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Author Topic: Historical Perspective
Zatamon
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posted 26 March 2003 10:33 PM      Profile for Zatamon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If we study history and search for the common elements in the many, many human civilizations over the centuries, we can easily find what has been a constant all along. In a way, history can be viewed as an ongoing sequence of empires.

In all the chaos of conflicting interests of first millions, then billions, of human beings, thousands and thousands of tribes, alliances, interest groups, nations, there always were a few that were stronger than all the others. Once these powerful interests reached critical mass and stability then they started to grow and dominate more and more of the world around them.

The Egyptians, Greek, Romans, Christians, Turks, Hapsburgs, French, German, Russian and, finally the Americans, all rose to power, peaked and then declined.

Looking at history in a different way, we can say that two major human emotions dominated all through the centuries: desire to pursue unrestricted self interest on one hand; desire for justice on the other. The first desire manifested itself as search for wealth and power, the second pursued democracy, co-operation, consensus-building.

Those who wanted freedom to act according to their perceived self interest almost always supported the current empire. Those who wanted justice almost always rebelled, almost always fought the empire.

And so is our world at present, at the dawn of the 21st century.

On the one hand, there is the status quo, the entrenched power and wealth represented by the empire, on the other hand there are the have-nots who find the arrangement unjust. So the fight goes on, like it always has, ever, in human history.

And this precarious balance between the warring factions has kept humanity going, over the centuries. Never quite fair and just, never quite enslaved. Because, my friends, there is no Utopia in the script of the human story. There is an ongoing, never ending fight to protect whatever justice we rebels managed to wrest from those who want it all their way. The balance keeps tilting back and forth between the warring factions and our lives are tied to this mad rollercoaster, going up toward optimism, or plunging down towards despair.

Every now and then however, the plunge seems deeper and steeper than ever before as if it would never stop, and then we get scared. We feel that the automatic checks and balances don’t work any more and things may be out of control. This is when people usually wake up from their comfortable complacency and feel they have to do something about it.

We are living in such a time now, realizing that the gloves are off and naked brutality and greed has taken over.

This is the time when people, who never cared about politics before, take up the placards and swarm out onto the streets in our millions.

This is the time when lies don’t work any more and our illusions of freedom, democracy, free press, justice, peace, cooperation and fairness suddenly evaporate and we see our rulers for what they are: corrupt, greedy, brutal, sneaking and lying bullies who can’t ever have enough.

Unfortunately, there is another element of the puzzle. It is technology. As the thousands of scientists, tens of thousands of engineers and millions of workers and technicians sold their talent into the servitude of the empire – deadlier and deadlier weapons were forged and amassed. First time in history, there is enough power available to destroy the world and end the human story.

Now we start waking up to the terrible danger that this power may have fallen into the hands of those who are not afraid to use it, at any cost, to force their will on the human family.

So, we feel that this crisis is not just one more of the same, of those crises that we have known all our lives. This is different. The world has been nudged out of its groove and is on the move -- somewhere. Now we face terrible dangers.

If we woke up in time, then there are great opportunities to make the world a better place.

If not, we have a big problem.


From: "The right crowd" | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mohamad Khan
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posted 26 March 2003 11:13 PM      Profile for Mohamad Khan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
this is very pertinent. i think more needs to be said about the effects of technology, and i wish i had time to say it.

i wonder one thing, though...you've presented a clear dichotomy between justice and self-interest. does this mean that there is no intersection between the two?


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Zatamon
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posted 27 March 2003 12:06 AM      Profile for Zatamon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I said 'unrestricted self-interest'. The emphasis was on 'unrestricted'.
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drgoodword
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posted 27 March 2003 12:08 AM      Profile for drgoodword   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Interesting essay...well done.

drg


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Architectonic Adil
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posted 10 April 2003 10:28 AM      Profile for Architectonic Adil     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Mont, thank you for raising some very interesting ideas in your peice. I see two readings of "unrestricted self-interest".

The first, which I think is implied in the peice, is self-interested action wherein an individual is not held accountable to anyone. For example, a leader who does not answer to anyone (ie. a dictator).

The second, is self-interested action wherein all barriers have been removed. An example may be a member of a minority group self-interested in finding work and not impeded by any prejudice. This meaning can also be applied to the dictator in our previous example. But I do not think that these two meaning necessarily have to exist simultaneously. That may be what Mohamad was pointing out.

To add one other interesting question: Mont's thesis implies that every empire must fall, from the historical fact that every empire before has fallen. So If the USA is the new empire on the block, what will bring it down? A favorite teacher of mine (Mr.Tuddenham) used to say that the Roman Empire fell due to its own excessive hedonism. No real outside force can bring an empire down like its own self-destruction. Does this seem plausible for the US?

If so, why hasn't it happened yet? Or, has it?
Or are then all kinds of safeties in place to make sure it doesn't happen.

A.


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nonsuch
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posted 10 April 2003 01:45 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
So If the USA is the new empire on the block, what will bring it down?

I would say WSD - weapons of self-destruction.
Seems ever dynasty ends in a lunatic scion who does too much, too fast, irrationally, against all good advice - and without the competence to carry through.
Seems every empire, once it reaches a critical level of power, neglects to feeds it own power-base. Pisses off its allies. Alienates and represses its own population. Goes off in too many directions at once and outgrows its resources. Refuses to share the spoils.
All of that is happenning now.


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Mandos
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posted 10 April 2003 01:50 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The likelihood of decline increases with every passing year that there is not decline. I think. Never was too fond of stats.
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DrConway
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posted 10 April 2003 09:19 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Food for thought. I will add more later.

Back in 1993, Ann Finlayson of Naming Rumplestitskin fame noted that - I forget the page number offhand, but I'll dig it up if anyone wants the source to prove I didn't make this up - if the prevailing social and economic trends continued in the USA (ie. the slow but inexorable rise in inequality, the stagnation of the real wage, and so on), that that country would fit every definition of a Third World country by 2030.

Now that's probably a bit of a shocker but we're not talking about some wild-eyed writer in the Socialist Worker or whatever newspaper the IS people like to flog at rallies. This is a researched book written from a somewhat feminist perspective (Finlayson notes, for example, that women often bear the brunt of government cutbacks due to economic insecurity and the rise of single motherhood).

So the question of how this fits in with Mont's statement that all empires must decline is this:

Given the resurgence in military spending and the fact that the fortuitous expansion of the late 1990s staved off the rise in inequality (it stalled out in the late 1990s and stayed steady) and allowed for a relief of some of the social tensions that had been building since Reagan's time, how likely is it that the USA can stave off this trend and remain at least superficially - it is currently more than superficially - a country embedded in wealth, security and prosperity?

Even now, with its economy in recession the USA is still quite a decent place to be by most nonindustrial nations' standards.

So, will the USA resume its decline to Third World status by 2030 or will it implode abruptly, or...?

I realize my exposition has been somewhat less than satisfactory, but this is designed more as a corollary to Francis Mont's own essay and not as a definitive answer.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 11 April 2003 12:33 AM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I like the single-motherhood and economic brunt angle - hadn't thought of it myself.
Picture Mme Laforge at the guillotine.
Yes, there is another vindictive faction for GWB to watch out for.
Also old people whose pensions were spent on bombs or gambled away, and nothing more to lose. And people whose jobs went south and east.
Revolution doesn't begin with a thirst for justice. It begins with anger. Piss off enough people enough times....

[ 11 April 2003: Message edited by: nonesuch ]


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glennB
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posted 11 April 2003 07:23 AM      Profile for glennB     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
In the last couple replies there were some good points made. But the ironic thing is that ALL that military spending actually works in favour of the US economy. It won't bring them down. Government military spending is basically a way to subsidize the military economy, which only goes to help the general economy.

The fear-mongering of US citizens helped by the media mean that though money comes for military spending from tax payers in the lowest income brackets they're too scared of supposed terrorist threats and scary foreign regimes to protest. That money meanwhile gives jobs to thousands and helps the US economy out. Nevermind that it blows up and cripples young children around the world. And destroys entire countries. So the system seems to work because it sustains itslef, at least economically.

Secondly, military might allows the US to corner resources - either of raw materials (ex. oil, wood) or human resources in the form of cheap labour. So that means that the US will always have an increased supply of resources for its people, at a very cheap price. Of course the country will never be third world standards. They're too busy keeping the rest of the world at that level. (Though US culture IS lower than the 3rd world...)

So the Regime is way to powerful to crack from the outside. Will a revolution come from within?

The answer is in Orwell in his "1984". As long as the masses (proletariat) have things to keep them occupied, such as WWF and booze, they will be too occupied to kick up a fuss. Seems, true doesn't it?

The only way to stop it is have a modern-day French revolution by the disenfranchised masses. (Is that what 9/11 was?) But if the people have their "bread & circuses", will such a revolution really come about?

Does anyone see any other allusions in "1984" coming to life here?

**As a footnote we should remember that Canada is not that far off. We also have military arms production and sales as part of our economy. Though we are far, far away from invading countries. To our credit we do support states identified as "rogue" by the US, such as Cuba.


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sheep
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posted 11 April 2003 01:19 PM      Profile for sheep     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The answer is in Orwell in his "1984". As long as the masses (proletariat) have things to keep them occupied, such as WWF and booze, they will be too occupied to kick up a fuss. Seems, true doesn't it?

The only way to stop it is have a modern-day French revolution by the disenfranchised masses. (Is that what 9/11 was?) But if the people have their "bread & circuses", will such a revolution really come about?


If the masses have their WWF, and their booze, and their soma, or whatever, then that's an indication that they're likely leading a comfortable life. It's not that they're too occupied to kick up a fuss, but there's not much for them to kick up a fuss over, unless you think the working masses are willing to put everything they have on the line to satisfy some vague ideological revolutionary notion.

I think it was SHH on this board who summed it up best. To paraphrase: the revolution will come when people's lives actually start to suck, and not because they've bought into the vision of their lives sucking sold by the radical left.

I'll try to dig up the quote, he said it far better than I can.

Considering 9/11 was carried out by members of the upper middle class, and directed by a member of the priviledged wealthy, I don't know how you can argue that it was a revolution by the disenfranchised masses.


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Michael Hardner
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posted 11 April 2003 03:59 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks, Sheep. I agree with your post.

The anger described in some posts above is probably anger by the learned left that government isn't taking their directions any more.

The poor will be happy with SOMA and will only be stirred to revolt when they're hungry or they perceive a threat.

(And I too made a calculation similar to the one Dr. Conway describes, and found that the US would have a "banana republic" style balance between rich or poor sometime later in this century.)


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ronb
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posted 11 April 2003 05:16 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There was way more to the decline of Rome than "moral failure", however that was described. Their own sophisticated technological advances - specifically poisoning from lead pipes - is sometimes proposed as a possible factor. The shift of the tax burden away from Rome onto the provinces combined with the corruption and complacence of provincial tax-collectors and administrators resulted in some pretty serious shortfalls that quickly became a vicious spiral... in essence Romans refused to foot any part of the bill for maintaining the apparatus of Imperial control, and the apparatus therefore collapsed.

Environmental degradation and the shortsighted greed of the ruling and merchant classes. Any modern parallels?


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nonsuch
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posted 11 April 2003 05:32 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
In the last couple replies there were some good points made. But the ironic thing is that ALL that military spending actually works in favour of the US economy. It won't bring them down. Government military spending is basically a way to subsidize the military economy, which only goes to help the general economy.

Yes, but that's a very small part of the overall economy. Huge in dollar figures, yes, but insignificant in emplyment and general standard of living; nowhere near enough to compensate for all the bankrupt businesses.
Military spending, plus tax cuts for the wealthy, is being taken out of working people's taxes and never coming back, in any form. The only other growth industry is prison construction.
Social programs have already been cut and cut and cut; infrasctructure is starting to crumble. No money for schools, hospitals, bridges... State governments are chronically short of funds for their programs.
One biggish flood, draught or eathquake will show just how much money isn't available for the average citizen's needs.
Meanwhile, racial tensions (never far below the surface) are increasing and being sharpened by fear and suspicion. The government has already started arresting protesters in large numbers and beating them up. Look for full-scale riots within the year.
Circuses and threats will quiet the population for a while, but wait till they find out that they're not getting any of the cheap gasoline.
People will suffer privation for quite a long time without erupting - until you take away something they feel entitled to.


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jeff house
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posted 11 April 2003 06:38 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
If the masses have their WWF, and their booze, and their soma, or whatever, then that's an indication that they're likely leading a comfortable life. It's not that they're too occupied to kick up a fuss, but there's not much for them to kick up a fuss over.

This sounds just like 1984. Try this thought experiment: You shackle a man to a wall in a dungeon, then drug him to think he is in paradise.

Can it really be said he has nothing to complain about?


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satana
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posted 21 April 2003 04:53 AM      Profile for satana     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There has always been naked brutality and greed on a massive scale throughout human history, so, in that sense, I don't think we are seeing anything new. What makes our time different is that we are experiencing it first hand.

jeff house: So long as he's getting enough drugs he doesn't have anything to complain about. It's the person providing the drugs who may complain.

[ 21 April 2003: Message edited by: satana ]


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jeff house
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posted 21 April 2003 11:27 AM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
So long as he's getting enough drugs he doesn't have anything to complain about.

I think this apercu is represented by the slogan "Shop Until You Drop".


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WingNut
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posted 21 April 2003 11:35 AM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
If the masses have their WWF, and their booze, and their soma, or whatever, then that's an indication that they're likely leading a comfortable life.
Interesting. So, who are the masses so satisfied with a diet of booze, WWF and soma(?)?

sheep has stumbled onto the solution for social unrest and poverty. The masses do not need education, housing, food, or anything whatsoever that can't be numbed with regular doses of booze and WWF.

I'm sure sheep thinks they are all stupid, too.

And they must be. They voted tory twice.


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Michelle
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posted 21 April 2003 11:42 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
This sounds just like 1984. Try this thought experiment: You shackle a man to a wall in a dungeon, then drug him to think he is in paradise.

Can it really be said he has nothing to complain about?


Reminds me of the cave allegory.

But really, the question for me isn't whether or not he has anything to complain about, but whether or not he WILL complain. Likely not. And there are likely lots of people who would love to do the same thing - why else are we so fascinated by the idea of virtual reality or those "hologram suites" on Star Trek?

In fact, aren't there world religions based on the idea that what we are experiencing in our lives is a great illusion and therefore we really have nothing to complain about in our lives?

I think satana has a point - it's a great analogy when you consider us "ordinary folks" the people chained to the wall by the ruling class, and being fed stuff by them to take our minds off our condition (like shopping till you drop). And while we may not revolt (although it's amazing how many people there are who ARE finding the mind-numbing life unsatisfactory and meaningless and are looking for a better way), the people who provide us with the "drugs" - not the rulers, but the people whose labour they exploit to make the "drugs" - just might.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 21 April 2003 12:01 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
the revolution will come when people's lives actually start to suck, and not because they've bought into the vision of their lives sucking sold by the radical left.

My previous reference to the cave/chained allegory
was meant to suggest there is a reality which does not depend upon sense impressions, or people's immediate gratification.

In other words, in the quote above, the suggestion is made that lives might "actually" start to suck, but that now, they don't. To that,
I wanted to counterpose the idea that lives might "actually" suck, even though people may not be fully aware of that.

The quote, above, tries to compare a "vision" with what "actually" happens. I think it is more correct to suggest that there are two competing visions, and the correctness or not of either remains to be determined.


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Mr. Magoo
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posted 21 April 2003 12:30 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Wouldn't the "reality which does not depend upon sense impressions" be measurable only in objective areas such as longevity, literacy, infant mortality, availability of health care, education, etc.? And if so, wouldn't we end up conceding that overall and with regard to those indicators, things are actually better than they used to be?
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satana
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posted 22 April 2003 05:42 AM      Profile for satana     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
jeff house, who determines which perception is correct?
Two people can live the same lifestyle with one saying "Life is Good", the other "Life Sucks". People have different needs and abilities, and I beleive its up to each individual to determine for itself what those are.

From: far away | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 22 April 2003 09:45 AM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think you are missing Jeff's point. I think his point could be illustrated by the movie the Matrix. In other words, your existence could be miserable in the extreme but you don't know it so you don't complain.

Or, like living in a cold, leaky shack with nary a pot to piss in nor a stove to cook it, but plenty of beer in the fridge and the WWF on TV.


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Michelle
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posted 22 April 2003 10:14 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If you don't know your life is miserable, though, then is it really miserable? If you think your life is paradise, then isn't it paradise? Is there something inherently evil about being chained up and put on pleasure-inducing psychotropic drugs, or is it evil because we, the way we are now and with our world-view, believe it to be a bad way of living? And would everyone even in our society think it was a bad way of living?
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 22 April 2003 10:26 AM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, then, is heroin addiction really a bad thing? Is sheep right about beer and WWF being a cure all?

Really, in the movie, Keanu had no idea his life was so miserable until they showed him. So, in essence, ignorance is bliss.


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satana
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posted 22 April 2003 10:44 AM      Profile for satana     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I understood jeff's point. And Neo's life wasn't miserable until Morpheus and his gang of terrorists got involved. Maybe the Matrix is an illusion? If you're really happy just drinking beer and watching TV all day, who am I to tell you that's wrong? And so long as the beer doesn't run out and why should you listen to me?

[ 22 April 2003: Message edited by: satana ]


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Michelle
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posted 22 April 2003 11:07 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hey, don't get me wrong. I don't think beer and WWF is the answer to the world's problems. I'm just looking at the question from the perspective of the person in "paradise". If a person is happy doing that stuff, then who are we to say that person isn't REALLY happy, that person is miserable but just doesn't know it. Doesn't that kind of change the meaning of "happy" and "miserable" from subjective emotions on the part of the feeler and an objective state that cannot be known by the feeler? I don't think emotions are like that. The only person who knows for sure whether I'm happy or sad is me. And "sub-conscious" psychoanalysis-type stuff aside, if my mind has been fully "tricked" into thinking I'm in paradise and completely happy, then I'm completely happy.

But to me, that isn't the completely relevant question. For me, the question I want to ask is, is it right that our "bliss" comes at the expense of the real misery of many people all over the world - people who have to live lives of misery in order to provide us with our "drug" of blissful consumerism?

See, I'm not saying that as long as we're happy watching WWF and shopping till we drop then everything's hunky dory. Shopping till we drop and watching WWF and drinking beer in blissful ignorance are not in themselves bad things. To me they become bad because they are bought at the price of much human suffering on the part of the rest of the world who makes it possible for people to live those blissful lives. If everyone in the world could just sit around sucking back a beer and watching WWF, or shopping till they drop, or whatever activity gives them their happiness quotient, with no environmental or human consequences, then there would be nothing wrong with it at all.

What is wrong with the current state of blissful unconsciousness, the thing that people on the so-called "radical-left" have a problem with, isn't that the person is living a blissful life - it's that the person is living a blissful life at the expense of a life that truly and quite consciously SUCKS for the people around the world who have to be poor and oppressed in order for us to have all our "stuff".


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 22 April 2003 11:11 AM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
But are you happy drinking beer and watching WWF all day? Or is it, like the Matrix, an illusion? Or, is like a fish bowl?

So long as it is all you know, you are content because, so far as you know, there is nothing beyond the fish bowl. But once you discover there is more, you want out. Like that other movie with Jim Carey.

Doesn't even the beer swilling, wrestling fan sometimes wish there was more to life?

And if we are content to exhaust resources with our bloated bodies consuming beer and air waves, then aren't we just a blight upon an otherwise beautiful earth?


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Michelle
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posted 22 April 2003 11:18 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That was my point, WingNut. That's what makes it wrong - the fact that we are destroying the environment and the lives of the majority of people on the earth who can't live the way we do.

But as for whether WWF and beer-swilling is my particular "thang" - no, it's not, I hate beer and while I used to "bond" with my Dad over wrestling as a teeny-bopper, it's lost its charm. However, I was thinking the WWF thing was just a stand-in for any type of consumerist activity that we are in the habit of glutting ourselves with. (Whoops, dangling participle! ) I have my own consumer weaknesses, as do most people in our society. The thing that kills the satisfaction for me (although not fully) when I do them is my consciousness that someone else had to be miserable in order to provide me with this such-and-such that I didn't really need for a cheap price.

That's why I think the "radical left" is justified in waking the blissfully ignorant from their slumbers. People should know what the cost of their happiness is.

[ 22 April 2003: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Zatamon
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Babbler # 3912

posted 23 April 2003 12:32 AM      Profile for Zatamon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
satana: There has always been naked brutality and greed on a massive scale throughout human history, so, in that sense, I don't think we are seeing anything new. What makes our time different is that we are experiencing it first hand.
True, there is nothing new about brutality. What is different is the combination of extremes: brutality, greed, stupidity, hypocrisy, cynicism, deadliness of technology and vulnerability of our Planet. I think this combination is unique in human history and scares the daylight out of most sane people (hence F15).

From: "The right crowd" | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 888

posted 23 April 2003 12:17 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There are things up with which I will not put.
From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1402

posted 23 April 2003 12:23 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Don't forget ignorance. Add it to the list of extremes.

[ 23 April 2003: Message edited by: nonesuch ]


From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Zatamon
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3912

posted 23 April 2003 12:30 PM      Profile for Zatamon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Apathy, double standards, selective blindness, consumerism, anti-intellectualism and a few more fashionable social attitudes also helps tha 'cause'.
From: "The right crowd" | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
Babbler # 3469

posted 23 April 2003 01:25 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Interesting thread so far, but I gotta say: I'm always very nervous when people want to "show me the light".

Invariably, my "blindness" is going to be defined in their terms, and the whole exchange is going to be rigged so that any protest or hesitation on my part will be taken as "proof" of my blindness.

What's more, while the act will most often be portrayed as originating in altruism ("We just want to help you!"), on closer examination there is always an agenda, and the "kind help" becomes "manipulative recruiting".

If you want to "help" me by waking me out of some slumber that magically afflicts me but spares you, then you'd better not begin with any one-eyed man in the kingdom of the blind crap.

[ 23 April 2003: Message edited by: Mr. Magoo ]


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Zatamon
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3912

posted 23 April 2003 01:32 PM      Profile for Zatamon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
...smugness...
From: "The right crowd" | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
Babbler # 3469

posted 23 April 2003 02:18 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thank you, yes. I'd forgotten the smugness.
From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Zatamon
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3912

posted 23 April 2003 02:46 PM      Profile for Zatamon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I used to enjoy teasing neo-cons. They were stupid and harmless. Now they are stupid and deadly, like a disease. It's not fun any more.
From: "The right crowd" | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
Babbler # 3469

posted 23 April 2003 02:51 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Um, Francis... just so we're clear: are you directing these last few comments at me? And if so, why?
From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Zatamon
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3912

posted 23 April 2003 03:25 PM      Profile for Zatamon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
No, Mr.Magoo, I am not being specific. They are generalized statements made for the sole purpose of venting frustration, disgust and fear. The world is not so quietly turning insane around me and the spectacle of human beings cheering it on makes me feel sick. My posts are as futile as throwing clumps of mud at SARS.
From: "The right crowd" | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged

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