Do you dare?
Greetings to all.
The last battle is either won or lost, depending on your perspective. Continuing to rehash it isn’t going to change anything. Let’s try something different here.
My question to each of you is this: If the world was perfect, what would it be like? What kind of world do you dream of and strive for for your children or grandchildren? How do you want to live?
The idea for this comes from some very pleasant off-forum conversation with several different people. The discussions here on the forum tend to center on who did what, who said what, and why it sucks. These feelings come from something far deeper. Perhaps by finding the root of what colors our perceptions, we can find a cross-boundary dialogue that will be instructive and meaningful. The private discussions have ranged from angst-filled battles to intriguing questions about sociological and perspective differences between heartland dwellers and urbanites.
No proof is required - in fact, don’t bring any supporting material. If you want to argue about wrongs and evils and misinformation or attack somebody elses dreams, go start another thread.
I’m going to do one more thing here before I get down to business. I apologize to anybody I have offended here. I’ll mention Mike by name, because he and I seem to be the best at getting under one another’s skins and saying patronizing things. Mike - I’m sorry. I have said some nasty, condescending things to you here in the forum. I look back and can see where I have gone off of my goal of getting people to think for themselves and presented my own beliefs and feelings as implied fact.
Mike is not the only one I owe an apology to here. Every one of us has the feelings and beliefs we hold for a reason. Each of those reasons is unique to us as individuals, validated by the complexities of our existence and needing no further validation. So to anybody and everybody whose being I have attacked or been perceived to attack, I am sorry.
Now, I’ll lay it on the line… in my next post.
Ready… set… go!
Pete, that’s a good idea. I would bet we all have a lot in common, when it comes to what we would like to see.
|Quote (TomS @ Nov. 05 2004,07:36)|
|I would bet we all have a lot in common, when it comes to what we would like to see. |
Agreed. We just have different means of getting there.
My World, and Welcome To It
Actually, it isn’t that simple. I have two distinctly different ideal worlds. They are overtly conflicting, but I’ll address the reason for that conflict as well.
My perfect world is communal. In my perfect world, communities would function as large family units, sharing property and resources as needed. Being part of the community would be entirely voluntary - anybody who wanted to move on to be by themselves or try a different community would be free to do so.
I am priviledged with the friendship of an Amish elder in a community in Northern Michigan. As a result, I’m able to participate in the Amish community up there in ways that aren’t normally available to outsiders. Their community is very close to what I would consider ideal, though there are problems there as well. The community strives to be autonomous, taking care of their own from birth to death. Each family has their own place, and the community follows the Ordnung that is based both on tradition and their own decisions. While there is personal property, it is always available to the community. There are no Amish nursing homes or extended care facilities, and they do not participate in Social Security because they don’t need it.
Ideal? Yes and no. Even in this wonderful community, wealth and politics plays a role. This is the connundrum, you see… as soon as positions of power exist, human corruption sets in. Sadly, it even happens with the Amish.
So I must reevaluate my personal nirvana with respect to reality. The reality is that humans are corruptable. Any time power or wealth is available, our own frail natures take over. I no more trust you to make decisions regarding my community than I would trust ME to. God forbid I should ever be in a position of community authority. History has shown me over and over again what the highest ideals of communal (collectivist, communist) living result in, and it is not pretty. It doesn’t work… for one simple reason: Man.
In recognition of this truth, I have to find some kind of compromise between the ideal commune and independence. I don’t trust you with my life or my property… nor do I trust me with yours! How do I live? In isolation?
This is why I am a capitalist. In capitalism, I am free to achieve what I am able, and to manage the fruits of my efforts as I see fit. Community is a voluntary cooperation, dictated by mutual benefit, whim or whatever. Government authority is a necessary evil. The smaller the government, the safer it is. Government corruption is inevitable, so let’s keep it as constrained as we can, and flush it out as often as possible. The moment the community or government lays claim to my life, wealth or property, we have a problem.
Yes, Capitalism results in the same kind of corruption and abuse that government does. The big difference is that corruption is in the context of business rather than law. It does not have the potential to enslave me that law carries.
So that is the bottom line for me. I recognize the inherent corruptability of us humans, and do not trust it with my life or my children’s. I believe in the sovereignty of the individual… in liberty. In sovereign liberty, I am free to partipate or not. Once that choice is taken away from me, so is freedom.
Authority is a necessary evil. The larger the government, the greater the lure and the threat (and promise) of corruption become, which is why I am for a weak federal government and dead against global government. Global government offers the ultimate seat of wealth and power, and paves the way to the ultimate corruption.
Where does my Christianity fit into all this? In the communities I choose to participate in… and in the ultimate hope for my first described vision. It is man’s corruptability alone that prevents us from being able to live in my ideal world, you see. My faith offers hope to overcome that corruptability.
|Quote (pete @ Nov. 05 2004,07:57)|
|History has shown me over and over again what the highest ideals of communal (collectivist, communist) living result in, and it is not pretty. It doesn't work... for one simple reason: Man.|
So I must reevaluate my personal nirvana with respect to reality
We do in fact live in the real world. Socialism is fine 'parlor talk' for intellectual elitists - but they have not as of yet, proven it viable.
Some animals 'will always be' more equal than others ?
That said, I believe you have left volunteerism/charity out of the mix. (the spirit of JFK) If 'certain' peoples/groups channeled their energy positively - their monetary potential could be significant. That coupled with capitalism, is an interesting possibility.
Expand it, Ali! Don’t critique my dream - show us yours!
|Quote (Ali bin Gali @ Nov. 05 2004,09:15)|
|That said, I believe you have left volunteerism/charity out of the mix. (the spirit of JFK) If 'certain' peoples/groups channeled their energy positively - their monetary potential could be significant. That coupled with capitalism, is an interesting possibility.|
Capitalism is the worst economic system, except for all the others. - Churchill
This last election cycle has proven there is a great potential in this country to generate wealth.
It has yet to be unproven that if this were used for positive means, ( serving the poor amongst
us ie: social programs, health care) along side capitalism the two could commingle well together.
"The inherent vice of capitalism is the uneven division of
blessings, while the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal
division of misery." Sir Winston Churchill
Pete - thanks for the apology but one wasn’t really necessary. And I also apologize if I offended you or anyone else in my rants against the swift boat vet’s, right-wingers, etc. I’ll try to be more careful when I use hot-button words like liar, etc.
Interesting world you have Pete because communal living implies some of the ideals of communism doesn’t it? And that’s OK - it doesn’t make you a communist by definition.
I like our many things about our system/country the way it is. I’d like for there to be less pollution, less poverty, less crime, and more good will toward fellow citizens. I’m from the Northeast where we have a strong tradition in “live & let live” as long as you don’t hurt anyone. That translates into more tolerance - tolerance for people’s religious views, tolerance for gays, tolerance for rednecks (and yes - right-wingers too).
I’d like for government to be sensible & taxes to be reasonable. I believe in capitalism & free enterprise but I don’t believe that all of us, left to our own pursuits of happiness, etc., creates a society where everyone benefits. To put it simply, I don’t believe the “free market”, by itself, will end in the best world. Hence, I do believe there is a role for government to oversee, to regulate, to protect the “little” guy - these are my obvious Democratic leanings.
That’s a summary of what I beleive but it’s a start.
Hmmm. I was holding back on responding in hopes that perhaps some of the other vocal hopefuls would chime in. Is this too close to home? Too revealing? Too personal? Ah well.
Yes, Mike, I’m a communist at heart! Read the Book of Acts to see the kind of communism I refer to and that I perceive the Amish are close to.
I’m not a church-goer, though I’ve tried. The way I understand The Church is the very community in which I live. The moment it is confined to a building or an appointed gathering time, it becomes something else… something that a lot of people seem to get a great deal out of and is no less ligitimate, but not something I have been able to grasp as Christ’s Church.
The key to it, though, is in the choice of the individual to be a part of it. Every major attempt at achieving Marx’s ideal has required the use of force. Why would people have to be marched into nirvana or utopia at the point of a gun? Why do the borders need to be sealed to keep them from fleeing?
If it is right, it seems our very (God-given) nature would draw us to it. If it is right, it will respect our (God-given) free will and the choice we have whether to believe or participate. If it is right, the road to that utopia won’t be paved with the bodies of over 90 million innocents.
If it is right, the leaders won’t spend tens of millions vying for hundred-thousand a year salaries and then retire extremely wealthy.
We still live in a community together & not be in a commune - right?
|The key to it, though, is in the choice of the individual to be a part of it. Every major attempt at achieving Marx’s ideal has required the use of force. Why would people have to be marched into nirvana or utopia at the point of a gun? Why do the borders need to be sealed to keep them from fleeing?|
I’m not an expert on Marx, but did he say violence was inevitable, or did he say that the working class would need to revolt if necessary. There’s a difference to me.
Has Marx’s ideal been really furfilled, or misconstrued & misrepresented by revolutionaries? I really don’t know.
Pete, that’s a helluva question, and not one I’m sure I could answer coherently.
There’s the simple, but meaningless response; world peace, universal harmony, and above all else, friendly women with nice tits.
But a full answer, I’m not sure I could even give to myself.
But, it’s still a nice question.
Hey pete your world doesn’t sound too bad.
And this isn’t meant to shoot holes in any of your ideas of a perfect world.
Who hasn’t had similar visions for his fellow man. But as most communist countries have proven, socialism at least in it’s monatary application is not a workable system. Nobodys ever been able to keep productivity in the working class, long enough to see if it works. There seems to be one variable Marks and other have not calculated into the equation.
Greed: it’s the motivation for any job. There’s no motivation for anyone to work harder, faster, better, if they are going to get the same amount of pay and recognition as the other guy, who’s over in the corner havin’ a smoke. In order for such a system to sustain itself indefinilty we as humans would have to remove this force form society. Everyone would have to do there jobs, until they reach a certain age. Be content with less than they feel they deserve at times. And all work together for a common good, so to speak.
People are never just be happy having a certain amount of luxury given to them. They want to keep up and pass “The Jones’s”.
I’ve seen a couple of religious “cults” come close. But in reality, even those utopian society’s were plaged with your pre~mentioned corruption. The one that takes place whenever money and power are joined. Afterall someone, or group of people would have to eversee the distibution of the common weath. I think I saw a sci~fi movie one time were ther was a robot who ran one simular, but that world had problems in the end regardless!
A perfect world is just too hard to define, because everyones idea of perfection is so different from each other’s. Perfect to me, is having enough money to take care of my monitary needs, freedom, security, equality.
Anyway,my vision of a perfect world, involves a social lottery. 'cause really isn’t that what everyone would be content with, having the money to buy all there needs and most fo there wants? Without worrying about greed as the motivation for them to want more, and get more, than someone else has. So as a solution to this uneveness in the social classes I propose this: A lottery. It would involve all jobs “on the books”.
Every person working would give 1$ everyday for the "privilige to work fund, that would then be channeled into a fund that would despence the weath. Every person would be a millionare by the time they were 30. or whatever age the system could sustain.)
In America, 246 million workers.–dollars a day. 246 people becoming millionaires everday.Times 365 days would mean 89,790 people would become millionaires every year. In twenty years 1,795,800 would be millionaires. Doesn’t take you long to figure out
It would take a hundred years to for 8,979,000 people to reach there millionaire status unless we raised the amount to say $3 day, then it would clock in just under the age thirty I mentioned earlier. I dunno, the whole idea rest on a notion that if you had a million dollars in the bank it would generate $40,000.00 a year in a high interest yeild.
Some people would be happy to live of the interest. I know I can budget my houshold on under that already so it wouldn’t effect me too much.
Under this theoretical atmosphere, a person would have to work for the beggining of his/her ife to help produce the producs and services that keep the society going. After that, they would be free to explore whatever possibilitys there minds and wallets could afford them.
There would be no room for corruption because the whole lottery sytem is based on a pre-determined age, and noone has to choose who gets it and when. It would be like a social retirement lotto and one time gift.
People would have to give up alot though to gain such a society. Give up coveting their neighbors car, cloths, ect. And being happy with theirs until they reach the age at which they could own independent weath.
Anyway this theory only works if there was some sort of pre-existing social structure that provided for law, order, and hospitals stuff like that.
To start such a society from scratch would take a couple of hundred years just to get it off the ground…then it’s sink or swim as it was with communism.
I believe that there are two “rules” to live by.
1. Be happy.
2. Be a positive force for everyone you can.
As far a government goes, I believe that the government should provide just those things that people can not. These would include; roads (infrastructure), defense, a legal system (governing system) and social programs that serve those people who need help beyond their own abilities. I don’t believe that government should decide what is “morally proper”. This type of governing is too close to being cult like and offers very little tolerance for people different from those who make the laws. I don’t believe in income tax (too many loopholes for wealthy people). I do believe that the government should lead the way for a better environment. This includes regulating the amount of pollution industry can produce and finding (developing) clean energy sources. After all. protecting the environment is protecting the people on a grand scale and is one of those things that people can not do themselves.
Those are my thoughts on government. As I have said many times, I am for a smaller, more efficient government that provides only the bare necessities.