Help ATS with a contribution via PayPal:
learn more

Liberty Democracy Capitalism Individualism Activism Extremism Terrorism

page: 1
11
<<   2 >>

log in

join

posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 02:13 AM
link   
I was never really the type of person who was interested in politics or political ideologies before I joined ATS. But after I started to learn about the corruption in our governments and in our corporations I started to develop very strong political beliefs. Looking back now, I had many naive beliefs spawned by my desire to immediately turn the world into a utopia overnight, without any regard for what anyone else wanted. As my beliefs have developed, it has slowly become clear to me that most of us want the same thing, but we have very different and often conflicting view points when it comes to how we should achieve those goals and what is the best political paradigm to use in achieving them.

One of the most critical differences that I have noted is those who think the solution is more government intervention and more regulations on the mega corporations, and those who think the solution is less government interference and more of a "free market" with less regulations. Take the occupy movement for example, they were constantly ranting about inequality, they were demanding things such as fairer pay and more regulations on the banks, as well as forgiveness on their student loan debt. In some sense these people are acting like the system owes them something and because of this many people labeled the occupy protesters as anti-capitalists and even communists.

Every day I see someone on this forum blaming the "liberals" for something. I've even heard people say it's the "liberal-mentality" pushing the anti-gun agenda. Look up the definition of Liberalism and then ask what does liberty mean to you? Ron Paul is probably the best example of a true liberal, preaching smaller government with less spending and less interventionist policies. He promotes the idea of a free market and "sound money" over debt based fiat money and defends individual rights and freedoms. He originally ran for the presidency back in 1988 as a candidate in the Libertarian Party but later realized he needed to join one of the two major parties if he wanted to stand a chance, and that plan still failed in the end.

Isn't it quite ironic how many people on this forum support Ron Paul, yet espouse beliefs which are in complete contradiction to those held by Ron Paul? Consider the Venus Project (described in the zeitgeist films). It describes a some what utopian vision for the future where no one is poor and we all share everything. Yet the way it claims we should achieve this is by disposing of our right to private property and by destroying the free market by allowing highly centralized quasi-government manufactures to produce all the products we need, doing away with business competition and product diversity. The reality of the matter is, humans will never give up money or private property.

To tell you the truth, even if it were possible to make everyone participate in such a money-less society I wouldn't want any part of it because I don't think it's fair for some people to do all the work while others do nothing and get rewarded for it (and it will happen despite what you claim). I also don't see anything wrong with people having a right to personal property, I think if we work for something then we have rightfully earned it. My philosophy now is that money is merely a tool, used by society in one form or another since the dawn of time, it merely allows us to conduct trade and barter much easier than it otherwise would be without money. The tool is not the problem, it's the people who abuse that tool.

If we want a better world then what we should be aiming for is a better money system. Not a money system with more regulations and higher fees, but a better designed money system which can't be controlled and undermined by a central bank. A money system which is not based on debt would be a good start. Likewise, the solution to inequality is not over-regulating the corporations or outright destroying them. We live in a world now where lobbyists and power brokers are responsible for a great deal of the legislation which is passed into law. It is via such government-corporation intermingling that the free market is undermined. The small business owner loses out whilst the government-approved conglomerates are given the upper hand.

Shifting gears now, I want to look at the opposite side to this story and draw some very interesting juxtapositions. There is an interesting novel called Atlas Shrugged where the "heroes" of the story are CEO's and Presidents of large corporations. It is set in another time where the government has its tentacles into everything, all corporations are heavily taxed and monitored "for the good of the people", being reminiscent of something closer to communism rather than capitalism.


The book explores a dystopian United States where many of society's most productive citizens refuse to be exploited by increasing taxation and government regulations and disappear, shutting down their vital industries. The disappearances evoke the imagery of what would happen if the mythological Atlas refused to continue to hold up the sky. They are led by John Galt. Galt describes the disappearances as "stopping the motor of the world" by withdrawing the people that drive society's productivity.

The theme of Atlas Shrugged, as Rand described it, is "the role of man's mind in existence". The book explores a number of philosophical themes from which Rand would subsequently develop Objectivism. In doing so, it expresses the advocacy of reason, individualism, capitalism, and the failures of governmental coercion.

Again, this presents us with a rather ironic contradiction... most of us cannot decide which side of the fence we are on, yet we must pick a side because this is a crucial subject which must be addressed. Will you choose individualism and free market philosophies or will you choose a group-mentality and dependence on government? At some point we must face this question dead on and ask ourselves which is the right path to walk down. The system as it exists now is heading towards total dependence on the government with less and less focus on individualism and liberty. Anyone who opposes this trend is shunned and labeled an extremist; Ron Paul is a good example of that.

If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say that Ron Paul's policies are "extreme" I would be a rich man. This is what you should expect however if you choose to walk down the anti-establishment freedom fighting path. There seems to be a growing trend now where anyone who chooses to support individualism and liberty is labeled as some sort of extremist with a questionable belief system. They are automatically judged as a psychopath who's only method of getting what they want is to riot and hurt people. Take for example that new show called Continuum. The villains are terrorist "freedom fighters" who travel back in time and commit acts of terror to fix a dystopian future, and the heroes are working to save the dystopian future.

It's actually a decent show if you can look past the subliminal brainwashing. It's also a perfect example of how easy it can be to merge a terrorist and a freedom fighter and make them look like the same thing. I think I can safely say that most of us on this forum would never willingly hurt another person unless defending ourselves, yet we all have a great distrust for the government and espouse many controversial beliefs which go against the status quo. We must understand that the people seeking freedom and individual rights are not the terrorists. We can change this world but doing it by brute force is not the answer. You cannot force everyone to give up money and you cannot force all corporations to abide by ridiculous regulations.
edit on 9/7/2013 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 02:51 AM
link   

There was a word that I always liked; the classical economists used it: liberal. The word liberal really meant, in the classical sense, the liberalization of the individuals from the tyranny of the State. That word was expropriated by our opponents and it has now come to mean liberality with other people’s money. The word was taken over. And so I, more than anybody else, was responsible for introducing and publicizing and perhaps making world-wide the word libertarian. I am sorry I ever did it. Why? Because the word libertarian has now been just as much expropriated as the word liberal.

~ Leonard E. Reed



posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 03:01 AM
link   
Very interesting post. I find it ironic, that the 2 most popular books in America are The Bible and Atlas Shrugged. One a religious text, the other written by a veherment athiest. Just goes to show, how people are prepared to cherry pick to shoe horn their ideologies into a preferred world view.

I also found it interesting that many of the Austrian economists that Ron Paul likes to talk about, also support a nationalised healthcare system. Something the free market fundamentalists like to ignore.



posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 03:23 AM
link   

Originally posted by woodwardjnr
Very interesting post. I find it ironic, that the 2 most popular books in America are The Bible and Atlas Shrugged. One a religious text, the other written by a veherment athiest. Just goes to show, how people are prepared to cherry pick to shoe horn their ideologies into a preferred world view.

Yes that's a good example of how people can cherry pick what they want to believe. But to be fair there's also a possibility that those two books represents two very different categories of readers. The crossover between them is really what is relevant and it is difficult to determine that. I didn't know Atlas Shrugged was one of the most popular books in the US though, that's a pretty interesting factoid.



posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 07:13 AM
link   
The problem as I see is that we do have a democracy - only it's the money that gets to vote. Those with the most get the control.
I agree completely on a new monetary system not based on debt. The Federal Reserve has never had the best interests of America at heart, only it's masters which happen to be the old money European banking families. Even if we were to go back to a gold -backed dollar who owns all the gold now? The same who own the printing presses.
It has been said of war and revolution only serve to change who the creditors are. Perhaps this was true long ago but now war is tool to increase their holdings. What we would need to restore the power to the people and give them a fair shot monetarily has yet to be described as political philosophy. It would seem we need elements of both capitalism (to give people reason to strive for better by keeping the fruits of their labor) and communism (by taking some of what the corporations and ultra-rich have to restore a level playing field).
So instead of change we continue arguing which of the old systems would fix the problem and get nowhere.
Good thread.



posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 10:28 AM
link   
reply to post by Asktheanimals
 



What we would need to restore the power to the people and give them a fair shot monetarily has yet to be described as political philosophy.

I think decentralized cryptographic currency like Bitcoin is one of the best options monetarily because it's very democratic (everyone essentially votes on changes with their computing power) and it can't be manipulated by the government or central bankers.


It would seem we need elements of both capitalism (to give people reason to strive for better by keeping the fruits of their labor) and communism (by taking some of what the corporations and ultra-rich have to restore a level playing field).

I agree that as a society we need a government to function, and in order for that government to function we need some sort of taxation to pay for it. However I also believe that strict spending limits should be observed so that our governments cannot get us into inescapable pits of debt and undermine the economy. And personally, I also believe that all people should pay the same percentage of taxes regardless of their income. In fact if it were up to me I'd eliminate the income taxes altogether and just tax businesses.

It has become obvious to me that our governments are completely hopeless when it comes to balancing a budget and spending money wisely. They take a HUGE percentage of ALL of our income and what do they really have to show for it... they get essentially nothing done even though they have endless piles of money to work with (literally, because they just print more money when they can't tax enough). There are so many things which the government does that could be made thousands of times more efficient if they were privatized and handled by specialized industries.

I can agree with a certain low level of taxation but after a certain point it becomes nothing less than theft and regularly requires brute force to ensure people are paying their taxes. Forcefully taking money from people is not a "moral" act in my opinion, regardless of where that money is going. Again I must point out that force is never the right answer. We need to willingly evolve into better people... meaning if we want more equality then instead of trying to take wealth from others we should look at how we are distributing wealth in the first place.

And I'm not suggesting we put more regulations on businesses to force them to pay their employees more fairly, because that would totally undermine the concept of the free market. Instead we should rely on ethical business owners who willingly choose to pay their employees fairly even if it means less profit for the shareholders. If enough businesses choose to do this then they will attract the best minds and force other businesses to consider similar business strategies if they want to compete with the other businesses.



posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 03:57 PM
link   
What most fail realize with the exception of a few is that Liberals of today are far different from 30 to 40 years ago. "Ask not what your Country can do for You,but what can You do for your Country" or something like that. Think about that quote and who said it. Not only was he a liberal but also a Catholic. Mr. Kennedy had just as much to do with bringing down or raining in the Soviet Empire as Mr. Reagan. When He along with others kicked the Soviets out of Cuba that was the beginning of the end for the U.S.S.R.

However back then Liberals had a evil side as well. Segregation was entrenched in most places and the Democrats fought tooth and nail to keep it that way. I mean The Government had to bring in the National Guard to send a clear message. As soon as they realized they was not going to get what they wanted They magically had a change of heart and all of a sudden proclaimed to be the champions of the minorities in the country. I'm talking with in a few years. In most cases the very same democrat politicians who just a few years before championed whites only this and that. So did they really have a change of heart? Or did they just find another way to use people of color?

In this day and age when I ask people about everything going on they just shrug their shoulders usually followed by as long as they get what they want ,they could care less. People want this or that and they want now and some want the government to pay for it. I call these kinds of people "The Real Needy". The you have the people who have this mentality that government knows best, hell be damned any freedoms that get in the way of their utopia progression. They claim to care about the environment , they claim as the OP stated everyone gets equal all and everything both material and non material. To me these people have watched to much Star Trek and should really consider laying off the drugs.

My final thought with everything that has been said. America has become weak the world senses it. That is the American People. They have no sense of duty and honor is all but lost with the exception of a very select few. Other big powers smells blood and their noses are not deceiving them.



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 01:16 AM
link   

Originally posted by ChaoticOrder
The reality of the matter is, humans will never give up money or private property.


Not willingly, no. But it is inevitable that we will, because we have to. We live on a finite planet that can't support the demands of a materialistic civilization undergoing exponential population growth. Whether we like it or not, the planet will correct this problem.

The very ideas of money and property are what has created this situation. Humanity will have to abandon such notions, albeit kicking and screaming, if it is to have any chance of surviving.



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 01:54 AM
link   

Originally posted by NthOther
The very ideas of money and property are what has created this situation. Humanity will have to abandon such notions, albeit kicking and screaming, if it is to have any chance of surviving.

The flaw in your logic is that we will some how reach peace with nature by sharing stuff and not using money. As long as population growth continues there is absolutely no long term solution beyond leaving this planet and colonizing other planets.
edit on 10/7/2013 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 05:23 AM
link   


The tool is not the problem, it's the people who abuse that tool.


This is where your analysis is flawed, I believe.

If you are able to recognize that the "system" is a social mechanism, then you also need to recognize that we, as individuals, are essentially created and shaped by this mechanism. This idea is the fundamental principal behind modern sociology.

Thing is, our social mechanism, the very environnement which conditions our acts and responses, promotes rampant individualism and competition. So society actually creates the people who abuse the "tool", because it demands that kind of response from us. You can't be successfull at surviving by being "the nice guy" in such a society.

The real problem here lies with the fact that we are a social species. Individualism and competition is not our way, and we have only been living in such a way for a very short period compared to how long we've been around for as a species.

We need to recognize that we will only survive as a species by reconcilling with what allowed us to make it this far : cooperation and altruism. The only way to do that is to change the fundamental social mechanisms that create the widespread anti-social behavior that primes today.

So you see, although it's easier to point fingers, when you get down to it, the tool IS the problem. Create a society where cooperation and altruism are rewarded, and and you will create cooperative and altruistic individuals. It's either that, or as NthOther mentioned before me, we WILL wipe ourselves of the face of this planet, fighting over ressources that this profit driven society is incapable of utilising in an efficient, egalitarian and ecologically responsible way.


edit on 10-7-2013 by Ismail because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 05:46 AM
link   
reply to post by Ismail
 


this of course is the only way for us to survive long term...but, we have to have a harsh enough punishment to keep those that want to break this human contract, in check. people of wealth and power are punished on an entirely different level or not at all.
example: a wealthy person who hires someone to do labor for money, and after the person does the work, tells that worker, I'm not going to pay you, if you don't like it, take me to court. they should receive the same degree of punishment, as would a common thief robbing that very same wealthy person on the street, for the exact same money.



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 05:57 AM
link   
reply to post by jimmyx
 


And what purpose does punishment serve ?
It doesn't do much, if anything for prevention.
So what are our priorities ?
Feeling justified because we got revenge ?
Or preventing anti-social behavior by adressing the reasons behind it ?

In the first case two people get hurt. In the second, if done right, no-one does.
edit on 10-7-2013 by Ismail because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 07:10 AM
link   
reply to post by Ismail
 



Thing is, our social mechanism, the very environnement which conditions our acts and responses, promotes rampant individualism and competition. So society actually creates the people who abuse the "tool", because it demands that kind of response from us. You can't be successfull at surviving by being "the nice guy" in such a society.

I think this is a misconception. Yes, you can get ahead by ripping people off and stepping over people to get what you want. But you can also get ahead by innovating and being creative, by using your mind and intelligence to prove that you have what it takes. At the end of the day, an employer is going to prefer a well educated nice guy over a lesser educated a-hole.

I can agree with you that capitalism is a bit like a "dog eat dog" game, but in reality that is the natural way of things. Everything in nature abides by the same rules, the early bird gets the worm as they say. Why should human society be any different? Why should anyone be able to get anything they want without an inherent requirement to work for what they want?

You still have a some what valid point though... I think the system of capitalism we have now is not really anything like free market capitalism should be. We have something more like corporate fascism due to the way the government and the corporations intermingle. They have all but eliminated true business competition and the result is the level of inequality we observe today.

Capitalism in it's purest form is the engine of wealth and prosperity. It's why the United States was originally so successful and quickly rose to the status of a super power. And it's the gradual shift away from that system which is eroding the foundations of the US. Take Hong Kong for example, one of the most prosperous and advanced cities on Earth and it achieved that with one of the most pure systems of capitalism on Earth.

According to Wikipedia Hong Kong is "characterised by low taxation, near-free port trade" and "has remained as the world's freest economy, according to Index of Economic Freedom since the inception of the index in 1995". And yet at the same time they have virtually no public debt and the standard of living is very high. I would suggest that you really take a closer look at the reasons for inequality in the United States.



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 07:34 AM
link   
reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 


What you are adressing is the fundamental contradiction our societies rest upon. We try to be nice guys, it's in our genes. But even the nicest guy, lets say that boss you were talking about, what impact does his buisiness have on society ? Will he outsource when times become hard ? Will he lay off ? Will he manufacture crap that no one needs ? How does his buisiness impact the planet ? How much time does he have to spend away from his family to make ends meet ?

So sure, most of us try to be nice. I firmly believe that even those at the top of the power pyramid can be "nice" people". But their actions are dictated by social constraints. As you said, when the cards are down, it's dog eat dog. There is a limited amount of ressources on this planet. When you take more than your fair share, even if you worked hard for it, you are taking food from someone else's mouth. That is the nature of this system. Someone will always be at the bottom of the ladder, and that someone will generally die of hunger, thist, or a preventable disease.

It's a common misconception that "nature works like that". Nature is not one single entity, there are many different complexities, systems, variations. One thing is certain, no social species thrives on individualism.

Take ants, take prairie-dogs, wolves, bonobos, dolphins, all of these species are extremely protectective, altruistic and they thrive on co-dependence, trust, and sometimes even sacrifice for the good of the group.

True they can be violent towards other groups/species, but this is not systematic. Just like humans, these species have been observed to be able to extend their empathy to include other groups, and even other species.

Here is a video you might find interesting. It's short, and entertaining. You should check the others in the series too. Only brilliant minds behind them.

The empathic Civilisation
edit on 10-7-2013 by Ismail because: (no reason given)
edit on 10-7-2013 by Ismail because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 09:14 AM
link   
reply to post by Ismail
 



Take ants, take prairie-dogs, wolves, bonobos, dolphins, all of these species are extremely protectective, altruistic and they thrive on co-dependence, trust, and sometimes even sacrifice for the good of the group.

Ants are actually a very good example of a species which thrives by implementing an extreme form of group-mentality and a total lack of individualism. Even the jobs the ants get are assigned to them upon birth and they have no free will to act against the wishes of the commune. Always marching along like good little troopers, day in day out, building endless infrastructure under the ground, with any given part looking just like any other part. No difference or creativity put into what they build, just a huge monotonous tunnel system built with instinct and not intellect or imagination. It is quite the analogy indeed.

And what about dolphins... they have much more individualism than ants, scientists even believe that dolphins call each other by name. Dolphins can actually be quite the independent creatures when they want to be, just because they are gentle and nice to humans (usually) doesn't mean they must be a very communistic species. What's interesting is that you can also give canines a name and they will respond to those names, and canines can also be extremely independent creatures capable of living alone for long periods of time. I think that as a species gets smarter it naturally shifts over to a higher level of individualism.

"Selfhood goes together with empathic development. Increase selfhood, increase empathic development."

That is actually a quote from the video you linked to. They explain that as a child learns to recognize its self in the mirror it gains the ability to recognize other people as separate beings and thus it gains the ability to empathize with the feelings of other people. Selfhood, or the ability to recognize ones self as an individual, is what gives us the ability to empathize with others in the first place.

The more individualism we have the more we can relate to other individuals. The more we try to act as one hive mind and pretend that we are all the same and that none of us are different, the more we become just cogs in a machine. We should accept the fact that we are all different and believe different things, and we should even embrace the fact that we are all different.

Accepting the premise of individualism doesn't mean you need to drop the idea of empathy, in fact I think the opposite applies. To tell you the truth most people think I am far too empathetic for my own good, but that doesn't mean I can't support the concepts of individualism and liberty. Getting rid of money is really not going to change human nature at the end of the day.

I'm not saying that a resource based society or other types of communistic societies can't work, they clearly can work if they are designed properly. I'm saying they are not the best way to operate a society because it forces empathy upon people. Should I share my wealth with others because I choose to or because the state forces me to?

The type of society that you are promoting is one of force, one which seems to accept the fact that humans are too evil for their own good, so for the good of all people we must manage the assets and income of everyone and re-disperse the wealth to make sure no one is poor. It forces everyone to think a certain way and promotes a group-mentality.

Like in Project Venus for example... having centralized manufacturers to create everything we need is absurd, it's the reason why so many towns built on communistic principles look like gloomy monotonous hell holes, they lack spirit and originality, everything looks the same, like an ants nest. There's just no... soul. Individualism is the seed of the soul.
edit on 10/7/2013 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 10:48 AM
link   

Originally posted by Asktheanimals
The problem as I see is that we do have a democracy - only it's the money that gets to vote. Those with the most get the control.
I agree completely on a new monetary system not based on debt. The Federal Reserve has never had the best interests of America at heart, only it's masters which happen to be the old money European banking families. Even if we were to go back to a gold -backed dollar who owns all the gold now? The same who own the printing presses.
It has been said of war and revolution only serve to change who the creditors are. Perhaps this was true long ago but now war is tool to increase their holdings. What we would need to restore the power to the people and give them a fair shot monetarily has yet to be described as political philosophy. It would seem we need elements of both capitalism (to give people reason to strive for better by keeping the fruits of their labor) and communism (by taking some of what the corporations and ultra-rich have to restore a level playing field).
So instead of change we continue arguing which of the old systems would fix the problem and get nowhere.
Good thread.


Thank you my friend! I was thinking the same things but I don't think we will ever get anyone on either side of this
equation to agree with this ideology! We refuse to sacrifice on behalf of the betterment of all man kind which will
lead to a tipping point where we all shall suffer for our selfish ideals! When most of us think they deserve the privilege to live beyond the means of your average people how can they be convinced otherwise?
I fear this will not happen until it's already too late to compromise on a solution for the world!
Those in power will continue to divide and conquer the uncompromising public until greed overwhelms reason and we destroy each other! It is a depressing prophecy but one I believe will take place unless we become more apt to sacrifice for freedom and a true democracy fueled by reason!



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 11:11 PM
link   

Originally posted by woodwardjnr
Very interesting post. I find it ironic, that the 2 most popular books in America are The Bible and Atlas Shrugged. One a religious text, the other written by a veherment athiest. Just goes to show, how people are prepared to cherry pick to shoe horn their ideologies into a preferred world view.

I also found it interesting that many of the Austrian economists that Ron Paul likes to talk about, also support a nationalised healthcare system. Something the free market fundamentalists like to ignore.


I give you a star - but I do want to see the numbers on people who have actually read "Atlas Shrugged" vs those who like to say they have, know something about by hearsay and/or just have a copy on the book shelf. I've read the book and the writing is horrible, the preaching intolerable (skipped over those parts) and it's really long. Now I've read it a couple of times - it's kind of a neat SciFi story if you leave out the preaching and it is thought provoking. My conclusion - bad premises and poor logic. But I'll bet more people have read Harry Potter then Atlas Shrugged.



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 11:15 PM
link   
OP - keep reading and listening. You still sound rather naive - but aren't we all to some degree in differing areas.

It comes down to two basic premises. One - people are born bad and need 'better people' to tell them what to do and Two - people are born good and should be nutured into their own strengths.

Others have said it way better than I.

Another question to ponder - what is the role of compassion in society at all levels of scope.



posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 03:43 AM
link   
51/49

51/49

the numbers just don't work



posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 04:16 AM
link   
Since we were little we have been conditioned and raised only knowing this system do when presented with one that is completely the opposite (Venus project) it seems something so impossible. Becoming familiar with the corruption in our society now makes you cynical towards a "utopia".
I still think love is the solution and it will never change.
I have to disagree with capitalism tho. You cannot claim something yours just cause you feel "that you've warned it". Take the people in North Korea for example, they have never seen "wrong" and "Kim Jong in" in the same sentence EVER!
Conditioning hunnny! All it is

Ps excuse my type-Os. I'm on the iPod and auto corrects sometimes sucks
edit on 11-7-2013 by OUTofSTEPwithTHEworld because: (no reason given)





new topics

top topics



 
11
<<   2 >>

log in

join