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State your Political Philosophy! (1000 FRIH$ to the best!)





The Philosopher Princess
{EDITED-IN ANNOUNCEMENTS (newest to oldest)}

Arrow Current news: The contest is officially over. The awards have been presented. These sibling topics are now open for further political philosophy discussion. But they are no longer being as closely facilitated or monitored as before. (See why, here.) (Staff is always around, though. Wink) Nevertheless, please keep up the high-quality standards of discussion. Readers and T.P.P. will appreciate it. Very Happy

Arrow Old news: This thread (and its sibling topic) are temporarily locked during political philosophy contest deliberations. Please do not despair, for both topics will be re-opened for discussion within hopefully a week.

Arrow Old news: The deadline for questioning, challenging, answering, and offering other political philosophy additions has been set for Thursday, 19 October 2006, 6:00 p.m. GMT. At that time, the threads will be temporarily locked.

Arrow Old news: The deadline for accepting new contestants has now past.

Arrow Old news: The deadline for new entries has been set for Tuesday, 10 October 2006, 6:00 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time.

{INTRODUCTION}

What should be The Law? What should The Government look like? What should Government Authorities be allowed to do, and what should they do? What should not be in the scope of these things? Please share with us your best answers. And/or please help analyze other people’s answers. This is a contest with a serious bent.

Please don’t get bent out of shape (Smile) at the length of the description below. As with many contests, the “fine print” is voluminous, but it doesn’t mean this is difficult. As long as you are courteous and sincere, everyone is welcome to give this a try. More entries will make it more interesting for everybody. There will be only one winner, but every person who enters will receive FRIH$, and every person who adds to the discussion will receive FRIH$.

{SIBLING TOPICS}

This is the main sibling topic. It is for serious discussion in the context of political philosophy.

The subordinate sibling topic (located in the Contests Forum) is less serious -- even light and playful. It is entitled, Discussion ABOUT “State your Poly Philosophy! 1000 FRIH$”. Posts (after this one) that discuss FRIH$, or include questions about the contest logistics, will probably be moved to there. In other words, the contest part is to be discussed over there, while the serious on-topic part is here. I will do my best to judge these appropriately, but you can help by posting in the right place.

{STATE YOUR POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY}

I would like as many people as possible (within the next week or so) to state for us your political philosophy. It can be in the form of prose (text), a bulleted list, a poem, a table, or other forms. But it needs to be created by you. You may rainbox (use color and formatting) or not, as you like. It may be fairly short, fairly long, or in-between. You may offer more than one entry (both of course would be reflecting the same political philosophy). In general, more comprehensive is better than less; however, a subset of your political philosophy is acceptable.

To remind you (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_philosophy):
Wikipedia wrote:
Political philosophy is the study of fundamental questions about the state, government, politics, liberty, property, rights, law and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why they are needed, what makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it should take and why, what the law is, and what duties citizens owe to a legitimate government, if any, and when it may be legitimately overthrown—if ever.

{DISCUSS OTHER PEOPLE’S POLITICAL PHILOSOPHIES}

You may question, challenge, agree with, and otherwise discuss any philosophies here. You do not need to have offered your own philosophy to join in on the discussion. You do not need to be interested in the contest part, even. In fact, for this to work, I need many of you to analyze and critique others’ philosophies on things such as how practical they are, how well they will achieve their goals, how moral they are, how sincerely the author believes it, whether the form offered is original and creative -- virtually any area as long as you also are being sincere and serious.

{CONTEST}

Arrow The 1000 FRIH$ will be awarded to the winner, only if 10 or more people who are eligible to win offer their political philosophies. If there are fewer entries, then only 500 FRIH$ will go to the winner.

Arrow Every valid political philosophy entrant will receive an amount of FRIH$ for your part in contributing to the success of the contest. So too will every person who questions, challenges, and discusses others’ philosophies. (These amounts will be disclosed later when the awards are presented.)

Arrow The Philosopher Princess will be the sole judge of this contest. I give you my word that I will do it as objectively as possible. I am not eligible to win. My closer friends will not receive preferential treatment. Your philosophy needs to be yours (not mine, not someone else’s) and all will be treated with equal respect and skepticism. (Sincerity and creativity are most important.) I will be using Moderating powers, as well as taking part in any and all discussions.

Arrow (Besides all “regular” Frihosters who are eligible) Moderators and Staff are also eligible to win. (If, however, you use any moderating powers here or on the sibling topic, then please recuse yourself from the contest. Even in the case that you aren’t a contest entrant, your own entries and questioning of others would still be needed.)

{THE CRITERIA FOR JUDGING THE WINNER}

These are the areas where entrants may and should be questioned and challenged. They are listed in priority order, most important first.

Arrow SINCERITY. The person entering the political philosophy needs to believe in it. You need to be able to defend your philosophy and explain what it means.

Arrow CREATIVITY/ORIGINALITY. The philosophy, as it is offered, should have been created by the entrant and should be extremely interesting. You could picture it being on the back of your published political philosophy book. (Obviously, something very boring is probably not going to be published.) Write/create something for us that will make you stand out from the crowd. Be innovative. Be provocative. Be profound.

Arrow PHILOSOPHY THAT IS POLITICAL. It must be a philosophy in some sense of stating principles, or stating rules to be followed, or something resembling a credo. It must fit somewhere in the area described in the Wikipedia blurb above.

Arrow PRACTICAL, MORAL, FEASIBLE, CONSISTENT, ETC. This is a catch-all for the most important criteria that a political philosophy should have. However, these are the most difficult to judge objectively -- especially in a relatively short discussion like this. Therefore, the judging will be on how you handle yourself during questioning on these things. People who answer questions directly, thoroughly, and forthrightly will be judged better than those who do not even try.

{FINAL NOTES}

I may be breaking new ground here in attempting to offer a contest that is on a subject of utmost importance. This is planned to be my last Frihost topic (Please join my going-away party). I would be honored if you would help this to be a success. Whether you will write up your philosophy and offer it here, and/or whether you can question others, I depend on you -- and so does the whole contest! Very Happy

As long as this “fine print” is, I know you will likely still have questions, so please ask them over here.

Arrow Arrow Though this is a contest with real FRIH$, I don’t want the FRIH$ to be the main focus. For example, I hope that people who don’t need or care about FRIH$ would participate. Let’s let the political philosophy talk be our main focus -- because that is something that truly affects our relationship with the world. Please let the contest part just add some fun to something serious. I hope many people will take pride in offering your own political philosophy. I will take pride in having you join me here. Very Happy
NjRocket
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
{INTRODUCTION}

What should be The Law? What should The Government look like? What should Government Authorities be allowed to do, and what should they do? What should not be in the scope of these things? Please share with us your best answers. And/or please help analyze other people’s answers. This is a contest with a serious bent.


Well, ill start it off i guess. The government should be able to control the citizens to a certain extent. They must know what should and shouldnt be leaked out for the purpose of all the lives of the people. They know that people would panic, for example, World of the wars, radio show in princeton where people thought aliens were indeed taking over the world, people starting killing themselves and taking money out of the banks. This is a solid example of what would happen if something the government should have kept quite ended up coming out. Government should be intact of a group of people with different beliefs. I say this because if everyone has the same beliefs, TOO much stuff will get done, hurting the citizens and the people around them. We need people on different sides so that they know they just can't pass something and they must know its good for the country. If there was no government, ask yourself who would be running the country and the people? Can you say chaos? As citizens, people might hate certain decisions made by certain people in office, but its just things that you have no control over. Wars are a great example of this, you might not want to go to war, but the government feels it must protect people by going out and beyond the country and fighting in different lands. Well, this is my submission to the contest, by the way, when will this end?
smartass.id.au
Firstly I think that Philosophy comes first. Its what you conclude right and wrong to be, before you can make a law about it politically.

So, in a Multicultural society such as Australia(where I come from) we have a basic problem: there are so many different philosophies and religions, so how do you make political life fair?

Maybe you could start with just about the only thing that different religions and philosophies have in common : "Do not do things to others that you would not like to have done to yourself". So possibly that idea of action, or policy, could be the fundamental basis for all political philosophy.

It's not perfect, but the principle is sound.

Another concept is working towards "the greatest good for the greatest number[of people]"

To tell a short story(and make it shorter again) : There once was a wealthy Eastern King who gathered all his scholars together to perform a task that had occured to him as a great idea. He wanted all the knowledge in his library condensed down into a set of books, so he could read only the really important stuff, but the set of books was too big, so he ordered all the knowledge in his vast library reduced down to one book. But that was too big, so he forced his scholars to bring it down to one essay. But the esay was too big, so a sentence, then a word.

That word, that affected every other person, every other living thing, and even the physical structure of the universe was - "SURVIVE!" .

Everything was trying to survive. (quote and story from LRH)

It was also "The Answer to Life, The Universe, And Everything" (Quote from Hitch-Hikers Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams, bbc audio + books)

So every action you take could be weighed up, in a Political Philososphy, against whether it enhanced the overall survival value of that society or not.

An example here in South Australia is the introduction of gambling machines where they were previously illegal. Much money has been wasted(approaching billions) by South Australian citizens. The gambling machines were known to be addictive, and its obvious that they serve no puspose other than some sort of entertainment. They should have remained banned, like the highly addictive drug that they are.

A good political philosophy would conclude that Gambling Machines are good only for the manufacturers and operators, and are not good for the general population.

My point is(got there at last!!) that Philosophy comes first.

You gotta think thru in a structured, logical manner before setting rules in law. Thanks for listening.
MadeinIndia
In one of my previous posts, we discussed about God and religion. Even though I had a very few replies to my discussion, almost everyone who replied agreed to my theory.

I was more curious and intrigued by the topic of the post than the lure of the points I would accrue. I always was interested in studying various cultures, religions etc. I myself belong to and adhere to the teachings of Hinduism.

In every society, religion has been a major influence and a decisive factor in the governance. Once we all acheive objectivity on that issue and look at the bigger picture, the world will be a better place to live in.

As the world is becoming more of a global village, there is a very urgent need for everyone to know the importance of keeping their religion out of their professional lives. For the society to achieve the near perfect conditions, we need to evaluate everything that is going wrong. At the same time, discard some ideas and beliefs, even though they are very dear to us.

Take all the good things out of Communism, Capitalism and Socialism and form Humanism, the ultimate model for a society.

Understand that when we were prehistoric cave people, there was no god, no religion and no controversies....ofcourse I guess they fought and ate like animals, that's a different topic. As humans evolved, God became a tool to control the society, keep them in line. We are scared of whatever we cannot see, feel or imagine. Communism failed exactly due to that. They failed to leverage the power of god! People are more scared of god than communist rulers! Funny eh...


For a society to progress, education is the key. Infact, EDUCATION is the only way! Not mere accumulation of degrees etc but an overall learning of philosophy and the bigger picture. For any society to become successful, the stress should be given on education. The educational institutes should be strengthened so much, that they don't just manufacture engineers, doctors or lawyers, but intelligent human beings.

Instead of finding various ways to invent machines that will make cooking easier, wash easier or faster computers, the focus should be on finding ways to make the society a peaceful and understanding race.

If GOD is one thing that scares people, GREED is the other thing that forces them to disobey him! Communists took GOD and GREED out of their society but not from the rulers. Where people worked hard, rulers enjoyed all the luxuries. I was surprised to read a report that the rulers in communist moscow had a different lane on the roads only for their vehicles!

For a model society, Keep GOD and GREED intact, but control them. Weed out Corruption completely. Find mechanisms to do it and the society will progress.

I can keep going on and on about various ways, structures of a society, but unless there is strong education and a control on technological development, which is making the society blind to the environmental concerns, it is impossible to live like humans. Today, we are just like robots, controlled by machines, dependent on them completely. We are more interested in increasing the bank balance, to buy that bigger house, to buy that latest mobile phone, to buy that faster car....we are blinded by this pursuit of material wealth. We need to inform and educate that this is not the reason for our existance.
Indi
NjRocket wrote:
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
{INTRODUCTION}

What should be The Law? What should The Government look like? What should Government Authorities be allowed to do, and what should they do? What should not be in the scope of these things? Please share with us your best answers. And/or please help analyze other people’s answers. This is a contest with a serious bent.


Well, ill start it off i guess. The government should be able to control the citizens to a certain extent. They must know what should and shouldnt be leaked out for the purpose of all the lives of the people. They know that people would panic, for example, World of the wars, radio show in princeton where people thought aliens were indeed taking over the world, people starting killing themselves and taking money out of the banks. This is a solid example of what would happen if something the government should have kept quite ended up coming out. Government should be intact of a group of people with different beliefs. I say this because if everyone has the same beliefs, TOO much stuff will get done, hurting the citizens and the people around them. We need people on different sides so that they know they just can't pass something and they must know its good for the country. If there was no government, ask yourself who would be running the country and the people? Can you say chaos? As citizens, people might hate certain decisions made by certain people in office, but its just things that you have no control over. Wars are a great example of this, you might not want to go to war, but the government feels it must protect people by going out and beyond the country and fighting in different lands. Well, this is my submission to the contest, by the way, when will this end?

There are a lot of questions raised by what you suggest, that to me seem mostly unanswered:
- For starters, you say the government should control the people and the information the people receive. But... what is the "government" if not people?
- How does the government decide what information is "safe" and what is not?
- You say the government should consist of a body that represents different points of view. All points of view? Even fascists, bigots, fanatics and criminals?
- Or if not all points of view, who decides which points of view should be included and which shouldn't?

And then there's the question of limits. Take your War of the Worlds example. That was a hoax, yes, but what if there really were an alien invasion? Wouldn't the steps you say were taken - taking your money out and running for the kills, or simply killing yourself (although, to my knowledge, neither of those things actually happened - from what I recall, only one woman threatened to kill herself but actually did not, and no one rushed to the banks because the show was aired on a Sunday) - wouldn't those steps be reasonable courses of action to take in the event of a full on invasion by extra-terrestrials? Killing yourself may sound extreme, but in such an invasion death is probably inevitable and would probably be very unpleasant - a gentle suicide may be preferable. But taking your cash and heading for the hills will probably go a long way to ensuring your survival. Are you saying the government has the right to deny you your best chance of survival? That the government can decide that you should die any time they feel it would be in their best interests?

Basically, it sounds like you are describing a government that has the right to do what it wants, when it wants, how it wants - whatever it takes for the sake of the "country". It can start wars and send citizens to die in those wars, and the citizens have no say. It can manipulate information and keep things from the citizens - even if that leads to the death of citizens. All for the good of the country. Is that what you're suggesting?

And of course, the ultimate question of government: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who watches the watchers?)
Rico
Even if only Moderators and Staff are eligible to win, I'd like to give my 50c worth. My political philosophy: Lawyers become politicians (in my neck of the woods anyway), and what good has ever come from a lawyer. Vampires make you feel more fulfilled after dealing with them. Maybe first world is different but where I come from politicians only lie when their lips move. Alas me is an anarchist, nothing less can justify the self destructive nature of the Homo Sapien. Good night and farewell fare princess.
The Philosopher Princess
Rico wrote:
Even if only Moderators and Staff are eligible to win

I would like to make it very clear that EVERYONE in general (besides myself) is eligible to win -- not just Mods and Staff.

The reasons I mentioned that the latter were eligible is (1) very often they are not eligible, for example, for the Fortnightly Fantastic Frihoster awards, so it might not be expected that they were eligible, and (2) I needed to specify the extra rule for them concerning using their powers.

So, Rico, thanks for your thoughts and feel free to add more.

(Normally this discussion about the contest should be on the sibling topic, but it’s too important to let any misunderstanding on this not be addressed here.)
Idoru
This topic got my mind spinning! Thousands of lines said, written and lived by known
and unknown people tend to claim focus at once. Difficult to be clear, but I'll give it
a shot. Even though, I must admit, I'm not compleatlly clear on the frames to
keep myself in. Nevermind that. Smile

The law, as I see it, gets broken all the time. Gouverments seem to try different
methods and ideologies, but often with somewhat similar resaults - it just doesn't
reach everyone that's included. Some doesn't want to be included, some wish to
have it some other way, some doesn't give a damn, some change their ways all
the time... I therefore belive not in one law, one society or one gouverment.
For the ones not caring some kind of parlament propablly works fine. Representatives
speaking and working for those who're satisfied with what comes around.

I, for one, isn't,
but I'm still to tired of it to want to get involved. That's why I'd like to live closer to the
nature. Take the responsibility that comes with the package, and share my life with
similar-minded. Lots of hard work, but hopefully a harmonic state. I realize and
respect that there are many people who doesn't share that dream, but see it as a
step backwards in evolution, why I'm all for small self-gouverned societies living
more or less independent of eachother. All create their own standards, laws and
gouverment, but comes togeather in equal respect for the other societies right to
exist within some terms. Ofcourse we'd have to adept to the lot given to us, but
still be able to move around. I guess what I propose is a more polarized version of
the world we have today, but with greater tolerance for differing views. All you have
to do is to respect and accept your neighbours right to a place to exist in the fashion
he or she likes to, regardless of what you think of it. You don't have to have them
over for coffee. Wink

Perhaps humans possesses some maners that contradicts with this idea, but I
honestly doesn't think so. They could be tamed, if they are, just as long as no
human beeing needs to accept beeing 'stomped on'. So, back to a sort of federalistic
world, but without warmongers and conquerers. If we have the guts to settle with
what we've got. Twisted Evil
MadeinIndia
Continued:

In my previous post, I have discussed about the importance of religion, greed and education in our lives. Once we understand their influence in scoping our future, let's discuss brass stacks about Political Philosophy.


Earth, including the inhabitants within is very diverse. Human race is one, but their customs, practices and way of life is completely different from one another. So to say that one model is perfect is completely wrong. What is wrong for one is right for the other.

We would still try to analyze and understand what would make our lives better but before that, we need to understand the bigger picture in life. I will not use complicated words and mumbo jumbo as I guess I am not trying to make a business presentation.

Humans are created on this earth for a specific reason, to maintain balance of the nature. We have to understand that unless we keep that balance, world will be thrown into choas as it is happening now.

First and foremost, as our education and technology increased, we need to understand that religion and such stuff has just been discovered by men like you and me to maintain control of the world. Ofcourse, I strongly believe that there is some supernatural force controlling the world. Go ahead and call it your god, give it a name like Jesus, Allah or Ram....but please keep it private!

The current chaos in the world is caused exactly due to the excessive influence of religion. Once a society decides to remove religion from governance, it is a positive step in development. (We are not removing it from citizens lives, they are free to follow ANY religion, but keep it private please)

Next, we have to understand that in any society, there should be a constant mix of the experienced old and the energetic youth taking form in governance. Just the old governing would not achieve anything as they think too much before acting or the youth governing would take too many brash decisions. So rather, a good mix of these both should be formed.

In a democratic society, people are given the power to choose leaders, but in countries like India and USA, democracy has turned into a sham. Money, glamour and muscle power wins you elections.

In India, you need to be a gangster or atleast should have enough muscle power to gather people for meetings before a political party gives you a ticket to participate in elections.

In USA, they spend millions of dollars on Presidential elections, total marketing blitzkrieg! Funds that can be better used on development programmes. Often a nincompoop is projected as a great leader.

India is the world's largest democracy and USA is world's oldest democracy.

Such misuse of democratic setup throws the society into anarchy. People become robots, with mechanized lives, trying to purchase happiness and pleasure with money. In their constant pursuit for more money and more pleasure, they don't realize that happiness is slipping away from them slowly, inspite of making millions of dollars(or any other currency), buying that fancy home, the latest mobile phone, the large television.


Once the society decides to elect their government fairly and with competent people, it should keep in mind the following things.

Greed is a complete no no in governance! Each and every person in the government should complete rigorous educational tests. He/she then should win the majority votes from the majority population. There should be no small print enabling people for backdoor entries or other such ways.

It should be made clear to the people in the government that punishment for them is 10 times more for any criminal activities or misuse of power.

Police. Often called a licensed gang of thieves should be controlled effectively. The Police should never become a private army of the rulers.

Except for defence issues, all other decision making meetings should be held in public view, e.g observers from the press, television, public should be randomly selected and made to participate in the meetings and their comments taken in the issue.

For example, there is an important meeting to discuss a multi-billion contract. Apart from the government officials, just like a jury, randomly selected people from the press and public should be chosen and made to be present in the meeting. Their views on the meeting should be made public the next day. This ensures fair play in the decision making process.

Choosing a good government is half the battle won in creating a perfect society. Once we know that the government is filled with honest and hard working people, the society then should look at development. With balance of nature. Educational institutes should be strengthened and be taken care of very very carefully. The students coming out of those institutes is the future of the society.

Laws should be made with consensus. Every law passed should have the approval of the majority of the citizens. Not just a bunch of law-makers sitting in a big building. Just like voting, for any major law decisions, every citizen should be given a form asking their opinion on the concerned laws. After filling up the form, including their SSN or other ID given by their government, they can drop the forms in select tamper proof boxes. It should be made mandatory for every citizen to fill up that form. Just like a driving license record, each citizen will have a record of any such non-participation in law making. The majority opinion of the citizens should be made into law. Not to inconvenience their citizens too much, such law making decisions should be clubbed together and only one form be given to citizens per month.


If forms create too much paperwork and hassles, then use technology! Create machines like ATM's all over the city where every citizen has to use his ID and password to login, select the laws that are being introduced, press his opinion like Yes or No.

There are many such ways to create a perfect model for society. For all that to work, the key thing is population control and education. For example, the above law-making process is impossible in a country like India but perfect in a place like Sweden or Auckland.

Population is a major issue in development. Control it. Give people the power to decide. Keep a control on unnecessary development and protect nature. Create a society of happy, content and good-natured people.
Indi
smartass.id.au wrote:
Firstly I think that Philosophy comes first. Its what you conclude right and wrong to be, before you can make a law about it politically.

So, in a Multicultural society such as Australia(where I come from) we have a basic problem: there are so many different philosophies and religions, so how do you make political life fair?

Maybe you could start with just about the only thing that different religions and philosophies have in common : "Do not do things to others that you would not like to have done to yourself". So possibly that idea of action, or policy, could be the fundamental basis for all political philosophy.

It's not perfect, but the principle is sound.

Another concept is working towards "the greatest good for the greatest number[of people]"

To tell a short story(and make it shorter again) : There once was a wealthy Eastern King who gathered all his scholars together to perform a task that had occured to him as a great idea. He wanted all the knowledge in his library condensed down into a set of books, so he could read only the really important stuff, but the set of books was too big, so he ordered all the knowledge in his vast library reduced down to one book. But that was too big, so he forced his scholars to bring it down to one essay. But the esay was too big, so a sentence, then a word.

That word, that affected every other person, every other living thing, and even the physical structure of the universe was - "SURVIVE!" .

Everything was trying to survive. (quote and story from LRH)

It was also "The Answer to Life, The Universe, And Everything" (Quote from Hitch-Hikers Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams, bbc audio + books)

So every action you take could be weighed up, in a Political Philososphy, against whether it enhanced the overall survival value of that society or not.

An example here in South Australia is the introduction of gambling machines where they were previously illegal. Much money has been wasted(approaching billions) by South Australian citizens. The gambling machines were known to be addictive, and its obvious that they serve no puspose other than some sort of entertainment. They should have remained banned, like the highly addictive drug that they are.

A good political philosophy would conclude that Gambling Machines are good only for the manufacturers and operators, and are not good for the general population.

My point is(got there at last!!) that Philosophy comes first.

You gotta think thru in a structured, logical manner before setting rules in law. Thanks for listening.

Philosophy is, at best, a moving target. Ten different philosophers will give you eleven different philosophies, all with wildly different conclusions about what is right and what is wrong. So if you're going to let philosophy decide the law, the question is... who's philosophy? Alfred Rosenberg's?

To say that all of the various religions and philosophies and religions have the "golden rule" in common is specious. While it is true that most do have some form of it, there are many different forms, with many different implications. For example, the way you have worded it is not the way it is commonly understood in Judaistic religions, like Christianity. And of course, there are dozens of philosophies and religions that don't embrace that idea at all - for example, survival of the fittest. I mention that one specifically because it more closely approximates the idea in the L. Ron Hubbard parable you presented.

And of course, the ethic of reciprocity is a very simplistic and limited rule, despite all the hype it gets. It may work in a perfect world, but not this one. Let's say someone commits a murder. What do you do? You wouldn't want to be locked up, so by the golden rule, you shouldn't incarcerate him. You wouldn't want to be executed, so you shouldn't do that either. In fact, about all you can do is give them a hug and say "there, there" and send them on their way, according to the golden rule. How do you handle a case like that?

Not only does the golden rule fall down on crime and punishment, it fails whenever there's a crisis. After all, wouldn't the society's survival chances increase if the weak were weeded out? The ethic of reciprocity won't help you there. If you were weak you wouldn't want to be weeded out, so you shouldn't do it to them... but on the other hand, if you were strong you wouldn't want to suffer because the weak were holding you back, so you shouldn't hold them back. So if it's properly applied what should happen is the strong should not kill off the weak, and in fact should try to help them even if it lessens their own chances for survival... but the weak should commit suicide willingly. Of course... if the weak aren't willing to do that...? Then what?

The truest test of a political philosophy in my mind is a stress test. In good, plentiful and peaceful times, just about any philosophy will work. The real test is times of crisis. Your philosophy attempts to mesh the ethic of reciprocity with utilitarianism (greatest good for the greatest number) - both of which are problematic in and of themselves. Both philosophies have their own problems - I've already explained the problems with the ethic of recipricity, and you can see here for a stunning example of what's wrong with utilitarianism. But what happens in a time of crisis - when someone must be sacrificed? By the ethic of reciprocity, they should kill themselves willingly, but what if they do not? By utilitarianism, the weakest should simply be lined up against a wall and shot.

And finally, the last bit about the gambling machines. I'm not sure I follow your logic. On the one hand you say "greatest good for the greatest number". That would seem to imply to me that the owners and employees of the companies that manufacture those machines, the owners of the places that profit from owning one of those machines, the countless auxiliary jobs and wealth created, not to mention the jobs created for people to support and cure gambling addictions and those gamblers that don't get addicted but enjoy and maybe even profit from the games... all of those people represent a "greater number" than the few that suffer because of addictions.

What if it really does turn out to be the case that far more people benefit from the gambling machines than suffer? For the greater good, isn't it best to let them suffer? (Or, if you read the story, would you walk away from Omelas?)
Bikerman
A personal philosophy.

Regarding organisation (and implicitly, therefore, government) of peoples.
It seems to me that capitalism is an inappropriate 'philosophy' on which to base a modern technological society for a number of reasons. The most important of these would be that of human freedom. In a capitalist society an individual is 'worth' what (s)he inherits plus what (s)he is able to generate.
For the vast majority this involves selling their labour for currency in one form or another. According to this view, society is held together, not on the basis of common welfare, but by the "invisible hand of the market" implemented through impersonal contracts. Individuals are largely reduced to wage-slaves in this type of system. The early free-market philosopher Adam Smith was clear in his opposition to this potential outcome of free markets and said (1776 - Wealth of Nations):
Quote:
"Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defence of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all."

In Smith's time the situation was that artisan workers would sell their labour to a particular employer for a set contract or period. Today most people work for one employer and are, therefore, indebted to that employer in a way which Smith himself found repugnant.

Today, the prevaling economic theory, called “neoclassical economics” serves to make exploitation invisible.

Here is a quick summary of Neoclassical Economics.
Production is a process in which no surplus gets produced, nor appropriated, nor distributed.
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Building on the early formulation of such ideas by Adam Smith, neoclassical economics casts production as a process in which no surplus gets produced, nor appropriated, nor distributed. Instead, production is an harmonious collaboration: workers bring their labor, landlords their land, and capitalists their capital. All three contribute to production and all three share in its fruits according to their contributions: the workers’ share is wages, the landlords’ is rent, and the capitalists’ is profit. It is a world of fairness and harmony. The inability of workers to contribute capital is explained by their failure to save out of their incomes and their resulting lack of capital to contribute to production. The capital in the hands of capitalists is not the fruit of exploitation, of taking a surplus from workers, but rather the fruit of their own virtuous frugality. Capitalism fairly rewards individuals for the contributions each brings to production. More than that, capitalism represents an engine of wealth production, economic growth, and thus the possibility for everyone to become rich. Those who have failed to do so should chiefly blame themselves. To blame capitalism is not a valid social critique but rather the whining of losers.


This has been extended into the current 'world market' philosophy which posits a globalised economy which is largely under the control of non-elected global corporations which are 'accountable' only to shareholders and whose value is measured purely in financial terms.

This is where we are today. Democracy is often quoted as the defining quality of the western powers and used as reason and justification for actions which, when committed by non-democratic states, would be, and are, classified as terrorism.

It is important to realise that representative democracy (as practiced in the US and UK) is severely limited in scope and flawed in execution. Both systems concentrate power in the state and neither system extends the idea and practice of democracy beyond the political sphere and into the economic sphere. It seems to me self-evident that democratic control of one's productive life is at the core of any serious human notion of freedom, and should be at the core of any significant democratic system.

The antithesis of this system is Marxism and it is Marx who actually coined the phrase 'wage slave'. Marxists, one might say, are to capitalism what abolitionists were to slavery.

It is not necessary to document or comment on the success or otherwise of these two competing ideologies since it is evident. It is probably worth commenting, however, that Marxism as typified in the press by the USSR, was a long way from the social system envisioned by Marx himself.

Given the contradictions and structural inequity of Capitalism and the apparent impracticality of Marxism what is the alternative.

My own preference is for anarcho-syndicalism, which can be thought of as 'libertarian socialism' for those who prefer to classify in terms of existing and understood political philosophies.
Current representative democracy concentrates (too much) power in the organs of the state. Further, as long as individuals are compelled to rent themselves on the market to those who are willing to hire them, then there are striking elements of coercion and oppression that make talk of democracy very limited, if even meaningful.

For this reason, anarcho-syndicalists propose a society organized on the basis of organic communities. Generally, this means the workplace and the neighbourhood. From those two basic units there could derive, through federations, a highly integrated social organization which could be national or even international in scope and have the power to make decisions over substantial range. Delegates, however, are always part of the organic community from which they come, to which they return, and in which, in fact, they live. This is the reason for the 'syndicalist' part of the tag.

Anarchism should be explained as well since it has come to mean something negative - chaos or lack of structure, when in fact it means nothing of the sort.
The fundamental idea of anarchism is the primacy of the individual -- not necessarily in isolation, but with other individuals -- and the fulfillment of his freedom. In this sense Anarchism is not disimilar to the founding ideas of the US itself (it was Jefferson's concept that the best government is the government than governs least).

I'll try to sketch a society organised by the ideas of anarcho-syndicalism as best I can.

Let's begin with the two modes of organization and control ; workplace and community.

Workplace.
I posit a network of workers' councils, and at a higher level, representation across the factories, or across branches of industry, or across crafts. This would go on to general assemblies of workers' councils that can be regional and national and international in charter.

Community
I posit a system of government that involves local assemblies -- again, federated regionally, dealing with regional issues, crossing crafts, industry, trades, and so on, and again at the level of the nation or beyond.
Delegation of authority is minimal and participants at any level of government should be directly responsive to the organic community in which they live. The optimal situation would be that participation in one of these levels of government should be temporary, and even during the period when it's taking place should be only partial - ie the members of a workers' council, who are for some period actually functioning to make decisions that other people don't have the time to make, should also continue to do their work as part of the workplace or neighborhood community in which they belong.

This, it seems to me, is a sensible and fair way to organise a post-industrial society, being based on individual freedoms, collective responsibilities and social cohesion.

Regards
Chris
The Philosopher Princess
@ MadeinIndia,

You seem to have put a lot of thought into what is wrong with current political systems and ideas about how to make things better. You have created a smorgasbord of priorities and fixes for various problems.

If you had to give a 3 to 4 line summary of your political principles, what might that include?

In other words, would it be possible for you to reduce everything down to something smaller, that is still consistent with the bigger explanations?

If not, please explain why not. If yes, would you care to do that for us?
Bikerman
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
@ MadeinIndia,

You seem to have put a lot of thought into what is wrong with current political systems and ideas about how to make things better. You have created a smorgasbord of priorities and fixes for various problems.

Well, I cannot claim that anarcho-syndicalism is my own invention Smile. Noam Chomsky and other left-leaning thinkers have influenced my thinking quite markedly in this regard.
Quote:

If you had to give a 3 to 4 line summary of your political principles, what might that include?

In other words, would it be possible for you to reduce everything down to something smaller, that is still consistent with the bigger explanations?

If not, please explain why not. If yes, would you care to do that for us?


I'll try to summarise two major points that I think perhaps most important :

1) Personal freedom. Includes freedom from and freedom to. Examples would be freedom from exploitation and freedom to achieve one's potential. The concept is only meaningful in the post-industrial world when it includes economic freedom as well as legal and social freedoms, otherwise freedom is effectively circumscribed by economic factors (the wage-slave concept).

2) Democracy. The concept is only meaningful in the post-industrial world when the economic forces in society are included under democratic control along with the judicial and social/welfare structures. Otherwise real power is out of the reach of the population and in the hands of non-elected tyrannies (which is what corporations are, technically).

It's a bit oversimplistic but those are the two principles I would highlight as central to my philosophy whilst at the same time most in need of reform.

Regards
Chris

PS - I just read the post again and (silly me) note that it was not intended for me at all. Ho hum....I'll leave this anyway, and next time I'll read more carefully Smile)
MadeinIndia
Princess, Infact I would have written a book on this topic...to summarize it in 3-4 lines...lemme try!

My political philosophy of the society and government is very simple. I won't quote anything complicated...Life should NOT be complicated...

1) For any society to progress, Education is the most important thing! Every society should make education it's foremost interest.

2) Governments should be created with people who have a vision, who should look at the bigger picture, our role in the nature etc..(How to elect such a government, I will post a seperate post on that)

3) Freedom of the individual should be protected, at the same time everyone should understand that religion creates more problems than helping us. Keep your religion at home and the world will be much peaceful.

4) Finally, Everyone should be reminded about the real joy of living, When we understand and respect the need for the other person to live respectfully, any society will progress. Live and let live...
Bikerman
MadeinIndia wrote:
Continued:

I'd like to develop a couple of points which interest me in this.
Quote:

Earth, including the inhabitants within is very diverse. Human race is one, but their customs, practices and way of life is completely different from one another. So to say that one model is perfect is completely wrong. What is wrong for one is right for the other.

Interesting. Assuming a negligable 'inherent' difference between members of different cultures (ie leaving genetic differences out of it - I would argue that they are not significant), then the differences are the result of environment, custom etc. The more I have travelled the more I have formed the opposite view - ie cultural and social differences are not so different and not so exclusive. I would argue that the differences are comparible with differences in languages.
Chomsky's work in this area led to the realisation that diverse languages are not so diverse after all. Since we know that there is some 'hard-wiring' in the brain of an infant which enables rapid language acquisition, and we also know that a chinese infant raised in New York will speak perfect American and visa-versa, we can conclude that the differences in language are more superficial than is apparent, and that there is some underlying structure which is universal.
I think it is possible to make the same argument for cultural and social norms and mores.
Quote:

Humans are created on this earth for a specific reason, to maintain balance of the nature. We have to understand that unless we keep that balance, world will be thrown into choas as it is happening now.

Why 'created' and 'reason' ? Does there have to be an underlying reason for humans to exist ? A hidden agenda ? Is it not equally valid to assume that we are simply here because two other humans had sex. Your view seems to assume some designed function or even duty for the human species wheras evolution would indicate that we are simply the product of genetic change over time and, as such, are not 'designed' for any other purpose than to survive in our environment.
Balance of nature ? Is there such a thing ? It seems to be a phrase used a lot but with no meaning. Firstly it inherently puts man and his works outside nature. How can that be ? Are we not natural ?
Secondly it implies some sort of equilibrium exists in nature - whereas we know life is constantly changing. The climate and other envirnmental factors change without any intervention from man. It is true that man can affect these factors in a more dramatic and immediate way than other animals, but with or without us there will be ice ages, droughts, floods etc. There is no time that life settles into a balanced equilibrium - as the fossil record shows clearly.
Any extrapolation of this notion of 'balance' into the realms of social policy and philosophy seems to me to ultimately and inevitably lead to stagnation The Platonic vision of this outlined in his 'Republic' seems to me to be a model that we would do well to stay clear of. In fact, all such 'utopean' societies (including Thomas Moore's coining example) are dead ends.
Humans seem to have a natural longing for stability which may well be an ofshoot of our innate pattern seeking. We automatically try to find patterns in our surroundings - to the extent that it can sometimes mislead us into seeing patterns where non exist. This seems to spill over into social life - people become stressed by too much change. As we get older (in my own experience, anyway) this increases and we become more 'conservative'. I think we do well to be aware of this and realise that it does not necessarily mean that no change is a good thing. If you arrive then the journey is over. Life is a journey and to arrive is, I think, to die.
I think that this principle needs to be remembered when designing strutures in societies.

Just some thoughts to stir the pot...

Regards
Chris
raghu.steppenwolf
Here's my two cents on this really big question: a quote.

"To discuss which form of government is best is a debate for fools;
That government is the best which is administered best!"
rwojick
First off, as an American, I must talk as if it were us and no one else that existed in the world(wink).

I think the good news is that we have the blueprint, however, with the women's help that was ushered in by Family Courts, today NO ONE KNOWS HOW TO READ BLUEPRINTS!

We start with the self evidence truths. All men are created equal and have the God given right to life, liberty and the persuit of happiness.

Next, comes the Bill of Rights. Each person has these rights and they increase as the person grows into adulthood.

The key words are "Congress shall make no law that violates" the Rights given in the Constitution. So, our rights are like a bubble, or a shield that we all have.

Our system was born as a system that was a reaction to "going before the king". The law is the authority in our system and our leaders take an oath to that law.

If a bad law gets created, and this happens (perhaps daily), then this law is UnConstitutional (by bad, I mean it violates the Bill of Rights) and then this can be argued in Court.

This system provides that the laws come from the people by the lawmaking process and then lawyers and Judges INTERPRET those laws for the people. See the circle? And the lawmakers and judges and lawyers are also part of "the people".

I'd say that is the nutshell, then we have the contest in Court but I'll save that for a later date.
Bikerman
raghu.steppenwolf wrote:
Here's my two cents on this really big question: a quote.

"To discuss which form of government is best is a debate for fools;
That government is the best which is administered best!"


That sounds like an Abe Lincoln misquote.

Thomas Pain's quote on a similar line was was :
Quote:
That government is best which governs least.


Care to name the source for your quote ?

I totally disagree with it, of course, since it leads to the conclusion that beaurocratic government is always best, regardless of ideology, which is, to put it mildly, a bit contentious.

Regards
Chris
LeviticusMky
To go a bit off the wayside, my political philosophy rewards intelligence, and it's not a democracy in the strictest sense of the word.

To start off, let me first articulate that Democracy was not considered a viable political format when it was invented by the Greeks. Plutocracies and Aristocracies in their myriad of forms were considered the only real solutions to governance, and were implemented to great effect in the republics of ancient Greece and Rome. I tend to agree with this, but only in principle, I will explain.

America in particular has done very well by Democracy (or the representative form, at least), and has thrived. However, a good analogy would be the problem of the group of people in a room with a severely injured person. Say this severely injured person is not faring well, and needs treatment, would you take a vote on how to deal with them, or just ask the doctor?

I feel that we would be better served by true Aristocracy, which would be what asking the doctor entails. Aristocracy has been bastardized over the years to mean a number of things that it wasn't supposed to. Initially the definition of Aristocracy was "Rule by the best" meaning, the best of the populace would rule the others. Of course this leaves way too much open for interperetation, and what you end up with is people saying that they have a Divine Right to be King/Queen and the peasants end up with zero rights.

However, Aristotle invented Aristocracy to mean that the people would have their laws made by them that know the subject matter of the law. As an example, scientists would decide what the laws surrounding science would be, and Educators would decide what the laws restricing education would be. Monetary theorists and Economists would decide how money was to allocated, and criminologists would decide how to administer the prison and law enforcement systems.

Of course this is an ideal situation, and the question becomes thus: Who gets to decide which scientists and economists get to make the decisions?

Well, that is where I try and sprinkle a bit of Democracy into the mix. If aristocracy is neccessary to make the state run smarter, then democracy is required to ensure that the rights of the people are held up.

I mentioned earlier that my ideal political system would reward intelligence, it is in the democratic process that this would come into play. Bear in mind that this is not real democracy, as not all people have equal rights in this system, but all have equal protection under the law.

The populace would be divided up into three distinct classes. The top class would be those who have some kind of high-level education. (as in a college degree) They would be the people with the ability to vote in national elections, electing representatives to fill seats in all of the aristocratic areas (education, finance, military, etc.). People who have median levels of education (as in a High School diploma) would be allowed to vote in state elections, but not national elections. Those without a diploma would be allowed to vote in local city and county matters but not in state-wide or national matters.

Yes, this does take away rights, and yes there are problems with this structure, but I feel that they are far less crippling than the problems that we face in a representative democracy that we reside in today, where all of the political power is in the hands of those with the money.

Essentially all I propose is to not reward monetary wealth as we do in America today, but instead to reward willingness to learn and excel. Call it a Democratic Aristocracy.
Bikerman
LeviticusMky wrote:

To start off, let me first articulate that Democracy was not considered a viable political format when it was invented by the Greeks. Plutocracies and Aristocracies in their myriad of forms were considered the only real solutions to governance, and were implemented to great effect in the republics of ancient Greece and Rome. I tend to agree with this, but only in principle, I will explain.

Crikey – it’s been years since I last picked up Aristotles ‘Politics’ so I’m rusty. Nontheless I want to take issue with you, so feel free to slap-down any mistakes I may make due to faulty remembrances.
Quote:
The origin of the Athenian democracy of the fifth and fourth centuries can be traced back to Solon, who flourished in the years around 600 BC.
Cleisthenes established the world's first democracy (500 BC), with power being held by an assembly of all the male citizens.
In 411 and again in 404 Athenian oligarchs led counter-revolutions that replaced democracy with extreme oligarchy.

It is certainly true to say that Greek philosophers argued over demokratia (people-power) but there were various viewpoints. Most Greeks agreed that it could only work for city-states of a certain size (otherwise no room for everyone at the Forum) and many writings quantify this to around 50,000 population.
I think that you are more particularly referring to Plato and his writings since he certainly took an anti-democracy line which was largely adopted later by Aristotle.
Quote:

America in particular has done very well by Democracy (or the representative form, at least), and has thrived. However, a good analogy would be the problem of the group of people in a room with a severely injured person. Say this severely injured person is not faring well, and needs treatment, would you take a vote on how to deal with them, or just ask the doctor?

I don't accept that this is a good analogy (or even analogous at all to be truthful). It is certainly anthropomorphism (equating the state to a human) but I don’t think it is a good metaphor and I don’t think valid comparisons can be made.
Even if it were a valid analogy it is clearly biased since it assumes as a given that the state is critically ill. If the state was not ill then would you ask the doctor for advice?
Do you see my point?
Quote:

I feel that we would be better served by true Aristocracy, which would be what asking the doctor entails. Aristocracy has been bastardized over the years to mean a number of things that it wasn't supposed to. Initially the definition of Aristocracy was "Rule by the best" meaning; the best of the populace would rule the others. Of course this leaves way too much open for interpretation, and what you end up with is people saying that they have a Divine Right to be King/Queen and the peasants end up with zero rights.

The original meaning actually was first coined in Athens. It was a term applied to young citizens who led armies from the front line with their swords up. It later came to be defined as the slave holding class of ex-military men and this is the general meaning in Greek terms. It later (medieval times) comes to mean ‘nobility’ but this is not too far from the original concept since in Athenian democracy the non rulers also had zero rights.
Quote:

However, Aristotle invented Aristocracy to mean that the people would have their laws made by them that know the subject matter of the law. As an example, scientists would decide what the laws surrounding science would be, and Educators would decide what the laws restricting education would be. Monetary theorists and Economists would decide how money was to allocated, and criminologists would decide how to administer the prison and law enforcement systems.

Hmm.That is one interpretation of his 'Politics' but I think it misses some central points and is not actually correct. He actually defines several types of 'constitution' and classes each as deviant or correct. This would be summarised as:
System...........Correct.............Deviant
One Ruler.........Kingship...........Tyranny
Few Rulers.......Aristocracy.......Oligarchy
Many Rulers.......Polity.............Democracy

In this, of course, he borrows largely from Plato and 'Republic'. Aristotle didn't actually say very much about aristocratic governance (bits in Politics 3 and 7, I seem to remember). It is surprising to me that so much has been written about his particular contribution to this debate since. There is a good (I think) treatment of this here:
http://members.tripod.com/~batesca/aristo.htm

On the central point - Aristotle stated that monarchy was best, aristocracy next and third best was constitutional republic. Since (he said) it was unlikely that the monarch would be a 'perfect person' he regards this as unattainable. He uses the same argument for aristocracy since he regarded the contemporary notion of Aristocracy to be corrupted. Therefore he argues that the best 'attainable' form of government is constitutional republic.
At no point have I read your interpretation that
Quote:
the people would have their laws made by them that know the subject matter of the law.

I may have missed this passage or reference in his writings...could you reference it so I can have a look?

It strikes me that your interpretation of Aristotle leads you to a definition of governance which is what we would now call Meritocracy. Would that be fair?
Quote:

The populace would be divided up into three distinct classes. The top class would be those who have some kind of high-level education. (as in a college degree) They would be the people with the ability to vote in national elections, electing representatives to fill seats in all of the aristocratic areas (education, finance, military, etc.). People who have median levels of education (as in a High School diploma) would be allowed to vote in state elections, but not national elections. Those without a diploma would be allowed to vote in local city and county matters but not in state-wide or national matters.

OK - this is elective, or collegiate, meritocracy I think. The immediate problems that spring to mind for me would be:
1) You seem to have aggregated law making with profession. Does this mean that each profession makes laws for itself with no central legislature ? Or are you saying that there would be a central legislature formed of the ‘aristocratic areas’ and their representatives? In both cases I’m not clear who would be voting for what. Anyone with a degree votes, OK, but what for? Teachers? Generals? Or do they vote for a legislative council (but how could they since how would the makeup be determined?). Do you see my problem ? I don’t know how you get from your aristocratic areas to a central legislative body. Most societies have a central legislative body as an entity unto itself which makes ALL legislation covering all fields. I don’t understand how your system fits together…
2) Education is a difficult and controversial way to measure attainment. Would your ‘aristocratic areas’ include crafts as well as professions? How does the brilliant General with only a school certificate fit into the scheme? He is in the military area but not a voter…could he be elected? What about the education area – would that include playgroup and kindergarten teachers without a higher degree, or only High school and university teachers/lecturers? Where do the non graduate professions fit in. Do plumbers sort out building regulations on plumbing? How are they elected? I’m genuinely confused.

3) What function would state and local elections serve?
Quote:

Yes, this does take away rights, and yes there are problems with this structure, but I feel that they are far less crippling than the problems that we face in a representative democracy that we reside in today, where all of the political power is in the hands of those with the money.

Hmm. I’ll await the details above before further comment since I haven’t yet understood your proposal properly.

Best wishes
Chris
salman_500
MadeinIndia wrote:
Princess, Infact I would have written a book on this topic...to summarize it in 3-4 lines...lemme try!

My political philosophy of the society and government is very simple. I won't quote anything complicated...Life should NOT be complicated...

1) For any society to progress, Education is the most important thing! Every society should make education it's foremost interest.

2) Governments should be created with people who have a vision, who should look at the bigger picture, our role in the nature etc..(How to elect such a government, I will post a seperate post on that)

3) Freedom of the individual should be protected, at the same time everyone should understand that religion creates more problems than helping us. Keep your religion at home and the world will be much peaceful.

4) Finally, Everyone should be reminded about the real joy of living, When we understand and respect the need for the other person to live respectfully, any society will progress. Live and let live...



well i have seen u rite alot here and i see that in all your posts your blaming a couple of things that are leading to a disaster in the society.... first your saying lack of education.......

i agree that education should be our interest but as you can in todays world everything costs money and money is what the government'S dont have... and ecven if they do they are using it for the defense of there own.. making weapons of mass distruction and preapare for a so called World War III instead of working to stop it... another thing that in other parts of diferent countries people are more backward.. and they think education is not supposed to exist.... as in India and Pakistan and other similar "Under Developed" countries....

ok secondly u say that the government should be made of people with bigger vision etc.... how do we know or how does the government elector comitee know whos the right person for a specific postion.. no one knows the true identity of a person.... hypocrites are the crisis here..... one may seem good but may be the worst person for the job....

and Religion... well religion is the part your wrong about...... before i start to lecture.... as u read about many religion..... can you just go through it in your mind and see what every religion teaches us......peace, friendliness, education, diference between good and bad...... every religion no matter what it is... Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Budhisim.... every religion teaches man right.... no religion will tell a person to murder or commit other un-ethical crimes..... religion always tells a man to be good.... instead of keeping religion into our homes, if it was implemented on the government.... do you think major thinks like corruption, murder, or other thing will still exist... if the whole country becomes a religious Mosque, Church or Mantir, then everyone would care for each other and nothing wrong would go on..... if government people were to be selected and religios people with the roght profession were selected, i dont think bad stuff wuld happen....

finall your 4th point... this is again religion... i f religion was implemented on the society people would really start to live in a global village..... where every1 would care for the other person.......

hope i cleared som points here.... Very Happy
Bikerman
salman_500 wrote:

i agree that education should be our interest but as you can in todays world everything costs money and money is what the government'S dont have... and ecven if they do they are using it for the defense of there own.. making weapons of mass distruction and preapare for a so called World War III instead of working to stop it... another thing that in other parts of diferent countries people are more backward.. and they think education is not supposed to exist.... as in India and Pakistan and other similar "Under Developed" countries....

Your comments on Pakistan and India are insulting, innacurate and ignorant. I suggest you check your facts before labelling them 'backward' and commenting on their attitude to education.
For your information India turns out some of the best educated graduates and post graduates in the world - especially in science and technology - and despite a huge population and massive poverty the adult literacy rates are currently over 60% and rising fast.
You may wish to read something about it before commenting further. I would suggest a quick search on Wikki would be a good starting point.
Quote:

and Religion... well religion is the part your wrong about...... before i start to lecture.... as u read about many religion..... can you just go through it in your mind and see what every religion teaches us......peace, friendliness, education, diference between good and bad...... every religion no matter what it is... Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Budhisim.... every religion teaches man right.... no religion will tell a person to murder or commit other un-ethical crimes..... religion always tells a man to be good.... instead of keeping religion into our homes, if it was implemented on the government.... do you think major thinks like corruption, murder, or other thing will still exist... if the whole country becomes a religious Mosque, Church or Mantir, then everyone would care for each other and nothing wrong would go on..... if government people were to be selected and religios people with the roght profession were selected, i dont think bad stuff wuld happen....

It depends how you define religion does it not ?
If you define them as their organised churches and mosques then you are quite wrong. History is replete with examples of churches encouraging their congregations to kill and commit other crimes. You might like to read up on, :
Witch trials and burnings in Europe from 13th century onwards
Crusades (both islamic and christian church doctrine)
Catholic Inquisition from 14th century onwards
Jewish expulsions in Europe


to name but 4.

Quote:

finall your 4th point... this is again religion... i f religion was implemented on the society people would really start to live in a global village..... where every1 would care for the other person.......

1) How do you 'implement' a religion on a society ? Can you force people to have faith ?
2) The examples above are from times when the countries concerned were exactly as you wish for - single faith, almost 100% membership.
Quote:

hope i cleared som points here.... :D


Not really.

Chris.
MadeinIndia
Bikerman wrote:
Why 'created' and 'reason' ? Does there have to be an underlying reason for humans to exist ? A hidden agenda ? Is it not equally valid to assume that we are simply here because two other humans had sex. Your view seems to assume some designed function or even duty for the human species wheras evolution would indicate that we are simply the product of genetic change over time and, as such, are not 'designed' for any other purpose than to survive in our environment.
Balance of nature ? Is there such a thing ? It seems to be a phrase used a lot but with no meaning. Firstly it inherently puts man and his works outside nature. How can that be ? Are we not natural ?
Secondly it implies some sort of equilibrium exists in nature - whereas we know life is constantly changing. The climate and other envirnmental factors change without any intervention from man. It is true that man can affect these factors in a more dramatic and immediate way than other animals, but with or without us there will be ice ages, droughts, floods etc. There is no time that life settles into a balanced equilibrium - as the fossil record shows clearly.


With due respect, I guess we are not discussing how humans were created or environmental issues. I definitely don't know if humans are created for an agenda or simply existed. But as you clearly said, man can affect many factors in a more dramatic and immediately way than other animals, I strongly feel that we have to behave responsibly. That is the crux of my point.

There is a lot of philosophy going on, quotes by some famous people being written and some high power language being used, but no one seems to write what THEY think is the right system?

Next. Going to LeviticusMky...

LeviticusMky wrote:
The populace would be divided up into three distinct classes. The top class would be those who have some kind of high-level education. (as in a college degree) They would be the people with the ability to vote in national elections, electing representatives to fill seats in all of the aristocratic areas (education, finance, military, etc.). People who have median levels of education (as in a High School diploma) would be allowed to vote in state elections, but not national elections. Those without a diploma would be allowed to vote in local city and county matters but not in state-wide or national matters.


Lot of people must have heard about the Caste system, it's advantages or disadvantages etc. Now the caste system is almost abolished from the Hindus in India as it is not viable in the current social situations. But it worked for thousands of years.

The Bhagavad Gita, an ancient Hindu text, thousands of years old, much older than Greeks or any other civilization says the following...

http://www.friesian.com/caste.htm


Bhagavad Gita wrote:


The works of Brahmins, Ks.atriyas, Vaishyas, and Shudras are different, in harmony with the three powers of their born nature.

The works of a Brahmin are peace; self-harmony, austerity, and purity; loving-forgiveness and righteousness; vision and wisdom and faith.

These are the works of a Kshatriya: a heroic mind, inner fire, constancy, resourcefulness, courage in battle, generosity and noble leadership.

Trade, agriculture and the rearing of cattle is the work of a Vaishya. And the work of the Shudra is service.



In a nutshell...

1. The society in India WAS divided into four parts, Brahmins, Khatriyas, Vaishyas and Sudras.

The job of Brahmins is to take care of spirituality, service of god etc.
The duty of Khatriyas was to protect and rule.
Vaishyas were involved in Business
Sudras were involved in Service and other menial jobs.

Everyone was proud of their jobs. Everyone respected the other persons profession. Even the King had advisors comprising of Brahmins and Vaishyas. This system worked properly for thousands of years..but not anymore...

LeviticusMky's theory will NOT work in the current scenario as people are more informed, more empowered around the globe. For someone to feel inferior than someone else will lead to wide scale disturbances and a complete chaos in the society.

Going to Salman Bhai's comments...

salman_500 wrote:
agree that education should be our interest but as you can in todays world everything costs money and money is what the government'S dont have... and ecven if they do they are using it for the defense of there own.. making weapons of mass distruction and preapare for a so called World War III instead of working to stop it... another thing that in other parts of diferent countries people are more backward.. and they think education is not supposed to exist.... as in India and Pakistan and other similar "Under Developed" countries....


Let me point out one thing first. India is not a Under Developed country. It is one of the richest countries in the world!

Let's compare India and Pakistan. Both achieved Independence at the same time. India chose democracy and remained with democracy. Most of the Pakistan's life was under dictatorship, even currently.

Pakistan chose to become an Islamic country, India a secular country. See the difference today where the two countries stand. A country which chose religion in it's administration fell under Dictatorship many times, almost got declared a failed state by World Bank when luckily 9/11 happened for them and US funds started flowing in.

India chose secularism and inspite of many problems, stuck with it and see where the country is today. Almost all the tech jobs are with Indians and every country is outsourcing their jobs to India. Development in Space Technology, Nuclear Technology, Information Technology and EDUCATION! Indian IIT's (Indian Institute of Technology) world famous for churning out some of the most intelligent people in the world are envied globally. So that's why I keep harping about the importance of Education. You don't need to have millions to educate your people. You need the drive and the vision! To look at the future...

How to elect a proper government...that's what we all are discussing about right...a proper government is a proper society...I did write a few lines above...care to go through it again?

Coming to religion....I strongly think that religion should be kept out of governance...I guess you follow the faith of Islam judging by your name...See the society in Saudi..a country ruled by strict Islamic laws...One of the most regressive and cruel societies in the world, Saudi is infact a blot on humanity.

I understand all religions talk about peace but why is it that whenever you bring religion outside, blood flows? And how do you say which religion that everyone should follow? That's not democracy!

To cut a long story short....Instead of all the mumbo jumbo...The objective of humanity is to live in peace, freedom to follow their dreams, to be ruled justly and achieve progress(with proper checks and balances included).
salman_500
Bikerman wrote:

Your comments on Pakistan and India are insulting, innacurate and ignorant. I suggest you check your facts before labelling them 'backward' and commenting on their attitude to education.
For your information India turns out some of the best educated graduates and post graduates in the world - especially in science and technology - and despite a huge population and massive poverty the adult literacy rates are currently over 60% and rising fast.

MadeInIndia wrote:
Let me point out one thing first. India is not a Under Developed country. It is one of the richest countries in the world!


well first of all i live in pakistan... i see all that happens in inda and all that happens in pakistan.... 1 thing i clear to u guyz is that both countries are under developed.... well ill ask you one thing.. how do u define as "developed" or "developing".... if u think that that india is developed or developing... here is your answer dude !




this is a daily routine of pplin India !!

...... a developed country is this




Bikerman wrote:
It depends how you define religion does it not ?
If you define them as their organised churches and mosques then you are quite wrong. History is replete with examples of churches encouraging their congregations to kill and commit other crimes.


well thats christianity... i was thinking with an islamic point of view... and even if you look in hinduism... nothing tells to kill.... and in Saudi Arabia, religion is forced upon ppl...anmd i tell you, ppl live very happily ther....



Bikerman wrote:
Not really.

Chris.


well... think again maybe...
Bikerman
salman_500 wrote:

well first of all i live in pakistan... i see all that happens in inda and all that happens in pakistan.... 1 thing i clear to u guyz is that both countries are under developed.... well ill ask you one thing.. how do u define as "developed" or "developing".... if u think that that india is developed or developing... here is your answer dude !


Developing, yes, backward, no...and for someone who lives in the region I would have expected a better knowledge than you appear to have. I stand by all my previous comments.
Quote:

well thats christianity... i was thinking with an islamic point of view... and even if you look in hinduism... nothing tells to kill.... and in Saudi Arabia, religion is forced upon ppl...anmd i tell you, ppl live very happily ther....

Well. With that comment you lose any right to have a view taken seriously and I lose any interest in further talking to you. Saudi Arabia is somewhere I have visited and you are so wrong that I wouldn't even know where to start. It is one of the most repressive nasty regimes in the world.

Chris
rwojick
As you can see, the discussion goes all over the place. So, how do you contain it. Well, in the US a law does not become a law until it is written. So, the blank sheet of paper would be the 'prejudice", all judging and no written standard, and then when you place a standard on it (law), then it becomes, well, a law.

How did we "contain" it? With the given of all are created equal and have the right to life, lib, and the persuit of happiness. Then, you have the "List of Rights (Free Speech, Freedom of Religion, Free Press, etc) and then any laws made thereafter cannot deny these rights. If they do, they are unconstitutional.

When the US told Iraq to write their own Constitution while under duress we did them a disservice. We should have set them up with a copy of our Bill of Rights and said, "here, start with this".

This above "contains" the discussion. If your Politics are within the Bounds then you are free and legal. Outside the Bounds? Use your free speech to convince others where there is a law that you find to be illegal. Assault someone in your "protest" and you "break one of the written laws".

Who would not want all of the freedoms in the Bill of Rights? Which golfer does not want to make his next 5 foot putt?

First contain, then discuss, or, I fear you are taking a trip to "womanland".
Bikerman
Fair comment and I apologise for diverting from topic. I let anger get in the way of rational judgement which is always a mistake.

Chris.
Lennon
ONE QUOTE: A perfect society is unacheivable with imperfect citizens.
rwojick
However, the Constitution of the United States does not demand perfection, it simply demands that if you are ever going to err you should NEVER do so on the side of the accuser.

The defendant is the beneificary of every matter in doubt within the proof to make him guilty and if, after that, the outcome is in doubt, then the defendant is the beneficiary of that doubt too.

"Better 40 guilty people go free than one innocent man be convicted". I read that when I was 1 1/3 years old...
McMuffin
Lennon wrote:
ONE QUOTE: A perfect society is unacheivable with imperfect citizens.


That is not the question.
The point of this topic is to point out your ideal government system.
That does not say it has to be perfect (as I agree with your quote, it IS impossible to create a perfect society).

Anyhow, here is my vision on how "the best" government would look like:
(Note: this is not a fully thought-out plan that could be implemented in an imaginary state at an instant, just some things I'd like to see in a government system)

{The Government}
The government should actually be quite passive, not (or at least, not very much) taking care of social things , like getting payed when you don't have a job (don't know the English word), or at least not very much, of course things are different when you are permanentely sick), and things like free daycare for your kids etc.
When the government SHOULD be active, is when the laws are broken.
Then they'll have to be very strict and stike very hard.

{Voting}
I'll also go for a semi-democratic voting system.
Don't you think it is, softly speaking, a bit stupid that the vote of a professor counts as much as the vote of a cleaner?
I don't want to take away the right to vote from the lower educated people, but I think some votes should be "woth more" than other votes.
The main (and very large Razz) problem with this is that there is no universal "grading" method, to look how much the vote of person should count.
IQ test can NOT be used for thi purpose, as IQ is a very unreliable standard (yes, of course there is difference between an outcome of 80 and one of 140, but there are too many different tests, they don't focus on all aspects a human can be proficient in, and the relativation of IQ is also pretty lousy, so "calculating" the weigth of a vote with IQ is unreliable, and should actually not be done at all, since not everything a human can be good at is graded with it)

Also, this would take away (at least a bit) the anonymity of the voting persons.

{Conclusion (sort of)}

As I said, this is by no means a complete version of a political system, just the rough outline.
And, because the lack of the "standard test method" (that will probably never exist Sad ), this system (or at least the voting part) will never be realised.

THat's my 3.14 cents (mmm pie)

- McMuffin
Bikerman
McMuffin wrote:
d.

{Voting}
I'll also go for a semi-democratic voting system.
Don't you think it is, softly speaking, a bit stupid that the vote of a professor counts as much as the vote of a cleaner?
I don't want to take away the right to vote from the lower educated people, but I think some votes should be "woth more" than other votes.
The main (and very large :P) problem with this is that there is no universal "grading" method, to look how much the vote of person should count.
IQ test can NOT be used for thi purpose, as IQ is a very unreliable standard (yes, of course there is difference between an outcome of 80 and one of 140, but there are too many different tests, they don't focus on all aspects a human can be proficient in, and the relativation of IQ is also pretty lousy, so "calculating" the weigth of a vote with IQ is unreliable, and should actually not be done at all, since not everything a human can be good at is graded with it)

My old philosophy lecturer used to moan about this.
Quote:
I have spent 30 years learning, exploring ideas, refining them against theory and experience and my vote is cancelled out by some spotty youth who thinks a liberal is measure of drink at happy hour

The problem is always the same though. Once you decide on a tiered system then someone has to decide what the criteria will be. You should also consider this. Even if IQ were a perfect measure of intelligence would you want a society run by (say) the 10% who represent the most intelligent people ? What they would wish for may be unacceptible to the 90% in which case you will soon develop a divided and unstable system.

One last thought. There is a decision making system called the Delphic Poll which relies on a group of 'average' people considering a problemreaching a consensus on something they know nothing special about. The requirements are :
Anonymity - the group members do not in general know each other and represent a cross section of expertise within the forecast area.
Feedback - members are informed of current consensus but not harassed by arguments. majority and minority opinions can be maintained. There is a second (and possibly subsequent) stage poll after results from the first stage are processed.
Statistical Response - answers are shown as the median prediction of the group as well as the dispersion of opinions.

An example question could be something like :
how many nappies were used in China in 1999.

The answer from the delphic poll is normally much more accurate than you would think. It can be used as an argument for not specialising too much and including as many as possible in decision making...

Cheers
Chris
make_life_better
LeviticusMky wrote:
To go a bit off the wayside, my political philosophy rewards intelligence, and it's not a democracy in the strictest sense of the word.


Of course, this leaves open the question of who defines intelligence, and how you compare or measure it...

LeviticusMky wrote:
...snip...

America in particular has done very well by Democracy (or the representative form, at least), and has thrived. However, a good analogy would be the problem of the group of people in a room with a severely injured person. Say this severely injured person is not faring well, and needs treatment, would you take a vote on how to deal with them, or just ask the doctor?


Isn't that a dangerous way of doing things? Aren't you assuming that the doctor has the necessary knowledge or experience, is right, has good intentions, and so on. It also disregards the views of the others in the room, who may have valid and useful experience. What if the room was in a hospital or medical conference?

Is this not also somewhat lazy - what is to stop most people most of the time just not bothering to think for themselves, because there is almost always the equivalent of "the doctor" to make decisions for them?

LeviticusMky wrote:
...snip...

I mentioned earlier that my ideal political system would reward intelligence, it is in the democratic process that this would come into play. Bear in mind that this is not real democracy, as not all people have equal rights in this system, but all have equal protection under the law.


Those with the most intelligence should be able to use their money most effectively and with least waste - so shouldn't we therefore give more money to those less fortunate in "intelligence" to help make up for their relative disability?

LeviticusMky wrote:
The populace would be divided up into three distinct classes. The top class would be those who have some kind of high-level education. (as in a college degree) They would be the people with the ability to vote in national elections, electing representatives to fill seats in all of the aristocratic areas (education, finance, military, etc.). People who have median levels of education (as in a High School diploma) would be allowed to vote in state elections, but not national elections. Those without a diploma would be allowed to vote in local city and county matters but not in state-wide or national matters.


How do you deal with those people who aren't suited to the education system as it is run in your proposed society? What about those who choose to go out and do productive work rather than sit and think in ivory towers? Lots of really smart or wise people that I know never bothered with university or college. Wouldn't your system reject or devalue their different but valid views?

LeviticusMky wrote:
Yes, this does take away rights, and yes there are problems with this structure, but I feel that they are far less crippling than the problems that we face in a representative democracy that we reside in today, where all of the political power is in the hands of those with the money.

Essentially all I propose is to not reward monetary wealth as we do in America today, but instead to reward willingness to learn and excel. Call it a Democratic Aristocracy.
rwojick
Your having one person's votes count more than another's caught my eye, but I think that one person's "vote" counting as "one" is pretty pure in a digital sense.

The problem in the US is that so many people play the system out of bounds. "We are fighting terrorism and we have no evidence". Well, evidence is that commodity that proves your case. If you have none then why not come back again if and when you get some.

So, if you are a smart person, as you allude to, then the weight of your position would be taken into account at the ballot box when you convince others.

I've noticed that no one will define "terrorism" or the word "terrorist" in print, yet we talk about it and fight it every day in the news. I think Donald Rumsfeld would be very hard pressed to come up with a written definition that would not include himself.

We went to war with no "evidence". Therefore it was not "evidident" who the enemy was. And this is what Donald is always complaining about, "we do not know who the enemy is".

The best way to fight terrorists is, "Don't be one yourself".
Lennon
The problem with any democracy is that the vote is cast with an element of ignorance, indifference and lack of intelligence/enlightenment on the subject. How many people are qualified to vote for/against embryonic stem cell research? Are they aware of cell line and animal embryonic stem cell research? Who should vote, the majority who hasn't the depth of understanding required or the minority who are qualified and experienced but unrepresentative of the whole population.

In fact an ideal government is impossible unless your ideals allow failures. If there are failures then it requires legislation, and the question of judgement becomes a problem. Is it a case of innocent until proven guilty, or guilty until proven innocent. For the former is western thought, the latter often found in islamic states. Who is also qualified to makes that decision. So now the ideal government cannot , CANNOT exist.

I might as well enter my utopian government, like a commonwealth of nations, a common wealth of people, all individually minded but of perfect discipline, where legislation is no longer required, and so being perfect the re will be perfect understanding of the situation, with a perfect choice made by all members towards the common good.

Outside the perfect, utopian ideals, I cannot, cannot single out any system above the others.
The Philosopher Princess
Howdy! Very Happy Howdy! Y’all are looking very philosophic!

I made some contest comments over on the sibling topic.
salman_500
Bikerman wrote:
salman_500 wrote:

well first of all i live in pakistan... i see all that happens in inda and all that happens in pakistan.... 1 thing i clear to u guyz is that both countries are under developed.... well ill ask you one thing.. how do u define as "developed" or "developing".... if u think that that india is developed or developing... here is your answer dude !


Developing, yes, backward, no...and for someone who lives in the region I would have expected a better knowledge than you appear to have. I stand by all my previous comments.
Quote:

well thats christianity... i was thinking with an islamic point of view... and even if you look in hinduism... nothing tells to kill.... and in Saudi Arabia, religion is forced upon ppl...anmd i tell you, ppl live very happily ther....

Well. With that comment you lose any right to have a view taken seriously and I lose any interest in further talking to you. Saudi Arabia is somewhere I have visited and you are so wrong that I wouldn't even know where to start. It is one of the most repressive nasty regimes in the world.

Chris


for your first comment... i dont have any proof of you being a phd of this region... if you dont live here you dont know anything about it... just can you imagine... do you wats happenin better at your neighbours place better than you do about your own....

for your second comment, i say that everything has good and bad ... and maybe you ending up in the bad part of Saudi Arabia.... or maybe it was just a misconceptionas many people do not realize the meaning behind foreign poilicies....

and by "forced upon" i didnt mean literally force.. i meant more that they implement it... they look for bad and clear it out... like our religion requires women to cover themselves, head to foot, and if the law enforcement find some1 disobeying this... they take action....

one of the most influencial bad in this world is the internet as there are very unethical websites on the www..... in Saudi arabia all internet cafe's and all internet conections are monitored and all unethical sites are blocked out... and if some1 still finds a way... that way is stopped by the professioinals too....

and if your talking about Saudi Arabia in that manner, i think i dont wish to talk to you anymore as this place is the center f our religion, Islam, all Muslims from around the Globe gather here for the greatest of all ceremonies on earth... HAJ.... its a Holy place for us... specially Makkah, which probably is the capital of the country too.. plz try to be a little more contained the next time you talk about the place....
seej
I beleive life has to be simple....it is there is the truth...the all powerful....time tested......and unaltered truth.To achieve the pinacle of sucess in any of the fields the aim should be to get in sync with this universal truth.
A political system should be based on truth and thats all...and here are a few truths that I think should very well define what a good political system should be.

1)Voilence begets voilence.......be it domestic or international.....history stands witness
2)When you remove all the craps around your policies there is only one thing that is left.....choice..........you choose what you want and thats what you get
3)A minus(bad thing)*minus(bad thing)=plus............only in maths...........not in real world......a wrong cannot correct another.

So what is this crap i am typing all about.......we all know that....don't we.............yes....but how will dare to implement it.Lets see how it can be done...in say India

1)I know I am not the person who is being shot at by the naxals.....so its easy to say stop voilence.but to bring back the naxals to the mainstream the should have the courage to stand up to the truth .........trust that the government will stand by it....and guidance to know the truth........tell me which of these three...is a hit down approach of govt is achieving.

2)They say we need tougher laws........hey why what you need is information.......proof........help.....from the people.You get all these then the existing laws are sufficient.There are a 1000 peple around evey antisocial in India..say.People with eyes and ears...Get their trust....create awareness...compliment them ....make the atmosphere conducive for them to fearlessly and actively point out at the antisocials.And behold we have a billion police men and women.

The one wrong thing you do mulktiplies 10 times and comes back to you.........beware........we all are responsible for what we have..........its our choice.....as I said...nothing but the truth.
Bikerman
salman_500 wrote:

for your first comment... i dont have any proof of you being a phd of this region... if you dont live here you dont know anything about it... just can you imagine... do you wats happenin better at your neighbours place better than you do about your own....

True - I have never even visited either Pakistan or India. I do know a lot of Panistanis, though, through work and social contacts. The point about the education system does not require a visit, however, since the statistics are easily available and pretty clear. My comments on graduates and their quality are based on personal knowledge - working with and interviewing graduates in IT.
Quote:

for your second comment, i say that everything has good and bad ... and maybe you ending up in the bad part of Saudi Arabia.... or maybe it was just a misconceptionas many people do not realize the meaning behind foreign poilicies....

Well....I think I understand what Foreign Policy means so let's leave that out of the mix. Everything has good and bad ? Maybe true, but not very useful in this debate. The places I visited were not the bad parts of SA and my criticisms of the state are not purely (or even largely) based on my visit. The information about SA is widely available and its form of government is hardly questionable. You say that people live very happily there. A large number are because of the financial benefits they have enjoyed under the current regime. That alters nothing. It remains one of the most repressive, brutal and 'nasty' regimes in the world. My views come from documented facts such as :
http://www.ecoi.net/index.php?countrychooser_country=190071%3A%3ASaudi%20Arabia&step=1&command=showcountryhome

There is no freedom of religion so whilst Muslims may be happy the same is not true for others. The government is basically a dictatorship based on nepotism (the ruling house are supreme and family members hold many of the key positions of state). The human rights abuses and violations are many and extreme. Trade unions and other collective social organisations do not exist, there is a socially acceptible anti-semitism that is the wort I know of, women are allowed little freedom and expected to adhere strictly to dress and behaviour codes (otherwise suffer the penalty which may be, and frequently is, capital). Perhaps you can tell me why the government of this country should be regarded as anything other than a shameful stain on the globe ?
Quote:

and by "forced upon" i didnt mean literally force.. i meant more that they implement it... they look for bad and clear it out... like our religion requires women to cover themselves, head to foot, and if the law enforcement find some1 disobeying this... they take action....

You were correct the first time - force is the correct word. How would Muslims feel if the UK/US and other western powers took the same stance with regard to Christianity - ie start reading the bible or we lock you up?
Quote:

one of the most influencial bad in this world is the internet as there are very unethical websites on the www..... in Saudi arabia all internet cafe's and all internet conections are monitored and all unethical sites are blocked out... and if some1 still finds a way... that way is stopped by the professioinals too....
and if your talking about Saudi Arabia in that manner, i think i dont wish to talk to you anymore as this place is the center f our religion, Islam, all Muslims from around the Globe gather here for the greatest of all ceremonies on earth... HAJ.... its a Holy place for us... specially Makkah, which probably is the capital of the country too.. plz try to be a little more contained the next time you talk about the place....


No I will not be 'contained' when talking of SA. I am well aware that it contains the holiest ground in Islam and I have several friends who have travelled to SA for the Haj. This has nothing to do with the validity or otherwise of the government. If you want to take offence when I criticise brutal and sadistic regimes then go ahead but don't wave the religious banner when doing so because it is hypocritical. Many muslims find the House of Saud to be just as objectionable as I do. Remember that it is propped-up by the US military presence in the state - which many Muslims find insupportable. I have said nothing about the place that I cannot support with documented evidence so if you don't like it then I'm afraid that is your problem, not mine.

Regards
Chris
rwojick
I noticed Seej's comment that violence begets violence and I beleive that is true.

If you have not noticed, I am partial to the US system of Government (the written one) and in it we have the 2nd amendment. This is the "Right to bear arms".

What was the choice back in the 1700s?

Bear arms for self defense (not a little point, "defense") or "Not bear arms" and then when someone from another Country (or your own goverment) comes in WITH ARMS they take you over in short order?

There are tremendous wisdoms in the Bill of Rights. The system "opposes tyranny", and this is not a "war on terror". Can you see the distinction in those two 3 word terms?

No one has the "right" to throw the first punch, but everyone has the right to defend if someone else attacks you.

I suggest the same thinking holds true if you are bearing a legal gun for your protection or harboring a missle for your protection.

Digital truths. The Constitution of the United States. The written one, that is.
rwojick
ooops.

"Opposing tyranny" is a "two word term" and and "war on terror" is a "three word term". I was 1 digit off. This is not an uncommon thing.
Bikerman
rwojick wrote:

Bear arms for self defense (not a little point, "defense") or "Not bear arms" and then when someone from another Country (or your own goverment) comes in WITH ARMS they take you over in short order?


Ermm...I'm not really sure of your point here. Are you saying that civilian gun ownership makes it less lightly that the US will be invaded ? Surely not. The 2 big oceans do that pretty well. Presuming a foreign power did arrive at New York then the civilians could, at best, form into guerilla forces concentrating on hit and run tactics. I'm not sure how this scenario could possibly arise in the real world though....
Quote:

There are tremendous wisdoms in the Bill of Rights. The system "opposes tyranny", and this is not a "war on terror". Can you see the distinction in those two 3 word terms?

A war on terror is and always has been a completely useless term meaning absolutely nothing either symantically or in reality.
You cannot wage war on a concept, though the US seems to want to constantly try to do so - with it's war on drugs and war on poverty etc etc...I wonder if the politicians know exactly how stupid this makes them seem to many. I have an image of GW with his Commander in Chief regaliaon, in the classic 'bayonetting' position with his army rifle held out in front. He is about to deliver a deadly blow to a small pachet of talcum powder that he thinks is a line of coke.
Quote:

No one has the "right" to throw the first punch, but everyone has the right to defend if someone else attacks you.


This is a good point and it is why the US has caused so much anger here in Europe. GW was very quick to say, after 9/11, that 'your are with us or against us', and 'we reserve the right to strike wherever and whenever we choose.' This he publically overturned international law, diplomatic agreements and generally accepted norms at a stroke.

Iraq is a classic example of throwing the first punch (Afghanistan would also be hard to portray as a bully who the US has had to slap down.)
Quote:

I suggest the same thinking holds true if you are bearing a legal gun for your protection or harboring a missle for your protection.

Oh how I wish it were so. This was the former agreed international legal position. Invasion of another country was only justified in terms of self defence.
The US deliberately set out to do away with this consensus when going after Afghanistan and Iraq. The reasons, of course, are familiar to anyone who has dealt with illicit powerful people. If you offend a Mafia boss he will not go to the police., He needs to 'restore respect' so he will have you 'seen to' and make sure it is very widely witnessed so the lesson is clear.
This is exactly the US attitude to foreign excusions since 9/11. Before that it was still the attitude in private but now there is not even an attempt to hide it - indeed Bush has made a point of doing the opposite.

Sheer hypocrisy of course.
Would anyone accept that Cuba had the right to launch whatever missiles it could get against the US? Yet Cuba has far more reason to fear the US than the US had to fear Iraq. So, once again, the double speak and double standards of Bush (and Blair) - spouting offensive garbage about 'defending democracy' and 'leading ther free democratic world into a new era' - is shown to be what it always has been - hypocritical cant from the mouths of liars.

Regards
Chris
rwojick
My point was that if our forefathers set out to have a land where everyone was equal in the eyes of the law then they had to make it a "given" to either have the right to bear arms OR not have the right to bear arms.

Certainly, the flower children would say "let's NOT bear any arms at all", but then this trusting thinking would break down the first time some Huns came down from Canada with machetes and said, "we're taken over, GO MAKE ME A SANDWICH!".

So, I think the "right to bear arms" was a good choice given the digital alternative.
Jinx
My political ideal is extreme libertarianism, leaning toward anarchy.

The question was, what should the law be, and what should the government look like?

The law - the civil law of the land, could be reduced to a single paragraph, rather than the host of do this and dont do that ststutes that we live by today. It could be summed up by simply stating this:
"Every adult is responsible for his or her own wellfare and for the consequinces of his or her own actions. The parents or guardians of minors or of individuals over the age of majority who are mentaly incapable of taking resposibility will be held resposible for the actions of those persons under their care. If a party can be found, by a jury of his or her peers, to have caused damage to person or property, physical, mental, or financial, through their own actions or through negligent inaction, or to be in breach of a contract, then that party must make restitution as determined by said jury. This restitution may take the form of monetary recompense, replacement of damaged property, indentured servitude, or, in cases of violent crime such as murder, incarceration or death. A person can not be tried more than once for the same crime. The government as an entity, or any person working for the government in any capacity is not exempt from this law."

I belive this single law would cover just about everything. Murder, rape, assault, robbery, vandalism, kidnapping, harrasment, libel, blackmail, etc...
No need for drug laws. If you sit quietly in your basement and get stoned out of your gourd you aren't hurting anyone but yourself. If you get hopped up on speed and go rob a liquor store you have caused damage and will be tried for it.



The Government would be something like this:

A Citizen is a person of at least thirty years of age who has paid a fee of $x to the general fund of their local government. (x being a small fortune) This fee must be earned by the potential Citizen, it can not be an inheritance. This ensures that anyone with voting power is: a)fiancially savy; b)relatively intellegent; c)possesed of a good work ethic (or at least clever enough to bilk people of money without getting caught) and d)socially concious enough to be willing to sacrifice such a large amount of their earnings.

(You may be thinking, "But wait, dosn't that mean we would be ruled by the rich?" Well, since the fee cannot be an inheritance, that means that anyone with enough willpower and gumption has an equal chance to do their best to raise the fee. After paying the fee they would likely not be very rich anymore. The amount of the fee itself would have to be based on the economy at the time, I can't name a figure because the value of the dollar is relative - rising and falling over time. Let's say, for the sake of argument, $1,000,000.)

Citizens have the right to sit on the council of their city or town and have 1 vote in all maters that come before the council.

Each city or town may vote on one of its member to represent that city or town at the county level, each county council may elect one of its members to represent that county at the state level, and each state may elect two members to represent that state at the national level.

Each governing council may elect a chairperson, who is empowered with a second vote which may only be cast to break a tie.

Powers of the Federal government:
1. To deal with foriegn powers, send and recive diplomats, and enter into treaties for trade and mutual defence.
2. To provide for the defence of the nation.
3. The Government may NOT establish any tax on the residents or Citizens of the nation, but it may, at its discresion, provide services and charge for them on a per-use basis at a profit so as to pay for a standing army and diplomatic necesities.
4. The government is NOT a law making body. (once the One Law described above is in place there would be no need for more laws)
(this is at the federal level only, municipal governments would, most likely find the need for public ordinances such a noise laws, speed limits, etc.)

Special note on the declaration of war: War can only be declared by a vote of all adult residents and Citizens, it must be a simple majority vote, and all those persons voting YES are automaticaly drafted to serve in the military for the duration and possibly to fight in said war, ensuring that only those people who feel strongly enough to risk their own lives for the cause would vote yes.

As for the services that todays governemt provides... Private enterprise would step in to fill the gap. Private charities instead of welfare, corporations formed to build and maintain roads, intrest groups to monitor food safety, security companies hired by the city or state to provide policing. Part of the restitution that might be ordered by a jury would be to cover the cost of any police work involved.


The central idea for this came from a book called Freehold (I forget the author's name), but I liked the concept and the more I think about it the better it sounds to me. The wording of the one law is all mine though, and it might need some tweaking but I think I got across the main idea.
The Philosopher Princess
Responding to challenging questions about your political philosophy is a significant part of this topic (and the contest). Every entrant needs to be personally questioned, and is requested to show how their philosophy stays intact, consistent, etc. with the new things to consider. I am appreciating the much good challenging so far. And now I’m going to try to catch up with those not yet questioned as much as I would like.

Please don’t feel intimidated by the challenges. Instead, look at it as people care about what you have to offer -- because that is the truth. Everyone is welcome to add more on your own as well.

Next are 3 sets of questions and challenges (to Rico, Idoru, and rwojick).
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
@ Rico

Your philosophy seems to be that lawyers and politicians are corrupt and deceitful, and that government run by such people is worse than no government at all (anarchy).

I understand (from the sibling topic) how you don’t want to think about the things that have been unpleasant for you. So, would you care to tell us something about what the alternatives to such “bad” government could look like? Maybe you have a vision of how things could work better.

How could societies work without lawyers, politicians, and corruption?
What are the ways for people to exist in the world without government providing laws, regulations, and social order?
Do you really believe, or do you just hope, that the large-scale things that people need -- such as roads, education, defense, security, and emergency response -- could be provided without government funding and control? If so, how would those things come into existence and be maintained?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
@ Idoru

Your ideal of an agrarian “back to nature” lifestyle is very appealing. Your concept of many homogenous groups living with tolerance towards others makes sense at the basic level.

But, how would such a society deal with major social issues such as education, transportation, property ownership, crime, security, trade, and resolving disputes between people and groups? Those things don’t -- at least, at first consideration -- seem to have anything to do with nature per se.

What you say concerning human manners is interesting. In the context of society and politics, what do you think causes human manners to improve -- and what causes them to degrade?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
@ rwojick

So, your political philosophy is based on the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. You seem to admire the Rule of Law concept and expect it to be properly implemented by a just government. Is it ever? Could it be?

Is it your claim that if the US Constitution and Bill of Rights were properly administered that there would be freedom and justice in the USA?

Have you studied the Anti-Federalists who opposed the US Constitution, claiming that it was an usurpation of power (counter to the goals of the American Revolution), and that by creating a centralized government, the USA was starting down the path towards tyranny?

And the big question about the USA is -- did the experiment work? Did freedom last? Does the Bill of Rights really guarantee anything? Do you really have any recourse against runaway government, injustice, unconstitutional laws, etc.? For instance, how do the Bill of Rights 4th, 5th, and 13th Amendments stack up against the IRS? How does the 2nd Amendment stack up against all the gun laws? How do Asset Forfeiture, the War on Drugs, the War on Terrorism, and the Patriot Act fit into a free society?

rwojick wrote:
"Better 40 guilty people go free than one innocent man be convicted". I read that when I was 1 1/3 years old...

“1 1/3 years” is only 16 months! I couldn’t help noticing that you sure were an early eager reader! Smile Wink

Note: I realize that you have discussed some of these issues on the sibling thread. However, since you had not been challenged yet (possibly because you gave so much info without being questioned) I thought these questions pertinent here.
The Philosopher Princess
Below are 3 more sets of questions and challenges (to Lennon, seej, and Jinx).
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
@ Lennon

Lennon wrote:
If there are failures then it requires legislation

Why? Could “failures” possibly be handled in some way other than legislation? Could outside-of-government market controls, social contracts, personal contracts, and other outside-the-box methods of preventing and/or dealing with “failures” ever work? If so, how? If not, why not?

Lennon wrote:
I might as well enter my utopian government, like a commonwealth of nations, a common wealth of people, all individually minded but of perfect discipline, where legislation is no longer required, and so being perfect the re will be perfect understanding of the situation, with a perfect choice made by all members towards the common good.

Outside the perfect, utopian ideals, I cannot, cannot single out any system above the others.

Very interesting line of reasoning and thinking! “Perfection” not being an option, what if there were a way of getting, maybe not “perfect choice”, but much better choices, on average, and a method to make sure that bad choices are their own punishment, without recourse to legislation, policing, or political power systems? If you can envision anything like this, what would it look like?

Does legislation decrease “failures”, fix them, mitigate them, or exacerbate them? In general, does legislation (and politics) do more harm than good?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
@ seej

seej wrote:
A political system should be based on truth and thats all...and here are a few truths that I think should very well define what a good political system should be.

1)Voilence begets voilence.......be it domestic or international.....history stands witness
2)When you remove all the craps around your policies there is only one thing that is left.....choice..........you choose what you want and thats what you get
3)A minus(bad thing)*minus(bad thing)=plus............only in maths...........not in real world......a wrong cannot correct another.

Your concept of basing a political system on universal truths is refreshing. Your 3 truths seem -- well, obvious -- but not the way politics is run now.

How could non-violence be implemented when governments rely on force and coercion to get compliance from their citizens, and on military force for conquest and defense?

How can people have freedom of choice, if political choices (laws, rules, regulations, etc.) are being mandated by rulers, bureaucrats, and by majority vote?

If “two wrongs don’t make a right” is correct, then how can justice be carried out? How can there be retribution for murder, rape, robbery, or acts of terrorism?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
@ Jinx

If under your political philosophy (libertarianism/anarchy), the government would be so limited as to only enforce the “One Law”, could not collect tax, have only a limited budget, not give away favors, not cater to special interests, not redistribute wealth, etc., then what would motivate anybody to pay a large sum of money (e.g., $1,000,000) to participate? Under current government schemes, people pay millions for political power because they can make more millions by using and abusing that power. If there were nothing to steal, why would anybody pay for a license to steal?

It seems that in such a powerless system, a lottery could choose the leaders without any danger of their being corrupt and using their power wrongly. So, why bother to limit who can vote (be a citizen) if the system doesn’t have the power to harm some at the expense of others?

Jinx wrote:
4. The government is NOT a law making body. (once the One Law described above is in place there would be no need for more laws)
(this is at the federal level only, municipal governments would, most likely find the need for public ordinances such a noise laws, speed limits, etc.)

Why? Under your “One Law”, if somebody were found guilty of doing harm, a jury could demand restitution. So, there seems no need of nuisance laws, noise laws, speed limits, zoning regulations, or any of the rules, regulations, and laws of local jurisdictions. Wouldn’t they be covered by the principle of the “One Law”?

I don’t catch what your philosophy’s plan for the collected $x fees (e.g., $1,000,000) is. Are they just collected and discarded without use? Or, if they are used, then wouldn’t they cause a fairly good-sized government, which seems to counter your “ideal of extreme libertarianism”?

On a similar notion, I have understood philosophies that lean “toward anarchy” to mean there is little-to-no government infrastructure. And yet your described plans including “citizens”, “governing councils”, “federal government”, “majority vote”, and more, seem to be the opposite of anarchy. Please explain how all of this reconciles with each other.
rwojick
As for the challenge, I put the 16 month thing in there as a joke, it meant "as long as I can remember."

The Consititution revolves around the Bill of Rights and the law is a shield, it is not a sword. No little distinction there.

The whole idea of the system is is set aside your prejudices and apply the law. I say "women are their prejudices" and they cannot possibly set them aside. This causes great problems.

The only way the system could fail is by poor execution, and I say women compete by executing poorly and then tirelessly standing by their position until they do things "their way" and not "the legal way". Hillary, a licensed Lawyer, voted, "we have no evidence, let's bomb Bagdhad".

Here is a test for you. It is a given in the Constitution that all accused people are entitled to due process of law. If you go to

proof.rochesterdailynews.frih.net

you will see the actual Court documents that show the lawyer accusing me filed the note of issue AFTER he and the Judge said they held my Trial.

Those are the actual documents right from the record. If I am lying then I am committing perjury and if they are lying then they are in a Conspriacy. Simple digital math.

Today the man running for Attorney General in New York (Spitzer) and the woman running for Senator (Hillary Clinton) BOTH went into my records with my signed permission and they both delivered LESS THAN their oath demanded, and yet they collect paycheck's every week.

Here is your challenge. How did the lawyer file the note of issue on March 8, 1995 and then my Trial date is written in the record as Dec. 15, 1994?

How can you file a paper to get on the calendar for trail and then have that trial already done???

Now, if you must lie, then I am not guilty because you are committing perjury (lying). If you tell the truth, then I am not guilty (denied due process). I am shielded by the 6th and 14th amendments.

I am not guilty if you lie and I am not guilty if you tell the truth. Get it?

Yet I have remained guilty since 1994 and my children, ages 4, 9 and 11 at the time, were told I needed mental help (in the record) and I was ordered to get a psychiatric exam as a condition for seeing them.

The woman Judge ordered in Lawyers for my children, they LIED about holding my Trial, and then they ordered I get a psychiatric exam as a condition for seeing MY KIDS!

The US system is as perfect as can be. The fact that it is in the hands of idiots is not my fault.
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rwojick
As for "did the system work".

Well, the system identifies the tyrant, so, in the sense of identifying him, it does work.

The people who attacked the world trade center gave no written notice, they presented no evidence and they gave no opportunity for the "defendants" to respond.

I feel similarly about the citizens of Bagdhad. I was not "down" with the attack. If we had evidence and we presented it and gave 30 days to respond, I might have been.

If you want to evaluate a system first you have to run it. If you fail to run it then our system would place the terrorists you are referring to in your bathroom mirror.

I think Bush erred, but if we move in the right direction from those errors then maybe things happened for a purpose. To quote Givens, "where we is, is where we is".
The Philosopher Princess
@ McMuffin

McMuffin wrote:
{Voting}
I'll also go for a semi-democratic voting system.
Don't you think it is, softly speaking, a bit stupid that the vote of a professor counts as much as the vote of a cleaner?

Says a friend of mine who has been in the “cleaner” businesses, fix-it businesses, and construction:

(with permission to quote) a friend wrote:
I agree! It is silly to count the vote of some ivory tower intellectual who has never made a living in the real world, who teaches theory instead of risking reality, and who has a conflict of interest because he lives off government grants, as being equal to my well-informed vote! I’ve met a lot of those pinheads who can debate pseudo-economics, parapsychology, astrophysics, or children’s literature, but in the real world they’re so dumb that they can’t change a light bulb. Why should such nincompoops be allowed to change a government? As people sometimes say: “Those who can -- do. Those who can’t -- teach.”

I thought that to be a better challenge to you than anything I could create, so I’m passing it on for your consideration.
The Philosopher Princess
Next is a very important comment for EVERYONE, concerning copied/quoted text. Following that are some related, personal comments for MadeinIndia and Bikerman.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
{PROPERLY QUOTING & USING QUOTE TAGS}

First, I’ll remind all of us that there’s a Frihost rule about needing to use quote tags.....

Code:
[quote="<source’s name>"] . . . . . . . [/quote]

.....when we post text from other sources, like websites, books, etc. And, if known, the web address should be given. Using quotation marks (“ . . . . . ”) are usually not good enough.

So, this is already a given. But, marking others’ text is especially important for this topic, where originality is an issue. There is nothing wrong with quoting others and adding your comments, because there can theoretically be originality in tracking down well-stated points. But I (we all) must be able to tell the difference.

So, here’s a general STRONG REQUEST that EVERYONE -- entrants and questioners -- double-check your text and update any needed quotes. Thanks! Smile
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
@ MadeinIndia

I found this text in a couple of places including the following.

http://www.friesian.com/caste.htm wrote:
The Bhagavad Gita says this about the varn.as:

[41] The works of Brahmins, Ks.atriyas, Vaishyas, and Shudras are different, in harmony with the three powers of their born nature.

[42] The works of a Brahmin are peace; self-harmony, austerity, and purity; loving-forgiveness and righteousness; vision and wisdom and faith.

[43] These are the works of a Ks.atriya: a heroic mind, inner fire, constancy, resourcefulness, courage in battle, generosity and noble leadership.

[44] Trade, agriculture and the rearing of cattle is the work of a Vaishya. And the work of the Shudra is service.

The above is almost identical to some of your text.

MadeinIndia wrote:
The Bhagavad Gita, an ancient Hindu text, thousands of years old, much older than Greeks or any other civilization says the following...

The works of Brahmins, Ks.atriyas, Vaishyas, and Shudras are different, in harmony with the three powers of their born nature.

The works of a Brahmin are peace; self-harmony, austerity, and purity; loving-forgiveness and righteousness; vision and wisdom and faith.

These are the works of a Kshatriya: a heroic mind, inner fire, constancy, resourcefulness, courage in battle, generosity and noble leadership.

Trade, agriculture and the rearing of cattle is the work of a Vaishya. And the work of the Shudra is service.

Please edit your text to show and link to any source(s) you’ve used, including the above and anything else that is from elsewhere.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
@ Bikerman

(I am glad you “happened by” here, and, on your own, have been questioning others. I hope you’ll do more, as it’s been a help.)

I have found a number of parts scattered throughout your text that also exist on other websites, and they seem to not be your text, or have been only slightly changed, yet they are not attributed correctly. Would you please go through all your posts and make any necessary updates so as to accurately reflect what is your own wording/thinking and what is quoted from others?

http://www.logosjournal.com/issue_5.1/wolff.htm wrote:
Today, the hegemonic economic theory, called “neoclassical economics” for historical reasons, serves to make exploitation invisible. Building on the early formulation of such ideas by Adam Smith, neoclassical economics casts production as a process in which no surplus gets produced, nor appropriated, nor distributed. Instead, production is an harmonious collaboration: workers bring their labor, landlords their land, and capitalists their capital. All three contribute to production and all three share in its fruits according to their contributions: the workers’ share is wages, the landlords’ is rent, and the capitalists’ is profit. It is a world of fairness and harmony. The inability of workers to contribute capital is explained by their failure to save out of their incomes and their resulting lack of capital to contribute to production. The capital in the hands of capitalists is not the fruit of exploitation, of taking a surplus from workers, but rather the fruit of their own virtuous frugality. Capitalism fairly rewards individuals for the contributions each brings to production. More than that, capitalism represents an engine of wealth production, economic growth, and thus the possibility for everyone to become rich. Those who have failed to do so should chiefly blame themselves. To blame capitalism is not a valid social critique but rather the whining of losers.

The above is very close to your below.

Bikerman wrote:
Here is a quick summary of Neoclassical Economics.
Production is a process in which no surplus gets produced, nor appropriated, nor distributed. Rather, production is an harmonious collaboration: workers bring their labour, landlords their land, and capitalists their capital. All three contribute to production and all three share in its fruits according to their contributions: the workers’ share is wages, the landlords’ is rent, and the capitalists’ is profit. It is a world of fairness and harmony. The capital in the hands of capitalists is not the fruit of exploitation, of taking a surplus from workers, but rather the fruit of their own virtuousity and frugality. Capitalism fairly rewards individuals for the contributions each brings to production. More than that, capitalism represents an engine of wealth production, economic growth, and thus the possibility for everyone to become rich. Those who have failed to do so should chiefly blame themselves. To blame capitalism is not a valid social critique but rather the whining of losers.
~~~~~~~~~~
http://www.ancientweb.org/Greece/index.htm wrote:
Cleisthenes established the world's first "democracy" (500), with power being held by an assembly of all the male citizens.

That is almost identical to this.

Bikerman wrote:
Cleisthenes established the world's first democracy (500 BC), with power being held by an assembly of all the male citizens.
~~~~~~~~~~
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/greeks/greekdemocracy_02.shtml wrote:
The origin of the Athenian democracy of the fifth and fourth centuries can be traced back to Solon, who flourished in the years around 600 BC.

That is this.

Bikerman wrote:
The origin of the Athenian democracy of the fifth and fourth centuries can be traced back to Solon, who flourished in the years around 600 BC.
~~~~~~~~~~
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/greeks/greekdemocracy_02.shtml wrote:
In 411 and again in 404 Athenian oligarchs led counter-revolutions that replaced democracy with extreme oligarchy.

And that is this.

Bikerman wrote:
In 411 and again in 404 Athenian oligarchs led counter-revolutions that replaced democracy with extreme oligarchy.
~~~~~~~~~~
Those are the ones I know of, but I have by no means done a thorough combing.
Bikerman
The Philosopher Princess wrote:

Please edit your text to show and link to any source(s) you’ve used, including the above and anything else that is from elsewhere.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
@ Bikerman

(I am glad you “happened by” here, and, on your own, have been questioning others. I hope you’ll do more, as it’s been a help.)

I have found a number of parts scattered throughout your text that also exist on other websites, and they seem to not be your text, or have been only slightly changed, yet they are not attributed correctly. Would you please go through all your posts and make any necessary updates so as to accurately reflect what is your own wording/thinking and what is quoted from others?


Yes, will do.
Jinx
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
@ Jinx

If under your political philosophy (libertarianism/anarchy), the government would be so limited as to only enforce the “One Law”, could not collect tax, have only a limited budget, not give away favors, not cater to special interests, not redistribute wealth, etc., then what would motivate anybody to pay a large sum of money (e.g., $1,000,000) to participate? Under current government schemes, people pay millions for political power because they can make more millions by using and abusing that power. If there were nothing to steal, why would anybody pay for a license to steal?


It means that very few people would. There would be some who chose to do so for the prestige of being a Citizen, and some who are truely civic minded and interested in becoming a diplomat or settleing non-litigious disputes. Disputes where no-one is seeking redress for a wrong would be settled by the Council of Citizens at the apropriate level. For Example:

A company wants to set up a factory that produces widgets, but the byproduct of those widgets is a smelly gas. But the land they want to use is near a residential area. Since the factory has not yet been built, no harm can be proven, so it is not a case for the courts, yet. The residents of that neighborhood can, however, go to the council and see if anything can be worked out to get the factory to move elsewhere. The Council can then debate and vote on a solution, such as using the funds in the city treasury to buy up the proposed location so that the factory would have to build elsewhere.

Quote:

It seems that in such a powerless system, a lottery could choose the leaders without any danger of their being corrupt and using their power wrongly. So, why bother to limit who can vote (be a citizen) if the system doesn’t have the power to harm some at the expense of others?


Well, there are two reasons for that. First off, if the government cannot collect taxes it would still need some source of funds, this method provides some (though not all that would be needed. The government is still resposible for the defense of the nation, and an army is not cheap, neither are diplomatic functions).

Also, as I pointed out in my first post, the ability to raise such a sum in the first place ensures at least a minimum level of competency or a strong work ethic, or both.

The Philosopher Princess wrote:
Jinx wrote:
4. The government is NOT a law making body. (once the One Law described above is in place there would be no need for more laws)
(this is at the federal level only, municipal governments would, most likely find the need for public ordinances such a noise laws, speed limits, etc.)

Why? Under your “One Law”, if somebody were found guilty of doing harm, a jury could demand restitution. So, there seems no need of nuisance laws, noise laws, speed limits, zoning regulations, or any of the rules, regulations, and laws of local jurisdictions. Wouldn’t they be covered by the principle of the “One Law”?


You are right on this one. Thinking on it a little harder, I guess there wouldn't be a need for such laws as they would all fall under the One Law.

Quote:

I don’t catch what your philosophy’s plan for the collected $x fees (e.g., $1,000,000) is. Are they just collected and discarded without use? Or, if they are used, then wouldn’t they cause a fairly good-sized government, which seems to counter your “ideal of extreme libertarianism”?


The Citizens councils of local governments would be expected to provide a few basic things that would cost money, such as a building to meet in, and a courthouse. They would also need to hire a police force (only one law to enforce, but it does still need enforcing. Someone has to be paid to catch the bad guys.) If local governments so chose they could also organize a local militia, as the government is empowered for defense.
Mainly, though, the funds would be passed up the chain.

This nation would not exist in a void. There would be other nations to deal with. To ensure the safety of "One Law Land", there would have to be some sort of military structure, even if it is only a system of reservists who can be called up only when needed, rather than a standing army. They would still have to be trained and would need equipment.
Also, as I mentioned briefly earlier, our nation would be expected to host diplomats from other nations on occasion. Now, our Citizens may have started out as working men, content with burgers and beer, but the diplomats from other countries would expect certain protocols and a certain level of treatment at state functions. We would have to provide it when we are the hosts so as not to insult their delicate sensabilities. That could get expensive.

Obviously, with the relatively few people who could be expected to pay the fee for citizenship, the fees themselves wouldn't bring in enough money to pay for the training of an army, or for more than a few summit meetings, but it could be used as startup capital for business ventures or invested to help to fund these necissary evils.

Quote:

On a similar notion, I have understood philosophies that lean “toward anarchy” to mean there is little-to-no government infrastructure. And yet your described plans including “citizens”, “governing councils”, “federal government”, “majority vote”, and more, seem to be the opposite of anarchy. Please explain how all of this reconciles with each other.


There will always be people who want to be in charge. This relatively small and and harmless government would give them a chance to play at politics without doing too much damage to anyone else.

And it gives other Heads of State someone to talk to.

I would imagine that, on a local level, the councils would be quite small. Perhaps 1 Citizen for every 3,000 residents.

Another function that the council would be expected to fulfill woud be as coordinators in a time of crisis. They would not be directly resposible for, say... rebuilding New Orleans (that would be up to the individual property owners), but they would be a liason between all of the charity groups and private businesses involved and the residents to ensure that help got to where it need to go. (basicaly, in a confusing melange of organizations and individuals all trying to get and give information on shelter, missing loved ones, etc... the council would act as a central point of contact.) There are times when groups of people can freeze up under pressure, and want to find someone to turn to for direction. The Council could also offer advice in such situations.

The only time a Majority Vote would be needed would be in the case of a declaration of War, which, we would hope, would be very rare. With so little resources the minimal government would be very hesitant to step into another country's problems without very good reason. The only case I could see would be if we were attacked first (like WW2).

The populace, being very independant minded (from being raised in a society that values self-responsibility and self-reliance - take the American Old West as an example), would likely also be mostly heavily armed, insuring their own freedom from runaway government. What politician would risk trying to change stuff and impose laws if he would have to deal with a lynch mob of armed rabid individualists? (he couldn't declare martial law, the military, being made up of these same individualists, would probably be leading the charge against him. Besides, with no standing army, it would take a vote of the whole population to raise the army to enforce martial law in the first place.)

It would be nice to imagine living with no government at all, but there are times when it is a necissary evil. Since the eariest days of civilization we have had leaders, it seems to be human nature to turn to a tribal headman, a clan chief, the Pater Familius, the King, the President, whatever. My model allows for plenty of elbow room (provided you don't hit anyone else when you are swinging those elbows around), yet still has (limited) authority figures for those folks who need a little leadership now and then.

(PS - I tried out a little Rainboxing, but I'd like to know the secret of how to get multi-colored text in one sentence - fading from one color to the next. How do you do that?)
Jinx
Oop! Sorry about the double post!
I got a 404 error the first time I hit the submit button, I wasn't sure if it went through.

Oh, and I forgot to point out an important point. In my system, Citizens would not be paid (or maybe paid only a token salary) they would still have to be gainfully employed, or have enough savings to live off of while they are active in the government. They could, of course, be reimbursed for expenses incurred in the performance of thier duties, though. The reimbursements would be public record, auditable by anyone.
rwojick
As for how Hillary is not eligible to run for office, the records at

http://www.proof.rochesterdailynews.frih.net/

were sealed by state law. I then contacted Hillary and said I have proof that the case that found me guilty of "Cruel and Inhuman Treatment" was "fixed".

She wrote back saying she needed a sworn affidavit in order to go into the sealed records, so I sent it to her.

After she viewed the records she began to slobber over the truth, the way that women always do, in order to "control the truth" as a tyrant would. I have remained guilty since 1994. See 14th amendment, section 3.

So, Princess, the challenge is still on the table.

How did the lawyer suing me file the note of issue 3 months after he and the Judge said they completed the trial without agreeing to break the law in the back room? When they did this they formed a conspiracy, correct or incorrect?

If you answer truthfully then I was denied due process and I am not guilty, and if you lie or do nothing then you join the conspiracy and you are identified as the tyrants.

I do this for lawyers all the time, you cannot PROVE someone is lying under oath unless first, of course, they lie under oath.

Is the Philosopsher Princess and Hillary Clinton in the same cover up conspriacy to deny a defendant due process of law as defined in the Constitution of the United States in 1776, or thereabouts?

We know Hillary is in, and we are still waiting for the Princess.
nathanuk
I live in england and i think the goverment tries to interupt in peoples live way to much. They tell us to eat healthy and have recently raised the retirement age. I think the labour goverment is the worst thing that has happend to our once great country(i mean no racial offence there). He has raised tax and is a really weak priminister. I aswell as the whole of my family hope he does not get re-alected.
Although our goverment is shamefull life has come along way of the past millions of years. Even 70 years ago a disabled person would not be looked after they where expected to look after them selves(sorry for spelling) now we have trained professionals to look after them. We have devolped transport systems computers,which i think leads to one of our greatest achivements. The internet is a great invention It allows people from all corners of the world to communicate with one another. Personal hygine has improved greatly. Violence is much more controlled then to say 200 years ago. Dont get me wrong though its not a haven.
Many people aswell as me thinks the police in our goverment are pushing it to far with cctv camereas, in my town, middlesbrough, the police watch AND speak to you. I find cctv disgusting many of you have probably heard about the statistic "you are cought on cameara over 300 times a day",
T.v's modern celebrity culture is pathetic. What kind of normal person wants to watch a person is a house, i ofcourse refer to t.v's big brother. Its pathetic in the past people where famous becuase they did somthing actualy worth while now a person can become famous for staying in a god dam house on tv. This really angers me, people are more interested in other peoples lives then there own. But thats my own opinion please dont flame
My view on terrorism is this. Islamic people want what they cant have, just like children. There countries are often politcaly unstable so they blame america or the "western world". Religeon is the cause of most wars there needs to be a mutual peace agreement between all forms of religeon. Racism is one of the things i most hate. Hatefull people are often cowards. Frightend of the refugees and say things like "**** of back to your own country" i refuse to swear by the way. People as a race are the same just like cats,dogs,fish and many others so why should we hate each other becuase some of us look differnt.


Thanks for listening to my flame and im sorry if i ofended anybody it was not my intention
Bikerman
nathanuk wrote:
My view on terrorism is this. Islamic people want what they cant have, just like children. There countries are often politcaly unstable so they blame america or the "western world". Religeon is the cause of most wars there needs to be a mutual peace agreement between all forms of religeon. Racism is one of the things i most hate. Hatefull people are often cowards. Frightend of the refugees and say things like "**** of back to your own country" i refuse to swear by the way. People as a race are the same just like cats,dogs,fish and many others so why should we hate each other becuase some of us look differnt.


Thanks for listening to my flame and im sorry if i ofended anybody it was not my intention


If this offends then it's their problem isn't it :-) Seems reasonable enough to me. I'd just like to suggest something you might like to think about.
BTW - I live in Cheshire but I know Tyneside very well - I spent a lot of my childhood in Billingham - I used to love ice-skating at the Forum there.

Anyway...on terrorism. It is normally said to be the weapon of the desperate or the fanatical or both. This is completely wrong. Terrorism is largely a weapon of the strong. Terrorism also works. The chief users of terrorism over this century would be the UK/European countries and, more recently, the US. If you read the history of Vietnam, for example, you see classic terrorist tactics. Scare and disrupt. The difference is that it was done on such a huge scale that people forget that it was still the same basic method.

The same applied to the methods the UK used to control the 'empire'. If the natives rebel or look like them might, scare the hell out of them by sending in a regiment and killing a few of them. India is full of examples of this policy in action. Why ? Simply because it works.

Iraq is just the latest in a long line of terrorist actions by the Western powers. The difference, of course, is that we are told that we are democracies and therefore it is not terrorism but a 'war on terror' or a 'fight for freedom' or some other drivel. This is also normal. Germany in the 1930s was not engaged on an expansionist military excercise, it was engaged in counter-terrorism and protecting the population from the tyrannical governments they were suffering from.
The USSR did not 'invade' Hungary in 1956. They responded to a request from the Government and people to send troops in order to put down civil unrest and terrorist actions from revolutionary elements.
Ditto China, Indonesia in Timor and so on through the list.

The record, from WWII to the present is quite revealing. In that time the US has invaded or grossly interfered in :-
Cuba, Panama, Columbia, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Haiti, Greneda, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Saudi Arabia, Marshall Islands, Greece, Philippines, Korea, Albania, Iran, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Indonesia, British Guiana/Guyana, Thailand, Ecuador, The Congo/Zaire, Brazil, Peru, Ghana, Uruguay, Chile, South Africa, Bolivia, Portugal, East Timor, Angola, Jamaica, Honduras, Seychelles, South Korea, South Yemen, Chad, Suriname, Libya, Fiji and El Salvador. (There are more but that will do for the present).

Apologists will tell you that this was to remove brutal or communist regimes (as if that is enough justification), but that is just another example of the 'fighting for democracy and freedom' lie.

It's something to think about....

Regards
Chris
The Philosopher Princess
@ nathanuk

It’s good to see you here!

nathanuk wrote:
I live in england and i think the goverment tries to interupt in peoples live way to much. They tell us to eat healthy and have recently raised the retirement age. I think the labour goverment is the worst thing that has happend to our once great country(i mean no racial offence there). He has raised tax and is a really weak priminister.

Do you mean that the government mostly only tries and that the trying is the bad part? Or do you mean that it not only tries, but succeeds in the interruption way too much?

If you mean mostly tries, then I wonder what really rough percentage you’d say it does succeed?

If you mean it really does interrupt a lot, I’d ask this. In general, the people or organizations who have the wherewithal to actually interrupt people’s lives are strong, not weak -- correct? (The weak may want to interrupt but aren’t strong enough to do it much.) But you discuss the prime minister as being “really weak” and yet as also part of something that is -- by your accounts -- very strong. How do resolve this seeming inconsistency?
Bikerman
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
@ nathanuk
If you mean mostly tries, then I wonder what really rough percentage you’d say it does succeed?

If you mean it really does interrupt a lot, I’d ask this. In general, the people or organizations who have the wherewithal to actually interrupt people’s lives are strong, not weak -- correct? (The weak may want to interrupt but aren’t strong enough to do it much.) But you discuss the prime minister as being “really weak” and yet as also part of something that is -- by your accounts -- very strong. How do resolve this seeming inconsistency?


Just to add to the PP on this (rather than go off on one about terrorism which was self indulgent of me and not helpful to you).
Do you think Blair is the problem or only the visible part ? Is the problem Labour itself?
How do you feel about David Cameron ? What about the Tories ? You come from a traditional Labour part of the world (like me). My problems with Blair are more with him personally than with the Labour Party, but I'd be interested to hear your take on it.

Chris.
The Philosopher Princess
Everyone, please check out a new contest announcement over here. Smile
Bikerman
Jinx wrote:


It would be nice to imagine living with no government at all, but there are times when it is a necissary evil. Since the eariest days of civilization we have had leaders, it seems to be human nature to turn to a tribal headman, a clan chief, the Pater Familius, the King, the President, whatever. My model allows for plenty of elbow room (provided you don't hit anyone else when you are swinging those elbows around), yet still has (limited) authority figures for those folks who need a little leadership now and then.

Interesting...not too far from my own little 'utopea' but I spot some things which may be a problem.
1) You seem to suggest that this will all leave the production and industrial complex largely as is. Would that be fair ?
If so then we immediately have a problem. The owners of the factories/corporations etc will be in potential conflict with the local systems of organisation. A corporation could and, I suggest, would, undermine the whole nature of local democracy. Since, as you admit, the structure of government would be not just more local but also much weaker, how would you balance the goals of the corporations (to make money) with the goals and aims of the local communities ? Surely a large employer would run rings around local comittees because, at the end of the day, they have all the power and the comittee has very little.
One example. The car firm in your local town decide that an increase in productivity is required (which means, of course, more for less). They propose slashing a week off the holiday and reducing the wages by 1/5th.
There is no legislativbe protection to stop them doing this so the local council would presumably step in. At this point the corporation say - no problem, we will move the factory to a location which has 'greater efficiency'. They could either play the districts off against each other or even threaten to go 'abroad'.
The inevitable result would be exploitation of the workforce.
It would be worse however since the companies would quickly ensure they were the ones who 'filled the gaps' in thgings like food standards, policing, welfare and the rest. So you could well end up with McDonalds in charge of food standards, for example, which I would find a little alarming.
I just cannot see an unfettered capitalist market economy and an anarchical local government system being able to live together because the corporations will have a field day. The major problem that some of us have at the present is the disproportionate power of unelected companies and the complete lack of accountability. Once you abolish company statutes and social protections then this would get much worse very quickly.

Next would be social policy. Although the one law sounds fine, it is unlikely to be sufficient in the realms of finance and debt, domestic violence, and a lot of other 'complex' social scenarios.
What about the drug thing...OK, you can smoke yourself high, but you could, I presume, cultivate as well and supply ? It is arguable whether a lid of skunk damages an individual directly but how would you control access to minors, for example. Rely on the age on majority and then prosecute for harm if sold to minors I presume ?

Next would be national disaster. What happens in the event of the next Hurricane or other disaster to strike ? Presumably the Federal gov step in, but they will not have anything like the emergency capacity needed.

Just a few things to chew over perhaps.

Best wishes
Chris
Jinx
The most difficult thing about my ideal system would be the change of mindset needed to live there. We have all grown up in a world where we expect to be able to fall back on someone else to help us. The first thing we think when something big goes wrong is, "Why isn't the government dong something about this?" That is why we are in the mess we are in now. What we should be thinking is, "What can I do to fix this?"

If there is a car crash, almost everyone stands around rubbernecking, wondering what is taking the ambulance so long. One or two people might step in to help, and they will be hailed as heros, when they are only doing what any decent person should be doing - thinking for themselves and getting involved instead of waiting for some authority figure to tell them what to do.

If, as in your example, a company cheats its employees, it should not be up to the government to do something, it should be up to those employees. If someone is hitting you, do you stand around and wonder where the cops are? NO, you defend yourself, you hit back, or you run.
There would be nothing preventing the employees of that firm from finding other jobs, organizing a union, striking, or organizing a boycott of the factory.

With the change of mindset it would take, from submissive sheep to do-for-yourself independance, the whole idea of the government stepping in to 'fix the problem' would be laughable. Remember, the central ideal of this community would be self-responsibility. That means being responsible for your own welfare as well as your own actions.
There is no dole. If you don't work, you don't eat. If you are unable to work, there would be plenty of private charities to help out (Red Cross, Salvation Army, church groups, etc...), and with no taxes to pay, people would have more money to be able to contribute to such charities. Self-reliance dosn't mean not caring for others, or being self-centered.



Bikerman wrote:
1) You seem to suggest that this will all leave the production and industrial complex largely as is. Would that be fair ?
If so then we immediately have a problem. The owners of the factories/corporations etc will be in potential conflict with the local systems of organisation. A corporation could and, I suggest, would, undermine the whole nature of local democracy. Since, as you admit, the structure of government would be not just more local but also much weaker, how would you balance the goals of the corporations (to make money) with the goals and aims of the local communities ? Surely a large employer would run rings around local comittees because, at the end of the day, they have all the power and the comittee has very little.


What democracy? The government has almost NO power at all. All of the power is in the hands of the people. If they are content to live under the thumb of a major corporation, well, you can't force someone to help themselves.

But I don't think people would be content to live that way. Not people who made such a radical change as to do away with government. These same people would not want to substitute one form of slavery for another.
A corporation's weak spot is even easier to find than that of a government. A corporation's weak spot is its bottom line. Hit McGoliath there a couple of times and he will come into line fast - boycotts and court cases.
If a big factory is poluting, it is causing harm. If they are selling sub standard products news will get out and people will not buy them. If those products are harmful, they will be sued out of existance. Look at all the NGO watchdog groups we have now. The regulations and laws we have don't do much good, but a public campaign make a company change policies pretty fast.

Domestic Violence? The person doing the hitting, or dishing out the verbal abuse is doing damage, and so falls under the One Law. In a case of child abuse, anyone could bring it to court as an advocate for the child if the parents are actting against the best interest of the child.
Debt? If you don't pay your debts you are in breach of contract, which falls under the One Law. If you don't have the money to pay the debt, the law allows indentured servitude until the debt is paid. If the debtor had taken responsibility for his or her actions and paid the debt, they would be fine.

Think of the most self-reliant, individualistic person you know. I bet that person is a critical thinker, and increadibly stubborn when it comes to living the way he or she wants to live, regardless of what anyone says or does. Now, imagine a whole society raised with that mindset.

Natural disasters? If you know that no one is going to step in to help you, are you going to stand in the rubble and bitch about the fact that no one is doing the work for you, or are you going to pick yourself up and start helping your neighbors and cleaning up the mess?

We (as a society) have fallen into the trap of believing that we are Entitled to certain benefits, that our problems are someone else's fault, that we don't have to do anything to help ourselves because, "Hey. that's what the government is there for, right?"

Well, I say "Wrong!". You get what you work for, and you keep what you fight for. No one owes you anything.

As far as the drug thing, yes, you could grow, manufacture, distribute, sell, or import anything you wanted. If the parents of a minor felt you were harming thier kids by selling them drugs, they could take you to court. Of course, parents would also be responsible for educating thier kids about drugs as well.

The borders would be open, anyone could move into and out of the country freely. If they caused damage they would be subject to the one law, and this would be explained to them at the time they crossed the border.

Policing? We hire private detectives today, there are bounty hunters, and private security firms as well.

I'm getting tired, and I don't think my argument is progressing very well, I'm hitting points all over the map. I hope I've made the idea a little more clear, though.

Sorry about being so wordy, it's a topic I feel strongly about.
Bikerman
No you are doing fine.

I'll read this carefully and consider a bit more before getting back.

Cheers
Chris
The Philosopher Princess
@ Jinx

Jinx wrote:
The central idea for this came from a book called Freehold (I forget the author's name), but I liked the concept and the more I think about it the better it sounds to me. The wording of the one law is all mine though, and it might need some tweaking but I think I got across the main idea.

I was wondering if you were talking about Farnham's Freehold by Robert A. Heinlein? (I’ve not read it.)
Jinx
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
I was wondering if you were talking about Farnham's Freehold by Robert A. Heinlein? (I’ve not read it.)


No, although the main character of Farnham's Freehold (which is one of my favorite books) is just the sort of resourceful person who would thrive under the system that I propose. In fact, most of Heinlein's heros would fit right in there.

The book I was referring to is Freehold by Michael Z. Williamson. He created a fictional planet, colonized by humans, where the government is almost nonexistant. His novel was more about the society and ideals, but didn't give many details about the system of laws and what little government there was. The only thing I've borrowed directly from him is the idea of Citizens. The rest of my posts have been heavily influenced by this, and similar stories, but I have tried my best to explain it in my own way.

For anyone interested in reading it, you can get a free e-book version of it from http://www.baen.com/library/mzwilliamson.htm[/u]
Asgardsfall
In its purest form my political philosophy would be:
All people should be free to live and act in any manner they choose provided their actions to not encroach upon those same rights of others (“lawlessness”).

Obviously there will be elements of society who choose to encroach upon the rights and freedoms of others, and it is therefore the role of the Government to prevent this both proactively through responsible planning and retrospectively through some form of penalty.

Responsible planning allows a Government to provide tools such as education and employment to the populace so an individual could could not defend lawlessness with an argument based on primary needs, such as the need for food/shelter etc.
Whether such proactive Government involvement be Direct or Indirect is irrelevant as the purpose of all government action will not contradict the primary philosophy.

As a Government is as dependent upon the people whose freedom it protects, the people are in turn dependent upon the government. To ensure the the survival of both the Government has the right to a proportional share of each citizen's resources that are the result of its existence. Such a right normally manifests a form of taxation. Such a tariff should be at levels to ensure mutual survival of the Government and the populace.

This briefly outlines a Government's reason for existence, role within society, and the means by which it can be continued. Exactly what form it takes is again irrelevant provided the primary philosophy is adhered to.

A Government which for any reason ceases to follow the primary philosophy ceases to be a Government and a new one may be legitimately formed.
MadeinIndia
Hi Philospher Princess,

I apologize for any oversight.

The Philosopher Princess wrote:
.....when we post text from other sources, like websites, books, etc. And, if known, the web address should be given. Using quotation marks (“ . . . . . ”) are usually not good enough.

So, this is already a given. But, marking others’ text is especially important for this topic, where originality is an issue. There is nothing wrong with quoting others and adding your comments, because there can theoretically be originality in tracking down well-stated points. But I (we all) must be able to tell the difference.



I will update my previous post accordingly but without offending you; as you know, in my post, I clearly have mentioned that I am quoting from the Bhagavad Gita. As you might be aware, Bhagavad Gita is an ancient text of Hindus (like Bible for Christians) so if I quote a verse from Bible, lets say an edition of Bible translated into telugu language by a publisher called Andhra Printing Company, do you think I will write here saying that according to the Bible printed by Andhra Printers or just say Bible? The same way, I mentioned according to Bhagavad Gita and not the website which has translated it (plus million other websites carrying the same text) as the source is the original Sanskrit texts.

Hope you understand my point. (Hope this will not get me out of the contest Wink )

[/quote]
The Philosopher Princess
@ Asgardsfall

Thanks for showing up with some good philosophical ideas!

Asgardsfall wrote:
In its purest form my political philosophy would be:
All people should be free to live and act in any manner they choose provided their actions to not encroach upon those same rights of others (“lawlessness”).

If by “all people” you include those who manage, work for, or live off of government, would these people also be under the requirement to not encroach upon the rights of other people? If so, would they not be allowed to take the property of others, or to manage their lives?

Unless those who work for government are exempt from the basic requirement (of not encroaching), how could government tax people and manage their lives as outlined in your philosophy?

Asgardsfall wrote:
A Government which for any reason ceases to follow the primary philosophy ceases to be a Government and a new one may be legitimately formed.

Considering the above, is there any government currently in power that follows the primary philosophy? Do you know of any government in the history of the world that did not encroach upon people’s rights? How could such a government exist?

Asgardsfall wrote:
to not encroach upon those same rights of others

[...]

(“lawlessness”).

This is somewhat confusing. Do you mean to say that this philosophy could be defined as “lawlessness” or do you mean that those who encroach on the rights of others are acting in “lawlessness”?

Don’t many laws encroach upon the rights of others? If so, how can laws be defined as “lawlessness”? When laws do encroach upon people’s rights, is it lawless to ignore them or lawless to enforce them?
Asgardsfall
With respect to your first point. In my definition I say "all people" and by that I mean just that, "all people". This is regardless of any individuals role within a society.
Those people whose role is to govern, must still act in accordance with the primary philosophy, that is not to encroach upon the rights of its populace.

If we were to get deeper into the philosophy, one would go further and ask, what are the rights upon which shall not be encroached. For the purpose of simplicity, and because its serves well enough we shall say that those rights are that an individual may act in any manner s/he chooses. In its most controversial sense this includes the right to bare arms, the right to commit suicide, the right for same sex relationships the right to any religious beliefs, the right to paint yourself purple stand in a corner 24 hours a day and go gibber gibber.

If however a person choses the right to bear arms, it does not however include the right shoot another person, as by definition this will encroach upon another individuals right to life.

To use religion as another example, and this board is rife with polarised opinion on this topic. I say that all people have the right to any religious conviction or belief they choose free of harassment, however they do not have the right to impose their set of beliefs upon another.

Getting back to Government officials and their relationship with the population. An individual who has encroached upon another's rights exposes themselves to a justified encroachment of their own rights to a similar degree. While I don't support the idea of an eye for an eye, it is a sound basis for a penal system and is seen in the real world where greater crimes get greater sentences. It is here a Government Official can implement Justifiable Retribution.

With respect to the Governmental taking of property as Tax, a Government exists for the benefit of its people. It has a symbiotic relationship with its people. Remember also that government is a subset of the people not a separate entity. A Government is legitimate because it is desired by and has a mandate from its people. The people choose to be governed and as such they choose to ensure a Government can survive.

To survive a Government requires resources. By definition a people will willingly give resources to their Government to ensure its survival. In its purest form Tax is voluntary. If you were faced with an increase in Tax rate or the collapse of the police and justice system I believe most people would choose to accept the Tax increase. To a lessor extent this occurred where I live around 22 years ago when our country chose to adopt a GST system without any Income Tax concessions. It was an election issue and was sold on the basis that the country had a large fiscal deficit and the new Tax would be of long term benefit to the country. The proposing party won the election by a landslide.

Needless to say this is not always the case and other real events can muddy the argument here, but all objections that can be raised are actually symptoms of a Government which is not properly fulfilling its role.

Two brief examples :
Overtaxation means a government is taking more resources that is required for it to survive, this encroaches upon the rights of the citizenry and moves it towards illegitimacy.
Similarly people who do cannot pay tax because they are impoverished is the result a Government which is not proactively fostering circumstances to meet its populations fundamental needs.

With respect to real world or historical examples I do not know of any who follow the philosophy to the letter, although I can think of several who would purport they do.
Remember this is a philosophy and to be honest I think that it, or something similar resides at the heart of most consensual Governments, however there are a number of other factors which come into the equation such as Human Nature.

If my philosophy were held as one pole of a comparison and absolute domination of a populace as the other, all Governments of the past and present will lie in between at various points.

Technically this makes all Governments illegitimate and able to be overthrown however the reality is that a population as a certain degree of forgiveness.
Certain faults can be forgiven to a point be it though incentive or apathy.
A population however can only take so much coercion before it will rise up and throw off the shackles of an illegitimate administration. That is the benefits revolution outweigh the cost and effort to implement one.
Many countries have adopted a system that allows the population the option to overthrow their Governments every 3, 4, or 5 years by popular vote.

Finally, I used the term "lawlessness" to describe a state outside of the primary philosophy. A person who encroaches upon the rights of others chooses a state of lawlessness, and I have already dealt with the justification of law enforcement above.

Fundamentally no laws should encroach upon the rights of others for example no stealing, no killing. I do concede that if we get less theoretical and more practical there will be a point of balance over what I will refer to as Preventative Laws. That is, laws designed to prevent the accidental encroachment of another's rights. This would include such things as Road Speed Limits and traffic guidelines. I believe that, as Government is a subset of the people, these preventative laws must be established by, and subject to, the scrutiny of the people they govern.

I apologise if this is a little long winded, but I think I have addressed all your comments. The thing to remember is that this is a political philosophy which would form the core of a political model. It is not the complete model.
rwojick
Princess, I noticed that you have chosen the "woman's perrogative" as your reply to the Conspiracy. This is not uncommon. I like to think of how Jack Nicholson explained how he wrote about women so well in the movie "As Good as It Gets". He said something like, "I pretend I am writing about men, and then I REMOVE reason and accountability".

The US system is "of the people, by the people, for the people", so when each "people" wins an election they take an oath to tell the truth. The truth about what? Well, the system, the laws, the facts, the processes etc.

The problem here is that once they are in office then tend to form a club. And if one plays the game below the level of the the truth, the others protect them, and, before you know it, you have this large "tumor" of "people" playing the game below the level of the truth.

I tend to think that it is in this "tumor" that women tend to believe they can "make hay", so to speak. They show proud loyalties toward their co workers and not to the System and the Constitution.

Now, are women the only ones? Of course not. However, they ADD tremedous weight (and no, you do not look fat in that dress) to those unscrupulous few..errr..more than a few...men who play below the truth level.

How do you get them? At election time and in Court, but more about that later.

The Bill of Rights belong to every American with some leveling for underage children living within the household. Any law that violates the Bill of Rights is Unconstitutional and therefore an invalid standard. All laws are written (remember Hammarabi?), and those "laws" written "in your mind", ladies, well, those are prejuces and they don't count.
nathanuk
Bikerman wrote:
Just to add to the PP on this (rather than go off on one about terrorism which was self indulgent of me and not helpful to you).
Do you think Blair is the problem or only the visible part ? Is the problem Labour itself?
How do you feel about David Cameron ? What about the Tories ? You come from a traditional Labour part of the world (like me). My problems with Blair are more with him personally than with the Labour Party, but I'd be interested to hear your take on it.

Chris.


Yes unfortunataly i do live in a labour part of the country. But my familly are strong torrie supporters. My grandad always goes on about how his pention(dunno about spelling sorry) has been messed up, and the tax rates are to high as many people think. I just hate the labour goverment becuase it feels like there telling us how to live our lives e.g. eat healthier food and do more excise. I know they do give us a chance to but if people want to or not want to do theese things it should really be up to themselfs.


Oh by the way ive also ice skated at the forum its cool Very Happy
The Philosopher Princess
@ ALL POTENTIALLY NEW AND CURRENT CONTESTANTS

Arrow Deadline Set for New Entries: 1 week away Exclamation

Arrow New Questions for All Contestants: next post Very Happy


As they say, “all good things must end”. It’s been a learning experience and fun reading your political philosophies, and watching the discussions about them take place. Now it’s time to set a deadline to gather up any last entries so that judging can begin.

The deadline for new entries has been set for Tuesday, 10 October 2006, 6:00 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time. The deadline for the follow-up questions, challenges, answers, and other additions will be set soon after 10 October. In the mean time, all relevant discussion is welcome!

Now is the time to think deeply about your political philosophy and what you have written about it already -- along with any unanswered questions from others and/or thoughts you might want to add. The whole contest will be over soon and every entry will be carefully judged on what has been submitted to this thread.

There have been so many good entries that it is going to be difficult to choose the best based on the criteria set forth in my first post. I thought a few questions targeted towards everybody might help. I purposely didn’t make these questions very difficult, but tried to make them open enough for you to show how your political philosophy stands out above the rest.

Consider these “extra credit” questions. Failure to answer them will not disqualify you, but giving excellent answers may put you ahead of the pack. Good Luck!

Note: A contest schedule is announced over on the sibling thread. Discussion of this post, deadlines, or contest judging should be posted over there. Any answers to the questions in the next post should be posted here. Smile
The Philosopher Princess
@ ALL CONTESTANTS: NjRocket, smartass.id.au, MadeinIndia, Rico, Idoru, Bikerman, raghu.steppenwolf, rwojick, LeviticusMky, Lennon, McMuffin, seej, Jinx, nathanuk, Asgardsfall, and added HoboBarticus, just-in, billys, and any others who show up before the deadline

{SOME FINAL QUESTIONS FOR CONTESTANTS}

Question What is the main difference between your political philosophy and most or all other political philosophies that you are aware of in the world?

Question Pick any other political philosophy on the 3 pages of this contest topic, and discuss something that you like about that philosophy. It should be something that is consistent with your philosophy but that you have not yet discussed on this thread.

Question Pick any other political philosophy on the 3 pages of this contest topic, and discuss something that you do not like about that philosophy; show how an alternative approach in your political philosophy would be superior.

Question What is the weakest link in your political philosophy? What concepts are you unsure could work, or what inconsistencies do you see that could be difficult to overcome?
HoboBarticus
Hmm...I'm not sure if I can form cognative thoughts here or not. I am currently under the influence, but I would like to share my views.

You ask what type of government would be ideal, and I respond and say "None".

Yes, that is right, none. Ahh, don't you see the beauty in it now? No
government, no law, no policies, no lawyers, just you and everyone else.

Think of everything I could loot. Wait WAIT WAIIIITTT!!! Stay with me here. I have a point. You see, that is a horrible mentality. It is disgusting.

Yet, it is how quite a few people think and act. People have a "me" first mentality. Everything is now done out of the benefits to ones self. But, that can't be right... Government is the representation of what the people think we need. But if everyone in government is acting for themselves then this is impossible.

So...Government, in and of itself, is defying the nature of humans. Good, we got that out of the way. Still with me?

Ahh, but no government is impossible. LIAR!!! It is possible. The problem is the people. The people now NEED a government. They must be contained, controlled, and led on. People are scared of other people now, and they think government will save them.

The solution? Revolution!!! Lets kill all politicians!!! Wait, WAIT WAIIITTT!!! Just kidding, that is not the answer. I have a point to this also. When people are unhappy, they want to change. Yet people are scared of change and try to keep things stable. But...THey all advocate change because they don't like something in government. Then the government changes for the people. So...We get what we want...Some of us anyway.

If there wasn't a government we could of done that on our own...How stupid. I pay taxes because people are stupid. How shitty is that? Well, very, but are you still with me? How about a review?

We are advocating a lack of government, we have identified peoples need to do things only for themselves, and we have nurtured the ideal that people hate change that affects them. So. Lets continue shall we?

So Mr. Barticus, what does this have to do with anything? Well, I'll tell you. People need a government because of their current state of mind. Now, my theory is long term, I believe once people change themselves, then we can achieve a Utopian Society.

So Mr. Barticus, how do people change? What do we have to do? Well, I'll tell you. How about you raise your own kids? How about you quit complaining and do something? How about you work for a living instead of squatting on welfare? How about you instill values and morals and ethics and intelligence into your own life? How about you become knowledgeable? Read a book? Say hi to a neighbor?

Its as easy as that. Do you feel as if you can live your life without robbing someone? Now, do you think you can raise your kid to be like you? Can you go to work, and make a living, without being lazy and worthless? How about giving that homeless guy a few quarters? Can you keep yourself from cheating on your spouse? Can you stop yourself from cheating on a test?
Can you enjoy life for what you have? And not what you want?

That is the key.

So, still with me? In that case, you must actually have read my post. So here is some noodle for your caboodle.


*Ever thought about writing down everything that brings you joy in your life? Well, take some time and do it this weekend. Anything that you enjoy. Now, go enjoy them.

*Ever write down a list of all your most important posessions? Well, do it next weekend. Write down everything that you think is important to your life.

*Next weekend, write down all the things you are thankful for in your past. Events that helped to shape the person you are today.

*Now, write down all the things you want. Any and every little possession that you want.

* Now right down your important beliefs. Your morals and standings on the major issues of today.



Now look over your lists. What do you have? DO you feel fulfilled? Are you contempt with life? Are you dissatisfied? Why? Why Not? Who are you? Seriously, you just wrote down who you are. Is finding out who you are a revelation to you?

Bah hum bug, doesn't matter. this is political. I hate politics, too many lies. If you can find the decency to read this post, then you have the decency to live in an ungoverned world. Now, why doesn't everyone around you feel the same way?

Why aren't you out influencing people? Aren't those your beliefs that you just wrote down? You know what you have, you know what you want. You know what you've been through. Can't you relate to people? We are all in the same boat.

Once people begin to realize this FACT, then the world can be without government.

There is no ideal government. People are corrupted and have been since the cavemen. Greed is encouraged and rewarded, shrewdness, cunning, lieing. They are all promoted in the world we live in. Then these people get in a position of power.

Power translates to more power, catch my drift? No matter what anyone here types, through time, your government will crumble. It will change, become manipulated.

The problem is the people, not the government.

Which leaves me to question the reason for this contest. What do you hope to achieve from this? If it is knowledge and understanding, then I commend you. If it is anything else, then I don't know what to think.

I appreciate the time you all have given me if you read this. I enjoyed it, and I'm truly sorry if something seems random or distorted.

I will make an attempt to continue to check this thread. So feel free to direct questions my way. I have more thought out then I presented here, but why bore people with details?

I know I have negative points, I had to take some time from my business endeavours to learn a little life, but I will be around.

Enjoy the Day Smile[/list][/list]
HoboBarticus
Upon review, it appears that I sort of missed the point of the contest I think. I answered the question, but I don't quiet think it is what you were looking for, I shall try again tomorry
Asgardsfall
I sure am glad I'm on holiday...... and to think at the start of the week I was just looking for some free webspace!!!

I cannot say that my Philosophy differs from every other Philosophy in the world. The topic of discussion is a debate that has been raging all over the Globe since the beginning of time, and I am certainly not arrogant enough to say I have the answer.
My philosophy is characterised by a number of different points which may differ from some philosophies
    The rights of the individual are paramount.
    The existence of God/Gods is irrelevant
    There is no intangible belief system incorporated into a code of conduct.
    Governments role is that of a support structure and should not actively participate in day to day life.
    There should be no attempt by the Government to create or maintain a National identity In many instances National identity and Patriotism have proven as disruptive as Religion in the lives of the general population.
    The Government still has the right to encroach upon its citizens rights in retribution for a citizens disregard for the rights of others.
    A Government exists through the will of its people, once created it has the right to exist and can legitimately demand sufficient resources to protect this right.

An element of anothersPhilosophy that I agree is the following provided by Bikerman.
Bikerman wrote:
Even if IQ were a perfect measure of intelligence would you want a society run by (say) the 10% who represent the most intelligent people ? What they would wish for may be unacceptible to the 90% in which case you will soon develop a divided and unstable system.


I deal with this issue below but completely agree society should not be run by the intellectual elite. It is a Socratic notion which threatens great loss for ignoring the few who think they are smarter. To my end, as a secure mediocrity is the primary goal, the loss of a few intellectuals wont be missed so long as the General Will is embraced.

One aspect I do not like or think is workable was described by Jinx.
Jinx wrote:
Jinx wrote:

A Citizen is a person of at least thirty years of age who has paid a fee of $x to the general fund of their local government. (x being a small fortune) This fee must be earned by the potential Citizen, it can not be an inheritance. This ensures that anyone with voting power is: a)fiancially savy; b)relatively intellegent; c)possesed of a good work ethic (or at least clever enough to bilk people of money without getting caught) and d)socially concious enough to be willing to sacrifice such a large amount of their earnings.


Despite the defense given to critique I believe this would quickly create a Plutocracy:
    The first people to earn the right to vote will ensure they can recreate their wealth more easily, they will change circumstances to reward their friends and sympathisers.
    Potential rivals will not only have to overcome the financial entry barrier, they will have to do so in open opposition and competition to the power of the ruling class.

While a small group of skilled intelligent individuals could do great things for a country, so could the opposite have an equally detrimental effect. Throughout history many of mans greatest and worst moments have come from situations where executive power has been concentrated in one or a few individuals. We know this to be a double edged sword.

If asked to choose, my political philosophy most closely aligns to a system of Proportional Representation where the only entry barrier to political life is entry into adulthood.
The right to participate should come at an age where it is socially accepted that an individual is responsible for their own care and actions. This age varies in different cultures and different historical ages.
Whatever the political structure, underlying it should be some system of capturing the General Will of the population. It is true that a poorly informed participant may not make the best decision, but statistically a large group of participants will by consensus come to the right conclusion.

I believe Government should strive for mediocrity. It should have a background role in people lives, preserving their rights and freedoms. As an entity it should not provide for needs that do not exist, and should act on the international stage with other Governments in the same manner and expectations as does with its citizens.

To be honest I was trying to avoid my weakest links and hope nobody noticed or cared.
I believe the weakest links in my Philosophy would be what I have previously called Preventative Laws and their determination. These are a concession to reality. In a perfect world people would always abide and respect the rights of others, and accidents would not happen.

In a Philosophy which supports the unlimited rights of the individual it is contradictory to put provisos on place for a “just in case” scenario, however experience and reality have proven that bad things can happen unintentionally. In the interests of general safety it is assumed that the population would by consensus be prepare to accept certain limitations on their freedoms. The population however would still be free by popular mandate to remove these limitations should they later change their minds. Such an example would be traffic speed limits.

There are a number of hows whys and definitions which would need to be fleshed out and could be queried. I have tried hard to keep the philosophy, theoretical and so have tried not to be drawn on my favourite political structure, or method of determining the General Will
rwojick
I cannot thank the Princess enough.

As you know, I think the American Legal System is as true as a plumb bob. If you hang a yo yo down gravity will pull it directly to the center of the earth every time.

And women will mis direct informtion in order to suit their prejudices every time. Pope John Paul was wise to them and I am too.

Every legal case in American Law has an accuser, a Judge and a defendant. The ACCUSER shows up at the Court house and says "I have a proof" and "I have written it up". He gives one copy to the Court and one to the defendant. Every time.

The documents at [url]proof.rochesterdailynews.frih.net[/url] show to a certainty that the lawyer suing me and the Judge agreed to break the law on the filing of the note of issue.

If the law says "the clerk shall place the case upon the calendar as of the date of the filing of the note of issue" then clearly, the note had to be dated PRIOR to the TRIAL DATE. It was not.

The truth is a MINIMUM REQUIEMENT in American Law.

So, what did Princess do when she saw the dates? Same thing that Hillary Clinton did. "Go over here". "Look over there". "Here is the new rule, the contest is ending".

Does Princess or Hillary ever acknowledge the facts from the record or the law and tell the truth? Hell no. Why?Because the law does not agree with their prejudices.

If the law agrees with the woman's prejudice, they go by the law. If the law violates their prejudices, they enter into a game of "three card monty". As if they are smarter than everyone else.

If I wanted, and I would take on the tone on "Larry the Cable Guy"
here, " I could get that deal from Hitler".

Princess, if your answer is false and the minimum requirement is the truth then you are either "playin stupid" or "plain stupid". Either way, you do not win under the confines of American Law. Laughing
Bikerman
1) Differences between my own and other 'world' philosophies.
None in the sense that my system is a fairly orthodox version of anarcho-syndicalism and is therefore shared by many other thinkers. I can and would not claim it to be either my own creation or an original and new solution to the issue of government/politics
The differences between it and extant systems would be :
a) Devolution of 'power' to community and/or work-based units of control.
2) Most current democracies are in fact spectator democracies. The function of the electorate is merely to validate one of the choices presented at election time and then shut-up and get on with their work. Anarcho-syndicalism fundamentally changes this relationship and requires participatory democracy as a normal function of the system.
3) Market economics underpins the current governmental systems and political standings and philosophies of the major (therefore electable) parties. This means that the citizen is never, in reality, offered a choice which allows the selection of a non-capitalist government because all the electorally important candidates will be representatives of the current system and the differences between them will be largely unimportant, concerned with relatively minor issues of quantity, certainly not deep structural and organisational choices.

Anarcho-syndicalism fundamentally changes the relationship between citizen, government, work and society as a whole. It requires participation in decision making from every citizen and assigns the power to enforce such decisions to the lowest heirarchical level possible, thus avoiding the accumulation of capital, power and control by large bodies or organs of state. Some people (normally opponents) compare this with communism per se and draw the conclusion that the two are basically the same. This is not true for several reasons and although both can be said to be forms of socialism, there are important differences. The primary difference is that of ownership. Communism advocates public centrally managed ownership wheras anarcho-syndicalism advocates ownership by communities or worker-councils.

It should hardly need saying, but probably does, that neither communism nor anarcho-syndicalism advocate anything remotely similar to the USSR model which most people are familiar with to some extent. The USSR was based on a Stalinist system of Government and the important distinguishing feature was the central totalitarian control, which itself makes the system neither communist nor socialist in any meaningful sense.

A system with some similarities to my own
My choice here would be that of Jinx. Jinx's system is similar to anarcho-capitalism (with the retention of sovereign individual property rights and a capitalist free market, but with the anarchic organisation of the individual and their relation to government and it's organs).

In particular one example of similarity would be the reduction in centralised government and it's apparatus (in terms of scope, power and resource). Any centralised system of control soon falls prey to the 'self preservation' paradigm and ends up making decisions which are beneficial to the organisation and entity of government itself, rather than beneficial to the electorate represented by that organisation. The two may be, and frequently are, compatible; but on frequent occasions they are not.
The old adage that 'power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely' is clearly a generalisation but, like many such, contains important truths. The more centralised a system of government is, the more remote it is from the electorate (by definition) and, usually, the less accountable it is to that same electorate.

Taking the same system proposed by Jinx, the thing that I find the most problematic is the idea that control of capital and manufacturing should stay as per status quo. This could be summarised as an 'anarcho-capitalist' position. I do not share the view that citizens have a powerful hand in dealing with corporate power and I therefore believe that this system inevitably leads to exploitation of the worker/citizen just as surely as market capitalism does.

Jinx advocates (I think this is correct Jinx, please correct me if I misrepresent you here) that the market will resolve issues in the normal run of things and consumer pressure/action can be an effective control in areas of conflict between corporate and individual well-being. I do not agree because I do not share the idealist view of the citizen necessary for such a system of control. If the citizen/consumer could be relied upon to act ethically or at least with enlightened self-interest then it might work. This, however, presupposes the citizenship being accurately informed. Control of the media is a powerful weapon in the clash between corporate power and individual well-being, and one cannot assume that the citizen is either correctly informed about the present situation or fully aware of the implications, possibilities and consequences of possible actions. With control of the media left to capitalist market forces it seems inevitable that the media itself will serve the needs of the capitalist market where those needs clash with the needs of the average citizen. That such clashes would and do occur seems to me obvious but one simple example would be that of productivity.

For a market-capitalist system of production, productivity is a key factor. In simple terms the higher the productivity the better for the corporate owners. For the average citizen this is not necessarily a good thing. Higher productivity often means a smaller workforce with longer working hours and inferior conditions in the workplace. The capitalist justification is that if you don't adopt these work practices then someone else will and the jobs will be lost as a result. The citizen is very limited in their ability to influence/moderate this urge to productivity and relies on collective action (previously almost exclusively the role of labour unions and latterly also legislated by bodies such as the EEC).

Removal of legislative power in the area of labour relations and reliance on market forces and consumer power would seem to me to leave the workforce very vulnerable. The ability of the workforce to strike and picket, whilst important in themselves, would require a global organisation if it were to work effectively in a multi-national corporate setting. This would in itself inevitably lead to another quasi-governmental body primarily concerned with it's own survival whilst nominally concerned with worker rights.

Under anarcho-syndicalism the ownership of production/media and other corporate resources devolves to the community as does the decision making power. Thus workers councils would control the labour issues and the production issues of a particular producer and remove the dialectical positions of worker welfare and productivity. The capitalist formulation of productivity as a measure is designed to suit itself. Recent trends to move to 'more socially aware' measures of productivity are nothing more than diversions from the real issues.
Quote:
From this perspective, the neo-classical argument that a factor in production (labour, capital or land) receives an income share that indicates its productive power "at the margin" is false. Rather, it is a question of power -- and the willingness to use it. As Christopher Eaton Gunn points out, this argument
Quote:

"take[s] no account of power -- of politics, conflict, and bargaining -- as more likely indicators of relative shares of income in the real world."
[Workers' Self-Management in the United States, p. 185]

If the power of labour is increasing, it's share in income will tend to increase and, obviously, if the power of labour decreased it would fall. And the history of the post-war economy supports such an analysis, with labour in the advanced countries share of income falling from 68% in the 1970s to 65.1% in 1995 (in the EU, it fell from 69.2% to 62%). In the USA, labour's share of income in the manufacturing sector fell from 74.8% to 70.6% over the 1979-89 period, reversing the rise in labour's share that occurred over the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. The reversal in labour's share occurred at the same time as labour's power was undercut by right-wing governments and high unemployment.

(Anarcho-syndicalism 101 -http://www.anarchosyndicalism.net/index.php).

Finally, the weakest link in anarcho-syndicalism.
For myself the weak link is the transition from market capitalism to anarcho-syndicalism. Traditionally the only workable means of achieving this has been revolution. This does not necessarily mean the 'blood on the streets popular uprising' type of revolution normally cited.
Quote:
"we know that an uprising can overthrow and change a government in one day, while a revolution needs three or four years of revolutionary convulsion to arrive at tangible results . . . if we should expect the revolution, from its earliest insurrections, to have a communist character, we would have to relinquish the possibility of a revolution, since in that case there would be need of a strong majority to agree on carrying through a change in the direction of communism."

[Kropotkin, A Short History of Anarchism]

This need for majority mandate is a weakness, whilst in my own opinion also being a fundamental requirement if we are to avoid tyrannical or despotic development of a post-revolutionary state. It requires the education of citizens in the realities of capitalism and anarchism rather than the current partial, over-simplified and frequently mis-informed characterisations normally offered by the media and education systems.
This requires such media and education systems to educate the citizen regardless of the influence of capital and this, I think, is unlikely.

The internet has certainly opened up opportunities for any citizen to inform themselves more widely about issues in philosophy and politics but the overwhelming majority still rely on agenda-setting media such as TV News, newspapers and editorial comment. All of these media are largely controlled by global capitalist concerns and are therefore highly unlikely to convey a worldview which is antipathetical to such concerns in any real sense. They will occasionally raise issues which can be claimed to challenge vested interest and will be cited as examples of the freedom of the press, but these will be in a very controlled and circumscribed manner and will not present a real challenge to the status quo.

The emphasis is therefore put on the individual to 'see through' the propogandist view of the world that confronts them in the mass media and engage with a more accurate and complete view of power and it's application in the current world order. I am pessimistic that this will occur in sufficient numbers to count since the evidence seems to be of a more generalised 'discontent' amongst populations without a central thesis as a basis for this discontent. This leads to a proliferation of single-issue campaigns and profusion of disparate focus points for the discontent, rather than a global and focussed support for alternative political and philosophical systems or organisation per se.

Regards
Chris.
rwojick
The American Legal System has a non violent "revolution" built right into the system every four years. It is called "elections".

So what do the women folk do with this perfectly peaceful process? They undermine it!

In fact, I have a sworn statement dated June 8, 2006 on the table before the Rochester City Council as we speak. It says that the city, county, state and Federal Elected Officials "ruling over our democracy" are not eligible to hold or seek office based on the 14th amendment, Section 3.

What do they do? They "ignore" it. Ah..."ignoring"...it is the "skill" of the "ignorant"
Bikerman
That would be :
Quote:
Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.


I don't see the female link (I'm a Brit so I'm not that intimate with the constitution and political gossip stateside
just-in
I think the steps of a government systems as simple as like this:

1. The Judiciary
2. The President
3. The Pariliament
4. The States
5. The Districts

The Judiciary should be Independant.

The people of each district of each state select their Member of Parliament.

1. Any law made in a country should be discussed in the parliament and the president should forward to the Judiciary. The Juidiciary should approve the final law. This will eliminate the ruling party taking advantages of the law.

2. The Judiciary is the most powerful in the entire system. The Top Panel of Judiciary will have One Judge from each state. The Top Panel will approve all the laws made in the parliament.

2a. Each Judge of the Top Judiciary Panel will representate a State and he is selected by the Members of Parliament from his state. The Parliament has the power to dismiss the Top Panel by conducting a voting in which the
President, Opposition Leader and the Defence Chief will vote.

2b. The New Top panel will elected by the District Judges from all over the country and the members of the parliament.

2c. The selection of District level Judges done by the District Level Lawyers. The District Level Judge can be dismissed by the voting of member of parliament, the runner up and the Police Chief of the District.

3. The Member of Parliaments will representate a District from their respective State. He will be the administrator / Responsible for the District. He can have separate Administrators for small towns/villages.

4. All the member of the Parliaments of a state along with his local administrators will be assembled as a State Council. The President also a member of Parilament.

5. The President is the Administrator of the Country. He can have his members of parliament as Ministers for separate fields.

6. Each Ministry will have a Top Panel having members from all the states of the country. So that any planning is done on any ministry the Top Panel will be the deciding authority of the Plan.

7. Any kind of planning on the country done only at this ministry level for thoughout the country. There state council will only execute the central governments plan.

8. The Top Judiciary Panel will review the activities of the government quarterly. This panel has the authority to dismiss the Central Government.

9. There will be a subordinate organization of Top Judiciary to conduct elections.

10. While voting people should be given a option 'I don't want to vote' along with a reason. This will bringout any kind of failure in the government system.

* The member of parliament are selected by the people of each district from each state.
* The Police Chief of District is selected by the Junior cops of the District.
* The District Judge is selected by the lawers of the district.
* Th District Judges select the State Judge who represents the state in the Top Judiciary Panel.
* The State Police Cheif is selected by the Police cheif of Districts from the state.
* The State Police Chiefs select the Defence Chief.



I think I have drafted my thoughts very short. If anyone thinks it should be broader. I 'll expand it later.

Note: In my point of view one man can not make the entire government system. It should be a panel which creates the basics of the government system. I think this is how its done in every country.

Regards

Justin.
Bikerman
just-in wrote:
I think the steps of a government systems as simple as like this:

1. The Judiciary
2. The President
3. The Pariliament
4. The States
5. The Districts

The Judiciary should be Independant.

The people of each district of each state select their Member of Parliament.

1. Any law made in a country should be discussed in the parliament and the president should forward to the Judiciary. The Juidiciary should approve the final law. This will eliminate the ruling party taking advantages of the alw.
I'll confine my comments to this first part of the system and leave others to pick up parts that interest them. It seems that your system has the judiciary also forming part of the legislature ? Warning bells are ringing here....
Quote:

2. The Judiciary is the most powerful in the entire system. The Top Panel of Judiciary will have One Judge from each state. The Top Panel will approve all the laws made in the parliament.

That makes the Judiciary completely untouchable. They apply the law, have veto over new law, and are not accountable to the electorate for their actions. What you have created is a recipe for patrician autocracy at best I think. One immediately thinks of the famous 'Quis custodiet ipsos custodes' (who guards the guards).
The separation of role is fairly universal in governmental systems for a good reason. The concentration of power in one part of the executive is a bad idea and should be countered wherever possible by checks and balances. The separation of judiciary from legislature is, to my mind, critical and fundamental and to blur the two would, I think, end in tears.


Regards

Chris
just-in
Hi Chris,

I agree with you. Definately I have missed to keep some check point for the Judiciary. I have added some amendments to point 2.

In my view its almost impossible to make a fool proof Government system by one man. It should be a Panel.

I think government system is very serious one. It should be ideal if its allowed to work as a group on this thread and if the group wins the Frih$s are shared among them.

regards

Justin
Bikerman
just-in wrote:
Hi Chris,

I agree with you. Definately I have missed to keep some check point for the Judiciary. I have added some amendments to point 2.

In my view its almost impossible to make a fool proof Government system by one man. It should be a Panel.

I think government system is very serious one. It should be ideal if its allowed to work as a group on this thread and if the group wins the Frih$s are shared among them.

regards

Justin


The problem with the panel approach is that it leads to what is commonly called 'mamagement by committee' which, as most people will know, can be inefficient, overly conservative and would tend to produce compromise solutions to isues; which is sometimes OK, but in other situations is not helpful.
The problem is fairly intractable I think. The more centralised the government the more remote from the electorate. Also we have the problem of electoral period (4 or 5 years normally) which inevitably leads to a short-term outlook by the politician since they cannot carry through a long term policy with any confidence. They must also retain sufficient popularity to give them a chance of re-election which will inevitably be a disincentive to take any unpopular but necessary decisions.
The whole system of representative democracy seems to me to be inherently problematic and inefficient. That is one reason why I support the devolution of decision making to local groups wherever possible.

Regards
Chris
just-in
Chris,

Why I want my government to be fully centralized is that when it comes to sharing national resources like Oil, Gas, Water it will be equally shared by the entire country provided the possibilities. For example a river runs through 2 states and the state in which the river ends or reaching the sea has lot of water problems which needs the river water more than the other state where the river stars. But the local authorities of the first state where river stars has decided not to give the water to the next state because they have the power.

what will happen to the state which is in problems? This the reason why I want the power should be centralized so that all the resources of the country can be shared properly.

Another thing... you are right the more centralized the more far from the voter. Thatswhy I have kept few people under each member of parliament to manage the local towns and villages of the district.

Each district has an MP and local administrators under him to administer the towns and villages in the district.

And about panels are inefficiant. May be true but What if the ruling party takes all the advantages of the laws and regulations.

What about people who voted for other than tha ruling party. There is no body to listen to their voice.

Because obiviously the ruling party will ignore the constituancies where they did not win.

To avoid such things I wanted a panel always.

Other things later....
Bikerman
just-in wrote:
Chris,

Why I want my government to be fully centralized is that when it comes to sharing national resources like Oil, Gas, Water it will be equally shared by the entire country provided the possibilities. For example a river runs through 2 states and the state in which the river ends or reaching the sea has lot of water problems which needs the river water more than the other state where the river stars. But the local authorities of the first state where river stars has decided not to give the water to the next state because they have the power.

Such issues should be fairly easy to resolve if there is no hidden agenda or over-riding financial imperative at work. A state, for example, that had a large brewing industry and other water requirements could easily bargain this against other resources which it had less need of. The idea that central control leads to fair distribution of resource is not bourne out by experience. I would say that real conflicts over this sort of resource issue would be quite rare (providing, as I said, that other motivations such as money and power are taken out of the mix). If serious dispute did arise then it would be resolved in the same way that all similar issues are resolved - by a meeting of reps from both parties tasked with finding a compromise solution. Should this fail then it might be necessary to organise some sort of binding arbitration system, perhaps involving neighbouring states. Such disputes and coinflicts are though, I think, more a consequence of the current systems of government that an inevitable part of life. We manage to live in relative harmony with family, neighbours, workmates and local acquaintences without the need for a standing committee or armed militia for most of the time and I see no reason why this cannot be true of relations between neighbouring states or countries. Currently most conflict occurs for reasons of money or power. If those drivers are removed from the decision making process it is my belief that the whole thing would be less contentious, less confrontational and more equitable all round.
Quote:

what will happen to the state which is in problems? This the reason why I want the power should be centralized so that all the resources of the country can be shared properly.

It doesn't work though. The USSR is an extreme example of the command economy taken to it's limits. Even in the US you must be familiar with cases where financial or 'power' considerations have meant that central government has deliberately acted inequitably to one region or state. (I'm assuming you are american which I have no reason to do, so substitute your own government here). I can certainly quote many cases in the UK where this is true.
Quote:

Another thing... you are right the more centralized the more far from the voter. Thatswhy I have kept few people under each member of parliament to manage the local towns and villages of the district.

Each district has an MP and local administrators under him to administer the towns and villages in the district.

That is similar to what the UK currently has - borough and district councils. They are relatively powerless, however, since they rely largely on central gov for funding and have only limited legislative and economic power. I propose reversing that.
Quote:

And about panels are inefficiant. May be true but What if the ruling party takes all the advantages of the laws and regulations.

Anarchism does not have a ruling party since all decisions are taken at the communal or work-council level and there would be no centralised political class in the sense that we currently have one.
Quote:

What about people who voted for other than tha ruling party. There is no body to listen to their voice.
Similar argument applies - they would have a real voice in their community and workplace rather than a notional voice in the overall electorate.
Quote:

Because obiviously the ruling party will ignore the constituancies where they did not win.

Yep, agreed. Solution is, therefore, get rid of the concept.

Interesting chat...cheers
Chris.
just-in
NjRocket wrote:
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
{INTRODUCTION}

What should be The Law? What should The Government look like? What should Government Authorities be allowed to do, and what should they do? What should not be in the scope of these things? Please share with us your best answers. And/or please help analyze other people’s answers. This is a contest with a serious bent.


Well, ill start it off i guess. The government should be able to control the citizens to a certain extent. They must know what should and shouldnt be leaked out for the purpose of all the lives of the people. They know that people would panic, for example, World of the wars, radio show in princeton where people thought aliens were indeed taking over the world, people starting killing themselves and taking money out of the banks. This is a solid example of what would happen if something the government should have kept quite ended up coming out. Government should be intact of a group of people with different beliefs. I say this because if everyone has the same beliefs, TOO much stuff will get done, hurting the citizens and the people around them. We need people on different sides so that they know they just can't pass something and they must know its good for the country. If there was no government, ask yourself who would be running the country and the people? Can you say chaos? As citizens, people might hate certain decisions made by certain people in office, but its just things that you have no control over. Wars are a great example of this, you might not want to go to war, but the government feels it must protect people by going out and beyond the country and fighting in different lands. Well, this is my submission to the contest, by the way, when will this end?



What you suggest is a Dictator type of government which has control over the citizen.

- A government should be an administrator for the country not a Dictator.

- The people who will have the control over the government by their voting.

You are talking only about what the government should leakout or not and about the war. I feel the job of the government is not limited to control over the media and handling war.

It has many other important role to play in a day to day need of people and society.

The government should be a destination in which people can rely on when theye are in need.

The governing body (the government) and the legal body (the court) should be like two security guards for any citizen of a country.
just-in
MadeinIndia wrote:
Princess, Infact I would have written a book on this topic...to summarize it in 3-4 lines...lemme try!

My political philosophy of the society and government is very simple. I won't quote anything complicated...Life should NOT be complicated...

1) For any society to progress, Education is the most important thing! Every society should make education it's foremost interest.

2) Governments should be created with people who have a vision, who should look at the bigger picture, our role in the nature etc..(How to elect such a government, I will post a seperate post on that)

3) Freedom of the individual should be protected, at the same time everyone should understand that religion creates more problems than helping us. Keep your religion at home and the world will be much peaceful.

4) Finally, Everyone should be reminded about the real joy of living, When we understand and respect the need for the other person to live respectfully, any society will progress. Live and let live...


I don't agree with your 4 point summary.

Quote:

1) For any society to progress, Education is the most important thing! Every society should make education it's foremost interest.


I don't mean that Education is not important but I feel education is secondary in a government point of view. For a government the first thing should be economy of the country. The government should always focus first on its economic policies then the rest because If the government does not have money how does it going to provide fund for the education or any other useful society needs.

Quote:

2) Governments should be created with people who have a vision, who should look at the bigger picture, our role in the nature etc..(How to elect such a government, I will post a seperate post on that)


How will you find the people who has the best vision? Will you make the person who wins this contest as the president or prime minister of your country.

Democracy is the successful government policy as of now in this world which always has elections to select the ruling party.

But Democracy has one failure according to me that is I have to select a Joker from a bunch of Jokers nominated in my constituancy. I have no option.

If you go and see my government policy it says that Electrol processes will have a option called 'I don't want to vote and a reson for that'. This means if I don't want to vote I can avoid it and I can express my view.

And my policy gives a voice to the people who voted for the opposition. Just think what happens if I vote for a party that wins in my constituancy but becomes the opposition. The ruling party will not turn up to my constituancy just because they did not win in my constituancy. In this case whats my mistake or the people who belong to my constituancy.


Quote:


4) Finally, Everyone should be reminded about the real joy of living, When we understand and respect the need for the other person to live respectfully, any society will progress. Live and let live...[/



I can not call this a government policy. This is a general philosophy that citizens should follow.
Asgardsfall
Bikerman,

I would like to ask how it is that your system copes with the uneven distribution and utility of natural resources, and how these resouces might be traded amongst communities.

For example, such thoughts lead me to think that in such a decentralised society a road through a community, allowing a mineral rich community access to a trade portal could be considered a resource.

What is the level of interdependance allowed between communities?
For example ... knowing the mineral rich community needed the road, the road owning community could neglect the road and its security forcing the mineral owning community to pay for its protection and upkeep.

While this example would be extreme, this level of decentralisation suggests to me a very high level of "user pays" for those goods and services which either do not exist or cannot be supported within every community, some services as fundamental as healthcare.

Regards
rwojick
Asgards fall brings up a good question. How do you distribute resources and maintain the roads to those resources.

This was the question when Hussein invaded Kuwait, as I understand it.

Iraq was digging the oil out of the ground and shipping it to Kuwait and then Kuwait, at the port, was controlling the mark up and getting filty rich.

Poor Saddam (just kidding) felt cheated, so he invaded.

We have a similar situation in the US. New York City is really just a port where things are marked up and traded.

I just happen to think that these questions are secondary to the decision making process that you have in place and I think the process in the US is enlightened, but we don't follow it.

So, our execution is poor and we get poor results. How do you correct, well, you cannot know how or where until your execution is almost flawless. If you have a pipeline with no leaks and one springs up then you know right where to fix it. If you have a thousand leaks then the best you can do is hope to be fixing more than our breaking.

answer: new pipes.

I'd suggest studying the US Bill of Rights. Every citizen is guaranteed those rights, even the dumb ones <wink>.

If someone breaks a law then the accuser begins a legal process, but the accuser(s) cannot violate the Bill of Rights in the process of their correction.
This creates a balance point and if it is respected then it can be a beautiful thing.

No law can be made that violates the Bill of Rights. No citizen can be denied any of the rights. All citizens respect those laws, so all citizens respect all others...

'cept for when you are pissed off for being held guilty upon a false process...then you get to use free speach (first amendment) to give them "what for". Laughing
Bikerman
It is a fair and incisive question and it will take me a while to answer it to my satisfaction so I'm just putting up a placeholder for the moment until I have a spare hour later on to do it justice.
Chris.
Bikerman
OK...here goes:
Asgardsfall wrote:
Bikerman,

I would like to ask how it is that your system copes with the uneven distribution and utility of natural resources, and how these resources might be traded amongst communities.

That is an excellent question. Obviously my preferred option would be for a global form of anarcho-syndicalism which would enable more honest and rational trading and bargaining along these lines. Since this is unlikely to happen, however, the question is valid. Essentially I would insist on the international law as it should be currently operating but isn't. In essence this would give power to the oil rich countries in the short term and would inevitably lead to problems with oil supplies in the US in particular. This, however, is going to happen sooner or later so although a/s might speed up the process it would not in the long term be worse than the status quo.
Other mineral resources would be traded fairly between nations and without a global capitalist framework this would certainly be much easier and more rational than is the case currently. There may be short term problems with countries trying to exploit resources that are in short supply elsewhere but this would be transient since in the long term every state/country needs materials, resources and labour from others. At the moment this is arbitrated through instruments such as GATT and the World Bank. This inevitably means that market forces are central, regardless of the desirability of introducing such forces. This has lead to a huge disparity in the wealth of nations broadly divided along east/west and north/south lines and dependant on the weak market position of emerging countries which then automatically find themselves saddled with huge debt and onerous commitments to the World Bank. This effectively maintains the differential between rich and poor countries. The line that Global markets and liberalisation of trade are the only way to help developing countries is sheer cant. The global trade agreements are designed primarily to ensure free access to markets for the US and then the other western corporate interests in Europe..
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1295/is_n5_v57/ai_13705060
http://www.nantahalareview.org/issue2-2/non-fiction/BERRY.htm
http://www.fordschool.umich.edu/rsie/workingpapers/Papers476-500/r492.pdf#search=%22globalisation%20agreements%20bad%20idea%22
Quote:

For example, such thoughts lead me to think that in such a decentralised society a road through a community, allowing a mineral rich community access to a trade portal could be considered a resource.

Yes indeed. Anything can be considered a resource but a lot of that is a product of the capitalist mind-set. In capitalism any resource is better than none because every item has a capital value and can be traded to make money. This leads to a protective and possessive mind-set because whatever you have it is YOURS and anyone taking it away is depriving you. There is no inherent necessity to adopt that position – it does not have to be so. Let me give an example.
If I have an old PC, for example, it is worth, say, £50 on the market. Why do I want that £50 for?; to buy more goods or to pay debts. Otherwise it is useless since I cannot do word-processing on a ten pound note. To me, then, in reality, the computer is worth nothing because I do not need it anymore. Its notional value is a product of a capitalist mind-set which I believe is damaging and ultimately self-defeating. To someone else that PC is worth a lot because they need a computer. It is only the intervention of market thinking that stops the obvious course of action which is give the PC to the person needing it. If, by chance, they have something I need with which to ‘repay’ me then great, but if not then I’m sure they will remember to do me a favour if they have chance, but even if they don’t I have still lost nothing other than a notional £50. In the case in point, my nephew was the lucky recipient of an early Christmas present in the form of one PC – he worked hard for it though, dropping hints and complaining long and loud about his dad not letting him use their PC at home. In similar situations I have given similar unwanted items to almost complete strangers with an equally carefree attitude. Obviously this presupposes that I have my material needs covered already as a starving person would not have the opportunity to be so liberal with his possessions. In the modern world, however, there is no reason at all why a reasonable standard of living cannot be simply given as a birthright to people. It is only the capitalist mentality coupled to the horrendous inequalities that the system inevitably brings about that make this all seem slightly eccentric to some.
Obviously, you think, I am never going to be a wealthy man. True. What is wealth but the accumulation of paper and metal tokens? I have what I need to be comfortable, engage in pursuits that interest and stimulate me and indulge in the odd luxury when the fancy takes me. I don’t need (or particularly want) more. I’m not some saintly unworldly figure – I believe that most people feel similar (or would if they had sufficient) and it is only a minority that need the competition of collecting more tokens than the next person to stimulate them and drive them to better things. Much though I dislike quoting the bible, I think there is a parable somewhere on this very topic.

Now, apply this to the mineral rich community. If the community is not mining and using the minerals then they are only worth a notional market value to them. If the other community has need of them then it would make sense for them to use them. Obviously if both parties need the minerals (a supply-side problem as economists term it) then there would obviously need to be some talking and negotiation and possibly arbitration, but in most cases that is not what happens. The capitalist notion of ‘ownership’ is so deeply ingrained that anyone taking ‘what is ours’ is automatically seen to be depriving us of our rightful possessions, whether we ourselves can use them or not.

I think that we should be seeking to move beyond this self-centred and rather mean-minded system of dealing with each other. I genuinely don’t think it is hopelessly idealistic or naive to aim for a ‘fairer’ system where natural resources, land, vital services (gas, electricity, water etc) are no longer seen as issues of property and ownership but simply of need and availability.
Quote:

What is the level of interdependence allowed between communities?
For example ... knowing the mineral rich community needed the road, the road owning community could neglect the road and its security forcing the mineral owning community to pay for its protection and upkeep.

Exactly – that is the sort of thinking that the capitalist mentality is drawn to. Even though the road owning community do not have a need for the minerals, they somehow feel that they are being short changed and need to get some payback. If the road owners do not need the road themselves then the logical solution would have been to hand over the road AND the minerals and charge the mineral users with the duty of maintaining the road in return for access to the minerals.
Once we break away from the automatic calculation of profit and relax the concept of ownership we can then concentrate on the real issues of life – whatever they may be for the individuals concerned – rather than engage in some petty and divisive attempt to keep score and get your due.
Quote:

While this example would be extreme, this level of decentralisation suggests to me a very high level of "user pays" for those goods and services which either do not exist or cannot be supported within every community, some services as fundamental as healthcare.

Services like health, gas, water, electricity and public transport should be seen as a common right and top-sliced off whatever national cake there is. Nobody should have to be cold because they lack some tokens or be unable to get treatment for illness for the same reason. The UK Health Service has operated for 50 years now on that founding principle and,. Despite political attempts to undermine it, is still providing a pretty good service which is still very largely free at the point of need. It is not rocket science, it just requires the society to take the view that these things should be available regardless of wealth or status. If that means that wealth people pay more in tax then so be it but, a better system than income tax would be a priority since that particular form of taxation is very regressive (it takes more, as a percentage, from the poor than from the wealthy). I don’t want to hammer the wealthy particularly – each citizen should have the right to find their own satisfactions and challenges and if a person decides that the accumulation of wealth is their goal then I see nothing particularly wrong or problematic in that PROVIDING it is not at the expense of vital provision for other citizens.
The system I’m describing is a long way from what we currently have and seems to some to be hopelessly naïve or ill-=considered, or dogmatically driven. I believe that it is non of these things and that the only reason it may appear so is our conditioning into accepting and even expecting a capitalist method of exchange on all but the most personal and private interactions with our family and friends. I merely suggest that this is neither necessary nor desirable and suggest one other way in which we could seek to arrange our lives.
Are there any historical precedents for such a thing? There are many examples of individuals and communities acting according to the basic principles of anarcho-syndicalism but no very clear examples of states doing so. The reasons for this are fairly easy to see. Cuba set out on this path several decades ago and we will never know how far it could have progressed if it had been treated simply as just another neighbour instead of being the victim of vindictive and reprehensible abuse and oppression by it’s near neighbour. Even with all the sanctions, political interference, attempted coups, assassinations and other acts of terrorism, it has done better than many states that the US successfully ‘intervened in’. Castro, however, soon abandoned the anarchist principles which Cuba was supposed to be based on and (was forced ?) into alliance with the Marxist/Stalinist USSR because of the US embargo. From that point onwards the anarcho-syndicalism credentials of Cuba were gone.

Probably the nearest and country has come to a true anarcho-syndicalism form of government is Spain in the 1936-1939 period.
In 1936 the the anarcho-syndicalist Confederación Nacional del Trabajo gained power in large regions of Spain in the revolution, including its most heavily industrialized region, Catalonia.
George Orwell describes this period in his ‘Homage to Catalonia’ in this passage:

Quote:
The Anarchists were still in virtual control of Catalonia and the revolution was in full swing. . . . the aspect of Barcelona was something startling and overwhelming. It was the first time that I had ever been in a town where the working class was in the saddle. Practically every building of any size had been seized by the workers and was draped with red flags or with the red and black flag of the anarchists; . . . Every shop and cafe had an inscription saying it had been collectivized; even the bootblacks had been collectivized and their boxes painted red and black. Waiters and shop-workers looked you in the face and treated you as an equal. Servile and even ceremonial forms of speech had temporarily disappeared. . . . The revolutionary posters were everywhere, flaming from the walls in clean reds and blues that made the few remaining advertisements look like daubs of mud. . . . All this was queer and moving. There was much in it that I did not understand, in some ways I did not even like it, but I recognized it immediately as a state of affairs worth fighting for.


http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/ANARCHIST_ARCHIVES/bright/dolgoff/cubanrevolution/chapter2.html
http://www.spunk.org/library/writers/rocker/sp001495/rocker_as1.html
http://www.seesharppress.com/cubananarchism.html
http://www.anarchosyndicalism.net/archive/display/124/index.php
http://www.gmu.edu/departments/economics/bcaplan/anarfaq.htm
http://www.infoshop.org/inews/article.php?story=20050216140317899
http://www.chomsky.info/interviews/19760725.htm
http://forum.ebaumsworld.com/archive/index.php/t-1878.html
http://www.anarkismo.net/newswire.php?story_id=84
Asgardsfall
Bikerman,

Thank you for your response.
I'm sorry to pick on your system but to be honest it is of interest to me.
As an aside, albeit a number of years ago, I read and enjoyed Godwin's Political Justice. To a certain extent it and John Stuart Mill's "On Liberty" should be credited as most influencing my own ideas and philosophy, although I have never subscribed to nor quote any given stereotype.

On to the questions

Putting international relations aside, and looking within the National Boundaries let me paraphrase my vision of what you have described. I also apologise for any oversimplification.

The Nation is formed from a number of mostly self sufficient, humanitarian communities, who defer their autonomy to a central Tax funded (voluntary? - given the mindset) Government only with respect to the administration of such services which guarantee a minimum standard of living (Bill of Rights?? to perhaps put things in context) ... and perhaps act as arbitrator in local negotiations?

You point out such a system would require a change in National mindset and acceptance of these ideals.

Is such acceptance mandatory within the borders of your Nation? How would your Nation handle dissent?

Secondly, putting aside all materialist and capitalistic ideas such as wealth, money and possessions as I understand is requested by the changed mindset, how would your system incentivise people to do the horrible jobs? Let me elaborate a little.

Say the primary resource of a community was "swamp sludge" and this was a vital resource and was sought after. The drawback however is, the community is sited in the middle of a swamp. Its cold, damp, and harvesting "swamp sludge" is hard work.
By comparison the neighboring community's primary resource was entertainment. It has nice weather, a beach and a party like atmosphere every day.
I am assuming people are free to make their own choices and are not forced to live within their own birthplace communities like Reservations.

What is to stop a steady flow of citizens from the undesirable but essential locations to the desirable but frivolous locations, given each location has a minimum guaranteed standard of living?

I do have one more question but I'm saving it until I know how you approach the above.

Regards
Asgardsfall
I have a question for rwojick, just-in and all those that base their Philosophies around written documents (this includes written law - Justiciary).

    Who wrote the document?
    Why was it written?
    How do you know something wasnt missed off?
    Why should you obey it... its just a document
    How do you know the person that wrote it knew what they were doing?
    What were the prejudices of the person who wrote it?
    What were their beliefs?
    Is the document unbiased?


I think you get my point.

A document is the result of a Philosophy, it is not the founding concepts or the rationale.
Do you get the sense that by founding a society on a document you are manufacturing an entire society according to the beliefs of its author.

What if they are wrong?
What if they are taking the opportunity to create an experimental society where they and their peers have a unique real world opportunity to put into practice the theories and discussions that they have studied, discussed and written about for so long.
The Philosopher Princess
@ HoboBarticus

Welcome, and thank you for your thoughtful, if somewhat cynical, entry.

You’d said you were going to say more, so I held off questioning till now. Feel free to add other things about your philosophy, but here are some questions about what you have already presented.

Your philosophy seems to be quite anarchist -- to the extent of arguing for no government at all. Yet you seem to claim that anarchy isn’t practical now, but that it could be if people will learn to change their selfish ways. Then you gave a nice recipe for self-knowledge and self-improvement, along with a challenge for the reader to connect with and help change others.

But, do you really think that it would be possible to change enough people’s thinking (and actions) that people wouldn’t have to fear those who say the following?

HoboBarticus wrote:
Think of everything I could loot.

Or, do you consider other non-governmental ways for people to be protected from looters?

Alternatively, if you believe it’s not possible, then wouldn’t that mean that your philosophy was not realistic? And if that’s true, then how could it really be a philosophy, for doesn’t a philosophy by definition need to be realistic?

HoboBarticus wrote:
Why aren't you out influencing people? Aren't those your beliefs that you just wrote down? You know what you have, you know what you want. You know what you've been through. Can't you relate to people? We are all in the same boat.

Once people begin to realize this FACT, then the world can be without government.

Interesting assertion!

One huge question is how any one person, or a small group of like-minded thinkers, can do anything that has a chance of changing enough people to achieve such a vision? Even if you got nationwide, or worldwide, TV exposure, how could such a message really get through to the public? How would you present it to get the effect required -- nearly universal voluntary compliance? Because, your philosophy does depend on that, right?
just-in
Asgardsfall wrote:
I have a question for rwojick, just-in and all those that base their Philosophies around written documents (this includes written law - Justiciary).

    Who wrote the document?
    Why was it written?
    How do you know something wasnt missed off?
    Why should you obey it... its just a document
    How do you know the person that wrote it knew what they were doing?
    What were the prejudices of the person who wrote it?
    What were their beliefs?
    Is the document unbiased?


I think you get my point.

A document is the result of a Philosophy, it is not the founding concepts or the rationale.
Do you get the sense that by founding a society on a document you are manufacturing an entire society according to the beliefs of its author.

What if they are wrong?
What if they are taking the opportunity to create an experimental society where they and their peers have a unique real world opportunity to put into practice the theories and discussions that they have studied, discussed and written about for so long.


I think you did not read my post 'my ideal government system' fully because my system does not talk about any written document.

May be you took it that way by seeing the term 'Judiciary'.

My system is all about how a government should be in any country and how its selected and how it should work like an organization that includes judiciary in it.

My ideal government system talks about a fully centralized government which has administration levels like Central, state, district, towns and villages. And it talks about how any law is created and how it will be applied in the system.

It also talks about how the national resources will be shared among the states all over the country and how the small part of the country like villages are linked directly to the central government. This makes things easier when comes to implementing any developmental process in the country.

My system gives value to the people who voted for the opposition party because by voting the opposition party a citizen doesn't do any sin.
Asgardsfall
Just-In

I did read your post, and do admit it was a bit of a stretch to include you in my address, but as the top level of your Government was Judiciary and traditionally this is founded around a codified set of rules, I was wondering how you would react.
You describe a fairly complete tiered structure, but I do wonder what sort of "house" it would be for people to live in? The principles of law guiding your society could be anything from "All children with red hair should be executed at birth" to "No person should do more than one hour of work per day" Yes I do realise that bad laws could conceivably be voted out. It's just you read like a rulebook, but say so little of life under the yoke.

I hear ... life is good because I can vote to make the rules and nothing else. What is the soul of your society? What is its personality?

I am confused by your notion of what I could only describe as the antivote.
just-in wrote:
My system gives value to the people who voted for the opposition party because by voting the opposition party a citizen doesn't do any sin.

This is a total cop-out. Do you "do no sin" by watching a shoplifter at work, or by walkin past an injured person without at least offering aid. When electing a Government a no confidence vote by itself would be a waste of time, as the Guy you didnt want in power, by not voting for him, will still get in, or worse still the opposition guy who may be even worse gets in.
Perhaps you could require a majority in the vote and an active vote greater than say 60% of those votes cast. That is, if more than say 40% of all votes submitted were No Confidence then the election result would be annulled and a re-election held. This would perhaps give some safe power to your antivote.

We had a political party called the McGillicuddy Serious Party who always attracted the antivote (typically students) .... their Manifesto can be found here http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/bernard.smith/manifesto/preamble.htm. You should read about their guiding philosophy of "Funism" for a little light entertainment. Especially in the context of this thread.
Votes cast for parties like this are still recognised and I'm sure you would agree they would not attract sufficient vote to actually get in power.
Bikerman
Asgardsfall wrote:


The Nation is formed from a number of mostly self sufficient, humanitarian communities, who defer their autonomy to a central Tax funded (voluntary? - given the mindset) Government only with respect to the administration of such services which guarantee a minimum standard of living (Bill of Rights?? to perhaps put things in context) ... and perhaps act as arbitrator in local negotiations?

That is a fair summary to a point.
Quote:

You point out such a system would require a change in National mindset and acceptance of these ideals.

Is such acceptance mandatory within the borders of your Nation? How would your Nation handle dissent?

Dissent would be both possible and welcome. People with different ideals would be welcome to organise any way they pleased. The goal is a removal of constraint not a further imposition.
Quote:

Secondly, putting aside all materialist and capitalistic ideas such as wealth, money and possessions as I understand is requested by the changed mindset, how would your system incentivise people to do the horrible jobs? Let me elaborate a little.

Say the primary resource of a community was "swamp sludge" and this was a vital resource and was sought after. The drawback however is, the community is sited in the middle of a swamp. Its cold, damp, and harvesting "swamp sludge" is hard work.
By comparison the neighboring community's primary resource was entertainment. It has nice weather, a beach and a party like atmosphere every day.
I am assuming people are free to make their own choices and are not forced to live within their own birthplace communities like Reservations.

What is to stop a steady flow of citizens from the undesirable but essential locations to the desirable but frivolous locations, given each location has a minimum guaranteed standard of living?

Fair point but I think the problem is slightly overstated. Basically the communities will handle their own problems via the local work and community councils. The experience of Catalonia is that the dirty jobs are not really a problem. The sense of community inherent in this system of organisation is such that these sort of roles are less stigmatised. The local communities would also be interlinked by trade-wide links in the workers committee structure which would have a role here. Being part of a community is a powerful motivator and many of the concepts that are currently regarded as issues of choice today would be seen as quite daft in a true anarcho-syndicalist structure. The removal of assumptions of status based on arbitrary wealth will make a big difference and it is quite possible that the role of 'swamp sludge specialist' could become a popular one.
Incentivisation is frequently raised as a major showstopper to communal type systems of government but is largely overstated. It often takes as a given the capitalist position which assumes a largely arbitrary heirarchy of 'desirability' in the roles that people choose in life. Whilst some jobs will always be hard difficult and dirty, many of those jobs today are a result of the capitalist system itself. Nobody wants to do a repetative boring and thoughtless job, for sure. The solution is to first ask why such jobs exist and whether it needs to be that way. Where it is necessary then communities would regard such work with respect, since they would know the necessity, and that in itself can be a powerful incentiviser. The whole notion of differentials has been used by capitalism to justify the wealth of the top capitalist management for years. You have to pay the top executives enough to attract the best candidates. The same is never said about the workforce 'under' them, where the argument reverts to normal market supply and demand. This mindeset would change, if not disappear, rapidly under the new system.

Regards
Chris
billys
Well, I've come to believe that as a society we must follow progressively three directions.

Firstly, the creation of International associations and Unions with the steadidly increasement of their power and their authorities.
By this way

1. All of the Nations will progressively have simular interests, as with entering they will have the need to coorporate and find common ground.
2. The International associations will have the power to interfear when certain countries or communities behave irresponsibly and provocutavely.
4. Also, countries will progressively open their boarders to their neighboors, have common economical lives and benefits and behave as equals.
3. This will have as a result the decrease of the tension between the countries, thus the decreasement of the military forces, thus the increasement in education, sciences, the quality of life, the and civilization.

Secondly, simultaniously with the increasement of the power of the International associations and Union, rights and power for the everyday life has to be transered from the state to the local authorities. With this action people will live in a more democratic world and they will decide about their everyday life.

Thirdy, it would be wise to try to create a society in which mass transporation vehicles such as the subway, the tram, the buses and the troleis will be the only way of transportation.

These are the directions I believe that would be preferable for us to move forward to.
Asgardsfall
billys

You refer to "International associations". I note you use an "s" meaning more than one. There is no guarantee they will have the same agenda.
I refer for a crude probably historically inaccurate example "The Axis" and "The League of Nations". Each organisation will indeed have some common ground for its members but these goals may not encourage coexistance .
Additionally, I do not believe that opening borders makes everyone equal.
I risk being severely corrected here but it is my understanding that this is similar to what is happening to the European Union. It is possible (so I have been told) for a citizen of say Slovakia to freely move and seek employment in England. Although all member citizens are all equal in theory, I understand there is some resistance from the natives against this sudden influx of immigrants seeking a higher standard of living.
"a decrease in tension" ... I think not.

With regards to your third point ..... *sob* why? *sob* I love my cars. I realise there would be some environmental benefit but isnt your suggestion a solution to the symptom, not the problem. With only public transport available more would be required. Currently congested systems would get worse what about the cumulative waste of people time as they queue for tickets, wait for busses etc?
Where do you draw the line on the elimination of personal transport? Would I be allowed my bike? It would still require roads and cause congestion. Perhaps a skooter or a skateboard? "ONLY" is a big word.

I'll leave your second point alone. as I dont understand how you define "Union"
MadeinIndia
Thanks Philosopher Princess for giving us this great debate. More than the points, the spirit of participants excited me more.


I guess I have already taken too much of space putting my political philosophy across, would be very brief for the closing arguments.


1. My Political Philosophy always talks about "You". Others talk about "I". When the society evolves and becomes considerate enough to think about other humans before themselves, we can say we are truly developed.


2. Well, most of the threads here talk about what model of governance one should follow. No one went into the soul of the topic. There can be different models but as long as you don't discover the magic formula i.e the perfect political philosophy, all models will ultimately have faults.

3. I like all the posts and the spirit involved. If we take the goodness out of each post, this is a treasure for any Political science professor.

4. All the thoughts in my theory are strong and nothing is weakest. History is proof that education is the key to the development of society. It is a human must to make mistakes but an educated society frames just rules to deal with such mistakes. Who will look at the bigger picture of mankind? One more thing...We are not alone on this earth. There are other species including plants and trees who are rightful inhabitants of this earth. To destroy the planet in the guise of development is doing injustice to the nature.

Thanks.
rwojick
The document was writtten in 1776.

It gave each citizen the rights to life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness.

Blacks and women were not included at the time, however, when they argued using the tools of truth, logic and the benchmarks of the law they could not be denied.

Its starts with the Declaration of Independance and it says "we are going to have a Country that has neither a king nor a ruling class. People who play the game under the line of the truth undermine the system, they say they want "more" than equal rights with every other citizen in the Country. I consider them idiots, and when it really matters I take my time to prove it.

Your point? No, I do not get it. Nice list of questions, though.
Asgardsfall
rwojick wrote:
Your point? No, I do not get it

I sort of stated my point after the list anyway but I will rework slightly.
You have stated a nice list of things to have.
rwojick wrote:
life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness ... we are going to have a Country that has neither a king nor a ruling class

Presumably someone thought this was a good thing to have, and clearly you agree. But why is it a good thing to have? Some may argue the second point creates the equivalent of a headless chicken.
The Philosopher Princess
@ Everyone: Please check out the announcements on the sibling thread or in this thread’s first post.
~~~~~~~~~~
@ billys

Thank you for your entry! Smile Please note that I wrote this next questioning text yesterday -- before having read Asgardsfall’s post to you above.

billys wrote:
Well, I've come to believe that as a society we must follow progressively three directions.

Firstly, the creation of International associations and Unions with the steadidly increasement of their power and their authorities.

Asked seriously, not rhetorically: Is this really a political philosophy (see first post), or just a call for more power for unions?

Could you please tell us what it is that makes you think that powerful international unions wouldn’t be as oppressive and corrupt as governments?

Consider the history of organized unions. When unions gained a lot of power, mobsters and corrupt officials rose to the top. These people used the unions to control and manipulate businesses and politics. They created extortion rackets by telling business people, “if you don’t do what we want (pay bribes, etc.), our union will go on strike and ruin you.”

If such an organization were international in scope, what would keep it from being tyrannical and oppressive?

Second, you call for power to devolve from state to local authorities, claiming:

billys wrote:
With this action people will live in a more democratic world and they will decide about their everyday life.

What would make the local authorities be “more democratic”?

Is it “more democratic” to have 200 people vote for the person who controls your local community, or to have 200 million people vote for the controller of a great nation? Please explain your choice.

What do you mean by the term “more democratic”, and why do you think it’s a good thing?

billys wrote:
Thirdy, it would be wise to try to create a society in which mass transporation vehicles such as the subway, the tram, the buses and the troleis will be the only way of transportation.

Can you sincerely imagine living and working in such a society? Wouldn’t it be true that nobody would be able to go anywhere that 100 people a day didn’t want to go, because there would be no transportation? Is this a good thing?

How would a plumber work, if he has to carry all his tools and parts on the bus, follow the bus schedule, switch from bus, to train, to trolley, to subway -- along with every other maintenance person (gardeners, janitors, electricians, etc.) and all the delivery people?

What about ordinary people, being unable to escape masses of other transported people: Wouldn’t they be likely to become increasingly crazy (schizophrenia, depression, and phobias especially) and more violent because they would always feel “crowded”?

Wouldn’t this force everybody to live in crowded city neighborhoods, and work in crowded city buildings?

What about people who want to live (or vacation) outside the cities away from major routes of transportation? Does your system have room for anybody to have a farm to grow food?

Thanks again for your post because it’s very thought-provoking. I hope to hear more of your ideas.
The Philosopher Princess
@ rwojick

rwojick wrote:
The document was writtten in 1776.

It gave each citizen the rights to life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness.

Really? It “gave” people those rights?

Did you write incorrectly or are you saying that you believe that that is consistent with (and a subset of) this? (Or are you saying something else?)

Declaration of Independence wrote:
We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Whichever is your answer, please explain further the concepts of (1) giving rights and (2) recognizing rights as being self-evident -- and how they fit into your political philosophy.
rwojick
Princess,

You are the worlds foremost hair splitter, and I am not certain this is a talent.

If all men are created equal and this "given" is "self evident" then "I have it" and you can "have it too" if you stop circling downward and cast your eyes back up to the top of the page.
rwojick
As for Asgardsfall's claim that the system has no direction this is false.

The base of the system is the laws and they come from the people by voting for the lawmakers.

I can stay to the true side of the law, which I prefer to view as up, and if I stray to the down (false) side of the law then some accuser can bring me back with a written legal complaint.

This complaint has to be true and it has to be placed before a Court that is competent. And they have to give me a copy too. This is all spelled out in due process.

True. In bounds. False. Out of bounds.

If I vote for a lawmaker I go into a voting booth and cast a private ballot. I can indulge my prejudice completey.

If he gets elected then he can make a law, but it has to be Constitutional, and, after he makes it, he has to abide by it and I do too.

The "direction" comes from always "striving" to "stay on the true side of the law".
The Philosopher Princess
@ MadeinIndia

Thank you for your recent additions, and for being so polite in your discussions (which is always appreciated).

Education is obviously very important to you, and it is a central theme of your political philosophy. I am not challenging why those should be. But I do have a deeper question (posed within multiple related questions) on the subject. I start with a brief setup.

There would doubtful be much disagreement that people often disagree on what actually is the truth. This seems to be the case whether we are focusing on the laws of “hard” sciences or “soft” sciences; laws of human evolution; laws of political science; whether global warming is happening or not and whether humans are a cause or not; whether it will help or hurt humanity if reading and writing is stressed more than math and science, or vice versa; or the truthful interpretations of the meanings of such documents as the Bhagavad-Gita, the Christian Bible, or constitutions of various countries; whether religious principles should be taught alongside or separately from secular subjects; and of course there are many more subjects related to what is the truth.

Anyone can get a sense of such disagreements on what is the truth by reading our own beloved Frihost forums Wink.

Carrying out Education (in the big sense of the word) presumably means educating people on the truths of the various subjects. So the question is: How can this be done when there is so much disagreement?

What are, or would be, the factors that pressure Education to be “good education”, as opposed to “bad education” or just any old education that is sometimes “good” and sometimes “bad”?

How does your political philosophy define “good education” and “bad education”?

Given the hypothetical ideal society you envision (with everything you’ve described previously), would “bad education” ever happen? If not, why? If yes, then what would be in place to help eliminate it?
Asgardsfall
rwojick,

What do you value more, the principles upon which your society stands, or "Due Process"?

Like just-in you talk about what your system is but dont mention why?
It is like understanding the plot of a book but not the theme.

While I dont disagree with the founding principles you have mentioned, they are there however because a few people thought they were a good idea at the time and nobody has disagreed enough to change them since.

I dont think this necessarily makes them the only choice, just that people have lived under the rule long enough, that the majority of people are not sufficiently hindered enough by them, to care about changing them. You pour jelly into a mould, leave it there long enough and it looks like the mould.

I think the Philosopher Princess hit the nail on the head with her question, I ask why are the Truths self evident? .... or perhaps I am just being argumentative.

A second query... Due Process is good in theory but it is not really on the side of the little guy. How would you feel about Due Process if you were served with an eviction notice from your home of 30 odd years, a home you had built, married and raised kids in, something that defines your life simply because a new highway extension was required. You get your vote, it is true but its cold comfort when a lifetime of memories get concreted over in the name of progress.

You are free, have life and liberty are free to pursue happiness. The people who save 5 minutes a day travel time are also happy, but what about you ... a minnow in a whale of a system?
Asgardsfall
Bikerman,

I'd love to fence further, but to be perfectly honest I dont find too much in your system I disagree with. My proposed system is similar from and indiviualistic point of view, although I believe yours is more extreme (backward - "in the nicest possible context") in its perspective. I still think there is a place for the private accumulation of wealth if that is what people wish to do, I think your society, if everyone adopted the mindset, it would mean full regression to a simple life of subsistance and harmony with nature, a lifestyle I would not enjoy.
I'm sorry, I love my toys far too much for that.

I believe the accumulation of wealth can be a good thing. In general (and this is a broad statement) in a society where people have roughly equal rights and equal opportunity, such as a Government can grant through implementation of a minimum standard of living, they will seek wealth to better their standing.
This is most evident in the young. They want their cars and their TVs, their flash clothes and modern homes. In an unrestricted society free of beliefs and conditioning, people will want the things they think will give them physical security and comfort. With time, in most cases the focus changes naturally. Once a comfortable and secure level of wealth is attained (and this is easier than most people initially think) goods, tend to loose their shine. In most (but not all) cases this does not mean the person strives for even more material goods, instead they start to follow other intangible pursuits. Humanitarian works, the arts, the search for meaning and so forth.
I believe there is a place for materialism within my society, it gets the young off to a good start and takes the burden of support away from the Goverment and/or local society. It does not take a universal mindset to shift away from this capatalistic phase, simply the maturity which comes with age.

As for my last question to you, it revolved around a lack of understanding how your philosophy could work across a full society, with all its variations and classes. The factual examples you chose seemed to be of societies which seemed fairly homogenous to start with. Your last answer gave me enough to know its not worth arguing the point as the ground rules would change.

Thanks
Bikerman
Asgardsfall wrote:
Bikerman,

I'd love to fence further, but to be perfectly honest I dont find too much in your system I disagree with. My proposed system is similar from and indiviualistic point of view, although I believe yours is more extreme (backward - "in the nicest possible context") in its perspective. I still think there is a place for the private accumulation of wealth if that is what people wish to do, I think your society, if everyone adopted the mindset, it would mean full regression to a simple life of subsistance and harmony with nature, a lifestyle I would not enjoy.
I'm sorry, I love my toys far too much for that.

I believe the accumulation of wealth can be a good thing. In general (and this is a broad statement) in a society where people have roughly equal rights and equal opportunity, such as a Government can grant through implementation of a minimum standard of living, they will seek wealth to better their standing.
This is most evident in the young. They want their cars and their TVs, their flash clothes and modern homes. In an unrestricted society free of beliefs and conditioning, people will want the things they think will give them physical security and comfort. With time, in most cases the focus changes naturally. Once a comfortable and secure level of wealth is attained (and this is easier than most people initially think) goods, tend to loose their shine. In most (but not all) cases this does not mean the person strives for even more material goods, instead they start to follow other intangible pursuits. Humanitarian works, the arts, the search for meaning and so forth.
I believe there is a place for materialism within my society, it gets the young off to a good start and takes the burden of support away from the Goverment and/or local society. It does not take a universal mindset to shift away from this capatalistic phase, simply the maturity which comes with age.

As for my last question to you, it revolved around a lack of understanding how your philosophy could work across a full society, with all its variations and classes. The factual examples you chose seemed to be of societies which seemed fairly homogenous to start with. Your last answer gave me enough to know its not worth arguing the point as the ground rules would change.

Thanks


No problem. I agree with much of the above. I'm not sure that a materialist society will eventually produce mature citizens with less materialist aims....(I hope that paraphrase is OK). My basic objection to that would be that the top 1% show little signs of maturing up to now, despite having more than it is possible to spend.

Otherwise I'd agree with the rest.
Thanks for the feedback....intelligent debate is always a pleasure.

Regards
Chris
rwojick
Asguardsfall,

If you are asking which do I value most then you would be talking about my prejudice. My "value" is not "written down", therefore it is not a "law".

Due Process is one of the guranteed rights of the Bill of Rights (1st 10 Amendments to the Constitution) and it is also a guarnantee of the 14th amendment.

This system would not be mathematically perfect without due process. Just the same as a computer doesn't randomly process x's and o's the American Legal System does't randomly process true and false statements. You do them in order to reach a proper conclusion.

Last week I challenged "The Princess" and I asked her to explain the false documents at [url]proof.rochesterdailynews.frih.net[/url] and she implied that I was undermining her contest and she said she would comment later. Maybe she will and maybe she won't. Happens all the time.

Now, this week, she is back on the board with a question of what do I mean by "given" and 'did you mean to say..." I have these exchanges with women all the time, and it leads me to say they are "natural born tyrants". They cannot separate between their prejudices, which are not written, and our laws, which are written. I love them anyways.

Thats ok, she can take up the challenge this week, right <wink>.

Due process is one of the many rights spelled out in the Bill of Rights. If they were explained to Osama Bin Laden he would be hard pressed to want to throw any of them back.

In the 5th amendment every citizen has the right to act in his or her own best interest. No one is a pawn in our system. If someone said go sit in the front seat of a plane and fly it into a building I would say, "not", for the many, many reasons spelled out in the Constititution...oh look....it pops up right away in the right to "life".

Its math based and its unbiased. Not unlike a pool table. Does the table know your name? Will the 8 ball go in the pocket because it favors you and not me?
MadeinIndia
Thanks Princess...

To begin with, let me go to my first post. I have mentioned that religion should not be allowed to have any say in the way any society functions. Doing so will only lead to chaos or tyranny.

I also mentioned and stressed the importance of Education. A gentleman previously posted that a society needs to focus on economics and then education. Unless you have a strong education, who will give you business to begin with? How can you calculate what's good for your economy, do proper business unless you are educated? An educated society is a prosperous society.


In my third post, I have mentioned about the importance of taking care of the nature. Here, the idea is very simple and we don't need to rack our brains to understand any of it; Your house is dirty, breaking up, not cleaned for years, you are too lazy or not bothered to clean it. How would the children in this house grow up?

Compare this with a small house but a very clean house, and the inhabitants take very good care of it. The inhabitants have a place where they feel happy, can concentrate on their work or studies and progress in life.

No one really knows what is truth. One day a newspaper quotes that some scientist in LA says Coffee is good for health. Next week another lab comes out with a study saying it is bad for health. Who do common people believe in? The same way, whether global warming is happening or not, whether the ozone layer is getting depleted or not, I really don't know but one thing I really know is...

A clean and green earth is a fertile place for a progressive society! A society where people will be happy, helpful to each other and live in harmony.

An over crowded, polluted, disease spreading earth WILL not and cannot have the perfect society! So all these political philosophies will not be of any use if our environment is not conducive enough. I am not a greenpeace activist to keep rambling about nature but I understand the importance of the nature in human being's life and future.


I did also get into details about how a society should function, the duties of law-makers and how the common man can be an active partner. This should make clear to anyone how BAD can be kept in check.


And Princess, Education can only be good, not bad. According to Dictionary.com

Quote:


Education = the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.



So either you are educated or you are not. There is nothing called good education or bad education, only Education.


I don't say that an educated person is not capable of corrupt practises or greed or evil. These things can happen to anyone. But if the whole society is educated, there is no chance of such people gaining the upper hand as the collective strength of the educated society is too strong.

So unless everyone in the society have the general knowledge, power to reason and judge accordingly, we cannot have a perfect political philosophy. To have the above, concentrate on basic education for all the citizens, teach them their rights, their role in the world and society, and what they should aim for. An empowered society is the ultimate society.

Hope I did answer your questions properly Princess. "Let there be light!"
The Philosopher Princess
@ Everyone

As announced previously, we only have about a week left for discussions. I’m glad for the good stuff still going on! Very Happy
~~~~~~~~~~
@ MadeinIndia

Thanks for the response to my inquiry on Education, which will be good to consider with all else. Smile
~~~~~~~~~~
@ rwojick

rwojick wrote:
she implied that I was undermining her contest

I did no such thing, but I’m sorry if you interpreted it that way. Everything I’ve said is in the public record. What I have said is that I won’t comment on anyone’s issues on these sibling topics until after the contest. I am taking the same approach for every person; it might seem more pronounced with you since you are the only one who has been actively requesting my inputs on your personal issues. I will be keeping to my original plan. Smile
The Philosopher Princess
@ Asgardsfall

You have offered us a lot of thinking concepts. Here is one area on which I invite you to add more: The area of rights of individuals versus the right of the government to exist -- and whether these rights ever conflict, and if so, what is to be done about it in your political philosophy.

Asgardsfall wrote:
The rights of the individual are paramount.

Mentioning some extreme things on purpose: Do these “rights” include: The right to not be bullied by those with more power? The right to not be pillaged by large groups, or gangs, or voting blocks? The right to keep what the individuals own or earn? The right to privacy in their personal and financial affairs? The right to refuse to pay extortion?

If so, how can any group of people (including a government) legitimately demand anything from these individuals?

Asgardsfall wrote:
A Government exists through the will of its people, once created it has the right to exist and can legitimately demand sufficient resources to protect this right.

Please elaborate on why a government has the “right to exist” once it’s been created. Does this not presuppose that every government “once created” has the right to do whatever it deems necessary to survive (and grow and conquer)? There seems to be a slippery slope in there, but I’d like to find out how you consider this.

A mere 10 years from the time a government is created (let’s say by an overwhelming majority in the “proper” way as you’d envision), the individuals who are impacted by that government have changed considerably. The longer time goes on, the more the individuals affected changes.

Many will have moved away or died or become incapacitated. Another group will have become of age and now reap the consequences of a government imposed before they were old enough to choose. The rest have matured by 10 years, learned a lot (hopefully) and had attitude changes. Many will have discovered what they perceive as faults in the government system that couldn’t be seen when it was first discussed and implemented. But, seemingly according to your philosophy, because the government was “once created” 10 years ago, it now has a “right to exist” no matter what. Can it really legitimately (using your definition) demand sufficient resources to protect this right?

What if the resources the government needs are to protect its “right to exist” against the majority of the (potentially upset and rebellious) individuals who are having to pay those resources? What if it has decided that it needs almost everything the individuals have (except for bare subsistence so they can keep producing)?

I expect that your philosophy holds that such a government wouldn’t be legitimate and could be legitimately overthrown (because it is no longer in line with the will of the people) but your argument that a government “once created” has a “right to exist” and “demand resources”, seems to be a direct contradiction to your assertion that “the rights of the individual are paramount”.

Re-stating the same question in other words: How can you have a government and also have freedom for individuals? How can a government be strong enough to protect without being strong enough to terrorize and harm? How could it be possible that a government could be legitimate when it has the power to force those who don’t want that government to pay for that government and abide by its rules?

Also, earlier you used the term “voluntary” but it seemed to be in the same sense that the tax-man claims the income tax is voluntary. (“If you refuse to volunteer, we’ll seize your assets and throw you in jail.”) Maybe you use “voluntary” differently?
Asgardsfall
Princess, my reply is in progress,

Rwojick, part of my reply to Princess made me sit down and read the American Constitution, the Bill of rights and the Declaration of Independance for the first time. At least I am pleased they are short.

I am now curious, you highlight the self evident truths contained in the Bill of Rights but then go on to highlight the importance of the strict adherance to Law as the 'body'.

To me, the Declaration of Independance sounds like shopping list of complaints attempting to justify the breaking of the law, not the adherance to it.
Interestingly these complaints are backed off with the pure theoretical position many of us are all placing at the heart of our theories.

For me the kicker really is, knowing now what the declaration says, it is the perfect manifestation of an actual example that illustrates my own earlier point, that where a Government starts to impose itself upon the individual rights of its citizens, the citizens are absolutely justified in disolving that Government and creating a new one. I cannot decry it as invalid.

So far as the basis of a political system based on law and a legal system, there still appears no direct connection. The Declaration does not advocate any particular type of Government, merely one which is not tyrranical and supports the "self evident truths." I therefore continue to take issue with the Due Process, the Law and our obediance to it. I notice the Bill of Rights does not contain the Right to Life, and in contradiction to the Declaration, the Constitution, through Law, has the right to take it away.

I should also point out that much of my previous comments against the Declaration are because you used existing documents themselves (a record written by others) as the basis of your philosophy. To me, this dulls your argument much like those people who preach the ideas from various other books.

rwojick wrote:
If you are asking which do I value most then you would be talking about my prejudice. My "value" is not "written down", therefore it is not a "law".

This did not answer my question, but I can now ask it a different way.
What is more important to you. The principles of the Declaration of Independence or the principles in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.
rwojick
If you read closely, and I do not read often, I only have a grasp of the math of the system in my heart, you will see somewhere that it is a government "of the people, by the people, for the people". See it? Its somewhere in there.<wink>

This means that if you work for the government you are a citizen who has a job working for the government. You must adhere to the law the same as a citizen who does not work for the government. People who work for the government are considered "public servants". They serve the Public.

I was served with an eviction notice at one time. The citizen who worked for the government said the law says "this" and I said no it doesn't, it says "that". Seven years later in Federal Court I prevailed. It did not take me 7 years to do the math properly, it took them that long.

On another matter that mattered to me [url]proof.rochesterdailynews.frih.net[/url] I make the argument (really it is an observation) that 1) I am entitled to due process of law, 2) the law says a note of issue must be in the Court House at Trial date 3) The Judge said the Trial date was Dec. 15, 1994 and 4) The attorney suing me filed the note on March 8, 1995.

My RIGHTS to due process were violated therefore I am not guilty.

If you were sued then you would have the right to due process. If the citizens who worked for the government cut corners and all Judges and Politicians who take an oath reviewed the facts they would have to tell the truth.

With women involved at such a level as they are today this truth comes slowly (there is a joke there somewhere) but, the Judge and Jury are unbiased, they all must tell the truth, my "observation" is made up of all true statements, your opposition must employ at least 1 false statement, therefore, therefore, the "accuser" does not "win" because "they failed to prove their case".

Life, Liberty and the Persuit of Happiness is the axiom (given) of the system. It sets the = sign. The Bill of Rights is the SHEILD that can be used by all accused persons.

If citizens who work for the government ignore the shield and overpowers the defendant then the system identifies them as the tyrants.

Americans live in opposition to tyranny and I would argue that this is not a "war on terror". I don't mean to split hairs, I just think it is a function of doing the math properly and if it stands that I can do this better than most lawyers then so be it.
The Philosopher Princess
@ Bikerman

Thanks for so much good input already.

Given what you’ve written about your political philosophy, I’d like to ask you further about two extremes (of people) and how they fit into your societal vision: Individualists and the chronically needy.

The words in quotes are particularly open to your choices of definitions, which will hopefully come across directly or indirectly in your writings.
~~~~~~~~~~
What would happen to individualists in your system? Geniuses, inventors, and entrepreneurs, etc. generally work “best” when free to manage their own projects. Would such people be subjected to the well-planned decisions, potentially non-well-planned decisions, and even whims of their local work committees? What would be the “process” that such a person would go through?

Would they be allowed to build their own businesses, invent things the committee thought unworthy, and reap the profits of improving things for others, or would committees tell such individualists what to work on and how to do it?

What happens when individualists have done “poor work” (e.g., devised some idea that will make the world “worse” if put into practice)? What happens when individualists have done “excellent work” (e.g., devised some idea that will “greatly help” many people if put into practice?
~~~~~~~~~~
At a different extreme, if your political philosophy were in place, what would happen to the chronically needy, lazy, shiftless, and purposefully unproductive members of society? What would stop such people from gaming the system, doing nothing, and still reaping all the rewards?

Bikerman wrote:
Services like health, gas, water, electricity and public transport should be seen as a common right and top-sliced off whatever national cake there is. Nobody should have to be cold because they lack some tokens or be unable to get treatment for illness for the same reason.

Even those who could make a living but choose not to?

What about food? Isn’t that a necessity of life? What about the quality of food? Should some have better than others because they are more productive and better at earning, or should those who are more productive and better at earning be subjected to the same fate as those who do nothing? If the latter, what motivation is there for anybody to do anything they don’t want to do?
Bikerman
The Philosopher Princess wrote:

@ Bikerman

Thanks for so much good input already.

My pleasure
The Philosopher Princess wrote:


Given what you’ve written about your political philosophy, I’d like to ask you further about two extremes (of people) and how they fit into your societal vision: Individualists and the chronically needy.

The needy are easiest to deal with. As part of a true community they would be catered for as well as possible given resources. Food would certainly be amongst the necessities provided by the community – and too the community as a basic entitlement. I clearly missed it out because it was too obvious and my brain is far too highly trained to deal with the mundane details….LOL…I wish!

They would have a quality of life better (or in no cases worse) than the best currently on offer in any of the systems I know about. First principle of anarchism is removal of constraint, true but anarchism is only a method for arriving at the goal of true socialism and not a complete goal in itself. Any truly socialist community would have no problem in coping with a number of less obviously productive members of the group. Any able member of the community would have a community task or role or allotment which they would be expected to cover. It could be a free hours teaching, painting a house, shopping for the hospital – any number of things, but would not take too long out of a persons time – an hour a day would be about the max I would envisage, probably much less.

The creative and entrepreneurial types should not be a problem either. Once again the emphasis is on freedom. The community provides the necessities of life for all citizens. Beyond that individuals would be free to participate however they thought best and wherever they saw potential/need/room/vocation. The material goods on offer would not be as diverse as now and the shelf life of many things would be much longer it is true to say. Ideas of a new cat every year or so would simply have to go, as would throwaway stuff that is currently made at silly cheap prices – like a new sweater for a pound, or a flight to Florida for 10 quid. These would vanish - but not by diktat or control, simply because of the realities of a socialist system. Nobody would forbid you having a new car anytime you wanted, but neither would you make sufficient capital out of the community to be financially able to do so.

If a citizen wanted to disappear into a room for a year and work on anti-gravity then why not. They would still be expected to perform whatever duties were necessary in the community, just like a family member is expected to do chores. This would not be a full time commitment though and would leave plenty of time to pursue individual schemes and goals. The elements of committee and central planning would be local enough to avoid the pitfalls normally associated with command and control type systems since the communities would be relatively small units of administration and easily manageable by such committee structures in a very open and accountable way. The emphasis would be taken away from market concepts of success like productivity, capital and status; since those are artificial measures designed to sustain and nourish capitalism rather than the individual. This presupposes, of course, the ability of the community or state to survive in the global ‘outside’ and if the only communities were in (say) one country such as the UK then this would of course be problematic in time since capitalist neighbours would inevitably show off higher apparent standards of living which would entice the young and flighty (and perhaps even just the ambitious) away rather than encouraging them to use their drives and talents locally. I am supposing that it happens on a large enough scale to get a hold and then spreads to more. I think it could be viable on the scale of a continent but not a small state unless it’s capitalist neighbours would treat it fairly which, by definition they cannot..

The basic mechanism of control would be the two councils in linkage with regional and inter-trade councils from other communities. The goal setting and target setting would be local as would the ultimate decision making in the vast majority of circumstances. Obviously if a national catastrophe threatened then a subset of council members would need to come together and address it representatively of the whole communities. There would, however. Be no standing committees of such reps or other bodies since that would centralise power and control institutionally, rather than pragmatically and transiently as required. Sure this means that you would have no specialist politicians, diplomats and executive management. I see that as a plus rather than a minus. Very few people, I contend, would aspire to those positions for their own sake, since all of them are facilitating roles rather than intrinsically productive or creative.
Let’s say our individualist wanted better food, better clothes and a great quality sound system for his room. These would be the individuals ‘problem’ in the sense that he/she would have to work out how to get them and if many people were needed then also how to negotiate their labour for his/her project. This would be simple for small things like a new set of clothes, but much more problematic for the sound system. There would be insufficient capital to allow importing luxury goods from capitalist neighbours and nor would this be encouraged since the idea is to remove dependence on such things. It may well be possible, however, to negotiate a deal with (say) the inter-trade council of electricians to design and make a sound system in return for labour of some sort – whatever the person had to offer.

In general the sort of material craving for things that would be a problem for the system are, in actuality, problems for the systems we currently have, it is just that our current system hides them and moves the consequences to other places (third world very often, but also ‘the future’ quite often. Tomorrow is a place often exploited by the capitalist mind-set– current global warming and other pollution issues being a case in point).
Currently out systems are designed to encourage redundancy and waste in that consumers must consume and production must make. The faster and more productive then the better. So it is no matter that you had a new car last year, have another because it drives forward the progress of society and you get a new nice smelling car with empty ash-trays.
This is a system that a little thought shows must be unsustainable in the long term unless there is either infinite cheap labour or infinite capacity for growth and the corresponding room and ability of the environment to accommodate such growth. There is a continuous requirement to consume and produce faster just to stay still. It is interesting to compare, for example, the GNP of a country with other indices such as ‘happiness’ (as expressed by simple ‘are you happy’ type surveys), suicide rates, prison populations, mental problems etc. In the cases I have looked at there is no obvious correlation, either negative or positive, between wealth and material abundance and happiness.

BBC NEWS wrote:
The latest edition of its annual publication, State Of The World 2004, says about 1.7 billion people have entered "the consumer class", adopting the diets, transport systems and lifestyles formerly the preserve of North America, Europe and Japan.
The US has more private vehicles on the road than people licensed to drive them. New houses in the US were 38% bigger in 2000 than in 1975, although average household size had fallen.
Yet only about a third of Americans described themselves as "very happy", the same share as in 1957 when US citizens were just half as wealthy.

The amount spent across the world on goods and services by households has quadrupled since 1960, reaching more than $20 trillion in 2000. Worldwatch says consumption by the wealthy elites, and increasingly among the middle class as well, has gone beyond satisfying needs to become an end in its own right. It is also rising rapidly in developing countries, especially in China and India. The report says consumption is not in itself bad. But it says: "Higher levels of obesity and personal debt, chronic time shortages, and a degraded environment are all signs that excessive consumption is diminishing the quality of life for many people.


Whilst a case could be made that certain people would be less free, their apparent freedoms in a capitalist world are actually dependant upon exploitation of other people and/or resources of a communal nature such as environment or land/minerals/food etc.
If your goal is to be rich and have lots of toys then this is not the system for you because you can’t be. It is a pretty shallow sort of a person, however, that would even admit to those goals, let alone actually live by them. I do not regard that as a loss of personal freedom since the original freedom is balanced against another loss of freedom for someone else. The tokens you accumulate in order to be wealthy are representative of the lives of other people doled out to you, hour by hour and day by day. They are largely based on the ability to ‘do business’ which is the legal type of lying and cheating that we live with constantly in a capitalist system. This is, of course, a type of social Darwinism Survival of the fittest at the expense of the weak. Capitalists can and do argue that this is natural – just like normal evolutionary existence and that it true. I take the view, however, that humans should and mostly do reach higher than that as both an ideal and, indeed, an expectation of how life should be. Natural selection is a nasty brutish and frequently bloody affair. Do we not want to transcend that? In fact is it not the case that we do transcend that individualistic approach, if left to ourselves, quite naturally already?
The function of advertising is to create, feed and expand consumption to keep the capitalist cycle running. Adverts are, most people would agree, as dishonest as they can get away with and still be legal. A need or skill in this area is not something I would want to encourage, let alone reward. Many people know that the higher one raises in work-life status, often the less enjoyment one gets and the more problems and worries one expects to cope with.

Management (often the peak of a job or career) is basically about solving the human issues as they relate to productivity in many if not most roles in a capitalist market. This means that ruthless and selfishness people are immediately at an advantage over cooperative and socially minded people, since the basic market requirement is to put the business above the worker and, where a worker’s interests conflict with those of the business, the worker must give, either in terms of loosing the job or increasing productivity as required. Considerations of happiness, justice, freedom, contentment and fulfilment are secondary…very secondary. Sure, if you can get the productivity up and still keep the workers happy and content, then fine; but it sort of implies that you are not really cut out for the very top and could be going a bit better with the ‘right’ attitude. Capitalist vocabulary – downsizing, re-grading, focusing, rationalising, streamlining, downsizing - and so on - are descriptive of the business taking priority over the worker and ultimately discarding many of them. The current assumption is always that these management people who guard the productivity, have a harder job than most, because being nasty and coercive is not something we naturally get pleasure from (at least most of us). They are sacrificing personal happiness and social popularity so they should therefore get more reward.

I argue with the basic assumption. Why does someone have to do it? The answer is to serve the capitalist system. No other reason. Making your workers make more goods, or sacking until there are less working longer or harder is inherently rewarded because a measure of that very phenomenon is inherent in the system in the form of productivity. Making people happy is only possibly rewarded if it also makes them more productive.

So we gladly subordinate the happiness of the huge majority of mankind to the market imperative of the business and thus to the reward of the capitalist owner. This system produces more and more goods, requiring more and more consumption, as the basic default state. This is illogical from any other standpoint than that of the capitalist owner. From that perspective it is not only logical but required.

Basic Marxist dialectic could be slotted in here quite easily but I’m trying to nuance it a bit better than many revolutionary socialists I know, since the Marxist analyst sat in the crowd producing brilliant analysis of the problem but with increasingly less and less direct relevance to reality, can put people off the whole idea of socialism before they start. I think it often also reveals that the speaker hasn’t understood the goals so much as learned the lessons. Reminds me of the new kid at school who, when the class were reciting their multiplication tables was heard to chant tumpty.tumpty.tumpty repeatedly. When the teacher asks why, he responds – I’ve got the tune OK, but I can’t yet remember the words.
People could certainly build businesses since I am not advocating complete communist equality or anything like it. I assume a basic level of provision and then assume that the individual will then make personal choices as to their own fulfilment and happiness. I would not abolish currency, trade or even wage-slavery should people wish to partake of it, I would simply remove the necessity and (I think) the incentive. Does an inventor invent for the challenge and pleasure of the task or as a mechanism to make money? If it is the second then why, because it seems at best a hedonist delusion and at worst a masochistic personality trait.

Next to the reward incentive argument.
Do you know when you have done something well? I do, unless it is a relatively new skill or task. Do you find that your work environment allows you to get that feeling a lot? If so you are part of a privileged minority. Most people never get that feeling at work and many never get it at all. To me the feeling is the reward and I need no tokens to tell me I did the job well. The fact that I do it well, of course, means that the outcome is superior. It could be, say teaching a class. If I know I have taught well, then the students, by definition, have got the best I can give them. That better be good enough, or I am in the wrong role. What I want is for the majority and theoretically all people to have the right to expect a working life that will allow them to do the job well in their own estimation. That is bound, I think, to mean that the job really is done well and the product is good. It might mean fewer products perhaps a patchy supply of the product or maybe even long periods without that product. So be it.
You might have to give up your fancy fast car and swap for a bike. Or you could invent another way to move around. You could even, I suppose, devise a way to allow car ownership within the community if you wanted. It would only happen, though, if the other members wanted it to since you need agreement- not in the sense that you would not be free to get and drive a car legally or socially, the limit would be your ability to build/obtain the car and arrange a support system of maintenance, fuel and so on to make it run. I have taken transport in the hypothetical here since transport would still be necessary in this system but the amount and therefore availability would be less simply because people would be living and working in the same community or district. Most work related travel is a consequence of good old capitalism again. Sales reps, troubleshooting engineers or managers, corporate businessmen – these are people we associate with travel as part of their job. I’m afraid I would be very happy to see 2 of those 3 roles vanish and the third reduce in number. The trouble-shooter would not be needed if the job was done correctly to start with and fulfilled workers are much more liable to do so. The other 2 are essentially parasitic.

Finally to the waster or layabout.. How would the system deal with someone who decided to stay home, smoke pot, and sleep most of the time? Let them get on with it. Why interfere? The labour lost by that person will not be too much of a problem. Their social interaction will be severely constrained by nature of their choice and they will get either bored, depressed, or maybe they will like it. That is not something most people aspire to though, it is, in my experience, more something people fall into or are pushed into by outside or inside pressures.. Many fall into such patterns of behaviour because of the wage-slave mentality of capitalism once again. If you like or at least get satisfaction from your work then it is enjoyable and why would you want to deprive yourself of it?

Now the person would still have to do the routines ‘chores’ that everyone has. It might be, say, half an hour or an hour doing something such as picking up the shopping for the hospital, painting the walls of the new school, or other communal task which is often today done by immigrants, convicts and people with disabilities. No chores no membership of the community and therefore no dole – food, light, heat, accommodations etc.
Obviously this would not apply to those incapable of contributing such as the profoundly disabled, but most people would be expected to contribute in some way. That in itself is a good method of avoiding the depressed stoned hippy in bed type situation since you can’t stay in bed ALL day, only for (say) 17 hours and you are forced into a minimum level of socialisation and interaction.

I should have emphasised education more but, being an educator, of course I rather assumed it. Education would not only be an entitlement, it would be a requirement until about the same as now – 16 or 18 minimum. It would also be an expectation in later life and I would hope a vibrant social component in the community. A socialist society demands and needs an educated populace to sustain it, otherwise small tyrannies will grow and become large ones for want a general awareness of the problem. The citizen is an active part of the community but education is also an individual requirement. An ignorant person can be happy in their ignorance but to be so wilfully is not to be encouraged or even tolerated since it diminishes the whole community as well as the freedoms and choices of the individual concerned.

In summary, the whole system is predicated on one vital thing. It assumes that people want to be happy and that this is likely to be true as a natural consequence of factors such as involvement; influence; social belonging and usefulness; job satisfaction and control; much more than it is as a result of comparative wealth, material overabundance, conspicuous consumption with very little control or real influence outside the family.

Regards
Chris
Asgardsfall
Yay Questions...

The Philosopher Princess wrote:
The area of rights of individuals versus the right of the government to exist -- and whether these rights ever conflict


I try to present my philosophy on two levels. The one level being it at its purest, ie how it should and could be, and secondly how it may concede to the reality and imperfections of day to day existence.

To answer your question directly, at the purest level for a properly run government these rights do not ever conflict, citizens recognise the need to give resources and do so freely, at a more realistic level there is a paradox at work and “do not ever conflict”, becomes “should not ever conflict”.

In the beginning Government did not exist. There was natural law, survival of the fittest, pick your favorite. Eventually people started to live together rather than kill on sight.

Its when they decide to stop killing each other they must decide upon the rules. And that is what we are doing now.

My society adopts the primary philosophy. It states each individual has total freedom to do whatever they like provided it does not encroach upon any rights of others.

In its purest sense conflict does not exist. With no encroachment of rights there is no conflict. Everyone could just get on together living a good old harmonious life as nature intended.

We all know that life doesn't work like that. If the crop of farmer A failed and his family were going to starve what is farmer B to do?
From my understanding of Bikerman's philosophy, he would say farmer B whose crop didn't fail would say, “well neighbor, I have some crops you can share. How about I give you some this winter and maybe you can help be plant my fields next year ... and while we are at it I will help you plant yours”.

It does not seem that members who have adopted Bikerman's society's mindset would say 'No' (although I am prepared to be corrected on this)
But people in reality can say 'No,' and my society protects their right to say 'No' to another individual, even if it means they would die.

From my understanding of Rwojick, he might say ... Farmer A would beg Farmer B for food, if farmer B said 'No,' Farmer A would beg Farmer C, if everyone said 'No' Farmer A could then justifiably steal the food as he has a right to life, if anyone gets in the way he has the the right to wage war upon them.

Under my philosophy * ahem * farmer A would starve. Clearly something more is needed for my position. Essentially Bikerman's philosophy could stop there, assuming everyone was of the same mindset.

In Rwojick's case he creates a legal system to set rules which are perceived as being fair and just. This prevents the waging of war, but does not fix the fact that farmer A was going to starve if a law to prevent starvation had not been written yet. If there was no such law, he does have a system within which to work where he can instigate action to put food on farmer B's table should his crop ever fail, but it will of course be too late for Farmer A, who will already have died of starvation before the completion of Due Process.

A citizenry under my philosophy will recognise there is self benefit to establishing an entity to ensure no member of society can justifiably breech another's rights. They will decide that it is better to loose one apple to a food reserve than to loose 10, to starving farmers. It is Government's role to administer the reserve according to the need and judgment of its administrators, it is also Government's role to minimise the risk of crop failure. It is Governments Primary Role to eliminate justifiable crimes of need.

The system initially works very much like insurance. A mass of voluntary contributors provide a pool of resources that are distributed to a few in need. The difference is the symbiotic relationship which results between the Government and the people. The people willed the Government into existence, it is an entity with a mandate and a role to fulfill. Failure it is role will mean individuals may again justifiably commit crimes of need.

The citizens have now bound themselves into a Catch 22 situation. By creating Government they agreed to contribute 1 apple per year for the common pool out of their own self interest, the Government can now reasonably expect to receive a certain number of apples per year with which to do its work. Failure by the government to fulfill its role means it is breaching others right to the elimination of crimes of need. To fulfill its role to survive, and to ensure everybody's rights are maintained it needs and has the right to a set level of resources.

Princess, you ask does and individual have the right to stop contributing apples? The answer is no, and the answer however is a paradox. While the individual has the right not to contribute, not contributing means more apples are required from other individuals, thus breeching the right of other individuals to only contribute only one apple. So... not contributing apples breeches the primary philosophy.
I also point out that if a Government requires only one apple but asks for two it is abusing its power and is starting to walk the road of illigitimacy.

the Philosophical Princess wrote:
Does this not presuppose that every government “once created” has the right to do whatever it deems necessary to survive (and grow and conquer)?


You place too much emphasis on survive, by survive I mean exist. I have previously stated

Asgardsfall wrote:
I believe Government should strive for mediocrity. It should have a background role in people lives, preserving their rights and freedoms. As an entity it should not provide for needs that do not exist


A Governments role is not to “grow and conquer” these are WANTS ie NEEDS that do not exist.

The Philosopher Princess wrote:
Can it really legitimately (using your definition) demand sufficient resources to protect this right?


The answer to this is “Yes and No – Depending on what it needs the resources for.”

If a Government which chooses to adopt a role of Growth and Conquest (it should not, but those darn people, their attitudes keep changing) it still cannot compel people who do not wish to participate to do so. For example it could accept volunteers into the army but it could not exercise the draft for an offensive war, however as a point of contrast in the event of defense it could compel a draft, in the interests of its survival and its ability to continue fulfilling its primary role. At the pure theoretical level all citizens would volunteer for defense anyway, and this does not mean offense as the best form of defense.

I should also point out, before someone else does that a Government should not act in an offensive manner anyway.

Asgardsfall wrote:
Government should ... act on the international stage with other Governments in the same manner and {with the same} expectations as does with its citizens


Correcting my own quotes ... how pitiful.

The Philosopher Princess wrote:
A mere 10 years from the time a government is created (let’s say by an overwhelming majority in the “proper” way as you’d envision), the individuals who are impacted by that government have changed considerably. The longer time goes on, the more the individuals affected changes.

Many will have moved away or died or become incapacitated. Another group will have become of age and now reap the consequences of a government imposed before they were old enough to choose. The rest have matured by 10 years, learned a lot (hopefully) and had attitude changes. Many will have discovered what they perceive as faults in the government system that couldn’t be seen when it was first discussed and implemented


What you describe is the shortcomings in the form of Government chosen, the Primary Role and Primary Philosophy are axiomatic, if these are discarded then we are not talking about my Philosophy.
Should the people choose to overthrow them anyway for the reasons outlined above concerning a Governments right to exist, it would be an unjustified change... but a change nonetheless.

More likely it is the form of Government that changes, this is something the people decide and it is something that can be anything provided the Government follows the Primary Philosophy and can fulfill its Primary Role.

Picture the Government as a giant hula hoop encompassing its people. It requires effort from everyone for it to stay in motion, but it is the people who decide what colour hoop they use, in what direction and how fast they let it spin, so long as the common goal is maintained, to keep it spinning.

Finally
The Philisophical Princess wrote:
Also, earlier you used the term “voluntary” but it seemed to be in the same sense that the tax-man claims the income tax is voluntary. (“If you refuse to volunteer, we’ll seize your assets and throw you in jail.”) Maybe you use “voluntary” differently?


I believe I have covered most of this above however I do not believe I set any punishments other than saying that the Government may enact an infringement of rights equal to that committed as the crime. I specifically said not an eye for an eye.

A resource tax in support of the Primary Role of Government is mandatory for the reasons outlined above, but also negligible when compared, like an insurance premium to the value of the item(service) covered. It is not a level which is a burden to anyone, and those who are needy are in fact the recipients. Should a Government choose to adopt additional services these should not be tax funded but rather adopted on a user pays basis. (“Hello Economic Philosophy”)

I think this covers most of what you asked in a round about sort of way.
Regards
rwojick
First off, I notice that no one has refuted my argument that I was denied due process. I used all true statements and you can't, no atter who you are. Second, I noticed that the Princess is sticking to her original plan to 1) end the contest when she wants to 2) end the process in one week and 3) continue the contest after one week and end it when she wants to again. <my eye is getting tired from all this winking>

Second off, I noticed the reference to the "chronically needy". This reminds me of the big fat guy who said to the little skinny guy, "from the looks of you it looks like there has been a famine". And the little skinny guy replied, "from the looks of you it looks like you CAUSED IT!"

When I was a child, many, many years ago real estate was the best investment any family could make in the US. It ALWAYS appreciated n value, somethimes faster than others, but it always went up.

When I was in my 30's I started to notice that the price of homes was way higher than the price of wages and rents. I could not justify entering the market.

But I also noticed that people who bought an overpriced house at $110,000 could sell it to a "bigger sucker" for $125,000 and make a 15,000 profit, financed by the bank. Then, they could do it again for 125 to 135 and make another profit, simply by finding another "bigger sucker".

Anyways, in the late 80's, I believe, all of real estate was totally overpriced and the US Government put the "Resolution Trust Corporation" into effect and you can look this name up on the internet.

Donald Trump and many many others turned their real estate into the goverment and walked away from GAZILLIONS in debt that they could never repay. Donald was upside down 900 million as docuemted in his book "The art of the Deal", and I hold nothing personal against "the Donald" and I think he is a good guy. He will be a huge asset should we choose "eliminate homelessness" with some "deft bookkeeping".

See, "real estate" has to do with "housing" and there is no worse "health care" than having "to sleep in the rain". Crime would go down too, if people were not "on the street" and "desparate".

In order to correct I think we have to let the wealthy keep what they have as they tend to be terribly thrifty and I have worked that into my plan. This play would have "democracy at its base" and a "controled form of capitalism" to handle money matters. And that is the same system as we have today...
The Philosopher Princess
I’ve posted a couple notes on the sibling thread. Smile
Asgardsfall
@ MadeInIndia

MadeInIndia wrote:
And Princess, Education can only be good, not bad.

I'm curious, how does Misinformation, Propaganda and Conditioning fit into you view of Education.
Could you not say that Education is only as good as the teacher or the quality of the source.?
Consider this leading source of news and current affairs .... www.theonion.com
billys
Firstly, thanks for your replies they were really beneficial for me.

Ok, I would like to reply, for startets, to Asgardsfall.

Asgardsfall wrote:

You refer to "International associations". I note you use an "s" meaning more than one. There is no guarantee they will have the same agenda.
I refer for a crude probably historically inaccurate example "The Axis" and "The League of Nations". Each organisation will indeed have some common ground for its members but these goals may not encourage coexistance .


I guess the "s" at the end may be risky and I agree with you about the cotrevertial benefits that each association may have with another.
But, I would like to tell you what I was thinking while I created this opinion in mind.
Well, I thought about all of the wars and the aggressive behavior of countries, organizations, groups e.t.c. I also had in mind the U.N. and the passive behavior it had in so many wars and issues that leaded to the international society to just stare at cruelties and the violation of the human rights. In addition, I had in mind all of the woderful actions of the U.N. that helped thousands. This, came me to believe that if this global association (and maybe others, "s") could behave as a global protection of the human. However, this will only take place if this association is empowered even more, reduce the corruption and not work for a country or countries, but for all. It may sound as an utopia, but I trust that this is the way we must lean to and try to reach. It may never become true but only if people of all nations try to make it reality it will be much better than the current situation.

Asgardsfall wrote:

Additionally, I do not believe that opening borders makes everyone equal.
I risk being severely corrected here but it is my understanding that this is similar to what is happening to the European Union. It is possible (so I have been told) for a citizen of say Slovakia to freely move and seek employment in England. Although all member citizens are all equal in theory, I understand there is some resistance from the natives against this sudden influx of immigrants seeking a higher standard of living.
"a decrease in tension" ... I think not.



I see your point about the, maybe, negative consequences about the opening of boarders between Unions. To tell the truth I had in mind the same example the European Union. I see that you believe that the influx of immigrants may not result in the decrease in tension, (although I had another thing in mind) I don't see the reason why it won't. I don't quite understand why and I would be happy if I could hear more of this idea.

I think that the opening of boarders is mostly possitive because people people have the chance to live in other countries , travel freely, study [now that we are talking about England billions of euros every year and influxed in the country by students, (I heard only students from my country (Greece) offer a couple of billions)]. This offers the chance for the increase in global economy, the understanding of different cultures and the bonding of them, the enrichment of tradition, knowledge and culture.

I totally, 1000%, agree with the fact that it is not only possitive and has a number of negative issues to talk about. Like if an "extremely vast" amount of immigrants influx in the country in a really short notice of time, or issues such as criminality and that the coutries are more exposed to the bad influences from other countries e.t.c. However, it seems to me that it is more good than bad.


Asgardsfall wrote:

With regards to your third point ..... *sob* why? *sob* I love my cars. I realise there would be some environmental benefit but isnt your suggestion a solution to the symptom, not the problem. With only public transport available more would be required. Currently congested systems would get worse what about the cumulative waste of people time as they queue for tickets, wait for busses etc?
Where do you draw the line on the elimination of personal transport? Would I be allowed my bike? It would still require roads and cause congestion. Perhaps a skooter or a skateboard? "ONLY" is a big word.

I'll leave your second point alone. as I dont understand how you define "Union"


Yes, I also agree that "ONLY" is a big word and that my idea may have been a bit cofusing and ill-explained.
Personanly, I live in a city in Athens and that is why this idea short of came to me. I don't believe that the elimination of cars is the issue but the reducement of them as much as possible. I guess the "enviromentalist monster" bursted from inside me. But, I am concerned about the Global Warning and the pollution in general and as combustion is the main responsible for the air pollution I guess it came to me. Also, I read in the biggest newspaper in my country "Kathimerini" of some statistics that were scary.
This statistics come from the ICCT the International Climate Change Taskforce that claim ( I will tell you the most shocking) that if ice reduces as it does today at 2060 there will be no ice at the Artic Cirlce. Also, the article claimed that president Bush at his speech (that gives every year at the Americal Nation), he spent 2 minutes and 15 seconds to talk about enviromental issues and that was for the indipendance of America in energy.

I would like to thank you again for your responce and I guess that these issues need a lot of conversation and are difficult to take place in a forum. Also,sorry but I will try to answer to the The Philosopher Princess when I find the time to.
eggg
The first duty of any decent political philosophy should be to protect and preserve the Earth.

Since governing according to religion has led to so much bloodshed over the thousands of years, it's best to keep religion a matter of individual choice. Since faith in religion depends on uncomfirmable beliefs and ideas, the government should pay heed to what is observable and confirmable by the senses of man, namely science. Since science asserts that we originate in the Earth, that life as we know it cannot exist without the Earth, the preservation of the Earth and its ecosystems should be the highest priority of government.

I believe the second duty of government is to protect people from exploitation and violence. Crimes involving murder, theft, rape, kidnapping, intentional destruction of property, etc. should obviously be punished by imprisonment. However, the focus of imprisonment should be rehabilitation. I believe that criminal law should stick to this sort of vice and avoid regulating culture (gambling, drugs, etc.) because I'm convinced that outlawing non-violent crime increases violent crime and has a negative overall effect on society.

Economically, I believe that government should combine the first and second principles. I believe in well-regulated capitalism, because the economy should be a collaboration of all the nation's people, not just the brainchild those officials in charge of a socialist state, or those bigwigs in charge of a too-rich, too-powerful corporation.

To protect the Earth, the production of materials which do not biodegrade should be outlawed, pollution in general should be punishable by the dissolution of a corporate charter, food production should be localized wherever possible to reduce the need for shipping, and the planning of urban environments should be as efficient and non-intrusive to the local ecosystems as possible. To protect the people from exploitation, corporate power should be greatly limited, the minimum wage should be set very high, as should taxes on the wealthy (demand-side economics), the formation of unions should be unimpeded, and corporate personhood should be soundly rejected.

That about sums it up for me.
The Philosopher Princess
@ eggg

That’s fun to have a new political philosophy show up! Very Happy Unfortunately, the deadline for new entrants has past. Please share more thinkings anyway as you can, because, really, that's the important thing going on here.

Here are a few questions, but please elaborate as you see fit; in less than 2 days from now, this topic will be temporarily locked, so there is not much time to elicit more until after the contest is over and we go back to discussion.
~~~~~~~~~~
eggg wrote:
The first duty of any decent political philosophy should be to protect and preserve the Earth.

If Earth is most important, then everything else is less important, right? Including human beings? Am I to understand that your philosophy puts a higher priority on protecting Earth than protecting humans? Would you please give us as precise a definition as you can for the term Earth as you use it?

From what I can tell, you want to protect both Earth and humans, in general, so that is being assumed. But in the cases where there are competing needs by both, you want Earth protected first; is that right?

To give a really extreme hypothetical example on purpose: If it turned out that if humans continued to carry on “as they have”, then Earth would be “hurt” by those human actions (given your interpretations of those things), then does your philosophy hold that it would be “better” if humans were eliminated so that Earth would not be hurt anymore?
~~~~~~~~~~
eggg wrote:
Since governing according to religion has led to so much bloodshed over the thousands of years, it's best to keep religion a matter of individual choice.

Sounds reasonable off-hand! What are real-life examples of societies “governing according to religion”? And what are real-life examples of societies that have not, or do not, “govern... according to religion”? For example, does the US, the UK, Iraq, Iran, and others you’d care to list -- which of those do or don’t “govern... according to religion”?
~~~~~~~~~~
eggg wrote:
Crimes involving murder, theft, rape, kidnapping, intentional destruction of property, etc. should obviously be punished by imprisonment.

How does your philosophy plan for such violent crimes to be accurately judged? (I realize you are separating violent crimes from non-violent crimes, but this is a separate question.) Are there not real-life cases where people have been convicted incorrectly? How does your system work towards maximalizing correct convictions, or are today’s judicial systems basically good enough?
~~~~~~~~~~
eggg wrote:
I believe in well-regulated capitalism

With some definitions that would be considered an oxymoron in that the essence of capitalism includes freedom to be entrepreneurial, etc., while well-regulated would seem to work against that. Please explain further how your statement, nevertheless, makes sense in your philosophy and the world.
~~~~~~~~~~
How does your ideal government get funded?

Would you say that “size” of your ideal government is smaller, about the same, or larger than <please fill in the blank as you see fit>?
~~~~~~~~~~
Thanks for showing up with good thinking!
The Philosopher Princess
Oops! At first I thought that eggg could be a contestant, but later I realized that the deadline had past by the time eggg’s new, considerable, philosophy showed up. I’ve edited my introduction in the above post accordingly.
Patsferpatrick
aha, this will be fun

The idea of the American goverment is to provide a system of checks and balances in which a goverment of representatves governs the body of people, but even so, power is being shifted around the goverment and we will eventually head down the path of Rome. Imperialistic presidencies are the start, George Bush is an Example, he has several times used the phrase "As the President of the United States of American I have the authority" when in fact he has no such power and no one questions him simply because he is the president.

In a perfect world, the goverment would not control the people, but the people would control the goverment. I think that when a president is elected a bomb should be strapped to him and every citizen of the country provided with a button to that bomb. There by restricting the power of the presidency to what the people deem acceptable. Taxes would no longer exist, and unnessessary goverment spending would be replaced by one man forced to work to keep himself alive. The glamour of the office would be reduced, but would help keep our goverment under control.
Asgardsfall
Patsferpatrick

Let me help deepen the philosophy you have shared with us ....

What colour would the bomb be?
The Philosopher Princess
@ Patsferpatrick

At first I wasn’t sure if it was a philosophy you were offering, but then it became apparent to me that it was. Is its main goal to have the top leader of the government be fully accountable to the people? What are its other goals?

Your idea of an extreme direct accountability of the president to the people reminds me of some of today’s extreme direct (so-called) reality television shows, where the “reality stars” are voted off by the people watching. In both cases, there can be the adventure of what’s going to happen next? I do wonder about your claim that.....

Patsferpatrick wrote:
The glamour of the office would be reduced

Given my spotlight on your idea, could it be that the glamour would actually be increased?

Despite the humor of the picture you’ve vividly painted for us of the president carrying out your political philosophy (and despite my reality-show comparisons), I see validity of actual principles in what you’ve offered. However, they come only by digging through the metaphors and scooping out some analogies. For, wouldn’t you expect that -- if literally implemented -- your idea would have the president’s button pushed within the first split second? So, what’s its real point? Smile

And so, ultimately, the question to you is: Are you only being humorous, or are you at all serious? And if the latter, what are some serious parts to the philosophy? (If the former, then that discussion goes on the sibling thread.)
The Philosopher Princess
This thread is temporarily locked (along with its sibling topic) during political philosophy contest deliberations. Please do not despair, for both topics will be re-opened for discussion within hopefully a week.

Now you have some time to work out what you’re going to post here later. Very Happy
The Philosopher Princess
{ANALYSES OF POLITICAL PHILOSOPHIES}

[Editors Note: In ancient Greek mythology, Analysis was the obsessive-compulsive evil twin of Ulysses, and Ulysses was the first name of U.S. Grant, the famous American Civil War General and President, whose name, U.S. Grant, also means a federal government grant, which is a political give-away of taxpayer money that is sought by special interest groups, fought over in elections, and is often the root cause of famous bribery scandals, such as the ones that brought down the Grant Administration. Actually, all of that is true except that Greek mythology doesn’t mention Analysis. I just thought I’d jumpstart these analyses off on a different foot Smile.]
~~~~~~~~~~
Now let me get serious about my analyses. Over the last week after the contest and discussion was temporarily closed, I carefully went through each political philosophy that was presented, and analyzed its strengths, weaknesses, and presentation, according to its own merits. I did this at first, one-by-one, for each philosophy without considering the competing political philosophies.

While it’s true that I’d read all the topics’ posts along the way, and re-read many to devise questioning, I didn’t want to do any customized considerations or so-called deliberations for judging until after all entries were posted and the contest closed for more posts. This was to attempt to ensure that I equally considered and pondered all philosophies, keeping all equally fresh in my mind at once. That’s also why I have taken a good amount of time between the topics being temporarily locked and my re-opening them with the analyses, here, and the awards put over on the contest topic.

Originally, I started writing these analysis notes strictly for myself, in order to focus my attention on the roots of each presentation, so as to be able to base my contest judging on real substantive issues. As this progressed, I realized that it could be beneficial to the contestants, and possibly interesting to all the readers of this thread. So I have put some of my notes in a postable form to share. As you’d expect, what you find in the analyses below, are not all my personal notes.

During the contest I questioned the contestants, and watched as others questioned and challenged, but refrained from giving my own analysis (or opinions) of the philosophies because that might have changed the flow of the contest. As some of you realize, I can ask very pointed questions without revealing my own personal political philosophy. In my meta-philosopher mode, I am comfortable judging the merits of communism and capitalism, totalitarianism and anarchy, democracy, aristocracy, monarchy, constitutionalism, and everything in-between. I do this while attempting to be careful to keep my own political philosophy on the sidelines so that it doesn’t interfere with the judging of others.

Other good questioners can do that as well, and they were very welcomed.
~~~~~~~~~~
This has turned out to be quite a contest. Here we have 18 contest entries; 18 competing political philosophies; 18 thoughtful people who have sincerely put forth their ideas of what a superior political philosophy would be. We also have some serious questioning of each and every competing political philosophy, and the ensuing back-and-forth arguments for and against many of them. This is not to mention how much thinkings might have been (and still could be) inspired by the posters’ readers.

This contest has caused the creation of a wealth of knowledge, assertions, facts, evidence, and logical reasoning supporting and/or opposing various political systems and their implementation.
~~~~~~~~~~
In the analyses, below, as I mentioned, I have focused on each political philosophy separately. The deliberations to compare and contrast philosophies and presentations against each other came at a later stage. Next, I give a short general summary/synopsis of each philosophy, point out some strengths and weaknesses, discuss some of the best points of the presentations, and offer some suggestions for improvement or advancement. These notes are not meant to be comprehensive of each contest entry, but are merely some thoughts. There were many relevant questions posted by challengers that were not addressed, and these are mostly not reiterated here.

I hope this will be beneficial to the contestants, and to everybody who is seriously considering the issues of who should govern, how they should govern, what form of government might be beneficial, and how to prevent government from being detrimental.

The order of the contestant philosophers next is the order of their first post. I split them into 3 posts, in case that is easier for readers.
The Philosopher Princess
{ANALYSES OF PHILOSOPHIES -- PART 1}

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Contestant #1: Philosopher: NjRocket

{Synopsis}

This philosophy is one of government control, requiring secrecy, opting for security over freedom, and claiming that chaos would be the result of not having a strong government.

This is a very statist, almost Machiavellian, proponent of government having lots of power and using it to control the people to keep them safe and secure (and presumably happier than if the government were weaker).

{Strengths in Philosophy}

This would create a society with structure, control, and regulation, with a strong government that could protect its people, and its power base. There would be no crime or political unrest tolerated.

If it were well managed, and fairly administered, it could be a comfortable existence for the majority of its people, and certainly secure for its ruling class.

{Potential Weaknesses in Philosophy}

Questioner Indi put it quite well.

to NjRocket, Indi wrote:
Basically, it sounds like you are describing a government that has the right to do what it wants, when it wants, how it wants - whatever it takes for the sake of the "country". It can start wars and send citizens to die in those wars, and the citizens have no say. It can manipulate information and keep things from the citizens - even if that leads to the death of citizens. All for the good of the country. Is that what you're suggesting?

And of course, the ultimate question of government: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who watches the watchers?)

Without having an idea of how these questions might be answered, it leaves the philosophy vulnerable in an important area. If “watchers” aren’t “watched” “properly”, then the rest of the philosophical plan might be ruined.

{Strengths in Presentation}

This first contestant had the courage to start, to put a philosophy out there for everybody to study and criticize -- and get the ball rolling!

For a short post, there was actually quite a bit of high-level content and many things to think about that likely helped to get other Frihosters to question this, and post their own philosophies.

{Suggestions}

This philosophy, as presented, needs some fleshing out. For us to have a clue of how it could work, at least some details supporting the high-level goals would be needed.

Interested readers would want to know whether the advocate believes just-in is correct with the following.....

to NjRocket, just-in wrote:
What you suggest is a Dictator type of government which has control over the citizen

.....and if so, why the Dictator approach is best (other than just preventing “chaos”), or if not, why does it appear to be Dictator-consistent? If it is supposed to be another form of Totalitarian government ruled by a group rather than one Dictator, readers would want to know whether that would make any difference to the vast majority of people.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Contestant #2: Philosopher: smartass.id.au

{Synopsis}

This philosophy combines the 3 concepts of (1) The Golden Rule (do unto others as you would want done unto you), (2) the “greatest good for the greatest number”, and (3) survival as the root of all life.

The philosophy advocate also stressed that.....
smartass.id.au wrote:
Philosophy comes first
.....and.....
smartass.id.au wrote:
You gotta think thru in a structured, logical manner before setting rules in law.

{Strengths in Philosophy}

At the very highest level, most people would be hard-pressed to disagree with the goals of this philosophy (as also mentioned in my synopsis of it).

Having common goals at that level would at least get people on the same page for the “first page” of the philosophy; then, hopefully, that would set a good precedent for debating the “subsequent pages” of the philosophy, where disagreements might be had. (Compare this approach to philosophies whose goals are debatable immediately.)

{Potential Weaknesses in Philosophy}

As questioner Indi pointed out, there is a dilemma between the 3 main concepts of this philosophy, namely that The Golden Rule could conflict with the “greatest good for the greatest number”, and that both of these could conflict with the survival root. We don’t know how the philosopher would attempt to reconcile these.

{Strengths in Presentation}

Even without having the potential conflicts resolved, the marriage of the 3 main points with the requirement for logical implementation gave us a real political philosophy to consider. It’s interesting that even without more depth, this philosophy is presented such that many of us would be able to imagine how we would fill in that depth. In summary, it was a great start.

{Suggestions}

The critiquer is left wondering what the advocate would consider to be the “subsequent pages” of this philosophy, so that we all could compare ours. As challenger Indi said to smartass.id.au, “Philosophy is, at best, a moving target.”

The best suggestion is probably the simple request: “give us more”.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Contestant #3: Philosopher: MadeinIndia

{Synopsis}

MadeinIndia presented a political philosophy based on secular humanism (keeping religion out of government), with a very strong emphasis on education, a call to protect the earth (nature), with individual freedom, and participatory democracy where every citizen is required to vote on every proposed law.

{Strengths in Philosophy}

Strengths include taking control out of the hands of government officials (who are relatively few in number) and special interests (including religions), and having a well informed populace.

{Potential Weaknesses in Philosophy}

A major weakness is the contradiction between, on the one hand, individual freedom and, on the other hand, forced voting, mandatory population control, and making whatever the majority decides into law (which is bound to conflict sometimes, if not often, with what individuals actually want).

Also, it is still unclear how education can be carried out when there is so much disagreement on what constitutes what education should be. To say that....

MadeinIndia wrote:
Education can only be good, not bad.

.....might be incomplete or it might be a valid assertion, if we knew the response to challenges such as the following:

to MadeinIndia, Asgardsfall wrote:
I'm curious, how does Misinformation, Propaganda and Conditioning fit into you view of Education. Could you not say that Education is only as good as the teacher or the quality of the source.? Consider this leading source of news and current affairs .... http://www.theonion.com/

{Strengths in Presentation}

Self-consistency of the philosopher’s points, and a re-hashing of them in different ways was a positive worthwhile approach, since sometimes people are better able to grasp a principle in one way but not other ways.

The upbeat pictures painted in readers’ minds, the scattering of statements such as.....
MadeinIndia wrote:
A society where people will be happy, helpful to each other and live in harmony.
.....throughout, can make one very interested in continuing to study the rest of the philosophy.

{Suggestions}

The presentation was somewhat rambling and disorganized. The underlying philosophy would benefit from a little more organization to be better understood as a coherent political philosophy rather than a number of possibly very good, but disjointed, ideas. In other words, if the vast amount of philosophical descriptions were re-ordered and possibly put under sub-headings, it might come across better.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Contestant #4: Philosopher: Rico

{Synopsis}

Rico presented a very short argument for anarchy, the total elimination of government, on the grounds that political power is generally used by the ruling class (Rico: “lawyers” / “politicians” / “vampires”) to suck the substance from the people.

{Strengths in Philosophy}

If one believes that government is inherently evil, and is more often the cause of problems than the solution, it makes sense to eliminate it, and this was called for nicely.

{Potential Weaknesses in Philosophy}

There was no explanation of how anarchy could work in the real world, nor why it would not lead to just as many life-sucking “vampires”.

{Strengths in Presentation}

This presentation was passionate and seemingly sincerely based on personal feelings and experience. It was quite catchy in its wording.

{Suggestions}

The presentation’s catchiness could easily suck in the interest of readers, who, left hanging, would likely cry out for more support, please!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Contestant #5: Philosopher: Idoru

{Synopsis}

This is a philosophy of individual responsibility, small self-governing societies, and tolerance for each other, with limited government controls.

This statement by the advocate sums it up nicely:
Idoru wrote:
I'm all for small self-gouverned societies living more or less independent of eachother. All create their own standards, laws and gouverment, but comes togeather in equal respect for the other societies right to exist within some terms.

{Strengths in Philosophy}

A major strength in this argument is that there would be many different societies so that if somebody wasn’t happy with the structure of one he or she could move to another.

The concept of all of the societies (governments) remaining small and with localized control, and none of them being able to conquer others, is nice, and would make the world a more peaceful place, if it could be implemented.

{Potential Weaknesses in Philosophy}

The main goals were set, but the path(s) to get there were missing. There was no explanation of how the system could be implemented, or how it would really work, so we are left with serious gaps.

{Strengths in Presentation}

Idoru showed sincerity and thoughtfulness, with a personal touch. This wasn’t just a political philosophy, but also a wish to see a more copasetic world, with people (and societies) living in harmony with nature and each other.

{Suggestions}

One suggestion would be to address how such a society, as the philosopher envisions, would deal with major social issues such as education, transportation, property ownership, crime, security, trade, and resolving disputes between people and groups.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Contestant #6: Philosopher: Bikerman

{Synopsis}

This philosopher advocated anarcho-syndicalism, a system of limited government based on the socialist philosophy of people being provided with all necessities and the local level administration being formed of “worker councils”, which would be federated regionally.

{Strengths in Philosophy}

Some strengths of this system are the diffusion of power to localized organic communities, and supposed freedom of individuals.

As advocated:
Bikerman wrote:
This, it seems to me, is a sensible and fair way to organise a post-industrial society, being based on individual freedoms, collective responsibilities and social cohesion.

And if people’s needs really were taken care of as described, that would be a major force towards a well-organized world.

{Potential Weaknesses in Philosophy}

One large weakness of anarcho-syndicalism is that it ignores the motivation factor and assumes that people will do the work that is needed even if their own needs are not affected by their productivity or lack thereof.

{Strengths in Presentation}

This was a thorough and thought-provoking presentation that was well defended with good answers to challenges, and based on research and quotes. The many long posts are worthy of re-reading.

{Suggestions}

Some thought about market forces, the science of economics, and how a system without economic rewards could function in the real world would greatly improve this philosophy.

To our very thinking advocate, Bikerman, and really everyone else, I suggest reading From Marx to Mises by David Ramsay Steele, which I believe will inspire even more needed thinking; the book can help to point out some of the philosophical holes admitted by earlier like-minded thinkers. For one thing, to be a more complete philosophy, the issue of the Economic Calculation Problem needs to be addressed in one way or another.
The Philosopher Princess
{ANALYSES OF PHILOSOPHIES -- PART 2}

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Contestant #7: Philosopher: raghu.steppenwolf

{Synopsis}

It would be difficult to summarize better than this philosophy’s author:

raghu.steppenwolf wrote:
Here's my two cents on this really big question: a quote. "To discuss which form of government is best is a debate for fools; That government is the best which is administered best!"

It’s unknown, but possible, that consistent with this advocate’s assertion is a belief that governments -- even very different governments -- aren’t bad in and of themselves with their often worthy ideals; but it’s the administration of those ideals that makes things not work well. If so, concentrating on good administration is the key.

{Strengths in Philosophy}

If the summary is assumed to be correct, a strength of this philosophy is that there is one main area of focus, which would presumably encompass all other needed areas. And even though administration of governments is relatively big, it is easier to grasp than many philosophies with multitudes of areas to address.

{Potential Weaknesses in Philosophy}

If a government were tyrannical and horrible, but administered perfectly, would that be the “best” government? The lack of an answer to this question is a weakness of the philosophy.

{Strengths in Presentation}

There was simplicity.

{Suggestions}

Obviously what is needed is a fuller explanation and a defense of this provocative position.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Contestant #8: Philosopher: rwojick

{Synopsis}

The ideal expressed is that the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the Justice System they portray are perfect, and that if properly administered, they would lead to true “liberty and justice for all” as envisioned by the USA founders.

{Strengths in Philosophy}

This system has been implemented in real life, is the basis of one of the largest, most prosperous, and “freest” countries on earth.

It is based on founding documents of political philosophy with voluminous support documentation, and includes rules that are supposed to keep the government from becoming tyrannical. It has lasted more than 200 years, which is longer than any other system of governance currently on earth.

{Potential Weaknesses in Philosophy}

The modern version of U.S. political reality violates most portions of the documents, and certainly of the philosophy, and of the founders. This calls into question the strength of the documents. If these documents and the system based on them was so perfect, why weren’t they able to prevent the system from violating the original philosophy?

If the US Constitution was really an enforceable set of rules, and the Bill of Rights was really a protection against government tyranny, then people such as Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, George Bush (both of them), and the many legislators and justices and corrupt politicians, couldn’t violate it and pass laws that violate it. A weakness of the proposed philosophy is that it doesn’t include a viable method of preventing gross changes and extreme deterioration of the professed philosophy.

A careful look at the Bill of Rights will show that they are no longer enforced against government, and that people cannot rely on them for protection. Recent “Anti-Terrorism” legislation has removed what protections the “Drug Wars” hadn’t already eliminated.

One who bases an entire political philosophy on the grounds that these documents are exemplary, needs to explain how a bunch of fools of all genders got around them and ruined the system that was based on those documents.

{Strengths in Presentation}

The presenter did a good job of advocating the U.S. system, as expressed by the Constitution. His explanations and defense of said system were often eloquent, and at times inspired. His knowledge of it seems adequate, and his passion is unmistakable.

There is no question that rwojick is sincere and adamant in the belief that this is the best political/justice system on earth, which is a good way to present what one believes.

{Suggestions}

The presentation contained a lot of repetition of a few points; such points would be newly stated but without new substance. So, eliminating the often restated same assertions, while adding depth to those few would make for a more complete philosophy.

The issue of gender bias was often cited but never defended with any logic. An oft-repeated one-person example (even a politician) does not describe a natural law principle. So, this philosopher could be more persuasive on his believed principles related to gender by adding additional cases and by offering reasoning for why there are the supposed differences in “leadership” by the 2 genders.

Sometimes personal experience can boost a philosophical presentation when it includes examples of general principles of human actions, but it doesn’t make for a political philosophy in and of itself. Therefore, it is suggested to significantly decrease the personal examples, while beefing up the explanations for how those personal examples fit into the bigger picture.

In summary, it would be better to stick to discussion of the proposed political philosophy, rather than focusing on an isolated case of miscarriage of justice and on the seeming non-issue of gender bias.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Contestant #9: Philosopher: LeviticusMky

{Synopsis}

Here we are presented with a system of aristocracy, or “rule by the best”, combined with an adjusted democracy, where the most educated vote in all elections, those with medium degrees of education vote in state and local elections, and those with minimal education only get to vote in local elections.

{Strengths in Philosophy}

There is wisdom in the proposal to have those who know the most about an area of governance make the rules.

Likewise, it seems to be a good idea not to let an ignorant majority rule over things they don’t understand.

This system would eliminate some of the problems caused by “mob rule” democracy, and the sort of politics that panders to the fears and prejudices of ignorant people.

{Potential Weaknesses in Philosophy}

A major weakness is that having those who are most involved making the rules for their particular areas of interest, creates huge conflicts of interest.

Another drawback is that it rewards those who rise through the education system and keeps those who don’t excel in the education system out of power. So, it would be in the interest of the education system to flunk those who show a tendency to limit the power (or budget) of the education system, which, under these proposed philosophical guidelines, would have tremendous power.

{Strengths in Presentation}

The one description was very easy to follow and flowed from the first main point (a customized aristocracy) to the second main point (a customized democracy) very smoothly.

It was also a nice touch to admit areas where the philosophy was not “an ideal situation”, while including the parts that did appear to be ideal.

{Suggestions}

This is a case where some potentially good ideas were presented, but needed more follow-up, including some explanations of how some of the problems of the system would be handled.

Including answers to questions such as the following would enhance the presentation:
make_life_better wrote:
Is this not also somewhat lazy - what is to stop most people most of the time just not bothering to think for themselves, because there is almost always the equivalent of "the doctor" to make decisions for them?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Contestant #10: Philosopher: Lennon

{Synopsis}

This system, justly termed “utopian” by its advocator, would have.....
Lennon wrote:
a common wealth of people, all individually minded but of perfect discipline, where legislation is no longer required

{Strengths in Philosophy}

If one believes that government is inherently evil, and is more often the cause of problems than the solution, it makes sense to eliminate it.

{Potential Weaknesses in Philosophy}

The need for people to become perfect before the system could be implemented is, of course, a real deal killer.

{Strengths in Presentation}

The presenter did a good job of laying out an “ideal system” and admitted some of its apparent shortcomings (needing perfect people, etc.), which led to questioning about how those defects might be remedied.

Despite Lennon’s cynical attitude, he opened up some areas of political thought not often delved into.

{Suggestions}

The main suggestion is to go ahead and delve into the political thoughts named by the philosopher, and to look for ways that “the perfect system” (or a superior system) might be achieved without having perfect people.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Contestant #11: Philosopher: McMuffin

This political system would be very limited in social welfare programs (government giveaways), tough on crime, and would weigh votes according to the acumen of the voters (i.e., people who know more get more say).

{Strengths in Philosophy}

Resembling a wish list for conservatives -- with the votes of less educated, poorer, people discounted, and the traditional conservative values of self-reliance, very little welfare, and a strong criminal justice system -- a strength is what could be found to support this system.

{Potential Weaknesses in Philosophy}

The most obvious weakness is in deciding whose vote is worth more and whose vote is worth less.

{Strengths in Presentation}

McMuffin presented us with an interesting, semi-detailed, and intriguing system well presented in logically organized segments -- with headings, even!

The advocate pointed out some of the main weaknesses and admitted truthfully that it wasn’t a complete system and would probably never be implemented.

{Suggestions}

Since there already exist some models where different people’s votes count differently, a suggestion is for the philosopher to seek them out to see which if any fit “the plan”, or possibly learn that “the plan” should be transformed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Contestant #12: Philosopher: seej

{Synopsis}

This philosopher says that.....

seej wrote:
A political system should be based on truth and thats all.

The philosophy is based on a political system of 3 basic truths:
1) Violence begets violence.
2) What you choose is what you get.
3) Two wrongs don’t make a right.

{Strengths in Philosophy}

If universal truth could be discovered and followed, it would certainly be a good thing to base a political system upon them.

The 3 basic truths listed are a good place to start thinking about political philosophy.

{Potential Weaknesses in Philosophy}

One weakness is in determining what is truth. And this, of course, has proven to be a huge problem for everyone who thinks they have found it, since many others don’t agree.

It is also difficult to create a working system based on a few truisms (which are different from principles) when there are so many other truisms that people deem are important.

{Strengths in Presentation}

The opening was great: Philosophy (even political philosophy) should be based on truth.

Then the presenter pointed out some of the “universal” truths that he believes political philosophy should be based on, and made a good argument point by point.

{Suggestions}

There wasn’t enough shared to be able to understand how the system could work at all. Hopefully, the philosopher will continue thinking on the good start, and add more substance, even if only for themselves.
The Philosopher Princess
{ANALYSES OF PHILOSOPHIES -- PART 3}

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Contestant #13: Philosopher: Jinx

{Synopsis}

Jinx advocates that government only enforce the “One Law” against aggression, which is a cornerstone of libertarian political philosophy.

Combining that simple but arguably fair legal system with a meritocracy, where the privilege of voting costs a lot of money, the philosopher covers.....

Jinx wrote:
just about everything. Murder, rape, assault, robbery, vandalism, kidnapping, harrasment, libel, blackmail, etc...

{Strengths in Philosophy}

If, as libertarians claim, all real crime can be traced to an act of aggression, it is theoretically possible to reduce the legal system to one law against aggression, such as has been presented here.

Making it expensive to participate in the government eliminates the “mob rule of democracy” and assures that those who do participate will value the privilege, and will also be amongst the most able to make good decisions.

{Potential Weaknesses in Philosophy}

For one who claims to be advocating “extreme libertarianism, leaning toward anarchy”, this system seems to have quite a bit of government.

The enduring minarchist dilemma of how to have a government strong enough to protect individual rights but too weak to do harm is not solved.

{Strengths in Presentation}

This was a fairly complete political philosophy, which was well presented, and also well defended against multiple challenges.

One law (using the meaning of the philosopher) (and as opposed to one truism) that encompasses so much is an excellent philosophy foundation, because, theoretically, everything else would have to stay consistent with it. So, if the one law is self-consistent, the rest of the presentation is easy to support.

{Suggestions}

Many minarchists have attempted to tackle the dilemma of “strong enough” yet “weak enough” government. If this philosopher would begin by studying those other minarchists’ proposals, then personally thinking through how to push the limits of the “best” one(s), a real breakthrough could be had.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Contestant #14: Philosopher: nathanuk

{Synopsis}

nathanuk’s “rant” (his own word) found fault with overbearing government taking away people’s privacy and running their lives.

He claimed that “religion is the cause of most wars”, and called for peace between religions.

{Strengths in Philosophy}

Many people can relate to the causes and issues about which this advocate writes.

He hits on some of the most harmful aspects of government from a personal perspective.

{Potential Weaknesses in Philosophy}

The primary weakness is that this isn’t quite a coherent political philosophy, but rather a tirade against certain injustices and policies, along with a wish list of things to be improved.

There is no mention of how to implement any of these improvements, nor any method to stop, or prevent, abuses of power.

{Strengths in Presentation}

The presenter gave a good argument against over-intrusive government and told of ways in which government is getting overbearing.

His call for people to have more self-responsibility and more control of their own lives was well stated. His calls for improvement seem sincere.

{Suggestions}

Since there are major gaps in the areas presented, the main suggestion is to start by filling them in. Adding descriptions of “good” policies -- along with arguments for why the listed “bad” policies are “bad” -- is needed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Contestant #15: Philosopher: Asgardsfall

{Synopsis}

This philosopher advocates a minimal government based on the right of each individual to do whatever one wishes as long as he or she doesn’t violate the rights of others. Asgardsfall further claims that government’s only legitimate function is to protect those individual rights, yet also claims that government has a right to take what taxes it needs to survive.

{Strengths in Philosophy}

This system is based in large part on “social contract” theory, allows the overthrow of any government that violates the basic philosophy, and attempts to keep government within reasonable bounds.

{Potential Weaknesses in Philosophy}

The enduring minarchist dilemma of how to have a government strong enough to protect individual rights but too weak to do harm is not solved.

Particularly, the power to tax is contrary to the called-for right of individuals to not be robbed.

{Strengths in Presentation}

The presentation was relatively comprehensive. Defense of the challenges was forthcoming and thorough. Points followed logically from the original statement of philosophy.

{Suggestions}

It can be very refreshing to find a philosopher being strict on the political principles that they find worthy, for example following from this encompassing principle.....

Asgardsfall wrote:
All people should be free to live and act in any manner they choose provided their actions to not encroach upon those same rights of others (“lawlessness”).

.....with many consistent detailed thinkings and provocative declarations such as this.....

Asgardsfall wrote:
Technically this makes all Governments illegitimate and able to be overthrown

With that kind of system set up, it can then be intellectually disheartening to find that philosopher eventually backing down from their seeming original purity of thinking, with apologist-type “recognitions” such as this.....

Asgardsfall wrote:
Technically this makes all Governments illegitimate and able to be overthrown however the reality is that a population as a certain degree of forgiveness.

By “so soon” falling from the peak of all actions are okay if not encroaching to start down the slippery slope of next we’ll add preventative laws.....

Asgardsfall wrote:
I do concede that if we get less theoretical and more practical there will be a point of balance over what I will refer to as Preventative Laws. That is, laws designed to prevent the accidental encroachment of another's rights. This would include such things as Road Speed Limits and traffic guidelines. I believe that, as Government is a subset of the people, these preventative laws must be established by, and subject to, the scrutiny of the people they govern.

..... one could reasonably interpret the philosopher has completely dismissed their original principle.

Since there is no such thing in reality as something (1) being technically and theoretically sound, while it is not (2) practical -- in other words, it either fits all those things or none -- and since the advocate seems fairly close to solving the inconsistencies (even if not yet realized by the philosopher), the suggestion is to work harder at sticking strictly with the original principle, and finding out how the practicality can fit in without any compromising.

Compromising by people you observe in real-life cases does not have to be equivalent to compromising your own philosophical principles on behalf of those people. Most people will not understand that assertion; so, one more suggestion is that the philosopher become one of the few who does.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Contestant #16: Philosopher: HoboBarticus

{Synopsis}

HoboBarticus presented an impassioned plea for anarchy, the elimination of government and all the evils it causes.

This advocate said that the problem with implementing the proposed plan is that people aren’t ready to be responsible and peaceable without the constraints of government, but that with the right changes in the thought processes of humanity, then the world can be without government.

{Strengths in Philosophy}

If people learned responsibility for themselves and tolerance for others, a world without government would be ideal.

{Potential Weaknesses in Philosophy}

A main weakness is that the mindset of all the people would have to be changed so that the strong wouldn’t use the absence of government and laws as carte blanc to loot, rape, pillage, and kill the weak.

{Strengths in Presentation}

Despite the doubts of the presenter, this was actually a very good argument for total anarchy.

The philosopher “properly” acknowledged the weakness that it would take a mindset change of most (or all) people for anarchy to work in the real world.

The advice given for people changing themselves and influencing others was refreshing.

{Suggestions}

“Promising” to come back later with more of this philosophy, but never having done that, was disappointing for readers. So, one suggestion is to follow through with what was planned. There is a lot of potential intellectual support available by other authors for what was presented on this thread, so incorporating what fits could be a start.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Contestant #17: Philosopher: just-in

{Synopsis}

just-in called for a strong centralized government, with top-down administration, Judiciary on top, then President, Parliament, State, and Local jurisdictions, with the Top Judiciary having veto power over all legislation and power to dismiss the central government.

{Strengths in Philosophy}

If the Top Judiciary could be trusted to keep the rest of government under control and not become tyrannical itself, this system certainly gives it the power to do so.

Central planning would supposedly keep states and local jurisdictions from misusing assets and fighting over natural resources.

{Potential Weaknesses in Philosophy}

The judicial branch of government would have total control, with no checks and balances.

Top-down administration and centralized planning have built-in flaws, which were not recognized nor addressed by this philosopher.

{Strengths in Presentation}

The presentation was relatively well organized, with detailed and numbered points, which made this system easy to understand quickly.

{Suggestions}

Of the political philosophy laid out by this advocate, one of the biggest unknown and unaddressed issues is how the following “option” will lead to the following “bring[ing] out” “of failure[s] in the government system”:

just-in wrote:
10. While voting people should be given a option 'I don't want to vote' along with a reason. This will bringout any kind of failure in the government system.

So, a suggestion is for the philosopher -- for a period of thinking time -- to ignore item #s 1 through 9 (and all that go with them); concentrate just on #10. When a person’s non-vote is mixed in with many other non-votes as well as many sincere votes and many insincere votes, do such non-votes actually have any meaning at all?

This suggestion is not meant to encourage support of forced voting instead of the option of non-voting. But it is to challenge the implied cause-and-effect that voting by the masses has any significant impact at all. After thinking this through, then bring back the notion of the pyramid structure hierarchy of power, and see what you have. You might find out that with #s 1 through 9, it is irrelevant whether #10 is there or not. Which leads a critiquer to wonder whether the planned government is actually to fully support a few powerful, while ignoring the wishes of most people.

Also, as with all centralized government system advocates, it could help to compare one’s plan to market systems (which allow everyone’s “vote” to count in the marketplace).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Contestant #18: Philosopher: billys

{Synopsis}

billys advocated the formation of strong international unions that would be able to keep nations from being too powerful, prevent wars, open borders to trade and immigration, and protect the ecology of the earth.

{Strengths in Philosophy}

This is thinking on a global scale, outside the box of nation states.

Open borders and free trade would be good for everybody, except those who rely on monopolistic advantages, and the world economy would benefit.

{Potential Weaknesses in Philosophy}

There seemed to be no checks and balances to keep the international unions from becoming as tyrannical as nation states.

{Strengths in Presentation}

This advocate did a good job putting forth a basic list of things he believes would improve the world. He also gave some reasons for why it would be an improvement.

Listing the points with numbers was also a good technique.

{Suggestions}

It would be nice if the presenter had thought through this philosophy a little more. Needed is some explanation as to how this system would actually work, and what would keep it from becoming tyrannical.
Lennon
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
Below are 3 more sets of questions and challenges (to Lennon, seej, and Jinx).
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
@ Lennon

Lennon wrote:
If there are failures then it requires legislation

Why? Could “failures” possibly be handled in some way other than legislation? Could outside-of-government market controls, social contracts, personal contracts, and other outside-the-box methods of preventing and/or dealing with “failures” ever work? If so, how? If not, why not?

Lennon wrote:
I might as well enter my utopian government, like a commonwealth of nations, a common wealth of people, all individually minded but of perfect discipline, where legislation is no longer required, and so being perfect the re will be perfect understanding of the situation, with a perfect choice made by all members towards the common good.

Outside the perfect, utopian ideals, I cannot, cannot single out any system above the others.

Very interesting line of reasoning and thinking! “Perfection” not being an option, what if there were a way of getting, maybe not “perfect choice”, but much better choices, on average, and a method to make sure that bad choices are their own punishment, without recourse to legislation, policing, or political power systems? If you can envision anything like this, what would it look like?

Does legislation decrease “failures”, fix them, mitigate them, or exacerbate them? In general, does legislation (and politics) do more harm than good?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


I like your initiative.

Legislation is critically important for flawed societies. If people make mistakes, there is a high probability that a minority will become extremely flawed and possibly dangerous to the rest of that society. The society needs protection from the dangerous criminals. Legislation serves as a means of protecting society. Without legislation everyone makes their own judgements on the case, and their own course of action. This leads to disputes. With legislation, we have a code of conduct, verbally or written, by which we agree the standards of the soceity, by which the person is to be judged. This reduces disuptes as we have an agreement. This is very important, as anyone who breaches those standards is called for discipline. So legislation is vital for social security. Any society must have a legislation, either written or verbally communicated.

And now the problems of legislation...
The problem with legislation doing more harm than good is because there is people who are flawed that allow flawed legislation to be accepted into society.
Legislation itself does not directly affect failures, it allows a standard to be drawn up, where any failures below that standard are dealt with later. My point is that in a flawed soceity even the legislation is flawed.
If you think legislation is like a red-tape agenda where it is more inconveinient than necessary, i would say legislation is still crtically important, but the beuracracy needs adjusting to deal with the legislation. Most governments and businesses are too narrow-minded and inflexible to deal with beuracracy.
It is not a question of freedom vs legislation. legislation allows freedom within standards.

The next point is the "better quality of life" instead of a "perfect" life. Of course we want the best quality of life. Quality comes from validation. you must question the current situation and verify with best knowledge that it is the best choice. You need educated people to decide the best choice. Referendum by majority is flawed here, if people vote without knowing what it's for. Education clearly leads to a better quality of life by better decision-making. Also the personality of the social leaders is critical, you need good-minded people to make good choices. Evil-minded dictators, for example, tend to make evil choices which reduce the quality of life. The personality of the social representatives must also be questioned.
In summary, for better quality of life, we need people who are educated and trustworthy to make the best choices.

Bad choices aren't always their own punishment. They also affect others in some way. Your choices always affect other people's lives, no matter what. And for the sake of others, you need social security. Fact.
The Philosopher Princess
If it wasn’t made clear already:

The Philosopher Princess wrote:
The contest is officially over and the discussions are re-opened to everyone.

And now I am free (Wink) to speak some of my personal political opinions.
~~~~~~~~~~
Glad to see you back, Lennon Smile!

In the area of political philosophy (which of course is the context here), your following is very profound (though I’m not sure I can go with “always”; I might instead say “almost always”):

Lennon wrote:
Bad choices aren't always their own punishment. They also affect others in some way. Your choices always affect other people's lives, no matter what.

In any case, it’s something important to consider. Since a person’s bad choices affect other people too, one of the main goals for a good political system should be to not offer public choices on things of a private matter. And that relates to the legislation area as well: Since legislation in a jurisdiction can potentially affect everyone in that jurisdiction, there should be no legislation allowed on matters that should be private. And notice that I am not saying there should be good-choice legislation when issues are of a private nature, but no legislation.

Quite a few people might agree with me so far, but then disagree with my next part.

So, what should be private? My philosophy’s answer is everything that hasn’t involved someone’s being violent towards another person. (Obviously that is only a start to understanding my philosophy.)
Bikerman
I'd go along with that, largely (since it is in line with the basic anarcho-syndical stance). The difference would be over the 'exception' rule. You only state violence towards another as the criteria and I would seek to use a wide definition of violence. If one takes 'violence' to include exploitation (inc financial) then I'm in accord.

Chris
Asgardsfall
Princess,

Your suggestions in your "run down" of the competition and the discussion above regarding legislation have got me thinking about how I could strengthen some of the aspects of my philosophy which didnt go so well. Now the competition is over I can try and get myself out of one or two of those corners I painted myself into.

Specifically I am referring to the self confessed weakness in my philosophy, "preventative laws." a contradiction with my original principal of individual freedom. I believe I would redefine these "Laws" as "Conventions."

Previously I used the example of Road Rules, such as speed limits etc, as a necessary limitation on peoples freedom to limit the risk of accidently killing someone or damaging anothers property.

It is a Governments role to capture the will of its people in the creation of these "Conventions". Once created the Government should make these conventions freely available to those who wish to learn them. Before getting in a car people should know you drive on the left hand side of the road, should know you give way to the right and should know speed signs indicate the recommended safe speeds.

The point however is that none of these Conventions are mandatory and there is no punishment for breaking them. If you want to drive 100 mile an hour through a school zone, no officer of the law will pull you over and give you a ticket, HOWEVER, if something were to happen, such as a child was struck and killed, you will definitly get pulled over for that offense, as you would have taken that childs right to life.

It is here Conventions come in to play so that the degree of fault may be determined. The level of an individual's guilt (and the just punishment) differs according to circumstance. You exercising your right to go 100 mile an hour versus the child's right to cross at a Zebra Crossing may carry a stiffer penalty than you exercising your right to go 40 mile an hour versus a child's right to play in the middle of the road.

I have previously said I dont believe in an eye for an eye, and I think through this system of rationalisation, suitable levels of punishments and deterrents can be determined. The accidental taking of a life is very different from the deliberate taking of a life. The degree of variation of an individual's action from accepted convention can therefore be used to determine the degree of fault and/or punishment when something does go wrong.

In addition to getting rid of those pesky speed cameras, such guidelines will protect the innocent while leaving each individual with total freedom to choose their actions. After all, when all is said and done, regardless of law, if you REALLY wanted to drive into someone crossing the road, there are no physical barriers actually preventing it. We all however choose not to.
The Philosopher Princess
Good, Bikerman! Seeking a more precise definition of the term violence is needed.

Bikerman wrote:
I'd go along with that, largely (since it is in line with the basic anarcho-syndical stance). The difference would be over the 'exception' rule. You only state violence towards another as the criteria and I would seek to use a wide definition of violence. If one takes 'violence' to include exploitation (inc financial) then I'm in accord.

The term as I use it is also much more encompassing than only physical attacks. Violence includes trespassing against others’ property whether it be physical effects, financial effects, or anything that is owned.
~~~~~~~~~~
Asgardsfall, I see great progress in development of your philosophy already. This is the kind of thinking development that is needed to really hone in on a “perfect” philosophy. Among other things, a “perfect” philosophy is fully self-consistent (no internal contradictions) and reality-consistent (no acknowledgment of untrue principles).

Converting preventative laws into your concept of conventions is definitely progress, as you have described it. Let’s push it a little more.

Asgardsfall wrote:
It is a Governments role to capture the will of its people in the creation of these "Conventions".

Is there really such a thing as “the will of its people”? Once you figure that out, if you have “it”, do you really have anything of value?

For example, given anything you name, you will find individual persons’ wills differing on that one thing. So, for that one thing, what really is the will of the people; is it simply what the majority wants so 49% don’t get what they want if 51% can agree -- and that is still called the will of the people? Majority rule is not much of a true will of the people, in that case, right?

But it can get even worse when plurality rule is accepted. 33% want this, 22% want that, 11% want the other, and 34 other choices have 1% support. If the 33% get their way, then you have 67% people not getting their will. Should someone feel comfortable declaring the will of the people includes 67% are not getting their wills?

I’m just introducing some notions, which you can take much further in working out on your own. If and when you get to the point that you are skeptical that capturing the will of the people can be done by a government, the next step will be starting over in trying to achieve what you want.
~~~~~~~~~~
Here’s a challenge for anyone who cares. If a person were against all monopolies, what do you think their answer would be on how to capture the will of the people?
Bikerman
The Philosopher Princess wrote:

The term as I use it is also much more encompassing than only physical attacks. Violence includes trespassing against others’ property whether it be physical effects, financial effects, or anything that is owned.


Ahh...that could be rather too broad for my philosophy I feel. The law has been used frequently to enable and support capitalist exploitation of resources which they have tenuous, if any, claim over apart from a legal framework.
Examples include the 'seizure' of large parts of the common grazing by landowners during the 17th-19th century and secret dealings between families, with legislative support passed in the House of Lords, which allowed this land to be passed down through family lines for generations.

Even today 69 per cent of the acreage of Britain is owned by 0.6 per cent of the population. Put another way, 150,000 families own 41 million acres of land while 25 million families live on four million acres.

It is only in very recent times that the UK citizen has finally gained the legal right to walk in the countryside in large parts of the UK. Recent 'right to roam' legislation has opened up over 2 million acres of land to the public.

So, in short, the application of concepts of personal damage to hereditory property ownership is, to me, problematic since it creates an instrument for the capitalist land owners to retain their control over what should be common land by claiming that any infringement on such land (even by people out for a Sunday stroll across clearly fallow ground) is personally damaging to them and therefore the potential subject of legal injunction.

My own position is that all inhereted property should be taxed at an extreme rate using something akin to the current Death Duties tax. The objective being to take back into public ownership much of the land which is currently owned by what were once called the Landed Gentry and now, perhaps, would be better just called the Landed.

Regards
Chris
The Philosopher Princess
Bikerman wrote:
Ahh...that could be rather too broad for my philosophy I feel.

Smile I expected you to think that. However, I submit that you do not know my definition of “own” so you don’t know whether I’m “too broad” or not. For example, all the land holdings to which you are referring -- guess what! -- I don’t support them Wink! I have a different way, a truly fair way, to derive ownership, including that of land. And I can assure you that I do not use a definition of ownership as declared or used within any known government legal system.

Bikerman wrote:
My own position is that all inhereted property should be taxed at an extreme rate using something akin to the current Death Duties tax. The objective being to take back into public ownership much of the land which is currently owned by what were once called the Landed Gentry and now, perhaps, would be better just called the Landed.

I would say that your general goal there is valid, because you have correctly identified something unfair, but your “solution” is not valid nor fair. Two unfair procedures do not generate a fair procedure. We can agree (at least at a high level) that monopolizing land, unfairly snatched, is unfair. But taxing it like that is not getting to the root of the problem; it’s just discombobulating the unfairness of the whole mess.

Let’s start at the lowest of foundations. If you would, ignore for a moment how other systems use/define ownership. Instead, start from basic morality between humans, as you see fit.

In your philosophy, what should be the fair way of owning something, owning anything?
Bikerman
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Ahh...that could be rather too broad for my philosophy I feel.

Smile I expected you to think that. However, I submit that you do not know my definition of “own” so you don’t know whether I’m “too broad” or not. For example, all the land holdings to which you are referring -- guess what! -- I don’t support them Wink! I have a different way, a truly fair way, to derive ownership, including that of land. And I can assure you that I do not use a definition of ownership as declared or used within any known government legal system.

Fair point well made.
Quote:

I would say that your general goal there is valid, because you have correctly identified something unfair, but your “solution” is not valid nor fair. Two unfair procedures do not generate a fair procedure. We can agree (at least at a high level) that monopolizing land, unfairly snatched, is unfair. But taxing it like that is not getting to the root of the problem; it’s just discombobulating the unfairness of the whole mess.
Only temporarily since the same thing that has happened with the big estates would happen with the land - the aristocracy would be forced to relinquish control to bodies such as the National Trust, which would then hold the land in trust for the nation as a whole.
It may be partially unfair to the owners (I would argue not, since the land should never have been theirs and the centuries of ownership have surely enabled them to exploit such land heavily), but the result would quickly be a communally owned land system and, as with country estates, the arostocracy would be able to charge a one-off 'selling fee' for the land which would enable them to live comfortably.
Quote:

Let’s start at the lowest of foundations. If you would, ignore for a moment how other systems use/define ownership. Instead, start from basic morality between humans, as you see fit.

In your philosophy, what should be the fair way of owning something, owning anything?

A non living thing which one creates, one enters a bargain or barter for (swapping work, other goods or other services for), or which one restores from a dillapidated/unwanted condition to a functional or desirable state. These, I believe, could fairly be regarded as the suibject of 'belonging'.

Exceptions would include land in general; goods or services which are communal in function and purpose (a stream, a water pump or a right of access for example); and living creatures which could be kept as pets certainly, but not sold or bartered as chattels.
That is off the top of my head and I reserve the right to change in light of firther thought..Smile)

Chris.
Asgardsfall
While I continue to ponder a consistant response to capturing the general will which is a bit more technical than defining it as "A big fluffy thing that evolves and reshapes itself as does a cloud in the sky", I would like to add my two cents on this issue of ownership.

I believe you can only truely own the fruits of your own labour.
This means you cannot own natural resouces such as minerals, land, rivers and waterways etc.

I believe that this is the case typically with natural resources in any case. Mining for instance (at least where I live) can only be done through the Government issue of permits, which are paid for annually and have expiry dates. Land is an example where I am not so sure. While small holdings can technically be repatriated doing so would never be done. We in New Zealand are still arguing over land rights from a treaty signed over 150 years ago with the native tribal leaders. Millions and millions of dollars are spent "negotiating" when technically the Government should say ... "we are the Government of this country, this country ultimately belongs to everyone. Subject to certain conditions, you may lease land and enjoy the rights people associate with ownership for the duration of the agreement."
Leasehold property is not uncommon and lease terms of 50 to 100 years are not unreasonable. Annual lease payments should be required if a holding is above the size required to house a family or individual. This would
    a) provide a source of income for the Government
    b) provide some control of the size and turnover of holdings. (Payments could exponentially increase as the holding size got larger)

Naturally these parameters will be determined by the Government in accordance with the *ahem* General Will.

Does the restriction over the use of Natural Resources conflict with my primary philosophy of total Individual Freedom? No.....
As resources are finite, if I were to exercise my right to set up an unsanctioned gold mining operation I would be stealing a single use resource from the remainder of the population who also have an equal right to it. As permits are controlled by the Government, who in theory represent the General Will, minerals taken by sanctioned means can be owned by the collector, by virtue of the labour and resources they invest to recover them.
The Philosopher Princess
Bikerman wrote:
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
I would say that your general goal there is valid, because you have correctly identified something unfair, but your “solution” is not valid nor fair. Two unfair procedures do not generate a fair procedure. We can agree (at least at a high level) that monopolizing land, unfairly snatched, is unfair. But taxing it like that is not getting to the root of the problem; it’s just discombobulating the unfairness of the whole mess.

Only temporarily since the same thing that has happened with the big estates would happen with the land - the aristocracy would be forced to relinquish control to bodies such as the National Trust, which would then hold the land in trust for the nation as a whole.
It may be partially unfair to the owners (I would argue not, since the land should never have been theirs and the centuries of ownership have surely enabled them to exploit such land heavily), but the result would quickly be a communally owned land system and, as with country estates, the arostocracy would be able to charge a one-off 'selling fee' for the land which would enable them to live comfortably.

I commend you, in that, from what I can tell, the parts that you have “right” (using my def) are the parts that most people do not understand. For example (and it is only one because I see much more), land that was invalidly acquired by force -- even many generations ago -- is invalidly kept today as if owned.

But when I say “taxing it like that” adds to the “unfairness of the whole mess”, I am not referring to (as you mentioned but would argue against) its being “unfair to the owners”. Might I suggest that you research the concept of economic rent (or economic land rent) as opposed to taxes? While those 2 approaches/models have some things in common, there are some important major differences.

As a start, consider that taxing is confiscating by force something someone else rightfully owns. By “taxing it like that”, you have in essence stipulated that those people own it, which contradicts your own belief (I believe) that they don’t rightfully own it.

To have a proper philosophy, you cannot have such contradictions. You’re on the right track -- even with your decent start at a good definition of ownership -- but you will need to become extremely precise with the following-through of the ownership concepts that you have started and need to continue setting up.

You will want to end up with a very clear understanding of what is owned and by whom, what is not owned, how exactly ownership changes for the various categories of things, and all the very precise reasons for why, as fitting your philosophy -- and then never switch proper treatments of those categories.
The Philosopher Princess
Asgardsfall wrote:
I believe you can only truely own the fruits of your own labour.
This means you cannot own natural resouces such as minerals, land, rivers and waterways etc.

Mostly yes, except for the “only” part.

If Mr. A voluntarily gives a stranger Mr. B an item that was the fruits of Mr. A’s labor, and Mr. B accepts the item, Mr. B now owns the item yet it was not of Mr. B’s labor.

As I’ve been mentioning, in dealing with philosophy, there comes a point when quibbling over the details really matters. Your “only” part rules out gifts.
~~~~~~~~~~
So, another big issue is when precisely do “natural resources such as minerals, land, rivers and waterways etc.” transform from not owned to owned. We all drink water that was originally in a waterway of some sort, but I hope what is in our tummies is not not owned by us. Wink

(I could write books on this subject. Maybe we all could. Cool )
Bikerman
The Philosopher Princess wrote:

I commend you, in that, from what I can tell, the parts that you have “right” (using my def) are the parts that most people do not understand. For example (and it is only one because I see much more), land that was invalidly acquired by force -- even many generations ago -- is invalidly kept today as if owned.


Thanks for the critique...I'll look at this again in some depth over the next few days when I get time - curently busy debating YEC and ID on my science Fora over here in the UK. We are trying to block a bunch of Creationsts with ambitions to get a say in running secondary schools over here...the Vardy foundation..Most of us teacher/ex teachers active on the science fora are now homing in on this bunch with a view to some serious setting of boundaries, outing of hidden agenda and opening of closets....These people are sneeky invidious and dangerous (IMHO) and having failed in the US they are now trying here by the back door......We are here to tell them...No Chance.

Regards
Chris
Asgardsfall
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
Your “only” part rules out gifts.

I think I will stick with my pure definition and the word "only", but I believe I will elaborate on "the fruits of ones labour". I knew this was a bit vague when I wrote it but my supply of time was running low yesterday.

I believe you must earn gifts to own them. Among other more tangible things, you purchase gifts with time, for example, time spent building relationships, or doing deeds which may merit donations.
If a stranger came up to me on the street at gave me $10 for no reason at all, I would not immediately accept it. I would ask questions .. why the gift, what is its purpose and motivation. This time I spend learning about what is to become mine, is the consideration that entitles me to own it. It allows me to place some value upon it.

If I took it without understanding it I could not truly own it. How do I know the gift is not stolen?

Time is a finite resource we all have. We trade time for money by working, we trade time for a great tan by sunbathing, we trade time for fitness by working out, we trade time for love by building relationships, to name perhaps one too many examples.
The exchange rate on this commodity varies from person to person, from event to event. A moment talking to someone in exchange for a gift may seem inequitable, but it is still a transaction.

The Philosopher Princess wrote:
another big issue is when precisely do “natural resources such as minerals, land, rivers and waterways etc.” transform from not owned to owned.


An immovable natural resource can never be owed by an individual and is sole property of the Nation in perpetuity. Land, land formations such as rivers and unquarried minerals fall into this category.

To go off on a tangent for a moment, another thing I did not go in to yesterday is the idea that in a society where a person has unlimited personal rights, they also have the right to place restrictions upon their rights.

An example would be an individual who moves in to a "Gated Community" They choose to live in a location where there are rules and limitations, they must abide by them. They may leave at any time and once gone any restrictions are lifted. Another example would be where a person moves in to a house next to a Speedway Track. By voluntarily doing this they cannot expect they have the right to a quiet Saturday night.

When it comes to the interaction and precedence of one person's rights over another's it is a simple case of the Status Quo takes precedent unless there is mutual consent.

Getting back to the point, a Nation may also choose to limit its rights. It does this temporarily by granting temporary rights to individuals over its natural resources such as land and minerals. Where these granted rights permit the removal of resources, such as ore, dirt or water, provided an individual acts in accordance with the terms of the agreement, ownership of such resources removed, transfers as soon as an individual's resources are expended to physically move them. This does not mean a miner working for a mining company owns the gold. The mining company has purchased the miners time with wages, the miner is a resource of the company therefore the company owns the gold. Additionally, you cannot own ore in the ground by just building a mine or holding a permit, you must actually perform the act of mining.
The same concept applies to the act of drinking water. As soon as you expend the effort to turn the tap and remove the water from the supply, it is yours under the terms of its supply and by virtue of your labour to recover it.
rwojick
First off, if I read Asgardsfall's ideal system it centered around "conventions", and no written law.

I think it was the Code of Hammarabi that was accepted as the first written laws. This was considered to be a boon to mankink in that it kept thugs from going around saying, "I'll tell you what the law is AFTER I enforce it". This was called the dark ages, but I was not there. Check for the code of Hamarabi on the internet, I didn't, but I' sure its there.

[T.P.P.: *** back-seat moderating moved to spam ***]

Since tomarow is election day in America here are a couple election day stories for you, in order to "economize" I'll start a new post.

[T.P.P.: The "new post" is political rather than philosophical, so was moved to the Discussion list here.]
Lennon
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
If it wasn’t made clear already:

The Philosopher Princess wrote:
The contest is officially over and the discussions are re-opened to everyone.

And now I am free (Wink) to speak some of my personal political opinions.
~~~~~~~~~~
Glad to see you back, Lennon Smile!

In the area of political philosophy (which of course is the context here), your following is very profound (though I’m not sure I can go with “always”; I might instead say “almost always”):

Lennon wrote:
Bad choices aren't always their own punishment. They also affect others in some way. Your choices always affect other people's lives, no matter what.

In any case, it’s something important to consider. Since a person’s bad choices affect other people too, one of the main goals for a good political system should be to not offer public choices on things of a private matter. And that relates to the legislation area as well: Since legislation in a jurisdiction can potentially affect everyone in that jurisdiction, there should be no legislation allowed on matters that should be private. And notice that I am not saying there should be good-choice legislation when issues are of a private nature, but no legislation.

Quite a few people might agree with me so far, but then disagree with my next part.

So, what should be private? My philosophy’s answer is everything that hasn’t involved someone’s being violent towards another person. (Obviously that is only a start to understanding my philosophy.)


Very profound again.

Note you seem to confuse legislation with criminal trial. Legislation also covers civil disputes (private level). For husband beating wife scenarios, the government must have legislation for dealing with this as either a criminal trial if it is severe beating, and/or as a civil trial if she wants to divorce him. iAlthough the police and criminal court do not interfere with civil disputes, there is still active legislaton in place. At least from what i learned in my law lectures in Ireland (some governments are different). For civil disputes we still have solicitors, the constitution of human rights etc, and law.

Your question is, can we remove legislation from civil disputes. This would be hazardous, as every dispute must have a code of conduct (legislation) for resolution as a last resort. I agree, personal matters must be dealt with personally, but if that doesnt' work, what can they do then. AS a last resort, legislation is critical for both civil and criminal cases. And there will always be someone who will try to go as far as a last resort and still try to get away with wrong-doing.
Lennon
Speaking of ownership, i would like to reduce communism. It claims the government owns all things, including products of labour, and all things should be divided equally amongst the population. This reduces personal identity with labour and owndership, something I personally can't argue but feel is wrong. People lose motivation, produce less, and lose their identity to possessions.
Asgardsfall
Just quickly

rwojick wrote:
if I read Asgardsfall's ideal system it centered around "conventions", and no written law.

No, conventions can be written. There is still a road code or whatever. The point is that these are written guidelines not rules.

There can be a speed sign saying 50 kph, but if you go faster than 50kph you will not get a ticket, so it is not a rule per say.

So what use are they? They are useful for determining fault and degree of fault when something does go wrong. You can drive on the wrong side of the road without getting a ticket... but if you infringe anothers rights, ie damage another persons vehicle, while breeching a convention, then you are at fault, and the justice system can then take over. If you were travelling 100kph in a 50kph zone on the wrong side of the road you are even more "at fault". If you are travelling over 100kph in a 50kph zone on the wrong side of the road in an unsafe vehicle ... and so on.

While they are not "laws" there is still plenty of incentive to follow these guidelines under most circumstances.

Still if you are on the open road and there is noone around ... feel free to drop the roof and floor it.

@ The Philosopher Princess
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
So, what should be private? My philosophy’s answer is everything that hasn’t involved someone’s being violent towards another person.

How do you define violence?
Bikerman
The Philosopher Princess wrote:

But when I say “taxing it like that” adds to the “unfairness of the whole mess”, I am not referring to (as you mentioned but would argue against) its being “unfair to the owners”. Might I suggest that you research the concept of economic rent (or economic land rent) as opposed to taxes? While those 2 approaches/models have some things in common, there are some important major differences.

As a start, consider that taxing is confiscating by force something someone else rightfully owns. By “taxing it like that”, you have in essence stipulated that those people own it, which contradicts your own belief (I believe) that they don’t rightfully own it.

Yes,
on reflection I have to agree. I have adopted an expedient measure which, whilst probably capable of producing the required result, is not justified on ethical grounds and is really a case of the 'end jusftifying the means' which has never been a stance I could either support or advocate. Therefore I withdraw the tax proposal for the arotocratic land owners.
Land Rent certainly qualifies as a fairer and more egalitarian system, thanks for reminding me about it (I read something about it a long while back in a history of the USSR but didn't internalise it, obviously).

Regards
Chris
rwojick
My fellow contestents,

Early in the contest I indicated that I thought referring to an unbiased written docement and telling the truth was the way to go but I was challenged by the eventual winner when he (or she, I have no way of knowing) wrote:

Who wrote the document?
Why was it written?
How do you know something wasnt missed off?
Why should you obey it... its just a document
How do you know the person that wrote it knew what they were doing?
What were the prejudices of the person who wrote it?
What were their beliefs?
Is the document unbiased?


I think you get my point.


I responded saying I did not get your point but Asgardsfell "won" with his plan to use and unwritten standard similar to that system "perfected" during the dark ages.

Naturally, the female Judge sided with what I would consider an inferior plan and awarded the big bag of loot to Asgardsfall.

AFTER the contest I pointed out that Hamarabi had a better idea and the "winner" latched on to what has been know for "x" (with x being todays date minus the number of years since the code of Hamarabi was first written) number of years. That is quite a flop. Laughing Its like "deja vu all over again" Laughing

Princess, it has been a pleasure. Thank you for verifying my claims in my first contest post. I am honoring your request to remove you from my email list, I know your kind, and I have "had enough of yours".

I think Asgardsfell is a good thinker with some major flaws that can be removed, bikerman impressed me with broad knowledge and MadeinIndia has a nice aura. I did not read much of the others as I do not read that fast, but I'll stick with the document from 1776 until something better comes along.

Have a nice day.
The Philosopher Princess
@ Bikerman and Asgardsfall

Bikerman wrote:
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
But when I say “taxing it like that” adds to the “unfairness of the whole mess”, I am not referring to (as you mentioned but would argue against) its being “unfair to the owners”. Might I suggest that you research the concept of economic rent (or economic land rent) as opposed to taxes? While those 2 approaches/models have some things in common, there are some important major differences.

As a start, consider that taxing is confiscating by force something someone else rightfully owns. By “taxing it like that”, you have in essence stipulated that those people own it, which contradicts your own belief (I believe) that they don’t rightfully own it.
Yes,
on reflection I have to agree. I have adopted an expedient measure which, whilst probably capable of producing the required result, is not justified on ethical grounds and is really a case of the 'end jusftifying the means' which has never been a stance I could either support or advocate. Therefore I withdraw the tax proposal for the arotocratic land owners.
Land Rent certainly qualifies as a fairer and more egalitarian system, thanks for reminding me about it (I read something about it a long while back in a history of the USSR but didn't internalise it, obviously).

Well, I’m pleased beyond words that we’re now in accord on that part, because it’s an important fundamental on which many other principles and policies sit. Having that part “right” or “wrong” has many ramifications. I’m glad to have had the chance to remind you of something to which you’ve been introduced before.

You say it very well that the ends do not justify the means. One cannot claim to be doing things for principled philosophically-sound reasons, and then not have any principles or not follow what they claimed were their principles. (That causes people to end up with politics only, not based on any philosophy.)

I have studied philosophies of and macro-economics of “the land issue” fairly extensively. Since you and I, and I believe Asgardsfall as well, are quite close in what we support in this one part -- at least as compared to what most people in the world support -- let me share a subtlety that I’ve thought through and changed my thinking on. This is a kind of notion that would be
(A) wasted on those who support fully-nationally-government-owned land [extreme communists], and
(B) wasted on those who support fully-individual-monopolizing-of-land (with the force of government monopoly backing it up) [extreme right conservatives and libertarians (not to be confused with other kinds of conservatives and libertarians)].
It is only those who can see that neither kind of land monopoly works, who are the ones who might care about this next issue/question.

Anyway, the question was whether it works out philosophically better
(1) if land and natural resources should be considered as being owned in common by all humans, and rented by individuals, or
(2) if land and natural resources should be considered as never being owned but only rented.

In many ways, those 2 thinking approaches have similar implications. But I can tell you that people who have finally made it to our level of understanding can still strongly disagree on it.

My own evolution of thinking was that, at first I thought that #1 was correct. The theory went along the lines that if all own it in common, then no one has more “right” to monopolize it, and all have equal “shares” in it, and an equal say in it; rent is collected from those who temporarily monopolize it and paid to all who have shares. (By the way, for those readers who aren’t familiar with this, it might sound like socialism at first, but it is not; in fact, there are deep differences.)

Upon more thorough thinking, I came to the conclusion that #2 was correct, not #1. This goes back to staying principled rather than going for, as Bikerman said it perfectly, being expedient. #1 seems to have the correct results but it violates some of the principles that I wanted to strictly hold.

I obviously can’t give the whole reasoning, and this is already too long, but a main part involved what I’ve mentioned recently about being consistently precise on how ownership of anything comes into being, and how ownership of anything changes owners. In a nutshell, I found that there was no rational justification for non-owned land (which was the case before humans existed) to transform into being owned (whether by individuals or in common by all). Realize that in my philosophy, ownership means the owners have full control of the thing owned (as long as it doesn’t trespass on others). So, to give an extreme, if all living humans today own all land in common (#1) then they have the “right” to decide to disallow future human beings from taking part in that ownership. This not only violates the desired ends, but causes other means that are unsavory.

Gosh, I hope some of what I tried to explain got through. It’s difficult for me to give shortened versions of these things. Would either of y’all care to comment? Do you catch/care about/have an opinion on, this subtlety? The political philosophies of dealing just with land can be complex! Surprised
The Philosopher Princess
Asgardsfall wrote:
@ The Philosopher Princess
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
So, what should be private? My philosophy’s answer is everything that hasn’t involved someone’s being violent towards another person.

How do you define violence?

Violence includes: Trespassing on another human or another human’s owned property against the will of that human and not for defensive purposes against that human.
Asgardsfall
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
Anyway, the question was whether it works out philosophically better
(1) if land and natural resources should be considered as being owned in common by all humans, and rented by individuals, or
(2) if land and natural resources should be considered as never being owned but only rented


I will elaborate more very soon (when I am not about to rush out the door), but I believe quite firmly that option (1) is best. I would agree with option (2) if we were living in a state of natural law, but that is not what we are discussing. We are discussing systems which improve upon/replace/raise us above natural law, amongst other things.

I would however say that ownership is in the mind of the individual, and I believe this can extend to the Nation.
The Philosopher Princess
@ Asgardsfall

I look forward to more from you when you have a chance. Here’s just a small, side thing, before I re-raise a previous issue you were also going to write on when you’re ready.

Asgardsfall wrote:
I would agree with option (2) if we were living in a state of natural law, but

Hmm. Well, I would contend that we are living in a state of natural law. Human law rests firmly on top of natural law, and must and does abide by it. In the same way that so-called anti-gravity mechanisms do not actually do anything to violate the natural laws of gravity, and must and do work in conjunction with them -- so too do any human laws not do anything that violate natural laws. But that doesn’t mean people won't waste time trying.

People can try and often do ignore or not believe in various natural laws, but those attempts are futile. All other things being equal, those human laws (or other efforts) that acknowledge and work with natural laws will be more successful than those that don’t. (And I should mention that a subset of natural law is human nature.)
~~~~~~~~~~
It’s obvious to me that we’d never run out of things to discuss (Smile) and that we won’t be able to fully pursue even the few things we’ve raised (Sad). So, let me go ahead and give you my answer to this question.

The Philosopher Princess wrote:
Here’s a challenge for anyone who cares. If a person were against all monopolies, what do you think their answer would be on how to capture the will of the people?

The answer: markets.

Sometimes people call it the free market, but that’s actually redundant, because anything that is not free (meaning it’s been interfered with) is no longer a market (in the strictest sense). (Though, being redundant and understood is better than being precise and misunderstood.) Here’s a simple definition as a good start:

Wikipedia wrote:
A market is a social arrangement that allows buyers and sellers to discover information and carry out a voluntary exchange of goods or services.

As soon as something has been interfered with (meaning by force), then the new thing includes an element that is not voluntary and thus no longer fits the definition of free nor of market.

(For example, taxing something tends to cause less buying of that something, and you no longer can know how much people overall actually wanted that something. The unnatural data results that you can gather do not include the lost information that the free market would have told you about the will of the people.)

Sometimes people who are philosophically against capitalism, are also against the free market (meaning that their goal is to interfere in markets), so let me make it clear that I am not a capitalist though I do not support interference in the free market. (Capitalists always, or tend to, believe in land monopoly for individuals backed up by force of government. And as you know, I do not support any land monopolies.) (Basically, I support freedom, not initiation of force.)

So, anyway, Asgardsfall, back to the issue of capturing the will of the people. I contend that the market is the best way to capture the will of the people. Nothing else comes close. We’re not going to have time to discuss this fully, so I would urge you to research this on your own. Read books, take macro-economics classes, read articles on websites like mises.org, etc. I can picture your political philosophy as I’ve learned it, coupled with an understanding and support of free markets -- and I like what I envision.

Note that I take the concepts and implications of markets much further than most people who claim to support them. For example, some people will believe they support markets when they also support public voting on things related to markets -- and I say they don’t yet understand markets, for they are not fully applying the principles they claim to believe.

Some people will have their justifications for (forcible) interfering in markets, and I’d say, Okay, we can look into those; but I need not look into those to already know that they are shunning the will of the people; instead, they are wanting to force their will onto other people.
~~~~~~~~~~
Do you notice how this post’s 1st and 2nd topics are different, and yet have a major commonality? Free markets are natural; they exist without any plan; and yet they naturally acknowledge everyone’s desires in the group. Many people will believe that they can interfere in markets and still know what is best for people, but they would be wrong. Smile
Asgardsfall
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
I would contend that we are living in a state of natural law. Human law rests firmly on top of natural law

I completely agree with this statement. Natural Law is a concept which would seem to be universally agreed upon in principle across a wide variety Philosophers dating right back to the Greeks, however Natural Law does not work in full with any of their philosophies and additions must be made, it is these additions which give these philosophers their own identities.
From what you have said I understand that you would
    leave Natural Law alone and simply bolt on any concepts that Natural Law doesn't have.
    say that all aspects Natural Law apply to their fullest, when it has covered a particular subject.

I would contend that Natural Law does not work in its natural form in every circumstance, and I would propose that while Natural Law should remain part of the set if core values in a philosophy, the concepts built upon it actually modify/temper/redirect some of its concepts to fit into a Human society rather than to fit a society of Beasts.

And yes I do hold Humanity above Beasts, but not for any religious reasons. I do so based on the fact that Humanity can conceptualise abstract ideas and can act upon those ideas. I would contend that the Beasts cannot do this except on an instinctual level. ie. Today is not cold but I know winter is coming so I must store food.

I apply this concept to the concept of ownership. I completely agree that Onyx, my cat, does not care that he does not own the land upon he lives. He marks out his territory and staunchly defends it from any intruders. If he wins, he may gain half the neighbours backyard, if he looses he could be contrained to within the house. To him territory is a fluid thing based on where he is and what he can defend.

Humans however do not negotiate with cats for living space, except perhaps when it comes to trying to read books.
Ownership I believe is a concept higher than Natural Law, it is designed to modify the requirement to mark and defend territory in a world of finite resource. International Law it would seem has now moved beyond simple Natural Law with the creation if such things as International Conventions, the United Nations and the International Courts. Whatever form it has taken it has created an enviroment where a National concept of Land Ownership, can and must exist.
To survive and suport their respective populations in the world as it is, Nations must have the Right and Control to use and dispose of their own natural resources, be it land or minerals, in such a manner as they see fit, providing (in my case) they do so only to fulfill their responsibilities to its citizens.
I contend that if a Nation cannot "Own" its resources, it cannot legitimately "Use" them. Besides ... if a Nation can only "Rent" its resources .... who does it Rent them from? This implies someone still owns them .... and unless convinced, I would not consider "the earth" as an appropriate answer, although it is the obvious one.


[to be continued]
Asgardsfall
For those who dont want to hunt back to find what this post is about

The Philisopher Princess wrote:

Asgardsfall wrote:
It is a Governments role to capture the will of its people in the creation of these "Conventions".


Is there really such a thing as “the will of its people”? Once you figure that out, if you have “it”, do you really have anything of value?

For example, given anything you name, you will find individual persons’ wills differing on that one thing. So, for that one thing, what really is the will of the people; is it simply what the majority wants so 49% don’t get what they want if 51% can agree -- and that is still called the will of the people? Majority rule is not much of a true will of the people, in that case, right?

But it can get even worse when plurality rule is accepted. 33% want this, 22% want that, 11% want the other, and 34 other choices have 1% support. If the 33% get their way, then you have 67% people not getting their will. Should someone feel comfortable declaring the will of the people includes 67% are not getting their wills?

I’m just introducing some notions, which you can take much further in working out on your own. If and when you get to the point that you are skeptical that capturing the will of the people can be done by a government, the next step will be starting over in trying to achieve what you want.


Princess, I feel your challenge is on a mechanical level which I would not accept either. I am not advocating any particular type of Governmental Structure (specifically), and I am not saying that "The Will of the People" can at any time be labeled, put in a bottle and sold. This is far too empirical and open to argument. I have used the term "General Will". General by definition does not mean everyone. It also does not stipulate that if you have 51% then you have the "General Will" or "The Will of the People". I would contend that you can have the Will of the People at a vote with only 10% in favour, provided only 9% oppose and 81% abstain.

Not every thing can, and should be voted on. Such a system would be impossible to administer under real world conditions.
A Government must have the mandate of its people to act in their stead by proxy. This mandate can be given through active participation in the Political Process (whatever it my be), or tacitly, by not participating.
Again, not every aspect of a Government is going to be fully acceptable to an individual. They may like Social Policy but object to Economic Policy. The key is that Government involvement in people lives should be so much in the background that its actions are not radical enough or inspirational enough to polarise opinion. If the system was working perfectly all political votes would require minimal participation and would be won on percentages well below 50%, (for illustrative purposes I am assuming some form of Government Forum for decision making)

So .... I would say that a Government automatically holds the Will of its People to act according to its mandate and primary philosophy by virtue of the fact it has been made Government. It has this until it loses it, by waking the sleeping giant, and polarising opinion against it.
General Will is eroded when a people start to actively take interest in the actions of the Government. This is not to say that I am advocating that people should ignore the actions of a Government, there must still be an awareness of what is being done, however for people to feel they must vote in favour of a Government action they must in turn fear that people will vote against it.

Why is having the Will important? To me it provides two things.
Stability, and Momentum.
So long as the "Will" is held a Government may act as it sees fit to implement its primary role of protecting the individual rights of its citizens.
Without Stability the Government will shift constantly making and unmaking works according to shifting opinion. This is terribly wasteful of time and resources.
Without Momentum a Government will stagnate unable to perform the works required to fulfill its purpose.

Remember, under my philosophy it is not the Government's role to pick up an individual, wipe them off and bandage their knee, if they fall over. Determining how such actions would be carried out leaves too much room for controversy, suddenly we have a Government controlled public health system chewing up resources and tax payers money (a big no no - refer previous posts on a Govts right to Tax), competing with other private health systems which in turn require no Government support (oooh ... a peek at Social and Economic Theory). It is only a Government's role to ensure, if you need a Bandage you can obtain one ... from somewhere, you can pick yourself up off the road. This level of involvement is far more agreeable and less likely to be challenged, provided the Government has done its job and given people the options they need.
------------------------- PART 2 --------------------------------
Princess, Having just written this I have now read you piece on markets, and believe we are not too far apart on this issue. I am very much a "User Pays" advocate and believe someone with something to loose is going to do something more efficiently than someone who doesn't (ie a bureaucrat). Similarly a product or service which is not accepted or desired will die a natural death, while those popular will flourish. By my final sentence in part 1 above, my meaning is that its a Governments role to ensure it has encouraged the creation of all required fundamental services on a private level, and that it supports its citizens to the level where they can use these services at their most basic. For anything beyond basic services a user must choose to pay more from their own resources. Resources which would be available however as the Government requires so little Tax of its citizens.
The Philosopher Princess
@ Asgardsfall

I’m still digesting your latest -- thanks! Allow me to return to a previous point for the moment.

The Philosopher Princess wrote:
Asgardsfall wrote:
I believe you can only truely own the fruits of your own labour.
This means you cannot own natural resouces such as minerals, land, rivers and waterways etc.

Mostly yes, except for the “only” part.

If Mr. A voluntarily gives a stranger Mr. B an item that was the fruits of Mr. A’s labor, and Mr. B accepts the item, Mr. B now owns the item yet it was not of Mr. B’s labor.

As I’ve been mentioning, in dealing with philosophy, there comes a point when quibbling over the details really matters. Your “only” part rules out gifts.

Asgardsfall wrote:
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
Your “only” part rules out gifts.

I think I will stick with my pure definition and the word "only", but I believe I will elaborate on "the fruits of ones labour". I knew this was a bit vague when I wrote it but my supply of time was running low yesterday.

I believe you must earn gifts to own them. Among other more tangible things, you purchase gifts with time, for example, time spent building relationships, or doing deeds which may merit donations.

Okay, then we shall definitely have to disagree on this one for now. But that’s cool; maybe things will change down the road. I’ll tell you why I can’t go for the merging of (1) the concept of earning with (2) the concept of receiving a gift.

The action (and associated concept) of a person purposefully exerting effort (mentally, physically, or both) in order to acquire something (money or something else) is very important. It involves the person planning ahead, following through with their plan, and, due to a prior agreement (strict or loose), receiving value owed to them in exchange for their effort.

This is not at all what goes on with gift-giving and gift-receiving. To conflate two such vastly different concepts is to lose important information. Anyone who’s studied accounting at all has learned the general principle that some information is fine to merge (and lose) and other information is not. I contend that that is applicable here. Carefully choosing which things are which will have ramifications. A person’s (1) earning ability, is very different from a person’s (2) courtesies or good luck causing gifts to be received.

Of course, even with the keeping of the 2 concepts distinct, as I promote, there can always come a point when it doesn’t matter whether the valuables one owns came from (1) earning, (2) receiving as gifts, (3) were made by oneself, or other. But that’s down the line of analyzing them. I can’t see any positives in conflating them from the very beginning.

Any serious philosophic discussion, including economics talks, will need to use earn, as I use it, i.e., as purposefully exerting effort in order to acquire something owed via agreement. People on the other side from the people earning, have certain obligations, as called out by whatever agreement is place. On the other hand, receiving due to a gift is very different from receiving because of purposefully exerting effort. People give gifts all the time, for their own reasons, and need not be bound to answering to others for why they give gifts.

The whole human psychological infrastructure on (1) handing over because it is owed, versus (2) giving -- is naturally different. Natural law says that they are different; we know this by studying how humans act on both sides of the transactions of passing over of goods and receiving of goods. This is a lower, more foundational, level than political systems, which rest on top.

Asgardsfall, I wouldn’t want to discredit the examples you gave of giving; they are certainly reasonable, but they had to do with what you would do (when offered a gift). Political philosophies aren’t (validly) based on (just) what we would do, but on how all humans interact with each other, and what we specify -- in principle form -- how they should interact with each other. So, if a should in one’s philosophy doesn’t have to do with everybody, then it should not be there Wink. Other people aren’t going to deal with gifts like you, but I don’t see why you would want your philosophy to disallow the other approaches.

Any valid political system (based of course on a valid political philosophy Smile) will include means for injustices to be adjudicated. I can’t see how this would work very well if earnings and gifts (or lack thereof) are treated the same. I’m not aware of a good reason to call both of these very different concepts by the same term, and I do know of good reasons not to conflate, confuse, and purposefully lose information by the merging of them. That’s why I treat the fruits of one’s labor (earnings) different from gifts.

But that’s just my philosophy. SmileWink
Asgardsfall
I came across an interesting quote today in Wikipedia.
A work colleague introduced me to "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry yesterday ... in particular the chapter regarding the King on the Asteroid (we were discussing my boss at the time).

Anyways .... on to the quote ... when I read it I felt it was indirectly illustrative of one of the points I was trying to make regarding gifts and the currency of time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_little_prince wrote:
"It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important"


I think the quote most poignent when the rose represents the relationships we build. Although were my wife around I may not use the word "Wasted"
While superficially this could relate to the giving of the gift ... as in 'Its the thought that counts', I would contend that it can also apply to the time spent earning/understanding the gift. I believe that a gift received without thought or understanding is not valued as highly as one which is the result of time ... err ..... "wasted"??
Asgardsfall
rwojick wrote:
Now, for the protection of TWO PEOPLE TELLING THE SAME LIE in order to undermine the system the system makes this provision.

THIS "Orchesrated lie" is the CRIME OF CONSPIRACY.


If this protection worked then why do you need proof? All the prosicution needs to do is ask the defendant "Did you do it?"


rwojick wrote:
Under current US law if I drive 20 miles over the speed limit for 1000 miles and I never get pulled over then I am "not guilty", I am innocent until PROVEN GUILTY

I say you are "guilty" because you are breaking a law you know you should not.
If you were pulled over, should you not answer the cop truthfully when she asks you, "Were you speeding?"
If you do not get pulled over you still broke the law, you are guilty, andlucky.
The Philosopher Princess
--Locked--

There has been some excellent philosophy talk here, and meta-philosophy talk on the sibling topic! Thanks, everyone! Very Happy

The discussion seems to have run its course. How appropriate to have our political philosophy contest winner have the last say of significance! Very Happy

Of course, philosophy goes with each of us everywhere. Hopefully we will choose to improve and use ours to the best of our abilities.

Good Luck and Good Life to all philosophers! Dancing
The Philosopher Princess
--UN-locked--

There were reasons, which I won’t go into, for closing the political philosophy discussions here. But the situation has changed, and here’s the new situation.

I am re-opening these topics for discussion, but I will not be around for facilitation, as today is my last day. That means that you are welcome to comment on previous philosophic topics, or to present new ones. I do strongly request that any posters attempt to keep to the high standards that our other philosophers have met. But I won’t be around to help ensure that.

Therefore, if anyone notices something improperly posted, please contact a Frihost Staff member via PM for help. A Staff member who agrees with your assessment, can move any true spam to the Spam Can, or move anything that was posted on the main Philosophy topic that does not fit the strictest philosophic requirements, well, they can move it to the sibling Discussion ABOUT Philosophy topic.

Without their prior agreements or knowledge, I unofficially designate both Asgardsfall and Bikerman to be co-leaders of this topic.

So, there’s lots more that could be delved into. Have at it! Thanks again to everyone who’s posted so far. Very Happy
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