Is intelligent discussion possible in this tribal climate of fear and hatred?

It seems to me that in recent times the fear and hatred has ratcheted up an emotional response that prevents any intelligent discussion on sensitive subjects. People form political camps. Put up their barriers and entrench themselves. They have no wish to 'engage with the enemy' argue a case or apply intelligence to the discussion.

 

My recent article on world government was a case in point.

 

Some people are totally opposed to the whole idea. Fair enough.

 

In my view disagreement is grounds for a good discussion on the reasons against, the reasons for, and possible ways of addressing the issues that I believe necessitate a world government.

 

Was that intelligent discussion forthcoming?

 

It elicited a series of responses that are evident and preserved in the thread:

 

a. Some did not read the article at all and responded with a knee-jerk reaction to the headline.

 

b. Some poured out emotional fury aimed at the writer.

 

c. Some were violently aggressive and rude.

 

d. Some immediately reached for their chosen internet sites that reinforced their own views and cited them as 'facts'. Reciting the usual exaggerated fake news.

 

e. Some did not read the article but immediately went off on rants about what they perceived the article to mean - missing the whole point - rulers, tyrants, human nature were all trotted out - blah blah blah

 

f. Some immediately misapplied a label - socialist, commie, nutcase so that they could deride and belittle without actually engaging in having to think about the issue at all.

 

g. Some made tenuous links to historical events of little relevance and used that to undermine the premise and ridicule.

 

h. Some chose to merely state their own views without engaging.

 

I. Some looked at it, thought it controversial and chose to ignore.

 

j. Some merely said 'I'm alright Jack. My little bit is OK. I don't want to be bothered with dealing with those issues.'

 

k. Some thought the issues unimportant.

 

How many people actually tried to engage in an intelligent discussion with someone who had views different to themselves?

 

How many people tried to understand why I thought these issues were so pressing that we ought to take the chance of doing something which had inherent risks and try to deal with those risks?

 

How many people considered whether it would be possible to create a federation that would be effective, would address the issues and not degenerate into tyranny? 

 

How many put their views, with reasons, their objections, coherently, and offered alternative well thought-through ways of dealing with the international issues that I believe create the necessity for some federation of nations with international oversight?

 

Where is the intelligent debate? Or has intelligence been replaced with emotional outburst, rationality been replaced with prejudice, reason replaced with 'information' fed in from dubious sources?

 

Never the twain shall meet.

Comments

The Burghal Hidage Added Sep 26, 2018 - 6:23am
A debate or an intelligent discussion? Intelligent discussions are smothered by talking points. Lots and lots of talking points. These become colossally boring and they are by nature inflexible I did not read your article, true, and admitted as much. Not because of any knee jerk, as you put it, but because you did not say anything that I have not discussed with you before. I take the position that you are free to believe or say what you like - no matter how incorrect you may be :)
 
You can state your case and I can state mine. We are not in accord, at least not very often. Conflict IS our nature. Nothing to be gained by denying it. If we were all of one mind we'd probably already be extinct
The Burghal Hidage Added Sep 26, 2018 - 6:27am
I would submit that most divisions are cultivated by those who have the vested interest of maintaining the status quo.
 
Ex:  Black Lives Matter
 
This is a movement ostensibly to combat police abuses against blacks. Only blacks. It sets up the entire premise to be divisive along racial lines, when IN FACT the REAL problem is the police state and police abuse of ALL citizens.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Sep 26, 2018 - 6:35am
Face it D'Opher you're not in charge here. You don't get to set the rules.
 
You don't even get that simple premise so any so-called intelligent discussion with you is impossible.
 
 
opher goodwin Added Sep 26, 2018 - 6:39am
Burger - I would agree that these divisions are being deliberately cultivated by politicians and others who seek to gain from inciting hatred and fear.
I believe that most of the internet sites feeding this are there with political agendas seeking to stir up emotions, reinforce prejudices, exaggerate news and create fake news. They seek to undermine reason, create conspiracy theories and stop people believing in experts. They exploit the confusion that produces.
This is a dangerous game. Healthy scepticism is one thing but pulling the rug out altogether is something else. The house of cards could fall. Civil war is a reality and the spectre of that is extremely frightening. Nobody benefits from such explosions of violence. There are no winners. The American civil war is still claiming victims.
Black Lives Matter may well have been taken over by other forces - I don't know. But I do know it was founded on sound footing. All lives matter and the police have abused all citizens and that needs stopping - but the level of abuse metered out to Black people has been far greater and has rightly sparked a response. Racism of this nature is IMO worthy of special address. I do not believe focussing on that obscures that underlying abuse towards everyone. I think people should unite to tackle the problem of police violence and corruption.
opher goodwin Added Sep 26, 2018 - 6:44am
Burger - I respect your view and the way you stated it. I would have enjoyed a real intellectual discussion regarding the issues raised in the article but that was not to be. We don't have to agree just discuss and explain as intelligent people. I thought that was the main purpose of this site?
You assumed it was a rehash of previous articles. I don't believe it was.
The international issues I addressed are pertinent and pressing. My solution is the only way I see of curbing the global elite but I could be wrong. Maybe someone else has a better answer? I haven't heard one yet!
The Burghal Hidage Added Sep 26, 2018 - 6:58am
And you are factually incorrect Opher. There are far more whites ( both in numbers and as a percentage) who are shot by police. The notion that it is all targeted at blacks is another straw dog:
 







Justice Bureau data for the year 2012
 
Total population : 240,165,000
63% population white = 151,303,950
12.3% population black = 29,540,295
276,460  whites charged with violent crimes = .002 % of white population; .001% of overall pop.
169,612 blacks charged with violent crimes = .006 % of black population; .0007% of overall pop
460,128 total violent crimes charged; 60.1% committed by white, 36.9% committed by black
When presented with the statistic that more whites are killed by police every year than blacks the argument will be made that it is proportional. That due to the much larger white population of course their numbers are higher.
 
In 2012 123 blacks were killed by police, 326 whites.
 
Total police killings 449.  Whites 72.6%; Blacks 27.4%
Blacks killed by police as a percentage of the black population .000004%
As a percentage of blacks charged with violent crimes .0007%
As a percentage of overall population .0000005%
Whites killed by police as a percentage of white population .000002%
As a percentage of whites charged with violent crimes .001%
As a percentage of overall population .000001%
 
Say what you want to about proportions. The numbers do not add up to support the claims of Back Lives Matter. And to keep in perspective any time you are talking about a number that is a decimal point followed by 5 or 6 zeros it is a pretty infinitesimally small number anyway. More people probably die from the flu every year.
 
 
 






 

 
The Burghal Hidage Added Sep 26, 2018 - 6:59am
There are more recent numbers, I am sure, but these are numbers from the Obama DOJ
The Burghal Hidage Added Sep 26, 2018 - 6:59am
so you assertion does not hold water. Sorry
opher goodwin Added Sep 26, 2018 - 7:04am
Well that is interesting and does seem to support the fact that Blacks are not abused any more than Whites. That runs contrary to what I have read in the past but I'm willing to accept the stats.
Perhaps a campaign of Black and White Lives Matter would be more pertinent?
Police brutality against anyone is abhorrent.
Ward Tipton Added Sep 26, 2018 - 7:08am
About the best you can hope for is discussin' without the cussin'!
The Burghal Hidage Added Sep 26, 2018 - 7:09am
So then say that! WHY does it only have to be about blacks? For reasons I stated above. Police are abhorrent. Hired thugs
The Burghal Hidage Added Sep 26, 2018 - 7:20am
I think that tribalism is a part of our nature and do not agree that it is automatically a bad thing. Opher go back to where you and I first began any dialogue, last summer sometime. We did not begin on a good footing....but we kept talking. You and I are practically polar opposites in a political sense, and yet here we are. We don't have to agree about everything. How bloody boring would that be! 
 
The key is to just keep talking. I'm secure enough in my own beliefs that I am not rattled by voices that challenge those beliefs. I don't mean to make converts, only to make people think
The Burghal Hidage Added Sep 26, 2018 - 7:39am
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbNLt8UKWQA
 
watch this Opher. This is journalism. This is why Trump is President and until the left figures it out they will remain in the wilderness
Ward Tipton Added Sep 26, 2018 - 7:42am
Then why were so many chastised, ostracized and even condemned for openly proclaiming "All Lives Matter" ... primarily by leftists/statists? 
 
Therein lies the crux of the problem. Despite the obvious truth that ALL lives matter, it is seen as a racist concept by those who are themselves exhibiting the lion's share of racist behavior, even if only exhibited through bias and prejudice. 
 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Sep 26, 2018 - 7:53am
Police are abhorrent. Hired thugs
 
You're too nice. 
 
opher goodwin Added Sep 26, 2018 - 8:15am
Ward - I would hope to have differences, debate and mutual respect for each other's position.
opher goodwin Added Sep 26, 2018 - 8:16am
Burger - I'm happy to say that.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Sep 26, 2018 - 8:18am
mutual respect for each other's position
 
Like you have for mine.
 
opher goodwin Added Sep 26, 2018 - 8:18am
Burger - I personally do not think tribalism is good in any way what-so-ever. It promotes closed mindedness, hostility and division. I'd like to do away with it. What good things do you see?
I enjoy our conversations. We don't agree but there is respect, fun, common ground and interest. I'm sure you'll come round eventually.
opher goodwin Added Sep 26, 2018 - 8:19am
I will have a look at the link after lunch!
opher goodwin Added Sep 26, 2018 - 8:20am
Ward - well those people who proclaim that are simply wrong aren't they?
opher goodwin Added Sep 26, 2018 - 8:23am
BTW - police are necessary and not all thugs. I have a daughter-in-law who is in the police. She is not a thug. She helps a lot of people and deals with some horrific things. Without the police we'd be in trouble.
It is the arrogant thugs who are the problem.
I also think policing in the UK is better than in the US. They don't have guns here. They deal with things in a different way. Some of my dealings with police in the USA were good and some were nasty. The guns give them power and many can't handle it.
Doug Plumb Added Sep 26, 2018 - 8:53am
Opher, I presume that you posted the article because you wanted to hear counter opinions and perhaps check your own thinking, which is really the best reason to post an essay online. I'm constantly looking to be proven wrong, as well as to awaken people to thought along the lines of the law (rationalism) as opposed to empiricism (history), which I consider to be gossip.
  To this end, I posted a suggestion to a short essay that presents the best argument against a world government that I know of, and written by a widely recognized great scholar of Western thought, CS Lewis (The Last Men). I explained that the essay could be easily found online in a variety of formats and was a very short and easy read.
  I wonder if you looked at it, if you are interested in good counter argument. Perhaps you are just nice and want everyone else to be nice and buy into all the false promises of world government. I wonder why you post. You write, but do you wish to learn?
  Learning is difficult work, especially for us older folk. We tend to reinforce our own opinions and are not receptive to knew ideas. I wish that I did not believe the things I do, I wish someone could explain to me why I'm wrong, instead of using the childish argument "that's not nice" or insulting me as being an "anti-semitic" or a "racist" or a "NAZI".
  Intelligent argument does not work - usually.
 
 
George N Romey Added Sep 26, 2018 - 8:59am
Opher most rational people, even liberals realize that "world government" at least with today's world isn't remotely feasible.  I asked questions.  Who would run this organization?  How would the leaders be selected?  Would countries be able to keep their own local laws, traditions and customs?  Would all countries be forced to abide by Western standards?  What if a country had no intention of joining this "world government?"  Would they be forced to at the threat of military action?
 
None of these questions you could answer other than some vague idea that somehow, someway we would all "self govern" ourselves for the good.  Yes you have the right idea of a planet a peace and void of this need to war for the most silly and stupid reasons.  But your answer has not one iota of being practical.
 
Really this is no different than the moronic righties that come here and claim we could just simply do away with government and that the "free market" would make the world a beautiful place.
Dino Manalis Added Sep 26, 2018 - 9:25am
 Intelligence is possible if we understand fear and hatred don't serve us well and we can do better.
opher goodwin Added Sep 26, 2018 - 9:30am
George - simply not true. You jumped into a concept of world government that was a million miles from mine.
The body I envisage would not be a government so much as a federation of equals. It would not be run by anyone.
The model I would adopt would be the UN model. Every nation has a representative.
All 196 countries are there apart from 3 - Kosovo, Palestine, and Vatican City.
The countries themselves would put forward their delegations according to how their governments work - i.e. democratically elected or through whatever system they choose to have operating in their own country - with the will of the people.
Every country would be perfectly able to have its own laws and customs as long as they did not violate human rights, damage the environment, pollute or promote war - i.e. in line with the remit. Likewise Western Standards.
Nobody would be forced to join. Everybody already has chosen to.
I want that body to have a remit to address human rights, environment and war. The Declaration of Human Rights is already there and is brilliant.
I do not want force except in extreme cases such as ISIS - I see trade and embargoes as much more effective - as we are seeing with NoKo.
I want universal control over the global elite who are presently exploiting us and ruining the world for selfish greed. I want them stopping.
Doing away with government and letting the free market exploit everyone is the opposite of what I would suggest.
At present the UN is working but is inefficient. I want it working better with a better remit.
George N Romey Added Sep 26, 2018 - 9:44am
Opher if no one is forced to join you wouldn't have world government.  What'd you have is a world controlled by the rich western countries.  Newsflash, that is what you in all reality have now. The US and Western Europe for decades have ruled lesser countries through various means.  Its no wonder the US and Western Europe are hated in so many parts of the world.  Look at what the US has done to Central and South America and what Western Europe has done to Southern Europe.  Greece is an economic basket case because the Germans and Brussels won't let them out of this debt they will never be able to repay.  The bankers get rich on extending them more debt to cover the debt that can't be paid and the people of Greece constantly suffer.
 
Really I think the five year old girl that lives next to me understands human nature better than you.  Have you ever traveled outside of your little UK world?  No way or you paid very little attention to how most of the world thinks.  
TexasLynn Added Sep 26, 2018 - 10:07am
Opher, I'm one of those who read your article, and some of the comments; and chose not to participate.  Why?  Kinda of what TBH said, we've done this before... nothing new here.
 
Question?  How do you approach having an intelligent conversation on the subject of “dark is light”?  Because that was how I read your article AND how you would view my response.  You take offense, I don't.  I just recognize that we are polar opposites when it comes to our view of the basic laws of humanity.
 
You off-handedly dismiss my views (and that of others) "...missing the whole point - rulers, tyrants, human nature were all trotted out - blah blah blah" when those things have EVERYTHING to do with the topic of world government.  So again, why bother.
 
You added, "Some made tenuous links to historical events of little relevance"... and again... history has all the relevance in the world to the topic, but nope... you decree that's not intelligent discussion.
 
What is your definition of "intelligent discussion", Opher?  Sycophant concession?
 
For me, personally, you made a statement that you (I think) consider to be an obvious truth, but to me is the equivalent of saying "dark is light".  It is the foundation on which you lay your hopes and dreams of this (world government) and other causes.  You wrote, "It is surely within our intelligence to devise a system that would work, within parameters that are acceptable."
 
No, Opher, it is not within our intelligence (or nature, and yes, our nature is relevant) to devise such a system... and history is the proof (which is also relevant).  But you dismiss such a statement as an attach or not intelligently discussing... SO... WHY BOTHER.
 
You ask, "How many people actually tried to engage in an intelligent discussion with someone who had views different to themselves?"
 
You realize that includes the author?  Right?
Stone-Eater Added Sep 26, 2018 - 10:40am
Oph
 
You're judging too rough. We ARE animals. Don't expect too much. We're guided by emotions, we act according to how we were brought up, by our environment and the Zeitgeist of a period.
 
Life is for laughing. As long as we're able to breathe, the rest is bullshit :))
Stone-Eater Added Sep 26, 2018 - 10:43am
BTW:  Intelligence as we know it doesn't prevent cruelty. Quite the opposite....
Leroy Added Sep 26, 2018 - 11:01am
Maybe it is a repressed memory from long ago, but it seemed like it was a regurgitation of a previous article.  I neither read nor commented on your previous article.  But, I have read many of your comments and articles.  It is hard to discuss our disagreements when you revert of worn out memes such as calling people NAZIs--directly or indirectly--with whom you disagree.  I kindly suggest that you look into the mirror to see what you see.
opher goodwin Added Sep 26, 2018 - 12:01pm
George - there you go again. I have travelled very widely thanks - South America, Africa, Australia, Far East, Middle East, North America, Mexico and Europe. 
I've worked abroad and lived abroad.
George - as I pointed out - only 4 small nations out of 196 have failed to sign up.
As someone who has qualifications in psychology and applied it throughout my career I think I have a very good handle on human nature. It was my job and I excelled at it.
The reason Greece got itself in trouble was mainly due to the ridiculous work and tax they all had come to expect - retire at 50, short working day, long vacations, avoidance of taxes. They simply weren't paying their way.
opher goodwin Added Sep 26, 2018 - 12:15pm
Tex - I have on a number of occasions had productive discussions with you where we have both probed and found common ground.
I do not mind differences. What I am talking about is openly discussing intelligently rather than making bland statements.
History does indeed have relevance but is not a law. If something hasn't worked in the past you work out why put it right and do it again until you get it to work. If everyone gave up the first or second time we'd never improve or invent new things.
America is a good example of how there are checks and balances that prevents tyranny. We might greatly dislike Obama or Trump but there is a limit to the damage they can do. I think they can be improved on with modern thinking and knowledge. 
When I answer on a thread I am usually civil and quite prepared to put my case. Rarely do I resort to abuse - only if abused.
I read a person's argument and put my case forcibly but with respect. I argue passionately and read what has been said and respond to it.
I do not go to bogus sites and drop links to propaganda. I use my intellect and philosophy.
Discussion and debate is good. We don't agree but we understand each other.
Abuse and reciting propaganda is crap.
I want to know the reasons why you might think something is right or wrong not what someone else thinks.
I don't think there are many people on hear who will say that I bomb their posts. I nearly always explain what I think and why in as much detail as possible and am prepared to interact and argue.
That is intelligent discuss. Not abuse. Not bland statements. Not facts gleaned from dubious sources.
George N Romey Added Sep 26, 2018 - 12:17pm
Signed up for what?  Unless I've been in a long sleep no country has agreed to "world government."  When did that happen?
 
You want to know what organizations were set up to "develop the world and create harmony."  The IMF and WTO.  Two organizations that have been instrumental in destroying the Western middle class and taking advantage of poor, desperate countries.  Two organizations immediately co-oped by big corporations and the plutocrat crowd.
 
You say you've travel. You could not have spoken with the locals. When I was younger I used to go to Brazil quite often.  I got to know some of the families that ran the concessions on the beach.  They were essentially the (very honest and decent) working poor. They thought all Americans to be rich. They thought I was rich because I'd tip about $10R (around $3-$4 USD).  This is how more than 50% of the world thinks.
 
You really want the .01% to totally control the world? Give them more power either through more global government or alternatively more "free market."  
 
If you claim to know human nature you know people have always been driven by self interest and above all culture.  There has never been communal agreement in the world.  Never, once.  Look at the number of businesses that were selling to Hitler even as FDR was decrying the Nazis.  How many countries, particularly the US came to the rescue of Jews in the concentration camps?  Did you know that despite pleas from Eleanor Roosevelt FDR refused to intervene?  And FDR is one of the good ones in history.  
 
Yes if there was ever a global threat maybe mankind would come together.  Well to think of it there is, global warming.  Are you telling me that all countries are coming together to fight against something that has the possibility of destroying the planet? Have you seen China's reaction?  India?  
opher goodwin Added Sep 26, 2018 - 12:18pm
Stone - yes we are animals and subject to emotions but we are well capable of intelligent rational debate. We are better when we argue with electricity and not chemicals.
And yes - many intelligent people are much more cruel than stupid people. I've met some nasty ones.
opher goodwin Added Sep 26, 2018 - 12:19pm
Leroy - who have I called a Nazi?
opher goodwin Added Sep 26, 2018 - 12:23pm
Leroy I look in the mirror lots. As a writer it is what I do. I fully understand myself and my philosophy. I am an idealist who works for a better world. I have a very well-thought out philosophy that I apply to my life and work. I am also a pragmatist and have seen my philosophy in action, working and creating a school that was one of the very best in the country - and recognised on a number of occasions for that. I have been called down to the Guild Hall in London to be feted by the Education Secretary for my success. I am no head in the clouds airy-fairy.
opher goodwin Added Sep 26, 2018 - 12:24pm
Stone - the zeitgeist is what we all collectively create. We are not its victims but its creators. It is up to all of us to make it better.
George N Romey Added Sep 26, 2018 - 12:34pm
Ask the .01% (or aka the Ivy League) crowd if they are rational and intelligent and you'd get YES.  Yet these are the same people that think nothing of firing thousands of people sending them to financial hell so they can move production to lands in which people will accept a fraction of pay. And of course no benefits and safety measures.
 
They have rationalized it "intelligently" in every way possible.  Have you actually listened and read these people.  And I bet anyone any amount of money those at the "Guild Hall in London" think this way.  
Bill H. Added Sep 26, 2018 - 12:47pm
 
Oph - I found your article interesting and worthy of discussion. The subject is a dismal one, but an honest look at where the world is headed would make this an important discussion in the near future.
Humans are maybe just getting a hint of how they are destroying the world by overpopulation and the resulting pollution and other negative effects. We are also seeing a return to nationalism and dictatorships, which is something we should have rid ourselves of years ago.
TexasLynn Added Sep 26, 2018 - 1:07pm
I admire when we have occasionally found common ground, but on the whole it's rare.
 
OG >> I want to know the reasons why you might think something is right or wrong not what someone else thinks.
 
OK... It (any attempt at world government) is wrong, and here's why... (no links)
 
♦ Benevolent world government is not possible because of the nature of man.  We do not have the capacity (moral, intellectually, or otherwise) to "devise a system that would work".  Your basic premise if flawed.
 
♦ You use the United Nations as the model for what you want which is ironic since that corrupt, inept, organization is exactly what we would want to avoid in a world government.
 
♦ History is more important than you give it credit for because it exposes the basic flaw in your proposal... the fallibility of man.  You're taking a law of nature (like gravity) and propose we throw the apple in the air one more time in an effort to make it float (and not fall).
 
♦ I will oppose all efforts to establish a world government to the death.  Literally... not figuratively.  Why?  Because all such efforts lead to unimaginable evil.  And I refuse to pretend that trough our intellect, the law of gravity (or the law of human nature) will be abolished.
 
BUT... by your standards (based on this post)... I'm assuming this is all blah, blah, blah... and not an intellectual discussion.  So why did I bother?
George N Romey Added Sep 26, 2018 - 1:26pm
The cold fact is that this cannot and would never work.  Every "world organization" formed up to now has done nothing but feather the cap of the .01%.  This would be a plutocrat's dream.  
 
Opher claims that 192 countries signed onto "something".  What?  "World government" as such it is now can't even come up with a coherent plan to stop the environmental destruction of the Earth or even wars?
 
Opher claims his world government would be a council that represents the people (or something to that effect).  How would they be chosen and do big countries like the US get far more representation over some small country like Indonesia?  He has never once said how he would deal with conflicting cultures and norms.  Are we going to tell 1 billion Muslims to give up their religious beliefs? Suppose they say no way?  We've seen how wonderful they warmed up to the idea of a Democracy.
 
Intelligent discussion?  There's not one "intelligent" thing about this pie in the sky idea.  Its no different than the righties that bladder on about getting rid of government and allowing for "free will".  Since I could use some money and your 90 year old grandmother has lots of valuable I'm coming around to rob her.  She's in a wheelchair, so what's she going to do? And since we have no laws and only free will......
 
I don't mean to be insulting but this has got to be one of the dumbest conversation I think I've ever seen.  Its like discussing a world view with a five year old.
Katharine Otto Added Sep 26, 2018 - 3:36pm
Opher,
Let me ask you this:  Has anything anyone said on the world government, UN, or other threads about world government changed your views one whit?  I haven't found any variation on your theme, either.  I asked what I thought were legitimate questions, and you either discounted or ignored me.  I, like so many other commentators above, finally decided it was hopeless.  Why bother, when your view is so inflexible?
 
The purpose of discussion, I believe, is to try to understand the other's point of view, or at least to take it deeper, but this is not what happens here.  When others offer what I also believe are legitimate concerns, you go on the defensive.  Take your attitude and multiply it by a couple of billion people, and you will understand why world government will not work until people mature to the point where the governments become servants rather than masters.
 
By the way, China is blocking Taiwan's acceptance into the UN, because China claims Taiwan as its own.  And UN members are not allowed to trade with Taiwan because of China's economic sanctions.  How would your world government handle that?
opher goodwin Added Sep 26, 2018 - 3:57pm
George - the UN is the nearest thing we have to the type of federation I was suggesting - only 4 countries not signed up.
No it hasn't got a coherent plan to stop environmental destruction. Why do you think it is still going on? That is why I say we need a coherent plan.
And no. It is exactly the opposite - I want controls to curb the 1% not give them greater power. They've got unlimited power right now because there is no way of curbing them. They are a law unto themselves. They couldn't have more power could they?
How would you curb them without international control? They are running amok.
Just bear in my it is not me calling you a dumbass with the reasoning of a five year old for just pretending everything is alright. It is far from alright. We are in the midst of a global catastrophe caused by that 1% are I have not heard one single sensible idea for how to stop them.
George - yes I did see China and India's reaction to global warming. They signed up. It's the US that is playing the fool.
opher goodwin Added Sep 26, 2018 - 4:00pm
Bill - I agree with you 100%. Overpopulation, pollution and species extinction caused by greed is destroying the planet.
It is a catastrophe. It needs addressing.
This move to nationalism is madness. It is not going to address anything.
Right now the 1% have carte blanche to destroy with impunity.
George N Romey Added Sep 26, 2018 - 4:11pm
Opher both China and India continue to pollute to their heart's delight.  I've asked intelligent obvious questions for which you give this vague "it will be a committee of sorts" (I guess.)  Again, how will the committee be decided.  Will it be unelected officials or will there be a global vote?  Will countries have an equal vote or dependent upon their size?  Will one country block of countries be able to block votes or reverse decisions?
 
How would this global government contend with local norms and cultures, particularly those that are not part of western values.  How about religious beliefs?  How about tort laws?   
 
I could go on and on.  You say "world government now" yet you have no concrete answers other than vague generalities that make no sense.  This sounds like rantings of lunatic (or someone like Donald Trump) or a child.  Or do you realistically say that someone tomorrow will say "we're having world government" and every near seven billion of the world will have a kumbaya moment.
 
If you want to have an intelligent discussion you would need to put forth specific plans on how to contend with a world that is very diversified and throughout its history has never been one in all.  
opher goodwin Added Sep 26, 2018 - 4:19pm
Tex - this post is about whether it is possible to have intelligent discussion - not a continuation of the world government post. I merely used that as illustration of a trend that has been going on in WB for some time.
But thank you for taking the time to write an outline, nothing more, of your objections. I appreciate that and share some of your concerns. Yes - this is what the post is about - intelligent dialogue - not necessarily agreement but stuff that makes each other think. If it doesn't then there's just a waste of time.
I obviously think that the situation we are currently in is far worse than you do.
Currently I think we are in the midst of a huge disaster. Over half of the animals in the world, and invertebrates, have been wiped out in the last thirty years. On top of that we have global warming, overpopulation and a 1% that is exploiting us all and there is no means for dealing with any of it.
In the circumstances where we are in a vehicle heading for a cliff I suggest we try anything to slow us down.
a. I understand about human nature - but I believe, as has been done with the US constitution, we can build in checks and safeguards. I think that needs exploring further.
b. The UN - it is not as effect as it should be. I want to make it effective. I do not believe it is corrupt. I think it needs improving. I think the Winston Churchill quote (he who was most responsible for setting it up and a great advocate) - 
The United Nations was set up not to get us to heaven, but only to save us from hell.
Winston Churchill
c. History is indeed important to learn from in order to make things better. Repeating something is stupid - changing and adapting it to make it work is intelligent.
d. I find it sad that you would oppose something without even knowing what it is. IMO Global problems, such as are being caused by that 1% right now require global solutions.
 
If nobody is bothered to listen to anyone who disagrees with them we might as well close the site down.
 
Most people on this site have some intelligence. What they lack is respect and the emotional maturity to have a discussion around differences.
opher goodwin Added Sep 26, 2018 - 4:20pm
Tex - a while back you have a harangue about me not explaining myself. I wrote a great long article explaining in some detail. You said you'd respond. You never did.
George N Romey Added Sep 26, 2018 - 4:27pm
Winston Churchill?  The guy was all for imperialism.  Henry Wallace loved to agonize the guy.  FDR eventually took Wallace out of any international affairs (leaving him out of Bretton Woods) because Churchill got tired of hearing Wallace talk about the end of empire.
Henry Wallace was probably the most progressive forward American that ever lived and had FDR fought to keep him as VP for 1944 this country would look much different and better today.  Henry Wallace warned against global government.  He knew as I do (and I by no means am comparing myself to Wallace) that it was nothing more than a plutocrat's wet dream.
opher goodwin Added Sep 26, 2018 - 4:31pm
Katharine - the aim of intelligent debate is not necessarily to change another person's view; it is to understand more about their point of view and where they are coming from. People do not have to have changed their minds, merely examined their own reasoning and thought more deeply.
If I failed to adequately answer your questions then I apologise. I usually attempt to answer all replies on my threads. I like to engage and explain.
Yes - I do learn things. Yes I do agree with some of the points.
But no - I have not heard one single sensible suggestion of how one would deal with the global disasters presently going on - the list I put on my last post. Neither has anyone come up with a way of addressing or controlling the 1% elite who are causing the damage with their global policies. They are out of control and they are destroying the planet out of greed.
At least I am coming out with suggestions to deal with the bastards. Nobody else is.
In terms of the handling of Taiwan - I'd discuss it and put it to the vote. Is there any other way?
If I appear defensive it is in response to the manner of the attacks and abuse. I am an intelligent reasonable person. I enjoy a debate. I do not enjoy abuse.
George N Romey Added Sep 26, 2018 - 4:35pm
On the flip side I'm arguing with this screwball John Howard that thinks if we got rid of government and laws and let people act in their own "self interest" things would be wonderful.  Really?  How about I go over to your 90 year old grandmother's house and take her valuables.  She's in a wheelchair, she can't do anything to stop me. Its my self interest to have those valuables and no law (or punishment) should prevent me from pursuing my "self interest." 
Jeff Michka Added Sep 26, 2018 - 5:46pm
Geezus.  opher has gotten urinated on by just about ever constant noise ERW on WB,  And opher even got elite is what I wannabe Geeho fully lit with flaming hair.  opher offered another solution to the Us's terminal John Wayne Syndrome.  "We're going it alone, pilgrims," sez Orange shitpile.  How is that gonna work, and how did this countrty's last bout with America First work out?  Hmmm.  Wot? We need this country ran by Geeho R?  He won't work for less than six figures, and can sit in the oval office when he's not greeting people at the door of a Walmart.
opher goodwin Added Sep 26, 2018 - 5:53pm
George - well I'm with you on that one. I do not think anarchy solves anything. It's just turning your back on the international problems and allowing all the violent, evil thugs to get away with murder.
I don't like restrictions on my freedoms but I sure as hell know that we need them.
opher goodwin Added Sep 26, 2018 - 5:55pm
Jeff - well it certainly stirred up a hornets nest.
TexasLynn Added Sep 26, 2018 - 6:12pm
OG >> I wrote a great long article explaining in some detail. You said you'd respond. You never did.
 
Then I owe you an apology.  I'm sure it was not intentional... like all I have a life outside WB that tends to demand some of my time.
 
With that in mind, I'm about to make an annual pilgrimage (the first week of October) that involves getting back to nature... and subduing it to my whim.  :) I'll be less forthcoming with my usual brilliant comments.
 
OG >> Jeff - well it certainly stirred up a hornets nest.
 
You speak Michka?  You are a man of many talents.
 
May I mambo dogface to the banana patch? :)
wsucram15 Added Sep 26, 2018 - 6:15pm
Well..TBH..while you are correct in your numbers and the percentage of blacks is substantially lower, the proportional amount of blacks to that percentage shot is higher than that of whites.
ex-if 5% of 77% are shot that is almost 4 ppl.  While 5% of 13% is 65% of the population...just a 5% example.
 
Opher..the UN is a good idea..but it is elitist and not enforceable. I agree with George on this. It might still be the best global body so far, but it would have to be a better global co-op and countries like China, Russia and now US would have to be cut out.
James Travil Added Sep 26, 2018 - 6:24pm
I believe that there was overall intelligent debate (on the aforementioned subject and others). Maybe I should have elaborated on my answer more, to wit I say that nationalism is an ever growing factor in opposition to a world government. As such untell a major global disaster (or several) occur that lead to a full scale breakdown in planetary governments as they exist today, including a routing of the global oligarchs, can we learn from the mistakes of today to rebuild tomorrow a positive global government that has a chance to succeed. Until such occurs greed and nationalism will win out. It may take a full scale nuclear war and the collapse our current civilization and current global leadership to move forward to something better than what we have today. 
opher goodwin Added Sep 26, 2018 - 6:38pm
Jeanne - I agree that the UN does some good but needs to be more effective. I also agree that we have to do something about those vetoes and bring everyone into line.
As long as the remit is right I believe it could control the elite. At the moment nothing else is.
opher goodwin Added Sep 26, 2018 - 6:41pm
James - well I have seen some intelligent debate but still too much emotion and not enough neurones for my tastes.
I probably will take a major catastrophe to bring about the change needed and put an end to the free rein the global elite presently have.
Perhaps global warming will be the catastrophe that causes the changes?
wsucram15 Added Sep 26, 2018 - 6:50pm
Opher..to your last point to James..EXACTLY!
Rainer Unsinn Added Sep 26, 2018 - 8:49pm
Just to put it in perspective:
 
USA: in 2012 123 blacks were killed by police, 326 whites.


UK: in 2016 4 (four) people were killed by police
 
Germany: in 2016 12 (twelve) people were killed by police
 
Katharine Otto Added Sep 26, 2018 - 9:50pm
Opher,
One question, then:  How will this world government solve the problem of over-population?  If you can answer that, we can move on to all those other problems you believe a world government can solve.
 
Seems like many people have solutions, but nobody answers the "How?" question.
 
TexasLynn Added Sep 26, 2018 - 10:22pm
KO >> Seems like many people have solutions, but nobody answers the "How?" question.
 
Give up KO... the answer will just be something nebulous... like... I don't know... let's to with "education".
 
That sounds nice... eventually those with such power move on to other means.
Michael B. Added Sep 26, 2018 - 11:56pm
@ Opher - It's possible, but you have to kill MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of people in order for that to happen. Didn't Uncle Joe and Uncle Mao teach you anything?
Jeffry Gilbert Added Sep 27, 2018 - 12:32am
It's possible, but you have to kill MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of people in order for that to happen. 
 
One of D'Opher's goals is population reduction. 
 
Just like those wealthy elites he hates so much. Bill Gates has put a lot of money and effort into that goal already. 
 
Neil Lock Added Sep 27, 2018 - 4:02am
Well Opher, I certainly tried to engage in an intelligent discussion on that thread. Here is part of what I said:
 
My own preferred system of governance will be de-centralized. It will be based, not on a political ideology or on the sovereignty of a state, but on two very simple principles. First, that everyone is responsible for the effects on others of their voluntary actions. And second, that each individual deserves to be treated, in the round and as far as practicable, as he or she treats others.
 
Would that not give everyone an incentive to behave well towards others, and to respect their rights? In such a system, I think the political psychopaths, along with their cronies, would become rejected and ostracised. War would become impossible. And no-one would be made to pay any more for governance than the benefit they as individuals receive from it.
 
Such a system, I think, would eventually extend world-wide, without there being any central point of power to attract the unscrupulous. Wouldn’t that be far better than any “world government?”
 
Doug Plumb acknowledged my point, and Lindsay Wheeler ranted at me; but no-one else, including yourself, bothered to respond to it.
 
Doug Plumb Added Sep 27, 2018 - 10:08am
Opher, what is the best argument against world government that you know of ? Of course being invited to the Establishment for being so wise means you are a little more than a True Believer and you are an intellectual, having published fifty books.
  A wise debater knows both sides of the argument very well and could easily switch sides in a debate if required. Of course you are a wise debater, so what arguments against word government have you read and why did they not take hold?
  In my case I've read the Frankfurt School, Adorno, Marx and lots of contemporary pro world government stuff. I even read the official report on 9-11.
  FYI, the "debt" does not exist except in the imaginations of banker and attorneys, of which your elected represented function, as representatives for you. There is no obligation on the part of the satanic banksters in return for this debt, nor did they give up anything to lend the world all this money, yet the UN holds it as legitimate. Since you are such a UN fan, could you please explain how, as a matter of law, the debt is both legitimate and real?
  Why do people often refer to the banksters and the UN as "satanic"? Certainly a wise man knows this.
George N Romey Added Sep 27, 2018 - 10:22am
At the end of day to think the .01% global bankers wouldn't have a heavy hand in running any kind of global government is naive at best.  Under no circumstances are the real power brokers going to let a "committee of the good" run the show.  The world does not work that way and never has.
 
They of course would dress up it all to look appealing to the average Joe as they always do (Wal Mart gives Americans cheaper prices!  When those factory jobs go away there will be jobs of the future to re-employ everyone!) 
opher goodwin Added Sep 27, 2018 - 11:30am
Rainer - it is not a good record is it? US police seem a bit trigger happy.
opher goodwin Added Sep 27, 2018 - 11:44am
Katharine - the world overpopulation crisis, which I believe is responsible for most of the world's problems - pollution, deforestation, destruction of wildlife, etc etc. - is something that requires a great deal of international effort. It is something I have looked at in detail. It is not something with easy answers as there are cultural issues. These are the solutions:
a. Education for girls (fertility rates drop the more girls are educated)
b. Education for boys (to promote the awareness of economic factors and the need for cultural change)
c. Welfare for illness (so families are not dependant on children when they get ill)
d. Pensions (so families are not dependent on children when the get old)
e. Health care for girls and women (to give them access to contraception outside the control of men)
f. Sex education programmes promoting small families (which promote the need to restrict numbers of children)
g. Health facilities to prevent infant mortality (so that families do not have many kids because they know some of them will die)
h. Incentive schemes for having two children or less.
I. Economic development (raising economic development, with high employment reduces fertility levels)
j. High profile campaigns (as in India with their Me and You +2 scheme)
 
As most areas where population is out of control are in underdeveloped countries, lacking in money and resources, this requires international cooperation. I would like to see an international controlling body operating a programme incorporating all of the above in order to assist Third World countries and reduce population for the good of us all.
opher goodwin Added Sep 27, 2018 - 11:46am
Thanks Tex - is that the answer to all the world's problems? Just give up?
Or are you waiting for god to sort it out?
opher goodwin Added Sep 27, 2018 - 11:47am
Michael B- no you don't have to kill anybody - just stop producing so many babies - just like we do in the West.
opher goodwin Added Sep 27, 2018 - 11:48am
Jeffry - yes it is. Population reduction should be one of the top priorities. It doesn't take a genius to understand that.
opher goodwin Added Sep 27, 2018 - 11:58am
Neil - I'm sorry Neil. I don't know how I missed it. I make it a point to always try to respond to anyone kind enough to leave a comment and we have had some good exchanges in the past. I've been a bit busy lately finishing off writing a new Sci-fi novel.
Better late than never:
I believe we have had this discussion before. I can see how this idea of decentralisation is very attractive but I think it is too idealistic.
As so many people have pointed out regarding central governments - I believe it does not take account of human nature or international problems.
You talk loosely of it rolling out around the world. What timescale are we talking? A thousand years?
How would it possibly deal with the international crises that we are currently dealing with? - Overpopulation? Environmental degradation? Pollution? War?  Poverty? International crime? Tax evasion? Multinational companies? Global warming? plus all the others.
I'm pretty sure that the global elite are not going to stop what they are doing until someone actively controls them. I cannot see your idea controlling them at all.
It seems to me a case of putting your head in the sand and saying I'm OK here and I don't really care what's happening anywhere else.
opher goodwin Added Sep 27, 2018 - 12:08pm
Doug - I think the biggest argument against world government is the major problem that instead of controlling the elite 1% it represents them. Thus is can become tyrannical and actually worsen the situation.
It could, owing to the lack of opposition, become unassailably powerful and in that way gain unlimited control. Instead of being a benevolent force it could become an enslaving force. Thus we could end up with a totalitarian world with a grotesquely wealthy elite living in opulence and the rest of us living in a police state under high control and working for very little.
(Not too dissimilar to what we have now when you think about it).
We have seen this in history a number of times where a revolution, supposedly putting the ordinary people in power, is stolen by a leader and turned into such a State - i.e. Stalin, Mao, Hitler and Pol Pot.
That is why I would go for a federation with no leaders and many safeguards - using the UN as a model. That is why I would give it a specific remit too.
opher goodwin Added Sep 27, 2018 - 12:12pm
George - unless somebody finds a way of controlling the activities of that global elite we are all fucked. They are greedy, selfish and ruthless and they are destroying the planet. They do not care about the damage they cause as long as they get theirs.
If you have any suggestions on how else those maniacs can be dealt with I'd like to hear it - Oh and not revolution - because a. that is not going to happen and b. it would be worse than what we now have.
opher goodwin Added Sep 27, 2018 - 12:15pm
Tex - BTW - I'm never shy of putting detailed responses with solutions that are not nebulous. As I said to you before when you challenged me - I gave a detailed post of exactly what I believed and why to why you did not bother to reply.
George N Romey Added Sep 27, 2018 - 12:47pm
Opher there is no other way than revolution.  Sorry the bus drivers of the world are no match for the tens of trillions held by the .01% and the politicians they buy.  Global government would put them in charge for good and on a scale unimaginable. 
 
In the US over the past 100 there has only been one politician (actually 2 with his 1940-1944 VP) that stood up to the elite-FDR.  And even his record was mix.  
 
Technology and AI will make this matter far worse.  Yeah revolution will be very ugly and probably millions will die.  Assuming we don't destroy ourselves we get something better on the other side.
The Burghal Hidage Added Sep 27, 2018 - 12:50pm
Opher -  the elites will drive their own collapse. Hubris: Slayer of Empires
 
The peoples of the western world are for the most part desperately ill equipped to rebuild and emotionally incapable of accepting the necessary changes. There's only some, what, 60 millions of you lot in the UK? You're mostly a well mannered bunch (save for those pillocks who pull for Man City), you may just make out. I don't know. 
 
Here? It will be ugly. Very ugly. Kinda lookin' forward to it :)
John Minehan Added Sep 27, 2018 - 1:04pm
"How many people considered whether it would be possible to create a federation that would be effective, would address the issues and not degenerate into tyranny?"
 
I think the consensus answer was that it would be very difficult.
 
Lord Acton's phrase that "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" does seem to bear out.  (Acton, a Catholic Peer, was talking about the Vatican when he said it, so it was not an idle thought.) 
 
The more centralized and absolute power is the less likely it is that it will be used properly (Hayek's central thesis but also why Federal Systems like that in the uS or the FRG exist).
 
An alternative would be a central authority that had broad power to set priorities and rules but deferred to  local authorities in terms of execution, somewhat in the style of the old Sublime Porte of the Ottoman Empire.   
 
Katharine Otto Added Sep 27, 2018 - 3:40pm
Opher,
If all your suggestions for controlling over-population were enacted today, we might reach optimum population in a few generations.  A more immediate solution to the problems you are citing would be put those elites you declaim on the front lines of all the wars we are waging today.  Let them fight their own battles. 
 
That would be much less costly than all the other solutions, and it would reduce population, too.  Then we could re-distribute their wealth to the masses for all those programs you believe will solve the other problems.
 
The people who declare the wars don't have to fight them.  I don't think we've ever had a "Commander-in-Chief" who actually fought the wars while he was "Commander."  I would be happy to put the President, Supreme Court, and Congress on the front lines in Syria and Afghanistan, as well as in those places where the US is engaged in under-reported skirmishes.  Why, your beloved UN "Freedom Fighters" could use some help from their "leadership," too.  
The Burghal Hidage Added Sep 27, 2018 - 3:51pm
The problem is not overpopulation. There is PLENTY of room and resource. The problem is too many people trying to crowd into the same spaces. I don't like people enough to do business in urban centers, much less live there. In many parts of the globe people are forced into this due to the corrupt and criminal nature of their (mostly unelected) rulers
The Burghal Hidage Added Sep 27, 2018 - 3:53pm
there are a few tribalists in this thread Opher and for some part anyway you have something that at least resembles an intelligent discussion. You are blessed with a liberal's talent for making mountains out of molehills
opher goodwin Added Sep 27, 2018 - 3:53pm
Bollocks Burger - have you seen the damage done? The poverty and pollution? Have you seen the animals slaughtered? The forests cleared? The habitat destroyed? The  overfishing? I have - first hand - all over the world.
Me thinks you live in a bubble.
opher goodwin Added Sep 27, 2018 - 3:54pm
Katharine - I'd love to put those bastards on the front line. But I don't think that would solve overpopulation.
opher goodwin Added Sep 27, 2018 - 3:57pm
John - yes it would be very difficult.
At present we have a small minority destroying the planet. If it carries on I don't think we have a future. Locked away in the prosperous developed world we don't see the damage. Get out there and it's obvious.
I reckon any chance of saving the future is worth trying. It'd be hard but not impossible.
opher goodwin Added Sep 27, 2018 - 3:58pm
George - I'd rather we slowly killed ourselves than the horror of revolution. War is the most horrendous state of all. You are far too blasé. The reality is worse than you can imagine.
Revolution is for the daft.
opher goodwin Added Sep 27, 2018 - 4:04pm
Burger/George - I doubt you'd look forward to it quite so much as they slowly barbeque you over a slow fire.
This John Wayne mentally is the most stupid part of the American psyche. You have a love of violence and a romantic view.
The reality is a lot most cruel and brutal. Violence breeds violence. Anyone touched by it is traumatised. The reality is a lot different to your rosy eyed view.
Yeah - a few million would be killed and we'd come out the other side better. No. Millions would be maimed, terrified, damaged for ever, and the horror would haunt everyone. Rape, torture, starvation and relentless terror.
And you call me naïve and childish. You too are languishing in Hollywood. 
The Burghal Hidage Added Sep 27, 2018 - 4:28pm
Methinks your bubble is about to burst. I could, of course, be wrong.
We will see indeed.
 
You have visited. You think you understand this country, and for the face of it you get to see you think you have arrived at an informed conclusion. You do not, however, understand the first thing about Americans. Maybe the ones that live in NYC or SF or LA. Those are Americans in name only. Read the electoral map. Don't be a pillock.
 
 
Paul Hosse Added Sep 27, 2018 - 4:34pm
I come from a political family. I've been involved in politics pretty much my entire life, from the time I could sit and lick postage stamps until now. You name, I've probably done it. I've managed over 100 campaigns, did "dialing for dollars" , put out yard signs (and provided security for some), ran a candidate training school, served as a Congressional Aide, a political and candidate adviser, wrote script for commercial, literature, did opponent research, and ran several times for office (won 3 lost 2). I've co-hosted a political talk radio show and still do the occasional guest appearance. Nowadays, I primarily write a syndicated political blog. 
 
The reason for mentioning all this is to point out that I know from whence I speak. Politics has changed, perhaps forever. It lacks not just civil discussion based on issues and supporting facts to the point where it can't even agree what constitutes 'facts".  We no longer want to try and understand the other side. We want to shout them down; to attack them, not just verbally, but increasingly, physically. We go as far as to try and deny free speech if it is contrary to our position.
 
Rarely has that happened in our country before. Many now prefer to live in the comfort of their own little political bubble; safe and cozy in the knowledge that they have all the answers and everyone else is simply wrong and must be suppressed. We routinely engage in name calling, and storming the stage (more shockingly, this is almost commonplace in college campuses where open and fair debate has been the cornerstone of education).
 
Individuals are harassed and/or attacked when out in public; businesses now refuse service (or demand service in the knowledge that it will cause problems and likely end up in court---but don't dare do it to them!). It used to be that family was off limits. No so now! It seems that everything is fair game, even it allegedly happened decades ago; even if it has to be made up. 
 
All this makes me seriously wonder how long it will be before we go from character assassinations to actual assassinations. I've already seen where groups like "Antifa" have started calling for the murder of Trump and others in his administration or where "Black Lives Matter" have demanded the execution of cops and judges. Where racists groups like the "New Black Panthers" have openly said that all white people should be killed.
 
Yes, I know much of this rhetoric, but it's still a very short step from running one's mouth to publicity to someone not quite there mentally stepping up and doing it (or willing accept credit for it---remember Marinus van der Lubbe?. Patsies are usually easy to find, and the right one could set off a whole chain of events very few would want). 
 
Unfortunately, the corporate owned media (just six own 90+% of all media outlets) play right into it; heck, they manufacture it, spin it, and sell it in 24/7 coverage. Look at shows like "The View", "The Talk", Ellen DeGeneres, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and the late night talk shows! And the media claims not to understand while their credibility is worthless! Of course, the corporate own duopoly is as much to blame as anyone, as is the attitude we see from celebrity-athletes. 
 
We've created an entire culture which is critical to listening and discussing in a polite and civil discussion. I used to contribute articles to Writers Beat on a regular basis, but stopped because I got tired of all the hateful comments (especially from certain individuals). Even when you showed them---professionally---their mistake, it only made the situation worse! Sadly, I rarely respond to my readers on my blog as often as I used to because of the hatefulness being spewed. 
 
I think that if this "race to the bottom" that we're in continues much longer, we're going to see real and likely permanent damage down to our society. Many historians already point out that we are more deeply and widely divided as nation as we were in late 1850's. From what I've seen, I have no doubt. Increasingly, we hear more and more about a possible revolution or civil war happening in America. Given the level of political discourse, I have absolutely no doubt. 
 
 
George N Romey Added Sep 27, 2018 - 4:35pm
Opher of course its going to be a horrible experience and given nuclear weapons its doubtful we as a species would survive.  That has been human nature from Day One.  Do you think because we now have the Internet and Netflixs we somehow have turned into a noble species?
 
Look at the US Revolutionary War.  Presumably something better came out of it.  And that was with muskets and a very rural population.
 
Don't be so daff.  The .01% will do everything in their considerable power to stay in control.  The biggest problem is the stupidity human beings exhibited and their willingness to be lambs for the slaughter.  Do you think that is going to change "now" or that some kind of "march" will change people.  Look at how quickly Obama (the supposedly Progressive President) shut down Occupy Wall Street. And what did most people do?  Go back to posting pictures of their kitty on FB or speculate on who the "New Bachelor" would be on tv?
 
If you want to do something really useful and make some kind of impact do something in your own backyard.  Tackling the world with pie in the sky ideas does nothing.
 
Maybe one day in the distant future humans will begin to live as a single species.  But in 2018 were aren't even remotely close.
 
TexasLynn Added Sep 27, 2018 - 4:49pm
OG >> is that the answer to all the world's problems? Just give up?
 
I just don't consider overpopulation a very pressing problem... no more so than in the 70s when it held the throne of what was going to destroy man-kind before the turn of the century (the century we now find ourselves in).
 
You guys (the leftist) ALWAYS have some humanity ending scenario who's only solution IS... wait for it... world-wide state-ism (preferably through socialism) with your conveniently at the helm.  Humanity should have ended ten times already over the last decade or two based on leftist predictions.  Over population, global warming... whatever.
 
The biggest threat to humanity today?  Progressives pushing global government... now there's something to scare the shit out of you.
 
OG >> I'm never shy of putting detailed responses with solutions that are not nebulous.
 
OG, with all due respect... you practically never do that.  So, it is refreshing when you are goaded into it.
 
OG >> As I said to you before when you challenged me - I gave a detailed post of exactly what I believed and why to why you did not bother to reply.
 
Again, my apologies.
George N Romey Added Sep 27, 2018 - 4:55pm
Paul I think you are right.  And its going to get far worse.  The 2020 election will be something closer to what happened from 1861-1865.  I have to wonder where our country will be afterwards.  As it is now government no longer functions on a national level.
 
The big winner in all of this?  The .01%.  They continue to mop up while the nation gets poorer and poorer.  
opher goodwin Added Sep 27, 2018 - 5:48pm
Paul - thank you for your comments. Your experience mirrors mine. I too receive hateful content on my blog in a way that I never used to. As an outsider from the States I find myself looking in with amazement at the level of division and hatred that is now there.
When I lived there in 1971 there was fury at the Vietnam war and huge division of young and old. When I lived there in 1979/80 that seemed to have subsided but there was racial hatred. Staying in the South with my daughter who lived there I found a North/South and race division. But I have never experienced the level of irrational emotion that is flying around now.
There are whole bogus internet sites spewing out hate-filled exaggerations, distortions, conspiracy theories and downright lies and people are gobbling them up.
Nobody believes in experts, mainstream media or anything that anybody else says. All they believe are the lies their side puts out. There is no rationality or logic and even history is being distorted and used for propaganda. It is pure unadulterated emotion.
People talk about revolution as if that is going to be fun.
We have fascists marching on the streets.
It is getting very ugly.
I think the politicians who are using this for their own end should be castigated and the media should be ashamed.
Unless we move away from this hatred and division towards more of a rational understanding I fear for the future. America is imploding.
opher goodwin Added Sep 27, 2018 - 5:54pm
Tex - I think if you travelled the world and saw the mess we are creating and the huge destruction going on you'd have a different view. Overpopulation is causing untold misery and destroying nature. Over 50% of animals have been wiped out in the last 30 years. It is frightening and upsetting.
Can you please stop coming out with these silly labels - you leftists. We are all people with complex views - not ciphers in some silly political game. Stereotyping people is silly.
Tex - I do. I give detailed responses all the time. Take a minute and really read my threads.
opher goodwin Added Sep 27, 2018 - 5:55pm
George - who do you think is orchestrating all this? The 1 fucking %. 
The one thing they don't want is to be controlled.
George N Romey Added Sep 27, 2018 - 6:13pm
No Opher you aren’t reading properly. They want to control government or at least neuter it.
 
You know who’d you get with world government? People like Soro, Gates and Bezos.
opher goodwin Added Sep 27, 2018 - 6:56pm
No George - You know who’d you get with world government? People like Soro, Gates and Bezos.
It is precisely to control those bastards that we need a controlling body. If you would only look at it in a different way you'd see it is the only thing that makes sense.
They are controlling government right now. They are above any law and control. They, and people like them, are stripping the Earth bare, exploiting everyone and lining their pockets with billions. They have all the politicians in their pocket.
They play nation against nation. They lobby, bribe and get the legislation they want - tax cuts - you got it! No health and safety - you got it! No environmental restrictions - you got it! No blocking tax evasion loopholes - you got it!  Take away worker rights with a gig economy - you got it! Reduce wages with threat of austerity - you got it! Put out a Union scare - you got it!  Distract the population with immigration, terrorism and Muslims - you got it! Deny all the environmental damage - you got it!  Deny global warming and the extinction rates - you got it!
Your worst nightmare is already going on in front of your eyes.
You think it might happen with a world government - it is already happening!
TexasLynn Added Sep 27, 2018 - 7:29pm
OG >> Can you please stop coming out with these silly labels - you leftists.
 
No... Opher I won't.  Delete my comments if they bother your leftist sensibilities that much.  Labels are often perfectly legitimate and descriptive.  You're not going to bully me into abandoning them; so give it up.
 
I am on the right.  I am a conservative. You are on the left.  You are a liberal/progressive.
 
All those statements are true and useful in discriminating those facts.  I certainly don’t blame leftist for wanting to rid themselves of these truths; but do it by changing your ways... or suffer them.
 
OG >> I do. I give detailed responses all the time. Take a minute and really read my threads.
 
I do Opher, it's precisely why I make the observation.  Just let your readers decide the matter.
The Burghal Hidage Added Sep 27, 2018 - 8:03pm
Yeah, what he said! you leftist!
 
Oph, its not labeling when you have such an extensive portfolio from which to judge. You are a lifelong soldier for Labour. I get it. 
 
Your positions are clear enough me. They're still wrong, but you're entitled to that :)
 
and....   Just let your readers decide the matter
 
Tex -   You have inadvertently swerved into a better understanding of the problem we have here. 
 
1. Opher announces his manifesto, point by point
2. readers do not accept the premise, in whole or in part
3. readers offer challenge to manifesto
4. Opher returns to manifesto
5. Wash, rinse, repeat
 
Not all, but the vast majority of liberals, progressives, whatever the hell they call themselves now....  they are incapable of allowing the readers ( or voters ) decide when they arrive at a conclusion which controverts the manifesto. They DONT see themselves as liberal. They ARE convinced that they are normal and right and anything which challenges this is an aberration. 
 
If caught early enough this condition is treatable. For those still afflicted past the age of 40 there is no cure. I have a sneaking suspicion that some of our more rabid liberals on this site also happen to be in their 60s or older. Old liberal dogs will not part with their bones. Mostly you're good to just leave 'em on the porch and don't pay 'em any mind when the growl. Thats just what they do.
Spartacus Added Sep 28, 2018 - 1:48am
I read your article Opher and didn't reply.  A non-response by your readers is not on your list of objections . . . and neither is agreeing with you.
 
Shallow . . . but expected.  Conceit revealed.
opher goodwin Added Sep 28, 2018 - 5:58am
Tex - No I do not find those labels useful at all. They reduce people down to little boxes and stifle the ability to see beyond. You cram yourself into a pigeon-hole if you like. I don't. I refuse to be limited and labelled. My views are my own and varied.
opher goodwin Added Sep 28, 2018 - 6:02am
Burger - I explain my position and argue it. Seems fair enough to me. 
I have supported Labour but don't agree with everything they say and do. Most of my views happen to be what are considered left but some of my views are distinctly right. 
The present Labour manifesto is about the best I've read but there are a number of issues I'd strongly oppose - like attitudes to Brexit.
I will not be pushed into a pigeon-hole ever.
I decide my views for myself. I don't sign up to anything.
opher goodwin Added Sep 28, 2018 - 6:12am
Fair enough William. My main surprise is that you read it.
I have no objection to people not reading my articles. I have no objection to people arguing strongly against the points I make. That is what the site is for I would have thought. 
Articles are either interesting per se and tell stories or controversial and elicit opinion and debate.
I would have thought the debate was the main purpose.
What I was commenting on, which you inadvertently accentuated, was the deterioration in the ability to engage in intelligent debate. The personal attacks and put-downs, the snide remarks, the abuse, and the inability to put together a coherent argument. All too often it is one camp against another trotting out a lot of crap gleaned from the partisan website of their choice. There is no intelligence and no debate.
Your response is typical : Shallow . . . but expected.  Conceit revealed.  
You amply illustrate the very point I was making:
Snide
Unintelligent
Personal
Abusive
Partisan
Arrogant
Shallow
Conceited
And expected.
 
Why comment at all if you have nothing to say?
George N Romey Added Sep 28, 2018 - 7:49am
Opher you would have a committee of global elites to watch over their fellow billionaires? Whose interest do you think they’d look after? Opher not one person agrees that we need global government and in fact it would take income inequality to heights unimaginable. Really grow up. 99% of the .01% could care less about you, I and the billions like us. This isn’t Woodstock and we aren’t 18 anymore.
Doug Plumb Added Sep 28, 2018 - 8:09am
re "Doug - I think the biggest argument against world government is the major problem that instead of controlling the elite 1% it represents them. Thus is can become tyrannical and actually worsen the situation"
 
This is what happens every time you have a government based on the design of men, based on materialism. CS Lewis explains how and why this happens. This has been well known since the days of Plato. Plato explains it as well in book 4 of the Republic. Why don't you read stuff that challenges your viewpoints? You use your own logic, as you imagine it applies with little knowledge of actual rational principles wrt government and little if any knowledge of the law. The viewpoints you espouse and your logic have been shown over and over throughout history as well as in philosophy and law to be fallacious.
opher goodwin Added Sep 28, 2018 - 8:20am
George - who is talking about global elites running the federation or being the delegates? Not me!
BTW - you're wrong. It is true that 100% of the right-wingers on here don't want one. That is all.
Who cares if I am a minority of one anyway. Let the lemmings jump over the cliff. Keep your blindfolds on. It'll be alright.
Yeah - it's a shame we don't have any idealism anymore.
This rubbish about a revolution is John Wayne fantasy. Perhaps it is you who should get real?
opher goodwin Added Sep 28, 2018 - 8:27am
Doug - I bet I've done more serious reading than you in the course of my life. I read Plato when I was in my twenties. I'm not a slave to things like that.
The law? We make the law. We can change the law.
You asked me to make the case against and I outlined that. I notice you don't come back on that.
I contend that western governments work pretty well and function pretty well. They are not perfect by any means. But they have enough checks to stop scum taking over and creating tyranny.
I reckon we can do that a bit better with an international body that would have the remit of dealing with the runaway global elite.
I do not quite share your utter damnation of all politicians. I think we can put in measures and transparency to stop corruption and bribery. The ones we have work quite well.
The Burghal Hidage Added Sep 28, 2018 - 9:27am
must have struck a nerve. Deleting me now, are we. Ok Oph. You'll never find I've deleted one of yours
opher goodwin Added Sep 28, 2018 - 9:59am
Burger - I certainly haven't deleted anyone. What are you on about?
I replied to your last comment. There hasn't been anything else that I know of.
George N Romey Added Sep 28, 2018 - 12:52pm
The Opher who is going to run this global federation you talk about?  You do realize that here in the US and throughout most of the developed world the "global elites" also included national politicians.
 
So as I said it before, who runs your federation?  How would some ordinary unknown person get elected or appointed to your federation?  By what a writing contest?  Maybe we have a reality television show like America's Next Top Model?
 
If you want others to take you seriously (and no its just not the righties that disagree with you) you need to provide specifics to objections other than what a typical nine year old would come up with.
TexasLynn Added Sep 28, 2018 - 1:20pm
OG >> No I do not find those labels useful at all.
 
I never said otherwise.  I note your opinion of them for the umpteenth time.
 
I also note your bullying and pompous derision tactic to try and get me (and others) not to use them for the umpteenth time.  I’m simply pointing out, it’s not going to work… for the umpteenth time.
 
We will not be bullied into tossing something useful and informative (as I find them) aside just to sooth your delicate sensibilities... correction... delicate liberal sensibilities.
 
Use them or don’t… I don’t care. 
 
There is only one way to silence them when used by others (because the bullying and derision isn’t working) ... and even then, only on your posts.  Do it or don't... I don't care. 
Spartacus Added Sep 28, 2018 - 1:57pm
I have no objection to people arguing strongly against the points I make.
 
Yet you list 11 objections in your tirade . . . what?
 
This is your blind spot and is entirely based on your over-inflated ego -- you want "debate" but with just people who mostly agree with you.
You think debating nuance is acceptable as long as people agree with your summary.  This is why people like your are ill-equipped at anything close to "debate" -- you do not have the where-with-all to understand that NUANCE is where debate matters.  The devil is always in the details.
Get a clue Opher.
 
George N Romey Added Sep 28, 2018 - 2:49pm
I disagreed with Opher not because I don't think the concept is a bad idea but that in reality it would never work, or work horribly.  I put up several questions as to who would rule and how they would be selected?  How would you account for different customs, cultures, values, religion and local citizen highly valued ordinances and laws?  How would voting be split (by country size or one country/one vote)?  Would it be fair that a country of 1 billion would have the same vote as a country of 10 million?  How would you deal with countries that wanted no part?  Suppose China would not go along?  Would they be banned for global trade because China didn't enforce minimum wages and health and safety?  
 
This is just a smidgen of vastly complex realities that would have to be overcome.  And Opher's response? Some childish gibberish about a federation like he's seen in Sci Fi movies.  
opher goodwin Added Sep 28, 2018 - 4:59pm
George - I agree with you that the elite have big influence. But I have faith in the UN and think that it would not be the vehicle of the elite.
Each country would have its representatives. How they come up with them depends on their cultural/social systems.
If the remit was right and the safeguards there I think that it is worth a try because the way I see it is that any control of the global elite is better than no control - which is what we currently have.
opher goodwin Added Sep 28, 2018 - 5:01pm
William - that is not true. Read it again. I do not want agreement. I want intelligent debate and not abuse, childish rants, recited garbage, or idiotic comments.
Are you deliberately not understanding?
John Minehan Added Sep 28, 2018 - 5:04pm
The essential problem is both timeless and ancient: "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"--Juvenal
opher goodwin Added Sep 28, 2018 - 5:05pm
George - really - do you expect me to have a blueprint for something that would take hundreds of people a long time to draw up? Be sensible.
You start with the concept then work out the practicalities.
Honestly.
Let's see the blueprint for your revolution. Who's gonna lead that? Who's gonna coordinate it? How's it gonna take on an organised army? How will you stop some idiot like Pol Pot taking it over?
What no answers?
John Minehan Added Sep 28, 2018 - 10:03pm
"Let's see the blueprint for your revolution. Who's gonna lead that? Who's gonna coordinate it? How's it gonna take on an organised army? How will you stop some idiot like Pol Pot taking it over?
What no answers?"
 
History demonstrates the first three are much easier than the fourth. 
opher goodwin Added Sep 29, 2018 - 3:48am
John - I think history also proves that a revolution or civil war is always a bloodbath - a time of terror, rape, death, torture and horror.
I think people should be careful what they wish for. They go into these things all gung ho and unleash a monster. Just a glance at the Arab Spring, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and even America's own history should be enough to show the reality is far from the romantic silliness.
opher goodwin Added Sep 29, 2018 - 3:49am
John - I don't share your view that the first three are possible either. In these days of surveillance I can't see how anything could be coordinated. Just look at the terrorism situation.
Neil Lock Added Sep 29, 2018 - 4:47am
Opher: Overpopulation? Environmental degradation? Pollution? War?  Poverty? International crime? Tax evasion? Multinational companies? Global warming? How, you ask, would my way of doing things deal with these and other putative crises?
 
Pollution is an easy one - "Polluter pays." Meaning, that everyone is responsible for the effects of his share of the pollution he causes, and for compensating those who suffer because of that pollution.
 
War is another fairly easy one. War is built in to the political system of nation-states. As Randolph Bourne told us, war is the health of the state. Get rid of states, and there would be no incentive for anyone to start wars. Moreover, I suspect that anyone that tried to start a war would find themselves quite quickly being either shot or lynched (in self-defence) by the people around them.
 
International crime and multinational companies, when you take away states and their silly borders, reduce to crime and companies respectively. We know how to deal with crime, don't we? And what's wrong with companies, as long as they don't do crime?
 
Tax evasion? Simple to solve. Get rid of all demands for payments for governance, that are not in direct proportion to the benefits received by each individual from that governance. Otherwise said, get rid of all re-distributory or confiscatory taxation. Then no-one would have any reason to avoid paying their share.
 
Poverty? One of the subjects of my next major essay.
 
As to environmental "crises," first you need to show that such a "crisis" is a real problem. And that needs honest, objective, non-politicized science, and hard numbers; things which are sorely lacking in most environmental discussions. Then you need to work out, accurately, how big the problem is; and which individuals and groups are responsible for the problems, and how much. Then you simply apply the same principle as "polluter pays."
 
Now, how would your proposed committee of all the worst slimebutt politicians in the world solve these problems?
Doug Plumb Added Sep 29, 2018 - 6:57am
re "I do not quite share your utter damnation of all politicians. I think we can put in measures and transparency to stop corruption and bribery. The ones we have work quite well. "
 
  I do not condemn politicians, nor lawyers or bankers. I condemn modern man for not bothering to understand law.
  Law is not something made up by men. It is created through the application of known rational principles. It is the first science. It is no more man made than the laws of physics.
  You lefties think law is subjective. That is flat out ridiculous, and laws are not matters of opinion. Perhaps you have spent a large part of your life reading - but not political science, law or economics.
  The dangers of subjectivist thinking are expertly explained in this ten minute video
  CS Lewis is well enough known and well enough respected for you to put your UN propaganda comic books down and give it a listen.
Doug Plumb Added Sep 29, 2018 - 6:58am
re "John - I don't share your view that the first three are possible either. In these days of surveillance I can't see how anything could be coordinated. Just look at the terrorism situation. "
 
Police can simply be ordered to look the other way.
opher goodwin Added Sep 29, 2018 - 7:23am
Neil - and who makes the polluter pay?
Who identifies the pollution?
Who checks the Amazon?
I think you will find war happened between tribes long before States and lawless lands were a nightmare of gratuitous violence, torture, rape and theft.
So who is policing the multinationals now? How are their crimes being dealt with? And who will do that when you have done away with governments?
And when you've done away with taxes who maintains the roads? Provides the infrastructure? Education? Health? Policing? Defence? - is this all magically privatised? So the wealthy get good care and the rest get shat on? Who checks standards?
So there really isn't an environmental crisis or overpopulation problem at all. The elephants, rhinos, chimps, gorillas, orangutans, tigers, whales and thousands of others are quite safe.
Firstly I find your assertions don't hold up to the light of day. They are flippant and naïve. They don't solve anything except stopping you paying taxes. They would lead to chaos and massive violence.
Secondly I do not think that the system is working that badly that we chuck it out. You and me are alive, we are safe, we have healthcare, security, a house, food and water and energy. We have roads, internet, telephones and hundreds of gadgets that we take for granted.
Thirdly in among the slimeballs are good people who care and I think that the UN, with a good remit and funding, could address these issues.
This total distrust in the institutions we have built up over time is going to be our downfall. The alternatives are worse.
I suggest we look at ways of controlling the slimeballs rather than throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
 
opher goodwin Added Sep 29, 2018 - 7:25am
Doug - laws are made by men. They are simply what we put in place to control and regulate our societies. They are constantly being updated and remade.
They are not set in stone.
opher goodwin Added Sep 29, 2018 - 7:26am
Doug - the police are controlled by the politicians to prevent people threatening the State. Why would the State want them to turn the other way?
It's nonsense.
George N Romey Added Sep 29, 2018 - 8:01am
Opher says we need “global government now” yet when we present him with how this would not be feasible not to mention desirable he claims we are picking on him. Tell you what a want every little boy and girl to have a pony just don’t ask me how.
opher goodwin Added Sep 29, 2018 - 1:25pm
No George - I didn't say people were picking on me. That's daft. I know what this site is all about. I can hold my own thank you. I don't go bleating.
You're on the wrong thread aren't you? This one wasn't about global government.
What I was asking was the question as to whether it is possible to have an intelligent discussion. I think you've rather proved the point I was making.
Most of the responses on most threads are emotive, abusive, partisan and derogatory. Discussing anything in a serious way is extremely difficult.
Doug Plumb Added Sep 29, 2018 - 3:32pm
re "Doug - the police are controlled by the politicians to prevent people threatening the State. Why would the State want them to turn the other way?
It's nonsense.  "
 
You think the police are controlled by the politicians. Ask one. They are controlled by the Crown. The Crown decides whether or not to charge or look the other way wrt crimes. Politicians just set boundaries to police action, which citizens use to preserve their rights. Even in the USA, police are controlled by banks, why do you think they (upper echelon) go to Israel for training?
Doug Plumb Added Sep 29, 2018 - 3:33pm
You just imagine stuff, find it to be reasonable, and therefore true, right Opher ? Most of what you throw around as fact is just completely wrong.
Katharine Otto Added Sep 29, 2018 - 4:04pm
Opher,
You don't help your own case by categorically dismissing entire groups of people or belief systems, such as "tribalism."  What is the difference between that "label" and others, such as "liberal"?
 
There's a lot to like about "tribalism," I believe, such as a tendency to take care of one's own.  I don't see that happening in socialism.
 
Could you explain how a world government would control the Soros, Bezos and Gates? 
 
It occurs to me, too, that language unites and divides people more than many other differences people mention.  People here on WB can't even agree on definition of English terms.  What would be the primary language in your world government?  Maybe it should be Chinese, since China has the largest population.
opher goodwin Added Sep 29, 2018 - 4:31pm
Doug - oh - I thought there'd be a Jewish connection!
opher goodwin Added Sep 29, 2018 - 4:32pm
Doug - do you think it's as wrong as your stuff Doug? If it is it must be very wrong indeed.
opher goodwin Added Sep 29, 2018 - 4:51pm
Katharine - my vision for this universal controlling body would be based on the UN. All languages equally important, no kings or leaders and no vetoes. A clear remit to work to address human rights, war, poverty, inequality, environmental degradation and climate. 
They would curb the megalomaniacs of the global elite by preventing their exploitations of people, taking away their tax havens and taxing them reasonably.
Tribalism is primitive Katharine. I look for something a lot more inclusive. In a world where there is instant communication and multicultural realities tribalism is extremely divisive, fear-ridden and extremely unhelpful. It leads to separation, fear, distrust, aggression, defensiveness, violence and antagonism. It also leads to the kind of thing we are seeing in Britain and America where people are separating into different factions, not engaging, labelling each other and becoming aggressive and violent towards each other.
How can that be a good thing?
If we want a fair and just society we have to include a full range of people. We have to listen to each other and be tolerant of differing views. We have to find a way of accommodating different people with different views.
If we don't we end up with huge dissatisfaction leading to a sense of injustice and a feeling that they are outsiders. 
Racism, sexism and arrogance need to be countered with fairness, justice and equality.
Society is becoming grotesquely unequal. Some have huge amounts and some have nothing and it is getting worse. It is set up to favour the top 1%. They are a tribe unto themselves.
Tribalism stinks. Just caring for your own stinks. We should care for everyone. It is called empathy. There seems very little of it around at the moment. Nobody seems to carry how the other side feels. Nobody is prepared to compromise and find a solution that is acceptable to everyone. They just want to win at all costs and smash the other side to the ground.
I think that is unintelligent and plain stupid. I also think it will end in tragedy.
Trump exploited that tribalism for his own ends. He incited violence and division. This lack of rational thought and total intolerant is the result.
I don't like it.
I think that we should be able to listen, understand and discuss intelligently. 
I want a world based on tolerance, empathy and respect - not winner takes all and sod everyone else!
The Burghal Hidage Added Sep 30, 2018 - 3:37am
Socialism: State empathy at the end of a gun barrel. You don't even get the choice of which orifice they stick it in
The Burghal Hidage Added Sep 30, 2018 - 3:38am
Is it only intelligent discussion when everyone agrees with you?
Neil Lock Added Sep 30, 2018 - 4:35am
Opher: I think you're asking me to give you, all together and right now, the essence of my next 15-20 or so articles! Suffice it to say that I'm working on how these things could be done in a framework without concentrations of power, and without the political class that feed off them.
Neil Lock Added Sep 30, 2018 - 4:36am
TBH: You don't even get the choice of which orifice they stick it in.
 
A fine analysis.
Neil Lock Added Sep 30, 2018 - 4:48am
Opher to Katharine: I want a world based on tolerance, empathy and respect. Indeed. And in such a world, there would be no taxation - no exploitation of the politically poor for the sake of the politically rich.
Doug Plumb Added Sep 30, 2018 - 3:13pm
re "Doug - do you think it's as wrong as your stuff Doug? If it is it must be very wrong indeed.  "
 
  CS Lewis talks about a period a long time ago when people understood and knew when something had been proven and had the wisdom to accept it as fact, irregardless of whether they liked it or not. He laments that this is no longer the case, speaking in around the 1950's.
   I do not post or express opinions, except when I qualify it as such, and that is rare. My opinions aren't worth anything, neither are yours, a few people on here have opinions that probably are worth something, in their specific fields of expertise.
  I speak and post only on knowable proven fact. CS Lewis also writes an explanation, which is a proof, of why a world government based on authoritarianism cannot possibly work. Plato proved it as well. Many others have.
Doug Plumb Added Sep 30, 2018 - 3:14pm
re "Socialism: State empathy at the end of a gun barrel. You don't even get the choice of which orifice they stick it in"
 
They don't fire the gun, they just wiggle it around and laugh with glee.
Ward Tipton Added Sep 30, 2018 - 10:35pm
Generally bayonet end first.
Dr. Rupert Green Added Oct 1, 2018 - 7:13am
@Opher. On FB or even here, I do not get many likes because of what I write. I want to be different and not be one of the pack animals. Jobs stated if a person was looking for "Likes," he/she should sell ice cream. Perhaps here it means writing powderpuff articles. The multitude of personalities here dictates a multitude of views and educational levels. For me, that is not a bad thing. I enjoy the teaching and learning opportunities, as well as the opportunity to spar with Thomas, that the site accords me. Of course, your descriptors regarding how members respond to articles are correct.
 
A good teacher will know that there is a need to look beyond how a person responds to what s/he is trying to say. Hence, you could see whether there is a need to teach, scaffold, avoid, rhetorically spar, set rhetorical traps,  launch rhetorical grenades, muse, scratch head in disbelief, or give the opportunity for a person to prove him or herself a fool, as Kavanaugh was allowed. If done artfully, you will be able to come to a meeting of the minds, where those considered as racist or whose views are antithetical to your become your allies. This is a beautiful place, where the level of exchanges ranges from the ABC primer to postdoctoral.  You cannot expect the pig/swine champion of intellectual mud waddling to meaningfully confer/contribute at the table were pearls of wisdom oozes from participants.  Hence, tis folly to be wise where ignorance is bliss.
opher goodwin Added Oct 1, 2018 - 6:36pm
Burger - we've had intelligent discussion, in among your barbed expletives, and we hardly agree on anything.
opher goodwin Added Oct 1, 2018 - 6:37pm
Neil - no in that world there would be much taxation, superb services and no exploitation of the poor by the rich.
opher goodwin Added Oct 1, 2018 - 6:39pm
Doug - C S Lewis was a fundamentalist Christian right-wing wanker. I don't give him a lot of credence on anything.
opher goodwin Added Oct 1, 2018 - 6:43pm
Dr Green - I too have greatly enjoyed the sparring, But of late I detect more emotion than mind, more hormone that cerebrum, more chemical than electricity.
I like electricity. One cannot communicate with a chemical swamp. I do not find that particularly edifying nor does it enable learning opportunities.
This is a game isn't it?