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Sat Jun 28, 2014, 11:54 PM

Here's how to change the world

Education is important - but it's not necessary to change the world. Education performs an important function for those who want to explain something to her/his rational mind. But education is not enough to change the world.

Positive Messages are important - but they're not enough to change the world. They, however, are VASTLY important to create change - but the reason for this may not be what you think.

Negative messages do not promote change. The reason for this is because they invalidate the one actual way to create change.

People say different things motivate them to change, or to create change. However social science research has indicated one way that change actually occurs.

The one, demonstrated, way to create change is to let your peers, your politicians, your family members know that others support this change or behavior or action and are acting upon this support.

That's the truth. Herd behavior explains our positive and negative actions. Sadly. (Someone posted a thread here that mentioned this in relation to torture - i.e. "nice" people who "go along" with society's dictates are most likely to torture people to death. The reason for their willingness is that they are part of the herd and i.d. as such by their cooperativeness.)

This is why negative messages are harmful, because they promote the herd belief that most people are involved in those negative behaviors. People aren't necessarily influenced by disgust from negative messages. They receive the information that their peers are engaged in those behaviors, so they're not motivated to change, either.

Positive messages work when they utilize the concept that others are engaged in the positive behavior (i.e. modeling).

So, while the rich guy talks about people coming with pitchforks, etc... he's talking about behavior - but his purpose - to raise the minimum wage - will be effective when those who agree with him raise their wages as modeling behavior for the capitalist herd. This modeled behavior is then one of those "of course" moments - tho, in this case, the effect of raising wages for one company would mean they would attract people before companies that did not raise wages.

Congress must treat capitalists as a horde of insensible animals who must be taught how to function in a democracy, because the principles that structure corporations are not the principles that undergird democracies. Education really doesn't matter in this case, because the basic issue is that the horde will not seek to alter its own behavior when the model for its behavior - the ayn-ti christ rand - or corporate structure - leads the herd to engage in harmful behaviors.

So, if you want to change the world - seek out people who are engaged in actions that do so. Tell others about those people. Help others to see that this change is what people are doing who are worth lauding in our society. (That would mean turning off "reality tv" entirely, btw). The herd will come along - and they'll also be the ones "tut-tut-ing" those who come after them, as a way for the "cooperators" to force the laggers.

fwiw.

38 replies, 1211 views

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Arrow 38 replies Author Time Post
Reply Here's how to change the world (Original post)
RainDog Jun 28 OP
Uncle Joe Jun 29 #1
RainDog Jun 29 #3
Uncle Joe Jun 29 #4
RainDog Jun 29 #5
Uncle Joe Jun 29 #7
Anansi1171 Jun 29 #2
BlindTiresias Jun 29 #6
Uncle Joe Jun 29 #8
BlindTiresias Jun 29 #11
Uncle Joe Jun 29 #12
BlindTiresias Jun 29 #14
Uncle Joe Jun 29 #19
BlindTiresias Jun 29 #21
Uncle Joe Jun 29 #22
BlindTiresias Jun 29 #23
Uncle Joe Jun 29 #26
BlindTiresias Jun 29 #27
Uncle Joe Jun 29 #28
BlindTiresias Jun 29 #30
Uncle Joe Jun 29 #31
BlindTiresias Jun 29 #34
Uncle Joe Jun 29 #36
RainDog Jun 29 #9
BlindTiresias Jun 29 #10
RainDog Jun 29 #13
BlindTiresias Jun 29 #15
RainDog Jun 29 #16
BlindTiresias Jun 29 #17
RainDog Jun 29 #18
BlindTiresias Jun 29 #20
RainDog Jun 29 #24
BlindTiresias Jun 29 #25
RainDog Jun 29 #29
BlindTiresias Jun 29 #32
RainDog Jun 29 #33
BlindTiresias Jun 29 #35
me b zola Jul 24 #37
ReRe Jul 25 #38

Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 12:16 AM

1. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, RainDog.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #1)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 12:51 AM

3. I could post the references for the OP

but just posted this cause I was thinking about a talk a woman gave about her research on the subject.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #3)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 01:11 AM

4. That might be cool for some members.

I agree with the message whether it came from her or you.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #4)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 01:27 AM

5. sadly, the unethical experiment on fb confirms other research

in that people who were exposed to negative messages posted more negative messages themselves - and had to deal with mood changes. I hope facebook is the subject of a class action lawsuit for their action. It's unethical to alter someone's mood in a social science experiment without providing them with information after the fact to help them overcome that negative mood change.

I just use fb, for the most part, for quick conversations with people I know - though sometimes I share music, etc... mostly I use it for private conversations with my kids or my close friends, and to express support for others' good stuff. Not interested in using fb to share my private life, however. I guess I'm weird that way.

fb keeps asking me... in what city do you work for Hudsucker Industries... LOL.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #5)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 01:45 AM

7. That doesn't surprise me you can see it here at D.U. as well, not from a top down manipulation

but from when the heated passions of one subject take over the board.

Good quality OPs sink like a rock in the river while the debris of inane or negative subjects and issues stay afloat for what seems like an eternity contaminating the waterway.

This in turn drives away many good members in frustration either temporarily or permanently.

I use FB in pretty much the same manner as you.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 12:18 AM

2. Big K&R! -nt

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 01:32 AM

6. Idealistic nonsense

You will never rein in the capitalists because they are the ones with the resources and the will to use those resources to increase their influence and thereby their fortunes and vice-versa. It is self-reinforcing and exponential power.

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Response to BlindTiresias (Reply #6)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 01:54 AM

8. The Internet works toward reigning in the capitalists.

The people become increasingly enlightened and this in turn spreads to those with the resources.

Nothing will stand in the way of ideas and free speech for any sustained period of time, when those ideas have obvious merit, change will come from those in power or over them.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #8)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 02:30 AM

11. They own the internet

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Response to BlindTiresias (Reply #11)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 02:35 AM

12. We are the Internet, without us there is no Information Superhighway or it would be something

like this.



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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #12)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 02:42 AM

14. Irrelevant

They own the infrastructure, and it is all heavily monitored anyway so your point is feel good nonsense. Furthermore, if all the avenues of power are closed and people have no ability to organize and act against them people can say whatever they want in screaming impotence and it won't matter.

So person A and person B are communicating and agree they are screwed (this is course some utopia as nobody can even agree on this), so what? It is what they do after they agree they are screwed and have identified the screwer that matters. The internet might be able to assist in this in some form but it is clearly not a game changer as our great grand parents and great, great grandparents were far better at fighting against the same interests hurting us today. We can't even accomplish 1/10th of what they did so my estimation of the powers of the internet is understandably negative.

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Response to BlindTiresias (Reply #14)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 03:18 AM

19. When you say they are monitoring what does that mean other than listening?

"There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo

"To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker." - Frederick Douglass


By the very nature of monitoring they're forced to listen, this is more power for us.

Did they listen before when they monopolized the corporate media and a handful of monopolists were controlling the distribution and dissemination of information, of course not, they were living in a bubble.

When tens of millions of people here at home and around the world protested against the war with Iraq, did the corporate media cover it? I will save you the search the answer is no, not in any meaningful sense.

We the people on the Internet (and we're growing in number everyday while T.V is losing its' captured audience) make decisions on a daily basis, that can influence the capitalists in power, we can promote or purchase good products and shun the bad ones, we can embrace good policies and criticize inferior practices.

By debating and discussing opposing ideas we enlighten and influence each other. If you believe in the long term merits of your ideas, this is a no lose situation.

By the pooling of our ideas, thoughts, joys and frustrations, we create a higher mind, more ingenious and powerful than the richest billionaire's resources, that's why the Koch brothers are on the defensive.

Aside from all that, the Internet fosters organization for the activists and protesters.

The Information Superhighway is a virtually limitless pool of knowledge, and the mere act of reading and posting for any extended length of time fosters literacy which is another form of empowerment, that's why slave owners never wanted their slaves to have that skill.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #19)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 03:30 AM

21. So what?

People that hate you and your opinions are listening, so what? Buy products from just "good" capitalist? Libertarian nonsense. Get a grip.

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Response to BlindTiresias (Reply #21)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 03:32 AM

22. Are you suggesting there are no good products or services? n/t

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #22)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 03:37 AM

23. I am saying without significant intervention

The temptation for capitalists to do what they do and accrue profit at the expense of all else is too great, this is especially true when you consider that the third world is just as capitalist as we are and where the capitalists have shifted a good deal of production due to low labor protections and low pay. Furthermore even good actors like Senegal's Costco are not isolated and are often reliant upon much less scrupulous actors. Relying on the people to selectively choose only the most moral is typical libertarian garbage for why we don't need any regulation whatsoever as consumer choice can generate self regulation. It doesn't work.

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Response to BlindTiresias (Reply #23)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 03:53 AM

26. The masses both here and abroad that make up the Internet aren't static, we're not locked into a

a product, service, industry or form of government because they used fair and reasonable practices once and then reverted or never had good policies in the first place.

This is an ongoing battle, a marathon to say the least, they're listening to us and we're watching them.

Evolution may seem slow but it can also be extremely quick in adopting change.

If you believe so strongly that Communism is the answer and your argument has enough merit, we will end up in that form of government in large part because of the Internet.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #26)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 03:54 AM

27. And if we end up with a new form of feudalism?

Is that also the internet?

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Response to BlindTiresias (Reply #27)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 03:58 AM

28. We won't because that idea doesn't have enough merit supported by the people.

I'm not suggesting that some in power aren't trying it, but they will lose.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #28)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 04:04 AM

30. Eh

Actually a substantial portion of the population advocates for that, some even make populist videos on youtube like Stefan Molyneux.

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Response to BlindTiresias (Reply #30)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 04:06 AM

31. How many people are on the Internet and what is a substantial portion? n/t

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #31)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 04:11 AM

34. Large enough to have a significant presence?

I am not sure how I would gather the data to satisfy what you are asking, just that they exist. Given this, clearly the internet is not entirely a tool for good.

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Response to BlindTiresias (Reply #34)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 04:20 AM

36. Extremists of all types exist, that's always been the case, but I have faith in the majority

of people; when given an open avenue to debate and discuss, will in turn achieve the best outcome, I have faith in reason.

There is a synergy of unison created by the Internet that Karl Mark could have only dreamed of.

As for tools, I can't think of anything that is entirely a tool for good, not even the cross, just ask the victims of the KKK or the untold multitudes that have died in countless wars being waged in the name of religion.

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Response to BlindTiresias (Reply #6)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 01:54 AM

9. Negative nonsense

You conflate government and business as one entity. I specifically note that government has to treat capitalists like the senseless herd animals that they are, and constrain their behavior.

I don't say capitalists will do this on their own, but I use the example of one capitalist whose words were lauded on DU recently as he talked about the pitchforks on the way - and I am, actually, calling him out to say - if this is what he believes, and if others like him think this as well - they're doing nothing to say something without doing something to change the expectation for behavior among the herd with which they graze.

But, if this is so wrong - how do you think change happens? Since you think this is "idealistic" (I think, fwiw, it's incredibly cynical, as far as reality goes, but it puts a positive spin on that reality in order to note that what exists can be and is overcome.)

So, tell me what works, if this is just idealism.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #9)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 02:10 AM

10. They are one entity

The very origins of the modern state demonstrate this: The capital class funded and directed the state to reinforce the power of the new capital class and take land that was held in custom by the people at gunpoint. It was only fairly recently with the emergence of socialism and communism which in turn informed progressivism that the state was utilized in a way that benefited the people at large and not the capital class and landholders. Now that those ideologies are essentially deceased we are resuming the business of the state as usual: Serving the interests of the capital class at gunpoint and cutting away at the services he people wanted to state to render to them.

You effectively -can't- rein them in and still have them exist as they exert a disproportionate influence, possessing the productive capacity of the civilization at least in terms of laws which are, yes, reinforced by the state at gunpoint.

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Response to BlindTiresias (Reply #10)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 02:36 AM

13. So how are you going to change the world?

I think socialism, btw, is experiencing a resurgence, esp. among younger voters. As Reagan "democrats" die off, there will be fewer democrats to uphold that end of the ideological spectrum. Right wingers, of course, are disproportionately among the American population, but even they prefer more egalitarian wealth distribution - they just deny that taxation is how this is achieved. They resist information that goes against their ideology of the "individual" - in spite of the reality that ideology is a sham in all sorts of ways.

Are you saying nothing can be changed?

Don't we have examples of change from the New Deal - and isn't the history of the U.S. since the New Deal a history of reactionary actions?

We don't have a "one way" direction for action, but, certainly, we do have a concentration of power and wealth among a very few. This is why I said, among their peer group, those who don't want violent insurrection need to model behavior that precludes the same.

That's what FDR did, in fact.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #13)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 02:51 AM

15. No change is likely forthcoming

Is socialism experiencing a resurgence? I am not sure, and at any rate it doesn't matter whatsoever unless they can organize in a meaningful way and enact some kind of change. Nobody in either party save for Senator Sanders is a socialist or has positions even approaching genuine socialism, and the elite from which most politicians are chosen from are certainly not socialist.

FDR is dead and so is his brand of progressivism, which was largely born out of fear of the population and successful revolutions abroad. We have neither, so your invoking of FDR and the new deal is specious at best. Just look at the incredible resistance and incredulity people had with Piketty's "radical" suggestion of restoring tax rates that existed in the 1950's.

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Response to BlindTiresias (Reply #15)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 02:54 AM

16. So you offer nothing

And tell people to do nothing.

Sounds like propaganda to me.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #16)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 03:00 AM

17. Hardly

I'm a communist, I am just calling it how I see it.

My suggestion is to organize with a new and inclusive model of socialism at the very minimum and abolish capitalism altogether and replace it with worker self directed enterprises and co-operatives. Watch the reactions to see why I am pessimistic about this possibility.

Edit: I should be clear here, I am not telling people to do nothing. I am saying that people -do- do nothing and many are actively hostile to any meaningful solution, preferring to embrace absolute evil in the right wing or pine for the aberration of the progressive era which is never going to happen again. I am also not ruling out the possibility that the window for change has closed and we could very well see ourselves ruled by a new class of global capitalists in a neo-feudal structure for centuries.

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Response to BlindTiresias (Reply #17)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 03:09 AM

18. How do you propose to do those things?

To state you want this or that, without direct explanations to demonstrate how this is achieved means nothing. Means doing nothing. Abolish capitalism - so, you support a revolution that captures the wealth of the 1% and creates worker-directed industry.

You can't simply say you have an idea without saying how you would accomplish it.

I'm not a communist, so I'm not going to support your ideas, but if you don't offer ways to achieve your objective, you're not offering anything.

Since the majority of Americans would also not identify as communist, however, you'd have a way to go do create a base of support, even.

People can get behind something like democratic socialism, however, since we've seen models where this works, in Canada and western Europe. I support a mixed model because I think the tensions between groups works for checks and balances on power. We don't have labor unions, etc. or a system to have representation by smaller parties in the U.S., however, and this inhibits implementation of laws that create a better society for more people.

However, we have no models for successful communism. We have quite a bit of negative information about communism in practice, apart from voluntary groups that come together for that purpose. iow, it seems to me, if you want to achieve what you want, you have to do exactly what I said, which is to model behavior as a way to interest others in your pov.

Knowing your ideology - I think you're the one that's incredibly idealistic and without any doable action to make your idealistic view happen.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #18)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 03:19 AM

20. ??

My ideal conception of society is distinct from what can be accomplished, so just because I think that communism in its purest sense most directly embodies the christian spirit does not mean I would not work with socialists, be the radicals or democratic socialists. In this way the modern generation of communists are less idealistic than people like you, in that we are willing to ally with people even if we do not fully agree. What is necessary is a coalition of people, so you and I are not opposed really.

WSDEs and Co-operatives are hardly radical, by the way, in that they currently exist and work very well. Getting there is also possible, we could pass a constitutional amendment that states that privately owned businesses have to be be owned in part by the workers of it, with internally determined percentage of ownership depending on internally determined criteria.

The problem with traditional social democracy is that if you leave the capitalist class intact they -will- come back to get you and reverse the gains made, and they get better at doing this each time. Right now the social democracies of europe are being rolled back on a consistent basis, even in previous social democratic strongholds like Sweden.

So ultimately we agree, democratic socialism is necessary. I am pessimistic that it is possible, however.

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Response to BlindTiresias (Reply #20)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 03:38 AM

24. I didn't say I was idealistic

In fact, my OP demonstrates pragmatism, not idealism. Because I framed this pragmatism in a positive way, you perceive it as something else.

I didn't say I wasn't willing to work with communists - but there is no viable communist party in the U.S., afaik.

But my focus, in the OP, isn't simply about economics or politics. It's about a whole spectrum of issues. However, since you talked about communism, I turned my focus to your issue.

I'm familiar with co-ops - I've been part of more than one and am part of one now. I simply noted that modeling behavior, again, is what gets others to follow. If no one started a co-op, many others would never participate. That reality is a demonstration of what I mentioned in the OP. But there is no state-level application of this sort of system.

I agree with you that austerity is a direct attack on social democracies by capitalists. What Iceland did, that seemed to work, is to nationalize banks located within their borders (not international banks, iow). Companies in western Europe must have x percentage of workers on their boards, etc. These help to provide some corrective, but strikes work, too. You just don't see that in the U.S. because unions have been decimated as the major jobs in industries with unions have been outsourced.

This is the cause of the current economic instability in the U.S.

The guy who talks about pitchforks doesn't mention this. There's another corrective a nation can do, that some have tried on limited bases. That's a basic minimum income. Switzerland has a mobilized group working for this.

Unease about income inequality and concerns about out-of-control capitalism are rising even in Switzerland, a nation long regarded as a business-friendly bastion—welcoming even the most questionable forms of wealth. At $80,000 per year, Switzerland’s income per capita is the third-highest in Europe after Luxembourg and Norway. But confidence in the economy was rocked at the beginning of the global financial crisis in 2008, when UBS (UBS), the nation’s largest bank, required a $60 billion government bailout. The anger and anxiety that led to demonstrations and riots in other countries have been channeled into a flurry of mostly populist referendums. “We on the right haven’t been doing our job correctly,” says Thomas Minder, a Swiss toothpaste manufacturer and politician. “Because there’s no self-regulation on the right, we basically punt the ball to the left. And maybe, sooner or later, one is going to get through.”

Early last year, Swiss voters approved an initiative championed by Minder that gives shareholders a greater say over executive pay and bans signing bonuses and golden-parachute pay packages for departing executives. In November the Swiss rejected as too extreme a proposal to cap top salaries at 12 times that of a company’s lowest-paid worker. This year, initiatives up for consideration include the introduction of a minimum wage of more than $24 an hour, a 20 percent estate and gift tax, and nationalization of basic health care.

Switzerland’s referendums often don’t pass, though last year the success rate was more than 50 percent. Even those that fail have the power to set the terms of political debate at home—and sometimes abroad. Once a proposal draws the requisite number of signatures, the executive branch must produce a report on it, and Parliament must debate it. The idea behind the failed proposal to cap executive pay found its way into the electoral platform of the Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party. “It was surprising how much attention it got,” says Florian Vock, international secretary of the Switzerland Young Socialist Party, which championed the initiative. “Every big television station in the world was asking for an interview.”

The vote on a minimum income for every Swiss citizen may still be some time away, but it has already generated headlines around the world. Philosophically, the idea has a long history, drawing support from the likes of the English-American revolutionary Thomas Paine and the economist Milton Friedman. Every European country except Italy and Greece has welfare programs designed to keep citizens out of poverty, says Gianluca Busilacchi, a professor of the sociology of welfare at the University of Macerata in Italy. The most generous program is Denmark’s, which gives its poorest citizens roughly $1,800 a month, enough to pull the destitute over the poverty threshold.

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-01-16/inequality-fight-swiss-will-vote-on-minimum-income


I highlighted what the capitalist said - because he's basically admitting that the herd mentality of capitalists creates the condition for reform to be taken out of their hands - either through violence and instability or through legislation.

In this country, if it takes fear to make the herd change direction, the capitalists should be very, very afraid.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #24)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 03:47 AM

25. Granted

My entry into the discussion may not have been entirely fair to you, but I simply do not see how people can rein these people in, no possible mechanism exists. Furthermore, if people did have the power to rein them in why even keep them around so they can push for austerity 2.0 a generation or two down the road?

My argument is simple, I guess: Do people have the ability to rein them in? If no, then we must suffer what we must under a new feudalism. If yes, why preserve these aristocrats and indulge their power fantasies and need for control?

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Response to BlindTiresias (Reply #25)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 04:01 AM

29. What you advocate is a permanent state of terror

ala Robespierre.

As soon as one group attains power, they're destroyed. ultimately people get sick of living in a situation like this and a dictator is chosen by a few to bring some stability.

So, in order to prevent this, you have power sharing among groups, and you have taxation upon wealth that helps to level the playing field b/c that money goes toward the creation of wealth among the poor and middle classes.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #29)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 04:07 AM

32. Terror?

You could simply have them retire in the lifestyle they are acclimated to or something like it, hardly any terror there. It would simply be the society telling this class of people that times have changed, we are in a new economic epoch and their safety will be preserved but they no longer have the same privileges they did before. One could even offer them positions as managers in the new worker directed industries, the wouldn't get disproportionate influence and profit like they do now but they would still be rewarded for their work. No terror necessary.

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Response to BlindTiresias (Reply #32)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 04:11 AM

33. Well, in your utopia

of course there's no terror because there are no competing factions. that's not how reality works - even within a particular ideology, as we saw in Russia, etc.

what bothers me about your ideology is that we've never seen it where it didn't dissolve into totalitarianism.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #33)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 04:13 AM

35. I'm not talking about communism here

A democratic socialist state could do this and likely would have to do it unless it wanted to see its gains rolled back like what happened with social democracy.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Thu Jul 24, 2014, 04:15 PM

37. K&R

Be at peace, Raindog.

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Response to me b zola (Reply #37)

Fri Jul 25, 2014, 02:43 AM

38. Seriously...

... what a mind. What a loss. The world is a worse place without her already. Did you happen to read down that entire thread?

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