View Poll Results: Can ANY political ideology work as advertised?

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Thread: Can ANY political ideology work as advertised?

  1. #1
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    Can ANY political ideology work as advertised?

    Can ANY political ideology work as advertised?

    Seems that every political ideology that has been tried has had varying levels of success and failure... hence they have all been essentially failures to some degree or another (especially when you hear the opposing ideology tell it). Some ideologies haven't been honestly attempted, but in my opinion they would have some level of failure as well.

    Take your pick... Socialism, Capitalism, Communism, Conservatism, Fascism, Totalitarianism, Liberalism, and yes, even Libertarianism. (And others that I may have neglected to mention)

    Why do they all fail (or would fail)?

    In my opinion, they ALL fail to address one simple unavoidable undeniable fact of life... human nature. I believe that any of these "*-isms" could work *IF* everybody were on the same page. As long as everybody is of the same mindset and belief system, any system can work. And that's the rub. Human nature and the complexities of individuals precludes everybody from being of the same mindset and precludes seamless cooperation.

    Three examples:

    Libertarianism sounds great. Everybody does their own thing, respects one another, treats other fairly, and so on. It's not the libertarian that I would fear in a libertarian society, it's the non-libertarian in a libertarian society that would take advantage and screw it up for everyone else.

    On paper, Communism is a great theory. Everybody works together for the common good. Nobody goes lacking. Everybody's a part of the system. Work, and rewards, are distributed equitably. On paper, mind you. Reality has been different. History has shown that not everybody buys into the system, and will take advantage and seek to dominate (i.e.: Stalin, Mao, and so on). It becomes totalitarianism. Even for those who don't aspire to power it doesn't work, as evidenced by private plots on farms out-producing the remainder of the collective farms in the old Soviet Union.

    Even totalitarianism could work if those not in charge would be satisfied with their status. Generally, though, they're not. They want more than a mere existence. People generally want some level of ability to make at least basic choices for themselves. Left unto itself, I could see a libertarian society morphing into a totalitarian-like society. Not by design, or in name, but in end result with a select few wielding so much power.

    So, the question remains: Can ANY political ideology work as advertised?

    I say 'no'. There is no ideal foolproof system. Does that mean they're all equally bad? No, again. Some may be better than others in a relative sense, but there is no ideal system that would work for everybody and satisfy everybody (nor even a vast majority). Each has their own flaws, and said flaws are based primarily in their idealistic short sightedness.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Can ANY political ideology work as advertised?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    Can ANY political ideology work as advertised?

    Seems that every political ideology that has been tried has had varying levels of success and failure... hence they have all been essentially failures to some degree or another (especially when you hear the opposing ideology tell it). Some ideologies haven't been honestly attempted, but in my opinion they would have some level of failure as well.

    Take your pick... Socialism, Capitalism, Communism, Conservatism, Fascism, Totalitarianism, Liberalism, and yes, even Libertarianism. (And others that I may have neglected to mention)

    Why do they all fail (or would fail)?

    In my opinion, they ALL fail to address one simple unavoidable undeniable fact of life... human nature. I believe that any of these "*-isms" could work *IF* everybody were on the same page. As long as everybody is of the same mindset and belief system, any system can work. And that's the rub. Human nature and the complexities of individuals precludes everybody from being of the same mindset and precludes seamless cooperation.

    Three examples:

    Libertarianism sounds great. Everybody does their own thing, respects one another, treats other fairly, and so on. It's not the libertarian that I would fear in a libertarian society, it's the non-libertarian in a libertarian society that would take advantage and screw it up for everyone else.

    On paper, Communism is a great theory. Everybody works together for the common good. Nobody goes lacking. Everybody's a part of the system. Work, and rewards, are distributed equitably. On paper, mind you. Reality has been different. History has shown that not everybody buys into the system, and will take advantage and seek to dominate (i.e.: Stalin, Mao, and so on). It becomes totalitarianism. Even for those who don't aspire to power it doesn't work, as evidenced by private plots on farms out-producing the remainder of the collective farms in the old Soviet Union.

    Even totalitarianism could work if those not in charge would be satisfied with their status. Generally, though, they're not. They want more than a mere existence. People generally want some level of ability to make at least basic choices for themselves. Left unto itself, I could see a libertarian society morphing into a totalitarian-like society. Not by design, or in name, but in end result with a select few wielding so much power.

    So, the question remains: Can ANY political ideology work as advertised?

    I say 'no'. There is no ideal foolproof system. Does that mean they're all equally bad? No, again. Some may be better than others in a relative sense, but there is no ideal system that would work for everybody and satisfy everybody (nor even a vast majority). Each has their own flaws, and said flaws are based primarily in their idealistic short sightedness.
    No ideology can work in reality. The US is a fair mixture of all ideologies. Which is why you have factions of people who believe different things. As I study the various different ideologies, I have come to the conclusion that people see what they want to see. If you are a corportist, you see that all businesses are good no matter what they are doing to the Chinese citizens. If you are anti-corporations you believe that all corporations are bad, even though you may be wearing name brand clothes and using your ipad to go debate people on Debate politics.

    Whenever the Democrats are doing something that the liberals don't like they say they aren't Democrats or even liberal that they are progressives. When Republicans do things that Conservatives don't like (which has been happening more and more lately) they say that they aren't part of the party. This is a classic example of the ideology not working in practice.

    Libertarians haven't had this happened to them yet, only in small instances which they ignore, when pointed out. But in time, they too will see that their ideology is not perfect! Or they will probably just grow out of libertarianism altogether because it doesn't have momentum.

    Ultimately, it is government. and government needs to work smoothly and efficiently and in a bipartisan way. In politics, a politician may say that he/she can please everybody but in reality they can't and once you understand that hypocrisy you will begin to see hypocrisy everywhere!
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  3. #3
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    Re: Can ANY political ideology work as advertised?

    Oh radcen. Never thought of that. So it's human nature to work round any system in which we operate. Gee, now that I think of it I was even working around the system when I was in the military. Gee, never thought of that that way Boss.

  4. #4
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    Re: Can ANY political ideology work as advertised?

    Yes. I think that anarchism would work exactly as advertised.

  5. #5
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    Re: Can ANY political ideology work as advertised?

    many of them will work when you're talking about a small tribe. a nation requires a lot more nuance and flexibility.

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    Re: Can ANY political ideology work as advertised?

    The problem is we have to put imperfect people in these theoretically perfect systems. We need to start understanding the imperfections of Man and design a realistic system that minimizes those imperfections and delivers decent quality of life. Of course the big problem with understanding Man's imperfections is that no two humans are alike and we have 7 billion individuals, who all seem to see things differently, to contend with, and each one wants things his/her way. Including me

  7. #7
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    Re: Can ANY political ideology work as advertised?

    It has already been stated, but yes the downfall to any political system, and the insurmountable obstacle preventing them to work as they should in theory is human nature. Greed, corruption, a desire for power and/or control are the first things that come to mind. Humans are are selfish and short sighted, and any political system will be tainted and not working as it would ideally on paper as a result - even if we could somehow get every individual on the same page and supportive of any one given ideology.

    The only possible exceptions being the aforementioned pure anarchy, and its polar opposite an absolute totalitarian dictatorship. I say the dictatorship because when it is working as advertised and as it should it means that no matter what the dictators wishes and whims may be, it is working as advertised, one man wielding complete control.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Can ANY political ideology work as advertised?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher View Post
    Yes. I think that anarchism would work exactly as advertised.
    No it wouldn't, it would never last. It's human nature to group together with those of similar ideology. Anarchy would last about a week, at which point small pockets of civilization would emerge and within a year, most people would be part of some non-anarchist commune. Anarchy probably works worst of every conceivable system.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Can ANY political ideology work as advertised?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    No it wouldn't, it would never last. It's human nature to group together with those of similar ideology. Anarchy would last about a week, at which point small pockets of civilization would emerge and within a year, most people would be part of some non-anarchist commune. Anarchy probably works worst of every conceivable system.
    But those people would only align by choice or by immediate necessity--it would not be a political system so much as it would be a matter of transient convenience. Communist would work the worst IMHO because it is not possible to follow your whimsy under it.

  10. #10
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    Re: Can ANY political ideology work as advertised?

    Quote Originally Posted by marduc View Post
    It has already been stated, but yes the downfall to any political system, and the insurmountable obstacle preventing them to work as they should in theory is human nature. Greed, corruption, a desire for power and/or control are the first things that come to mind. Humans are are selfish and short sighted, and any political system will be tainted and not working as it would ideally on paper as a result - even if we could somehow get every individual on the same page and supportive of any one given ideology...
    I have been thinking a lot about how to deal with human nature. I am thinking it may be due to a long evolution with scarcity. The truth is, a lot of people now live in post-scarcity societies but don't realize it yet, such as USA, Europe, Australia, etc., and China and India aren't too far away and I am sure they will eventually get there. If we overcome our fear of scarcity could we start to move away from competition and start to cooperate more? I don't think competition will ever die, but maybe not everything has to be seen as a race to have just one winner and many things could become more cooperative, hopefully the basics of life. Societies that cooperate more than they compete will need new alternatives to how they are structured and will need to determine how much and what type of governance they need. The possibility is that none of the existing theories may be the best and some cherry picking plus some innovative thinking may have to take place.
    Last edited by kenc; 05-27-13 at 04:09 PM.

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