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Old 11-29-2012, 10:23 PM #358
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Originally Posted by Iamamartianchurch View Post
I agree, but probably not for the same reasons. I dont know that the change was good. I truly believe that the "greatness" we experienced was due to factors that did not include our politics.
While I do not believe democracy to be good, I believe it to be better. We still have far to go unfortunately.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:28 PM #359
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While I do not believe democracy to be good, I believe it to be better. We still have far to go unfortunately.
Better than?

Towards what?
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:34 PM #360
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Well better than monarchy in this case. And towards something better, I suppose. I can hardly say what that is.

If I had to spitball, I would ask you to take a new perspective on the progression of political freedom.

Despotism (rule of one) became oligarchy (rule of few) became democracy (rule of majority). The next logical step to me would be the rule of all. Is that some derivation of communism? Is that some form of structuralized minarchism? Is that something else? Is that a socially engineered utopia (Walden 2)?

Remember, it took us quite a bit to get to the idea of democracy (by democracy I mean liberal democracy; french revolution democracy not ancient greek democracy). Wouldn't it hold that the next step might not have been thought of yet?
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:46 PM #361
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Well better than monarchy in this case. And towards something better, I suppose. I can hardly say what that is.
I don't foresee much "new" coming anytime soon. Maybe a collapse, but even then, I have no knowledge of any "underground" alternate political philosophies that aren't derivative of an existing system.

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If I had to spitball, I would ask you to take a new perspective on the progression of political freedom.
You're going to have to do a lot of convincing, so far every attempt at such has proved to be a dismal failure. Plato immortalized this, most eloquently.

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Despotism (rule of one) became oligarchy (rule of few) became democracy (rule of majority). The next logical step to me would be the rule of all. Is that some derivation of communism? Is that some form of structuralized minarchism? Is that something else? Is that a socially engineered utopia (Walden 2)?
I posit an alternate theory, a democracy "lite" was attempted first. Community/Committee style governance. It stagnated. The birth of monarchy came about whence an individual took charge and said, "listen ****ers, I'm going to do it this way, if you want in, follow me, if not, feel free to stay here in gridlock."

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Remember, it took us quite a bit to get to the idea of democracy (by democracy I mean liberal democracy; french revolution democracy not ancient greek democracy). Wouldn't it hold that the next step might not have been thought of yet?
If you believe humanity is a linear progression. Sure. I reject this notion. History, in my eyes and understanding, is totally cyclical. I don't really understand the opposite notion at all, so I cannot comment. It literally makes no logical sense in my mind.
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:52 AM #362
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I don't foresee much "new" coming anytime soon.
Agreed:

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Remember, it took us quite a bit to get to the idea of democracy (by democracy I mean liberal democracy; french revolution democracy not ancient greek democracy).
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Maybe a collapse, but even then, I have no knowledge of any "underground" alternate political philosophies that aren't derivative of an existing system.
There are plenty of Utopian theories, maybe not a lot of practices. You should read Skinner's Waldon Two or at least a synopsis.

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You're going to have to do a lot of convincing, so far every attempt at such has proved to be a dismal failure. Plato immortalized this, most eloquently.
What are you referring to in terms of Plato?

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I posit an alternate theory, a democracy "lite" was attempted first. Community/Committee style governance. It stagnated. The birth of monarchy came about whence an individual took charge and said, "listen ****ers, I'm going to do it this way, if you want in, follow me, if not, feel free to stay here in gridlock."
I believe I see a transition between early american democracy's "elect someone to rule us best" to modern american democracy's "elect someone who would rule just like I would" which lead to our decline. Thoughts?

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If you believe humanity is a linear progression. Sure. I reject this notion. History, in my eyes and understanding, is totally cyclical. I don't really understand the opposite notion at all, so I cannot comment. It literally makes no logical sense in my mind.
Well, I guess that is that. I would be interested in why you believe that (or what informs that belief).
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:40 AM #363
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French Revolution Democracy
Definitely was a devolution.


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There are plenty of Utopian theories, maybe not a lot of practices. You should read Skinner's Waldon Two or at least a synopsis.
The social organization is hardly unique. You can control environmental factors to the end of time and still genetics will kick yer ***. Though, to its credit, there is planning. Which is always welcomed.

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What are you referring to in terms of Plato?
Republic

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I believe I see a transition between early american democracy's "elect someone to rule us best" to modern american democracy's "elect someone who would rule just like I would" which lead to our decline. Thoughts?
See above. Devolution. This is most certainly not "progress" as we tend to use the term.

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Well, I guess that is that. I would be interested in why you believe that (or what informs that belief).
Well, take Europe for example. You had the Indo-Europeans (Vedic Aryans) who had a pretty vast civilization from what we know. East Asian architecture is not "asiatic" in origin. We know it extended at least to Iran(translates into land of aryans). They had a very rich system of metaphysics survived in india that influenced everything from Norse to Ancient Egypt.

Then they declined into a bunch of backwater tribes scattered across Europe who thought their hammers were the bees knees of technology. In the meantime, Imperial China and India had rich societies. It wasn't for sometime that they came out of the slump and the rest is modern history. I picked white people because I'm more familiar with the subject.

That's how these things work. It happens all over the globe. A people aquire a significant amount of some resource, and build empires. That law about energy running through systems, increasing their complexity kicks in. Then they overstretch and collapse.

The idea that history happens in cycles is literally everywhere in ancient cultures. But, it's old, therefore incorrect.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:43 AM #364
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Communism is almost certainly the future of governance whether we like it or not.

Imagine when all jobs can be mechanized. Are we going to permanently funnel money to the risk takers, and their offspring, who automated the economy?
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:48 AM #365
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Well, take Europe for example. You had the Indo-Europeans (Vedic Aryans) who had a pretty vast civilization from what we know. East Asian architecture is not "asiatic" in origin. We know it extended at least to Iran(translates into land of aryans). They had a very rich system of metaphysics survived in india that influenced everything from Norse to Ancient Egypt.

Then they declined into a bunch of backwater tribes scattered across Europe who thought their hammers were the bees knees of technology. In the meantime, Imperial China and India had rich societies. It wasn't for sometime that they came out of the slump and the rest is modern history. I picked white people because I'm more familiar with the subject.

That's how these things work. It happens all over the globe. A people aquire a significant amount of some resource, and build empires. That law about energy running through systems, increasing their complexity kicks in. Then they overstretch and collapse.

The idea that history happens in cycles is literally everywhere in ancient cultures. But, it's old, therefore incorrect.
I want to talk about this, so I'm dropping the rest. How do you explain this as not simply being a boom and bust linear progression? Some countries go up and then go down, some civilizations do well and then disappear. That doesn't necessarily make it cyclical on a grand scheme.

To be specific, the rise and decline of the Vedic Aryans and the subsequent rise and decline of imperial China and then another subsequent rise and decline of some other nation can be viewed as a continuation of independent cycles or it can be viewed as an old system giving way to a newer and better system which then would give way to another newer and better system (hence progess). Obviously nations rise and fall in cycles. That doesn't make progession non-linear. The only way this pattern would be cyclical is if there is no progess between subsequent systems. I believe we have progessed in a boom and bust, two steps forward and three steps back kind of way.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:32 AM #366
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I think a monarchy or communism is the way of the future IF (and this is a very big if) you can ensure that you always have a great, excellent monarch or puts the country first. Historically, the greatest saviors of countries are well intentioned monarchs. The only problem is that their offspring often turn out as idiots. If you can fix that problem, a monarchy could be very effective. Communism, on the other hand, doesn't work because the people don't work. There's not much incentive to work hard and do good work. The only reward is that it helps the state, which not motivate many people. If you could find a way to motivate people to work for the good of the nation, communism has worked very effectively.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:34 AM #367
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I want to talk about this, so I'm dropping the rest. How do you explain this as not simply being a boom and bust linear progression? Some countries go up and then go down, some civilizations do well and then disappear. That doesn't necessarily make it cyclical on a grand scheme.

To be specific, the rise and decline of the Vedic Aryans and the subsequent rise and decline of imperial China and then another subsequent rise and decline of some other nation can be viewed as a continuation of independent cycles or it can be viewed as an old system giving way to a newer and better system which then would give way to another newer and better system (hence progess). Obviously nations rise and fall in cycles. That doesn't make progession non-linear. The only way this pattern would be cyclical is if there is no progess between subsequent systems. I believe we have progessed in a boom and bust, two steps forward and three steps back kind of way.
Human philosophy, politics and social organisation spins on the same axis throughout history. Marx sourced Prussian society when he developed the communist manifest. Plato and his theory of forms is not much different, ontologically, to anything in Brahmanism. Collective decision making on a large scale has likely been around much before we coined the term democracy.

The entire idea of progress walks hand in hand with our ability to maniplate the material universe. Whether or not this has led to a better mankind is debatable. We've gotten better at it, however, a sober look at man will show us that the same man we sent to the moon is the same man who once believed chariots were the epitome of military technology.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:45 AM #368
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Human philosophy, politics and social organisation spins on the same axis throughout history. Marx sourced Prussian society when he developed the communist manifest. Plato and his theory of forms is not much different, ontologically, to anything in Brahmanism. Collective decision making on a large scale has likely been around much before we coined the term democracy.
What was the precursor to liberalism?

Also, if, for example, Marxism was preluded by prussians. What preluded the prussians? Either these things (everything) is omnipresent or we progessed at some point. Maybe, we progressed into these things and have since stayed stagnant, but these things cannot exist without either progress or ubiquity.

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The entire idea of progress walks hand in hand with our ability to maniplate the material universe. Whether or not this has led to a better mankind is debatable. We've gotten better at it, however, a sober look at man will show us that the same man we sent to the moon is the same man who once believed chariots were the epitome of military technology.
If man can stay the same while improving military technology, why can man not stay the same while advancing in the political sphere? I don't see how you got from "man doesn't change" to "progess can't exist". How are you defining progress?
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:22 PM #369
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What was the precursor to liberalism?

Also, if, for example, Marxism was preluded by prussians. What preluded the prussians? Either these things (everything) is omnipresent or we progessed at some point. Maybe, we progressed into these things and have since stayed stagnant, but these things cannot exist without either progress or ubiquity.
I'm going to say they are omnipresent. I know that statement runs contrary to a lot. I believe all these are in our blood so to speak.

Something to think about:
Heraclitus wrote down some two thousand years ago that everything is energy. He used fire as his metaphor. A few decades ago, Einstein proved that all matter could be converted into energy.

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If man can stay the same while improving military technology, why can man not stay the same while advancing in the political sphere? I don't see how you got from "man doesn't change" to "progess can't exist". How are you defining progress?
I didn't say anything wasn't possible. The way we related to each other and our environment hasn't changed all that much. We go through periods so to speak. We've gotten more knowledgeable about our environment and have learned to better manipulate it, but the ends are still the same.

When I say "Linear Progress" I mean the idea that we started as primordial knuckle draggers dwelling in our own feces and are slowly progressing towards something like Star Trek, socially and technologically. More so, that history follows this trajectory of worse - > better. Even though we know sure as **** that doesn't happen.

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Old 11-30-2012, 04:25 PM #370
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I'm going to say they are omnipresent. I know that statement runs contrary to a lot. I believe all these are in our blood so to speak.

Something to think about:
Heraclitus wrote down some two thousand years ago that everything is energy. He used fire as his metaphor. A few decades ago, Einstein proved that all matter could be converted into energy.
First of all, that's a bit generous. Fire was hardly an analogy for Heraclitus. He thought everything was made of fire, not metaphorically. Now what is fire but energy and what is matter but converted energy. So he was close. A much more astounding early prediction, to me at least, is Leucippus and Democritus thinking up the atom before anyone had thought even thought of a microscope.

But back on topic, if Heraclitus discovered that of everything is made of energy, that must mean that there was a point at which it was not known or else he couldn't have discovered it. How is that cyclical?

It seems to me that we had no understanding, then we had some understanding based on reason, and then we had better understanding based on evidence. The same can be said for the atomists. At first, we had no idea about the make-up of things, then we thought up the idea of an indivisible subunit (that was extrapolated through reason: "things can't be infinitely divisible"), and then we confirmed that evidence through John Dalton and his technology.

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I didn't say anything wasn't possible. The way we related to each other and our environment hasn't changed all that much. We go through periods so to speak. We've gotten more knowledgeable about our environment and have learned to better manipulate it, but the ends are still the same.

When I say "Linear Progress" I mean the idea that we started as primordial knuckle draggers dwelling in our own feces and are slowly progressing towards something like Star Trek, socially and technologically. More so, that history follows this trajectory of worse - > better. Even though we know sure as **** that doesn't happen.
I still can't get around how despotism -> democracy isn't changing "the way we relate to each other and our environment" dramatically. How is that not socially "closer to Star Trek" than we were a few thousand years ago? Please explain to me how despotism -> democracy is not worse -> better.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:04 PM #371
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First of all, that's a bit generous. Fire was hardly an analogy for Heraclitus. He thought everything was made of fire, not metaphorically. Now what is fire but energy and what is matter but converted energy. So he was close. A much more astounding early prediction, to me at least, is Leucippus and Democritus thinking up the atom before anyone had thought even thought of a microscope.

But back on topic, if Heraclitus discovered that of everything is made of energy, that must mean that there was a point at which it was not known or else he couldn't have discovered it. How is that cyclical?
I know, but in my defense, Heraclitus was intentionally cryptic.

Knowledge is lost, books are burnt, things weren't always written down. Re-discovery is common for us, afterall, Truth outside of our memory.

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It seems to me that we had no understanding, then we had some understanding based on reason, and then we had better understanding based on evidence. The same can be said for the atomists. At first, we had no idea about the make-up of things, then we thought up the idea of an indivisible subunit (that was extrapolated through reason: "things can't be infinitely divisible"), and then we confirmed that evidence through John Dalton and his technology.
To be fair, many ancient cultures were not terribly concerned with the make up of things, rather what makes the make-up. The material world was pretty consistently viewed as the lowest possible existence, inconsistent blah blah. Yes, it fairly fascinating though, what conclusions we come to by reasoning/intuition alone that hold true when we find some physical evidence for it. Which reminds me, while we are on the topic:

I don't remember the exact words off the top of my head, but there's this little ditty in chapter 1 or 2 of the Bagavadwhatever Gita that goes something like this: "Souls are neither created nor destroyed...." the context was about killing someone. But, if souls are some primal lifeforce or energy well, you get where I am going.

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I still can't get around how despotism -> democracy isn't changing "the way we relate to each other and our environment" dramatically. How is that not socially "closer to Star Trek" than we were a few thousand years ago? Please explain to me how despotism -> democracy is not worse -> better.
If we bounce between despotism and democracy, it doesn't show a linear progression at all.

You'd have to prove, substantially, that despotism is worse than democracy, a hefty debate.

Some native american tribes elected their "chiefs" and had the right to remove them. Something to think about.

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Old 11-30-2012, 10:08 PM #372
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I know, but in my defense, Heraclitus was intentionally cryptic.
Oh, I agree. Trust me.

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Knowledge is lost, books are burnt, things weren't always written down. Re-discovery is common for us, afterall, Truth outside of our memory.
If there wasn't discovery and we began knowing everything, then there is no such thing as discovery only new discovery, right?

Are you saying that we were born with some innate mysterious understanding of everything in the back corners of our mind that which was slightly revealed to us over time while making relapses? Or that the first humans literally knew everything and we have been forgetting and relearning cyclically.

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To be fair, many ancient cultures were not terribly concerned with the make up of things, rather what makes the make-up. The material world was pretty consistently viewed as the lowest possible existence, inconsistent blah blah. Yes, it fairly fascinating though, what conclusions we come to by reasoning/intuition alone that hold true when we find some physical evidence for it. Which reminds me, while we are on the topic:

I don't remember the exact words off the top of my head, but there's this little ditty in chapter 1 or 2 of the Bagavadwhatever Gita that goes something like this: "Souls are neither created nor destroyed...." the context was about killing someone. But, if souls are some primal lifeforce or energy well, you get where I am going.
I agree that we have discovered great amazing things through reason/intuition alone. I still have not been convinced that this has any deeper meaning than showing the insane power of reason when applied right.

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f we bounce between despotism and democracy, it doesn't show a linear progression at all.


We have steadily been gaining more and more democracies for the past 100 years. Now is that a boom and bust or a cycle that will turn down? It's hard to say.

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Some native american tribes elected their "chiefs" and had the right to remove them. Something to think about.
That reminds me of this notion.
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I believe I see a transition between early american democracy's "elect someone to rule us best" to modern american democracy's "elect someone who would rule just like I would" which lead to our decline. Thoughts?
I wish we would look at governance in a Aristotelian sort of way. Polity v Democracy. Is the government ruling for the interest of the people or for the interest of the rulers (in democracy that would be the majority)? I believe the liberalism movement (real liberalism; not our american bull**** notions) is a progression in this direction.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:58 PM #373
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Oh, I agree. Trust me.

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If there wasn't discovery and we began knowing everything, then there is no such thing as discovery only new discovery, right?

Are you saying that we were born with some innate mysterious understanding of everything in the back corners of our mind that which was slightly revealed to us over time while making relapses? Or that the first humans literally knew everything and we have been forgetting and relearning cyclically.

--



I agree that we have discovered great amazing things through reason/intuition alone. I still have not been convinced that this has any deeper meaning than showing the insane power of reason when applied right.

--




We have steadily been gaining more and more democracies for the past 100 years. Now is that a boom and bust or a cycle that will turn down? It's hard to say.

--



That reminds me of this notion.

I wish we would look at governance in a Aristotelian sort of way. Polity v Democracy. Is the government ruling for the interest of the people or for the interest of the rulers (in democracy that would be the majority)? I believe the liberalism movement (real liberalism; not our american bull**** notions) is a progression in this direction.
I'm at a bar, a bit drunk, and jamming to Boston. I'll get to this later inf ull. But you are misunderstanding me. I'm only trying to say that things are constantly being learned and forgotten. Sometimes in different forms and contexts. I don't believe in some hocus pocus innate knowledge. Just the fact that similar ideas keep popping up throughout history and are interesting ly treated as revolutionalrly everytime they pop up.

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Old 12-02-2012, 10:28 PM #374
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:31 AM #375
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Oh, I agree. Trust me.

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If there wasn't discovery and we began knowing everything, then there is no such thing as discovery only new discovery, right?

Are you saying that we were born with some innate mysterious understanding of everything in the back corners of our mind that which was slightly revealed to us over time while making relapses? Or that the first humans literally knew everything and we have been forgetting and relearning cyclically.
obviously we arent born with some innate knowledge of the workings of the cosmos. The simple intention is to show that strikingly similar patterns are recognized throughout the ages. It could be said that what we see are different instances of the same essences.

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We have steadily been gaining more and more democracies for the past 100 years. Now is that a boom and bust or a cycle that will turn down? It's hard to say.
It will absolutely turn down. 100 years is not that long of a time. A lot of this has to do with American and western influence. Bordering nations of Rome dawned togas and copied their institutions in attempts to emulate their success. Those institutions did not work for other nations as well as they did for Rome, because they did not have the tribute from imperial ventures. Mexico is a fairly good example of this.

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That reminds me of this notion.
This surely is indicative of and a contributing factor to decline. Though I'm confident enough to say that the rot, so to speak, begins in the soul of the people.

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I wish we would look at governance in a Aristotelian sort of way. Polity v Democracy. Is the government ruling for the interest of the people or for the interest of the rulers (in democracy that would be the majority)? I believe the liberalism movement (real liberalism; not our american bull**** notions) is a progression in this direction.
I'm not at all comfortable with the idea of ruling in the interests of the people. What I am most interested in, is the proper ruling of a nation as it consists, organically, of a collective whose self interests may or may not align with what is necessary and proper. I don't care for a social order that gives voice and political power to "rational self interest" of the demos.

The precise issue I have with non progressive liberalism is that it gives voice to that "rational self interest." If you want a good example of just how horribly wrong this can go, look at the French revolution. They deposed a king who actually made honest attempts to reassert France's position in the world. Going so far as to make frugality part and parcel of popular culture through Royal dress. As a testament to how irrational peoples self interest can be, the Frenchmen refused to eat potatoes to avert starvation and the rising costs of bread.

After they cut off the head of their king, they cut off the heads of the aristocrats. After those heads rolled, they turned on the leaders of their own movements. Not long after they got the insane Napoleon as their leader. A far cry from the king who actually tried to turn the nation around. To the North, Great Britain gave themselves Cromwell, who is a dubious figure himself, calling him a lemon would be very much an understatement.

Last edited by Iamamartianchurch : 12-03-2012 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:51 PM #376
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Originally Posted by Iamamartianchurch View Post
I'm not at all comfortable with the idea of ruling in the interests of the people. What I am most interested in, is the proper ruling of a nation as it consists, organically, of a collective whose self interests may or may not align with what is necessary and proper. I don't care for a social order that gives voice and political power to "rational self interest" of the demos.

The precise issue I have with non progressive liberalism is that it gives voice to that "rational self interest." If you want a good example of just how horribly wrong this can go, look at the French revolution. They deposed a king who actually made honest attempts to reassert France's position in the world. Going so far as to make frugality part and parcel of popular culture through Royal dress. As a testament to how irrational peoples self interest can be, the Frenchmen refused to eat potatoes to avert starvation and the rising costs of bread.

After they cut off the head of their king, they cut off the heads of the aristocrats. After those heads rolled, they turned on the leaders of their own movements. Not long after they got the insane Napoleon as their leader. A far cry from the king who actually tried to turn the nation around. To the North, Great Britain gave themselves Cromwell, who is a dubious figure himself, calling him a lemon would be very much an understatement.
Sorry, I wasn't clear enough. When I said "ruling in the interest of the people", I was being platonic. Good City. Benevolent King. Someone who can rule the people best. I believe a sign of governmental progress is a transition from government that rules for the betterment of rulers themselves towards government that rules for the betterment of all of their people (regardless of what the people think betterment is).

Does that make sense?
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:03 PM #377
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Sorry, I wasn't clear enough. When I said "ruling in the interest of the people", I was being platonic. Good City. Benevolent King. Someone who can rule the people best. I believe a sign of governmental progress is a transition from government that rules for the betterment of rulers themselves towards government that rules for the betterment of all of their people (regardless of what the people think betterment is).

Does that make sense?
Yes. I will agree that it is progress in the sense that it is progress towards restoring an ordered society. Unfortunately, historical cases of just rulers are buried under the mounds left by a comparatively small percentage of them who were/are corrupt.
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:07 PM #378
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Yes. I will agree that it is progress in the sense that it is progress towards restoring an ordered society. Unfortunately, historical cases of just rulers are buried under the mounds left by a comparatively small percentage of them who were/are corrupt.
Do you not believe that liberalism (at least in ideology) is a movement away from "government for the good of the ruler" towards "government for the good of the all people"?

And, yes, unfortunately history has shown us that good governance if few and far between.
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