Paul A. Tanner III posted Dec 26, 2012 1:29 AM (GSC's remarks interspersed): > On Mon, Dec 24, 2012 at 11:22 AM, GS Chandy > <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > > Paul A. Tanner III posted Dec 24, 2012 12:52 AM > (GSC's response follows): > >> In reply to my message > >> > >> "Re: Would effective gun control laws be > >> 'unacceptable social engineering'?" > >> > http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7942744 <SNIP> > But what you call nominal democracy can be pretty > damned good, as shown by the Scandinavians - their > governments do not turn their backs on their poor and > homeless, for instance, as the government of the US > does in so many ways and as so many states of the US > do, as well. > Those Scandinavian democracies seem to be, indeed, significantly better in many respects than are the nominal democracies of the USA, of India (and of many other nations). Does "pretty damned good" means they have reached the acme of societal development, that they cannot improve? I must strongly disagree.
I agree that, in general, the Scandinavian 'nominal democracies' have accomplished much that's truly worth aspiring towards - and I'd guess that is mainly because - as claimed by you - they do not 'turn their backs' on sections of their people (as do the 'nominal democracies' of the US, of India, and the like). [This is certainly one important - even essential - advance] > > This defect of the US can be fixed only via what you > call nominal democracy, only by people voting > differently, since only government fix the problems. > Don't think so? Read on. > I agree that it is *neccessary* for people to: a) have the power to vote; and then b) have the wisdom to 'vote differently' - but that is not going to be *sufficient*, I'm afraid.
They also need to keep careful watch, continuingly, on what is done by those they have put 'in charge'. > > All the good that can be done and all the evil that > can be stopped and prevented that I only partly list > throughout all the above is of nominal democracy, > that which comes from enough people voting and voting > for the right people and parties. That's a fact. > Please re-read what you are commenting on. You seem to be a bit confused.
For instance "all the evil" is not likely to be stopped by people voting out the Republicans and voting in the Democrats (in the US, as an instance).
Obama and his Democratic government have not been free of oppressive and undemocratic policies (in particular his policies as they impacted the world outside the USA). Even within the USA, has Obama done what he had promised? I believe not - though of course that would largely have been because he was forced to 'accommodate' regressive views in much that he did.
We need to learn - at a very fundamental level - that democracy can be ensured only by the people keeping continual watch on what is being done: that is the only way that "government OF, FOR and BY the people" can be achieved. (To be able to do that, profound changes are required. Profound changes are unlikely to happen when we continue to think in the same old way that has brought us to our current state of societal development). > > And by the way, what you call true democracy has > never been achieved. > Did I claim it had been? It is something we need to strive towards: "government OF, FOR and BY the people" - it's a long way off, anywhere in the world. Kirby Urner has perceived that the 'Occupy' movements (and other such attempts to enable and ensure democracy) are probably the initial attempts to get there. How effective are they as 'laboratories for democracy'? I do not know.
Over the past 10-12 days, there has been a pretty sizable protest movement on the streets of Delhi (and of many other Indian cities), after the brutal gang-rape of a young paramedical student, mainly to protest against the attitudes of our government and the police to curb crimes against women in India. There are a great many 'elements' in this protest that has the stirrings of *potential true democracy*. However, I do not delude myself that this protest is about to:
a) succeed in curbing crimes against women in India; b) bring about democracy to India.
Much more is required. > >And so, when we see governments > turning their backs on suffering and death caused by > lack of proper food or proper medical care and when > only government via its supreme capability to finance > these things can stop and prevent the vast majority > of such stoppable and preventable suffering and death > and when we see people actually promoting that > government - the only hope to stop and prevent such > suffering and death - should turn its back on such > suffering and death, a proper moral response to all > this must include promoting that government - the > only hope to stop and prevent such suffering and > death - should not turn its back on such suffering > and death and actually do all that it can do - and > that includes obtaining the revenue to make that > happen. > That may begin to happen when the people who 'vote in their leaders' begin to realize that they do have a considerable amount of power over their leaders beyond the 'ballot box power' you are extolling. Check out the OPMS for practical means to: a) educate ourselves what democracy might be; and b) work towards democracy.
It's not just 'theoretical stuff'. One really needs to work on it from ground up, learn what it means to "walk the talk" - a fine phrase that is usually only a phrase. > > That government can obtain such revenue to finance > such things as the above is proved in my post > > "Re: Would effective gun control laws be > 'unacceptable social engineering'?" > http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7943469 > > in which I prove that under fiat money based > currency, government has the power to finance > anything it chooses to finance, period. > You're wrong: you have actually NOT proved anything of the sort!
Government has the "power to finance 'anything' it chooses to finance" ONLY subject to very stringent limitations - as is indicated by the current danger of the US falling off a 'fiscal cliff' in just a few days from now. > > What, the US government via the central bank of the > US can afford to create 25 TRILLION dollars in an > instant and lend it interest free to the rich of the > world, and it can afford to finance two wars off the > books to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars > per year, but it cannot afford to finance the health > care needed to stop and prevent the suffering and > death of its homeless and all others also suffering > and dying caused by lack health care? BS! > Our societal systems are screwed up, for sure. It all has to be rectified from ground up.
Voting in Obama has not done it for the USA.
Simply voting in even a 'super-Obama' (if such a leader ever comes to be) will not do that either. We really need to 'understand systems' from the ground up. Check out the OPMS approach: to check it out demands a fair amount of work. You may like to try out the approach on some - ANY - current Mission of yours.
Suggestion: +++ For instance, you might try something like the following:
1. GSC disagrees strongly with me (though on general philosophical and ethical grounds he seems to agree with a great many of my deepest beliefs).
2. How then to convince him that I am right and he is wrong?
Answer: Work out an OPMS for the purpose.
(Take a look at "Deep Logic", herewith attached - but do please see it as representing something more than can EVER be represented by 'prose') +++ > > I know that you do not promote that government ought > to turn its back on the stoppable and preventable > suffering and death of those over whom it governs, > but since there are many who do: > > On this Christmas day I claim that the word for the > idea that government ought to turn its back on the > stoppable and preventable suffering and death of > those over whom it governs when it is a fact that > only government can stop and prevent the vast > majority of this stoppable and preventable suffering > and death and when it is a fact that government has > the the capability to stop and prevent all of this > stoppable and preventable suffering and death is > this: Evil. > The theoretical discussion of evil is futile. What may (perhaps) help us is to re-develop the way we think out our issues of democracy and governance. [It is possible that we are just a few decades too late for any real societal changes to be made].