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Thread: Interesting (at least to me) political question.....

  1. #11
    Senior Member kib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ApatheticNoMore View Post
    +1 (and no I don't think it's set up so most people have a lot of agency)
    That was an interesting point. I'm not sure I need agency. I'm ok being a cog in the machine, but not this machine.

  2. #12
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    Should society work for the individual or should the individual work for society?

    What I mean is - should society be somewhat fair and equitable and humane - or is it up to an individual to conform to society regardless of how said society is set up/in reality works? Rob
    I don't know, it's stated as if people conform purely out of some kind of duty (like it's the moral duty for an individual to conform). Some may advocate that no doubt. I think people conform mostly out of practical reasons, to get by, not out of any kind of moral imperative.

    I mean with true in-groups, those one chooses to associate with for whatever reason, one may go along for other reasons, to be a part of them, but with something as abstract as "society" .. nah. And one might identify with people one knows, even if one believes them wrong etc., but that's not some moral duty, nor so abstract either. It's just feeling for fellow human beings.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  3. #13
    Senior Member kib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan View Post
    I think it's interesting how many seem to think society equals government, or maybe I'm naive in failing to assimilate?
    Personally I just used the term "society" to mean all people and the interactions between them, "the few" to mean a very select group of people and businesses, and "government" to mean the overarching body that, well, governs all these elements.

    Do you mean society equals government, or more like ... 'the existence of society equals the knee jerk necessity of government?' That, yes, seems to be an automatic conflation.

  4. #14
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan View Post
    I think it's interesting how many seem to think society equals government, or maybe I'm naive in failing to assimilate?
    If you canít make society do what you want it to do, you will try to control society using the heavy hand of nanny government. One way or the other you will get what you want, even if critical freedoms are lost. Sad.

  5. #15
    Simpleton Alan's Avatar
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    I think of society as a group of individuals, like minded or otherwise, seeking to coexist together, and government as a service industry who's sole purpose is to provide safety and security. I think when we reverse those roles, we become the service industry existing only to supply the beast.
    "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler." ~ Albert Einstein

  6. #16
    Senior Member kib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan View Post
    I think of society as a group of individuals, like minded or otherwise, seeking to coexist together, and government as a service industry who's sole purpose is to provide safety and security. I think when we reverse those roles, we become the service industry existing only to supply the beast.
    I gotta laugh. Who'da thunk, we're on the exact same page about this.

  7. #17
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan View Post
    I think of society as a group of individuals, like minded or otherwise, seeking to coexist together, and government as a service industry who's sole purpose is to provide safety and security. I think when we reverse those roles, we become the service industry existing only to supply the beast.
    I can understand the difficulty with defining the relationship between individuals, society and government. I think societies inevitably depend on government to varying degrees, unless you manage to find yourself in an anarchist society.

    I think that no matter whether you're talking of "society" or "government" or some overlap of both, I respect the sovereignty of the individual. I respect non-conformity as opposed to being made to conform to society. I believe Krishnamurti's quote: "it is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society." I think nationalism is scary, and there are enough historical examples of nationalism-gone-bad.

    Simply put, I do not believe that any collective should suppress the rights of the individual, unless that individual is threatening the collective in terms of the good of the whole.

    ETA:

    "In order to rally people, governments need enemies. They want us to be afraid, to hate, so we will rally behind them. And if they do not have a real enemy, they will invent one in order to mobilize us"--Thich Nhat Hanh (Vietnamese Zen master who lived through the Vietnam war and who was exiled from his country)
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    I think politics and government really are downstream of culture. A decent society will generally produce good government, but a well structured government will be of little use to a corrupt society. And there are so many flavors of decency, from traditional values to radical individualism to neopuritan political correctness, we have no consensus of what common decency may be. We also have a significant grouping, who lacking other sources or institutions, mistake ideology for morality and behave accordingly.

    Thatís what I like about our constitution. It allows for conflict and makes it hard to impose the latest fashions in values.

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