Originally posted by AdAbsurdum
I would like to say that from the perspective of a Communist: Obama is not a socialist, Obamacare is not socialist medicine, and we are far from
becoming a socialist state. I just want to say that while "progressive" liberal politics do push left. "Liberalism" as an economic model is still
where those politics are rooted. Thus, anything created by the state and therefore the people, will have corporate tie-ins murdering the idea in it's
I became disenchanted with the left/right paradigm some time ago, and cut all ties to the Republican party, of which I was a member all my previous
life. Just as a coin has two sides, yet is still the exact same coin, the left/right paradigm as exemplified by the Democrat and Republican parties is
all one huge lumbering beast to my mind. For the life of me, I just can't see a farthing's woth of difference between the two.
It took being smacked in the head with George Bush to ram that realization home. I don't know how many people have tried to convince me of the
differences between Bush ad Obama, but none have managed so far. They all point out the superficial differences in making their argument, but ignore
the core issues - that BOTH, as well as several former holders of that position, are herding us inexorably towards the same goals. I doesn't matter
in the least which prod they use to herd us with, it's the slaughter pen at the end of the road that matters to me. Yet people will STILL argue that
the prod makes ALL the difference.
As I get older, and think more, I have less problems with either socialism OR capitalism. What I DO have a problem with is the power-tripping that
uses both as a vehicle. Back in the late 70's, when I was fighting anything to the left of the John Birch Society tooth and nail, I could still see
the problems inherent in our own system here. I could SEE them, but not quite identify them. I told my dad in a conversation one night that the US as
we knew it would not last to see a tricentennial a hundred years from then. As it turned out, I was right, and it didn't take nearly that long. The
US that is now is not the one I grew up in. The problem there that I've finally identified is the power-tripping folk. Back then, it was a given in
the US that the problems with communism as implemented in Russia was the extreme control visited on the populace by the government. We thought we had
it so much better here, and in truth at that time we probably did. Not so much now. When I look around me now, I see what I assumed that I would have
seen in the USSR then, minus the continual shortages. That's not a pretty feeling.
"Socialism", without the government middle man extorting from Peter and deciding on disbursements to Paul isn't such a bad thing in theory.
Capitalism, using government to extort from Peter to enrich CEO Paul isn't such a good thing in practice. The commonalities there are "government"
and "extortion". If left to my own devices, without that extortion, I can give as I please, where I think it will do the most good, without any help
at all in the first case, and I can tell CEO Paul to bite me and do business with another, or none at all if I choose, in the second case. As purely
economic systems, they are both harmless, and don't really look to be mutually exclusive to me. As political systems, they are both disastrous, and
of course ARE mutually exclusive.
Government should be as neutral as possible, and in the matter of economics, regulate commerce between lower level polities, not regulate whatever
system either chooses to use internally. What I'm getting at is that I believe any given level of government should STOP at the next level (up OR
down), and deal only with those units - AS those units, leaving the still lower levels alone to be dealt with internally.
I also believe that governments in general, at whatever level, should be drastically limited in scope and power. This include limiting their funding
in the form of taxation to what they actually need to operate. It doesn't allow room for them to bloat and create dependent class by means of
"social programs". Regulating social values and administering social programs are not a part of government in my conception. For the most part, I
would limit them to military and police matters (with no need for police above the state level, and not many there), mediation and dispute resolution
between lower level polities, and dealing as a unit with other units at the same level, or one level higher.
I think what the US has now would be fine, IF each level of government were limited as originally conceived, and each politician were limited such
that none could make a career of it.
Well, when you are ruled over by the Eternal Patriarch, I'm pretty sure that's going to manifest in peoples day to day lives. It is my experience
that when one rejects the notion of a personal universal supreme ruler they have no problem questioning the authority of those in power.
I acknowledge a universal supreme ruler, personally, but I have no qualm whatsoever about differentiating between the spiritual and the corporeal.
Because of that, I have no problems at all questioning authority, to include the spiritual. The way I have it figured, if a deity really has all that
much power, it ought not to feel threatened enough by little old me to panic and squash me like a bug just because I question it. Doing so to my way
of thinking would confirm fear and weakness in it, and so show it to not be worthy of my respect.
It's an extension of my take on the islamic god. Any god that needs inferior little old me to fight it's battles for it isn't worthy of my worship
any how. That would mean it is necessarily weaker than I am. I would think if anyone needed anyone else to do the fighting in that situation, it
properly ought to be the other way around.
Well, it was a few cities and farming communities. The cities used money while the farming communities just used a gift economy... So I don't know
how big of an example you'd like.
Not so different from the way it was here in the US a hundred years ago or so, I suppose. I'm assuming by "gift economy" you mean cashless barter,
and I could be wrong about that. Back then, out in the countryside, hard currency was sometimes hard to come by, but you could always go to the
smokehouse and get a ham, or go get a chicken, or some produce from your garden to trade for stuff you didn't have. In the cities the converse was
the rule, since the space wasn't available for farm produce.
As far as that "certain kind of person", I think you are going to get those everywhere but a dog that turns on his own is insane and is quickly put
That's a fact, but it's sometimes easier to disallow them getting into position in the first place than it is to dig them out and deal with them
later. As Marx said (Groucho, not Karl) "I wouldn't join any club that would have me as a member", maybe the answer is to refuse power to any one
who would seek it....
What a concept! Institute a draft, but for politicians rather than military!
You know I'm kidding about that, right?
I'm at loss...
Yeah, that didn't come out too well. Currently our fiat currency is controlled by a private interest. There is no liberation in making that a
collective interest as wealth is still being based on a flawed model, i.e. currency = wealth. We need a new system that doesn't allow for people to
amass an item that allows them to take control. Labor is something that is intrinsic to man and so basing a currency off of that, I posit, is the
Could be, but I haven't had a chance to read the links yet to make an informed comment. Off the cuff, I know that making money up out of nothing
really isn't the way to go, because anyone with that kind of power rules all. Likewise, I've never quite understood the urge some folks have for
gold. I can't eat it, and it's damned uncomfortable to sleep on, so I never quite have grasped WHY it seems to have value to people. It's entirely
likely that I'm just far too simple minded.
Takes all kinds, I reckon.
If you have some free time you might wanna give this a whirl:
I'm at the very top left. Hahaha. My views are based on this model because I think the Left-Right paradigm is lacking.
I tried it, and got thoroughly confused by the results, The terminology of the report threw me for a loop, and didn't match what I'm used to. For
example, it said I was a "progressive" or "ultra liberal", leading to my strong urge to throw a coffee cup through my computer screen. In another
place, however, it said that only 2% of the people tested were more "conservative" than I am. I haven't really puzzled the result out yet, but my
dot showed up bending the bottom boundary out, just left of the centerline, in the "libertarian" area.
With the State eliminated altogether, who do you see doing the administrative work? How is it to run smoothly with no upper level
coordination between factions, co-ops, communes, or whatever you want to call them?
Admin work? Like who does inventory?
Well, one way to do it is to create the upper-level coordination group collectively through a democratic process and then once the agreement is
reached by both faction's coordinators their position is dissolved. If they refuse to dissolve than I believe the people have a right to kill them,
personally. But I am sure a lesser punishment can be found that's suitable.
Permanent exile on Elba springs to mind as an alternative. Well, not Elba literally, but you get my drift. Give 'em a small island, one hatchet and a
pack of matches apiece, and tell 'em the island is theirs to do with as they will. I really wouldn't care if they killed and ate each other. That's
up to them.
I balk at a purely democratic process, though. That leaves minority groups (not necessarily ethnic minorities, just minorities) unrepresented,
voiceless, and at the mercy of the pack.
I personally believe that the State level is as high as it goes and that is for only warranted purposes that the individual communities themselves
will have to decide on, aside from a few things involving military service, and following their agreements the councils are dissolved. The only time
there should be a Federal type governing system in place is in self defense of our liberties governed by a war council. Federalism only seems to make
sense when speaking militarily.
Need some mechanism for dispute mediation between units (whether a trade or some other sort of dispute - like the Virginia-Pennsylvania boundary
battles of the 18th century), and some sort of safe passage guarantee for folks just passing through for trade or just in transit between units not
adjoining one another. Otherwise, it seems dangerously close to Balkanization.
This way you would have a standing military in a sense because that standing military would be the entire collective armed to the teeth. Like Tojo
said, "A rifle behind every blade of grass." Except I imagine this grass drilled in every tactic and tool they would ever need to not only defend
against an invader but to overthrow any homegrown power seeking to imprison us.
This I'm in full agreement with, and I believe the American revolutionaries of the 18th century were as well.
I've experienced this as well, but I believe that this is weakness because of the weakening of the family unit, first and foremost, coupled with the
lack of any social safety net and compounded by personal issues stemming from a lack of a tribal or collective identity.
I just chalked it up to pure greed. Kept it simpler in my mind that way. A social safety net wouldn't have helped, because I was just plain unwilling
to keep them in the style they wanted to become accustomed to, rather than unable. I think that sort of extravagance breeds weakness, and eventually
causes the loss of skills and senses that may be needed to cut through rough times. Better to weed problem folk out ahead of time, in case those times
hit in earnest.
I think that they have the same line of thinking, it's just that they see money as that vehicle to allow them to do what they please. They fall into
the trap and are turned into wage slaves. The creature comforts are than purchased because, if you have to be a slave, at least you can be a
Oh, absolutely! They just valued different things, like money. I don't put as much value on hoarding money and "stuff", because it gives me a belly
ache to eat a 50 dollar bill or a transistor radio. Nice to have, but a demand as strong as they demonstrated indicates a dependency to me, an
addiction. The hell of it is, had they stuck it out, I'd have eventually given them everything the wanted to begin with and more - as soon as I
figured out it wasn't an addiction, and they could do as well without those things!
See, the way I see it, "stuff" is nice to have and all,
but if your whole world collapses because one day that "stuff" disappears, then you're a slave already, and just don't know it.
Incidentally, there are a lot of rich slaves around, as was demonstrated by the wave of suicides in the crash of 1929. When their "stuff" suddenly
went away, they were as good as dead. they were slaves to their "stuff".
I think our system of checks and balances works fine, minus what you have stated. With the elimination of materialism I think the system would suffice
just fine with the caveat of making it impossible to turn politics into a career.
Agreed, but how does one go about eliminating materialism? In my case, I just weed them out of my own little corner, but that just makes them someone
else's problem, it doesn't do a damned thing about the materialism present to begin with. Hoe do you go about changing a quality so ingrained in so
That cycle needs to be broken, and effective stops put in place, in order to defeat and prevent the centralization.
I think that may come through my answer to the military. Anyone attempting any type of power grab risks destabilizing the entire confederation because
everyone will be well armed and educated in the philosophies and doctrines of war.
Yeah, that works, but as they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It's better to prevent it to begin with than to war over it
afterwards. As you say, that eventuality risks destabilizing the entire confederation, an undesirable situation, and even if it didn't the death of
even one individual in battle diminishes the whole (see? I still can't bring myself to use "collective"!). Sometimes battle is necessary, and when
it is, folks will die. I think safeguards to prevent that as far as is humanly possible are called for. That needs to be addressed in a grand, overall
Some folks will naturally try to weasel in occasionally and test those safeguards. THAT is when the arms laden populace steps in to convince them of
the error of their ways. That is also where this current experiment has failed. The people were not jealous enough in guarding their liberty, and some
really slick bastridges snatched it right out from under them. Therefore, the people would also need to be better educated (dare I say indoctrinated?)
in the rights and responsibilities of a free people than this current crop has been.