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Thread: Where Did the Stimulus Go?

  1. #71
    Disappointed Evolutionist
    Catawba's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
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    05-28-13 @ 07:15 PM

    Re: Where Did the Stimulus Go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyroh View Post
    all of these are great arguments... great arguments for getting rid of the government. when you come up with solutions that don't make things worse get back to me, until then i'm not convinced that any of these 'solutions' solve the problems their advertised to solve. rather in every case they keep the powerful powerful, and keep the masses subdued. but wait, you get to vote! you get to decide through the free will of the collective if you wanna be enslaved by a fully authoritarian government, or by a fascist corporate state. take your choice, maybe one will whip you less.
    Just get rid of government? That's your alternative solution?
    Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. ~ Ancient American Indian Proverb

  2. #72
    ashurbanipal's Avatar
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    Today @ 01:29 AM

    Re: Where Did the Stimulus Go?

    Quote Originally Posted by FluffyNinja
    Your original assertion was that govt. is merely a byproduct of the people; that it's not monolitihic in the sense that it cannot exist as a "separate entity." You went on to explain that, based on this premise, we "deserve" the governmental system that we get, because, essentially it is derived from the direct will of the populace. If I'm misinterpreting here, please correct me.
    Not a byproduct, more like a microcosm that reflects the people, as a whole, on a deep level. And also, not that government absolutely cannot be separate. We could think of plenty of governments that weren't all that much a microcosm of the people (some of the governments of Medieval Europe come to mind). But this is always a matter of degree, and in our case, the degree of separation is practically nil.

    Quote Originally Posted by quote
    I don't entirely disagree, but I would contend that the converse is also true, and that government CAN and often DOES act on it's own - apart from the will of the people in a monolithic sense and as a separate entity. Would you argue that the German population was to blame for the direction that Hitler's fascist regime took in Germany?
    It's funny that you should mention that as an example, because it was study of the Third Reich that began to change my mind towards what I think now. Consider: Hitler, Goebbels, Goerring, Heydrich, Himmler, etc. didn't themselves, on their own, kill the 9-12 million people that perished in the holocaust. Those people who died were killed by a very large number of ordinary people, and the direct killers were in turn aided by a political and social infrastructure that involved an even larger number of ordinary Germans.

    Antisemitism in Germany went back a long way (since at least the 12th century). There was a ripe hatred and distrust of Jews among the German people. The Nazi propaganda machine was hard at work to push their specific agenda, but given the enormity of the crime committed, it didn't really take very much of a push. The German people elected the Nazi party and Hitler had very high marks among the German populace until late 1944, as it became clear that Germany would lose the war.

    Now, some Germans were against the Nazi agenda (and some, heroically so), just as, it turns out, not everyone in the Nazi government, military, or police force was wholly with the program. But the fact remains that if it had been the top Nazi leadership trying to push military adventurism, fascism, and genocide on a completely unaccepting populace, it never would have worked. The Nazis hardly would have gotten into power if they hadn't been elected. And it can hardly be said that people didn't have a good idea what they'd do if they were elected. Fascism and a totalitarian government were explicit planks of the Nazi platform, as was antisemitism. Their brownshirt operatives had been carrying out small-scale and unofficial, but frequent and widespread, pogroms against the Jews since the late 20's.

    Quote Originally Posted by FluffyNinja
    Was the formation of the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot's murderous regime simply reflective of what the Cambodian masses truly desired - or was it perhaps a case of who had the most guns at the time?
    No, the Khmer Rouge was an example of a well-separated government. And if it were the case that the people in our government rolled into town on the back of a wave of military force and then they started wiping out large segments of the populace, that'd mean our government was also highly separated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy Ninja
    For every case in history where you can show me that government was a byproduct of people's social desires/interactions - I can show you a case of government acting independently (arbitrarily) of the will of its masses and actually "shaping" the social interactions/desires of the people. I think we're both seeing the same implications here, but from totally different perspectives.
    Hopefully I've clarified my position.

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