Author Topic: Seven years later...  (Read 12718 times)

Renkar

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Re: Seven years later...
« Reply #75 on: September 17, 2008, 11:19:58 PM »
Darx- 
  What system do I suggest?  Well, No system.  The only way for society to truly be free is through libertarian socialism, anarchism, anarcho-syndyclism, anarcho-communism, whatever you want to call it.  Please do not believe all the mainstream media, or historical accounts of "bomb-throwing" anarchists.  I assure you most of us are not bomb- throwers.  Check out Infoshop.org, or the Anarchist FAQ which does a lot better job at explaining  things than I. 
  Of course, most everyone is an anarchist at some level, they just don't put that name to it.  It is true democracy, both in the political realm and the economic realm.  The people deserve to own the means of production not bosses or politicians, the people deserve to determine their course through life.  When you place anyone in authority, eventually that authority will warp their perceptions.  Look at the Stanford Prison experiment for a perfect example.

Miyabi

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Re: Seven years later...
« Reply #76 on: September 18, 2008, 06:05:51 AM »
Darx- 
  What system do I suggest?  Well, No system.  The only way for society to truly be free is through libertarian socialism, anarchism, anarcho-syndyclism, anarcho-communism, whatever you want to call it.  Please do not believe all the mainstream media, or historical accounts of "bomb-throwing" anarchists.  I assure you most of us are not bomb- throwers.  Check out Infoshop.org, or the Anarchist FAQ which does a lot better job at explaining  things than I. 
  Of course, most everyone is an anarchist at some level, they just don't put that name to it.  It is true democracy, both in the political realm and the economic realm.  The people deserve to own the means of production not bosses or politicians, the people deserve to determine their course through life.  When you place anyone in authority, eventually that authority will warp their perceptions.  Look at the Stanford Prison experiment for a perfect example.
I totally agree with this statement.  Sadly the libertarian socialist party is still very small.  We ARE growing though. :D
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GorgonlaVacaTremendo

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Re: Seven years later...
« Reply #77 on: September 18, 2008, 06:10:27 AM »
Stanford Prison experiment shows about role-playing causing a shift in personality to match the role.  Not authority.  Both the prisoners and guards showed significant changes in their traits and behaviors, the prisoners probably more so than the guards, since some of them even became physically ill due to a conversion effect.  The fact that the guards were given authority therefor was not the cause of their "warp in perceptions", which is a terrible way of wording it, since they did not warp perceptions but temporarily alter their personalities to fit the situation--it was the fact that they were given a role to play.

Uh, Skar, I read your response to me earlier today at the library instead of doing research.  But I don't remember most of it, nor do I have the time to reread it.  I may or may not come back to reread it and make a specific post based on what you said, but I believe the idea behind what I wanted to say is, "we have some socialism, that doesn't mean we couldn't have more or do more to help out those in need."  

Also, I don't think it was you, but somebody was complaining that there were freeloaders on socialist programs like welfare.  Yeah.  I'd rather have some people freeload off of me than know that I was condemning other, hard working people (and their kids) to a life of misery.  Also, no matter what kind of a system you have, even one with NO socialist-brand programs at all, there will be those who find a way to freeload.  It happens.

I've seen quite a few interviews of people who work in factories in China complaining about the conditions.  I'm sure many are grateful.  I'm also sure that many are not grateful for the fact that often these factories will move in and make it their specific goal to reduce an area to a level where there are no other potential job markets so they have guaranteed labor.

I'm against affirmative action--somebody brought it up, I'm against it.  I'm for aid based on economic position.

No, you don't get anything good from the bottom of the barrel when you mix it, but that's only because you haven't mixed it in so long.  If we were in the regular habit of stirring the barrel, then the bottom wouldn't accumulate so much gunk.  Also, I haven't read anybody else's posts since Skar's last post (I don't think).
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Renkar

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Re: Seven years later...
« Reply #78 on: September 18, 2008, 03:51:18 PM »
Gorgon-

  I have to disagree with your comments on the Stanford Prison Project.  I will admit that my choice of words were not the best, but I was in a hurry.  I think you are dismissing a very potent theme of that experiment.  If you haven't read The Lucifer Effect by Dr Zimbardo, who conducted the experiment, you should it will open your eyes. 

  Even taking your basic premise that the guards in that experiment acted that way because they were simply role-playing and it shifted there personality, then what does it say about that position that they were assuming?  The position of authority as a guard, the de-humanizing effect that it has on both guard and inmate, the entire relationship that is created, and the dynamic in general will turn ordinary people into monsters.  The prisoners were given numbers instead of names, they were made to where a hospital gown type outfit, stockings on their heads simulated the shaving of their hair, they were de-loused and cleaned before entering the facility all to disorient, de-humanize and remove any trace of individuality.  When one inmate misbehaved they punished the others in order to discourage anyone else from acting up and to cause disunity among the inmates.  It was the combination of all these factors that led to normal, well-balanced and behaved people to commit extraordinarily cruel acts. 
   It is the same process that militaries use to dehumanize the enemy.  That is why the enemy is called charlie, haji, jerry, krout, gook, sand nigger, or what ever other term the person uses.  It is a lot harder to kill someone you view as human with a true name I think than some nameless, featureless face.  I am not saying all soldiers do this, I would not know, perhaps those who have been through it can better explain it, or perhaps I am all wet on this and they don't use such names.  The higher ups used it in Vietnam to dehumanize the enemy and to desensitize the American people to the brutality of it all.  People are much more likely to go along if the victim is nameless, has no other qualities other than some unquenchable hate for America  The German's needed to do it in the concentration camps.  That is why they developed the showers\gas chambers because simply shooting Jews, like they did in the East, was to expensive both in the cost of bullets and the psychological damage to the shooters. 

I think to simply state that the Guards were just fulfilling the role of the guard and that it was the fact that they were given a role to play is why they acted that way is an understatement of the results of that experiment.  But then again I could be wrong, and we all know it would not be the first time.

Miyabi-
  Your post reminded me of the following quote:

      "There is one thing you have got to learn about our movement. Three people are better than no people."

-- Fannie Lou Hamer

« Last Edit: September 18, 2008, 03:54:39 PM by Renkar »

darxbane

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Re: Seven years later...
« Reply #79 on: September 18, 2008, 04:13:13 PM »
Gorgon, you misinterpreted what I said.  I was not complaining about freeloaders, I was complaining about the system creating people who have known no other way of life than that in which they are taken care of.  Generational welfare causes people to lose the ability to take care of themselves.  As sad as it is to say, people will take the easy way out whenever possible, it is in our nature.  Therefore, any style of government that allows this to happen will eventually fail, which is why every Socialist society has eventually morphed into a State-run Government that subjugates its people, controls information, and makes it nearly impossible to change your way of life, as you will get the same stipend as everyone else, no matter what you do to improve yourself.

Anarchy is a farce.  It is a paradox to think that there canbe no rules because that in itself is a rule.  Besides that, it means that, as long as I am stronger, more well equipped, or a better shot than you, I can take what I want because there are no consequences.  An Anarchist society will quickly devolve into a Despotic or Tyrannical dictatorship.

Miyabi - Libertarian Socialism is an oxymoron.  How can you have a society with minimalist government involvement, and at the same time have a society where everyone is ensured total equality, without oversight from a governmental body?  Libertarian philosophy points more towards a pure Democracy than Socialism.

Renkar - If you got your wish, what would you do for a living?  After all, drunk driving would no longer be a crime in an Anarchy, so there would be no need for you to get them out of the charge.  Oh, that's right, there would be no need for money, so you wouldn't have to work anymore.  You could do whatever you wanted, and somehow it would all work out.  If people were this capable of getting along and being honest, there would be no need for lawyers now.  And as for the one experiment you keep mentioning; if you had ever worked in a prison, or known those who have (as I know several) you would realize that most people in prison are not usually the nicest people.  Cleaning and delousing them prevents the spread of disease and parasites.  When you are outnumbered a 100 to 1, you need to win the psychological war in order to stay alive.  If you are suggesting that there shouldn't be prisons, then build a huge fence around your house and let them all live with you.  I'm sure they'll all be model citizens.  After all, criminals are all misunderstood, right?
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Skar

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Re: Seven years later...
« Reply #80 on: September 18, 2008, 05:16:36 PM »
Quote
It is the same process that militaries use to dehumanize the enemy.  That is why the enemy is called charlie, haji, jerry, krout, gook, sand nigger, or what ever other term the person uses.  ...  People are much more likely to go along if the victim is nameless, has no other qualities other than some unquenchable hate for America 

I've been in the military for 11 years and I've served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.  I can't say I I've ever seen any organized campaign to dehumanize the enemy through the use of the sort of words you listed.  There was, in fact, the opposite going on most of the time.  Leadership all the way down to the buck sergeants emphasized and encouraged thinking about the enemy as an actual person for two main reasons.  First, nobody wants brutality or unnecessary killing and it's not just because you might be put on trial for it.  It's simply because nobody wants brutality or unnecessary killing period. Second, the only way to effectively fight an enemy is to have as accurate a picture as possible of them in your head so you can better predict their actions. Thinking about them as one-dimensional America haters will get you outflanked and killed.

That's not to say that we didn't use shorthand terms to refer to the enemy.  But that's essentially what they were, shorthand.  Soldiers think and talk about the enemy all the time and nobody wants to have to say "Taliban Fighter" or "Al Quaeda Operative" or "North Vietnamese Irregular" every time, so it gets shortened to "Terry" or "Charlie" or whatever.

And, again, that's not to say that there isn't hatred directed at the enemy on the battlefield.  It's a natural response to someone trying to kill you.  But there is no institutionalized promulgation of hatred for the enemy.  There is actually the exact opposite.

I've run into the idea that you have to hate a person in order to be able to kill them a lot here in the civilian world.  That simply isn't so from the soldier's point of view.
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GorgonlaVacaTremendo

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Re: Seven years later...
« Reply #81 on: September 18, 2008, 05:48:22 PM »
http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=84518&title=philip-zimbardo

"No, people are not much more evil than they appear on the inside."
"We see how quickly the good boys become brutal guards and the nice boys became pathological prisoners."
"It really is the situation that leads us down the path towards evil."

I have to tell you, it's easy to say power corrupts because of these results.  But that doesn't change the fact that the prisoners simply filled their roles as well.  I also have to tell you that in modern psychology texts and classes, this is taught as a way of showing the power of assumed role.  If you assume the role of a guard (who were told to delouse, etc. the prisoners, although it got out of hand), you will act how you believe a guard is supposed to act.  That leads, of course, to corruption--but it wasn't like the power "went to their heads" or anything.  It was the fact that they were not themselves, they were prisoner 10239 or Prison Guard James, or whatever they may be.  If you watch some interviews with those persons involved in the experiment, I'm practically quoting one of the guards when I say that he wasn't being himself, he was playing a role--and that role required him to act the way he did.  It wasn't the power he was given, it was the role he was filling.

No time to talk to anybody else, that was just a blatant mistake I had to fix.  In fact, I'm late to my personality psychology class (irony, anyone?)
"Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other 'sins' are invented nonsense."
Robert Heinlein

"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little."
Edmund Burke

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Elmandr

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Re: Seven years later...
« Reply #82 on: September 18, 2008, 05:50:42 PM »
http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=84518&title=philip-zimbardo

"No, people are not much more evil than they appear on the inside."
"We see how quickly the good boys become brutal guards and the nice boys became pathological prisoners."
"It really is the situation that leads us down the path towards evil."

I have to tell you, it's easy to say power corrupts because of these results.  But that doesn't change the fact that the prisoners simply filled their roles as well.  I also have to tell you that in modern psychology texts and classes, this is taught as a way of showing the power of assumed role.  If you assume the role of a guard (who were told to delouse, etc. the prisoners, although it got out of hand), you will act how you believe a guard is supposed to act.  That leads, of course, to corruption--but it wasn't like the power "went to their heads" or anything.  It was the fact that they were not themselves, they were prisoner 10239 or Prison Guard James, or whatever they may be.  If you watch some interviews with those persons involved in the experiment, I'm practically quoting one of the guards when I say that he wasn't being himself, he was playing a role--and that role required him to act the way he did.  It wasn't the power he was given, it was the role he was filling.

No time to talk to anybody else, that was just a blatant mistake I had to fix.  In fact, I'm late to my personality psychology class (irony, anyone?)

Power doesn't curropt--it just reveals it.

Like you can't tell the color of a shirt in the dark...the light(power)only shows you.
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Renkar

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Re: Seven years later...
« Reply #83 on: September 18, 2008, 06:09:26 PM »
Darx-

   If I got my wish what would I do?  Well, it depends on what I felt like I wanted to do.  The idea that we can just snap our fingers and tomorrow we can have an Anarchistic society is just not plausible.  We as a species are far too caught up in childish thoughts and ideas and it would all descend into chaos.  But why would it?  Because some people will feel the need to control and rule over other people.  The blood shed that occurs when governments fall are from rival groups of people that wish to dominate the general public, and to deepen their own pockets.  Plus I never said it would be easy, you need to change the paradigms of today's society.  Need to unplug people from the madison ave. induced coma of consumerism, need to show people that democracy is not something that occurs every 4 years.  That supposed democracy of the political is not enough.  We live in a Republic not a democracy.  The system itself is the problem.  Anarchy does not mean chaos and no rules, it does not mean rule of the strongest like some twisted form of Darwinism.  It means the co-operation of humanity to better the lot in life of all humanity.  It means an organized and ordered life determined at the bottom, by the people who must live under those conditions.  It means mutual aid, that by helping my neighbor I am helping myself.

  Please do not just parrot back all the propaganda about Anarchy not working, that the human race would simply stop working and people would be just sit around flinging poop at each other, until someone with a gun came around to take over.  It does not mean that suddenly everyday people like me and you would go on some sort of killing spree because it is not longer against the law.  I don't keep myself from killing people just because there is a law against it.  Laws are pointless, the good people do not need them and the bad ones don't follow them.  I am not saying that we should not do anything about people who do kill or assault or molest others.  I am just saying that the general idea that without laws we will all descend into some dark age murder and rape festival is a little far fetched.  Anarchy does not mean no rules, it means no government, no RULERS, not no rules.  It means that my freedom as a human being on this planet is only as expansive as the freedom you possess and the freedom that everyone else possesses.  It means that I do not wish to be ruled , nor do I wish to rule.  I will paraphrase Edward Abbey here, Anarchism is not some romantic ideal, it is the hard headed realization after 5000 years of human history that we cannot entrust the management of our lives to politicians, kings, priests, generals, or county commissioners.  That hierarchical forms of society are not beneficial to the human species. that only through non-hierarchical, non-coercive decentralized forms of society, based on the federation of voluntary associations can humanity truly be free.  No, it wont happen over night, it wont happen in our lifetime, or even the lifetime of our children, but should we not strive toward that goal.  Should that not be the target at which we aim?

   I know it is hard to imagine a world not based on authority and hierarchy, we haven't had an example of it since the Spanish Civil War in the thirties.  

   I do know many corrections officers, and have been through several prisons in the course of my career, and yes there are definitely some very mean people held within those walls.  There should not be prisons however and a lot of those people have been turned into monsters because of the conditions that they have experienced.  I deal with people that have been in prison, some that have been in prison for some pretty violent things, and the majority of them come from poor backgrounds, from single parent households where education is not a priority, there is a whole host of reasons.  It always pisses me off when I hear politicians say they are tough on crime.  Being tough on crime in today's society means more prisons, more police, more advanced technologies to intrude into peoples lives, more laws with longer terms of prison.  They are treating the symptoms not the causes, and the treatment just makes more criminals and worsens the crimes.  It is all about justifying positions of authority and making money.  It is always more profitable to treat a disease than it is to cure it.  Prisons are not about rehabilitation, they are about simply removing undesirables from the public eye, about punishment and creating more monsters by treating them as sub-humans.  Prisons are like the university of criminal action.  If you truly want to prevent crime, to be hard on crime, educate the people,  work to remove poverty, make sure that the children are raised by a village not by a single mom who never complete much more than an elementary education, has seven or eight kids so that she can be a leech on society, and has no time to truly raise those kids and lets the likes of television and pop culture do it for her.  The answers are not in more prisons, more authority.  We have seen where that leads.  Why is it that over half of young black men in this country have criminal records and will have spent at least sometime in jail or prison?  Is it because they are lawless heathens?  Why do we have more people in prison today per capita than any other first world country?      

Skar-

  Thanks for providing a different point of view.  I agree that as accurate a picture of the enemy as possible is the best way to fight that enemy.  I also agree that when someone is trying to kill you it is a natural response to direct hatred that way.  I don't think that there is an  overt organized campaign to dehumanize the enemy, I think it is ingrained very well into the system, like the man behind the curtain.  It may not be as necessary for the soldier on the ground as it once was with the advent of better ways to kill people from greater distances.  I do believe that it is required though for the population at large and when you draw your soldiers from that field there is some subconscious strand floating around that brain.  Did you ever see that MASH episode with the bomber pilot who finally sees the consequences of his actions while at the 4077?  One of my favorites.  

  I would be interested to hear your thoughts on your boot camp experiences, if you are willing to discuss them.  If you feel it may have changed the way you think in anyway, not in an overt brainwashing  sense of course.  Don't think they are putting people through some Clockwork Orange experiments or anything like that.  What about being immersed in the military culture itself?  I know this is far afield, but I am curious.  I believe people's experiences color their perceptions and that to truly understand something we need to learn to remove the blinders that those experiences have placed over our eyes.  That is the historian in me I guess.  

Gorgon-

  I think we are trying to argue the same thing.  I agree that it was the role they were trying to fulfill that made them act that way.  That the actions of the guards were that of the role the guards thought they must play.  It was the position, not the power that corrupted.  They were only role-playing, yet the experiment got out of hand in under a week.  What about the actual guards in actual prisons.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2008, 06:15:58 PM by Renkar »

darxbane

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Re: Seven years later...
« Reply #84 on: September 18, 2008, 06:44:03 PM »
People have been trying to go that route for centuries, Renkar.  I think your hope of Utopia is noble, but I don't think Anarchy is the right word for it.   A Confederate Democracy sounds more accurate to me, where every individual votes on every single measure in order to decide a course of action.  People could be rotated through a presiding counsel to oversee and certify these votes, and would not be allowed to interpret or amend these votes.  They would also be unable to preside over votes for ideas they themselves bring forward, but would need to wait until the next group came in (I think a 1 month rotation amongst all citizens would be good).  You would also need some way for arbitration to occur.  Even the most generous and forgiving people will have differences every now and again, and won't always be able to resolve it themselves. Finally, you would need to keep these communes small, so that informational spin and anonymity would be minimized.  Each group's only responsibility to the other groups would be to respect the other groups completely.  It would most likely eliminate diversity, as like people would stick together, but it could work, I suppose.  This sounds a lot like the way the Amish already run their community.  They even let their children leave to experience the outside world before becoming permanant members of the group.  They help each other with all construction projects, shun technology, and are complete pacifists. 

I think the point Gorgon is trying to make is that the people playing the guards had pre-conceived notions of what guards should do (with no formal training), and because they weren't actually hurting anyone, began to over-dramatize their roles.  Besides that, it is hardly prudent to guage an entire system on one study.  Their should be several corraborating studies in order to find a more definitive conclusion.
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SarahG

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Re: Seven years later...
« Reply #85 on: September 18, 2008, 06:59:00 PM »
Renkar,
I am a little nervous that a defense attorney and criminal justice instructor in a city near mine is such an ardent anarchist.  How do you reconcile your belief that there should be no law with your oath to uphold the Constitution?
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Renkar

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Re: Seven years later...
« Reply #86 on: September 18, 2008, 08:51:54 PM »
Darx-

   Anarchy is the word for it, but the connotations of the word that have been tied to the word have made it a misunderstood definition.  I don't think you need to have small communities, just a re-organization of the communities from the bottom-up.  People could be parts of many different counsels.  The workers counsel that covers the aspect of work, the neighborhood counsels that covers the local community etc.  Yes people have been trying to go that route for centuries, again I would argue for the whole of human history.  I also am not advocating that technology is a bad thing.  When funneled into creative endeavors  technology can be a liberating vehicle for advancement.  The removal of some of the more monotonous jobs from the work load.  For a really good look at technology and how society is already set up look at Murray Bookchin's work.

SarahG

  How do i reconcile my views with an oath to uphold the constitution being an anarchist is a valid question.  I know it is kinda like an atheist becoming a priest.  One reason why I am not a prosecutor.  Well, I really wasn't much of an anarchist when I first joined the legal world, so it really wasn't much of an issue then.  I was very liberal socially of course, but thought change could come from within the belly of the beast.  In the present however, it has caused me no end of paradoxes and quandaries but, I look at it like this.  The constitution is supposed to be by the people, for the people.  The Declaration of Independence claims all men are created equal, yet we know that in this country we are no where near that standard.  Yes, you can argue that when born the opportunities are the same for everyone in this country, but I feel the reality falls far short of that statement.  I have to have a longer view of things.  The Constitution is much like the Magna Carta, or Hammurabi's code or any other historical document that lays out rights of a group of people or the organization of a government.  The Declaration said it best, that when the chains of government become too overbearing it is the right of the people to cast off that government.  The long and short of it is that by representing people charged with a crime I can make sure that at least there is a minimum amount of protection for the rights of that individual as laid out in the Constitution.  Although I believe that people do not need a piece of paper to grant them rights that they already posses because of simply being born.  Anyway, if they do it the undesirable portion of society now, who is to say that someday in the future you or I may fall under that heading because things have eroded to far and no one is left to voice opposition when they come for me or you.  The idea behind the Constitution is a good one, but has been warped by centuries of special interests and the disconnect of the passage of time.  Many of those ideas I still hold dear and are in line with my philosophies.  The idea that were are equal, that people should have the right to be heard, have the right to speak freely, even if I disagree to my core what they have to say, etc. etc. are all noble ideas that were once thought utopian, much like an America with out the institution of Slavery. Yet they exist today in various states of embattlement by the establishment.  The Constitution is just a road sign on the road to freedom, so I can accept the ideals behind it to some extent and delude myself on the rest.  The fact that it is assumed that these rights are granted us by the government is a very dangerous notion.  It implies that if it is granted it can be taken away.

  As for teaching criminal justice, who better than someone who believes as I.  The majority of those I teach will go on to be police officers, corrections officers etc.  and if I can get just one person to stop and think that perhaps my position is coloring my perspective or that hey I cannot do this search because it is a violation of this individuals rights than I have made a change for the better.  If that student walks away from my class with the idea that perhaps treating everyone like a human being and not a suspect is a better way to go about it then I think I have done my job.  I by no means pontificate about my views to a class.  I save that for message boards ;D       
« Last Edit: September 18, 2008, 09:11:57 PM by Renkar »

Skar

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Re: Seven years later...
« Reply #87 on: September 18, 2008, 09:17:34 PM »
Renkar:
I appreciate your taking the time to explain your ideal plan in detail.  It's a lot less loony than I was afraid it was, especially since you explicitly take the long, multi-generational view.

In the end, I'd love to live in a society like you describe.  My faith, or lack thereof, in the ability of human nature to exercise pragmatism, discipline, and altruism over extended periods is such that I can't ever see it happening though.  The answer to that, as you've already said though, is to change human nature.  Human nature changes  most readily when people are free from worry over the lower levels of Maslows hierachy of needs.  Currently, the vast majority of people in the world live at the bottom level.  The best system we have for bringing prosperity to large numbers of people is capitalism governed by democracy and the rule of law, which is what we're trying to spread, for largely selfish reasons (nods to Gorgon) in a couple of countries in the Middle East right now and elsewhere through less violent manipulations. When the opposition has guns, you'd better have guns too, no matter who you are.

Quote
Thanks for providing a different point ... blinders that those experiences have placed over our eyes.  That is the
historian in me I guess.

My experiences in training and overseas, have in fact changed me; for the better in my opinion.  But I'll get to that in a minute.

I have never liked MASH. It was a ridiculously unrealistic portrayal of a military unit designed to make a political statement about the Vietnam war. (Yes I know it was set in Korea)  To portray a bomber as being surprised and shocked at the havoc his bombs wreak is dishonest and offensive.  They know exactly what they're doing and carry on anyway. Fortunately, they're not asked to knowingly bomb civilians anymore.  From where I stood on the ground they were often annoyingly careful and picky about where/when they would drop precisely because of that knowledge.

As for being willing to talk about my experiences in the military, you bet.  I'll answer any specific questions you care to ask, or pontificate at length if you wish.

The role of experience.  You chose some interesting words in that last paragraph.  I would not have used the word "blinders" to describe the effect of experience.  In my life, experience has been the single greatest cause of mind expansion and eye-opening. You can only come to understand the reality of the world through experience, first hand or vicarious. Colored perceptions is part of that real world, of course, and must be factored in. Thinking and drawing conclusions in the absence of experience, either first hand or vicarious, though, is pure navel gazing and not terribly useful.  

"Skar is the kind of bird who, when you try to kill him with a stone, uses it, and the other bird, to take vengeance on you in a swirling melee of death."

-Fellfrosch

GorgonlaVacaTremendo

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Re: Seven years later...
« Reply #88 on: September 18, 2008, 10:04:50 PM »
On the experience as blinders thing, I think it comes more as we need to understand our experiences are like a sketch of the world.  We can ink our sketch through the experiences of others, and color the picture using our ability to think (often called "rational thought", but I have little faith in how rational it is...).

I know I've been dropping in and out rather sporadically and without time to say anything of meaning, but I'm sure there are those of you who are grateful not to hear much of my ranting right now, anyway.  Gotta go.
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Re: Seven years later...
« Reply #89 on: September 19, 2008, 02:27:04 PM »
My only big issue with your statements, Renkar, is the hidden hippocrisy in them.  You say your job helps grant rights to people accused of crimes.  Are all of them innocent?  I doubt it highly.  Yet you neglect to speak about the rights of those who were impacted by the illegal actions of some of those you defend.  You make it sound like everyone accused of a crime is a victim.  You also don't speak very highly of law enforcement officials.   Of course, you feel they are victims also.  I definitely understand your reasoning.  By blaming the establishment so completely, you remove yourself from the reality that someone you may defend was guilty, and more importantly, mitigate any guilt you may feel if someone you did successfully defend goes back out and commits another crime.  I don't fault you for what you do, your job is absolutely essential, but aren't you playing a bit of a role yourself?  You have so thoroughly convinced yourself that our government and societal structure are the cause of all problems that you remove individual responsibility, yet individual responsibility is the lynchpin that would make or break the type of society you envision.  I have a different view.  I believe everyone needs to take a little more responsibility for their actions.
I wanted to write something profound here, but I couldn't think of anything.