Mitch SMith


This conversation is closed.

Is "the state" our enemy?

I am seeing a growing trend of antipathy towards "the state".

This is coming from all sides of political discourse. But Mostly, none of it is qualified by what this "state" is.

I find that confusing.
I assumed that "the state" was a collection of "us" and that the "democracy" we support is simply a process of having representatives make laws which we agree to obey ..

SO .. let's have a look!

Is our state antithetical to our own agreement?

Please let me know what you think the "state" is and why it is your enemy?

If we can get some kind of understanding for that, then we might be able to advise our representatives. We vote for them after all .. is that just "entertainment"? Or is it real?

Closing Statement from Mitch SMith

Many thanks for those who contributed here!
The discussion has been quite inspiring.

Is "the state" our enemy?

I conclude that if we are part of the definition of the state, it cannot be our enemy.
However, if we are excluded from that definition, it could very well be our enemy.

If you observe that the state is separate from you, then you must decide:
1. if you need to defend yourself against it.
2. If you should negotiate an allegence with it.
3. If you should join with it.
4. If you should attack it.
5. If you should create another state which includes you in its definition.

I would suspect that a state will resist attempts by outsiders to change it - this is the same as an attack and will be dealt with accordingly.

I will point out that western "democracies" have included the mechanism of electoral terms. If such terms were treated as an opportunity to dissolve and re-form a state, then inclusion would be the first principle.

Is the Western state our enemy? No - the enemy lies in the political parties who have corrupted the power of the electoral term - this is where the enemy should be met.

  • Jan 29 2013: As a US citizen I think of the US government as "The State." That being said I think it is my enemy because it actively pursues courses of action that I consider to be very wrong and that are directly harmful to my life and my liberty. I have a long list of examples so I'll only hit a few off the top of the list; the Patriot Act, NDAA, murdering children with drone strikes and involuntary programs such as Obama care and social security.
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    Jan 29 2013: We Yanks have a particular amendment to our Constitution which states: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." It is the violation of this 10th Amendment which generates tension (two or more forces acting in opposing directions) between the People and the Government. We voters decide who gets to "serve us" in office at the city, county, state and federal levels. There seems to be a universal desire on the part of those who get into office to expand their influence and power. When they overreach their rightful authority they appear to be not exactly our friends, and in many cases they appear to be an enemy.
  • Todd G

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    Feb 1 2013: Sometimes the words 'State' and 'Government' are used interchangeably. As far as I see it the government does not have the interest of the people in mind. The government is just people who can be bought out by the highest bidder. On the whole most laws passed are to benefit certain entities at the expense of others. It seems to me that the government is a collection of sociopathic people who somehow convince people to vote them into office. It is debt money that is everyone's enemy. The system it creates causes most of the problems we see in society and in government.
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      Feb 1 2013: So .. the "state" does not have your agreement?

      And laws are being passed that damage you?

      Can you be more specific? Which laws are hurting you?

      Can you explain how debt-money is destructive?

      I am not trolling you here - I am asking you to understand your own complaint.
      This is what is needed - specifics. Actual reality of case. I am in no doubt that these things exist - but without nailing the detail - the devil will continue to live in it.

      Does that make sense?
      • Todd G

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        Feb 2 2013: No it doesn't have my agreement. , I want to just be left alone to live my life. I don't want 'The State' in every aspect of my life.

        This isn't something that effects me here but as an example in many places in the country and in the world government has made it illegal to acquire a necessity of life in favor of you paying a private or government owned utility. In some places you can not even capture the rain that falls on your own roof and use it to drink shower or water your lawn. Demanding people purchase what is a necessity of life when it is freely available to them is downright wrong. It is even more wrong when where they are required to get their water from a depleting reservoir in the next state.

        Eminent domain is consistently abused. People are often evicted from their own land for private projects that are clearly not in the best interests of the people in the community but are for the profit of friends of city councils.

        Resources are taken from under peoples homes without compensation and water supplies contaminated for the sake of corporate interest and profit. As an example battles over the fracking industry are occurring right now in my country. The residents generally lose because they do not have the financial resources of a large corporation.

        Communities taxes are put into privately own real estate projects (arena's and stadiums) claiming they will bring profit to the city despite people fighting against it. If the city doesn't own it the people shouldn't have to pay for it.

        Oil and gas always win over solar, wind and hydro because they have the most lobbyist dollars.

        Government is rarely about doing what is best for people and mostly about who can bring the most profit.
      • Todd G

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        Feb 2 2013: Retired people on fixed incomes have had leins put against their properties, fined or forced to move because they could not afford to hook up to sewer lines and pay sewer fees despite the fact that they had perfectly working septic systems.

        The health care industry in many places is more about profit for insurance and pharmaceutical companies than it is for actually making people healthy. Having people sick is a big business.

        One could spend days finding examples of how government harms people.

        So, Debt based money. Debt based money and privately owned central banks are the biggest scam ever. One day in the US in the early 20th century a bunch of private bankers managed to get congress to pass the Federal reserve act.. It created a central bank that would print money and LOAN it to the government, thus making all the citizens of the nation indebted to that bank. Up until that point there were no federal taxes, money was 100% backed by real commodities and the government produced it's own money. On that day the country no longer belonged to the citizens but was sold off to banks.

        Many other nations also created central banks and/or pegged their currency against the dollar. As time went on the backing for money was removed until we get to today where there is nothing backing the currency but debt itself. The money is being printed into oblivion by the banks, and the nations are becoming increasingly indebted to the central banks (who provide NOTHING of real value). The value of the money is almost 95% what it was worth in 1913.Currency that people have looses value every day essentially making them poorer. Since entire nations are now indebted to central banks they begin imposing austerity measures on their citizenry. Governments and their relationship to the monetary system is absolute insanity that harms everyone except those who own the banks. .
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          Feb 3 2013: Hi Todd,

          Yes - I heard of the case concerning the roof water.
          But, I did not look up the legislation which was applied. Nor did I look up the court case record. Just like you, I got the broadcast of a polarising story. This could be entirely fictitious - without checking, I cannot say it without propogating what might actually be a lie.
          In my experience, the media distills false emotive responses out of complex situations. The media consuming public are too busy or too lazy to check - our bell gets rung, our righteous indignation rises and off we go into battle - all without checking the facts. This is how good intelligent people are sent off to die in wars for lies.
          Matters of balance are problematical - we all rush from one extreme to the other for the lack of that one specific detail which has been ommitted - the one which calls for discression and balance.
          It is very likely that governmental regulation will over-shoot .. it is a very blunt instrument.
          My main problem with governments (apart from them becoming voracious self-serving parasites) is that they are assumed to be permanent.
          The founding fathers of our "democratic" nations knew this was a problem - which is why we have electoral terms - our governments were never meant to be permanent. A thing which is permanent will fight to defend its permanence at all cost.
          On top of that, a permanent thing becomes mal-adapted - life moves on, and the world changes. Things that were OK in small towns and farming communities are not OK in massive cities and industrial scale resource processing. Our old institutions are obsolete, and need re-making - just as our ancestors knew they would.
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          Feb 3 2013: Currency works OK in a free market without usury, but the market is not free and usury is rife. A fiat currency is incapable of tracking current value .. some value is current, some has been consumed, and some is yet to be. When there is usury all money comes home to the usurer - along with the value it represents.
          There is no crisis in current value - if we are alive, there is enough value for us to be alive. If there is insufficient current value, we die. About 2 billion people are dying of starvation, but another 2 billion throw half their food away. The problem with money is that it can be hoarded while real value cannot be hoarded. This prevents it from tracking value expiry(consumption) and concentrates wealth which drained from the economy. The incentive to create new value is removed from the hoarder who then becomes an endless drain on value.
          Future value is credit. It is based on trust and reasonable expectations. If such promises against the future go unbridled by reasonable expectation, the people are committed to promises that none can aquit - trust must collapse. When trust collapses, there is no government, there is no community.
          We become tribes.
          Without institution, the tribe is as much as we can trust.
      • Todd G

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        Feb 4 2013: Essentially what I was speaking of are called "Water rights laws". You can do a search for it if you need specific laws. Basically it gives the first entity to access the water supply rights over that water which includes all tributaries, streams and runoff leading to that water source. The laws were initially created to prevent people's streams from being dried up from someone upstream but it has harmed the individual by scaling up to include huge reservoirs run by private or government water authorities, So essentially ALL rain belongs to some entity. The interpretation and enforcement of these laws is sometimes taken too far in spite of common sense. To require an individual to pay for the right to collect rain is ludicrous. To be fair, since the Western US has been having water problems and these issues are becoming more common, the laws are starting to be changed. Government has become too bloated, slow and abused by those with the ability to abuse it. It can not adapt to change fast enough and as a result tries to pigeonhole new problems into old laws.

        The entire structure of government need to change. Monetary interests need to be taken out of the equation entirely, people need to be considered first and decisions need to be made based on logic, research and science, not by votes of people who have no expertise or collect money from those who will benefit from a law. Things need to be malleable. When something is no longer relevant it needs to be removed. If this were the case there would be far fewer laws. Too often i see people harmed because someone else is making money from it. This has to stop! Everything In the US is business, Even prisons and prison services are business.
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          Feb 4 2013: I agree.

          So I do these provocations. And I find that there is a lot more thinking going on out there that the propagandists would have us ignore.

          The way I see it is that "the state" is a default thing that humans do. It is our attempt to capture it which wrecks everything. every law creates 3 things - winners, losers and cheats. If you allow an entity to live by making laws, there will be too many laws.

          I have many committed friends laboring to make good laws. These are good people full of compassion .. but the error is permanence. Nothing can be permanent. The world moves past in deceptive majesty and power sweeping aside all barriers - it goes where it goes.And it cares not for our permanent comfort.
          We all need a certain amount of comfort, but there is no stopping - and too much comfort is sickness.

          Beware the giver of comfortable gifts. all we own is our time - and this is what creates value .. not government, not compassion .. there is only motion. It is joy and passion which makes motion into life. Property is the closure against being alive. Some live, some die, sadness is not our enemy - our enemy is depression - refusal. The undifferentiated fear of death - which always comes, despite our fear.

          Walk on by your fear. It isn't going anywhere.
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    Jan 29 2013: We are the 'enemy' of the state. We are the people who make laws and disobey them and justify our disobedience by excellence in sophism. We are the ones who blame national leaders for corruption and moral bankrupcy; but we show the same characteristics as leaders in our homes and office and little sphere of influence.

    Sometimes we condone evil because it happens to give us comfort or provide some convinience; but we expect the state to be run by leaders with intergrity and character who are expected to come from space......WE ARE our own enemies.
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    Feb 11 2013: I do not believe the state is our enemy, however, there is a distinction between society and government that should be observed. To quote Thomas Paine," Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness POSITIVELY by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices." Can a state efficiently utilize available resources? At this time I would think not, but, 20/20 hindsight almost always conveys wisdom. People learn better, and forgive themselves and eachother. Forgive the past, use what is available now.
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      Feb 11 2013: It's interesting. I think a phase-change happened this last few weeks . in politics yes, but beyond that...

      There is some reason to believe that the imaginary plane is collapsed by the point of accumulation in chaotic systems - the membrane of self is completed by progress from the past to the future.

      What we have seen is known, what we face is not known .. yet, but we go forward on our best guess - based on what we have seen.

      The big problem with Bayesian learning is that it is susceptible to the local minimum .. and all knowledge is local.

      Locality is a moving thing - this is why the human is least adapted and most adaptable. OUr fellow species are mostly adapted - we must be careful to not leave them behind because they provide us with the negentropy required for our adaptability - our locality is constrained. And here is the 4th level of morality.

      (edit: not "completed" .. accumulated.)
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        Feb 11 2013: What is best for society as a whole? I would say term limits for all elected officials, not just time but performance limits, and to take the monetary upperhand incumbents seem to have and replace it with a mentor program or something of the like for future officials. All while a database of rational consensus and precedents act as an augmentation to intelligence and a firm foundation new ideas can branch off of.
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          Feb 12 2013: Yes,

          I recently had a huge arguement with an AI PHD who is garnering funding for an educational program and wants to move ahead and get some results (which I believe are desirable).
          He's not talking to me right now .. ah well.
          The arguement was about the AI it*self* .. and my arguement was that for it to work it would have to have a self which is defined .. and that what he is proposing is no more than a tool.
          I can pick up a chisel, and it won't complain if I use it as a weapon.
          So if any kind of database is put together, it's just another tool, and it does not mater how many neural-net geegaws we attach to it, it is not a self. And it will be equally tool and weapon.
          We can make a self - no problem, but we have to leave it be itself .. it must have freedom, and then we treat it as a mentor. But we better make sure that its "mentor-hood" is defined as the vector of its survival. This is not so hard if you think about it.

          The other way is to create a tool which becomes part of the user's body. .. a true prophylactic. This can also be done, but it will inherit the user's self as the centre of its organisation. To do this is pretty techy .. it has to adjust within what I call the Bayesian existential loop - it has to be "potentiated" at teh same rate that body tissues potentiate - particularly braincells which potentiate in milliseconds.That requires a bio-interface which is sensitive to the proto self. Maybe a detector brace on the back of the neck or actual electrode implants.
          Humanity is set to collapse, so such technical investments are unlikely. It would be nice if we can save some component of the internet. I'd be more happy if the principles of reality can be preserved.
          elsewhere I talk about the "field of adaptability" which refers to the dynamic "surprises" a given adaptive system can encompass. I suppose it's an expression of elastic limit.
          SO it's this adaptive field that will get selected in the Darwinian sense.
          Let's work on that?
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          Feb 12 2013: Gotta ramble on here a bit:

          Society is only the second level of "morality".
          We have to go beyond that in order to define a word spelled m.o.r.a.l.i.t.y.which everyone understands.
          In fact .. what society is has at least 2 more layers - there is tribe, and there is region .. and you might have to add another called "nation" or "republic" or feifdom" or "kingdom" or whatever. But beyond that you have the "nation of all nations" and beyond that you have "the ecosystem".
          This is extremely fractal .. and this particular fractal division is chaotic - up to "ecosystem".

          And that "ecosystem" is a gateway into the infinite connection through imbedded scalar systems - and all these systems are open systems.

          Here is where the fields of adaptability are cogent to the definitions of "selves which organise" and the principles of entropy become apparent as defined by negentropic envelopes - which themselves are fractally defined in chaotic layers.

          I suspect that all membranes are chaotic fractal spirals - which infers a "way out".
          The way out i recommend is there .. but you kinda have to be standing in the right place to get through in time.
          I'd like to be at that place - and have as many friends there as I can manage ;)
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        Feb 12 2013: Right on. Shyam Sankar has an interesting talk on human-computer cooperation, citing that intelligence augmentation is greater than artificial intelligence. What I'm getting at is if someone is unsure of the right decision, then they will have like a super tablet linked into a super internet, whether it is to be used as a tool or weapon is always a possibility, they could use to make the most informed decision, hopefully the right one. Implants wouldn't be necessary because those who don't use it would no longer be fit and get left behind. Humanity, I feel, is not set to collapse but there is always a split in the path.
  • Feb 10 2013: I would not agree that vocabulary is a problem. Political figures have their own writers who can write their speeches in depth about complex matters without taxing listeners vocabulary. While I agree that there are communication problems from government side, but I emphasize that it's an average's voters fault that politics are that they are and that for achieving better kind of rule, first we must to look to yourselves there ours fundamental flaws lies.

    In the end I would like to add, if we want a true democracy or any other similar rule, then we must agree on importance of voting. Voting cannot be something that you do light-headed or on a whim. Due to that, "serious" debates, ideologies and candidates misdoings should be a prime way of electing all political figures and sophistic methods and rhetoric should be a sing of incompetence instead of viable way of achieving popularity.
  • Feb 10 2013: I made an impression that you tend to view politics as a separate layer of our society. Like in the past political rule were only achievable to person with certain social status as it's now, a political rule is bound mostly to charisma. While your view on politics is of course an accurate one, but it doesn't mean that it's the only one or it's not flawed. For example: in ancient times, thinkers thought same about rule coming from merit or in other words- aristocratic rule. While this kind of rule is obviously very effective, but sadly it's prone to degradation. Aristocratic rule tend to end up like oligarchic one or political class become so separate from ones they rule that they no longer tend to sympathise with lower classes.

    Once our one time de facto president and further dictator, Smetona assumed control of our country via coup not, because he wanted power, but for benefit of the nation. Our society was simply not ready for democracy for many reasons. After gaining independence, nothing has changed. We would still do better with autocratic government and not with a democratic one. Considering politics as entertainers are far more true in my country. In fact, political figures are true entertainers from television or as now are popular- basketball players. Political parties invites as many popular faces as possible for popularity. This is also often true and in others, more mature societies in varying degrees. While this is of course outrageous, there is nothing that educated part of society can do. Masses will out-weight any voting until society matures enough for democracy. Sadly, this kind of rule have already costed us dear...
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      Feb 11 2013: I Think Tony pointed out very well that the body politic requires a language known to both the leadership and the citizenry.
      What I see is a 2-tier language - a media show-pony language based on ignorance, and a language of truth that only the initiated can understand .. it's called "truth".

      My own study leads me to believe that no body politic can be sustained beyond a community of 200 individuals - and that large bloated tribes are sustained by laws - and that laws are .. essentially lies.

      I conjecture that laws may exist to regulate inter-tribal afairs, but i have not seen any decent examples of it.

      We have a failure to uinderstand the balance of individual to tribe to species - morality is many-tiered, and not as simple as religions attempt to make it.
  • Feb 10 2013: First, the "state" is a tool that is under utilized for whatever reasons there may be --ideological, mythological, political; an extension of the body-politic. The "state" is an enemy inasmuch a gun or car or phone is an enemy.

    Second, to have the capability of advising our representatives, the body-politic does need a language of representational definitions that can be accepted and understood at both the political-level and the citizen-level. For example, a "sustainable infrastructure irrelevant of economy" could indicate a necessary taxation and expense schedule that does describe how survival for the nation and its citizens are relatively guaranteed in a way that is not present today. This example also does indicate the tacit benefit of transparency in spending and expenses in order to devise a thorough and accountable plan or program. In total, what the body-politic and the "state" may need is a program for long-term efforts so that the discussions that occur in the domestic home and in the political arena coincide quite well indeed: a New American Plan.

    Third, in regard to your opinion about voting as "entertainment" or "real", a management position is obviously necessary when the many are concerned. The opacity of political affluence in general (media and standard operating procedures) may indicate a passive desire to forget or forgo the responsibility of such a job, implying a trust that is oftentimes questioned by someone such as yourself. The desire to impose an entertaining characteristic is simply too subjective a consideration given the objective nature of the job despite the rhetoric infused in political hubris, often necessary to fulfill said opacity --national security and so forth. I would rather ask, is national security a problem if the nation's spending habits were disclosed entirely, so that the discussions would be less rhetorical and more pragmatic?
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      Feb 11 2013: Nice points Tony!

      The definitions of words become critically important.
      "Body Politic" suggests a body. But to know that body one must identify the "selfness"
      of it.
      This is especially important for those whose mouths get teh word "morality" in them.

      I like this idea: "sustainable infrastructure irrelevant of economy".
      My take is that it comes included in the human package - and we need to first understand what's in the box before we try to sell it ;)
  • Feb 7 2013: I would like to discuss this topic in greater depth, but sadly, I have very little free time left for it.

    I cannot think of any system that would be completely uncorruptable. Functioning of ruling system largely depends of worth of ruling class. In monarchy, autocracy and similar ruling methods largely it depends on virtue of ruling class while methods such as democracy or republic depends more on voters worth. In democratic regimes, laws more often can be twisted to will of ones who execute them while in Absolutism or communism it's far less true.
    In order to create good system you first need to identify your country's flaws and strong points. Not every nation needs a democracy, it's far from the best way to rule for a lot of nations. I wouldn't like to get into details just that exactly every way of ruling would need, but I would like to say that accountability is one of the most important things. Also, it would be good to think that exactly are main ways of corruption. By identifying problems and fixing them in one way or another makes system less likely to fall by those flaws. For example: if political system is consists of hierarchy then you would need to make sure that this ruling elite would feel pressure and from "bellow" to better perform their duties. I'm referring to one of the main flaws of Soviet Union. If a burocrat have an immense authority and it's only accountable to his superiors then there is quite a chance that he will try to use his power to his own advantage. Even more, he have quite a chance to hide all his personal pursuits! Also, he can convince his superiors to profit mutually. Because of this, corruption can easily hide itself in lower and even higher tiers of ruling hierarchy thus making it very tempting. If this or some other activity is a low-risk and high-reward then I can bet, that sooner or later it will be exploited despite a virtue of rulers or voters.
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      Feb 7 2013: how about anarchy? your argument relies on the existence of rulers. but what if we don't have rulers?
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      Feb 8 2013: Hi Ernestas,

      I thank you for the time you have given - it is already considerable!
      Also very helpful.

      Communism failed .. mostly because it wasn't really communism. It failed as democracy fails because these are ideals. Ideals make us strive to become the best humans we can be, but no matter how hard we try, we remain humans - with the best and the worst mixed in. Sometimes I am pure, other times I am corrupt. The idealist judges me on my corruption and how they can use me, the corrupt judges me by the threat I pose - and how they can use me. I judge everyone how they are benefit to me.
      We are humans .. mutuality is our strength. Advantage is our breath.
      But it's not a straight line - and this is where we fail.

      I agree with Krisztián. Anarchy does not demand for us to be what we are not. Is understanding what we are necessary? Or do we just do it? This is a hard question.

      All the thing wilth "rulers" is an old old problem - Israel chose a king and god was upset with them for doing that - there will be good kings and bad kings.

      I think that all humans should become free to choose what is their advantage - and just do it - and if someone kills them for it, they fail. I think we are already like that, but we have forgotten that we are.
      I think we should stop pretending.
      If we stop pretending we can be honest. If it serves us to give our value, then we should give our value, if we should withold, we should withold - and let others give. According to our advantage.

      But - if we do not give enough we will get left behind.

      This is why I give here - and why you do as well. We are nothing alone, but we are ourselves.
      Then we are pleased that our families have a place, then we are pleased that our tribe has a place, then we are pleased that our region has a place. Beyond the tribe .. there are laws - laws codify mutual advantage beyond what we can see for ourselves - it is obscured. Laws create winners, losers and cheats. Laws are crafted by cheats - the "state".
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      Feb 8 2013: Adendum:

      If you wish to explore further, my emial is mitch at ozwhistles drt com.

      Your communication is welcome there.
  • Feb 6 2013: I think the state is the problem just as bacteria can be a problem - when its dirty, sickly and causes harm to the well-being of the organism it needs to go. Our current system has a lot wrong with it and many people above have issued a list of grievences. The state is the problem ultimately because it represents an institution of higher power that is elitist and member centric - if your not a member your screwed and even if you are a member you are poisoning the well and one day your chickens will come home to roost, bringing all of the poison back home with them (which will in turn ruin the nation for the sake of your very own posterity).
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      Feb 6 2013: Hi Mikel,
      Many thanks for your contribution.

      I like the reference to bacteria. This infers that the government might be structured as a true symbiot and shifted from its current role as a parasite.
  • Feb 5 2013: As I have often saw, most people just love to blame someone else for their mistakes. Same goes and with all their problems. As you can see, if people's problems are external (rise of oil prices, military draft and etc) they will try put blame on government. New problems arise as old ones diminishes and cycle of negative emotions toward government continues to grow. Over time, they simply add up, there is often no "good" side of being ruled. We take that we are given for granted and ask for more without an appreciation of that we currently have.

    Due to nature of politics there quite much place left for certain kind of incompetence. Also, far deeper problem are low and medium-grade government workers who often face little to no personal standards requirements for their job. Sadly, they job is arguably most important since they enforce and support policies. They are responsible for running the government. It's they, not small elite at the top who are responsible for decisive laws usage. Because of them, we see government as being "cold" and "bullish", "unfriendly" or even corrupted. Their failings to understand the meaning behind laws and weight of bureaucracy further corrupts the system.
    From personal experience I know well, that if you answer others people "communications" with stoic patience and friendliness and goodwill, you will likely "touch" person with whom you're dealing with and often you will earn its respect. With that, I doubt that there would be any anti-government sentiments if bulk of basis of low and medium grade government officials would do their jobs well beyond of narrow requirements of their role.
  • Feb 5 2013: The agreement on further statements might be difficult to different personal experiences.

    As I see now, voting for your candidate have a very little difference. Candidates or parties have very little difference between each other despite of their titles or "beliefs". All that we get is bravado. An circus where side with most money to fund their activities have a massive advantage over another. Masses are often stupid and ignorant. Often people are won over with "shiny political commercials" or most bizarre statements about their bright future. I have witnessed on many occasions that people aren't taking their voting seriously. They will just vote from feelings, for a joke or even "just to see that happens if X would won". People no longer place any responsibility on their vote. Sense of duty have extincted. Serious debates or analysis are often ignored by masses due to their laziness. Even if they would watch them, there are no guarantee that they would "get it". Stupidity, intellectual laziness and today's culture made a large part of our voters unable to understand any deeper meaning beyond that is given to them. Furthermore, voters memory tend to be last just a month or two, making situation even worse. Sheer majority of masses overwhelm all sophisticated opinions about politics thus making a democracy fools rule at best.
  • Feb 5 2013: My comment on this topic could use some editing and further improvements, but I want to state my personal experience and opinion before this topic is not too old.

    We have founded our nation as a response to foreigners attacks. It was pretty late in world's history and we were one of the last one's to do so. State have represented two things: a need to achieve something that is too much for any individual entity or rule that was bringed to local populace by force. In history we can clearly see how evolvement of central rule and of unity have increased nation's power. The most remarkable example might be an transition from feudal rule to absolutism. One ruler have forced a nation to centralise, to hoard its resources to one place instead of wasting them among many separate rulers. By that a nation were able to wield much larger armies thus making such rule of method superior. As we can see, there are direct connection between that a country's unity and its power. By diving itself into smaller self-ruling areas we simply degrade ourselves to ancient times which obviously, isn't the best idea for many reasons.

    As it's now, a country is more of tradition. As we are born into pre-existing "working" model of government, we take it for granted without a serious thought put into "why" or "maybe". This is the part of far deeper problem. I believe that ours view about personal liberty are deeply flawed. Too much liberty are toxic and often serves no purpose just to parasite for personal benefit. For now, I will focus on talking about on how personal freedom and basics rights can twist into something that is dangerous to the nation.
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      Feb 5 2013: Hi ernestas,
      Many thanks for your contribution!
      Here are the factors you have identified:

      selfish public servants
      disengaged publc
      short term thinking
      leaders become entertainers

      I feel there is a need to examine ancient times. Humans survived for 200,000 years before any formal government.
      We may have forgotten some important things.
      For instance, the history of Israel shows that they lived well enough without kings .. The very early agricultural cities in the americas lived without warfare.
      Perhaps democracy needs to evolve into something else?
      Perhaps we need processes to:
      assure honesty in leaders,
      to address long term issues,
      to engage the public in their own state,
      to ensure public servants actually serve and
      to disolve the motives of warfare?

      At the moment, it seems to me that the illusion of permanence is our enemy - it corrupts the "state".
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    Gail .

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    Jan 30 2013: My "state" (US) is the enemy because it no longer represents the will OR best interests of the people. It represents money and money's interests in order to benefit those who help them stay in power and helps them get richer. It went from a very limited Constitutional Republic to a totally unlimited Plutarchy.

    Plutarchy: Combination of a Plutocracy (government by the wealthy) and an Oligarchy (government by the Supreme Court that is its own oligarchy)

    The idea of "We the People" is dead in my country. The people are a threat to government.
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      Jan 31 2013: That sounds pretty dire.
      If what you say is true, then the government has separated from the state.
      Bu tperhaps the separation is not complete - there would be some in the governmental body who still take their representation of you seriously.
      If it looks like total separation is inevitable, I suppose that leaves a vacuum in the default state of community.
      It would be a relatively easy thing to get community to recognise itself and start re-constructing its own infrastructure - the tools of mutual advantage. The quickest way to do it would be to start a company as a front for the community with all the members being shareholders - then it goes invisible to the oligarchic radar. But one would have to recognise that company as a stop-gap measure and have an agreed exit strategy - otherwise it will gravitate towards oligarchy/plutarchy again .. and one would have to convert shares into local currency .. that way credit is tied trust within the community - and a realistic measure of what capital contribution can be expected from each member of the community.
      You could commence that as a shadow economy by granting each member equivalent shares based on average anual income (pre tax) - with the shares starting value as a pepercorn in US dollars - then commence shaddow trade with intitial share value at parity of USD and then allow it to float. All commerce conducted outside the community is USD, but within the community in shares. The inherent inflation of the USD would cause value to become attractive within the shadow economy, and essential services would gravitate into it by in-built incentives in the real-asset backed share currency.

      Worth a think. But you'd have to keep it legal .. and probably secret.
      (edit: Judiciary in such a system would be quite simple - the only penalty would be to have one's share's cashed-out to USD - a transgressor then would be compelled to earn his/her way back into the company - or simply leave - that way the entire community is engage
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        Gail .

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        Jan 31 2013: Absolutely worth a think. A long and hard think. Make it a business. Hmmm.

        A few of us tried something similar last year. We tried to set up a really REALLY free market, where we gathered weekly - giving away things that we no longer needed/wanted - including food from the garden. Take as you will and give as you can. It was hoped that people would also give of their talents and skills in these gatherings, and that a (now non-existent) sense of community would develop and grow. We placed the gatherings in a local park to gain attention. I even changed my business model to a "pay-it-forward" approach (accepting no money and placing no economic value on my service). But neither took off. In fact, my business didn't even get a single taker for a memoir that I ordinarily charge thousands for. We were perceived as a threat. The park was next to a public library, so we wanted to use the library's requirement to offer space for public service so we could give free tutoring. They refused us space. It is illegal - with a promise of mandatory jail time - to feed a homeless person here, so participating was dangerous. The plain-clothed police watched every meeting from the sidelines - conspicuously obvious. (How's that for Christian?)

        I do wish that I had not moved here, but as my husband is a lot older than I am (in his 80s), it's not wise to uproot him again. So I must find a way to get around the constraints. When he is no longer with me, I'll be out of here.

        Perhaps finding a company model of some sort is the answer. But can it be done outside of a neighborhood setting? (Because MY neighborhood is certainly not the type to invest in the future or themselves. They're Christians. They believe that they will be raptured before the economy fails completely, so that heathens and pagans like me will live in the horror of a post-rapture world as punishment. People like me are feared and frequently mistreated. It's a strange place, the Bible Belt.)
      • Jan 31 2013: "that sounds pretty dire"
        Well, it's dire because it is the truth.
        If, as Feyisayo says below, "We are the enemy of the state" then if you are the enemy, you have an enemy.

        The rulers have used a term to describe the citizenry since before the turn of the 20th century.
        They frequently called the citizens, "the beast" a biblical, demonizing term, as "beast" also refers to the Devil.

        They have also called 'us' the enemy for as long. Maybe even longer.
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        Gail .

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        Jan 31 2013: Absolutely worth a think. A long and hard think. Make it a business. Hmmm.

        A few of us tried something similar last year. We tried to set up a really REALLY free market, where we gathered weekly - giving away things that we no longer needed/wanted - including food from the garden & prepared food to share. Take as you will and give as you can. It was hoped that people would also give of their talents and skills in these gatherings, and that a (now non-existent) sense of community would develop and grow. We placed the gatherings in a local park (on a main street) to gain attention. I even changed my business model to a "pay-it-forward" approach (accepting no money and placing no economic value on my service). But neither took off. In fact, my business didn't even get a single taker for a memoir that I ordinarily charge thousands for. We were perceived as a threat. The park was next to a public library, so we wanted to use the library's requirement to offer space for public service so we could give free tutoring. They refused us space. It is illegal - with a promise of mandatory jail time - to feed a homeless person here, so participating was dangerous. The plain-clothed police watched every meeting from the sidelines - conspicuously obvious. (

        Perhaps finding a company model of some sort is the answer. But can it be done outside of a neighborhood setting? (Because MY neighborhood is certainly not the type to invest in the future or themselves. They're Christians. They believe that they will be raptured before the sh*t hits the fan, so that heathens and pagans like me will live in the horror of a post-rapture world as punishment. People like me are feared and frequently mistreated. It's a strange place, the Bible Belt.)

        It's more than government is separated from its people. Its that people have been separated from one another. There is no more community (outside of churches). It's "1984" playing itself out.

        What then?
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          Jan 31 2013: Do I remember that this is a temporary residence for you? Do you know when you will be able to escape? (Where I live it would be so easy to get permission for this sort of thing!)
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        Gail .

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        Jan 31 2013: PS: There were no lawyers among us, and no desire to hire one out of pocket, so we sent a small contingent to the town meeting to explain who and what we were and what we hoped to accomplish - which was why we wanted the right to have a "Learn-In" during scheduled hours in the free space available in the publicly-owned library. Only one was allowed to speak. The Town Council's only response was "Next" - meaning they would now hear the next person in line to speak.

        This is what is happening in America today and why the USA is such a global threat.
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          Jan 31 2013: Hi TL,

          Go to a folk music festival. Specifically a Celtic music based fest. Select a relatively small one - the type that offers camping.
          I say Celtic becuase the tradition is older.
          The tradition contains the essential attractors of community - you can't have a community without tradition and culture.
          The good news is that these things are default human behaviuor. The music is important because it gathers and protects the dedication of mastery - this cintains a power which is orders of magnitude beyond normal human motivation. The long tradition is important because it preserves that motivation across the generations .. in a way, the power of our ancestors is accumulated - and it contains the seeds of default harmonious community.
          From there, you will find your support base and a bunch of people who are not too proud to live in a tent.
          From there you can garner participation in an oligarchic escape module. It appears on the outside as an arts enthusiast group, folk music makes it inconsequential to the commercial mind and renders the gatherings as "quaint", but underneath, you keep the shaddow economy running. You will find some lawyers in these groups - they are keen to educate their friends about the rules of the oligarchic game.
          Remember the "pearls before swine"?
          That is not to say that humans are pigs - but that one sometimes has to wait for them to grow up.
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    Jan 29 2013: I wouldn't think the state is your enemy unless you have done something wrong. Technically I suppose we all are the state.
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      Jan 29 2013: for example healing a terminally ill person with a drug tested and successfully used in another part of the world, but not yet approved by the fda. such evil things.
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        Feb 8 2013: Don't know enough to comment, Krisztian. I would think each state has its own protocols, what it believes constitute enough evidence that a drug is safe. They may have heard that it has worked somewhere else in the world, but may not be convinced that it doesn't have long-term side-effects, for example.
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    Jan 29 2013: In my experience people talk less about "the State" than about government, its institutions, and representatives. So an easy reason to resent these organizations is that they sometimes interfere with people's doing what they would otherwise like to do. Another is that there may be expectations that institutions in charge of things should be able to figure out how to solve any and all problems that arise in their jurisdiction and to do so quickly, efficiently, and in a way that works well and equitably for all stakeholders. It is an impossible expectation, very likely, regardless of who is at the helm. What government institutions and their agents do will be a combination of routine operations and experiment. Experiments often go wrong, so it is easy to find lots of failures to bemoan.

    All the other stuff doesn't help either- like people making promises they don't intend to keep, people treating others in condescending ways, corruption, priorities meant to be some kind of aggregation or mishmash of peoples competing needs and wants but that don't line up with those of the individual making the complaint, listening more to some constituents than others, and so forth.
  • Jan 29 2013: If you want to learn more about this trend and what people are discussing you could check out Stefan Molyneux's YouTube channel or website.
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      Jan 29 2013: Hi Marloes,
      Molyneux seems quite smart - thanks for the link!

      From this link I can see 2 things:
      1. Mollyneux is promoting hatred of the state - he is part of the mechanism of antipathy - he is doing this by confusing correlation with causation.
      2. You have not added to the conversation - by passing-on someone elses material without adding your own observations you have simply acted as a conduit for someone else's agenda.

      This is a great outcome - perhaps this antipathy might be based on our habitual passing of gossip?
      Perhaps, blind hero-worship is the causal factor of antipathy - the blind trust and faith of heros will lead to dissapointment as they turn out to be fallible humans.
      Is it our inability to think for ourselves which has provided the niche for self-hatred to prosper?
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      Jan 30 2013: I'll add a little more about Molyneux - he IS quite smart.
      He describes how things are broken and he is correct to point out "violence" as the antithesis of objectives and fiat currency as the leakage of value.

      But, his analysis is constrained by the language he uses - for instance, he talks abut "jobs", "poverty", "wealth" etc by the definitions and statistics provided by the very system he criticises.
      He will do much better when he breaks out of these old definitions - different outcomes cannot happen by doing the same things. It might help to have another look at how we define ourselves,
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      Jan 30 2013: OK - I am going to go on at length here.

      Firstly, I am a bit worried that you just duck-shove a hero at me - this means to me that you have nothing to add - and I truly do not believe this.

      That aside. Let's look at Molineux let's look at the material he produces, and let's look, at him. Let's look real close. What do we see?

      Functionally - look at Dr. Felitti, the director of the Adverse Childhood Experiences project, look at Bruce Alexander's work on addiction - this is all important stuff ,. also re-visit the work of Desmond Morris.
      Alright - I just threw a bunch of heroes at you. Now I will add my own part:

      Trauma: trauma is done very simply - all you have to do is hurt someone and prevent them from running away or fighting - you hurt them a couple of times and they learn they cannot run and they cannot fight. Your victim is complete - and will remain a victim until healed.
      What is "hurt"?
      This is a tricky one - it is the reduction of available options such that no advantage remains in available choices - one must choose the lesser of disadvantages. So - you can see that harm is the same thing as trauma - it is the act of removing all advantage from soneone.
      This is often confused with the principle of competition - the survifval of the fittest.
      But what is "fittest"?
      It is what fits - it is not that which has the only avantage.
      The principle of the "free market" as practiced in western society is associated with victory.
      What is "victory"?
      It is the creation of victims.
      The west is worshiping its own trauma.
      It is done through stories. Fictions.
      But only part of us is autobiographical ..
      And we know in our core-self that the stores a wrong, but we only know the stories and cannot escape intellectually (intellect is also an artefact of the autobiographical - a story .. a fiction).

      We talk about "the heart" .. this is the core self.
      What is the core self?
      It is the juncture between the body, the mind and the world - our purpose .. our power..
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      Jan 30 2013: OK - Molineux.

      Look at him - he paces like a tiger in a cage.

      He throws-off insight like sparks and yet, he gets no satisfaction - his bars reflect his sparks back into him.
      He is hunting for his healing .. he can smell it .. but can't quite touch it .. something prevents.

      Let me tell you about the door to heaven.

      It is guarded by a clever dragon - this dragon is emblazoned on the door - you reach for the handle to unlock and walk through, but the picture of the tiger takes your eyes and your hand never quite reaches the doorknob.

      What is this dragon?

      It is insight.

      All those pressing behind - you are aware of them, your compassion yearns to heal, and teh dragon of insight makes you turn from the door and shout the insight - "everyone! come here! Here is the door!"
      and the dragon has you - you are trapped by your own compassion - all draw close and the door is blocked as each is ensnared by the dragon on the door.

      And it is true - we cannot deny the dragon of our own love.
      But we must briefly glow, bow to the dragon, say farewell and go through the door.
      It is the final test.
      Insight is irrelevant to those beyond the door.
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      Jan 30 2013: OH!!

      Here's a thing!

      Let us watch Molineux - let's watch as he finaly turns the handle and comes through.
      That will be a great day in heaven. Let's be there to welcome him!

      And all the others .. there is a thing of joy!
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    Jan 29 2013: state is a huge structure of coercion. coercion is our "enemy". many people have this attitude to classify things as good or bad, and try to force people to do the good, and abandon the bad. this attitude culminates in these huge structures of courts, police, ginormous legal code, presidents, a huge array of government offices and organizations and such. of course it is not historically accurate, we inherited the idea of government from kings. but this is the attitude that keeps it going.
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      Jan 30 2013: Hi Krisz - I think you are right.

      If we accept that a state begins as bunch of people geting together to work out their mutual advantages
      I would only add: "state *has become* a huge structure of coersion".
      I think it's safe to say that human cooperation yields more advantage than the sum of the participants.
      But the thing is clearly not linear - there are diminished returns.
      So .. at what point does mutuality become coersion?

      Your point about "kings" is a key observation. I would suggest that an over-riding function of any state is to stop kings from taking it over. By this, I refer to the concept of "power niche". If such a thing is an eternal truth, then the first duty of a democratic state is to defend that niche - to protect our mutual advantage from the absolute coersion of despots. This was the intent of the Magna Carta.

      So, if we accept that a democracy is the extension of mutual advantage - and that mutuality is underpinned by agreement to abide by the constraints of mutuality - then, somehow, we have agreed to this huge structure of coersion .. one cannot coerce without an overwhelming balance of advantage.

      Somehow, our agreement has been betrayed, state has become government - the very despot it should oppose. Diminishing returns has cut-in. The advantage of our mutuality has been captured by a few with the many receiving less than if they were alone.

      It's a quandry for sure. Perhaps we should stop agreeing, perhaps we should withdraw from government and return to state. Perhaps we should re-learn the advantage each person can generate alone in order to judge when mutuality is appropriate. This is not an easy thing to ask - but it looks like this is where we are headed anyway. When the government destroys the state, we will all be alone. I am confident we will re-learn our mutuality very quickly.
      I suspect we will never divest our mutuality ever again - something better than democracy will arise.
      There's hope in that.