believe you misunderstand. The 20 years and $10 million has been spent to identify (as opposed to categorize) one specific gene. Say, for instance, the gene that causes diabetes, and the specific gene that can be used to replace that "defective" gene. The defective gene is the problem you are seeking to solve. The "replacement" gene is a healthy example of that same gene that does not cause diabetes, and could potentially be used to "cure" the diabetes. IF genetic manipulation therapies prove they are viable (this is the gamble and risk), and people seek out that form of therapy to cure their diabetes, the company stands to profit from their patent on that specific replacement gene only. Even then the company must still manufacture, cultivate, store, prepare and invent a way to transfer that gene, involving yet more time (years of research) and money (millions of $ in capital outlay). This is the economics. It is not a tax on every person, as you imply, it is only paid by those who seek the replacement gene (i.e, diabetics who undergo gene replacement therapy). The politics is that this patenting was allowed to encourage and further the research. Without such protection of investment, the company has no incentive to continue the research. Then the whole genome mapping project becomes a pipedream that never comes to fruition, or at best an exercise in scholarship with no viable application. Technological progress is made possible by profit. Economics.

    If not profit, then what purpose for a patent? Ego-stroking? Philosophy.

    But US patents are not global. I can only guess at where you gathered such misinformation. We constantly have to deal with knock-offs and counterfeits from Asia, where US patents are not recognized. US companies have to get European patents to protect their products in those markets. Import/Export regulations also affect application of patent and copyright laws and royalties (nation of manufacture I believe comes into play). Enforcement is a problem, true, because some governments hold a more lenient view towards patent and copyright protection. I am prepared to accept there may be some exceptions, such as reciprocal agreements between nations or some such, but what I have said is essentially correct. Politics.

    Yes, so, your point is? This is how companies differentiate their products. Mind you, all it takes is one minor adjustment, one slight change that can be demonstrated, and a company can seek a new patent. "New and Improved!" Politics.

    Just curious, whose specific wealth do you wish to be surrendered first? I sure don't want you giving up what little I have, may I suggest we begin by surrendering your individual wealth and redistributing it? Some people are quick to spend other people's money. Philosophy.

    Are you prepared to surrender your way of living? Your lifestyle? The things that make up that lifestyle are somewhat different in the states compared with Britain and Europe, so I hope I can illustrate through the translation. Can you exist, comfortably and conscientiously, without an automobile? (Perhaps not as great an issue in Europe as in the states, where some form of auto is almost mandatory for transportation.) Can you exist without a computer, television, air conditioning, radio, hair dryer, recorded music, books, electricity, indoor plumbing, soap, shampoo, toilet paper and a host of other "luxuriant necessities?" Philosophically, yes. However, your quality of life will diminish greatly. Business supplies these things. Taxes business pays provide for the common welfare. Those taxes, along with "that demon PROFIT" from those same businesses provide ability to be charitable. It is this, fundamentally, that you philosophically disagree with? Economics and politics notwithstanding. I believe it was Pink Floyd who so succinctly put it: "Money, Share it fairly, but don't take a slice of my pie..."

    If you would be willing, I would like to engage you in an experiment. Take your favorite picture, photo, or painting, and put it right in front of your face, with your nose touching. Look at the picture, what do you see? Anything that resembles the picture you are so familiar with? Now, back the picture off, slowly, and what do you see? Finally, at some point, you will see, clearly, the picture you are so fond of. In between, you will see all kinds of distorted images that simply cannot be your beloved picture, taken by themselves. Yet, everything you saw was in fact your cherished picture, the good, the bad and the hopelessly incoherent. Every religion worthy of the title teaches that wisdom lies in stepping back from the picture in order to get a better view. It is admirable that you are so familiar with dates and facts, a worthwhile ambition going into a debate. I am not here to debate. I am here, as I stated, to discuss the philosophy. The philosophy behind the overall picture. When one is so engaged in an issue that they cannot let go long enough to step back and view the total sum, they of necessity come away with a distorted view.

    I have already admitted there are points in which capitalism falls short. What you seem to fail to realize (admit?) is that Communism and Socialism fall short even farther. Do you really think your grandchildren will be able to bear the weight of all of the social welfare programs you are enjoying today? So many welfare programs in developed countries are going bust, and being required to eventually dissolve. You may say that it is because jobs are moving away. That is a portion that is speeding the matter along, but that is not the reason. The reason is that more and more people are living longer, and fewer and fewer are being born. As the "baby boomers" come into full need for social welfare, there are not enough working age people in the younger generations to support them and feed their own faces as well. It is a population shift thing. Now, the population of the world is increasing, true. But is that population increase taking place in developed countries? Are the productive nations gaining more workers? Or are the less developed, less productive, more needy nations increasing population? Uncallously speaking, still more unproductive demanding from fewer productive. At some point, something's gotta give.

    Your heart is in the right place, you wish to see others enjoy the opportunities you enjoy. Assuming of course that they would value those same opportunities. For the most part, likely, they would, speaking philosophically. But not with a "hand-out" mentality. Isn't it better to teach "how to", rather than "gimme?" As the old adage goes, "Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime." Which gives a man a better sense of pride and accomplishment, how-to's or handouts? Which one makes a man walk with his head held high and stick his chest out, how-to's or handouts? Which one provides better opportunity when "the well" runs dry, how-to's or handouts?

    A great deal of time has been spent considering the shortfalls of capitalism. To this point I have avoided elaborating on the shortfalls of Socialism/Communism, except in a philosophical manner. Let us consider the broad strokes of the politics and economics. I understand you do not formally have "free speech" in Britain, yet what I see demonstrated all across this forum is applied free speech. Albeit, it is requested that that speech be considerate and polite, in an ideal sense that is truly free speech. In applied Communism, any form of dissent, polite or otherwise, is harshly discouraged. "How can you dare disagree with Utopia?" State operated industry has no incentive to streamline or improve, and workers have no incentive to be productive. There is no reason to reach beyond "quota", and quota may not even be sufficient to meet demand. Heck, if you don't even reach quota, so what? "Let someone else make up the difference," but because the next guy thinks the same way, the shortfall isn't ever made up, instead it increases. So there are shortages, and long lines (cues?), waiting for measly rations. Since there is no profit, there are no resources to repair or replace broken or worn out equipment. Workers are required to "make do", which can only last so long. There is no incentive to improve product or process, as a result the people get the same old tired things, of diminishing quality, "forever." That society gets caught in a time warp, if anything moving backwards to the inevitable equilibrium of "savage." (Savage is not intended here as a slight, I can't think of a more appropriate term at the moment.) In practical application however, George Orwell's observation will suffice: "All animals are created equal. Some are more equal than others." Humans being what they are, there are always those that seek to rise above the crowd, even at the expense of others, economically and politically. A telling concept arises out of my sociology studies: conflict theorists inadvertently (or not?) through application of their arguments create the very stratification of society and class warfare they preach so incessantly against. Capitalism makes no apologies for stratification, but in an ideal state a person is mobile through the strata. Applied conflict theory justifies taxing the wealthy to give to the poor: economic redistribution. The problem in reality is that the truly wealthy have tax advantages (here, they are called "loopholes") that diminish their tax liability. The middle class, while relatively wealthy compared to the poor, have few such tax advantages. The middle class guy thinks "I'm busting my butt to earn a living, and I'm being taxed to support a ne'er do well." The poor guy thinks "Wow, I'm getting a free ride for not doing anything. I can be a drunk, drug addict (or otherwise non-productive citizen), and get rewarded for it!" This incites the very hatred between the classes socialism claims to do away with. The productive are punished, the non-productive are rewarded. Politics and economics.

    Another political and economic thought that occurred to me: political competition is the only thing that drives a socialist/communist state to any real level of production and innovation, to wit: The Cold War. The only shown incentive is political competition. In short, without war (or other political competition: space race) to spur the machine on to greater heights, stagnation is inevitable. I find such philosophy conflicting, imposing peaceful "Utopia" by force of arms. Of course, we have seen the outcome of such a political philosophy already applied: bankruptcy, philosophical and economic, and practically political. So, capitalism is not the only system capable of implementing force of arms, nor the only one inclined to use force of arms. Nor the only one inclined to use force of arms for its own benefit. The difference being that capitalism can pull its punches, and afford to wage St. Augustine's "Just War."

    I can continue, but I hope these examples will suffice. There is far more to Marx's Communist Manifesto than renunciation of personal property. Marx's Communism fails to consider human nature. The whole ideology is rife with philosophical conflict, much of it of its own making. And rife with other conflicts, again many of its own making, which feeds still more conflict. Until it hopes to reach Utopian Nirvana, which in practical terms means "never."

    As I said before, of the three philosophical views so far espoused in the civil world, I willingly choose capitalism. Even with its faults, it provides the greatest economic opportunity, the least restrictive politics, and the best psychological outlook for the masses. "The poor you have with you always", and the rich and powerful too.

    It should come as no surprise that I view philosophy as a type of religion, in function if not in form. What I see in this discussion is a focus on the three taboo subjects of polite conversation: money, politics and religion. All wrapped up in one conversation. It is no wonder then, that passion gets aroused and called into play. It is my intent to keep that passion within reason. Philosophy, like religion, gives us guidelines with which to direct our actions within the bounds of our personal view of ethics and morals. I see, and have seen from the beginning of this discussion, a distinct difference in our philosophical views. I have no problem with that. Neither have I seen anything to cause me to reconsider. We can agree to disagree, and remain friends. Or, as SuperTramp put it so long ago, "you find your way to heaven, and I'll meet you when you get there."
     
  2. Anzac

    Anzac Resident Anarchist

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    This seems to much more coherently be a summary of what we have now moved onto discuss and no longer JUST about the exploitation of the poor.
    First of all ask where all that money came from and who's eventually funding it all. After all, money is a man made creation, nowhere in any religious text or doctrine does it state the need for money and wealth yet we now have it. It seems wholeheartedly more than unfair to research a gene and which ones cause nasty illness and then charge people for doing it. It's like in the olden days of London after the great fire where if you didn't have enough money to pay the insurance then the "fire service" would not extinguish your house. It's life for the wealthy and death for the poor. To me this seems to be against any fundamental form of decency and is going against what we see as "humanity". Charging people for the right to life. This can be seen further with the amount of money western drug companies make selling pills to foreign nations at $110 when they can only be made for $5 (this is a direct quote from Amnesty International on their latest research.
    And what happens if they can't pay it? Then it is paying definitely for the right to life. Poverty is much more widespread than you'd imagine and the quality of life isn't as good as some people make out in some old eastern bloc countries. Will they get the treatment? No, they'll die because the west doesn't profit from it. To me this really is paying a price for being a person.
    How much money did the person who invented the wheel make? Not a whole lot; yet this invention is essential in modern day lifestyle. Look at when capitalism came about and when patenting things did - so yours was yours and people could pay you for what you'd discovered. No longer was being an inventor about inventing things, it was about discovering a gap in the market to profit off. This is not essential and I'm sure people wouldn't go amiss losing out on their wealth, they just want it so they can have more than everyone else. This to me seems crooked in human desire.
    I feel this is answered with my previous statement. It is only recently people dedicate their lives to earning money rather than personal satisfaction and this recent craze threatens (if not already done so) to spiral out of control. Recently in the US and west with the obesity reduction measures rejected because the fast food chains profit too much and they control what is said in the respective government. It's capitalism gone mad. People don't care about anyone else to make their OWN profit, they just want more for themselves and this can be seen with the insane profits they make.
    I thought this at first and yes, you are right in seeing the knock-offs from abroad are not subject to this. However, note that the US doesn't lose out on a profit from this. It makes sufficient money because more often than not it is some foreign syndicate with connections in the west that is running them, which in turn fuels the US market with more fervour. But still comes the question of why the farmers in India and Pakistan have to pay the US. I recently dug out the Amnesty International book and it was a 1993 US patent on a type of gene in the tree that was identical to the one they were using in a modified plant. The natural one in India and Pakistan was then subject to the dues claimed by US. To be fair also, there have been European patents in South Africa that have also claimed a proportion of their agarian income. To me this undoes what nature has created for profit - profiting off of everything.
    Does that not strike you as worrying at all? I mean people will kill, harm, change and do anything for a little extra money - more personal wealth. Anything and everything happens and is covered up so that more wealth is retained. Moving money around to avoid taxes and scrimping on certain items. Then it goes mad to say that because I invented something I am therefore entitled to all the profits. The man who invented the commerical interent didn't get a penny but his PERSONAL SATISFACTION is more than the money could ever have achieved. Any way to take wealth off of another and add it to your own - real pure capitalism. It goes mad when you go anything and everything for it and this is just an example of this.
    This is EXACTLY the answer I get every time I suggest it. Every time the subject it broached people are unwilling to give up their own wealth. Someone else has to do it first. Why? Because people want what is their own. However, this is always the misunderstaning.
    This is without a shadow of doubt the US view of communism. You (as a nation's ideology, not as an individual) always see it as "giving up", losing what is yours to someone else who doesn't have it. That is a total flat out lie. I do not wish to strip the individual of anything they have earned in a real sense (to me earned isn't working in an office for 30 minutes and getting paid 411 times more than the average worker in the company). What needs to take place is not to lower everyone's quality of life, but to raise it. Westerners are afraid of communism (by the way, I am NOT a communist to clarify that one) because they see it as THEIRS going away to others. It isn't in the slightest. The RSPCA had an income worth more than Rwanda, Burundi, Botswana, Namibia and Mozambique combined. The RSPCA is funded SOLELY by donations. Greenpeace made $360 million in the past three years which is spent on campaigns against government. The US spent $1 TRILLION on the war on Afghanistan alone. To me it seems like someone being asked to tidy their room. They sit around complaining about changing their room into something tidy for hours, they moan, argue and fight, but they've put more effort into not tidying it than they would have done tidying it. This is the epitome of what goes on. You ask who's wealth goes. Just redistribute the money "earned" by business executives by 5% and you've paid enough money to bring the quality of life in Libya to that of the US. Spend all the money on the arms trade on improving the quality of life for the rest of the world and ALL the problems are resolved. That is just for one year. Imagine if the world were not a collection of nation-states that were obsessed with keeping their own to their own and actually cared about anyone else's plight. It's a very small step but due to capitalism people don't want to lose their vast accumulated wealth. If communism were implemented you wouldn't need all the wealth.
    It is only a demon when you have someone sat in a swimming pool in the middle of California in their second house driving their second weekend car down to the beach so they can use their boat which they made in the last few years compared to the millions starving daily around the world that will never have the chance or opportunity to live as you have done. Because you are born shouldn't mean you are priviledged, it should be through your ability that you can make yourself, rather than whether you are born into a rich country with a rich family. Life shouldn't be about earning more, it should be learning more.
    "All animals are equal but some are more equal than others" isn't communism, that's capitalism at the very root. You start off with the same, but how you progress is down to you - fair enough. It's not fair when one pig has ALL the food because he "earned" it from the others and the rest die.
    The analogy of the picture to me seems somewhat flawed from the outset. At the moment, in our terms of society - we don't know it's our favourite picture and we haven't a clue what it looks like. All we see is the bit in between. We haven't seen the rest of the image and as such we can't tell if we like it or not. If we knew what the picture was to start with then there wouldn't be a problem as we'd know what we were looking at and not a distortion!
    This to me is a common misconception. One that I perfectly understand, for I too used to agree with the work ethic of "why should I pay for those people who don't work". Let me tell you why I should and why we all should. What we see about communism is that everyone is equal, we all have the same etc. etc. What we then see it "why work", "why do anything because I don't get anything". That's a capitalist mindset in a communist world. The only problem with communism is that people do not have the better judgement to be able commit actually good acts. A real person would surrender their seat on the bus for an old lady with shopping, help her to take it home and deal with anything else she asks because in return it will come around to you. I was horrified when there was a car accident at about 8:30 in the morning whilst I was going to college and all the cars went whizzing past to get to work because if they were late they would reap the whirlwind. It was on a busy road and out of 100 or so people going past I was the only one to get out and assist. To me this is why psychology has a bigger part to play in communism and capitalism. Capitalism is animal instinct - communism is human instinct. Whilst our animal ideas about territory and possession remain; nothing will change. However, capitalism is totally dependent on this innate nature, which is thrives off. This can be seen in the US. 3 billion people and more around the world living below the poverty line (I mean real poverty, not just not owning a TV). Why don't the march on the US and steal all their wealth (despite logistics)? Because THEY want it too - they want to be there and if they were - would they share? No. It's like the feminist movement, as soon as concessions were made they became female chauvinists which is just as guilty as the male ones. This is in essence why humans are naturally capitalists - and as such will endure until some humanity kicks in.
    If I were in the US I wouldn't have to. In the US you actually have to pay back welfare when you start working. To me this seems ridiculous. Whilst you are barely scraping a living working 10 hours a day to make ends meat there is the exec at the other end, the son of the old manager who "earns" $40 million a year and spends 6 days a month in the office. They live a life the person at the other end will never know. This is inherently unfair (much akin to the exploitation of the poorer nations) as the poor will never break out of the cycle because the rich are profiting from their discomfort. Improving their own wealth and ignoring anyones problems. How many people give money to beggars in the streets? And why is that? Ask yourself that and it will refer to the point earlier about personal ownership and possession.
    This is because the rich can afford to pay for the private industries anyway and as they are the ones in real control, they just twiddle a few toes and the whole thing implodes. The industries themselves die because of private investment where they can pay the workers more to entice them away from public sector business until they collapse and then dispose of the workforce. This has happened to the transport in the UK as the bus drivers and train drivers are now paid less than when the industries were nationalised (this is despite inflation). Should I really have to pay £30 for my healthcare when I arrive. Isn't a human right and necessity to have the right to life. By removing that you are removing my right to life essentially as if anything were to happen and I didn't have the money, I would surely die. So the private industries will walk all over the public sector ones because their is more money to be made for the individual. This then happens because of the continued expansion of capitalism. It seems inherently evil to allow pure capitalism to reign because in the end it becomes just like the feudal system with tiers of people with the wealthy at the top and the poor at the bottom. If communism were implemented, the same would not happen. Instead everyone would be on the bottom layer. There would be space for the other layers but none present. To me this seems better because there would be no people born into wealth but at the price of individual freedom! Without individual freedom is it really humane? There is freedom of choice in capitalism but only for the wealthy.
     
  3. Anzac

    Anzac Resident Anarchist

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    I believe that everyone can and should value these opportunities. I have several times been given opportunities but due to apathy refused them. After seeing these misgivings I realised what I could and would have done. Seeing what the people had achieved and what I could have done made me want to seize on opportunities. However, there is no price to pay for this. Not in me earning more, not being superior of another, but a real opportunity. If everyone had a moment to sit back and actually look at a situation (knowing the situation already, as with the painting metaphor which is applicable here) then capitalism wouldn't thrive. People shouldn't see anything as a "hand-out" but as an opportunity. Not to make more money for yourself, but to achieve personal satisfaction. Look at the number of children who say "I want to be a teacher" or "I want to be a doctor" but due to lack of money they didn't go through with it. There shouldn't be money as an incentive because surely the value of a person is infinitely larger than that of money.
    You may theoretically have it in the US too but is it really there? Does anyone actually have freedom of speech despite the supposed right to it. You definitely can't apply it against a government because you get beaten back, the same applies for the "freedom of movement" right. Ever heard of private property...
    Also - on a side note for freedom of speech in the states - remember McCarthyism - are you or have you ever been a member of the communist party?
    Then surely it isn't if you are disagreeing with it. This is again the westernised view of communism. In real communism there wouldn't be a KGB to beat people up and enfore supposed laws, there wouldn't be a need. It is the fact that everyone things the old Soviet Union was communist when it blatantly wasn't - just look at the "premier" of the nation set against the virtue of equality.
    This is again a westernised view of communism. Just because you look at the old soviet union with it's antiquated ways doesn't mean that's what it's like. To me communism can never be achieved in my lifetime because of capitalism - two fundamentally opposite ideologies that clash and capitalism wins because we are closer to animals than possessing any type of humanity. In real communism you wouldn't need to meet a budget and get the old second hand machinery, you could just get the newest type without going broke. You wouldn't need to work into the middle of the night to meet ends meet, you wouldn't need to be subordinate to anyone and obey someone despite personal grievances with the decision. It is all about working together for each other and not for the individual alone. You wouldn't think "how can I personally get more" because if you did it wouldn't make you any happier or more content, material possessions are just a sign of an inflated capitalist ideology.
    As I mentioned earlier - this implies that capitalism is inherently evil. Rising above one another despite anything. It's not about satisfying another to satisfy yourself, it's about profiting more for yourself and taking the wealth off of others. Why else would they charge $100 for a pair of shoes that cost $20 to make?
    Not true at all. The productive are rewarded with an immense personal satisfaction that outweighs anything that can be earned. The non-productive will eventually work into their psyche that now because they also don't have to fight for surivival and have an establishment to battle and anything to do that in turn they will work. Seeing people work hard because of work's sake and not money is today a rare sight, but if you eventually phased out capitalism then the psyche of people would eventually change to match it. Because you have known one does not mean when you go to the other the same applies.
    In capitalism the productive thrive beyond anything the imagination can concieve and the non-productive die. They are the weakest people in modern society and are eradicated. Last person that went about preaching superiority and inferiority caused a global conflict as their political groups do today. It is the same, except instead of hunting for survival you take money from others.
    This implies the the old Soviet Union was a communist nation, which it wasn't - only in theoretical ideology. In actual communist reasoning you wouldn't need arms to take from your neighbour what he has because you already have it - and also furthers the use of capitalism.
    I think the irony of that is immesne. "and afford to wage" for a capitalist war to me seems pretty prudent. After all, how much money does the US spend on arms, and also just HOW large is their national debt. Have a look into that and it is actually more than MicroSoft is worth multiplied by ten! Also to me a "Just War" is a contradiction in terms.
    That is true, but if you flip through to his summary of the beliefs he does quote it as saying "essentially the removal of private property and the right to ownership". There is far more inferred throughout the text but the idea of the removal of property is more pushing a wheel down a hill and getting everything started.
    That's only because "The rich you have with you always". For generations and from the very beginning of the race of man, to childhood and through adulthood - people still haven't learned to SHARE!
    That's the difference between the right and left of politics, the right wages war and the far left are pacifists. To me this seems to be an epitaph of the whole struggle and the way in which it is sought.

    Until the next reply! (this one has actually taken close to an hour and some!)
     
  4. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards, Anzac!


    But this is not correct. There are those on the far right that are pacifistic, just as there are violent militants of the far left. I don't agree with either extreme. I am arguing from just right of center. So, I most humbly ask, if we cannot agree to disagree, and we cannot remain friends, why continue this conversation? What perverse ego-stroking could either of us hope to possibly gain from such a discussion? Why pursue this conversation if there be no profit? (Profit is not inherently money, by the way.) And what self-fulfillment could you hope to achieve? Beating me up verbally? That seems contrary to someone who just finished claiming to be a pacifist.
     
  5. Anzac

    Anzac Resident Anarchist

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    I was merely adding my 2 cents and meaning nothing by it. I have no quarrel with you, in fact I see you as someone who stands up for their cause and knows what they're talking about. I have serious respect for you even though we disagree over such a vital issue.

    As for "beating you up verbally" and "ego-stroking" I'll have none of that. By causing offence to another whilst claiming to be in the right makes you just as guilty. I didn't mean anything by my comment and was merely an observation.

    I do realise there are far left militant groups but never realised there were far right pacifistic groups. Seriously, I have never heard of or encountered them yet, so any information as to what/who they are would be appreciated as you cannot argue against something if you don't know what you're arguing against.
    I think that is exactly the point I have been trying to make in no fewer words. Why have the need to work for man-made money when there is personal profit of the labour of love. Eventually if you eradicated money what would you work for? The passion for something, which is exactly what I think it should be about.
    I still consider and regard myself as such and don't wish to resort to violence in the streets as again, it makes you just as guilty as those you are trying to "fight" against.

    Kindest regards Anzac
     
  6. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Darn, you took the wind out of my sails!

    I know they exist, but I am at a loss at the moment as to which denominations specifically. I believe either the Quakers and/or Amish, as well as individuals within most every Christian denomination.

    I am working on an extended response to your previous post, it's going to take me a while. Until then, regards!
     
  7. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    To continue:

    That money can come from a variety of sources. From the company's previous profits, selling of stock, selling of bonds, government and institutional grants, loans and debts the company incurs, etc., and likely some combination when it involves huge sums. Keep in mind, a lot of this is "borrowed" money, which means the lender (or investor) is seeking his piece of profit too, regardless of whether or not the project succeeds. This becomes a portion of the company's operating expenses, or "overhead."

    Funny, the Bible mentions money quite regularly. Such as "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's..." Yes, cattle is the first form of currency, archeologically and in the Bible, but later silver and gold are recognized. And without in any way making light of the contributions of religion, religion is also a "man-made creation." (By definition, so are government, society and culture.) Look into the history of currency sometime, I find it interesting.

    Very well then, by your standard, insulin should be withdrawn from the market. Just let the diabetics deal with their disease in whatever way they can, of their own devices. It's a pity they have the rotten disease, but hey, it's such a shameful thing for a company to go through the trouble to make insulin and then have the gall to charge people for it.

    And why are they poor? Some by circumstance, true. Some by choice. Are you telling me that such inequities still exist? Are not such inequities addressed as societies improve? Even looking back then, what resources did the fire departments have? If virtually the whole city was aflame, surely there were simply not enough firemen and equipment to go around. It was wrong of them (firemen in this specific instance) to charge a gratuity to perform a necessary service, and I suspect (although I am unfamiliar with this specific instance) that government addressed this immediately after, and probably in no kind manner towards the fire departments in question.

    You have made this apparent.

    This view is somewhat exaggerated.

    This is a fallacy of logical reasoning, called fallacy of appeal to authority I do not recognize. I could quote the Pope, if you do not recognize his authority, you would not recognize his opinion. As I stated before, Am. Int'l has a purposeful slant in their propaganda. If the pills can be made for only $5, then why doesn't Am. Int'l set up a factory to produce these pills in that (those) nation(s) to serve that need, instead of putting their money into inciteful propaganda literature to solicit more funds?

    What happens if you can't pay for your insulin? Bearing in mind that gene therapy is so new it is still experimental, yes, only the "wealthy" can afford to even consider it. As it proves itself, and becomes more widely available, and competitors join the race, and price comes down, and more quantities are created, and companies can afford to be charitable, it will become more available, even to the POOR. Just like insulin.

    You are preachin' to the choir. I grew up dirt poor, and I DON'T WANT TO STAY THERE!

    Oh? I hear they are coming along nicely. They still have some catching up to do, but they are better off then they were.

    Not yet. Neither will you, or I, or most anybody, until the process is proven, and until manufacturing capacity increases to a point where it can be made viable as a commodity.

    They'll die because they are alive humans. We all will, like it or not. These issues are so greatly confused, this is becoming a difficult conversation. You are using a hopeful maybe future to support your claims of past and current disparity and class warfare. We are mixing fact and (at this point) fantasy here, just so you are aware.

    You've already said this, multiple times. And I must respectfully disagree.

    How is this relevant? Further, patents are limited. If a company does not renew a patent, the "rights" fall into the public domain after 7 years. Currency, if that is what you mean by money, wasn't invented until sometime after the wheel. Did he trade his wheel(s) for an ox or a goat? Probably.

    I fail to understand what your gripe is about here. Do you think Edison didn't profit from his inventions? Do you not think that those profits drove him on towards even more and better inventions? How about Marconi, or Tesla? How about Fulton, or Benz, or Ford? How about the Wright Brothers, or Curtis? How about Colt, Gatling or Dahlgren? How about Pasteur, or Fleming, or Salk? How about Goddard? How about the two guys that struggled in their garage tinkering, that created a company called Hewlett-Packard? Each of these reveled in the recognition they received, and a part of that recognition was monetary profit. There are many, many, many more stories just like these.

    In this much you are correct: wealth is not essential to life. However, different people pursue wealth for vastly different reasons. Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery a whole lot easier to bear.

    I pulled this out of context for no particular reason other than convenience. There is a distinction between monetary profit and "profit." Profit may be psychological, spiritual, material, or otherwise. But if there is no gain, why pursue any matter? That gain may be as simple as a pat on the back, or as grandiose as a million dollars. But if that gain is nothing, or worse if it costs you to pursue, then it is a hobby at best, and simply not worth the effort at worst.

    If you are speaking of Joseph Campbell's "follow your bliss," that is all well and good, if you can find a way to do it. If you enjoy your work, it is so much the better. But if you happen to be blissful doing nothing, you're in for a shock. Nothing doesn't feed you, except by misguided charity.

    But this is incorrect. Do you really think there were no wealthy in Roman times? Or Grecian times? Or Assyrian times? Or Babylonian times? Or Egyptian times? Accumulation of wealth had been around perhaps from the dawning of modern civilization, maybe before. Who figured out the wisdom in "saving for a rainy day?" Where else were the resources derived from to pay for the construction of the pyramids? Even if slave labor was employed in the physical construction, who paid for the stone, the cutting and polishing of the stone, the transport of the stone, the transportation equipment, the raising and setting equipment, the food for the labor, the overseers, the architects, the taskmasters, etc., etc., etc.?

    Now you are infusing social and cultural matters into the discussion. Similar could be said about tobacco. Tobacco served as the cultural pariah for many years, until finally society and government forced change, in stages, that curbed the people's appetite. I am a smoker, have been for years. Once I was "normal", now if I light up in an inappropriate place, I am a social outcast. I haven't changed, society's view of me has changed. Obesity is the new pariah. There is a social move underway to curb unhealthy eating. It is beginning to reflect in the choices companies are offering. And this has been ongoing for some time actually. But what companies were finding early on goes like this:

    I offer you a choice (as a restaurant) between a salad and a hamburger. You choose the hamburger, and so do your buddies and almost everybody else. The salad sits and rots. I make no profit from the salad, in fact, it costs me to put it out. The salad is a waste of my time and resources, no one wants it, so I stop offering it. Everyone wants the hamburger, even if it will eventually cause them health problems, but I can earn enough to keep my company open and pay my employees, so I sell them. They aren't against the law, and the health risks are cumulative (if I am willing to admit to them, a different discussion), that is, one burger isn't going to kill you. But as society changes its views, and realizes the health risks of eating only burgers, and that salads can be healthy alternatives, then it becomes socially acceptable to eat salads. Then I can offer salad as an alternative, there is enough salad sold to pay for its cost, and hopefully over time provide profit, especially as profit from burger sales fall. If I had idealistically opened my store to begin with only offering salads, "because they're good for you!" (imposing my morals on the public), I would have gone bankrupt because no one would buy. Idealism is really tough in the marketplace, because in effect you are telling people what their morals should be. The successful business listens to what the customers want, and then tries to meet that demand without making moral decisions for them.

    Communism, by contrast, offers a limited variety, and says "This is what we got. If you don't like it, do without." There are no alternatives because there are no choices. Bread and vodka. Not even different breads, because only one kind is authorized. And there is only one brand of vodka, that is the only taste you will have to be able to quench your craving (and in a real sense deaden your pain). And if you die from too much vodka, "eh, so what, you were going to die anyway." There is no room or hope for social improvement, because "hey, how can you improve on perfection?" Your morals are decided for you.

    I have absolutely no idea where you get this from. This creates a total disconnect from the whole concept of "patent." Even if, (and I must stress IF), the offending company were run "from the west", those profits would not go to their rightful owner. That is stealing, and that is why it's against the law.
     
  8. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    continued

    I'm truly sorry, but as this discussion has unfolded, and so much misinformation has been presented, specifically concerning patents and royalties, I cannot help but hold this source in question. I am inclined to anyway, but for this matter I was willing to consider. But this entire specific issue seems so distorted that I find it extremely difficult to believe. It is being argued backwards from the legal reality. That particular author should be brought before an international tribunal and made to answer, in order to sort the reality out. Then if there is genuine impropriety, make the company answer. If not, the author should be charged with slander.

    You don't find it worrying how exaggerated these claims are? Think about it, what is the penalty for killing someone frivolously or with premeditation? Oh, that's right, ya'll don't have execution as an option. Still, life in the pen is a pretty stiff sentence, "for a little extra money". I am not saying it doesn't occur, but it is not for a "little" money. And you are saying that a person, an inventor, should bust his hump to create something, just because it's the right thing to do? And that once he has, his ONLY reward is a pat on the back, a handshake, a "nice going, now get back to work and make us some more." And that is somehow less of a vulture, or perhaps a morally better vulture, than capitalism?

    Uh, I hate to break it to you, but I was taught the internet was developed by the US military. Like our highway system, commercial application was an afterthought, using what was already there. Not to mention, did you ever try to eat "PERSONAL SATISFACTION?" It's kinda dry, doesn't have much taste, and it's not very filling. It's not even nutritious. A cardboard cereal box has more calories and better taste, and at least fills the belly.

    Actually, I think I understand quite well. There is an old saying, "If one or two people call you a donkey, don't give it much thought. But if three people call you a donkey, get a bridle."

    Quite the contrary. You have argued repeatedly the benefits of surrendering what is rightly yours (here I will insert my understanding) "for the better good." You have stated repeatedly and in no uncertain terms that a person should not have right to what belongs to them, patent, profit or otherwise. You have extolled the virtues of Personal Satisfaction at the expense of a full belly. I see you clouding the issue in your own mind in order not to face the reality. This is not a slight, it is a friendly observation.

    Oh? The reality is, you do.

    You still have not demonstrated creation of wealth. In point of fact, you have renounced all manner of wealth, except personal satisfaction of course. How, pray tell, does personal satisfaction raise anybody's standard of living? The only thing you have left is to strip and redistribute existing wealth. And feed the masses with personal satisfaction. Personal satisfaction is no more than ego-stroking, plain and simple. By itself, it is nothing. Until you find a way within your philosophy to create wealth, you have no wealth to redistribute, except for that that already exists. And since you renounce wealth, the end result is everyone being equally poor. There is no escape from the outcome, the best you can hope for is to delay it as long as possible. Communism reduces humanity to the lowest common denominator, which means living in caves.

    Politically, there is truth in this statement. Socially, philosophically and academically, communism is very well received here. There are components integrated into our political system. Especially academically, my view is in the minority. And I keep my professors on their toes as much as I am you.

    And so you now wish to diverge the discussion yet further? How about if the terrorists had instead flown a civilian airliner full of innocent people into the Parliament building while in session? Or into Buckingham Palace? Or into some other place that killed thousands of Britons and hundreds of foreigners? If you still wish to play pacifist, so be it. But you had better find a way then to contribute to the effort (as a corpsman or something), or at the very least keep your mouth shut and get out of the way, or frankly you're a traitor and a coward. Sorry to be so rough, but if you want to drag some issues into this, you'd better be willing to play hardball. War was brought to us, and bedamned if we're going to sissy out and let them have their way!

    Coming from someone who just disparaged the right of a nation to defend itself, this observation doesn't hold much weight. It rather sounds like a childish lament, frankly. I mean, why don't your political extremist parties put their money where their mouths are? Because they are too busy raising more money by railing against people who earn money honestly. Rather counterproductive, don't you think?

    There is a germ of truth to this, but again it is misguided. As a pacifist, I'm afraid your positions on national sovereignty and security have been compromised. Expecting ALL nations to lay down their arms is ludicrous. You really do wish humanity to return to the state of an animal. Civilization, replete with morality and all things good, can only come about and prosper under protection. Think about that, seriously and deeply, and when you are finished, THEN we will discuss that facet. Think about it in the light of human reality, human weaknesses, human frailties, human faults, human predispositions, human propensities, in short, from what it is to be human in reality. Not from some pseudo-moralistic philosophical/political/psychobabble nonsense. You contradict yourself, and you are too focused on the little picture to even begin to see it. I am sorry to be so harsh, but the simple fact is you do not know what it is you are talking about on this subject. And I am much too emotionally attached to disconnect myself at the moment and explain it to you, especially since you will refuse to see anyway.

    **DEEP BREATH** Ah, now we can return to the discussion at hand. I sincerely meant no offense, and I also mean only to make a strong statement. Passions are easily aroused in such a discussion, as I already pointed out. I think we have both remained civil while displaying that passion. I sincerely hope it will not escalate, or we may of necessity have to end this thread before it gets ended for us.

    If they earned it, it should be theirs to enjoy. If their parents earned it, and left it to them, why should they be denied? If they are fools, they will not hold it anyway, so what is the gripe?

    And how can this be that guys fault? Why should he be made to pay for the sins of the world? He has enough to answer for with his own sins.

    But that is, in essence, your very point! That a person is privileged because they are born, and nothing more!

    Which is my very point! It is not possible in Socialism/Communism. It is possible in Capitalism. Personal satisfaction is not going to make you, and certainly not all by itself.

    Life is for learning, yes. And in the meantime you have to find a way to feed your face. Otherwise, it's premature graduation.

    A great deal too centers on what it is you are learning. Frivolous pursuits do not feed you, nor do they begin to help feed you, in any political or economic system. It is only after you are fed, and fed well, with no concern for the next meal, that you can afford the luxury of frivolous pursuits. Such as a discussion like this on the internet.

    That quote is directly from George Orwell's book "Animal Farm", which was written specifically about the Russian revolution, in metaphor, so children could understand. It's actually pretty good reading, you might try it sometime.
     
  9. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    still continued

    Which tells me, in your concerted effort to be "right" at all costs, you have failed to understand the purpose. Allow me to explain plainly. You, my friend, are too focused, it is you who have difficulty stepping back and looking at the big picture. I step back and look at the big picture all the time. Just by what I've seen in other posts, I can name many here who know how to step back and look at the big picture, rather than focussing so tightly on one item so hard that they lose sight of everything else. You are aware of many components, but you shift back and forth with this myopic vision. You haven't learned yet to step back and take it ALL in. Soon, after being made aware of this, you will discover the somewhat bigger picture that includes all of your inclinations. But it may take some time to realize there are other aspects, other views, other angles, other considerations. That maybe what you believe to be right ALL of the time, is really only right some of the time, and there are even times when it is not right at all. You will learn, but not for some time. Don't be discouraged, you are on the right track.

    Wow, when did this start? Maybe while I was sleeping? No, dear friend, the government under Clinton passed a "welfare to work" program, which believe it or not is a good thing. No longer are women able to continue having babies just to get bigger welfare checks. There is a lifetime cap of two years, instead of the three generations that grew up on subsidy. The new law provides education and training programs that prepares these women for the work force and helps them find jobs. Even though I am not a woman, because I am disabled I was allowed to participate in one of these programs, and that's how I got the position I am in now. "My goodness, what a horrible thought, contributing to society instead of milking it! Dear, Dear, what IS the world coming to."

    You seem to know so very little about so very much, but that little seems enough for you to form great opinions. The problem is, as one scholar I am fond of says, "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing." You might want to keep that in mind, especially since so many of your sources seem to be presenting misconceptions and outright lies. Sincerely meant as friendly advice. You do get known by the company you keep.

    See, now that's a dangerous assumption. I made the general concession that most people would probably share certain values and opportunities, but I left them room to make up their own minds. There is a problem here. You are assuming you have the right to impose your values and morality on me. And why shouldn't you, after all, it's the road to Utopia? But what if I disagree. You leave me no room for disagreement. Turn the table friend, would you want anybody else imposing their values and morals on you, regardless of the Utopia they espoused? This is a fundamental error committed by so very many religious and political ideologies, and this philosophical error is the source of all wars throughout recorded time. Think about it. You want to end war? You can start by erasing this assumption from your mind.


    I have already invested way more time in this than I can afford. I skipped class today to write this, and I'm only halfway through your posts. You have good intent, I grant you that. But your application leaves a great deal to be desired. Continue, by all means, and keep in mind that what is good for you is not always good for the next guy. I would suggest, getting away from the propaganda, and seeking out reliable sources of information. You might even consider conflicting views, to give yourself a more rounded perspective. You don't have to agree, you need to understand.
     
  10. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    addendum

    Anzac,
    Do both of us a favor. Go back and re-read your posts written to me. What difference do you see between the both of us in attempting to communicate?




    Besides ideology and philosophy? Besides differences of opinion? Do you see anywhere, where you attempted to make any concession? I don't recall any. You at no time answered sincere and valid challenges to Communism or Socialism, you specifically avoided them. I admitted, on far more than one occasion, that Capitalism was not perfect. Have you considered, without ranting or raving, that Communism or Socialism was not perfect? The only time you came close was to glance off of the subject and dismiss it as irrelevant. You will not acknowledge the flaws to yourself, why should I believe you are capable of hearing them from me? Until you can face the factual truth, instead of zealously brandishing the ideological myopic view of truth, you can make no progress. The factual truth is that there is good and bad in all of these political and economic ideologies, in spirit and intent if not in practice. The devil is in the details in ALL of them. I see more devils in Communism, that is my choice, after having looked sincerely and thoughtfully at all of them.

    I don't expect you to agree with me, in fact, I implore you not to.

    What I ask of you is to thoughtfully consider the ramifications of ALL of them, see where the devils are in each, tally them up, and THEN make your decision. And still come away realizing that even though that is your choice and your decision, the next guy has the same right and opportunity to make up his mind. If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice. And in this context, that too is a valid decision. Otherwise, you are just another zealot. Funny thing about zealots, they tend to get wiped out pretty quickly.

    I have no grievance with you either. I only want for you to open your eyes. This is a good thing. With Absolute Kindest Regards, Wes
     
  11. Anzac

    Anzac Resident Anarchist

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    juantoo3, first of all I would like to thank you for the response and as this week is rather hectic I will be able to respond at the start of the next one (or before if I have chance). Until then I'll reply to the latter.


    I think these two quotes fit well together. I have previous (though not in the way of which you have done) said that the political systems are not perfect. If they were perfect why aren't we living under their rule? I can think (and have done an essay) of the thousands of flaws in communism on the reliance of few indivuduals to take executive power for many. Communism isn't democratic and as such relies on few having power over many in the same sense as a dictatorship. In the ideal they would act responsibly which is where communism stems. In real life it became a dictatorship for the simple flaw called human error involved. However (though again, I haven't said it) I do believe that communism is JUST AS BAD as capitalism because there are several inherent weaknesses in both. One tends to exploit many from few and so does the other, and both tend towards the power of few over many.
    If there wasn't then we'd all live under it. That is why we have such diversity from dictatorship to socialism in the world. None of them are perfect and all contain problems. I like a REAL democracy because it is one where both I and my opposite can voice out views without oppression. However, since we both have opposing views, inevitably we would both like to see the thing that handed us to voice our concerns eventually crushed - kind of ironic don't you think?
    As with capitalism, I don't see them as "demons" and "devils". More as loopholes and points where trying to tighten them actually makes them larger. To me however, both communism and capitalism are heavily flawed - capitalism leaves too many people unable whereas communism leaves everyone unable except those that control the authority - much akin to capitalism. However, I can criticise both with equal passion but in arguing one case I favour it (for instance if you were to have raised my arguments I would have done exactly as you have because there are two sides to every argument).
    It's like making a pro and con list (in fact it is!) and in that respect you can have negative and positive that heavily outweight another. It is not necessarily the sheer number that influences the decision - but the effect that have altogether. To me, i choose neither communism nor capitalism due to the negatives heavily outweighing any positives I can see in either.
    That is true, but where the graves of the old ones are, even more radical ones are created. This means that you eventually end up with a cycle whereby you get more and more extremists, willing to be even more fundamental and outrageous in any way, whether it be to murder thousands of people or agree with those that are going it so everyone must obey their commands.
    And I the same for you. I don't wish you to sit and enjoy your lifestyle (and mine for that matter) without realising not only the material cost and burden, but the human one that is being paid every day for mine and your comforts. To me the price can never be even but to you it is - which is where our opinion differs. However, you must still know of the opposing argument because otherwise you will be in peril:

    "Know thyself and know thy enemy and in 100 battles you will never be in peril"

    - and this is why I seek to expand my horizons. Not because I want an enemy to fight, so I know what people are seeing and believing so I can come to an informed opinion.

    Kindest regards Anzac
    (expect my response in the coming week)
     
  12. Baud

    Baud Seeker of Knowledge

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    Anzac and Juantoo3, it seems that both of you researched your subjects intesively and that you agree that there are flaws in both communism and capitalism. In order to push the discussion constructively forward, could I offer you a challenge?

    You have been arguing about the merits and drawbacks of both systems. Could you now come-up with proposed improvements to each system (or a new system altogether) that in your opinion would work better?

    I have been studying political systems for a while, and I would be very interested in your views.

    Thanks for the lively debate.

    Baud
     
  13. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    I like that idea - good call, Baud. :)
     
  14. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    I'll play.
     
  15. Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine

    Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine Junior Moderator, Intro Moderator

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    A-men, Baud.

    Another thing I was thinking of is try to argue from the opposing viewpoint (something I had to do in my Ethics in the Medical Professions class last semester [the topic was euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide].) The thing of this exercise is that you have to present legitimate arguments from the opposing side.

    Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine
     
  16. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards to all!

    I hope I am not jumping the gun by not waiting for Anzac's next post, I would still be interested in what s/he may have to say. But to begin a challenging discussion such as Baud suggests, may I ask that he too participate, please, as moderator if nothing else?

    It would seem wise to me to first lay out what it is we hope to accomplish with such a discussion. I believe it to be a formidible task, I made a similar challenge in the exploitation thread.

    I suppose a good place to start would be in defining the purpose of governmental power, such as why it exists and to what ends. If we understand why we need something, we can then understand better what it is we need to construct to serve those needs. I am wide open to suggestions.

    Thank you for this challenge.
     
  17. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep Well-Known Member

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    Best system communism

    For me the best economic-political system is communism. Is that the system that is founded upon the ideal that from everyone what he can and to everyone what he needs?

    I practice that ideal in my own family and home, and I am the head thereof.

    But it is not easy on human nature, being by its own biological heritage selfish, i.e., that of human nature, and self-concerned and aggrandizement obsessed. And thus it failed, communism that is or more correctly was subverted by capitalistic interest blocks.

    Did someone say survival of the fittest? But are we not supposed to be transcending above that crude law of animal life, to arrive at the cream of civilization?

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  18. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards, Susma,

    Actually, I think you're a tad late to the party. (oooh, bad pun...sorry)

    We're trying to move on. If you really wish to discuss communism, please read the previous posts.

    At this point, some of our respectable elders (forgive the age connotation, I could think of no better term) are persuading us to move on to discussing how to either fix what is, or develop a new model.

    So that we may have a starting point, what purpose does government serve?
     
  19. Baud

    Baud Seeker of Knowledge

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    Excuse me for being a little late in the reply. Yes, I will participate, time permitting. Juantoo's first proposal as to "what purpose should a government serve" is a very good start. Let me push you in some directions. Here are a servies of questions that can help the discussion. I'm not saying that each question should be answered one by one, of course.

    Overarching theme 1: The purposes of government.

    - Should the government be resonsible for ensuring the secutity of the citizens (both internal, within the bounds of the community; and external, from outside threats)?
    - Now that we talk about citizens, should the government have the responsibility of defininig who is a citizen? To impose conditions on citizenship? To exclude people from belonging to society?
    - Should the government be responsible for the administration of justice? If not, what alternatives are there?
    - Should the government be responsible for the sharing of wealth? Using what model? Should this be limited to preventing abuse, or also include redistribution of assets?
    - Should government own real property? All the real property?
    - Should government own personal property? All the personal property?
    - Should the citizens be "owned" by government? Only some of them? (yeah, I agree it is a strange question)
    - Should the government be responsible for the definition of the organisation of society (classes, castes)? For avoiding that society becomes organised?
    - Should the government be responsible for the provision of public services (electricity, fire brigade, roand repairs, ...)? Should it merely regulate the provision of such services? Should it bother at all?
    - Should the government act as a "safety net" for poorer or unlucky people? How?
    - Should government have anything to do with religion? Should it regulate religion?

    Overarching theme 2: The structure of government (questions will come later).

    Baud
     
  20. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep Well-Known Member

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    Short cut to government's purpose

    What purpose does government serve? This late in the day.

    First, government is better than no government.

    Second, democracy is the system to adopt for an enlightened society.


    Now, we who are in a democracy, we who are enlightened, we who are not in the government, our preoccupation and role is to keep a tight watch on the government, but focus on the people in the government, starting with the topmost figure and going down to the street patrolman.

    Keep track of government people, see who are doing disservice and who are in a-service mode*.


    Then you will have the answer to the question: What purpose does government serve? But more useful and tangible answers to the now and here concerns of society.

    Recommendation for the study of the question: What purpose does government serve? Keep to the specific and concrete issues of disservice and a-service* of government people; begin for example with the Iraq war.

    Susma Rio Sep

    *a-service -- no service (from Susma's glossary).
     

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