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 Post subject: Re: 223- Undermined by oppenness
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:16 pm 
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Vox Contra wrote:
RAnthony wrote:
Vox Contra wrote:
NOTES ON NATIONALISM (1945) - George Orwell
We may be seeing an expansion somewhat of what Orwell was talking about.
Not Nationalism of the state, but Nationalism of Ideas, Concepts, or Class.
The advancement of communication technology is breaking down the barriers that we traditionally used to divide and segregate our selves (The Nation-State). But Humans, the semi-rational cave apes that we are just can't seem to live without some team to belong to. Religions, political parties, races, social movements, factions of all kinds
It appears to be an unwieldy way of describing a group of ideologues, or a firmly believed ideology held by a loosely identified group. I think the confusion that stems from terming that nationalism, as well as the commonly held definition of the word should be avoided.

Brennus brings up a good point, albeit tangentially. Language appears to be a dividing factor in a good number of these conflicts; and different languages create different ways of thinking about the same ideas.

Ideologue is probably a pretty close approximation
But there’s something more to a Nationalist in my mind
There is a replacement of identity. They are no longer a person advocating for a particular idea. They have handed over their identity to the group, the membership of that group if first and foremost who they are. That transference of identity can cause some of the really unpleasant behaviors you see in extremists.
Fundamentalism. Exactly. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: 223- Undermined by oppenness
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:17 pm 
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Vox Contra wrote:
Just as Monarchies were not totally replaced by the development and expansion of the Nation State, I don’t expect the Nation State to be totally replaced by whatever is coming down the pipe.
They will be changed; perhaps constrained, alternative entities will develop with equal or greater powers. And with enough time, what is the day to day norm will not look anything like what we have now.
Do I know what the individual entities will be... not a clue.
If I had to guess some of the major players will be Multi National Corporations (both for profit like GE and charities like the Red Cross), Trans national Organizations (like the UN, NAFTA, ASEAN, etc.), potentially some Ethic or Tribal unity groups, and maybe some religiously organized groups (Catholic Church, Pan-Islamic groups, etc)
But to be honest I’m lifting most of those examples off of Martin van Creveld


I have considerable doubts that any of these alternatives can actually replace the current system of states, unless there is a one world government or the next best thing a global hegemon. Neither, do I think these alternatives are desirable either. Firstly, none of these institutions provides a check on upperclass power and wealth accumulation, neither do they stop abuse of power by local elites be they mafia, the local landlord, your boss, etc. Local abuses of power can be worse than that of states. In fact, it seems that is why we entered into the Hobbesian arrangement with the state in the first place.

The Catholic Church is a ghost sitting on the skeletal throne of a long, long dead Roman Empire. Bah...

Corporations are short profit maximizers for their shareholders and cash-cows for their CEOs. They hire and fire, use and abuse, go bankrupt, get taken over in short time spans. No one is loyal to corporation. Not in the sense that they die for them when the shite hits the fan, as shite is wont to do from time to time. Well maybe some will be willing martyrs for the Apple cult. ;)

Besides corporations are chartered by states, their existence itself is granted by a state, their property laws and propriety ownership enforced by the state, their global supply chained and foreign market access protected and negotiated the state and backed by their militaries. If the state pulls anyone of those away the corporation collapses like a house of card, it was always hollow. Nations exists in good times and bad, always going about rebuilding the state. Its the strongest collective enterprise going.

When the security dilemma enters into the picture those entities will most likely be pushed aside and the raw nation-state power laid power. Because there isn't a global international authority. It's anarchy baby, and states are the armed gangsters on the block. Its possible for some alternative structure to arise provided there is a long period when security dilemmas are less pressing in the world, and there is economic prosperity. If there was one overwhelming power on the world stage that intimidated all others, a global hegemon, then possibly. Even then the lesser power will try to snipe and undermine that great power, so that power would have to be overwhelming and its hegemony long. This global policemen world have to try to enforce some kind of free trade, international regime and act as global enforcer now and then when someone steps out of line. Ok, America did sort of fulfil that role, but it wasn't strong enough and its primacy didn't last long enough. Those days are over, for good or ill.

We are entering a wholly different phase, and entirely structurally different world. We must adapt our thinking appropriately, from that of the American Unipolar world to the oncoming Multipolar world. Throwing off this imperial mantle is not necessarily all bad, especially for Americans. America is not in Eurasia where the security competetion is intense. Perhaps Americans can focus on nation-building at home, a more equitable wealth distribution for its citizens, not exposing American workers directly to international competition (individuals versus the world market, while neo-Mercantalist countries play nation vs world market and are winning). We also have to come to grips with the economic catastrophe and its political origins in the complete take over of the American state by the upper classes. The times are a changin’.

The new era is an era of Multipolar powers. Those are nation-states and there will be more than one with significant world altering power in the near future.

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 Post subject: Re: 223- Undermined by oppenness
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:01 pm 
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Clan (100s) -> Tribe (1000s)-> Kingdom (100 000s) -> Empire (1 000 000s) (multi ethnic with incomplete identification)-> Religious Identity (10 000 000s)-> Nation State (100 000 000s multi ethinic, multi religious, with national identity) -> Trans National Unities (Billions) -> Global consciousness

The evolution of group consciousness is clear and technologies have played a role in allowing ever greater and greater units of individuals to identify with one another.

There has always been the Other. The enemy group. In the past the enemy was almost always outside the identified with unit. Now we seem to be at a point where we see the enemy almost just as often within the group rather than outside it. (We have more civil wars than nation on nation wars.) It is a wierd turning point.

It would be nice to hope that global consciousness rises to a point where we might have a chance of collaborating globally on big problems... we are still a long way from that. It will take more than Twitter to make that happen... but it's hard to disgree with the idea that the new technology is making it more possible to identify with people from far off places than ever before... and thus posing concerns with those who want to jealously guard the sanctity of the Nation State.

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Last edited by DrYouth on Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:41 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 223- Undermined by oppenness
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:08 am 
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So long as we're bringing speculative fiction into it, Stephenson has some interesting ideas in The Diamond Age - essentially an extension of the trans-national affiliation groups we see today.

An individual may choose to associate themselves to some group or another based on cultural affiliation, and those associations make up the bulk of their interactions. In the case of his story it's Neo-Victorians and tribalist Seattle Grunge types that get screen play (hey, it was written in the 90's :) ) - but the background implication is that a whole wealth of options are on the table, from 40's Communist to arts-and-crafts hippies to who knows what.

Those phyles then brokerr arrangements for their members from the remains of the nation states in which they arose, not unlike unions dealing with companies - and over time became the primary sense of "tribe/belonging" for most of the people within them, effectively squeezing nation-states out of the loop.

It's a curious idea - I'm sure it has its weaknesses. But it seems to me less filled with the potential for abuse and totalitarianism than a single globalist state, with a single point of failure.


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 Post subject: Re: 223- Undermined by oppenness
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:16 am 
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Brennus wrote:
I have considerable doubts that any of these alternatives can actually replace the current system of states, unless there is a one world government or the next best thing a global hegemon. Neither, do I think these alternatives are desirable either. Firstly, none of these institutions provides a check on upperclass power and wealth accumulation, neither do they stop abuse of power by local elites be they mafia, the local landlord, your boss, etc. Local abuses of power can be worse than that of states. In fact, it seems that is why we entered into the Hobbesian arrangement with the state in the first place.

I think you might be mistaken on my position.
I’m not advocating for any of these. I don’t real prefer any of them. They are just the existing institutions that may move to fill the void caused by a declining state system. Weakened states may choose to band together into multinational organizations to compete with more powerful entities. Systems organized around traditional institutions like tribes, ethnicities, or religions may see a resurgence to fill the gap left by collapsed states. Large objective driven organizations like corporations may step in to push their agendas and compete at the nation-state level. Warlords are always a good bet too. Let the clock run long enough with a few of these organizing systems in place as major players (say, 100 years) and the world starts to look very different from what we have now
I’m also not limiting the possibilities to just those, there may well be some system of organization that we haven’t thought of yet that could step to the fore and sweep the world. The global system we’re dealing with is too complicated to accurately be described, let alone in detail needed to make accurate predictions. Should be interesting to watch though :wink: .

Quote:
Corporations are short profit maximizers for their shareholders and cash-cows for their CEOs. They hire and fire, use and abuse, go bankrupt, get taken over in short time spans. No one is loyal to corporation. Not in the sense that they die for them when the shite hits the fan, as shite is wont to do from time to time. Well maybe some will be willing martyrs for the Apple cult. ;)

Besides corporations are chartered by states, their existence itself is granted by a state, their property laws and propriety ownership enforced by the state, their global supply chained and foreign market access protected and negotiated the state and backed by their militaries. If the state pulls anyone of those away the corporation collapses like a house of card, it was always hollow. Nations exists in good times and bad, always going about rebuilding the state. Its the strongest collective enterprise going.

I’m no fan of the corporate system, but there are plenty of examples from history to suggest they can compete with the big boys. The easiest would probably be the British Concessionaries (East India Company, or the original US & Canadian Colonies). Or you could look at more modern examples like Academi (formerly Xe, formerly Blackwater) who have a larger mercenary force then the standing armies of many countries.
Corporations certainly work within states, but are becoming les and less dependent on them. They can move around, they can spread them selves out, they are essentially borderless, and they can exert a great deal of influence at both the local and national level. It’s not too far of a stretch to imagine a sequence of events that would see corporations providing the same services as a state, and competing on equal footing with them. Throw enough chaos at people and they’ll follow anyone who promises to restore order.
Would I want to live in one of those systems run by corporation… don’t know, never lived in one before, don’t know what it’d be like.
Do I think it’s likely to happen in relatively stable countries like ours… probably not. Doesn’t mean it won’t happen somewhere though

Quote:
The new era is an era of Multipolar powers. Those are nation-states and there will be more than one with significant world altering power in the near future.

I agree. I’m just considering the possibility that some of the poles in the new multi-polar world won’t be the traditional state institutions we’re used to

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2.Disconfirmation bias. Subjects will spend more time and cognitive resources denigrating contrary arguments than supportive arguments.
3.Confirmation bias. Subjects free to choose their information sources will seek out supportive rather than contrary sources.
4.Attitude polarization. Exposing subjects to an apparently balanced set of pro and con arguments will exaggerate their initial polarization.
5.Attitude strength effect. Subjects voicing stronger attitudes will be more prone to the above biases.
6.Sophistication effect. Politically knowledgeable subjects, because they possess greater ammunition with which to counter-argue incongruent facts and arguments, will be more prone to the above biases.

- Charles S. Taber & Milton Lodge - Motivated Skepticism in the Evaluation of Political Beliefs


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 Post subject: Re: 223- Undermined by oppenness
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:38 pm 
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I think Brennus brings up some good points. However, I would like to add a few things. I lived in mainland China for about a year in 2004. The level of nationalism there is due to several interesting factors:

1. Their culture is more closely tied to family and family honor. In the west we tend to place individualism on a higher tier. This also helps explain why communism (along with the market reforms) worked out in a less bumpy manner than in Russia.

2. The history of China seems to work in a more steady cyclical manner than in the west. I would say currently the Mao Dynasty is still in its ascendancy. Therefore, the common Chinese people see the government as directly tied to their prosperity. They are going through a period similar to the prosperity levels of 1950s USA (at least in comparison to 30 years ago). Their level of nationalism would have appeared much different 100 years ago.

3. They are quite unused to leaks in information. The Chinese don't have to deal with a history of Water-gates, Iran Contras, MK Ultras, etc. In their view the state still seems fairly trustworthy.

I liked this episode. However, I think Dan didn't go far enough with it (maybe that's a good thing). The major hurdle which I think was brought up is the language barrier. However, advances in machine translation software continue to improve.

In the end, state driven attempts towards curtailing the internet will probably fall flat. For example, I think most here know the impact of the invention of the printing press and its end result.

(warning: about to enter Star Trek mode)

Some of the visions of the future include something known as a Direct Neural Interface. This would allow a person's mind to be directly connected to a computer or the internet at almost all times. Of course this presents other dangers in the realm of invasion of privacy. However, this technology does seem very possible. Futurists are already predicting a near future where technology will be fairly invasive and ubiquitous (see BBC Visions of the Future). The internet will no longer be confined to a screen on a computer or a cellphone but will blend in around everyone as something called Augmented Reality.

This level of saturated technology will have drastic and far reaching consequences. It is very likely that the old barriers which separate people will fall.

However, there is a danger that certain states could walk down a very dark path with such technologies. Right now memetic engineering is considered a pseudo-science. But, the idea that ideas and concepts are germs could present a potential danger. Imagine a world where this technology is indeed ubiquitous and almost everyone is directly connected to the internet. What if such technologies helped to allow states to decide that certain ideas or memes are just too dangerous. Instead of trying to deal with them as they did in the past by deportations and propaganda, what if states simply made it to where people individually stamped out such thoughts before they even entered the mind to be processed? What if you could kill dissent even before it occurred in the mind? Could such a technology as a Direct Neural Interface be used in such a manner?

I know this sounds like a sci-fi dystopian fantasy. And it might seem laughable right now. However, these are the kinds of paths my mind began walking down after bumping into Trans-humanist ideas and concepts. Anyway, hopefully, I'm just being paranoid.

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 Post subject: Re: 223- Undermined by oppenness
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:29 pm 
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Everyone is thinking bigger... I think the long-term answer is smaller. Smaller states, smaller governments (geographically, not fiscally), smaller groups of people.

Part of what made the representative democracy work in America is when it was instituted, the population was small. People knew who their representatives were. Look up where the phrase "run out of town on a rail" came from for an example of how knowing where your representative lives changes they way they represent you.

All of this works better on a smaller scale, the only problem to overcome is how to keep someone else from getting big enough to overpower you. The answer isn't necessarily one world government. That's one answer, but not necessarily the answer.

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 Post subject: Re: 223- Undermined by oppenness
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:13 am 
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I'll through in a few thought on this episode, though a few of them have been touched already;

I think Dan falls prey to 'cyber-utopianism' here a bit. A sort of technological determinism in which technologies always act in a particular way, instead of having multiple potentials. For example, I dont' think 'information technology' destroyed the USSR. That's a convient narrative generated first by the inheritors of Reagan so their Hero could be some-how responsible for the end of the cold war(since Reagan was a large proponent of tactics involved with disseminating information technologies like photocopiers and fax machines and such in the USSR). What caused the USSR's collapse was complicated and multi-layered, but the idea that acess to informaiton about the west was a leading factor is blown apart by examining the facts; East Germany, for example, had access to information about Western Europe for decades, through TV and radio signals. Rather than lead to violent opposition to the government it had exactly the opposite effect. The entertainment value of Soap Opera's from West Germany pacified the population. It was those bands of territory outside of recieving West German signals that were the most prone to anti-government activities.

That, in fact, is the genius of the present Chinese state. They have embraced a consumerism that the USSR rejected and tied it to their own existance and stability. This is one of the reasons the old Cold War cliche's that come up in relation to Chinese Internet censorship so often just miss the point. If you give the Chinese complete unfettered internet access, you wouldn't see a flood of searches for 'democracy', you'd see a flood of searches for American Movies and Porn.

Technology can, and often does, not undermine prior social orders, but support or generate 'new' versions of the previous social order. Television didn't undermine the religious character of the United States; it altered it, for sure, but Billy Graham would hardly have called Television a challenge to that orthodoxy. Likewise while the Internet poses potential 'problems' for the Chinese, for example, I think it's an extreme niavete and inability to actual talk about 'authoritarian' states in their own terms instead of as a straw-man construction that makes these discussions difficult.

As some-one else pointed out; the Chinese blogosphere is RIFE with hyper-nationalistic blogs. While there are blogs in Opposition to Government policy, they are hardly all, or even mostly, 'pro-west'. Plenty of them are much more Hostile to the West, and most more jingoistic, than the actual government is or ever aspires to be. The Government attempts to spiral and contain this sort of thing, but it will undoubtably have an effect.

Likewise the spread of internet technology in Russia has undoubtably led to More Nationalism, not less. Groups which didn't exist prior to the internet now have the capcaity to organize, diseminate information, etc. Thus radical anti-foreigner groups in Russia can emerge and put up sites where users post video's of them beating up foreign workers. Or twitter can be used by Austrians to rail against 'Lebs' and likewise by the Lebanese community in Australia to fight back. If anything I think the internet can be quite the tool for the support of both Authoritarian states and Nationalism. As well as anything else.

I do think a broader question might be asked about the changing state of the world and how that impacts the 'Democracy' of the world. The Liberal Democratic states as it were. I think an argument can be made that this changing social order, the changing nature of communications and technology poses serious challenges to those populations, and that it might not be unconciveable that Liberal Demoracy was a beast of a particular historical frame and time. As people have observed; while the Chinese over the last decades have liberalized in a way to be more like the west, the West has also adopted plenty of Chinese 'characteristics' from the PRC.


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 Post subject: Re: 223- Undermined by oppenness
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:49 am 
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Ever since the Arab Spring I knew what the obvious solution to our government mess is.

Although extemely difficult for initiation, a social network designed to take the place of local, state, national, and eventually international governments. This would move decision making power to the up or down (like or dislike, haha) vote of the people. It will do away with representatives and far more importantly the corruption that has been apart of governments ever since its founding.
You can't bribe a computer. And a computer doesn't give itself pay raises and las vegas vacations.


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 Post subject: Re: 223- Undermined by oppenness
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:54 am 
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wise_owl wrote:
That, in fact, is the genius of the present Chinese state. They have embraced a consumerism that the USSR rejected and tied it to their own existance and stability. This is one of the reasons the old Cold War cliche's that come up in relation to Chinese Internet censorship so often just miss the point. If you give the Chinese complete unfettered internet access, you wouldn't see a flood of searches for 'democracy', you'd see a flood of searches for American Movies and Porn.


It depends on wealth. Right now the Chinese poor and middle class are somewhat limited to cyber cafes. Those places are mostly trafficked by internet gamers and have a somewhat disreputable reputation. However, during my stay I was able to pay for my own private ISP. When I was using that I had no restrictions placed upon my internet - or at least none that I noticed. It may have changed since then but somehow I doubt by very much.

Quote:
Technology can, and often does, not undermine prior social orders, but support or generate 'new' versions of the previous social order. Television didn't undermine the religious character of the United States; it altered it, for sure, but Billy Graham would hardly have called Television a challenge to that orthodoxy. Likewise while the Internet poses potential 'problems' for the Chinese, for example, I think it's an extreme niavete and inability to actual talk about 'authoritarian' states in their own terms instead of as a straw-man construction that makes these discussions difficult.


This is true. However, humanity has never experienced anything quite like the internet. Remember also that average people couldn't communicate freely through television. Also, you couldn't really call people around the world for free. Now we have voice over IP technology (such as Skype). Hardly a day goes by in which I don't talk to my friend in Germany.

Also, I think it is debatable concerning whether the invention of the printing press did not help undermine an old social order (medieval feudalism) to replace it with a new one (the modern nationalistic state)

The real danger I see (in the future) has more to do with mind control rather than worrying about who is talking to who or how much free communication there is.

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 Post subject: Re: 223- Undermined by oppenness
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:59 am 
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Glassgod wrote:
You can't bribe a computer. And a computer doesn't give itself pay raises and las vegas vacations.

No, but you can hack the shit out of one:

Attacking the Washington DC Internet Voting System

Diebold voting machines vulnerable to remote tampering via man-in-the-middle attack

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1.Prior attitude effect. Subjects who feel strongly about an issue—even when encouraged to be objective—will evaluate supportive arguments more favorably than contrary arguments.
2.Disconfirmation bias. Subjects will spend more time and cognitive resources denigrating contrary arguments than supportive arguments.
3.Confirmation bias. Subjects free to choose their information sources will seek out supportive rather than contrary sources.
4.Attitude polarization. Exposing subjects to an apparently balanced set of pro and con arguments will exaggerate their initial polarization.
5.Attitude strength effect. Subjects voicing stronger attitudes will be more prone to the above biases.
6.Sophistication effect. Politically knowledgeable subjects, because they possess greater ammunition with which to counter-argue incongruent facts and arguments, will be more prone to the above biases.

- Charles S. Taber & Milton Lodge - Motivated Skepticism in the Evaluation of Political Beliefs


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 Post subject: Re: 223- Undermined by oppenness
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:44 pm 
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Quote:
But you can hack the shit out of a computer.


No doubt. But if everyones' vote is linked to their UID (profile) where they can check if and how they are voting: there is a way to defeat hack attempts by being transparent.

Since voting happens in real-time, if any one person suspects hacking is going on then the issue is flagged until enough people can verify their votes. And if shenanigans does get through, a roll-back can be called up for vote.
The problem with those early machines is they are so secretative that no one can smell the rotted fish until days after the results are made official.


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 Post subject: Re: 223- Undermined by oppenness
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:34 pm 
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wise_owl wrote:
I think Dan falls prey to 'cyber-utopianism' here a bit.

I agree, but I also think you're not looking far enough back. The internet isn't somewhat like a photocopier, it's somewhat like... the steam engine. Or maybe the railroad. Something that covered vast distances in short time periods. The printing press is a fairly good analog.

Glassgod wrote:
Although extemely difficult for initiation, a social network designed to take the place of local, state, national, and eventually international governments.

Dear lord no. That means you, the jack-ass that parks his car the wrong way and 4 feet from the curb on my street, the guy that can't get my order right at Wendy's, and my ex wife all have equal say in how my tax money should be spent. That's would be the end of this country. For a good example, look at California's ballot initiatives. They vote up school funding and down taxes, but no one bothers to figure out how to pay for it. No, there's a reason the founders built representatives into our system.

ryanm

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 Post subject: Re: 223- Undermined by oppenness
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:47 pm 
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Quote:
Dear lord no. That means you, the jack-ass that parks his car the wrong way and 4 feet from the curb on my street, the guy that can't get my order right at Wendy's, and my ex wife all have equal say in how my tax money should be spent. That's would be the end of this country. For a good example, look at California's ballot initiatives. They vote up school funding and down taxes, but no one bothers to figure out how to pay for it. No, there's a reason the founders built representatives into our system.

ryanm


The problem is no control over the budget. Literally. If you made tax money directly available to the people to choose where they best want to spend it, maybe they would spend it better than politicians? At least that is what I think.

It would be like "let's look at our balance sheet, see how much money we lack or will have in surplus and let's vote on the best balance for this quarter." The computer will not fudge numbers, and what is there is an accurate reflection of the economy. You can vote to shut down an agenda or expand it without seeing the affected lobby select people into a secure retirement. Now if those affected would like to make a substantial contribution to the tax fund, maybe that be enough "bribe" to get them what they want.

Now this is not the "end-all" to all debates and social/moral issues, but at least the system would be fair on a lot more levels than it is now. You want that jack-ass to stop parking in front of your driveway? Have the police come enforce the law (written and agreed upon by the majority of people) and fine that guy for all costs associated with moving his beamer. And some of that money will go into to the coffer to improve roads or whatever the people think it is best for.


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 Post subject: Re: 223- Undermined by oppenness
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:08 pm 
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Well, I've been digressing.

After looking around the forums a little I found there are other threads dealing with this issue of so called Direct Democracy or E-Democracy so sorry for jacking this one.

You can have your thread back now.

I think nationalism will out-live nation-states.
:goteam:


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