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Redefining Utopia

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posted on Mar, 15 2004 @ 02:40 AM
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What fundamental tenets of American civilization would you change if you were possessed of the opportunity to do so?

In this thread I would like to explore aspects of the Constitution that are no longer interpreted as they should be, and especially those aspects of an ideal Constitution that are lacking in entirety. An unexamined life is not worth living, said Socrates, and I say an unexamined society is not worth maintaining, especially in the face of opposition. I am very interested in receiving as broad a range of opinions as possible, and to further this interest, would request that before replying to another persons post, you provide a set of modifications yourself.

I intend to cross-link this thread with another thread about what governmental trespasses would have to occur for oneself to attempt a revolt against the government, and encourage you to post any follow-ups of this nature here: www.abovetopsecret.com...

As for myself, I feel there are several critical modifications that should occur within the Constitution to ensure the true freedom of an American populace. Here is one I think would help tremendously:

The right to vote should be earned. The exact criterion for how this right is earned should be based on performing at least two years of social service. Tasks like teaching, policing, serving in the armed forces, etc. should qualify one for voting. As a general guideline, there are several jobs society requires filled which do not provide adequate compensation for the risks involved. These jobs should enfranchise someone with a vote. Why? Because something giving has no value. Because contemporary voters vote for a smile and an irresponsible slogan/promise, instead of for what is truly important. Because apathy and party-politics is destroying our civil liberties.

What do you have to say about it?


[Edited on 15-3-2004 by Cascadego]




posted on Mar, 15 2004 @ 01:55 PM
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I find your ideas lacking.

For there to be true freedom, we would not have government at all, and everyone would be individually responcible for their own wellbeing, protection, and justice.

As for earning the right to vote, this contradicts your want of true freedom. True freedom is not an earned freedom, but rather inherently given.

If you are conservative, then earning the right to vote is a terrible idea. It would increase government size, involvement and the like.

To get more towards true freedom, we need not change our government, but rather our society.



posted on Mar, 15 2004 @ 03:30 PM
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You find my ideas lacking? At least mine are mine and not rehash of some fourth tier publishing house that tweaked your nipples.

True freedom is not given. This is implicitly contradictory. For anything to be given, an accesory party must exist to do the giving. I can not be given something by nothing. The simple unparsability of this sentence is evidence enough. Go stuff it.

Why would earning the right to vote be a terrible idea? The only bloat this could cause in the gov. is the establishment of necessary guidelines and verification systems. If you are talking about the actual social programs that would qualify someone to vote increasing in size, i doubt it. The reason is very few people place any value in their voting rights. Would you serve this country for two entire years JUST to get to vote for president? And even if you would, could you say the same about the people you know?

As to true freedom, i never claimed it was my want. The idea is to examine society and modify it in such a way as to make it better, to make it more free. Without argument i concede that no government is more free than government, but only for the strong. Certainly a vast majority of "everyone" would suffer under a no government system. Certainly a large percentage of the populace would suffer undue burden: enslavement, death, rape, whatever. Not everyone is gifted with the capacity to protect their own wellbeing, protection, and justice. This is the foundation of society, we all accept a social contract that both enables and cripples everyone to an equal degree.

Your ideas are simply immature, Jethy. It's okay though, in our society we support the weak, and you can rest assured I will accomodate your ignorance and simplicity, at least temporarily.

Cas

p.s. sorry if this is abusive, i was just making use of one of the added mud-pit features which i highly recommend all following posts to do. If necessary i will curtail my rhetoric with an edit. u2u if req.



posted on Mar, 15 2004 @ 03:47 PM
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The one part of the constitution I would change is the definition of a person. I say this because modern companies hide behind the idea they are in a constitutional sense "a person" and subject to all the rights and guarantees people are which is bull#.



posted on Mar, 15 2004 @ 03:48 PM
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For there to be true freedom, we would not have government at all, and everyone would be individually responcible for their own wellbeing, protection, and justice.


NOW YER TALKING!!!!!!!


Im game.....WTF run Amuk



[Edited on 15-3-2004 by Amuk]



posted on Mar, 15 2004 @ 04:56 PM
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Originally posted by Cascadego
You find my ideas lacking?

Was I unclear?

At least mine are mine and not rehash of some fourth tier publishing house that tweaked your nipples.

Ah, the great line of the illiterate. My sincere apologies that I read my friend. It seems one can obviously find fault with a person who reads more in one year than most read in a lifetime. I have to say though, that I have formulated my opinions based on the working model of society that I have constructed through careful thought and meditation on these very type of debates. But I guess I rehashed all that time spent with some illgotten book I read.

True freedom is not given.

Did I say it was given? I said it was inherently given. Probably more accurately it is simply inherent.

This is implicitly contradictory. For anything to be given, an accesory party must exist to do the giving. I can not be given something by nothing. The simple unparsability of this sentence is evidence enough. Go stuff it.

Why would earning the right to vote be a terrible idea?

It's a bad idea because it leads us down the road of Starship Troopers, if you've ever read the book. The "earning" of rights constitutes first and second class citizenry, which is fundamentally aginst the Constitution. There lies my problem.

The only bloat this could cause in the gov. is the establishment of necessary guidelines and verification systems.

Yes, they have definately proven effective in that regard.

If you are talking about the actual social programs that would qualify someone to vote increasing in size, i doubt it. The reason is very few people place any value in their voting rights. Would you serve this country for two entire years JUST to get to vote for president?

Although I have already chosen to serve this country, it's is really a moot point. If I had not though, no, I would not work to earn the right to vote. I would rebel against a government that sets up a tier system for rights that people have fought for a died to defend.

And even if you would, could you say the same about the people you know?

As to true freedom, i never claimed it was my want. The idea is to examine society and modify it in such a way as to make it better, to make it more free. Without argument i concede that no government is more free than government, but only for the strong. Certainly a vast majority of "everyone" would suffer under a no government system. Certainly a large percentage of the populace would suffer undue burden: enslavement, death, rape, whatever. Not everyone is gifted with the capacity to protect their own wellbeing, protection, and justice. This is the foundation of society, we all accept a social contract that both enables and cripples everyone to an equal degree.

We agree on that 100%.

Your ideas are simply immature, Jethy. It's okay though, in our society we support the weak, and you can rest assured I will accomodate your ignorance and simplicity, at least temporarily.

Prey tell, what is it I am ignorant of? You must be quite an expert on me since you have read 5 or 6 lines of quick comment. As for simplicity, well if being simple in ideals is bad, then promoting a deluge of bull# must be brilliance.

I'll try to follow suit.


Cas

p.s. sorry if this is abusive, i was just making use of one of the added mud-pit features which i highly recommend all following posts to do. If necessary i will curtail my rhetoric with an edit. u2u if req.



posted on Mar, 16 2004 @ 04:34 PM
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How exactly would you redefine a person Mr. 47? I understand there is pressure to redefine a person as any entity that is or may come to be alive, autonomous, etc.

For example, the whole petterson fetus thing. Is that really murder? Has a "person" been killed? Should the law count this as a "person" being killed? If so, it seems a high-priced lawer could convict a murderer of a woman of actually murdering the woman herself, and all of her unborn-and-as-yet-unconceived children. Something along the lines of 3.1 deaths (1 for the woman + the avg. births/woman for the US).

Also, the definition of "person" could be subject to many other applications. I.e. only "persons" have rights, may be found guilty of crime, etc. I suppose disqualifying Coporations of "person-ness" removes the capacity of taking said corporation to court, etc. since the corp. would not be recognized as a legal-entity. One may have to take the CEO to court instead. Is this what you intend, and how would you modify the law?



posted on Mar, 16 2004 @ 04:56 PM
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First let me offer an apology for the way i approached my previous responce to your post. I see now that it was, as you say, "5 or 6 lines of quick comment", rather than a serious attempt to address the issue at hand. Secondly, I would like to proceed discussing your points, in a more... egalitarian fashion.

Your ideas are lacking. The reason initially was because they were 5 or 6 lines of quick comment. Your follow-up was not much improved, focusing instead of aspects of my post, rather than on your own ideas.

I would like to establish that I am not illiterate, and affirm that you need not apologize to me for your reading. I too have "formulated my opinions based on the working model of society that I have constructed through careful thought and meditation". Unfortunately my model seems to be at odds with yours.

I did not see how you can justify true freedom being "inherently given". If you instead claim that it is, however, "inherent" i would agree entirely. I am very uncertain however, as to what pertinence this has to the issue at hand, perhaps you would elaborate.

I feel that a society where the ability to vote is restricted to those people who are already willing to sacrifice for the greater good of society at large will be better off than the society we have today. The reasons are as follows:
1. Because contemporary voters vote for a smile and an irresponsible slogan/promise, instead of for what is truly important.
2. Because apathy and party-politics are destroying our civil liberties.
3. Because this country is being run by people (politicos) who have never had the best interests of this country at heart.

By restricting public office to those who can vote, and by restricting those who can vote to those who care about the wellfare of this country, I believe we can reverse many of the poor choices the politicos of this country have made in the past.

As to Starship Troopers, I have read the book. The second class citizenry did not, to me, seem such a bad thing. It is indeed against the Constitution, but I am subscribing to the fundamental assumption that the Constitution is imperfect. There already exists second- and third- class citizenry in the US, by adopting an earned-vote system, I believe a certain degree of role-reversal would occur.

As to your claim that no government is best government, i do not believe this is feasible. We all give up rights in exchange for protections we need. This is the basis of all government. You said you agreed 100%. If you would like to go back and debate the infeasibility of No-Government, I would welcome the opportunity.

I invite you to respond in whatever format you wish, but i would prefer one that is more constructive than your prior posts. Perhaps by keeping quoting to a minimum, the discussion could be more fruitful.

Cas



posted on Mar, 16 2004 @ 05:16 PM
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Very well. I thank you for the apology although I really don't need one. I choose to use the call and responce (quotation method) because it allows me to hit each point independantly. But I will give my opinions as well. I agree, up til now I have reasonably failed to do so well.

So, here we go:

"If you instead claim that it is, however, "inherent" i would agree entirely. I am very uncertain however, as to what pertinence this has to the issue at hand, perhaps you would elaborate."

I corrected my word usage because I felt the term I had used did not convey my meaning. "Inherent" would be the word I support. But being that it really is not a main point in this arguement, I'll leave the details to another thread.

"By restricting public office to those who can vote, and by restricting those who can vote to those who care about the wellfare of this country, I believe we can reverse many of the poor choices the politicos of this country have made in the past."

I understand your point, and think that it could make difference, but I do not think that legislation is the way to change the social views and focus of society. True change does not come from the top down, but the bottom up. I'll go into more below.

"As to your claim that no government is best government, i do not believe this is feasible. We all give up rights in exchange for protections we need. This is the basis of all government. You said you agreed 100%. If you would like to go back and debate the infeasibility of No-Government, I would welcome the opportunity."

If you got that out of my posts, it was not my intention. Actually, I agree that that is a fundamentally poor idea.


Now, as for the change we need.

We can not alter the apathy in this country by legislation, as I stated before. Community and low level government has suffered more than anythng else. We should not be focusing on the government as the means to solve our problems, much like the welfare system, they are too bloated to be effective for very long.

I think that the tier system would only serve to further separate the classes and if run by the current government, would be doomed to the same fate as most federal programs.

Is the Constitution flawed? Yes, but there are not perfect systems. I am sure that it would be less time/money effective to improve our current system.

That's all for now. I am at work still and am pretty swamped.



posted on Mar, 17 2004 @ 09:57 PM
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We said. I still believe seperating the right to vote from the apathetic would be an improvement however. I will admit, though, that there likely a 'gentler' change that could be made, to accomplish the same effect.

My commie friend down the hall wants me to mention the whole instant-run-off thing, where candidates are ranked, etc. Is that, perhaps, a better way?



posted on Mar, 17 2004 @ 10:15 PM
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Originally posted by Cascadego
We said. I still believe seperating the right to vote from the apathetic would be an improvement however. I will admit, though, that there likely a 'gentler' change that could be made, to accomplish the same effect.

My commie friend down the hall wants me to mention the whole instant-run-off thing, where candidates are ranked, etc. Is that, perhaps, a better way?


Well, I don't think so.

Something I have been rolling around, is perhaps a good idea.

What the problem seems to be in this country, is the same old junk getting rehashed year after year and so on.

I would propose a limit on the term of lower level politicians. This Strom Thurmond crap has got to end.

The more people we had going into and through Congress, it would be harder to keep the secrets they keep for one. But it would keep things fresher and bring a lot of new blood to the house.

Same would go for Governors. Two terms, that's it.

I would even go for only one and encourage every man or woman to run.



posted on Mar, 17 2004 @ 10:30 PM
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Utopia is banished



posted on Mar, 17 2004 @ 10:38 PM
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i think we need to spend more time revamping our current government and electoral process than restricting voting in this country.

taken from mypage.uniserve.ca... - "Feudalism ...alias American Capitalism"

Install a More Democratic Election Process
In order to prevent the economic elite from controlling the outcome of elections as a result of their financial power and subsequent influence, consider the following election system.
Let's say a country wished to elect a government of 100 elected members.

To eliminate the theatrics and monetary waste involved in current election campaigns, and to prevent any party from requiring or in fact being helped unfairly by contributions from the economic elite, put all parties on an equal footing. First have each party prepare a platform which makes clear its stand on all the key issues of the day, and let the platforms be debated first nationally by relevant party authorities, and then exhaustively in local public forums.
A fund of money from taxes would be set aside for televised interparty debates concerning the merits and flaws of each others platform planks. At party election time, have the party's previous contributions to society posted for all to see. Make each political party prepare a written platform that if elected will stand as a matter of record.

Then at each polling booth let the people initially vote for a PARTY (and its platform), ...instead of for a candidate. After a party is chosen by the most per capita votes in the country, the respective number of members of each party are determined by the relative ratio of total votes received. By electing a party by the number of per capita votes, the abuse of gerrymandering would be eliminated.

Let money from taxes, necessary to elect the 100 candidates, be then divided among the winning parties accordingly, to cover the cost of electing their members. The respective parties would then hold elections to field the appropriate number of candidates nationally. In other words, if one party received ten percent of the country vote, then that party had the right to elect it's ten candidates. Only those who had originally registered as voting members of that particular party would then be eligible to vote in the secondary "candidate" elections.

At CANDIDATE election time, have the candidates' previous contributions to the community, be posted for all to see. Make each political candidate prepare a written statement regarding his stand on the key issues of the day. If elected it would stand as a matter of record. Then each party would elect their representatives.

Once in power, the incoming party then has the right, not the obligation to replace ministers holding portfolios.

Ensure that a minister only holds a portfolio for which he has special qualifications and training.

Elected politicians should be considered ineligible unless they have a history of community service as opposed to economic self- service. This should be just as mandatory a condition for the unelected appointees.

Slowly elevate the role of elected official to a position of honor and respect by making the penalties socially devastating for serious abuse of public trust. Influencing peddling, at least 10 years.

Serious abuses of public trust by a President or Attorney General should carry a 10 year minimum sentence, not merely impeachment. Let's get rid of the Divine Right of Kings once and for all.

Strip a convicted elected official of his special pension rights.

************************************
And last but not least, it may come as a shock to some Americans, but:

In a real DEMOCRACY, its leader would not be able to veto the wishes of the elected majority.


praise or flame at will.



posted on Mar, 18 2004 @ 03:08 PM
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That is a valid idea, although would probably not stand up to scrutiny in it's entirety (sp).

I think in the future, some real hard discussions need to take place to assess the workings of our system and their effectiveness in the world today.

The electoral college for one.

Something needs to change, and I would encourage a unilateral group along with various non-political people to sit down and discuss system we work under, to include voting.

I think it is not only important, but essencial (sp)



posted on Mar, 18 2004 @ 04:26 PM
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Originally posted by KrazyJethro
Something needs to change, and I would encourage a unilateral group along with various non-political people to sit down and discuss system we work under, to include voting.

I think it is not only important, but essencial (sp)


Well... i happen for feel fairly non-political today, and am more than willing to sit down and discuss systems we work under. I suppose this is the best i can hope for in this department.

As for enomous: i think its a terrible idea. The reasons are a little difficult for me to pin down, right now, but here is a brief go at it:

There are little to no protections against the majority parties dictating to the minorty parties. I mean, if all parties have about equal representation, and there are many (> 5 or 6) parties, than the system could work fine. But there are no protections to ensure this will be the case. Also the whole public record of accomplishment thing is greatly overrated. As with today, entire industries of information manipulation and statistical creativity exist to make sure that no matter what happens, if its good, its our fault, and if its bad, its their fault. Replace our and their as necessary.

There is more: it seems like as a party gains slightly in terms of representation, they have an exponential increase in power. They not only have to convince 1 less member of another party to force their own agenda, but need 1 less memeber to prohibit the agenda of another party from promulgating. This effect, of course, sways other parties to buddy-up with the majority party since by doing so, vote-swaping is even more beneficial.

The type of government you describe is apt to domination by a large super-party. See also: The Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany.

One good thing about our contemporary system: It is not nearly so apt to domination by one party. Indeed, our system has been criticized as being structurally two-party, the criticism being for the fact that a third party can not be accomodated. This two-party structure is also a benefit however in that one-party only government can not be accomodated either.

I'm not saying that what we got is good, im just saying that what that is seems worse.

Cas


[Edited on 18-3-2004 by Cascadego]




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