The application and justification of authority

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posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 10:51 PM
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So I'm still on my “quest” to refine my political beliefs, to try and find some reason in the chaos. Everywhere I turn I seem to find someone or something that is enlightening or profound, but as quickly as I find this profound subject matter, I find the antithesis which is just as reasonable if not more. The more I study and look at the facts of either side or issue the more I see that politics (especially in the US) is just getting more and more extreme, dogmatic, and lacking in the reason and logic I am seeking.

I have always had “liberal” leanings when it comes to social issues, but my political beliefs seem incompatible with modern liberal movements as I have great distrust of authority. It seems that even though the authorities of the US are imbued with their authority by the people they have no true obligation to support them, only to secure the survival of the state which in my opinion is only those who support its infrastructure (i.e. major corporations, banking organizations, and its own political structure). I don’t want to sound conspiratorial, but it looks like authorities view the common man as pawns whose purpose is only to support an organization that benefits the state.

The above has led me to believe that the “state” is inherently immoral and harmful to the majority of the population, and that today’s political system in all honesty appears to be a type of pseudo-fascism.

I quite enjoy Chomsky but he does not appear to be very popular on the web among many people I talk to and I agree with many of the criticisms leveled against him, but I have to agree with this statement…

“Authority, unless justified, is inherently illegitimate, and the burden of proof is on those in authority. If this burden can't be met, the authority in question should be dismantled.”

This leads me to my first question…

Has the authority (i.e. government and corporate America) effectively demonstrated the legitimacy of their authority?

The slow dismantling of our manufacturing base by major corporations, their exploitation of both 3rd world countries and seemingly oppressive nations, and their disregard for the biosphere leads me to believe that their authority is illegitimate. They have shown arguably criminal disregard for human rights and the environment for the sake of monetary gain.

I don’t even know where to begin with modern government. They have systematically supported the rights of major corporations to continue the above practices, and have only dished out fines when they commit a crime. Government also supports the creation of countless weapons of war and despite the people advocating the reduction of military spending, which never seems to be done. Meanwhile they are engaged in multiple wars across the globe that range from somewhat justifiable to downright dishonest or immoral. The US government in the last 11 years (some could argue longer) has been guilty of torture, kidnapping, murder, the hiring of mercenaries for various means, and actions which are without a doubt some of the greatest examples of modern day democide.

This leads me to my next couple questions…

Is the collusion of government and corporations able to be curtailed?

Is government democide a phenomenon that must simply be accepted as a necessary evil?

I just can’t see a political system that truly benefits the majority of people, and they all in practice seem only to benefit an aristocracy.

I eagerly await your comments and criticisms.
edit on 8-1-2013 by Openeye because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 11:22 PM
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I can see your dilemma. All authority in our system of government is derived from the people. What has happened is an usurpation of that authority and measures taken for the sole purpose of increasing the power and control of those we have given limited authority over us.

Our founding fathers saw this eventuality after they had put together arguably the best form of government conceived.

Hence, the bill of rights. The reason it wasn't included as part of the document at first is that it was considered to be self evident. It was the realization that safeguards must be put in place to ensure that future politicians and others granted authority by the people would find it difficult to usurp authority that HADN'T been granted to them by the people that led to the first 10 amendments. .

Among these were the freedom of speech, which would ensure that when usurpation of authority DID occur, the people would be able to speak out against those that were taking authority that didn't belong to them. The right to peaceably assemble, without which would make the freedom of speech moot due to one person's shouting being drowned out.

What would stop those with authority though from just arresting or shooting or stabbing with swords those who would gather to speak out against them? The ability to keep and bear arms, that's what.

Well, what would stop the govt from just seizing all arms so that that couldn't happen. You specifically limit the ability for the government to search people and their property or to seize property without justification based on witnesses and affidavit which would grant reasonable suspicion (that has been completely bastardized to mean that someone in authority reasonably suspects, ehhh wrong answer).

Ok, what about the government's ability to pass legislation in ways that the founders hadn't thought of???

Include a catchall phrase that lets them know that ANY and ALL powers not restricted by the constitution or specifically granted to the federal government are given to the people, or the states. This again has been ignored as has almost ALL of the bill of rights.

What about the control of money and the coining there of? They saw that monetary control could eliminate any and all rights by giving almost total control to the government. They limit this by stating that only the state can issue currency and it must be based on silver or gold. Again, completely ignored.

None of these things that have been ignored were done immediately or at the same time. It was a gradual usurpation of the rights of man and of authority not granted to the government by the people. It was a frog in a pot of water type of way, they've been gradually turning up the heat while we slowly boil to death.

It's time we looked at that knob turning and jump out of the water and turn that damn knob off before we boil.

Jaden



posted on Jan, 9 2013 @ 12:11 AM
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reply to post by Masterjaden
 



All authority in our system of government is derived from the people. What has happened is an usurpation of that authority and measures taken for the sole purpose of increasing the power and control of those we have given limited authority over us.

Our founding fathers saw this eventuality after they had put together arguably the best form of government conceived.


Authority is not just government, it is any individual with power. A private entity can be just as powerful as government as was demonstrated in early American history, and arguably modern history. This is the problem with Rand's proposal of some sort of Anarcho-Capitalist wonderland, because she did not take into account human nature. If corporations would actually act ethical than maybe there would be justification for their authority, but history shows us that they by in large do not.

While I understand the enlightenment period gave more power to the people, I am still of the position that the founders were no better than authorities of today; the only difference was the means they were able to implement that authority. They were hypocrites who created a system which favored white patriarchs, and it wasn't until over one hundred years went by that we reinterpreted their words to actually benefit the majority.


What would stop those with authority though from just arresting or shooting or stabbing with swords those who would gather to speak out against them? The ability to keep and bear arms, that's what.


Guns do help don't get me wrong, but I honestly don't believe that any authority fears the populace because they have guns. In fact I would go far as to say it is just an illusion to keep other authorities from usurping the authority of the "state". That being said the modern authority I believe has no wish for some tyrannical takeover, because they already have created a nightmare bureaucracy.

I guess this gets to the core of my argument; that old phrase "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely".

It seems that no matter how much you limit authorities control they simply ignore the rules to obtain more power, this is why I can't see any system as an alternative.

On this hand you can limit government control, which shifts the power to unaccountable private entities, who could just increase the level of wage slavery we already experience which would eventually culminate into some sort of feudal system .

And on this hand you can limit the power of private entities, which shifts power back into the hands of the authority with the monopoly on force.

The only conclusion that I can come to is that we need something "new"; something that has never been tried before, but what is it?



posted on Jan, 9 2013 @ 02:32 AM
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Has the authority effectively demonstrated the legitimacy of their authority?


This is achieved through the survival, growth and ascension of such authority. As for matters of law and legality in the definition of legitimacy, it is a part of the environment that any such authority must contend with.



Is the collusion of government and corporations able to be curtailed?


No, corporations have reached the stage where they provide essential and complex functions of governance and as such there will be close and closed discussions on complex policy direction. Governments are also at a disadvantage as resources are limited to provide proper and responsible oversight with all discussions.

Yes, as information and communication technology continues to grow so does the capability in the public oversight. 9/11 demonstrates that the online community and media is not as strong as the more traditional media and institutions in seeking justification. As the younger generations grow up more familiar and capable with this technology compared to the lack of skills by the older generations, the power of the online and instant public communications will also grow.



Is government democide a phenomenon that must simply be accepted as a necessary evil?


No, The structures of authority are dynamic and constantly changing over time. If change is quick and forceful then more authoritarian style is most likely as many previous revolutions have demonstrated. If the change is more planned and discussed with a strong common consensus then the authority can better evolve to suit the situation.

An important part of conflict resolution is to understand both (or more) positions of the conflict. While there are many cases of corporate abuse and evil intentions, corporations are about team work, structure and productivity. The profit directive and structure of money are strong motivators for a lot of the misdeeds undertaken. So how do we get the balance sheet to balance again?



posted on Jan, 19 2013 @ 02:36 AM
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Originally posted by Openeye
I eagerly await your comments and criticisms.

No criticism from me, IMO, you are asking THE important question.


On this hand you can limit government control, which shifts the power to unaccountable private entities,

Government control can be limited with the power of other governments rather than private entities.

Is the collusion of government and corporations able to be curtailed?

Yes, it requires 3 things:
1) Choice between governments, without choice between governments the individual has no power over government. This must be an individual's choice (not a collective choice) because the collective choice can be manipulated easily. An indivdual is much more careful about not being manipulated because his own (money/health/future/etc) is at risk.
2) Transparency, because without transparency nobody can form an educated opinion as a base for their choice.
3) Motivation by the people to participate in, and being educated about, the affairs of government. If people are unwilling or unable to spend the time required to be envolved in governing - well, then somebody else will have to do the governing for them, and naturally, this person will look out for their own interests before taking care of the interests of others. That means corruption and/or mismanagement.

How do you practically accomplish these? 1) and 2) with a Constitution drafted accordingly - but you cannot do that because of what Wilson said (see below). #3) by convincing people, but that cannot be done because of what Hitler said (see below). Well not exactly, people do think but they think mostly about their daily needs, not about rather abstract concepts of governing.





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