Debate and Discussion

What sort of a government/society would you choose to live in? Or what would you do to change how things are?
ozoneocean at 8:37AM, Dec. 27, 2010
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El Cid
I think you're trying to be a little too-cool-for-school with this “there is no good government” business, and I'm sure you get what I'm saying. Any government model that's been truly well thought out is likely to have at least most of the qualities I mentioned. However things like anarchy or dictatorship, which you also endorsed, will not, and are poorly thought-out systems.
No, dictatorships can work fine and the rest. You yourself came up with the reason why: a populace that's content. That's all that matters.

El Cid
And I'm sorry that you consider term limits a bad thing, but they are a necessary check on political power. There are some disadvantages and inefficiencies built into such a system, but overall they outweigh the disadvantages of having lifelong appointees.
Ugh… we can't have a proper argument here since you're talking
about a realistic situation using it to argue against my fantasy one. Fantasy wins every time in that case because I can just invent some other magical way to solve any objection. There's no sophistry here BTW, I've said my alternative was fantasy from the start.
-ie.e if you go through it you'll see that my deathless leaders never go crazy, always care about what they're doing, are always up to date and adaptable etc, basically perfect forever, because it is a fantasy solution.

El Cid
don't see what you were getting at at all with that second sentence; if the amendment process you're describing happens as a function of the legislature, then it is exactly what I've been advocating.
I said my deathless leader guys would be around to constantly redefine their own constitution in accordance with the needs of the day. You chose to interpret that as “sweeping decrees”, I've come back and said “no”, it's the same sort of redefinition process that happens every day in any government, just a little more elemental so to speak :)
And yes, it does happen in accordance with the legislator: one that consists of deathless perfect man gods! ^___^

El Cid
in my opinion.
And you have good opinions, yes… But I think they're incompatible with a fantasy system. We are wrong to ague this at all.

imshard
Key words: Crazy, and fantasy.
So you admit that your view is unrealistic and impossible to implement?
Um, I sort of introduced the idea in my first post in this thread as: “…Queue an idiotic fantasy from 300 years in the past…”
You may have missed that?
And the idea of deathless people who are uncorruptable with no other goals, desires, or allegiances, who will never grow old or crazy and will always have 100% interest in governing and doing the best possible job doesn't sound at all unrealistic to you? O_o

Believe me, that system has NEVER been tried in the history of human existence and probably never will, unless people become computerised or something. But then that's SciFi.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
El Cid at 6:25AM, Dec. 28, 2010
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Whether or not dictatorships can work was never in question; the point was that it is not a desirable template for a government. Even in the case that a dictatorship exists where the people's rights are respected and their needs fully met, there is no structural reason for it to be so. In such a system, the rights of the people hang precariously by a thread. If by the grace of God that thread should hold, then this success is serendipitous rather than systemic. It can only be declared a “good” system in the post hoc sense that “because it worked, therefore it is good,” but in fact it's juast as likely that success came despite the system rather than because of it, and no one would have considered it ideal beforehand to dangle the rights of the entire populace by a single thread. They would choose something more robust. It is a poor system when it works, and it is a poor system when it fails.

The problem with what you're trying to do is you are basing your assessment on selective results while completely ignoring design qualities. This is shoddy practice in any discipline, and worthless in context because you cannot possess ex post knowledge beforehand on which to base a decision. You don't know in advance whether your autocracy is going to be one of the outliers which prospers or one of the many others which devolve into tyranny. The only thing you do know in advance is that it's a poor design.

ozoneocean
Ugh… we can't have a proper argument here since you're talking
about a realistic situation using it to argue against my fantasy one…
Actually, my original critique was of KnaveMurdock's “philosopher kings” endorsement… though my objections would probably be just as applicable to yours. What you've described isn't really a new and improved system of government at all; it's a new and improved human species! While I'm not so sure I'd agree that it's a good design even by its own fantasy rules, I would agree with you that there's no point in critiquing it… which is why I never did.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
ozoneocean at 10:31AM, Dec. 28, 2010
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El Cid
The only thing you do know in advance is that it's a poor design.
And I contend that the process is irrelevant so we're at an impasse.
-i.e lot's of democracies gone wrong, over and over, that must mean the “design” is no better than all the other forms that have a similar tack record. And “oh no” the supporters will say “It was because they did it wrong” or “because they were stupid” or something else…
El Cid
which is why I never did.
and yet you were repeatedly debating me on that very subject, no matter what you imagined you were “really” debating.
All's well that ends well! :)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
El Cid at 12:00PM, Dec. 28, 2010
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ozoneocean
And I contend that the process is irrelevant so we're at an impasse.
-i.e lot's of democracies gone wrong, over and over, that must mean the “design” is no better than all the other forms that have a similar tack record. And “oh no” the supporters will say “It was because they did it wrong” or “because they were stupid” or something else…
So in other words, because democracy is not perfect, it's as bad as anything else? *shrugs* If that's good enough for you, then yes we are at an impasse.

ozoneocean
and yet you were repeatedly debating me on that very subject, no matter what you imagined you were “really” debating.
All's well that ends well! :)
Actually, I was debating you on the universal points you brought up, not anything specific to your original post. Let's not forget that you jumped in on my train of thought, not the other way around!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
imshard at 3:20PM, Dec. 28, 2010
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ozoneocean
Ugh… we can't have a proper argument here since you're talking
about a realistic situation using it to argue against my fantasy one…

Then your solution doesn't belong in a debate thread. You're a smart guy, can't you come up with something better than “let's put a man-God in control”? Fantasies are malleable and can't be reliably argued. Neither for, nor against. Since you've set your fantasy up as impervious to logic how about you propose something realistic. Otherwise you're just browbeating people with your imagination and peddling sophistry.

Don't be a stick in the mud traditionalist! Support global warming!

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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:59PM
Hawk at 8:05PM, Dec. 28, 2010
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Nah, imshard, I think there's room for fantasy governments in this discussion. The topic question did sort of ask for our own dream government. That's not to say you can't debate the more serious government ideas. It's a good debate topic.

Ozone's government may not be possible, but I like to hear about it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:47PM
LOOKIS at 8:30PM, Dec. 28, 2010
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If it's going to be a fantasy government then it has to be in a fantasy land with fantasy people. Gosh, it's almost like a comic book.

In the real world a representative democracy is the best government. It's not perfect, but it's the best that can be achieved considering the large number of idiots and criminals that will be living in any real nation.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:39PM
Ally Haert at 5:05PM, June 8, 2011
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I wouldn't go so far as to define myself as “anarchist”, but I have heavy leanings towards a decentralized government. Ideally:

There would be no National Board for this or that.

Government would not control education. Or regulate food and drugs. Or prison systems.
Control would be handed over to smaller communities and state-governments.

National government would be given two duties: managing a national tax system and managing a national military. The tax system would directly fund the national military. And nothing else.

Everything else would be handled by local governments.

I don't believe national democracy can ever work to the benefit of the people. People should be allowed to govern themselvse, and I believe this would simplest and most direct way of handing the power back into the hands of the people. Like Benjamin Franklin said, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.”
“No one can go back to start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending,” Maria Ross.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:49AM
El Cid at 5:19PM, June 8, 2011
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Ally Haert, that makes you a libertarian.

Welcome to the club!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
mlai at 7:46AM, June 9, 2011
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Sounds like there's some knowledgeable and politically-minded people on this thread. Yet no one is mentioning how the USA political system is in serious decline?

1. Inherent corruption of campaign finance system.
2. Inherent corruption of special interests lobbying.
3. Inherent corruption of tax system.
4. Gradual disappearance of middle class.
5. Loss of power to multi-national (i.e. foreign interests) corporatist entities.
6. Deficit, Medicare/Medicaid, Wall Street, Big Oil, etc etc etc etc etc.

The USA as an empire is not magical, is not immortal, and is no more immune to decline and fall compared to the Roman Empire. In fact the USA probably won't last nearly as long.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
bravo1102 at 11:51AM, June 9, 2011
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mlai
The USA as an empire is not magical, is not immortal, and is no more immune to decline and fall compared to the Roman Empire. In fact the USA probably won't last nearly as long.

That's because by their very nature representative republics don't often last as long as an autocracy. They always end up with one strong guy taking over whether its Sulla or Caesar. The founders of the USA knew that and tried to avoid it. Washington did all he could to stop it from happening as it very nearly did. The USA came closer than a lot of folks would like to admit.

The Roman Empire very nearly only lasted 200+ years because to all the folks around in the 2-3rd Century CE they thought it was over. It took a succession of new talented emperors to revitalize it so it lasted another two centuries.

The USA only has another century or so to top Republican Rome and I think it's already outlasted Democratic Athens. The Republic made it through the American Civil War and so far it has followed the history of the Roman Republic with more parallels than are comfortable for most Americans to admit.

Cicero would be perfectly at home in the US Congress and he'd probably remark that the more things have changed, the more they've stayed the same.



Since Man is imperfect there can be no perfect governments. In order to have a perfect government it has to run by a perfect man. So what Ozone and Plato have spoken of is entirely reasonable, even if it is unobtainable. For now.

Create the perfect Man-god to run it and you could have a perfect government. Or you could have the Eugenics Wars. KHHHHHHHAAANNNNNNNN…
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:34AM
Lonnehart at 1:50PM, June 9, 2011
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I say perfect governments are possible. However, they are only possible when there's a population of 1. Yep. Put another human with you and it's not so perfect anymore. You and the other human will have conflicts, and many times both of you will refuse to compromise, work together on the issue, etc…

So, yeah… the only way a Utopia can exist is if the nation had only one person in it…
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:39PM
mlai at 5:51PM, June 9, 2011
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Realistically, for starters, the current campaign financing system and special interest lobbying system has to go. This is corruption out in the open.

Corporations count as individuals? WTF is that? I've lost all respect for the judicial system.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:07PM
MadTarnsman at 1:25AM, June 12, 2011
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I'm a libertarian. We believe in maximized freedoms and minimized government. We take the Constitution of the United States as gospel….not technicalities to be worked around.

The things I'd change in this country, obviously, would be reducing the size of the government and it's inherent fingers in every pie. We would not jump into a war just because the Joint Chiefs were bored….if it didn't involve the security of the United States, then fuck it.

Senators and Representatives would have term limits, mandatory annual polygraph testing. The Federal Reserve would be dissolved. The Electoral College system of voting would be abolished and replaced with a popular vote: one citizen, one vote! Stricter protocols and monitoring of PAC and other campaign fundraising/expenditures. Militarize the border with Mexico…thanks to our government's ineptitude, the Mexican Cartels are now active in almost every city in this country.

All in all, things aren't that bad here….not in the Grand Scheme….there were some tense days after our illustrious Community Planner in Chief was elected and I think they got that message in Washington. Little subtle messages like ammunition selling in record numbers…..they couldn't keep it on the shelves….the raucous rise of the Tea Party….yeah..little things like that!


“Life comes at ya pretty fast, sometimes….double tap to the head if it does….”
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:50PM

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