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What Advice Would You Give America and Americans Right Now?

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posted on Aug, 1 2006 @ 03:25 PM
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America and Americans are experiencing critical views not only in the United States but in the rest of the world.

What advice would you give in order for the country and its citizens to look better and gain more respect in the eyes of the international public?

[edit on 1-8-2006 by ceci2006]




posted on Aug, 1 2006 @ 03:39 PM
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No country should worry about what its opponents think of it frankly. But many are starting to see that Israel runs the US and that is a problem. This powerful little country and its powerful people are running the world and this is scaring a lot of people.



posted on Aug, 1 2006 @ 03:46 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
What advice would you give in order for the country and its citizens to look better and gain more respect in the eyes of the international public?

[edit on 1-8-2006 by ceci2006]


No. The answers to the questions that concern us as Americans will come from within, not from the outside. Just as it has always been. The rest of the world has no vote in what the U.S. does internally. In fact, shame on you for even considering such a thing!



posted on Aug, 1 2006 @ 06:56 PM
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But America and some Americans certainly are not so haughty to take advice from other countries? After all, we're world citizens too. And now since everything we've been involved in overseas has drawn a lot of criticism from other countries, it's time to hear what other people have to say to make America and its citizens recognize the error of its foreign policies.

Shame on you for being so imperialistic. You are also biased against the opinions of the world community.

[edit on 1-8-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Aug, 1 2006 @ 07:31 PM
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My thoughts exactly, ceci. Nice reply.
A bit of dialog would't hurt the reputation of the US in the world.

Then again, as a superpower, why would they care?
*irony, sorry*

mr Jones
who - being born on a planet - never truly understood nationalism



posted on Aug, 2 2006 @ 04:08 AM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
we're world citizens too.

Shame on you for being so imperialistic.

[edit on 1-8-2006 by ceci2006]


No, we aren't world citizens. Allow me to explain how I view it.

A person is born sovereign, and until he becomes an adult he is ruled by force in the strictest sense. He cannot survive on his own and to survive must be subordinate to his parents.

Eventually however, and not necessarily at any set age I might add, a person has the capacity to live independently. Upon reaching this point, one has the irrevokable right to rule himself.

Governments will attempt to rule you by force. There is virtually no land on this planet not claimed under the jurisdiction of some government, and generally speaking the government that claims the soil where you were born also claims you.

Governments however have no true right to any soil apart from force. If the government is the sum of the people united in a social contract then the government's land, logically enough, is the sum of the people's soil. Undeveloped land owned directly by the government, in my view, is an illegitimate claim. This is important because a person needs space to be.

Did it ever occur to you that you have to pay for the right to exist? You can't just be in public. You can use the park or streets you paid for in taxes, you can go onto private property to engage in commerce, or you can be on the land that you have purchased or leased, but if at any point you attempt to exist without commerce you are committing vagrancy/loitering and can be arrested.

It is within your natural rights however, as I see it, to renounce your citizenship and leave any privately owned/developed land, and subsist on your own, but I digress. The point here is that you are not truly a citizen of your country because you were born there, and therefore you are not a citizen of the world because you were born there.

You are a citizen of your nation because you have entered into the social contract by accepting what is extended to you by it (the rights and restrictions of the laws and constitution).

At no point have I ever accepted anything offered to me by any global social contract, therefore I am not a global citizen. Furthermore, the global social contract, to the limited extent that one exists (treaties, most notably the UN Charter) in no way infringes the sovereignty of nations. Therefore even those of us who have surrendered our individual sovereignty to a state (read pretty much all of us) are not global citizens.

Now what happens in the absence of a social contract? Hobbes' bellum omnium contra omnes or in English, everyone at war with everyone. This is essentially the state of things between nations at present. Not all wars are military, but all nations war with all other nations. Nations must struggle for an economic edge, for stronger diplomatic standing, for strategic security, and occasionally, to militarily defend what they have or acquire what they need.

To the extent that this is not checked by treaty, it is undeniable that nations have the right to pursue any policy and concern themselves with the feelings of others only where self-interest dictates.

I would go further, that even where treaties do intevervene, that obedience is a matter of self-interest. It has long been observed that treaties only last as long as they are mutually beneficial, and furthermore that they are derived from force. Nations are forced into treaties by the consequences of doing otherwise, much as the social contract, for all the lofty philosophy surrounding it, ultimately boils down to a few people coming up with the idea, then enforcing it on the rest; not to a unanimous or even majority consent.

If you doubt this remember that Congress is older than both the United States and the Constitution, and the militias which fought our Revolution are older than all of the above.

World citizens? Sure. Do you know when we'll become world citizens? When a global civil war comes along and we lose it.
Consider our own civil war as an analogy. The precedent for federal sovereignty was not entirely written in stone until thousand upon thousands of men had died trying to stop it.
Though the constitution contains a supremacy clause, the Father of the Constitution himself, along with Jefferson, argued in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions that there was no absolute submission to the federal government.
It took the threat of force in 1832 and then an actual war in 1861 to resolve the issue.

And when the global civil war comes, make no mistake, the sovereignty of men will not end. It will simply be more oppressed than it has ever been.


I'm not saying the United States should hurt people or fight wars at the drop of the hat. I'm simply saying that our own wisdom in weighing morality and self interest must dictate our policy, not the feelings of other nations. They will never be able to objectively weight our interests any more than we could weight theirs.

I assume you would agree that the United States has no business going to war with a nation just because it won't ban abortion, or for some other such reason, correct?

If that's the case, then isn't it true that nations should be bound by their own conscience and judgement, not by the moralizing of others, and furthermore that wars should only be fought for in defense of a legitimate national interest, as opposed to the enforcement of morals I describe in that analogy?

So there you have it, if the above paragraph met with your approval, then the statements 3 paragraphs above check out, and as a result we should not consider ourselves bound as world citizens.



posted on Aug, 2 2006 @ 04:14 AM
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Thanks for your kind words and insights, Mister Jones.

However about Americans taking advice: the problem is that if the American people carry that mindset of "being a superpower", they would simply refuse to listen to others overseas.

But, I am hoping that there are enough Americans like myself who are curious to find out what other people would have to say because the policy makers in America aren't doing very well internationally.

Maybe it is up to the citizens to listen and think about how they can better relations with others in the world.

And perhaps, what world citizens say might influence people inside the United States to make a more appropriate choice during our elections so that we will choose people who will actually conduct foreign relations better.

The Vagabond,

I missed you there. Sorry about that. But, yes, I agree that we are citizens of a sovereign nation. And that is the United States. But we not only live in America. We live on Earth. Because of that reasoning, we are part of the world. And since we are part of one nation that makes up the earth, we do have to deal with other nations and their citizens.

We need to be a little more international in our thinking because our leaders are running our foreign policy into the ground. Why not hear from others who deal with us?

It might change our policies to be more respectful of other people in other lands.

Whatever happened to just simply listening to other people instead of being so insular all the time?


[edit on 2-8-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Aug, 2 2006 @ 04:21 AM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
Shame on you for being so imperialistic. You are also biased against the opinions of the world community.

[edit on 1-8-2006 by ceci2006]


this stikes me as so vary funny hahahah
where pray tell do you live ??
i have a question though for you or anybody that would like to respond.
IF you consider the inpact a nation has upon the world overall and that impact were to be rated 10 being the best score and 1 being the worst, how would you rate you own nation, and how would you rate the nations that are Known to have changed the way the world is ( greece, roman, persion,etc etc )
and why would you give them this rateing.



posted on Aug, 2 2006 @ 04:23 AM
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Well I would answer your questions--on another thread. This thread is about whether Americans are humble enough to hear advice from others in the world about their country and themselves.

And since there's no statute anywhere on the books that says it is "wrong" or "illegal" to do so, it's about time we try to listen.




[edit on 2-8-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Aug, 2 2006 @ 11:29 AM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
the American people carry that mindset of "being a superpower"


That is a point I have to grant you, and it irks me a bit. I like to think that I would have the same view of America's sovereign right to pursue its interests despite the objections of others even if America had a military standing like that of Syria.

I also however would like to mention that the European governments that oppose us do so in hypocrisy and that their citizens probably haven't considered the full ramifications of their beliefs.
Now, there is little denying that this thread reflects in large part on the issue of Iraq, and on that particular grounds I am less inclined than usual to argue that the world (or even the average American) had any great stake in the policy.
In the broader scope of things though, considering America's selective intervention (read frequent non-action) in the face of international crises and oft unpopular foreign policy decisions in terms of backing nations like Israel, funding "NGOs" in various countries (in some cases, such as Somalia, NGOs=warlords), etc, we might do well to remember that all of those who complain, both in America and abroad, do so while enjoying the fruits of those sins, and apparently without realising the impact that a change would have on them.

I discuss this in detail in An America the World Can Love. Single Post 1 Single Post 2
They are both reasonably short by my standards and I believe they do a good job of explaining some of America's evils in a light that many people never consider. The second also has a bit to say about the extent to which things can be improved and how.


make a more appropriate choice during our elections so that we will choose people who will actually conduct foreign relations better.


Whenever we seek to do something better, the first question we should ask is what the desired outcome is. For example, if you wanted to really change your physical condition you wouldn't just say "I've got to eat better". You'd say "I've got to eat fewer deep fried candy bars and get more protien so that I'll have some muscle definition and have a better dating life".

In other words, I'm asking what "better foreign relations" means. What do we have to stop doing or start doing to get there, and what will things be like when we achieve that?

Now, do we all agree, first and foremost, that people act in their own interest? This conversation could get quite complicated if we've got people here who believe that there is really such a thing as 100% pure selflessness.
I assume that at least Ceci and I are on the same page here because of this quote:


We live on Earth... we do have to deal with other nations and their citizens.


And that makes things fairly simple to figure out. The long and short of it is that we don't want to make other nations so angry that it causes us hardship. For instance, we don't want to get Britain's government in such deep trouble with its people that they dare not support us when we need them most at some point in the future, and we don't want the French to get so angry at us that they sell Iran nukes for self defense, etc.

Well, as I explain in the first post I linked to, that's not too much of a concern because more often than not, they are quietly thanking us for all of the awful stunts we pull. Many of those who condemn us have nuclear weapons and small but still very professional militaries. We are NOT going to war with them, and if they had deployed troops to Iraq and said "we double dare you to set foot in this country", we would have backed down. They could stop us. There is a reason they choose not to. They don't even place sanctions on us. Would they tollerate this behavior from any other nation at all? Would we? Not unless at some level approval has been given.

The changes America needs to make are changes that it needs to make from its own conscience our foreign policy gets a passing grade. It's not an A+, that's for dang sure, but nobody's ever is.
The greater problem, the problem which is drawing criticism, is not about foreign policy because it is not coming in any sincere form from nations which might realistically be made our allies. It is chiefly a moral problem and personal morals can only be observed to the extent that the majority of Americans choose to let American morals interfere with American interests. Beyond that, stuff happens.



Whatever happened to just simply listening to other people instead of being so insular all the time?


The good old days never happened by the way. There were three short-lived highpoints of American internationalism.

The first one lasted about a year, overlapping 1918-1919, and only existed in Wilson's Whitehouse. The Senate killed it.

The second one may not have really existed at all. It could be argued to have begun in 1945, but if the UN was any more than an attempt by the allies to divide the world up among the conquerers, it began to fall apart with the advent of the cold war and as far as I'm concerned was undeniably over by 1953 when the US threatened to pull the economic rug out from under a fellow NATO member and another ally (England and France) if they didn't alter their foreign policy to suit our strategic concerns in the Suez Crisis.

The third one was far and away the most successful, but probably for no other reason than because we haven't got anyone to be too afraid of It continues today, though not with the same PR success that it first enjoyed. From 1991-2000 we had this nice little pattern of taking our time and having tea with the Euros before we went to war and having pretty much the whole first world on the same page so that nobody missed out on the glory, and so that everyone would have someone else to blame if things went wrong (which they did somewhat regularly in Africa).
That one isn't entirely over to be honest. It's just that this time when we asked the Europeans they said no. We were not asking permission. We were inviting them to come along. That was the case in 1991, and that was the case in 2003.



posted on Aug, 2 2006 @ 01:05 PM
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Vagabond:

I always like your posts; usually they're a touchstone on the real world and away from constructed mythos. However, occasionally you need a reality check yourself, in my judgment, and this is one of those times.

But only on a point or two. Mostly, you're in your usual form. I'll acknowledge that where I see it, so you won't think I'm picking on you.


Originally posted by The Vagabond
Eventually however, and not necessarily at any set age I might add, a person has the capacity to live independently. Upon reaching this point, one has the irrevokable right to rule himself.


Nobody has the capacity to live independently in the sense that you mean. Nor has anyone, ever. We have always been a social species.

Granted, private ownership of capital property is an invention of civilization, and during precivilized times (which means the majority of the time our species has lived), no individual owned the hunting grounds, flint quarries, fish streams, foraging grounds, etc. But it was still the case that everyone lived as part of a band or a tribe, and was dependent on the cooperative efforts of that band or tribe.



Undeveloped land owned directly by the government, in my view, is an illegitimate claim. This is important because a person needs space to be.


Actually, government ownership of undeveloped land is a holdover from precivilized times and so is more "legitimate" -- has a longer run of being the accepted norm -- than private ownership. This is the land that is held in common for the common good. It serves purposes other than private support or private profit.



if at any point you attempt to exist without commerce you are committing vagrancy/loitering and can be arrested.


Well, not only that, but you also can't physically support yourself. But that doesn't flow from government ownership of undeveloped land, it flows from private ownership. What you seem to be suggesting as an alternative, is that public land (e.g., national forests and parks) be opened up for settlement by squatters. (Or, well, homsteaders -- let's be polite.) That was done once, when the nation came into possession of a great deal of land, far more than was needed or wanted for collective purposes, but such a thing depends on possession of such an abundance of land that it seems to be infinite (even though you know it's not). And even under the homestead act, public land wasn't made available to everyone without restriction, it was parcelled out to the private ownership of anyone willing to live on it and work it.

In reality, wealth has always been produced collectively, not individually, and the only real questions are who controls the production and who garners what share of the wealth. It has never been possible for anyone to support himself in true freedom and true independence. We are not tigers, or some other solitary species, we are hominids, social and cooperative by nature.



You are a citizen of your nation because you have entered into the social contract by accepting what is extended to you by it (the rights and restrictions of the laws and constitution).


Nobody actually does that, though. Not freely, anyway, which implies the existence of a viable alternative. Thus, by this argument, nobody is ever a citizen
of any nation anywhere.



Now what happens in the absence of a social contract? Hobbes' bellum omnium contra omnes or in English, everyone at war with everyone. This is essentially the state of things between nations at present. Not all wars are military, but all nations war with all other nations.


Correct. As Hobbes pointed out, this is the state of affairs in the absence of government and law, and there is no government to govern nations.



World citizens? Sure. Do you know when we'll become world citizens? When a global civil war comes along and we lose it.


A depressing thought, and you may be right. However, it doesn't have to be that way. Let me explain why.

Since the dawn of civilization, the world has always been governed by an imperial system in which one or several great powers dominated other nations. This is the first time in which only one imperial power has existed throughout the world. It is also, to the best of my knowledge, the first time that the imperial power has possessed a national ethic and national self-image and self-definition that makes empire out to be wrong. There is a fundamental conflict between the American soul and values, and America's position as a superpower.

If we could return to the situation that existed for us from 1783 until 1941, in which the oceans (with the Royal Navy ruling them) protected us and allowed us to isolate ourselves from the global power struggle, we would probably do that. But we can't. Either we retain superpower status, or we hand off the power to someone or something else.

If we retain superpower status, it will continue to erode everything America is supposed to stand for and we will cease to be what makes us great, until we fall. Given that choice -- we may prefer to hand power off to something else. And the only something else remotely acceptable, would be a global government based on some kind of measured consensus rather than on national force.

The miserable situation in Iraq, and being the global target for terrorists (which we must be as long as we're top dog), together with moral disgust at what our nation does with, and to retain, its power, may well lead to a global government by evolution, without the need for a civil war, won or lost.



And when the global civil war comes, make no mistake, the sovereignty of men will not end. It will simply be more oppressed than it has ever been.


If you begin with the premise that all human beings are sovereign and government an imposition by force -- despite human biology and character to the contrary -- I can see how this conclusion follows. Since I disagree with the premise, I also disagree with the conclusion.



posted on Aug, 2 2006 @ 01:40 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
But America and some Americans certainly are not so haughty to take advice from other countries? After all, we're world citizens too. And now since everything we've been involved in overseas has drawn a lot of criticism from other countries, it's time to hear what other people have to say to make America and its citizens recognize the error of its foreign policies.
[edit on 1-8-2006 by ceci2006]


But the citizens of what other country or countries can honestly say that they are or have been superior enough in their own foreign policy dealings to presume to give us advice? Name a country and I'll point out the skeletons in their closet that must be exorcized prior to them giving us any advice.

The utopian world you seem to dream of where we are all just citizens of the planet earth does not yet exist. You must realize that for your dream to come to pass, all must agree to that concept and play by the same rules. Looking around today's world, I would guess that we are hundreds, maybe thousands, of years from that possibilty. And I refuse to accept putting sole blame on the U.S. for what you consider the world's problems. I am still convinced that the U.S. has done far more good than harm than many (any?) of the countries you would seek advice from.



posted on Aug, 2 2006 @ 06:58 PM
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Fallen, I'm going to attempt to answer this as concisely as I can because my last two posts have been well above par for the thread.

I fear that you have taken my argument more or less as an end unto itself. I will defend it because it is the underlying rationale for my views on this subject, but I'll try to frame it as best I can in terms of the thread topic for the sake of clarity.

My contention on the topic of this thread is that nations mainly exist in the "State of Nature", not bound to restrain their actions by any global social contract. Since the UN Charter was not specifically mentioned in Ceci's argument, I must also regard implicit or inherent social bonds as a point to be answered.

So in effect, I am arguing that "Law of the Land" is a fallacious concept, and that only a "Law of the People" (adherents to a contract) is justifiable. In simplest terms: being on Earth does not bind the US to any sort of global code.

Since governments were in fact created by men it is to be assumed that sovereignty orginates with the people and is entrusted from there upward. Therefore the principles of sovereignty can and perhaps should be argued at the level of the individual.

So while one does in my view have the right to withdraw from society if he pleases, that is not my point unto itself. If it were not equally true that a city or state can withdraw my arguments would really have no bearing on the sovereign rights of the US.

A few notes on the details you have challenged:
1. Land ownership. As you have noted, the government regulated and parcelled out land. Private property cannot be the problem if private property stemmed from government ownership. There is not an inch of free soil, and therefore one is forced to labor in the mode that the government sees fit. It would be wrong to dictate your career, wrong to dictate your spending, so how is it not wrong to dictate that you work for dollars?
Most would answer: That's the minimal level of control we need to sustain the US. If you don't like it, go somewhere else.
I respond: That's EXACTLY what I propose to do, but the US and other nations claim to own everywhere else. They claimed a bunch of empty dirt through naked force and they keep it empty by naked force to keep you working for their economy. Now I say that if a few thousand people want to start a town out in the sticks with a self-contained economy and neither take from nor give to the government, that's the sovereign right of those people (and their community, to which they delegate that power).

Were this point not to hold the case would be made that soil (as opposed to people and the things under their control... if you find a way to control the Earth you let the people of New Orleans know) can be ruled over along with whoever happens to be on it and that could theoretically subject the US to a global code. I do think this point holds up though, so I ain't fer it... in fact, i'm ag'in it.

2. Economics. As you have noted, the economy is older than nations and land ownership. I'm glad you bring that up because that puts us on the same page and shuts off the idea that world trade may be an implied consent to a global social contract.
A man can infact subsist on his own. You need heat, shelter, food, and water. Only under the very harshest conditions are these things beyond ones reach. The materials I'd need to go camping right now and comehome alive in two weeks (albeit very unhappy) could be folded up and stuffed in the pockets of my bluejeans.
I argue that not because the idea appeals to me (I haven't been camping in any way shape or form since I left the corps 2 years ago) but by way of protecting the argument for individual sovereignty.
For the purposes of this thread however, it is mainly relevant that the individual has his sovereignty which he can assign to whatever collective he chooses or exercise personally within a confederation of individuals. This makes the case both for secession from nations, the establishment of independent entities within the proclaimed borders of a nation, and of greatest relevance, the sovereignty of the United States over its own interests on this Earth, even though it's on "the world's" soil.

3. Acceptance of the social contract. It is true that few consciously weigh the choice to enter the social contract or not to, but ultimately you either partake in the things the government offers and uphold the attendant responsibilites or you do not. People have in fact fled this country and renounced their citizenship to free themselves from the bonds of that contract (vis a vis the draft). Government is not a neuteral force holding its hand out to you of course; it surrounds you and pressures the hell out of you and doesn't show you the alternative- infact it has criminalized certain alternatives as we have discussed, but they still haven't discovered a way to make you do something you don't choose to do, so there is in fact an acceptance.


What we must remember is that society and government are not one in the same. Humans are of a social character, but they are most certainly not of a character to be governed; that must be taught, and as a long line of child care providers in my past can tell you, that doesn't always take. Consider the fact that without a global government the United States is perfectly able to associate with other nations and interact with them in most necessary regards to promote our survival and comfort.
So how then does our nature necessitate government?

I do not entertain the notion of walking away from the government for its own sake, but on the principle that governments must be of, by, and for the people. There is no imperative of morality or justice to obey any other form of government, either for sovereign states or for sovereign men.


So much for concise... sorry. By the way, I didn't take time to say it earlier. Great post. Gotta run.



posted on Aug, 2 2006 @ 08:27 PM
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Thanks everyone for their comments so far. This is an interesting issue. And yes, I see both sides of it. And thank you all for giving this issue a bit of depth that it deserves.


Originally quoted by Centurion 1211

The utopian world you seem to dream of where we are all just citizens of the planet earth does not yet exist. You must realize that for your dream to come to pass, all must agree to that concept and play by the same rules. Looking around today's world, I would guess that we are hundreds, maybe thousands, of years from that possibilty. And I refuse to accept putting sole blame on the U.S. for what you consider the world's problems. I am still convinced that the U.S. has done far more good than harm than many (any?) of the countries you would seek advice from.


Who ever said that I sought a utopian world? I have never once said such a thing in my comments on this board. I simply asked whether there was anyone who would give America or Americans a bit of advice.

Well, if you think that this is utopian, well that's your perrogative.

But, I wonder, from reading the comments, what makes Americans and America better than any other country? Let's be frank. We're always giving other countries advice all the time--especially when doling out policies from speeches or in the UN.

We gave the once-sovereign state Iraq a whole lot of "advice". In fact, we acted upon it by invading and occupying their country, deposing their leader and changing their ideology.

America of course, wants to "democratize" the Middle East. That is their advice for an entire region. What if the countries there do not want to be "democratized"? What makes America even superior to change an entire region if the politicians want to? What gives them the perrogative to freely dispose what ever action they want on the rest of the world?

So, I'd say, that if American dignitaries are dispensing advice to other countries and their leaders all the time, then we should be able to handle what other nations and their peoples have to say about us.

To be honest, I thought that this would be one of those questions that would be easily answered and would probably garner a few kernels of wisdom from people in other countries. But I didn't expect such a row over this issue. But because "fear" governs America and its suspicions of "the others" in this world, I'm not surprised by the feedback.

What gets me is that I gather from the comments so far is that the Americans who posted don't want to hear the advice from other people because it would puncture the "aura of superiority" that the doctrines governing the United States has instilled in its citizens. I think it also has to do with pride.

But from pondering about how American politicans have dictated our foreign policy so far, all I can say is the old adage, "Pride goeth before a fall".




[edit on 3-8-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Aug, 2 2006 @ 09:13 PM
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Shame on you for being so imperialistic. You are also biased against the opinions of the world community.

...america responds...

"Dear World,

Shove off. Thank you.

The Mgmt."


Why should america listen to the world? Who's got the power, cash, and technology? THe US. THe world perhaps should be listening to the US. What countries are doing the best right now, the ones that hate the US, or the ones that get along with it? I mean, the people of lebanon, whats in their interest, telling america what to do to get the lebanese to like america, or doing what america likes? Works well for Israel no?



posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 12:56 AM
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Originally posted by The Vagabond
Fallen, I'm going to attempt to answer this as concisely as I can


Well, it appears to be me that you were answering, not Fallen. But OK.



My contention on the topic of this thread is that nations mainly exist in the "State of Nature", not bound to restrain their actions by any global social contract.


I agree with that, as a statement of current reality. However, I don't agree that it must remain so, or that we can't aim to rise above it. As I said, our choices as a nation are to remain a superpower (and lose our national soul), or to hand power off to someone else. If we hand it off to another powerful nation, we risk becoming the same sort of victim that we are currently rendering others. It seems to me, then, that the only viable choice is to hand power off to a global government, and since, as you point out, none exists, that means we must use the power that we have to create one.



1. Land ownership. As you have noted, the government regulated and parcelled out land. Private property cannot be the problem if private property stemmed from government ownership.


In origin, private property predates formal government, although it does not predate more informal types of collective decision-making. So no, I would not agree with this statement.



There is not an inch of free soil, and therefore one is forced to labor in the mode that the government sees fit. It would be wrong to dictate your career, wrong to dictate your spending, so how is it not wrong to dictate that you work for dollars?Most would answer: That's the minimal level of control we need to sustain the US. If you don't like it, go somewhere else.
I respond: That's EXACTLY what I propose to do


I would put it slightly differently, as follows:

Land does not exist in infinite abundance. It is a scarce resource. What you seem to mean by "free soil," is "free for the taking." Well, the problem with that is, if it's free for the taking then someone is going to take it, after which it will no longer be free. And this process has already occurred. As for something along those lines -- not necessarily identical to the system we have now, but something that decides who owns what and how -- being "the minimal level of control we need to sustain the U.S." -- that's too narrow a statement to be quite true. It is the minimal level of control we need to sustain civilization, not just the U.S.



They claimed a bunch of empty dirt through naked force and they keep it empty by naked force to keep you working for their economy.


Suppose they didn't. Suppose the government were to offer all the national park and forest land, and heck, throw in the military bases and government buildings, too, as what you're calling "free soil." Can't you see that all of that "free soil" would be claimed, and would become people's private property, from which you would be excluded by trespassing laws, in very short order?

It's an interesting vision you have, but it could only become real on a world with infinite amounts of land and space. That's not the planet we live on.



A man can infact subsist on his own. You need heat, shelter, food, and water.


You need reliable food, and safety from predators and other humans.



Only under the very harshest conditions are these things beyond ones reach.


Only under the very gentlest conditions, in the most harmonious and benevolent of environments, are these things reliably within reach for a single person. Perhaps it could be done for two weeks, but if you tried to do it on an ongoing basis, for years, you would fail.



It is true that few consciously weigh the choice to enter the social contract or not to, but ultimately you either partake in the things the government offers and uphold the attendant responsibilites or you do not. People have in fact fled this country and renounced their citizenship to free themselves from the bonds of that contract (vis a vis the draft).


But when they did, at the same time they assumed the bonds imposed by the society to which they fled. Those who fled the Vietnam War draft by going to Canada, for instance, agreed thereafter to live under Canadian law. They did not renounce all law or all government. No one is capable of doing that.



What we must remember is that society and government are not one in the same.


True in the same sense that a computer and a CPU are not one and the same, and in no other sense. Society is not government because it includes more than government -- however, without government, there can be no society. Even a very simple society, which does not need formal government, still needs ways of resolving conflict and of making and enforcing collective decisions. Even a family is governed by its parents.



Humans are of a social character, but they are most certainly not of a character to be governed; that must be taught


To be of a social character implies to be governed. It implies that certain decisions are made collectively, not individually, and that is what government's primary function is.



Consider the fact that without a global government the United States is perfectly able to associate with other nations and interact with them in most necessary regards to promote our survival and comfort. So how then does our nature necessitate government?


First, while human societies require government, societies of societies (so to speak) do not necessarily follow the same rules as societies of individuals. The macrocosm is not, in this context, as the microcosm, nor vice-versa.

Second, the U.S. does not seem any longer to be able to promote our survival and comfort unilaterally as it could while we remained in isolation. Or do you consider the 9/11 attack to be something promoting our survival and comfort?



I do not entertain the notion of walking away from the government for its own sake, but on the principle that governments must be of, by, and for the people.


Here, we're in complete agreement. And that's the strongest argument against empire that I can imagine.



So much for concise... sorry.


Heh. No, you're not.

And thanks.



posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 01:27 AM
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This is the sense that I get about this issue from everyone else. You guys can correct me if I am wrong, here. But, the main arguments against this issue are summarized as I see it:

1)America and Americans do not need advice from other countries simply because our matters, even in foreign diplomacy are insular. Americans solely belong to a sovereign state--America. Therefore, no one should have the right to give advice on the way we do things within and outside the country.

2)Like other countries and their citizens do not want the advice of Americans and America, we do not want their advice as well.

3)America is considered a superpower and therefore holds all the cards. Therefore, as a superpower, we should be an example to be followed. It would be beneath us to get advice from anyone else.


This is how I perceive these three issues:

1)Perhaps, maybe this does have to do with Natural law--being that in the state of things, we are all part of the Earth and therefore, we should be interested in what others from other lands think about us and how we conduct our policies towards them. And yes, I partly agree with Two Steps Forward that foreign diplomacy has to do with land acquisition. Land acquisition in a world in which "free acreage" is scarce starts a scramble to get it in order to acquire power. As a result, countries who want to subjugate others will take what they want when they have opportunity to get it. That's exactly what America did when they "occupied" Iraq.

All of us know that resources have to do with this. And America needs resources and a foothold in the Middle East. Therefore, by forceably taking Iraq, both needs are fulfilled. Even though that makes them a colonial power, it does not mean that the policies of the leaders of the "occupying country" speak for all of its citizens. There are some Americans who possess the curiosity and wisdom to listen to the words of others. However, it is too bad that those that want to know are constantly being shouted down by those who don't. Those who don't solely believe in the supremacy and unilateral policies of the United States. Therefore, they feel that they don't need to listen. And don't want to. But they do not speak for all of us.

2)Just because America is a superpower does not mean that we are impervious to the advice of others. The "superpower" mantle is daunting. Someone who is wise might do well to listen to his or her neighbors in order to function peaceably. However, America as a country right now is not conducting its foreign affairs in such an altruistic matter. More or less, how American politicians handle foreign policy is akin to a demogague and a drama queen. When it does get what it wants as a country, then it pushes the "American ideal" down everyone's throat in the guise of superiority. When it doesn't get what it wants, the dignitaries of the United States pitch a gigantic hissy fit. Then, when public opinion within America and out of it shows mass disapproval, the digitaries put their tails between their legs and uneasily give in because if they didn't, it would continue the hatred against a certain act internationationally.

3)Right now, America's actions within international politics are not an example to be followed. We have disrespected the Geneva Conventions, we have practiced Colonialism through the occupation of another country, we have also practiced ideology as a way towards imperalistic control of other nations.

That is why the Americans and America has to take a step back to listen to others outside of the country so we can be pulled down to earth.

4)The problem with not listening to the advice of others in international circles is that it continues to demonstrate the fact that Americans cannot listen, are not reasonable and rather stubborn in their outlook towards other nations. Furthermore, when the citizens demostrate these attributes, it could not foster good will towards others like themselves overseas.

Doesn't any one wonder why there is such an intense hatred of America and Americans right now? This stuff doesn't happen in a vacuum. Unfortunately, a lot of people are watching America's every move especially after what Mr. Bush did at the G8 conference. His behavior there should cause every American a lot of shame.


5)Just because one nation listens to another nation, utopian ideals are not fostered. This world is much rather dystopic in its outlook because of the continuous wars going on. It should disturb anyone that we can't live in peace. It should bother people that we are subjugating others of our ilk. And of course, it should rattle us that Americans are using the guise of fear to shut off any dialogue with others like us elsewhere on earth.

Fear is a great motivator. But it is also devestating to humankind. Especially when a segment of humankind thinks they are "holier than thou" and does what it wants to others because they can.

Does that mean we as Americans should ignore the criticism from different nations because we are too lofty to hear what those from other nations have to say? Or are we truly afraid to see the worst of our character divulged by others because of what we've done in the midst of foreign policy presently?







[edit on 3-8-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 01:34 AM
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I would advise them to take more of an interest, to educate themselves and look and listen beyond their borders and their TV screens.



posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 01:37 AM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
Why should america listen to the world? Who's got the power, cash, and technology? THe US. THe world perhaps should be listening to the US. What countries are doing the best right now, the ones that hate the US, or the ones that get along with it? I mean, the people of lebanon, whats in their interest, telling america what to do to get the lebanese to like america, or doing what america likes? Works well for Israel no?


So in the end everything is about Israel? If you mean that then maybe that is the PROBLEM in the first place?

Maybe Israel is the tail that wags the dog that is the US and all the other countries by bowing to the US are really bowing to Israel and its defenders/supporters.

We also have the British royalty/Rothschilds angle covered since they created Israel for which we are now witnessing a minor war being faught over that country.



posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 02:13 AM
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I am happy to debate what actions US leaders take but I wouldnt give advice to the American people as a whole unless I was asked. Given that the western society outside of the USA is culturally differnt and the means of governing is also differnt I doubt that any Americans would ask the rest of the world for advice.



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