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The 7 - Current Events & Politics - Wienerville: Commie Pinko Haven?
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Sean
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#41 Posted on 14.5.02 0810.00
Reposted on: 14.5.09 0812.13
eviljonhunt81:

I understand what you strive to be. I will also tell you that these posts are not about what I strive to be, what I hope to be, or what my personal goals are. I can temporarily separate those from my thought process and analyze what I see around me.

Do you not think for one moment that religion was used by tribal leaders to control their underlings? To discount the fact that they were leaders for religious puposes totally ignores their autocratic/oligarchic leanings.

I must ask why this system would have nation states at all. If each person only produces/consumes what is needed/required, why bother forming artificial states? Invariably, X people are going to commit heinous acts of violence against other civilians just for sport - what is done about them?

Your boss at the grocery store has an immense amount of power over you. If he tells you "Hey listen Jon, payroll is running a little short this week, can we give you half your check this week and half next week?" , he is directly inhibiting your cash flow. I'm assuming this is a non-union environment, for argument's sake. He can fire you, raise the salary of someone you work with, cut your salary, raise/cut your hours, etc. This is an enormous amount of power over your personal schedule.

In your last paragraph, ignore every argument I've made thus far about sexual economics. Men and women are driven by fierce and uncontrollable sexual competition. Without this competition, our species would just not exist. Think about the immensely stupid things you've done during your life in pursuit, ostensibly, of a mate. The importance of a mate as "currency" or "value" increases exponentially when it becomes the only method for measuring a person's success.

I can't be any more direct than that without a point-by-point discussion of what I've said so far, as opposed to an incomplete summary.
Travis
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#42 Posted on 14.5.02 0811.19
Reposted on: 14.5.09 0812.18

    Originally posted by eviljonhunt81
    Your criticisms seem to rely on the idea that man naturally falls into leader/led roles, and that this is somehow incompatible with communism/anarchism. I don't see how it is. Yes, they preach equality, but it is equality in power, not ability. As I said before, each contributes what he can and gets what he needs. It relies on the fundamental kindness of mankind. Naive, maybe, but impossible? I don't know.


If you "don't know" I recommend you go get yourself a big, fat history book and sit a spell. Man doesn't posses any kind of "fundamental" and inherent morality. If anything, man is quite a selfish creature.
Your ideal "anarchist/communist" culture (which are you for? they are two distinctly different concepts, each with their own distinct yet insurmountable flaws) simply cannot work. People need a better reason than either "because" or "for the common good" to wake up in the morning and work their asses off. Work is performed in order to provide results. If we all lived hundreds of miles apart, the subsitenence model might hold water. However, unless you live in Nebraska or somewhere equally as unimportant, you're going to have minimal interest in growing your own turnips when you can just as easily walk over to your neighbor's lot and steal his. Everyone would know this. No one would be foolish enough to raise crops. Unless of course someone was there to protect said crops. Who would appoint these protectors? And who would decide how much land each person owned in the first place? Would it just be arbitrarily distributed? Would it be equally divided by a team of surveryers and planners? What would be the motivation for the surveyers and planners to sit there and map all of this madness out?
There's too many questions and not enough answers.
Is our current system flawed? Terribly. Is there anything unnatural or unreasonable about it? Not really. The capital-driven system we have today is a result of thousands of years of trial and error. Maybe one day, after we're all dead, something different will be proposed and maybe it will work. But even on Star Trek, the wet dream of "equal rights" parrots everywhere, they had a president. And a trade network based on- yup- gold. People need leadership and they need a better reason to sweat and bleed than "because it's 'good' ".
eviljonhunt81
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#43 Posted on 14.5.02 1217.56
Reposted on: 14.5.09 1220.47
I don't know whether it is impossible or not because it has never been allowed to happen on any sort of serious level. And have you even read this thread? Communism is a step to anarchism. Do I have argue about the "anarchic state" again? And I think I already said I am not very supportive of either, I just am defending misinterpretations of them. I lump the two terms together because they both rely on the inherent goodness of man.

People need a better reason to work than "for the common good?" It works as a rallying cry in times of war, it works in many Eastern cultures. It's not that people aren't getting fed. They get their needs fulfilled and help society out however they can. You seem to be assuming that any communist/anarchic state would be identical to the failure that was the Soviet Union. It most certainly wouldn't. All the oh-so difficult questions you pose are answered in constitutions. I am defending the simple theory, not the practice. I said it was very naive to think it would work, as it relies on the fundamental goodness of mankind. And if man doesn't possess any sort of inherent morality, how can he be inherently selfish?

As for Sean:

Religion has been used as a control device, which is why anarchists and communists would eliminate it. They are sort of fixing the problems of the old tribal system. And the grocery store is union, which is a step towards the equality that communism wants. In a grocery store in a communist society, I would be making the same pay as everyone else there (and in the country as a whole), and yes, there would be somebody who schedule's when I work, but he wouldn't be able to have as much arbitrary control over me. I probably shouldn't be trying to argue this in my current state of mind, as I am bound to be very incoherent. Regardless, I still stand that your main criticism of these types of government is a lack of faith in mankind. Not that this is necesaarily untrue, but I don't think it is inherently impossible. I hate everybody as much as the next guy, but I can see how these systems make some sort of sense, and could work in the right situation.

And your arguments about sex fall short for me, as my hatred of mankind extends to the fairer sex, which I could give a rat's ass about. I have never done anything to get the pootang, but I still understand your point. Regardless, Marx argues that we cannot truly love in our current system, as our method of work has alienated us too much. Sex is seen as an object because of our current system. In the communist state, we would be able to have much truer relationships, as we have all been made more equal and are allowed to see each other for who we are, not how much money and power we have. As I said, these are veyr romantic views of mankind, but I don't think we can say they wont work unless they area given a fair chance to.
Travis
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#44 Posted on 14.5.02 1229.04
Reposted on: 14.5.09 1229.56
So, to recap, you hate everybody yet expect everybody to work together to help support you (and I'll assume) would gladly participate in a system geared towards advancing the "greater good".
Do you know Sean Shannon?
MoeGates
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#45 Posted on 14.5.02 1250.23
Reposted on: 14.5.09 1256.26
I mostly disagree about the "some people are born leaders and some aren't" point. People lead in some situations and not in others, and people lead in some ways and not in others. When I play football on Saturdays, someone else calls the plays and I run my routes. Why? Because I'm not a great play caller or quarterback. But maybe I'm a good cheerleader or something, and lead that way. Or maybe I'm the quiet guy who throws blocks and does the dirty work and leads by example. And a lot of people in their jobs, follow some and lead others.

The idea that "some lead and others follow" is based on a very narrow, heirarchical definition of social structure that isn't necessarily "natural" at all. And certaintly, in anarchist thought, not the way things work. In your local food co-op (about as close to a pure anarchist entity as you can get) leadership jobs usually rotate, and there are several of them. Ultimate authority lies not with the one guy at the top of the totum pole, but with the entire group in democratic fashion.

I think there is the very rare person that is, in fact, a born leader for almost every situation. Then there are about 100x as many that think they are. There is also the rare guy that would rather just sit in the corner and do what people tell him to. But we aren't dogs. We don't have a natural, rigid, heirarchical structure of leadership. In anarchist thought, we are all members of the producing class AND all memebrs of the managerial class.

I absolutely agree about the sexual compition thing. I don't think you are going to eliminate competition, or status, nor do I think you should. But you can eliminate is competition over property, and status based on property.

I think rich/beautiful people tend to mate with each other mostly because people tend to mate with people that they have something in common with. That's fine, and pretty natural. Without property competition, hot chicks will go for hot guys, or buff guys, or intelligent guys, or whatever. They just won't go for rich guys. Which, quite frankly, is fine with me.

Moe
eviljonhunt81
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#46 Posted on 14.5.02 1410.49
Reposted on: 14.5.09 1416.59
how many times do I have to say that I am not a communist or anarchist? And me hating everybody has nothing to do with the inherent goodness of man required for these systems to work. Just because I don't like people doesn't mean that I want society to fail. Maybe disinterest is a better term than hate. I just don't care about anybody else. Now that sounds too egotistical. Regardless, I never said anything about everybody working to support me. People can work together for the good of society as a whole.


part of the problem comes from our current system, which distorts the way we communicate and think. In our capitalist system, we are taught to rely on oursleves to get ahead of everybody else. This competitive mindset affects the way we do everything. If we did not need to compete, we would not see anything the same way. This is what I was hinting at before when discussing the attractiveness of power and money. If everyone has the same amount of power and money, then it is no longer attractive.
PalpatineW
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#47 Posted on 14.5.02 1916.59
Reposted on: 14.5.09 1925.38
Why is it so bad to want to live for yourself?

I'll go on record saying I am somewhat of an Objectivist, though like Sean I don't want to entirely pigeonhole myself. But the idea of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" is something I just can't get behind. Look at Cuba. No one wants to be a doctor, because it is more work for equal pay. Under this "need/ability" system, the Doctor actually gets fucked. He has to work longer hours, he has to study more, he has to be on call 24 hours a day, and yet, he gets the same reward that the meanest grunt does. This man has worked harder, and I think he's entitled to more reward. This is why I like capitalism. What a man produces is his, more or less.

And jonhunt said this: "In our capitalist system, we are taught to rely on oursleves to get ahead of everybody else. "

You think it's wrong that we are taught to rely on ourselves? Do you think we have the right to rely on others? Whether you think you are or not, you are moving towards eliminating the individual. Or, at least, trying. No one working for themselves? Everyone working for "society?" What is society? No more than a collection of individuals. You're just going to turn the current upper class into a slave class, because they're all (for the most part) working a lot harder.

I'm gonna get back to "Atlas Shrugged" now... ;)
MoeGates
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#48 Posted on 14.5.02 2202.51
Reposted on: 14.5.09 2204.53
What a man produces is his, more or less.

No. What a man (or woman) EARNS is his (or hers), more or less. What a person produces is most often not theirs.

You're just going to turn the current upper class into a slave class, because they're all (for the most part) working a lot harder.

You know, I'm convinced that this idea is what fundamentally separates Liberals from Conservatives. Liberals (like myself) tend to think that members of the lower class work harder on the whole (hence the name "working class"). The various philsophical and idealogical differences that come about are really traced to this, I think.







(edited by MoeGates on 14.5.02 2303)

(edited by MoeGates on 14.5.02 2304)
DMC
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#49 Posted on 14.5.02 2241.57
Reposted on: 14.5.09 2249.18
"You know, I'm convinced that this idea is what fundamentally separates Liberals from Conservatives. Liberals (like myself) tend to think that members of the lower class work harder on the whole (hence the name "working class"). The various philsophical and idealogical differences that come about are really traced to this, I think."

This assumes that liberals are liberals because they really care about "the little guy," a media myth that I have yet to see proven. I believe there are much more profound philosophical issues which largely create a liberal; the we're for the masses position is often a ruse used to gain power and popularity. However, the point is in rewarding hard work wherever it is taking place (and not just hard *physical* labor). I hate to sound like Horatio Alger or Andrew Carnegie, but with capitalism if you truly are working hard and continue at it, then you will be rewarded. It just may take a little longer and may involve more work depending on what your lot in life has been.

DMC

(edited by DMC on 14.5.02 2059)
MoeGates
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#50 Posted on 15.5.02 0031.40
Reposted on: 15.5.09 0045.54
No, my point is this: If you ask a conservative and a liberal if they are "for the little guy" they will both say yes. If you ask a conservative and a liberal if they want to "reward hard work" they will both say yes. There are a million other fundamental questions that both a liberal and a conservative will answer the same way despite "the media" (we can't seem to get away from this one) portraying a certain answer as more liberal or more conservative. However, if you ask a liberal "on average, who works harder, someone who earns $30,000 per year or someone who earns 30 million per year" 99% will answer "$30,000." Ask a conservative the same question and 99% will say "30 million."

the point is in rewarding hard work wherever it is taking place (and not just hard *physical* labor). I hate to sound like Horatio Alger or Andrew Carnegie, but with capitalism if you truly are working hard and continue at it, then you will be rewarded.

The fact that conservative philosophy rewards hard work the most is a media myth that I have yet to see proven.

In capitalism, one factor in success is no doubt hard work (although you have to pick the right thing to work hard at). Another is luck. Yet another is what social class you were born into. There are a million others. In my book the people in America who try to make hard work the BIGGEST factor in success are liberals. They do this (in one way) by trying to minimize the other factors. Social safety nets (in their minds) reduce the "luck" factor. Progressive taxation, public education spending, and a whole host of others reduce the social class factor.

Now, I'm sure conservatives disagree with this assessment. But in America, the ultimate goals of both the left and the right are pretty much the same. Freedom, Security, and yes, rewarding hard work and looking out for the little guy. It's just that the means to get there differ.

What other much more profound philosophical issues do you think largely create a liberal?


Sean
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#51 Posted on 15.5.02 0731.35
Reposted on: 15.5.09 0734.47
Much of these arguments about liberals/conservatives kind of tie in to my earlier points, so it makes for an interesting transition.

The main problem presented in this debate is whether social classes are simply groups of similar people, or whether social classes create people from a mold. I would contend that social classes/society did not spring from the ether - the current American system is a direct product of major sociological changes: the advent of radio, film, and television, the institution of social welfare, various population shifts, several military conflicts, and shifts in populational ethnicity.

This is all to say that the "underclass" does not serve as a means to keep working people down, but it is merely an arbitrary grouping of said people based on certain statistics, such as race, income, and education level.

If we were to strip these factors out, we could then examine the success of these people's lives based on other factors: happiness, divorce rate, rate of reproduction, etc.

My argument is essentially where the term "limousine liberal" comes from, because it asserts that if we ask most working class people if they are happy with their lives, they will say yes. They have upper class liberals who are constantly telling them that their lives need to be changed because they are being oppressed. I know this because of my lower class roots - both of my parents come from ethnic ghettos in Brooklyn, NY, yet both lead amazingly happy and satisfying lives, and are still married.

I just find it difficult and disconcerting that we only consider economic inequalities when discussion social order, because most people, in my experience, manage to make due with what they've got.

I hope I've articulated these points clearly enough.
MoeGates
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#52 Posted on 15.5.02 1052.40
Reposted on: 15.5.09 1059.01
My argument is essentially where the term "limousine liberal" comes from, because it asserts that if we ask most working class people if they are happy with their lives, they will say yes. They have upper class liberals who are constantly telling them that their lives need to be changed because they are being oppressed.

if you ask most anyone "are you happy" they'll say yes, rich or poor. However, if you ask someone if they would you like their taxes lowered, or would like better schools for their kids, or would like better health insurance, those same happy people will also say "yes." Just because you're happy doesn't mean that there's things that can change that would make your life better, no matter who you are. Now the government can't do anything about most of these. It can't find you the love of your life, or get you a friendly dog, or give you a sense of self-respect, or anything like that. But that's not to say it shouldn't do what it can. My tire salesman can't make my life "happy" either, but I can still hope for good service, and complain when I don't get it.


I know this because of my lower class roots - both of my parents come from ethnic ghettos in Brooklyn, NY, yet both lead amazingly happy and satisfying lives, and are still married

You'll be hard pressed to find anyone in this country who doesn't have "lower-class roots." I mean, Joe Kennedy was just a po' Irish boy until he got into the bootlegging business. You'll find people of all economic backrounds that believe everything on political spectrum. I, for one, give people the benefit of the doubt that their beliefs (whatever they are) are their own, and don't come solely from someone else "constantly telling them that their lives need to be changed because they are being oppressed." And if they do, what's wrong with that? We have free speech in this country, and most everyone has heard both sides (and much more) of a particular debate. For every upper-class liberal telling folks their lives need to be changed one way, there's an upper-class conservative telling them their lives need to be changed another.

Moe
DMC
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#53 Posted on 15.5.02 1141.36
Reposted on: 15.5.09 1151.08
"Now, I'm sure conservatives disagree with this assessment. But in America, the ultimate goals of both the left and the right are pretty much the same. Freedom, Security, and yes, rewarding hard work and looking out for the little guy. It's just that the means to get there differ."

And I would simply say that liberal means are *not* more encouraging of hard work, it is totally the opposite. If you have a big government to take care of you, then you will be less apt to work. As per another thread, just look at 20th century Soviet Russia and their worker productivity. It's just common sense, I think, to say that people will not be encouraged to work hard if in the back of their mind they feel it is the government's duty to help take care of them!

"The fact that conservative philosophy rewards hard work the most is a media myth that I have yet to see proven."

Nice of you to throw that quip back at me, but you *did* admit that both conservatives and liberals are "for the little guy," or at least claim to be so, which was exactaly my point. As far as who believes who works harder, I don't see how this issue means much of anything. I would think "who works harder" is a bit of a subjective thing.

"What other much more profound philosophical issues do you think largely create a liberal?"

Personally, I would say a liberal religious/metaphysical philosophy, or an outright denial of religion. Going hand-in-hand with this would be some sort of moral relativism.

DMC
astrobstrd
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#54 Posted on 15.5.02 1213.46
Reposted on: 15.5.09 1219.55

    Originally posted by DMC


    And I would simply say that liberal means are *not* more encouraging of hard work, it is totally the opposite. If you have a big government to take care of you, then you will be less apt to work. As per another thread, just look at 20th century Soviet Russia and their worker productivity. It's just common sense, I think, to say that people will not be encouraged to work hard if in the back of their mind they feel it is the government's duty to help take care of them!



I think laissez-faire capitalism, at least how it has been implemented encourages hard work, but only to stay above starvation. Those in power in laissez-faire systems set up mechanisms to make sure no one else gets a piece of the pie. Monopolies, price-gouging, and below cost-of-living wages are the order of the day. How hard did 19th century coal-miners and factory workers work? Read "The Jungle" if you want to see the wonderful opportunities open for everyone in an objectivist state. Want child labor? Vote Laissez-faire capitalism! Want cancelled-at-a-whim pension programs? No pesky government regulations to hold you responsible! Corporate welfare? Thanks to a purely capitalist state its all yours!

The answer doesn't always lie in the middle of the spectrum, but in the case of capitalism/socialism I'm pretty sure the only workable and humane system does.
DMC
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#55 Posted on 15.5.02 1237.19
Reposted on: 15.5.09 1237.24
"I think laissez-faire capitalism, at least how it has been implemented encourages hard work, but only to stay above starvation. Those in power in laissez-faire systems set up mechanisms to make sure no one else gets a piece of the pie. Monopolies, price-gouging, and below cost-of-living wages are the order of the day. How hard did 19th century coal-miners and factory workers work? Read "The Jungle" if you want to see the wonderful opportunities open for everyone in an objectivist state. Want child labor? Vote Laissez-faire capitalism! Want cancelled-at-a-whim pension programs? No pesky government regulations to hold you responsible! Corporate welfare? Thanks to a purely capitalist state its all yours!"

I knew I should have thrown this comment into the above post. Obviously, NO, I do not agree that uncontrolled, 19th century capitalism is the greatest thing since sliced sausage from *The Jungle*. I firmly believe that capitalism should have a strong morality to it which discourages this type of behavior that keeps people down. I am usually the first one to literally call people and companies capitalist pigs when I see these things (like the radio station I use to work at). Obviously though, people are not perfect, and thus no system people create ever will be. Again, the point was made in the other thread that it may not be perfect, but it is better than the other current alternatives.

DMC
MoeGates
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#56 Posted on 15.5.02 1421.26
Reposted on: 15.5.09 1422.58
Personally, I would say a liberal religious/metaphysical philosophy, or an outright denial of religion. Going hand-in-hand with this would be some sort of moral relativism.

Really? This isn't what I would have thought. There a ton of mainstream religious traditions that are *very* liberal (or at least their members are very liberal). Black Southern Baptists. Most Jewish denominations. There is a very large liberal wing of Catholisism which could hardly be called "moral relativist." (Arguably) our most liberal president of medern times, Jimmy Carter, was also the most religious. Maybe we jsut have different definitions of "liberal."

It's intersting. I was raised in a liberal, labor-union household, and I was always taught that it was the liberals who had a consistant moral code, and the conservatives that were relativists and irreligious. Essentially, I was taught that morals trumped money among liberals, and money trumped morals among conservatives. Liberals believed what they believe because it's right, and conservatives believed what they believed because it made them the most money. Liberals worshiped a just God, or a belief in humanity, or other such nice things, conservatives worshiped money. You get the idea.

Now that I'm older (and have met more conservatives), I don't really believe this (although I'm still a liberal, and this thinking still creeps into my head). It's just intersting that you're definition of a "liberal" is so close to the definition of "conservative" that I was taught.

Moe

Moe


(edited by MoeGates on 15.5.02 1530)
DMC
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#57 Posted on 15.5.02 1456.36
Reposted on: 15.5.09 1459.06
"Really? This isn't what I would have thought. There a ton of mainstream religious traditions that are *very* liberal (or at least their members are very liberal). Black Southern Baptists. Most Jewish denominations. There is a very large liberal wing of Catholisism which could hardly be called "moral relativist." (Arguably) our most liberal president of medern times, Jimmy Carter, was also the most religious. Maybe we jsut have different definitions of "liberal.""

No, you're simply drawing the distinction between social liberals and political liberals. Point well taken. My point is that "full-blown" liberals are more defined by things other than economic ideology. And as you now realize, to define all conservatives as evil capitalists with no values is a mistake. Tradtionally, "conservatives" have been the ones to stand for moral values and religious tradition, they are seekig to "conserve" things of the past, while "liberals" have rebelled against this and have sought to redefine values and codes or throw them away altogether. One need go no father than Marx to see this.

DMC
MoeGates
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#58 Posted on 15.5.02 1542.04
Reposted on: 15.5.09 1550.44
Or the Village
Moe
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#59 Posted on 21.5.02 2019.10
Reposted on: 21.5.09 2019.17
Wow, a lot of *great* discussion going on here, but there's a few opinions I wanted to express.

Communism is an ideal form of government, because it strives to let individuals use their specific talents to help the common good as well a create an even distribution of power.

Problem is that people are not ideal. It's part of human nature (hell, not just human nature, but nature in general) to be the best. Survival of the fittest, so to speak. People don't want to give up certain individual rights and desires for the common good.

So, Communism is an ideal and lofty plan, but can only exist in some form of utopia. There's always going to be some sort of power-grabbing and corruption in any form of government.

Just my $.02 :)
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#60 Posted on 22.5.02 0012.42
Reposted on: 22.5.09 0014.52
    Originally posted by Cowboy Spike
    Wow, a lot of *great* discussion going on here, but there's a few opinions I wanted to express.

    Communism is an ideal form of government, because it strives to let individuals use their specific talents to help the common good as well a create an even distribution of power.

    Problem is that people are not ideal. It's part of human nature (hell, not just human nature, but nature in general) to be the best. Survival of the fittest, so to speak. People don't want to give up certain individual rights and desires for the common good.

    So, Communism is an ideal and lofty plan, but can only exist in some form of utopia. There's always going to be some sort of power-grabbing and corruption in any form of government.

    Just my $.02 :)



No, no, no...

What is the common good? I have a professor who talks about this all the time, only he says "community." If ten people are suffering because they can't be bothered to grow food, and I can, should I work all the harder, only to see my rewards thrown to the less able? Communism rewards incompetence, and that's not ideal. I think the fundamental point here is: If you have a system of government that works against human nature, it is a BAD system. You're trying to create a government for humans; you can't blame human nature when it doesn't work. It's like saying "This airplane is GREAT, if not for that damned law of gravity..."

edited for point I forgot to make: There is no common good. It's just a collection of individuals. If ten people are happy and one is not, we'll say that the public is happy. But it still comes down to individual people. I mean, Nazism might have benefited more people than it harmed, so long as the persecuted group was a minority. Obviously, I'm not trying to endorse nazism here. I'm just saying that "the common good," i.e. the majority, is not sufficient justification for, well, anything.


And for you, Spike, "How will the Emperor maintain control without the bureaucracy?"

(edited by PalpatineW on 22.5.02 0114)
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