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Does human nature inevitably doom all free societies?

 
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 9581681
United States
11/22/2012 09:16 AM
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Re: Does human nature inevitably doom all free societies?
Rationally, calculations point to our demise. And yet, I don't feel like attacking my fellow humans. Perhaps the spiritual side of ourselves will save us from destruction, particularly if we get leaders willing to appeal to the best in us and willing to offer meaningful reasons for our co-existence and cooperation as a species.
s. d. butler

User ID: 974819
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11/22/2012 11:58 AM
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Re: Does human nature inevitably doom all free societies?
I think the best way to protect against abuse from human nature is simply to acknowledge it. Many talk of unity nowadays and I think human nature is something that can be used to promote global tolerance and also to try and prevent bad stuff from happening in the future. I think anyone can possibly abuse power, but the best solution is to have the absolute best and brightest people at the helm. Just have to ask.... who can deliver positive things for humanity AND be at the top simultaneously? And who requires evil to remain at the top? It's like Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan or something. One had to knee cap the other to be the "best" and one didn't. Some have to resort to certain measures to make it to the top and some can be more honorable.

So we should shoot for the best to be our leaders and the best way to do that is to ask these people to present to us what their vision for the future actually is and a plan to get there. We always hear talk of budgets and taxes, and regulations, etc. and those are certainly valid, but they are almost always absent some context. If a person presented a vision for our future and then said we need these taxes, regulations, etc. to get there I think that would be refreshing for once instead of simply arguing about them in the abstract.

It seems to be a pure govt. vs. private sector struggle without any real direction other than who pulls the levers of power (private sector vs. govt.). But actually in practice it doesn't event matter because the elites are masters at using both govt. and corporations to advance their agenda. The only way we'll change the agenda and our future is by deciding what we want that future to be and then tailoring how our society works to achieve that. If we instead argue about tax rates and govt. size and such in the abstract, absent any real vision for the future then the agenda doesn't ever really change and we'll all probably lose out. The life extension tech and space ships, etc. will be only for the elite. If we address the agenda directly and ask for our future to look a certain way, that would be more useful.

Just think... If we vote for small govt. the elite will lever their corporate muscle. Vote for big govt., the elite will install their politicians to continue the agenda. If you want the agenda to change you have to confront it head on and install the best people who will be least likely to abuse power simply because they won't have to due to their skill set.

Having a vision for the future also helps us to ensure that power isn't abused. If a leader were to lay out a plan, then we could check the progress towards those goals from time to time and see whether or not they are being truthful to us about what they're trying to achieve. But now, we are meandering with no presented vision and so it is tough to gauge the intentions of our leaders because we can't check their actions with the world they say they want to create, because they don't tell us about that world. We need more meaningful leadership and more talented people at the helm and people who aren't afraid to set big goals and provide leadership. Yes, there will be some little people and morons who won't want it and will turn away, but they don't matter in the end, so we shouldn't feel compelled to sink to their level.

I think most will get it though. Everyone always says it's amazing how people will come together against a common enemy. But I think also for big goals you'd get the same thing. As long as the goals are real. Phony man made climate change or domestic extremism are the cynical power grab faux problems of the past. We need something real these days. It's at least worth a try. And then we wouldn't have to hear all about unity and such all the time absent any real meaningful thing to actually unite behind. Find some big goals, provide strong and transparent leadership and most people will come along. People need to be part of something greater than themselves. It's also a part of our human nature. The vision and the leadership are simply missing.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 9581681


Flawed. Psychopaths will always be the best fit to present themselves to the masses as the right people.
 Quoting: Manu-Koelbren


Not to mention that I don't need or want a "leader". I can't be alone in this. Let those who want to be led have their "leader" and leave the rest of us alone.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Any power corrupts. "Checking" on "visions" will work about as good as trusting a coyote to guard the chickens.

Or about as good as being bound by "the chains of the Constitution". The Constitution and separation of powers hasn't worked as a check on psychopathic gubmint either.

This idea of the"best and brightest" to rule goes back at least to Aristotle. It doesn't work either. Even if you could somehow weed out the psychopaths.

McNamara was a "best and brightest" and he got a few million people killed and maimed. And that is just one of thousands of examples of a "best and brightest" self appointed or otherwise.

The best way forward is freedom and people will do the rest. Not central planning,not some flawed "leader" or group, and not some massive stupid bureaucracy.
 Quoting: s. d. butler


Well, then if your nihilist world view is carried out you will be destroyed by those wielding powers you never could via technology. Perhaps we should just kill everyone with bombs and robots right now and you can be put out of your misery? You obviously have no hope for the future and no will to fight through human nature to try and make things actually work. It's in people's nature to organize in groups. It just depends which groups. I'm a loner, but I still have groups that I loosely belong too. I don't like the dogma that may be tied to such groups, but the loose affiliations and tribalisms that we all have are a part of being human. Whether or not you want those affiliations to be formalized in some leadership structure or another is a different matter, but people are tribal and leadership presents itself one way or another, even if it is informal and not backed by force. I'm not calling for global communism. But if we are all Americans or all humans or whatever and want a stake in the future and not simply to be run over by technology, then we have to address that head on and demand that technology be used in whatever ways we want. It may not always work that way, but it's worth a try.

You seem very nihilist in govt., but don't big corporations run govt. to some degree and are also capable of power abuse? Don't the same elitists wield power in both areas? I'm pretty sure that if the govt. was dissolved, the agenda would just continue and be continued by the corporations. That's why I'm saying you have to address the agenda head on. The govt. could be a check against corporate power and vice versa. That would be useful, but we don't have that now, and it gives the govt. a bad name. We also don't have useful leaders and that gives leadership a bad name cause we get jaded that everyone trying to lead is a liar and con man. Physical therapists lead their patients back to health. Coaches lead their teams to victory. The spiritual side of life sometimes demands leadership, even if it's pretty informal and non binding. It's cause those tribalisms in us all exist even if we don't want them to and demand to be quenched with some sense of purpose from time to time... a purpose greater than ourselves. We just have to choose wisely about who our leaders should be and be careful not to give any leader too much power or abandon our own individuality too much.

I think that if you want a stake in the future you have to demand it directly. You're putting ideology before what the future should actually look like. Strict ideological futures of no govt. or all govt. equal the same thing cause the agenda will be unchanged. Ideology is part of the puzzle but the elite have mastered playing both sides, rendering a purely ideological debate about govt. versus corporate power almost irrelevant cause they control both.

Human nature is a dark thing but it's acknowledgement could possibly save us. I've always believed that certain religious people and perhaps some statists have been so violent over history because they project evil onto others strictly. They don't scknowledge its existence within themselves and purge it in a healthy fashion, so it comes out somewhat uncontrollably and to the detriment of others. We have to get over perception and embrace reality. Some people will look evil cause of their habits or the way they look or their dark senses of humor, but perhaps they are just quenching their dark side in a healthy fashion. Meanwhile those that are all smiles might be the ones that would stab us in the back. Coming to terms with our duality as humans helps bring us all together and could actually help lead us to rise above the darker aspects of our humanity and be better. You seem to see it as a sure sign of our demise as a species. We'll see, I guess.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 9581681


nihilists believe in nothing. I believe that the best way for humanity to progress is freedom and liberty. This doesn't preclude groups or tribes or anything else. This is called freedom of association.

I said nothing about the "demise of the species" and in fact believe there is a bright future. Technology is freeing us from the lumbering centralized nation state bureaucracies posing as our masters. Of course they won't give up power without a fight. But they are on their way out whether they want to or not.

I would appreciate it if you didn't make unfounded accusations of what I have written. I don't think I said what you seem to think I said.

This view aligns with my own.

[link to strike-the-root.com]


Conclusion so far: humans are not evil, tales of serpent and apple notwithstanding.

Evil certainly gets done, however, so clearly we have the capacity for evildoing, and I've suggested from the case of the Bolsheviks that evil may be activated when a person acquires power over others. That's not to say it always is so activated, for many times such power is possessed and no harm is done; for example, a parent wholly controls his young child, yet very seldom hurts him. So the condition of having power over someone is necessary for evil to happen, but not sufficient. Another ingredient is needed: malice.

Goodness, however, prevails almost everywhere we look. Almost anyone we encounter, casually or more closely, exhibits kindly or at least harmless behavior towards us, in their capacity as individuals. It's as if they instinctively know that our company has some value to them, at once or potentially, hence courtesy is appropriate – just as it will be in a free society. Only when someone acts in his capacity as a criminal or government officer (forgive the redundancy) is that benevolence replaced by menace. I've encountered IRS agents, for example, who are perfectly sociable in the normal courtesies of life before discussion about taxes begins, but who then become sinister and malevolent. It's the mantle of power that introduces the evil – that takes over an intrinsically good person.


Updated conclusion so far: mankind is intrinsically good, until handed power over others.

Last Edited by s. d. butler on 11/22/2012 01:29 PM
s. d. butler

User ID: 974819
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11/22/2012 12:09 PM
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Re: Does human nature inevitably doom all free societies?
and what society has ever truly been free?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 25196431


Obviously in order to have a society you need a degree of structure to ensure civility and law and order,but having said that as long as you`re not endangering others and contributing to the greater good,you should be able to do anything you like,when you like, without being crushed under govt, controls.
 Quoting: objective viewer


Typical human response. By doing something such as sexual promiscuity with many partners, be it bisexual or transexual, which has resulted in rampant STD transmission in society and AIDS, for instance, is this not "endangering others"? Your human logic is fatally flawed! Its Lucifer's libertarian logic! "Do what thou will..."!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 27683610


I see that you need to be told how to conduct your own life. And that is fine, just leave those of us who are self owners out of your ideas.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 28261590
Brazil
11/22/2012 12:56 PM
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Re: Does human nature inevitably doom all free societies?
Cosmic Awareness says that in 2012 Earth will split in two planets: A and B.

Planet A will be where the ascenciontards will all go to. The New Golden Age Earth.

Planet B where all these psycopaths will have slaves to fuck up with the help of the always mercenary police force.

Like in that Paolo Pasolini's movie: Salo and the 120 days of Sodom.

Think that it will be like this.

And it will be!

PLEASE! We must gather numbers!

That is WHY they divide us.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 5359980
United States
11/22/2012 09:38 PM
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Re: Does human nature inevitably doom all free societies?
and what society has ever truly been free?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 25196431


Obviously in order to have a society you need a degree of structure to ensure civility and law and order,but having said that as long as you`re not endangering others and contributing to the greater good,you should be able to do anything you like,when you like, without being crushed under govt, controls.
 Quoting: objective viewer


Typical human response. By doing something such as sexual promiscuity with many partners, be it bisexual or transexual, which has resulted in rampant STD transmission in society and AIDS, for instance, is this not "endangering others"? Your human logic is fatally flawed! Its Lucifer's libertarian logic! "Do what thou will..."!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 27683610

.People are a witches brew of different things that make up who they are.The chemical balances in there brains, things they`ve experienced, and outside influences.Assuming one doesn`t want a regimented society to control peoples behavior the only answer is to instill strong morals and values in people so the urge to do wrong is rejected autonomously without a need for big brother.
Religion has often been the catalyst in maintaining honorable behavior in people,of course for many this doesn`t deter there anti social behavior.People are impressionable-big time,and a predetermined set of values(agreed upon by the whole)need to be strongly instilled in children during there most impressionable years.The years 1-6 have been found to form the majority of peoples sub-conscious minds,this is where there tendencies to do or not to do certain actions come from.Look,people are flawed and there`s no easy answer,and even the best ideas are not going to be 100% successful, but you do what you can. PS- Are you not human?
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 9581681
United States
11/23/2012 08:36 AM
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Re: Does human nature inevitably doom all free societies?
I think we'll be alright in the end. I think technology will be willingly handed over to those with character that won't simply turn around and stab the makers in the back with it. If I were an advanced being like in the movie Prometheus, I'd want to share what I had so that I wouldn't have to be the only one with the powers, and so then I'd have others to help make new things, but I'd want to choose somewhat wisely and pick those I could trust. Guess it's like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory, where he weeds out the brats and gives the info and factory to the deserving person.... something like that. So, the future looks pretty bright. Living things will survive probably forever in some way. Spiritually everyone will come together. And then there will still be jostling for position within groups I suppose, but you won't see mortal combat or enslavement attempts of others. There would be no point to that.

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