• Michael Lee
    52
    Socrates did not 'hate' Democracy in much the same way Nancy Pelosi stated she does not 'hate' Donald J. Trump. I think she hates what Democracy has become and he is mostly responsible for it.

    Socrates pointed out frightening consequences of Democracy that we are facing now. Given the condition of the planet involving nuclear weapons, pollution, loss of food production caused by climate change, depletion of both renewable and non-renewable resources well beyond what the globe can provide and tolerate, combined with a global population that has doubled since 1972, then doing the right thing requires the political work of a "doctor," as Socrates put it, as opposed to a "candy store clerk."

    The candy store clerk says the doctor is only going to harm them by taking away the things they love dearly like luxuries of fine wine, food and fast motor cars that he has enjoyed all his life and promises it for them too. Socrates then asks us if the electorate would be persuaded by the doctor's counter argument that taking away those things will actually help them in the long run. The doctor would never be voted into office because most people do not behave the way they do in accordance with reason, but rather in accordance with their wants and desires. Their basis needs are not good enough.

    In 1972, The Club of Rome released their findings in the book the Limits to Growth about what is likely going to happen to humanity during this century and Democracy is not going to save us unless Senators vote in accordance with virtue and find Donald Trump guilty instead of defending him by saying what he did is not evil enough to justify impeachment. If he is acquitted, then Niccolo Machiavelli is correct that the evil fare better than the virtuous. Here is my version of a conversation between Socrates and Thrasymachus: Thrasymachus argued to Socrates that justice is satisfying the interests of the ruler. Socrates objected by saying that is not in the interests of the people. Precisely, replied Thrasymachus, justice ought to be in the interests of the people, but it rarely if ever works out that way.

    This short presentation explains what the Limits to Growth actually said.
  • god must be atheist
    2.2k
    I agree with every word you say! It is a sad state of affairs that one has to point out the limits to growth to Americans, as it is the major area of the world with economic and ecological impact that still puts the word of the Bible, that is, word of superstition and faith in the supernatural, ahead of what can actually be seen, heard and measured.

    One may say yes, but the world is more than just what can be seen, heard or measured, so to speak. They are right. But belief in the supernatural can be misleading and damaging when the answers to the question posed must be based on a belief in the actual events that take place in the world, and are threatening our survival, over the expense of the answers found in the bible.

    The merit of this book that you are advocating is pure gold. The problem is that it ought to have been blindingly obvious by now to all, yet the biblical belief "trust the Good Lord and he shalt provide" is still the main belief in the larger part of the population of the USA, as opposed to seeing the dire straights we are in, and looking for a good doctor to remedy the situation.
  • god must be atheist
    2.2k
    what he did is not evil enough to justify impeachmentMichael Lee

    I am not quite sure if it's a witchhunt that the impeachment's mandate is, like you say, or else it is a venue to find guilt in the legal sense of the process.

    If it's a witchhunt, where the evil is to be chased out of the bodies of humans, or else burn them at the stake if they devil refuses to leave their bodies, then I think we should exorcise Trump, not try him for fitness of impeachment.
  • Frank Apisa
    2.1k
    Democracy is s seed.

    Anarchy is what happens when it germinates and grows.

    Too bad, that!
  • alcontali
    1.3k
    doing the right thing requires the political work of a "doctor," as Socrates put it, as opposed to a "candy store clerk."Michael Lee

    Believing someone else only makes sense if it is possible to verify that his solution is indeed the solution. If it is not possible to verify that it is, then this person could tell you whatever, regardless of whether he is a doctor or a candy store clerk.

    If it is possible to verify that his solution is indeed the solution, then why would it even matter if the person is a doctor or a candy store clerk?

    The doctor would never be voted into office because most people do not behave the way they do in accordance with reasonMichael Lee

    There is no point in trusting that person, because we should only trust his solution. That means that we can verify that his solution is indeed the solution.

    How can we do that?

    If this person does not provide us with an objective procedure that allows us to verify his solution, then it is completely in accordance with reason that we do not trust his solution.
  • Isaac
    3.1k
    Believing someone else only makes sense if it is possible to verify that his solution is indeed the solution. If it is not possible to verify that it is, then this person could tell you whatever, regardless of whether he is a doctor or a candy store clerk.alcontali

    I'm not going to get into another discussion with you be because you just end up avoiding the issue, but I raise this here for others. You have given absolutely no support for your assumption that solutions are either verifiable or not.

    Solutions, in the real world, are generally more or less likely to work none can be verified, very few can be dismissed as impossible, everything else exists on a spectrum in between. We draw evidence, based on our experience, to judge the liklihood that a solution will work. We act, in the face of uncertainty, by making experience-informed guesses. How much experience/education the person proposing the solution has in the field is a perfectly rational factor to take into account (among others) when making our guesses. We have neither the data nor the time to actually calculate the veracity of any real-world solution.
  • alcontali
    1.3k
    You have given absolutely no support for your assumption that solutions are either verifiable or not.Isaac

    There are questions for which it may not be possible to verify that the solution proposed is indeed the solution. In that case, why would anybody feel the need to accept such solution?

    We draw evidence, based on our experience, to judge the liklihood that a solution will work.Isaac

    Everybody and their little sister can say that they believe that their solution will work if we remove any obligation to provide a procedure to verify that their solution is indeed the solution.

    What prevents these people from recommending a course of action that is certainly a solution for them but not for us?

    Seriously, why on earth would we believe them?

    Furthermore, what is the use in believing in that kind of solutions?
  • ssu
    3.3k
    In 1972, The Club of Rome released their findings in the book the Limits to Growth about what is likely going to happen to humanity during this centuryMichael Lee
    Actually, The Club of Rome was mostly speaking of the last century, where the utter doom scenario would already had taken hold and the final collapse would be already here. Now, as we are living in 2020.

    It is a perfect example of the stupidity of an oversimplified model where exponential growth is compared to known resources without much thought given to technological change. They even admit this:

    We have not found it possible to aggregate and generalize the dynamic implications of technological development because different technologies arise from and influence quite
    different sectors of the model
    (See Limits to Growth)

    For example, when discussing technological change in energy production in chapter "Technology and the limits to growth", the authors see only one and only one alternate candidate in energy production to replace fossil fuel based energy production, and that is nuclear fission power. Absolutely nothing is said about renewable energy as we know them now, wind, solar, wave and geothermal energy etc. This clearly shows their absolute ignorance of what technological innovation really means when you take many decades into account.

    Just think about it for a moment. If you have assumed that there is nothing else than nuclear power to replace fossil fuels, would you think your models for energy production in the early 1970's would have been right? The writers write off arguments of technological improvements only as views of "technological optimists". This arrogant and basically condescending view of "technological optimists" is the most serious flaw. Just look at the following graph, which makes you understand how and why in the start of the 70's people didn't care a thing about alternative energy resources:

    modern-renewable-energy-consumption_v7_850x600.svg

    Going forward:

    We have also assumed that, starting in 1975, programs of reclamation and recycling will reduce the input of virgin resources needed per unit of industrial output to only one-fourth of the amount used today. Both of these assumptions are, admittedly, more optimistic than realistic.

    So, let's look at hindsight just how "optimistic, not realistic" that idea of one-fourth of resources being recycled. Let's look at how this has gone in the UK with metal use:

    recycling_stats_sml.png

    The use of lead has nearly succeeded in this and only zinc is lagging only with 20% a recycling rate. But of course, the forecast didn't end today.

    Yet any criticism AT ALL of the Club of Rome and their famous 1972 report and other dire forecasts of imminent utter doom is nowdays absolute heresy and you obviously have to be a "climate denier", anti-science, even to say anything else. It's the new bible. As if noting them means that you wouldn't believe in climate change.

    And It hardly matters that the model used in Limits of Growth predicted death rates to rise because of resource scarcity putting population levels to fall starting ten years from now. Of course the Club of Rome can be quite correct of the Population growth reaching a high point and then getting smaller very soon, but that is because of wealth and prosperity, people voluntarily choosing not having children. Not because of wide-scale famine.

    So, obviously this is totally false...as the Club of Rome is Right!
    Famine-death-rate-since-1860s-revised.png
    But the above statistics don't matter. In fact, anything contrary doesn't matter!

    As the following Guardian article from 2014 puts it, the report Limits of Growth was correct! After finding an academic paper forecasting imminent collapse of the global economic human population now six years age, the journalist(s) of the paper cherish these findings and attacks those that dared to criticize the sacred text from 1972: See Limits to Growth was right. New research shows we're nearing collapse.

    That collapse talked in the 2014 paper ought to have started this year. And that the previous 48 haven't gone as predicted by the Club of Rome hardly matters. Nope, it was correct.
  • alcontali
    1.3k
    For example, when discussing technological change in energy production in chapter "Technology and the limits to growth", the authors see only one and only one alternate candidate in energy production to replace fossil fuel based energy production, and that is nuclear fission power.ssu

    Was the report originally sponsored by Westinghouse?

    As a result of its participation in the US government's military program for nuclear energy applications (e.g. The Nuclear Navy) Westinghouse was instrumental in the development and commercialization of nuclear energy systems for electric power generation. This business currently operates as the Westinghouse Electric Company, and is owned by Toshiba of Japan.Westinghouse is now owned by Japanese interests

    Quite a few of that kind of alarming reports are sponsored by corporate interests. "For the sake of your health, drink more milk! (The milk lobby). "One banana a day will save your way!" (Chiquita multinational), and so on.

    The corporate oligarchy makes an astonishing amount of money by "educating" the consumer into adopting deceptive views that further their corporate interests. That is also why the oligarchy is so keen on controlling what the public-school indoctrination camps teach to the children.
  • ssu
    3.3k
    Was the report originally sponsored by Westinghouse?alcontali
    I have no idea. I doubt that this was the intension.

    Yet a good forecast ought to also extrapolate at least something similar to the advance of technological and scientific innovation as in the previous time: if you make a forecast about the next 100 years, then assuming that technology will also change like in the last 100 years isn't totally wrong. It simply cannot be a variable that is fixed. Of course, in 1972 they couldn't see everything what actually would happen:

    Solar energy had then been used basically only in satellites and in 1973, one year later of the report University of Delaware constructed the first solar building, named “Solar One”, which got it's electricity from solar panels.

    Generating electricity from wind came to be a serious project in the US only after the Oil Embargo and while still in 1990, wind energy produced 1% of the total energy, now it produces something like 7% in the US.

    Thus it's genuinely difficult to extrapolate from that a situation where wind and solar energy now produces more terawatts than all the dams and hydroelectric plants in the world in 1972.
  • NOS4A2
    3.9k


    One frustrating part about democracy is that you don’t always win. Sometimes your side loses and you have to watch the other side enjoy the fruits of their victory. So I have to wonder if lamenting democracy is more sour grapes than reasonable criticism.
  • Isaac
    3.1k
    why would anybody feel the need to accept such solution?alcontali

    I've said this like 10 times already. I even bolded it for you in my last post, yet you seem to have some pathological inability to read it. We might accept a solution which cannot be verified because;

    We do not have the time or the data required to carry out the verification procedure.

    Or

    None of the solutions on offer can be verified and yet we need to act.

    We do not just have to throw our hands up and say "we might as well toss a coin then" because whether a solution is verifiable or not is not the only criteria we have on which to judge it. We also have;

    Whether a solution would be likely to be verified if we had the time or data to carry out the verification process (we can judge this by induction based on things like the expert's track record of getting it right, whether we think they're honest, whether the solution fits with other solutions we know have worked etc.)

    Or

    Whether a solution has other benefits/advantages given that we have no other criteria to go on.

    Or

    Gut feeling (either about the solution or the expert). Again, given that we have nothing else to go on.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.9k
    "Lag time" between the recognition that resource depletion or population growth might be a problem, and then deployment of effective solutions is our #1 problem. We know CO2 is a extremely serious problem, but changing the energy production system, transportation system, and other systems that produce CO2 is extraordinarily inconvenient to everyone concerned, and it isn't happening, even as the CO2 levels continue to rise.

    Contending for the #1 problem title is the tendency of selfish interest to continue being selfish, whatever the future consequences. So it is that oil companies continue to expand infrastructure, auto production rises, highways continue to be built (as opposed to mass transit systems), and so on and so forth.

    BTW, I liked the video. Thanks.
  • Athena
    838
    Socrates did not 'hate' Democracy in much the same way Nancy Pelosi stated she does not 'hate' Donald J. Trump. I think she hates what Democracy has become and he is mostly responsible for it.Michael Lee

    I want to argue,Trump is not mostly responsible for the culture change the US has experienced but he is the consequence of cultural change brought on by replacing our liberal education with education for a technological society with unknown values and our constant state of religious competition and Christian control of education, especially in places like Texas. We have largely replaced Greek philosophy with German philosophy, and adopted the German models of bureaucracy and education, and we have manifested the conditions that brought Hitler to power. Trump is our Hitler not the cause of cultural change that got him elected in the first place.
  • Athena
    838


    I think education has a lot to do with shaping our values or lack of them and our consciousness in general. In the US we stopped educating for democracy in 1958 and began education for the Military Industrial Complex. In 1958 we ended education for good moral judgment and left moral training to the church as Germany had done. A huge mistake! This week I shared a hot tub with a Christian man who was gleeful about global warming and the end of life as we know it. As many Christians he believes what is happening is God's will and that something wonderful is about to happen. I repeat, leaving moral training to the church was a very bad idea!
  • Athena
    838
    And It hardly matters that the model used in Limits of Growth predicted death rates to rise because of resource scarcity putting population levels to fall starting ten years from now. Of course the Club of Rome can be quite correct of the Population growth reaching a high point and then getting smaller very soon, but that is because of wealth and prosperity, people voluntarily choosing not having children. Not because of wide-scale famine.ssu

    And how are we to understand homeless and the death of homeless people exposed to the elements and prevented from sheltering themselves? I would say predicting a rise in death rates was accurate and our blindness to what is happening is a serious problem.

    I don't know if it is good or bad news that increasingly women are choosing careers over becoming mothers, I just know many women who are old enough to be grandmothers are disappointed by their son's attraction to women who do not want children, and therefore little chance of them being grandmothers. I think this is about status and changed values, following declaring women who choose to stay home are "just housewives", devastating the status women once had because of who they married and their domestic skills and caring for family, and being civic leaders in charitable organizations. Who wants to be "just a housewife"?

    This thread is about democracy, so who understands what democracy has to do with family?
  • alcontali
    1.3k
    We do not have the time or the data required to carry out the verification procedure.Isaac

    This is rarely the case. It is certainly not the norm. We do not often have to make decisions in emergency situations. I cannot remember when I last had to make a truly urgent decision.

    None of the solutions on offer can be verified and yet we need to act.Isaac

    If a solution can fundamentally not be verified then there simply are no experts for that type of problems; only fake experts. It means that the trade in that kind of solutions is not even possible. Why would you do business with people who cannot possibly be held accountable? You are asking for trouble if you do that anyway.

    Seriously, I instinctively distrust anybody who asks me to trust them.

    For example, if a doctor told me that I have the coronavirus, I would naturally expect him to show me the lab result. That would allow me to ask any other lab for new test results, if I felt that the results are in doubt. If he asked me to just trust him, without backing what he says with anything at all, my knee-jerk reaction would be to not trust him.
  • Isaac
    3.1k
    This is rarely the case. It is certainly not the norm.alcontali

    Are you an expert on range of problems requiring solutions? Are you an expert on how long each verification algorithm would be? No. So I shall take your advice and not trust your absurd suggestion that you have the measure of all the worlds problems and the complexity of their proposed solutions.
  • alcontali
    1.3k
    Are you an expert on range of problems requiring solutions?Isaac

    No, of course not. I just don't like people who say "trust me", because that is number one reason why I don't trust them.
  • Michael Lee
    52
    Democracy will only work when voters use their ability to reason and not how to satisfy their desires beyond basic needs. Last night, in Donald Trump's State of the Union Address, he spoke mostly about how his party has provided them with economic growth; I think it's simply a matter of post-hoc ergo proper-hoc fallacy and that politicians really have very little power to alter the economy that seems to have a mind of its own. Suppose he really did improve the economy, and he says he will provide more of it if elected. Obviously Trump's logic is people want more of that and the electorate will vote for him on those grounds, like a candy store clerk, despite the objection of the doctor that says "we should take the candy away before they harm themselves with excessive amounts of it." Just like a parent taking candy or another dangerous thing away from a child, of course they are going to cry about it.
  • ssu
    3.3k
    And how are we to understand homeless and the death of homeless people exposed to the elements and prevented from sheltering themselves? I would say predicting a rise in death rates was accurate and our blindness to what is happening is a serious problem.Athena
    But simply that is not true. If you look at this from the global perspective, malnutrition and people dying in famine has dramatically fallen. The great story has been the rise of prosperity in China and India. Yes, there is still povetry, but if you look at the global perspective, then do use the global perspective.

    I don't know if it is good or bad news that increasingly women are choosing careers over becoming mothers, I just know many women who are old enough to be grandmothers are disappointed by their son's attraction to women who do not want children, and therefore little chance of them being grandmothers.Athena
    The real change in behaviour has been that people don't get children in order for there to be someone to look after them when they are old. You don't get children in order for them to work the fields. An argument might be that these days only one working in the family doesn't cut it and that bringing up children takes a lot of money. Yet it is a universal phenomenon that when the country becomes more prosperous, when women participate in the workforce and don't stay just home, the fertility rate drops. Some may be surprised just how many countries are below the 2.0 fertility rate.

    I think this is about status and changed values, following declaring women who choose to stay home are "just housewives", devastating the status women once had because of who they married and their domestic skills and caring for family, and being civic leaders in charitable organizations. Who wants to be "just a housewife"?Athena
    This is also a universal phenomenon. And one should contrast to what was earlier: the mother having to also work meant simply that the man was incapable of taking care of the whole family. Huge difference to this day.

    Also, it should be noted that an educated, intellectual woman wasn't at all thought positively of before, not even by other women. The term Bluestocking was name given to ridicule educated women.

    This thread is about democracy, so who understands what democracy has to do with family?Athena
    Because population growth has a lot to do with family.

    And Michael Lee basically argued in the OP that Democracy won't solve the huge problems humanity is facing (written in the Limits of Growth), especially when the democracy is electing people like Trump, i.e. when we elect "candy store clerks" and not "doctors" who will solve the problems.

    My argument was that this isn't so simple and the idea of our society being on the cusp of total collapse is an exaggeration. Starting from the fact that Limits on Growth should not be put on a pedestal, but viewed also critically, even if lot of the observations are correct.
  • NOS4A2
    3.9k


    Democracy will only work when voters use their ability to reason and not how to satisfy their desires beyond basic needs. Last night, in Donald Trump's State of the Union Address, he spoke mostly about how his party has provided them with economic growth; I think it's simply a matter of post-hoc ergo proper-hoc fallacy and that politicians really have very little power to alter the economy that seems to have a mind of its own. Suppose he really did improve the economy, and he says he will provide more of it if elected. Obviously Trump's logic is people want more of that and the electorate will vote for him on those grounds, like a candy store clerk, despite the objection of the doctor that says "we should take the candy away before they harm themselves with excessive amounts of it." Just like a parent taking candy or another dangerous thing away from a child, of course they are going to cry about it.

    Massive deregulation, tariffs and the lowering of taxes have demonstrable effects on the economy. But I agree that presidents often overestimate their effect.

    Personally I want deregulation and the lowering of taxes because I oppose taxes and government intervention into our private affairs, not just because I desire money. I want more jobs not just to satisfy my economic needs but also to provide a sense of purpose for those who were unemployed. What I’m trying to say is I think it’s wrong to believe people are voting this way or that only because it serves their own self-interest. There are plenty of other reasons beyond base wants and desires that lead people to vote a certain way, and only in a democracy do they have the opportunity to do so.
  • ssu
    3.3k
    Personally I want deregulation and the lowering of taxes because I oppose taxes and government intervention into our private affairsNOS4A2

    How deregulation is made and just what is the role of the state is extremely important. Let's remember that Bernie Madoff was the chairman of the NASDAQ for a while. Hence there ought to be supervision to deter illegalities and outright crime. And typically that kind of supervision will be painted as excessive intervention of the government also.

    Secondly, in many cases deregulation of the financial markets has created a huge speculative bubble, which in turn has created a huge boom-bust cycle. Still, free markets do a lot of good also.

    I do favor markets and capitalism, but I object the ideological juxtaposition into simplified yes/no views on the subject. Just as we don't have only two choices of government: either an authoritarian police state or total anarchy. I know, both the libertarians and the marxists will get angry about this view.
  • Coben
    1.6k
    If this person does not provide us with an objective procedure that allows us to verify his solution, then it is completely in accordance with reason that we do not trust his solution.alcontali

    But the issue is actually whether we trust it more or less than other solutions, including solutions like not trying to change anything. Often we cannot verify solutions when problems are incredibly complex. And so the problem is precisely the same for the alternatives. None of them can be objectively verified, though perhaps one can check portions of the reasoning and some of the assertions made by different proposers of solutions.
  • fishfry
    1.6k
    I think she hates what Democracy has become and he is mostly responsible for it.Michael Lee

    Things were just fine before Trump? If the system was working, Trump couldn't exist. Trump and Bernie are both symptoms of the same underlying problem. The neoliberal consensus of the past 30 years is not working and people are starting to notice.
  • Athena
    838


    What is neoliberal consensus? Is this the same problem almost every country in the world is facing, or is it special to the US?
  • Athena
    838
    This thread is about democracy, so who understands what democracy has to do with family? — Athena

    Because population growth has a lot to do with family.

    And Michael Lee basically argued in the OP that Democracy won't solve the huge problems humanity is facing (written in the Limits of Growth), especially when the democracy is electing people like Trump, i.e. when we elect "candy store clerks" and not "doctors" who will solve the problems.

    My argument was that this isn't so simple and the idea of our society being on the cusp of total collapse is an exaggeration. Starting from the fact that Limits on Growth should not be put on a pedestal, but viewed also critically, even if lot of the observations are correct.
    ssu

    Ah you said nothing of what families have to do with democracy. Without an understanding of what family has to do with democracy, we do not have an understanding of democracy. That is a social and economic problem.

    Why do Americans claim to have a democracy when in fact they are most autocratic not democratic. Religion, the military, and industry in the US, are all autocratic and the swing to stronger and stronger autocratic control of the government is a sign of the fall of the democracy.
  • Athena
    838


    I want to support your statement by adding to it....A sign that our democracy is falling is that we no longer understand that democracy is rule by reason and it is our responsibility to take part in that reasoning. Our Declaration of Independence could also be called a Declaration of Responsibility. If we understood democracy is rule by reason, Trump would not have a chance of being re-elected. But I am afraid the majority is Christian, believing God chooses the person to lead us and that our prayers help this person gain God's support in being a good leader. The US does not have rule by reason, by rule by faith in a religious mythology.
  • fishfry
    1.6k
    What is neoliberal consensus? Is this the same problem almost every country in the world is facing, or is it special to the US?Athena

    Yes this is a worldwide phenomenon. Populists pushing back on globalism. Nativists pushing back on unrestricted immigration. Endless wars, stupid and futile wars. A classic neoliberal project was the Iraq war, where George W. Bush and Tony Blair conspired to rig intelligence to lie the US and Great Britain into the Iraq war. The supposedly liberal Democrats in the US signed off on the war. That's neoliberalism. That's what people the world over are pushing back on.
  • Athena
    838
    Huh, wasn't Bush a conservative, elected by conservatives and strongly supported by the Christian Right? Why are you lying this wrong on liberals?
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k
    Huh, wasn't Bush a conservative, elected by conservatives and strongly supported by the Christian Right? Why are you lying this wrong on liberals?Athena

    A neoliberal is not a liberal. Google the term.
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