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Thread: Political & socio-economic nerd-rage thread. page 9

  1. #81
    kenn's Avatar
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    Dear Mrs. Ms. Or Sir:

    I'm in the process of renewing my passport and still cannot believe this.

    How is it that Radio Shack has my address and telephone number and knows that I bought a cable TV from them in 1987 (23 years ago), and yet, the Federal Government is still asking me where I was born and on what date.

    For Christ sakes, do you guys do this by hand? Ever heard of computers?

    My birth date you have in my social security file. It's on EVERY income tax form I've filed for the past 30 years. It's on my Medicare health insurance card and my driver's license, it's on the last eight damn passports I've had, it's on every stupid customs declaration form I've had to fill out before being allowed off the plane for the last 30 years. And it's on all those census forms that we have to do at election times.

    Would somebody please take note, once and for all, that my mother's name is Maryanne, my father's name is Robert and I'm reasonably confident that neither name is likely to change between now and when I die.

    Between you an' me, I've had enough of this bureaucratic bull****!

    You send the application to my house, then you ask me for
    my #*&#%*& address.

    What is going on? You must have a gang of bureaucratic Neanderthal morons working there!

    Look at my damn picture. Do I look like Bin Laden? And "No," I don't want to dig up Yasser Arafat, for **** sakes. I just want to go and park my ass on a sandy beach. And would someone please tell me, why would you give a damn whether I plan on visiting a farm in the next 15 days?

    If I ever got the urge to do something weird to a chicken or a goat, believe you me, I'd sure as hell not want to tell anyone!

    Well, I have to go now because I have to go to the other end of the city and get another #*@&#^@*@& copy of my birth certificate to the tune of $100.

    Would it be so difficult to have all the services in the same area so I could get a new passport the same day? Nooooo, that would require planning and organization. And it would be too logical for the @&^*^%@% government.

    You'd rather have us running all over the place like chickens with our heads cut off. Then, we have to find some ******* to confirm that it's really me in the damn picture - you know, the one where we're not allowed to smile... Hey, you know why we can't smile?

    We're totally pissed off!

    Signed

    - An Irate Citizen.

    P.S. Remember what I wrote about getting someone to confirm that the picture is me? Well, my family has been in the United States of America since 1776(First of all I have a feeling this is gonna get a lot of hype). I have served in the military for something over 35 years and have had security clearances up the ying yang. However, I have to get someone important to verify who I am - you know, someone like my doctor....... WHO WAS BORN AND RAISED IN INDIA!

    And you azzholes want to run our health care system ?
    Starting Date: Dec 18, 2010
    Starting Weight: 294 pounds
    Current Weight: 235 pounds
    Goal Weight: 195 pounds

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Good View Post
    Like me, for example. I'm of the "take what you want" personality type.
    That actually makes you more of a thief and a thug from the sound of it. When people like you call yourselves anarchists, it gives the real anarchists a bad name.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Good View Post
    I'm technically an anarchist too. I'm just the kind of anarchist who doesn't play well with others.
    Simply disregarding the state does not make you an anarchist, you have to disregard the state while at the same time respecting the rights of other people.

    If you steal and use intimidation as a means of achieving your own ends, you are nothing more than an individual walking representation of everything that makes the state itself a bad thing. You are bad, and you should feel bad.

  3. #83
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    Anarchy is an interesting thing.

    The thing is, I don't know if it would "work" or not. Of course, my expectation would be very different for various definitions of a "working" society. Does our society "work" now? Depends on your point of view.

    I read an interesting book a few weeks ago, called The Lucifer Principle, by Howard Bloom. In it he argued that societies and cultures are superorganisms made up of collections of memes, which are the mental version of genes, and their expression via human brains and bodies, and the products thereof. The thing is, the memes and the superorganisms they comprise don't give a shit about you or any other of the human cells that make up their bodies. They are subject to natural selection, they compete for mindspace and other resources, and they kill each other off and speciate and so on. If they don't compete well enough they go extinct, either by mismanaging their own resources or by takeover, peaceful or violent, by another superorganism. The superorganism is, of course, devoid of morality per se, and only "cares" about human life to the extent that it is a useful tool to conserve or expend in the pursuit of greater representation in the meme pool.

    This idea suggests that essentially, the larger the collective one lives in, the less one can expect to be valued as an individual by the routine rules and functions of that collective. Each life is inherently less valuable to a cultural superorganism that contains 100 million people than one that contains only 1000. It's impossible to be otherwise; it's the same principle that makes your first dollar much more valuable to you than your millionth. So we shouldn't expect a society containing hundreds of millions of people to treat each individual with dignity and sovereignty; that would be counterproductive to the survival of the superorganism. It would be like a millionaire wasting his time arguing over a $0.02 discrepancy on his lunch bill instead of getting to his board meeting on time and making $100,000.

    The problem, of course, is that as individuals, we have our own interest, self-interest. And it is often diametrically opposed to the super-interest, which is what I'll call the interest of the superorganism. Aggressive war is the perfect example. No rationally self-interested person should choose to go to war, especially against a well-armed opponent. Risking life and limb for little to no personal benefit is the opposite of self-interested. But the interest of a state, which is a type of superorganism, often dictates sending its citizens to war. Of course we see all kinds of adaptations developed by the superorganism to hijack our brains into agreeing to act in its interest instead of our own. Patriotism, public shaming of "cowards", the glorification of and systematic desensitization to violence, dehumanization of the enemy, and other types of propaganda are all adaptations evolved to motivate individuals to subvert their own odds of survival in favor of the super-interest. They are equivalent to the hormones in an animal's body signalling and coordinating the actions of the cells. The superorganism comes complete with teeth and claws--a military--which it uses both defensively and aggressively, and an immune system--police, domestic intelligence agencies, criminal courts, and prisons. The immune system tracks and responds to foreign invasion (akin to pathogens) in the form of deporting or imprisoning people who do not have the correct genetic markers (immigration papers) to denote they are to be tolerated. It also responds to "cancers", people who cease to obey the signals that ensure their subversion to the superinterest. These are handled similarly to real cancers--depending on the level of risk they pose to the superinterest, they are monitored (spied on), isolated (imprisoned) or killed outright.

    The more you think on it the more you can see the parallels. And if you believe that human beings possess inalienable rights, then this is an unacceptable situation. Because even if, on average, your chances of survival are better belonging to a superorganism that treats you like an expendable skin cell, we tend to believe that it is morally wrong to treat people in this way. The ends do not justify the means. It is not morally acceptable to murder people or put them in cages or torture them because the superorganism has put the person doing the murdering, imprisoning or torturing in a blue or green or black costume and handed them a piece of paper proclaiming they are now a licensed practitioner of <insert human rights violation here>. If a person beats down another person's door, shoots his dog, and then shoots him dead, we call him a crazed murderer. But if he does the same thing while wearing a special suit and carrying a special badge, because the superorganism told him to, we call him a law enforcement officer, the breaking and entering a search and seizure, and the murder a casualty. The fact that we call these two morally equivalent acts by two different names, and punish one while encouraging and defending the other, is a symptom of how the superorganism warps our moral sense for its own survival. And it's an illustration of what needs to change, unless we are to throw away the idea of individual rights entirely, and just start being big, smart ants.

    The big problem for me is this: I don't think it's possible, or even desirable, to avoid the formation of superorganisms. They exist because we have the faculty of creating, storing and propagating memes. As long as we retain this ability (which presumably means as long as there is a viable population of human beings), the superorganisms will continue to manipulate us. So the challenge becomes, in my mind, to learn to understand the selection pressures and environmental factors that shape the adaptations of those superorganisms, and change the environment to foster the evolution of some that don't need to subvert individual interests to survive and compete. If that can be managed, it will end up looking like anarchy by default, at least in my mind, because anarchy is basically a society that doesn't rely for its function on the initiation of violence or coercion, but only on voluntary interactions between sovereign people. Laws as we think of them can't exist in a society devoid of institutional violence, only voluntarily accepted rules and norms.

    I don't know how to get there, but I hope we figure it out eventually. The way we do things right now only "works" for those of us lucky enough not to caught on the "not working" side, which is largely a matter of chance.
    Today I will: Eat food, not poison. Plan for success, not settle for failure. Live my real life, not a virtual one. Move and grow, not sit and die.

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  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sihana View Post
    It is even worse when you question those statists, and all of them give you the same answer once you press them enough, "Yes, I know things are fucked up, but I am just once #gender# and god damnit there is nothing I can do about it so I will just go with the flow. It's easier that way"

    Every. Single. One.

    Every person is thinking the same thing, feeling the same feelings, but they have lost their ability to trust their gut instincts because its been so stamped out of them.
    You're exactly right. People who disagree with you secretly know that they're wrong, but do so because they are lazy and can't be bothered changing.

    Quote Originally Posted by DamienMaddox View Post
    Simply disregarding the state does not make you an anarchist, you have to disregard the state while at the same time respecting the rights of other people.
    Really? Because from reading this thread it seems like the number one thing that makes you an anarchist is being anti-state.

    It seems like the anarchists in this thread imagines anarchy to be some sort of utopian world where everybody watches out for each other, there's no violence, nobody goes hungry, there's no wasteful social safety net, no resource contention and everybody has to wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from the brilliant beams of freedom rays emanating from their neighbours.
    Last edited by magicmerl; 05-05-2012 at 09:04 PM.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by magicmerl View Post
    You're exactly right. People who disagree with you secretly know that they're wrong, but do so because they are lazy and can't be bothered changing.

    Really? Because from reading this thread it seems like the number one thing that makes you an anarchist is being anti-state.

    It seems like the anarchists in this thread imagines anarchy to be some sort of utopian world where everybody watches out for each other, there's no violence, nobody goes hungry, there's no wasteful social safety net, no resource contention and everybody has to wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from the brilliant beams of freedom rays emanating from their neighbours.
    Wow, talk about beating up on a strawman. Which of the pro-anarchist posts have even mentioned the word utopia? If statists have no incentive to change the status quo, then would it be fair to characterize the status quo as an utopia? If so, whose utopia have you subjected yourself to?

    Last edited by js290; 05-05-2012 at 10:14 PM.

  6. #86
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    Not a lot has changed in thousands of years so just chill.

  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncephalized View Post
    The big problem for me is this: I don't think it's possible, or even desirable, to avoid the formation of superorganisms. They exist because we have the faculty of creating, storing and propagating memes. As long as we retain this ability (which presumably means as long as there is a viable population of human beings), the superorganisms will continue to manipulate us. So the challenge becomes, in my mind, to learn to understand the selection pressures and environmental factors that shape the adaptations of those superorganisms, and change the environment to foster the evolution of some that don't need to subvert individual interests to survive and compete. If that can be managed, it will end up looking like anarchy by default, at least in my mind, because anarchy is basically a society that doesn't rely for its function on the initiation of violence or coercion, but only on voluntary interactions between sovereign people. Laws as we think of them can't exist in a society devoid of institutional violence, only voluntarily accepted rules and norms.
    The superorganism you refer to use to be constrained by physical boundaries. Much less so now with the internet, which is why internet censorship must be avoided. MDA could be considered a virtual superorganism.

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by js290 View Post
    Wow, talk about beating up on a strawman. Which of the pro-anarchist posts have even mentioned the word utopia? If statists have no incentive to change the status quo, then would it be fair to characterize the status quo as an utopia? If so, whose utopia have you subjected yourself to?
    Right, so let's not just assume that 'the others' are just being willfully silly shall we?

    I agree with you that the current system is not utopian. But if a person does not want to change from the current system to anarchy, that does not mean that they think that the current system is a utopia, only that they think anarchy would be worse than the status quo.

    None of the arnarchists have used the word utopia, but here's Grok's comment on how healthcare would be betterunder anarchism:
    Quote Originally Posted by Grok View Post
    They were mostly free of government intervention, yes.

    The poor would go to churches or hospitals. There were doctors who would take care of the sick and the poor paid them back as well as they could. It's called having a sense of community and having love and respect for one another.

    A doctor's visit before statist intervention was extremely affordable, insurance was even cheaper. With all the statist intervention we have today, the doctors and hospitals and insurance companies are robbing you all blind. It's legalized plunder. The insurance companies actually want to use the force of the state to force you to buy their products.
    I was taking a liberty at describing that as a utopian depiction. Maybe I was wrong.

    Of course, I think that the fact that healthcare is broken in the US is primarily the fault of capitalism, not statism. However, I think that an anarchist system would quickly devolve into a service-for-profit system, which would incorporate the *worst* elements of the current medical system.

  9. #89
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    So assuming we threw off the evil bounds of government slavery tomorrow and the free market and responsible anarchy reigned, how long do you think it would take for some statist country (China for example) to wipe us off the map?

    I'm also wondering which anarchists would be serving in the military, controlling our nuclear arsenal, or protecting our borders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by magicmerl View Post
    Really? Because from reading this thread it seems like the number one thing that makes you an anarchist is being anti-state.
    We're not anti-state just to be anti-state. We have more than enough reasons to be anti-state, primarily their use of violence and coercion as a means of subjecting their will on us.

    Quote Originally Posted by magicmerl View Post
    It seems like the anarchists in this thread imagines anarchy to be some sort of utopian world where everybody watches out for each other, there's no violence, nobody goes hungry, there's no wasteful social safety net, no resource contention and everybody has to wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from the brilliant beams of freedom rays emanating from their neighbours.
    Yes of course, which is why so many of us also talk about private security firms and arbitration agencies, obviously we would never actually need them right? But just in case we're wrong, at least we will have security covered.

    Quote Originally Posted by magicmerl View Post
    I was taking a liberty at describing that as a utopian depiction. Maybe I was wrong.

    Of course, I think that the fact that healthcare is broken in the US is primarily the fault of capitalism, not statism. However, I think that an anarchist system would quickly devolve into a service-for-profit system, which would incorporate the *worst* elements of the current medical system.
    How Government Solved the Health Care Crisis

    It wasn't just church and charity that assisted the poor with healthcare. A large portion of the country use to belong to fraternal organizations, lodges, etc. These weren't just hangouts where you got to wear silly hats. They actually had in-house doctors, you paid the lodge dues annually and it was cheap.

    Government cracked down on this by making it impossible for doctors to practice exclusively for lodges (they would lose their medical license), doctors still wouldn't comply with this (because lodge members weren't going to rat them out), so they set a minimum fee for lodge memberships that most people couldn't afford.

    So no, our healthcare system absolutely was not broken by capitalism. It was broken by a combination of statism and corporatism (which is just statism sponsored by corporations).

    Too many people mix up corporatism and capitalism. What you keep describing as capitalism is in fact corporatism. A corporation is also a government entity. The government grants a corporation limited liability. This is how companies grow so big and are able to get away with things smaller companies couldn't.

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