Originally posted by AdAbsurdum
I don't have the answer - yet.
I meant no offense and I agree with what you have said about "Nations". But English doesn't serve us well when communicating about our culture.
True enough. It doesn't have the same eloquence, or even words for some concepts, and hence no conception of those things. Words have a certain
power, and without a word for something in a given language, that thing doesn't "exist" to people of that language. If it can't be named, it is
not, it does not "be", to them.
A Council can only have so far of a reach before you're in the territory of a different Council.
I believe that a certain amount of government is necessary for the function of a modern nation, just enough to bind together and mediate between the
various lower level polities. If any more than that is allowed, history shows that it inevitably lead to greater and greater centralization, control,
I would agree with this. As long as it was implemented tribally so all our cultures could be fairly represented.
It's my understanding that was the original concept of the American Government. You could think of a State government as a "Tribal Council", but on
a somewhat larger scale, and the national government as an "Intertribal Council". They are supposed to have taken the concept from the Iroquois
League of Five Nations. The States were meant to be the "Nation", and the Federal Government was meant to be the "League".
As it stands now, the Federal Government has taken over functions it was never meant to have, and grown it's power to the point that the State
governments are nearly irrelevant. That would be on a par with the League dissolving the local power of the individual tribes that constituted it, and
hoarding all the power and decision making to itself. No more Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Seneca, or Cayuga - ALL subjugated to "Iroquois". You can
probably see how that would have gone over like a lead balloon.
A League or Confederacy is just that - a supertructure government to mediate between the lower level polities, not meant to micromanage the
individual. There comes point in any such effort where the "super government" bites off more than it can chew, takes on more than it can handle,
and we're nearly there in the US. If we use Imperial Rome as a guide, when they got to that point, all hell broke loose, the barbarians took
advantage of that, and an entire continent was plunged into the Dark Ages.
I just can't abide by collectivism on the national scale. The way it gets set up is insane to my mind. To my way of thinking, the greater enemy is
over-centralization of command and control, which so far has been an unfortunate feature of most, if not all, implementations of collectivism on a
It's not so much the collectivism, or even capitalism, as it is the need for inordinate control on the part of the masters, on whichever end of the
political or economic spectrum. When they bite off a bigger hunk than thy can chew, and they feel that control slipping away because of that, instead
of spitting part of it out, they try to clamp down harder to maintain their power. That never turns out well.
Allowing that state to run the social programs is one of the ways they use to gather too much power and control to themselves. They
control the people by regulating the purse strings the people grow to depend upon. In practice, that turns out no different in socialism than in
capitalism, it just goes that way faster under socialism, since the premise IS those purse strings, and the dependence of the people upon
I would agree with one caveat. The problem is with the State not the economical model.
True, but the two are interdependent - at least they have been in every implementation so far, whether capitalist or socialist. The State has to rely
on the economic model for operation funds, and the economic model has to rely on the State for regulatory control. For the State to obtain the
necessary funds to operate State sponsored social programs, the economic model takes on even more importance. I don't see any way to run a wide
scale, State sponsored social program without taking unfair advantage of a socialist economic model, and placing an unfair burden on the fruits of the
There is, of course, a corollary problem in the corporatism we have right now. The corporations and CEO's simply take the place of the State in
taking unfair advantage of the fruits of the worker's labors. Then you get what we have now - the ratio of CEO salary to workers salaries has
increased something like 700 percent in the last 30 years or so, I believe.
One absolute master is as bad as the next to my mind, and it matters not whether one is a slave to the Corporation or a slave to the State. A slave is
a slave, no matter who the master is. The difference is that I can quit the corporation and fend for myself if I so choose. It's somewhat more
problematic to quit the State. All of the reservations here are supposed to be independent nations, but in practice they are not. They are controlled
by the same state everyone else is, through the "gentle ministrations" of the BIA. You can't even go back to the res and get away from the State.
In order to quit the State, all one can do is turn in his citizenship in this State for a citizenship in another State, trading one overseer for
another, and not really improving his lot.
That's why I prefer to stand and fight for my own land, and try to minimize interference by the State in my own affairs. I can leave the
"Corporation" with the turn of a car key.
True enough. It's all a matter of what SORT of revolution we are prepared to allow. I am an individualist, but I recognize my
obligations to a collective. I just don't think that those obligations are as great as others would have me believe, and furthermore I believe those
obligations are to be undertaken voluntarily, not by the dictate of the collective. In other words, I will decide for myself what those obligations
are, and how they're to be fulfilled, rather than allow the collective so great a latitude in levying them upon me.
I think that is a healthy function and is collectivist in nature.
Collectivist in nature, perhaps, but it's a matter of scale and control. I take care of my own, and whoever I can help locally, but it grates to have
the State step in and tell me that I have to tell them to go to hell, that someone else, somewhere else, gets what they would otherwise have gotten
from me. I don't see it as the state's function to do that, to make that decision FOR me and take it out of my hands. I see their function as more
of a mediator between "us" and the "others", whether those "others" are international (according to the European notion of nations) or another
group within this country. That mediation would be in the nature of dispute resolution, not micromanagement and "wealth redistribution". We can
handle the disbursement of our own wealth, without that interference.
That, of course, flies in the face of all forms of socialism put into practice to date.
Maybe by Europeans, since they control the history books.. The EZLN seems to be doing a good job, no?
I have a slight grin as I'm typing this, but I've got to say that I'm not qualified to assess the effectiveness of the EZLN, for variety of
reasons. One is that I don't know how their internal affairs are run regarding how they treat their own people. Another is that I don't think it's
my place to decide for those folks how they are to run their own internal affairs. If they're happy with it, I am too. Mainly, though, it's the fact
that I've seen some of their literature and propaganda posters. I have to admit a bias. Due to certain unfortunate circumstances in my history, I
have an immediate distrust of anything that has the words "Liberacion Nacionale" in it's title. The FSLN, FMLN, etc all had the same flowery words
in their title, and they were stone killers, cracking down hard on their own people. The big red stars on the flag and in the posters doesn't help my
mindset in the matter much. Nether does the literature with all the catchphrases that trip my trigger. My experience of those types is that they were
overly controlling, never managed to improve the lot of the people under their charge, and were insatiable to spread the misery and export it to other
folks who had no beef with them.
I realize, though, that it's a personal problem on my part, and a bias. I don't know that the EZLN is of the same character. If their people are
happy with their performance, then so am I. So long as they confine their control to Chiapas, and their own people, I have no beef with them.
As long as there are people, there will be a need for some sort of social programs. I suspect where we differ is in who we would allow
to run them.
Maybe... We would have to get compare how we envision our utopias.
Subject of another thread, I suppose. My mega replies are already spamming this one out. We're probably not so far apart. I draw the line at
European-style Marxism. It has no more place here than European style colonialism, and I gotta tell you, all the bells, whistles, and catchphrases it
carries with it really set me off. I take them to be code words for much more nefarious undertakings.
Just being wary of where I throw my lot. I've heard plenty of "great-grandmother was a blackfoot princess" tales and lost some one I loved dearly
the pressures of "white-washing". But, circles end where I begin.
Anyway yes, I agree it is best to find common ground.
I can understand that. Think of me any way you like, since it won't in any way change the essence of "me". No, I'm not a "full blood", but that
matters nary a bit to me. The heart is what matters. I agree, the "princess" thing is a dead giveaway. Royalty is a foreign concept. "White
washing" is a definite problem, but it works the other way as well. As I said before, I know some who started out white, and are just as much one of
the People now as if they were born to it.
It's the heart that matters.
I understand now. But surely a line must be drawn some where?
I suppose each individual must draw his own line. That's where he drew his. Your mileage may vary. Is it better for your people if you fight the
"national" government, and die in that fight with no improvements for them, or is it better if you combine your power with the power of that
government, and defend your own from a common threat? Does it matter if the others gain the same benefits as your own, as long as your own are taken
The entire purpose for a warrior is to protect his People. That, and nothing more. It's not to defend a government or a flag or a philosophy, it's
always for the People. What is in the heart determines why one does what he does, it doesn't determine the route he takes to do it. That is often
determined by expediency
It's the heart that matters.