What I'm Hoping For

There was a bad streak there in the pit where I said some rather radical things. It wasn’t in the intention of debate, but rather arguing for the sake of arguing. They turned into debates however, and I ended up defending views that I didn’t really have. So now I figure, I’ll just state a shortened form of what I really do think, and you guys can debate me on that.

I’ve been thinking about things, and my views have changed somewhat.

I don’t believe in a “nanny government”. I don’t think we should help those who don’t want to be helped. But I think there should always be a helping hand offered. A safety net, so nobody falls through the cracks.

I don’t believe that socialism is necessarily the way to go. I think there’s many ways to go. The main difference between socialism and capatalism is in the possibilities available. For instance, it’s easier to get rich in America than Sweden. You probably aren’t going to get rich in Sweden by just working hard. However, you don’t have to worry about a place to live. Or food to eat. Your necessities will be provided for. IMO, that’s more important than the alternative.

I think ideal government would be a socialism-capitalism hybrid, if such a thing is possible. And I think it is. And I think we’re heading towards it already. A government where you can be rich, but you don’t have to worry about being too poor. Of course, that’s just my ideal government.

I also think there should be a world government. I think it should be like the United Nations, but more powerful. I don’t think America, or any other country should have it’s own military. It would be much simpler, more effective, and probably cheaper, if we put all of our defense spending into the United Nations. A world governemnt could stop wars. With a world government, you don’t have to worry about being bombed. With a world government, we can be sure the holocaust will never happen again.

I mean, we can stop the wars, if we just tried. It would cost a lot at first to stop the fighting, and get the countries under control. But once that control is put in place, it becomes much cheaper after that. We have to stop the the wars between India and Pakistan, and Serbia and Kosavo, and all those other beggar countries beating eachother with their crutches (stolen metaphor, though I’m not sure where from). There has to be more money given to NATO. We just can’t allow that shit to continue.

In closing, I don’t think utopia is possible, but it’s a good ideal to aim for. The problem is, everybody’s idea of utopia is different. But there are some things we can all agree on. And I can only imagine what the people of this world could do if they worked together, instead of against eachother.

Of course, that’s just my opinion. You could be wrong.

Okay, this is kind of nitpicky, but I think it’s a valid point to bring up.

A socialism-capitalism hybrid is what we already have. The U.S. stopped being a free-market society in the late 19th century with the advent of the Populist movement, and the intrustion of government into the market (through the Food and Drug Administration, laws prohibiting child labor, busting trusts and monopolies, limiting the work hour to forty weeks, etc.). So what you’re really discussing (IMHO) is less the US becoming a “socialism-capitalism hybrid” and more “the US moving further towards the socialist spectrum in the socialism-capitalism hybrid”.

Question- how poor is ‘too poor’? As many others will probably point out, the standard of poverty here in the US is still better than the standard of living for over 60% of the world’s population.

Just as, when the original 13 states formed the United States, they never needed again worry about internal wars. Oops. Forgot about that entire secessionist thing and the hundreds of thousands of deaths in that…

And when the world government totals up the votes and realizes that the Arabs outnumber the Israelis, why should the world government care what happens to Jews? We consider it exceptional in the U.S. when a politician is willing to defy a major voting block to do what he/she feels is ‘right’; why should we expect the politicians in a world government to act any differently?

As for the ideal of a world government- personally, I’m a local rightsist (more accurate and less loaded with negative connotations than ‘state’s rightsist’). The larger a government gets in compass, the worse it becomes at dealin with details. While there may be underlying similarities and causes, the reasons for- and the solutions to deal with- poverty in Minnesota are not the same as for poverty in Mississippi. But generally, when trying to deal with problems at a Federal level, the response is to treat the problems as if they were the same. (“Hey, it’s poverty, right? What could be different?”)

As you pull back into a World government, those problems just excaberate themselves. Do you really think that a policy that works for Sweden will necessarily work the same magic in the U.S., with the different cultures, social make-ups, and expectations for life? How about a policy that covers both China and Sierra Leone?

Therefore, IMHO, while a world government is a good idea, a weak world government is a better idea, with power increasing as you go further down the chain. (Tangential personal opinion: Many of the problems in today’s political arena are caused by the pervasive opinion that every cause must be placed upon the national agenda, rather than properly left in the hands of states or local government. Eventually, we’ll have the Senate debating over whether there really should be a streetlight on the corner of 3rd and Elm in Tupalong, Ohio.)

I agree with you; the U.S. does have a moral imperative to try and make the world a more peaceful place.

The realistic problem here, though, is trying to explain to Joe Sixpack why his son just had both of his legs blown off in Kosovo in order to stop the current fighting between ethnic groups that have been fighting for two thousand years and show no interest in giving up.

This is a very broad subject; it might be best to define some boundaries before this goes too far.

But …

I’m working on a more complete reply, but this comment deserves a quick response right now.

No, there is nothing everyone can agree on. History proves this. Hell, some people believe the Earth is hollow. If we can’t all agree on a simple physical thing like that, how in the world are we all to come to consensus on anything philosophical.

Well, I think we can all agree that our innocent loved ones shouldn’t die. We just have different ideas of who’s innocent and who’s loved.

I just think we’re all following different paths towards the same basic goal.

John Corrado said:

At what level or with which entity do you personally think power should be most concentrated? Or you talking about the concept of city-states?

Yes and no. I did say we’re moving in the right direction. But I do think this country still values the management over the worker.

Yes, but we can do better. And that’s the only reason we should need.

Good point, and well taken.

Okay, it’s true that we have extremists and divisions in our government. But so far no one has proposed that we nuke Texas. Usually what happens is that the two extreme sides balance eachother out in a rational middle.

True, that’s why I think we should make a United Nations that reflects the United States. We put all of our defense and protection money into the same pocket, but the rights vary from state to state. I think we should have an exaggerated version of this as a world government. Sweden would be socialist, while another country would be more capitalist. But there would be some rules that all countries follow. Certain needs that are always provided for. And certain rights that are always given. Like, no capital punishment.

And if the welfare of each country was basically taken care of, we could open the borders. If someone prefers socialism to capitalism, they can easily move to a country where socialism is prevalent. Or they can try their luck with capitalism. Or, if you think marijuana should be legal, you can easily move someplace else if you’re own country isn’t too keen on the idea. In a world government such as the one I’m proposing, you would actually have more rights than you do now. Since everybody has different ideas of what our rights are.

This is and always has been a painful truth. Any cause worth fighting for will have it’s consequences. But at least it’s a cause worth fighting for.

I hate to do this, since it’s probably completely off-topic, but again I can’t let this go by.

Have you never heard of Heavensgate, or Jonestown, or any of the African suicide cults? All these instances of mass suicide/murder are examples of people sacrificing their loved ones.

I’m done hi-jacking now. I’ll try to stay on topic.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Ya just couldn’t make it easy for me, could ya?

Point conceded. But keep in mind that my basic point is the same, though worded wrong. We all want what’s best for our loved ones. We just have different ideas of what’s best for them. Those people, as crazy as they might have been, probably felt that they were doing the right thing.

It depends on what you mean by death. If you mean cellular decay, then it is a sacrifice. But that sort of “death” isn’t particularly meaningful.

Wow, Lib, were you on the Board of Director’s at Heavensgate? :wink:

Oops! Let me help you out, Lib; the current theological debate is over here (except for one strange geometry post…) (BTW, it would be a line segment, not an infinite line).

Don’t make me get all choleric on ya…

Board of Directors? Lib’s on the comet! But, hey – what exactly is the dif between socialism and marxism anyway? Someone said the U.S. is semi-socialist, but I can’t think of many state owned enterprises that aren’t the expected areas that states are usually into (military for example). I don’t think labor laws are particularly socialist – but if the government were to nationalize all the mining ops to prevent child labor, that would be. Comments?

That’s the difference between communism and socialism. Socialism is mainly just more sympathetic to the worker than the manager (though I may have to ask oldscratch about that). Of course, there are many different schools of thought on socialism. But communism is the division of socialism that believes the government should have totalitarian ownership of everything.

Though I can’t claim to have a real clear idea of how communism and socialism work, but I think that’s the gist of it.

No, I was not.

No, it would not appear as a line segment because there would never be a time, during its traversal, that the sphere would appear as a point, the way a line segment would when Mr. Flatlander rounded either end.

Sorry to interrupt, but what in the bleeding hell are you guys talking about?


The United Nations allows nations like China and the former USSR into their ranks. That shows me that all their talking about human rights has very little meaning. I certainly don’t think this kind of group needs more power.


I wouldn’t trust foreign soldiers on US soil without a good reason. In fact if any foreign soldier arrived for a “peace keeping” mission I would feel completely justified in taking up arms. I would consider them invaders. Why would I trust a military that the US government has no direct control of?


That’s simply not true of course. You will still have countries such as China that will form their own internal policies. A one world government isn’t some magical wand that will change human nature.


We could. But personally I’m not willing to enlist in the military and risk getting killed for some guy in Somolia or Kosovo. The personal risk to my life and limb just isn’t worth it.


A lot of these beggar countries are hostile when foreigners intrude. If two sides want to fight it is very difficult to make them stop.


FreakFreely, I see you found your way to GD. Surprising, but since you’re here:

Well, it is true that not “all borders are open”, but with the limited possibilities that do exist, I think the US (with all it’s faults) has quite a long waiting list of folks trying to enter. I do not have numbers comparing immigration into the US vs. Socialist countries, but I would bet it’s considerably higher. Also, I would love to see a comparison of the number of immigrants accepted into the US vs. Socialist countries of, say, Europe. Again, I venture to guess (sorry for all this guessing in GD, but your OP was little more than ‘feeling’ anyway, no facts presented) that the US probably has many more immigrants coming in from poorer nations (nations with lower standard of living for the average person).

So the point you try to make here is that a World Government, and to your thinking a more Socialist Government, would be more humane to more people. I counter with the experiences to date, specifically in the Capitalist US (what’s left of it) of today and the Socialist nations, the US seems to be preferable, and why would anyone prefer a less humane/more harsh place? I know this country has seen it’s share of suffering and injustice, but if we can have a society that is both free and lawful, it’s going to be hard to beat.

I will not argue that Socialism stands for a better safety net, but this is only important if the Society prospers overall - if the country is bankrupt, all their good intentions are worth nothing.


Y’know, if you’re holding down the ALT key (say, because your boss is prowling around and you want to switch back to the spreadsheet you were working on so that he doesn’t realize you’re goofing off) and you accidentally hit the Space Bar (which just happens to be next to the ALT key), the point-by-point discussion you’ve been working upon suddenly disappears, gone forever?

Okay, let me skip the point-by-point and just go to a general discussion, then.

Freak- I think you and I both have similar goals in what we hope to see the human society evolve into- namely, a semi-syndicalist organization unified by a right to disagree; where the phrase, “My country, love it or leave it” is not so much a threat so much as a viable stated option.

I think where you and I disagree- and this disagreement may exist only within my mind, so feel free to correct me- is in the viability of such a society. Personally, I don’t feel that such an organization is feasible until more people come to embrace the basic idea that a basic sense of decency is to be afforded to all humans, not merely the humans of your country/socio-economic status/skin color/neighborhood. I think I can see the shining city on the hill off in the horizon with the advent of the Internet and the fostering of a true community based upon intellect, desires, and basic humanity- assuming we don’t nuke each other to oblivion first just out of pure frustration at some loser using that goddamned AlTeRnAtInG CaPs as a style statement again.

So- and again, correct me if I’m wrong- while you’re saying, “We should be doing this”, I’m saying, “I think it’ll be great when we get to a point where it’s feasible to do this, but we ain’t there yet.”
As for what more we can do to relieve the plight of the poor in our country- again, I agree with you that more can always be done. What I disagree with you in is what instrementation should be used to do such things. I do not believe that government-mandated wealth distribution is the way to go; I consider it inefficient, ineffective, and a vessel of stagnation rather than productivity. However, I expect that UncleBeer’s post will focus more upon that point than I ever could.

If you believe in that sort of thing. Which many people don’t. I certainly don’t see many people who do leaping in front of buses to dispense with their atoms.

Oy vey. Give them forty threads to argue the tenets and merits of athiesm and Christianity, and still they want more.