Originally posted by SpittinCobra
My ideal goverment would be a honest one.
Heinlein had an interesting perspective on this view. He refused to accept the idea that "all politicians are crooks" because the ruling body comes,
ultimately, from the people. These are not aliens, clones, or robots that we are putting into office. They are your neighbors, your fellow countrymen,
and human beings with the same basic wants and desires as everyone else. Thusly, government is no more honest or dishonest, than the average
If this seems like an absurd idea, consider the average person. At one point in time, each of us has almost certainly broken a law (traffic
violations, driving under the influence, illegal drugs, underage drinking or smoking, fudging our taxes, theft, etc). And each of us has a different
set of paradoxial morals regarding these. For instance, I might believe that smoking weed in the privacy and safety of one's own home harms none, and
should be legal, whereas smoking crack, under any circumstances, should be illegal, because it's horribly addictive properties lead to greater
crimes. As such, I may be inclined to toke at a friend's party, but refuse to associate with crank-heads. My neighbor may feel that they are inclined
to take an extra deduction on their taxes that they are not entitled to, but would never consider shoplifting. Whereas a shoplifter might consider
stealing from a corporation to be fine, but that drinking and driving is a shootable offense.
The problem is that there are millions of voices, all with differing moral standpoints on what constitutes "honesty", and different views on where
honesty must be tempered with discretion (such as in the case of national security). In order to have a perfectly "honest" government, one must
first change society.
Originally posted by junglejake
The ultimate government would be a totalitarian government as described by Douglass Adams. The ruler wouldn't want to be ruler, wouldn't know
they're ruler, and be 100% just in answering questions put before them.
However, with the human factor involved, a virtual democracy would rock. Get rid of the house and senate and have voting termnals EVERYWHERE so
everyone participated with little deterance.
The first part is an amusing answer, but consider the realistic implications of it. How well-led can a society be, if the ruler has not interest in
ruling. Perhaps, due to their lack of interest, your own livelihood and loved ones are destroyed, and you cannot petition because they've hopped
aboard some spaceship and gone to a party somewhere.
A virtual democracy would be an interesting vantage point, but what of those who learn to hack the system, and make their vote count an enormous
number of times? Or terminals in areas prone to vote against the hacker's views are repeatedly disabled?
There comes the additional problem of having the unqualified dictate policy. Consider this: You have a life. You go to work each day, have a family to
run, and social obligations to attend to. Do you really want to be bothered with every single bill and law that comes across the board? Would you
honestly be willing to read every single clause, and research it, and watch debates for and against every act? There are people whose sole job it is,
is to read bills and decide on whether they will vote for or against it, and already have the benefit of a political party to decide their views for
them, and they still
cannot manage to be informed of even the titles or summaries of the bills they must vote on.
The amount of votes required per day would be enormous, and would largely be due to public attitude, at that moment in time, and how flashy the title
sounded. Either the votes would have to be limited only to issues of extreme imporance, while minor issues were decided by some other system, or you
would have to deal with the fact that the vast majority of the issues would be decided randomly, or with almost no information or qualifications to
judge about the bills themselves.
Even if you had the desire, interest, and ability to read every single clause of every bill, could you honestly say that you would have the skills
neccesary to decide if a bill claiming to be "An economic growth initiative" would cause greater harm than good in the long run?
Originally posted by Amelia
The ideal of government is no government and everybody living in ONE with earth, respect every soul....live in unconditional love without fear,
religions, and money...if everybody would be one with the rest....
That would eliminate diseases (cause by all the crap we eat, medications, gas....) eliminate crime (no money, no crime, no corruption) and eliminate
everything that has no real purpose to our trip on earth
So you are proposing Anarchy
? I often hear people proclaiming the greatness of anarchy, while
having no real concept of the consequences.
Let's assume, for the sake of arguement, that everyone on Earth could be convinced to simply love, live off the land, and give up money. There would
be no government, no corporations, and no unified system of currency. In effect, they have Smashed the Corporation, and stuck it to the man.
Let's now look at the reality of this situation:
To start your bold journey properly, you must be in very good shape, because there's a lot of work ahead of you. If you have any physical or mental
handicaps, it would be a very good idea to find a way to get by without your corporate-produced medicine or machines (like wheelchairs). From here on
out, it's only what you can make or barter for!
If you are serious about sticking it to The Man, you'll most likely need to find a new place to live. After all, how serious can you be about this if
you're going to live in some corporate, cookie-cutter home, in yuppy-infested suburbia? In fact, you really shouldn't live in any shelter that was
made by a construction company, because even if they are a Mom & Pop construction company, you can bet that they didn't hand-build their construction
equipment. You definitly wouldn't want to sleep in your car, since nearly all cars are built by a corporation. Did I say car? That will have to go,
I'm afraid. Gasoline comes from corporations, as well as car parts. And I'm afraid your old camping equipment won't do; after all, it was
manufactured and distributed by corporations.
So, unless you have a nice dry uninhabited cavern nearby, I suggest you cut down some trees and build your own shelter. You might need some help
though, because that's an awful lot of work, but how do you convince anyone to help you?
And while you're at it, you may want to consider figuring out a way to feed and clothe yourself as well.
Let's start with food. You'll need a garden of some sort. Where do you get the seeds? Certainly not from the corporation! You will need to learn
exactly what foods grow well in your area, how to plant them, when to harvest them, and how to cook and prepare them. You still don't have seeds, so
you'll not only need to learn how to find these seeds in the wild, but also need to learn how many seeds are required to get a healthy crop. There's
also the small matter of time. You are quite likely to get hungry before your crop matures enough to eat. That means either hunting or gathering food
from the wild. While you're investigating your food-gathering options, it would be a good idea to find out what animals in your area are edible, how
they are prepared, and how to spot signs of disease in the animal as well. All of this knowledge can be easily obtained from books, but they take time
to read, as well as the fact that obtaining said books without money, without using a corporate bookstore, and finding a book that was published
without using corporate machinery. And you have to find all of these by walking (or riding an animal, which will take yet more time and training).
It would be a good idea to get dressed before going out to find your survival guide, but what to wear? Obviously you cannot use any clothes bought
from a store, as you not only have no money, but those clothes are made and distributed by the corporation. Unless you intend to wear nothing but a
grass skirt, this means you'll probably need to either kill an animal and stitch together its skin, or figure out how to make wool from cotton or
sheep. If you decide to go the non-lethal route of wool, you'll need some sheep or some cotton seeds. Again, there are the problems of learning how
to do all this, as well as affording the materials to do so. Did I mention this also takes time that could be spent on the other 100+ chores you will
need to do on a daily basis? Ah! And unless you intend to shear your sheep with a sharp rock, you'll need a pair of handmade scissors. This will
require not only knowledge of metallurgy, but raw ore with which to work. I suppose in warmer climates, one could go around in the nude, though this
would not be an option in colder climates, and would aso provide little protection against the elements and sun.
So you've figured out some way to provide yourself shelter, food, and clothes. So far, it's a pretty grim existence. Wouldn't some amenities be
nice, like fresh water? Chances are good that any source of water you find will need purification before drinking, because even unpolluted water
usually has some form of parasite living in it. The easiest way to do this would, of course, be with a kit from the store, but as those are corporate
products you will either need to figure out how to boil your water (learn to make fire without matches or lighters), or find a way to extract iodine
and use it. Either way, your water is going to taste bloody awful, but at least you won't end up with the runs or worse.
Now that you've got water, food, shelter, and clothing, you've probably got a pretty full day ahead. After all, we haven't addressed a source of
light yet, and the sun only averages about 14 hours of good solid daylight to see by, which isn't -nearly- enough time to get all those things done.
You could always keep a fire going at night, but that would quickly deplete your supply of wood, and in some areas, in the summer, the last thing you
want is yet another source of heat. So you'll be needing either candles, lanterns, torches, or braziers. As lanterns and braziers require yet more
metal and knowledge of metallurgy, and torches are a major fire hazard in rural areas, we'll focus on candles. Do you fancy being stung by bees?
Because you will without a corporate beekeeper outfit! Finding a local wild bee colony can also be very difficult, and is likely to have a very low
yield before being used up. So beeswax is out. You could use animal fat to make candle wax, and they even make a dandy emergency food supply.
Unfortunately they also attract predators, because it is animal fat, after all. There are other sources of wax and oil, such as certain plants, but if
they don't grow in your local area, you'll either need to add them to your garden, or find another source of light.
Since you have no method of storing food yet, you'll need to either build a smokehouse or some sort of granary. Both are going to attract pests, and
take yet more complex tools than just your simple shelter took. If you intend on lasting through the winter, you're either going to need to take up
blacksmithing, or learn to hibernate. Of course forges don't come cheap (especially hand-made ones), and you don't have a job, so you'll need to
sell what food you produced in order to buy one. This does not include the raw ore (which you'll either have to mine, or find a non-corporately mined
source), nor does it include the fuel (unless you intend on denuding your local forests). Now a forge is nothing without a good foundering oven, so
you're going to need a good supply of stone, some sort of miter, stone-cutting tools, as well as a solid knowledge of masonry. You've not only added
more expense, but also even more time required to complete these tasks. You will, however, have the joy of knowing that you managed to attain a
technology level of "Iron Age", assuming you accomplish this before you die from poor health, due to exposure and malnourishment.
Which brings us to the next happy topic: Medical Care. Obviously you could never use a modern-day hospital, as everything in it is related to at least
one if not many corporations. So where do you go when you sustain an injury? I say "when" because, with all these hard labor tasks you're doing
each day, an injury is almost certain to happen, multiple times. Hollistic medicine may be fine, if you happen to have an education in it, or someone
nearby who does, but perhaps you end up needing emergency surgery? What then? With no blood bank, no sterile environments, and no qualified
professionals, the risks brought about by medical attention would be so great that amputation and cauderization would be the only realistic
What I hope to have illustrated with this introduction to a corporate-free life, is that The Corporation is neither good nor evil. It is merely
another technological age in order to make the distribution of goods and services efficient enough to allow people to specialize their skills, rather
than a focus on survival. The Corporation allows for the mentally and physically handicapped to live a more normal life, as well as a longer lifespan.
A corporation built the parts to the computer you are using right now, and the upteen-billion electronic parts that have allowed you, the reader, to
read this very sentance over the corporate-produced and maintained network of machines that comprise the internet. Were all corporations around the
world to instantly disappear, along with their evil products and services, it would cause such a spread of famine, disease, and violence that the
death toll would be in the billions.
In conclusion, the idealogy of "Smash the Corporation" is even more flawed than the Luddites of an earlier time. Though it is a popular slogan and
rebellious cause, I am afraid it is an idealogy born of ignorance. Society in general no longer posesses the survival skills that even our
grandparents had, and most people do not want to spend their entire day doing backbreaking labor just to be able to live another day.