Debate and Discussion

An unified World Government. Should it be pursued?
Product Placement at 1:33PM, April 26, 2009
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Not long ago, the world recovered from a devastating global conflict. Europe, the igniter of those hostilities, was in ruins and badly in need of rebuild. From that war rose a mentality where nations pledged to work together in building bridges between them giving birth to world organizations like The United Nations, NATO and The European Union.

All three groups work in unifying the world in its own way. UN works on promoting co-operation between the membership countries, NATO is a pledge of defense among its members where an attack on one of them equals an attack on them all and then we have EU working on changing the political world of Europe.

The ultimate goal of EU is to transform all of Europe into a single nation, turning countries like Britain, France, Germany and many more into states within itself. It's been a slow work that's seen many bumps on the road but products like The European Court of Justice, The Euro, and a drafting of an European constitution all show the progress being made in that effort.

Yesterday, my country headed for the polls and voted for a new government. As a result we know have, for the first time, a pro EU government that wish to start talks for a membership into the union. This has been a big debate for decades. We gained independence merely 60 years ago after spending rather miserable centuries under a foreign rule that starved my nation and robbed it of all riches that could be found. Naturally, such experience makes one a bit wary when considering joining such a large body that threatens to swallow one up.

We now have a forming African Union and talks about an Asian Union. During the Clinton era, people even played with the idea of America and EU one day forming some sort of Atlantic Alliance. This got me thinking. There's no denying the benefits of the EU. But as I ask myself about what I am willing to give up, as I join such endeavor, it makes me think about the foreseeable future. How much is your country willing to give up to form a nation of Earth? Is America willing to sacrifice its status as a superpower or are smaller countries ready to be swallowed up by its government? Where is the central body of government gonna be placed? What languages will be spoken? What cultures could be lost? Who gets to decide what laws should be followed and how much input does each member have in those discussions? What is your opinion on the matter?
Those were my two cents.
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Puff_Of_Smoke at 4:39PM, April 26, 2009
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I would say no. We would have too many wars about it from the reluctant countries.

There would be too many differences in the citizens for it to be stable. You'd be just asking for world war 3. I would be one of those people against it :\ It could lead to world wide Communism if the right people come in at the right time.

We saw how the world handled that via The Soviet Union.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:56PM
TheFlyingGreenMonkey at 5:27PM, April 26, 2009
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I agree with Puff. The world is too diverse to be able to be united. A main source of the problems would be nationalism and religon. To see the religous problems look to the Middle East. For nationalism problems look at America. America will never be willing to let go of its super power status for the forseeable furture atleast.

I can see the world slowly being unionfied but it will take a lot of time. I think America is slowly becoming more humbled and lirbal every genaration.

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:17PM
isukun at 11:20PM, April 26, 2009
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I think it is too much to hope for. Any attempts at this sort of unification in the past have failed. You overextend yourself and you're bound to run into conflicts. Not everyone has the same ideals or would propose the same sort of solutions to modern problems. What is good for us, may not be good for other nations and as puff mentioned before, the only way to really unite people in this manner is through long, bloody conflict followed by decades of uprising.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM
DAJB at 7:12AM, April 27, 2009
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I can see it happening, but not in our lifetimes. Even without feelings of outright hostility, national pride, cultural differences and historic rivalries run too deep.

The EU is regarded by many in the UK and other member states as a pointless layer of additional bureaucracy, run by politicians even more self-serving and ineffectual than those in their respective national governments.

As far as the general populations of the member states are concerned, the countries in favour of it tend to be those which take more from it in subsidies than they contribute. The others resent having to subsidise other countries' inefficiencies and resent laws being passed by bodies which do not represent their national interests.

If the EU hasn't been able to gain acceptance from its own electorate after more than 50 years, a fully functioning world government must be at least a couple of hundred years away.

Closer to home (for me anyway!) the UK itself is a nation made up of four distinct countries (Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales) and, even centuries after unification, there are still large groups in each of them who lobby for independence from the others.

Whether or not it does, in the long term, make political or economic sense is a moot point. But, for most people, the case for larger and larger political entities governing an increasingly diverse range of peoples is far from proven.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
bravo1102 at 8:05AM, April 27, 2009
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I agree with puff. A perfect example was Imperial Russia. (The USSR just adopted what had been already been done by the Tsars) Each ethnic group was bullied into becoming part of Russia and then forced to adapt the Russian language.

Most SF writers have only imagined a United Earth after a horrific series of wars and then there is that alien invasion…
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
Chernobog at 2:17PM, April 27, 2009
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I'm not for a completely unified world government at all. I think it would smack too much of stagnation and communism. There's a certain degree of chaos and uncertainty that I think is sort of needed on an unspoken level. That too, is dangerous, but in my mind total global control is something no one or group is qualified to handle.

I had a friend who lived overseas there. His colorful opinion of the EU was not glowing, something along the lines of “A bunch of officials still trying to figure out what kind of waffles to have while breakfast had long ended.”
 
 
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enjoy the process,” he added. “That whether you succeed or fail, win or
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:41AM
imshard at 3:40PM, April 27, 2009
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Human nature wouldn't allow for it. We could make a pretty good showing of it but in the end it would all end in tears. That said here are my ideas on making a functional world government:

It would have to be set up as an alliance of alliances with tiered levels of government allowing for a distributed bureaucracy at increasingly smaller and localized scales.
-Otherwise the government would have to be obscenely large and inefficient. As local issues fell to the wayside.

Localized political units empowered to make administrative decisions and enforce their execution in a timely manner would also be required.
-This would also have the bonus effect of minimizing distrust and resentment of foreign powers meddling in local affairs by placing local officials in charge.

Unfortunately old grudges would always shine through. Localized cultures would have to be homogenized and moderated ( i.e. “watered-down” ). Policies encouraging and rewarding cooperation and participation in international affairs and culture at the expense of national identity and cultural affiliation. Eventually a single world culture would have to take over or people would always be able to point out differences between themselves and others.
-This includes bastardization of language. Old languages would not have to be erased, but new words and grammar would be introduced by media outlets and the old languages would eventually be replaced by a single world language by osmosis and dilution. Straight institution of a single language would be too easy to reject.

Free media on the international level would have to end. Censure of local unrest and rebellion would be the only way to ensure it would not spread or cause counter movements to develop in other regions.

NOTE: I don't support the idea of a one world government. I don't think we as a species are capable of pulling it off impartially, fairly, and peacefully.
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Faliat at 6:58PM, May 2, 2009
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Humanity is too diverse and the earth is too big for one set of rules to work everywhere.

I can see governments actually dividing further rather than merging as populations expand and disputes over land become more commonplace.

And that's not even taking into account the countries that are either too poor or too proud to even consider being part of a government that size.

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mlai at 6:03PM, May 3, 2009
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I don't mean to sound flip, but this is truth as I see it: Humans will never unify under a global government unless there is an outside stimulus/force, i.e. undisputed alien visitation.

It doesn't have to be an alien war etc, just aliens undeniably visiting Earth. Only when presented with an “us vs them” situation, even if a peaceful one, will people begin to look beyond their own borders.

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Ryan_Scott at 6:38PM, May 3, 2009
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How awesome would an alien invasion be! Seriously guys… it's everything we've ever dreamed of!
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Product Placement at 6:46PM, May 3, 2009
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I've always entertained the idea that us humans are so inherently violent that by the time we encounter aliens who'd probably would be light years ahead of us in almost all fields of technology, we'd still have far more advanced weaponry then they do because that tends to be the main focus point of our research.
Those were my two cents.
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isukun at 9:51PM, May 3, 2009
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I wouldn't say that is necessarily true. Most of our research tends to focus more on broader fields, but if there is potential for weaponizing, governments tend to explore those possibilities first. There's a pretty good reason for that, too. When you develop a new technology or discover new properties of our universe, you don't want to just open up that information to anyone and everyone and just hope they don't find a way to use it against you first.

Still, the principle research tends to be more pacifistic in nature, and just because the military uses are explored first, that doesn't mean the majority of research is militaristic in nature. How much research do you think has been done in nuclear physics as a whole vs how much has been done researching nuclear weaponry?

Plus, if aliens do exist, I doubt they are strangers to the type of infighting you see in the human race. If they were more developed than us, then they probably saw a few arms races of their own. A lot of technology and scientific study is pushed forward by war or the threat of war.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM
Product Placement at 12:28AM, May 4, 2009
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isukun
A lot of technology and scientific study is pushed forward by war or the threat of war.
That was actually the reasoning I was going for. You put it into words better then me.

And the reason why I've entertained this idea is because I can't fathom how many times I've seen a movie (or read a story) where humans meet some aliens who lecture us for our primitive and barbaric ways.

I can picture a world, completely alien to us. Where civilized beings live in perfect harmony with each other, have never experienced war and know nothing of hatred, anger and conflict. I can also picture us invading that world.
Those were my two cents.
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mlai at 6:21AM, May 4, 2009
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I don't think it's impossible for alien civilizations to exist, where the principle motivator for advancement is not conflict.

I don't think that just because we are warlike, that means that it's the default thought pattern for all sentient lifeforms. I think that even just on Earth, we can see parallels.

I look at chimps, our closest relatives, and I see lying, cheating, bullying, bribery, manipulation, and all the rest of the unavoidable negatives we attribute to intelligence. But if we look at other intelligent animals, such gorillas, dolphins, elephants, etc… we see much less of our behavior. Why aren't they feces-flinging jerks like chimps are?

Perhaps it's just because we haven't documented them as well as we have with chimps, but I think the real reason is just that they're not hardwired rotten bastards like us humans and chimps.

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Orin J Master at 11:41AM, May 4, 2009
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wouldn't work. even the EU isn't going to achive it's end goal of a unified europe, because people prefer their borders.

there's an “us and them” mentalitiy inherent in creatures that like in groups no matter how large. trying to remove it just redirects it, and would lead to great bloodshed.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:22PM
Product Placement at 11:51AM, May 4, 2009
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There's one thing I can possibly foresee as a unification tool of the future. Some technological theorists speculate how the information technology of the future is going to be like. One common theory is that a more powerful internet and more direct link interface technology are gonna practically link all of our minds together. Best case scenario: a world of harmony where we literally know what everyone is thinking about. Worst case scenario: We loose all form individuality becoming something akin to the Borg.
Those were my two cents.
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Croi Dhubh at 3:11PM, May 4, 2009
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I agree with Puff. The world is too diverse to be able to be united. A main source of the problems would be nationalism and religon. To see the religous problems look to the Middle East. For nationalism problems look at America. America will never be willing to let go of its super power status for the forseeable furture atleast.

I can see the world slowly being unionfied but it will take a lot of time. I think America is slowly becoming more humbled and lirbal every genaration.
Which is why even in the Bible it states that before the world is unified in a single, but tyrannical, government all religions are abolished and the followers tortured.

It wouldn't take too much more time to cause such a thing to occur…just the right mix of charisma and political planning
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isukun at 5:13PM, May 4, 2009
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I don't think it's impossible for alien civilizations to exist, where the principle motivator for advancement is not conflict.

I would find it very unlikely. It is the nature of social development that conflict will arise. Early on in the development of a society, physical barriers create independent groups which follow very different paths towards a civilized structure. As you break down those physical barriers, the differing social structures create social barriers which lead to conflict and a need for order, understanding, and defense. I find it very unlikely that any other intelligent race would be exempt from this cycle.

War mongering isn't a part of our genetic code, it is an unavoidable part of our development as a social creature. And honestly, warlike tendencies are very much the norm in nature and the primary motivating factor for most examples of study and exploration. Why does an animal need to understand its environment, itself, or those around it? Three very basic reasons: protection of the self (survival instinct), protection of possession (belongings/territory), and protection of bloodline (family/genetics). Communication, scientific study, and exploration aren't really necessary without those fundamental needs. We never would have developed the ability to speak if it did not provide us some evolutionary advantage. It is a tactical weapon. Evolution itself is driven by conflict.
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bravo1102 at 5:29PM, May 4, 2009
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Product Placement
I've always entertained the idea that us humans are so inherently violent that by the time we encounter aliens who'd probably would be light years ahead of us in almost all fields of technology, we'd still have far more advanced weaponry then they do because that tends to be the main focus point of our research.

It's been done a lot in SF (that's Sci-fi to some of you) My favorite was the star drive possessing aliens who have 17th Century technology for everything else and attempt to conquer Earth with musket and pike… against Stealth fighters and M1A2 tanks. Imagine the nightmare that follows when we Earthers get that star drive and go out into a universe where the most advanced weapon is the matchlock musket?

Humans need an external stimulous to band together to do anything. Coming together in ever increasing groups was a result of being forced to for one reason or another. The sharing of resources is just a nice by-product.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
Product Placement at 7:17PM, May 4, 2009
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bravo1102
My favorite was the star drive possessing aliens who have 17th Century technology for everything else and attempt to conquer Earth with musket and pike… against Stealth fighters and M1A2 tanks. Imagine the nightmare that follows when we Earthers get that star drive and go out into a universe where the most advanced weapon is the matchlock musket?
Name. NOW!
Those were my two cents.
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bravo1102 at 9:03AM, May 5, 2009
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It was in one of the “There will be War” anthologies.
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Product Placement at 9:24AM, May 5, 2009
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By Jerry Pournelle?
Those were my two cents.
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Orin J Master at 7:19PM, May 5, 2009
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Product Placement
There's one thing I can possibly foresee as a unification tool of the future. Some technological theorists speculate how the information technology of the future is going to be like. One common theory is that a more powerful internet and more direct link interface technology are gonna practically link all of our minds together. Best case scenario: a world of harmony where we literally know what everyone is thinking about. Worst case scenario: We loose all form individuality becoming something akin to the Borg.

most likely scenario: everyone goes mad from the sudden level of data input, what little survivors are left become reclusive and humanity dies out because no one's willing to risk being exposed to other people's thoughts again. i liked Kino's journey.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:22PM
ozoneocean at 5:58AM, May 6, 2009
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World government is entirely possible. I see no sensible reasons why this isn't a valid possibility. None presented here.

There are a lot of challenges involved however and at this stage, this decade or even the next 50 I'd say it was impossible or as close to that it makes no difference: -problems with clear communication, innumerable political differences (I include religion in that since what is religion on a broad scale but politics?), distribution of wealth and resources, exploitation of the weak and needy.

The biggest one is probably unsustainable devastation of the forced consumer product cycle. It's the motor that drives modern capitalism, bt it wreaks environmental, economic, political, and social chaos. -As you can see graphically illustrated in the current global economic downturn. You create artificial wants that people can't afford to acquire, this gives rise to bad debt (we saw what that did to the United states and then to the entire world), and even wars and the destruction of whole cultures- many people in older simpler tribal communities have been convinced they need cars, flat screen TVs video games… the social breakdown this eventually causes means the loss of a whole way of life and often worse when the wars break out.

But then there's the pollution and environmental destruction caused by the massive industrialisation needed to supply these wants. Most of them utterly useless because their product cycle is so limited- cars you have to replace in 10 years or so, TVs that last 5 years, computers doing the same thing, mobile phones lasting 3 years etc. Not to mention products with even shorter consumption cycles.
Don't forget that the idiot “Moore's Law” has little to do with the realities of technological progress and most to do with a planned production development manufacturing cycle to sustain demand. but people are so blind to the true nature they think of it in pseudo scientific terms instead…
So rather like religion, faith gives this aspect of our consumer culture a free ride.

——————
End rant.

World government is quite possible, but first you have to overcome the difficulties. That will take a while, but we're getting there.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:34PM
Orin J Master at 10:15AM, May 6, 2009
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ozoneocean
World government is entirely possible. I see no sensible reasons why this isn't a valid possibility. None presented here.

P-E-O-P-L-E. that's the reason. no matter how throughly you plan your new world order out, there's going to be some clerk that doesn't get it, some buttrash that figures if he gets away with it it's fine, and some headwrong little fool that assumes it's all a grift and needs to come down.

this is the reason why the US founders went out of their way to strip the federal government of as much power as they could, because the bigger the government the bigger the system has to be to maintain it, and the bigger the system gets the less it actually WORKS. the more labirinthiane your government becomes, the slower to respond and more driven by inertia it becomes. and as that happens the more groups will form to exploit that and ruin people's lives for their benefit.

a world government is strictly IMpossible, purely because you'd need people running it, and people residing in it.
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bravo1102 at 3:03PM, May 6, 2009
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Ozone is right as it is possible, but only with a far more efficent superstructure than is in place today.
In a pure world government; the clerk would get it because the more efficent superstructure would ensure he/she had the education and background to get it. Overcoming all ignorance and ensuring everyone not only had access to a first rate education but actually ingested it and most importantly learned critical thinking and understood that the good of the whole world was his/her good as opposed to his/her parochial group and the ability to unite and run everything efficently. (and to avoid run-on sentences ;) )

With the technology of Star Trek; no problem. I'm waiting for Zephrem Cochrane.
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Orin J Master at 3:37PM, May 6, 2009
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bravo1102
Ozone is right as it is possible, but only with a far more efficent superstructure than is in place today.
In a pure world government; the clerk would get it because the more efficent superstructure would ensure he/she had the education and background to get it. Overcoming all ignorance and ensuring everyone not only had access to a first rate education but actually ingested it and most importantly learned critical thinking and understood that the good of the whole world was his/her good as opposed to his/her parochial group and the ability to unite and run everything efficently. (and to avoid run-on sentences ;) )

With the technology of Star Trek; no problem. I'm waiting for Zephrem Cochrane.

you're assuming that everyone's on the same page. which is why it doesn't work. the ideal of everyone being educated enough to contribute falls apart because of Willful ignorance. you can give someone the best education in the world, but they're only going to get out of it what that put into it, and if they don't give crap one about the whole world past themselves regardless, then you wind up with some clerk that doesn't get it.

because they never really cared. no amount of tech can overcome someone's desire to coast as far as they can without any effort. then when it backfires, the get pissy about, cause trouble in the system and eventually it all falls apart.

i'm sure a world of people that all think exactly like you want them to would work, but that's not what we're talking about here. we're talking about REAL people, who are as scared and as mean and as unpredictable an animal that you may come across.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:22PM
Product Placement at 6:00PM, May 6, 2009
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Being someone who wants to have the cake and eat it too. I'd like the idea of a unified government since it would promote peace yet I don't like it if it would wipe out the identity of my nation. The biggest problem my nation has against the EU is policies like sharing your resources. Our ocean jurisdiction would become open to the rest of the member states. Fishing is IMPORTANT to us and we demand the right to govern it ourselves.

One foreseeable system I can live with is one where the world governments takes up a policy of massive co-operation. Each country would essentially become a state with it's own independent system of government and they get to keep to their traditions and language.

A certain percentage of each state income is pulled together and this global fund is put towards moving to less polluting power sources and increasing the production of less developed states. As unpopular as that may sound to the countries that are blessed with high incomes and production rates, this move will help the ones lacking behind to catch up. Eventually, if all goes well, global production will skyrocket and the funds can be used towards massive global projects that could benefit mankind. Stuff like giant research projects like the Hadron collider or functional fusion power plants or lofty space programs akin to space elevators or manned Mars expeditions, colonization and eventual terraforming.

If a state is underdeveloped. It would be important to implement some sort of restricted emigration policy in it. This will prevent people living there in poverty to flood over to nearby states with better living conditions, dragging them down by raising unemployment, increase the numbers of uneducated people and saturating the area with high numbers of immigrants which in turn tends to raise tension among the local population. It would also be hard on the state since they could loose a majority of their work force and suffer a “brain drain” where all the educated individuals leave their country in search of higher paying jobs elsewhere. However, states that are suffering from shortage of workers could petition to allow a certain number of immigrants from underdeveloped states. At the same time funds would be diverted to that state in order to raise the living conditions over there while improving education and infrastructure. In order to minimize the money being lost to corruption a special international comity would oversee the financial distribution. Once the state receives a green light, all emigration restrictions are lifted and the state becomes a full member of the global community.

Earth would take up a unified penal system. This legal system would apply to all the states where the laws clearly state what kind of punishment fits the crime committed. Trials would take place at the state where the crime was committed so if the criminal fled to another country or continent he'd be pursued there and transported back home for trial. No lengthy prisoner transfer procedures.

Each state would have a clear stake on their piece of the world. What is theirs is theirs. They have a jurisdiction on their territory and are the only ones allowed to use their resources unless they make special deals with outside states.

These are lofty ideas at best. It works on paper and may work if the world matures enough so that they could work together. Unfortunately we're self centered and childish pricks that like to pick fights and thus it can't work today. That being said, by looking at Europe alone, we were killing each other in massive campaigns to wipe the competitor out of the map 60 years ago. The biggest internal problems that this continent faces today is dispute of a shared constitutional draft. I'd say it's progress in the right direction.
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bravo1102 at 7:30AM, May 7, 2009
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Orin J Master
you're assuming that everyone's on the same page. which is why it doesn't work. the ideal of everyone being educated enough to contribute falls apart because of Willful ignorance. you can give someone the best education in the world, but they're only going to get out of it what that put into it, and if they don't give crap one about the whole world past themselves regardless, then you wind up with some clerk that doesn't get it.

because they never really cared. no amount of tech can overcome someone's desire to coast as far as they can without any effort. then when it backfires, the get pissy about, cause trouble in the system and eventually it all falls apart.

i'm sure a world of people that all think exactly like you want them to would work, but that's not what we're talking about here. we're talking about REAL people, who are as scared and as mean and as unpredictable an animal that you may come across.

I've always beleived that our species is better than that. In my experience it is ignorance that causes the problems you cite. Remove the ignorance and human nature does adjust. It's amazing how these things work once you get past the ignorance and get the population to understand their collective interests as opposed to their individual interests. It would also require a greater understanding of human nature than we have currently and making people accept evidence as opposed to belief.

And then there is dicipline. The culture would have to have a greater sense of self-sacrifice, self-dicipline and personal responsiblity. It is possible. Probable? Heck no. Possible yes, and it makes for some great SF stories.

It would probably require Draconian dicipline to create this society and then a gradual relaxation over generations You would need that collective threat to get it started.

Or unification of certain parts of human culture and leaving others to coast. Sort of like Yugoslavia or the original concept of the US constitution. A loose confederation with certain unifed institutions.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM

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