Comments

  • The structure of a moral claim to truth
    How about Cicero and the notion of right reason? It is a democratic value to know the truth because right reason is essential to things going well, and wrongly reasoning can lead to trouble. Education for good moral judgment is about understanding cause and effect and the importance of right reasoning. This also goes with Socrates' concern about expanding our consciousness because if we don't know enough, we are more apt to make bad decisions. And the miracle of democracy is having many points of view, a broad consciousness.

    Ignoring the pandemic because of not wanting to close businesses and loose votes, cost Trump the last election because of the number of people who voted against Trump's reasoning. If the goal is to eradicate a deadly disease, Trump obviously did not have the right reasoning. I think moral judgment based on truth is very important.
  • Socialism or families?
    The weakening of the concept of "perpetuity" both in general and in particular: familial, social, environmental, etc., has definitely weakened the concept of "family", and nearly destroyed the concept of "lineage". Genealogical research has today become no more than an exercise in curiosity. The weakening of perpetuity has also resulted in modern cultures having become "rootless", and in the citizens of modern societies having become absorbed in their "selves" (self-absorbed), as that rootlessness has increased and the importance of place and of extended family have diminished.Michael Zwingli

    I think you have made a very important point and the efforts by Native Americans and people of color support that point.

    Native Americans are doing a good job in fighting against that rootlessness and so have people of color stressed the importance of family and knowing our roots, but the fight of people of color is different from the Native American one. Native Americans have a chance of reclaiming their ancestral land, and that just doesn't work as well for people of color, however, people of color are making progress on claiming historical sites and being sure their story becomes part of our national consciousness.
  • Socialism or families?
    National anthems are symbols, just like national flags and any other type of nationalist symbolic device. Their purpose, whether there is war or there is peace and prosperity, they have in common with all similar devices: the psychological, and especially emotional, binding of the individual and his affections to the state.Michael Zwingli

    That is well said, and this thread is about our liberty and power being crushed by loyalty to the state, and what family order has to do with having liberty and power. The US has stood ready for war ever since Eisenhower established the Military-Industrial Complex and education for a technological society with unknown values.

    My parents came unglued when I told them I was looking for fire hazards in our garage and had to report them. That night at the dinner table, it was made clear, our evil enemy required people to carry ID and to report their family and neighbors to authority. We now carry ID from the day we are born and Texas has really gone overboard on reporting family and neighbors to authority.

    As I just said to James, people are aware the US has changed and they are desparate to get back their liberty and power. But refusing to masks in a pandemic and refusing to get vaccinated is not going to make things better.
  • Socialism or families?
    Read what I said again: "can and should."

    If you keep blaming big government instead of those who use it as their personal tool, then you clearly don't know how it can or should work. Did they teach you about how money buys government? Or did they just teach you that we live in a democracy/republic/federal system and all the good little citizens are in charge and actually slitting their own throats with their own government?

    You keep raising 1958, the German model, bureaucracy, etc., as if government is this thinking individual evil person who pulled all that out of thin air as a way to better manage the serfs. I keep telling you to quit doing what the Plutocracy has trained you to do: blame big government, so you don't focus on what they are up to. It's like taking a gun and throwing it in jail while letting the shooter walk. It's like the shooter saying "Don't blame me, blame the gun!" And then you are like "Well, let's render the gun inoperable and all will be fine. It makes no sense.

    Thanks for the education on Alexis, et al. I digested all that forty years ago. I'm looking at what is happening in the U.S. today.
    James Riley

    I think your belief is limiting your ability to understand the change in organizational power that comes with adopting the German model of bureaucracy and the education that goes with it. It may be futile to continue this argument but I will try.

    Tocqueville foresaw a change, away from family order to bureaucratic order. Do you have any thoughts on what makes the two possible forms of social organization different?

    At a 1917 National Education Association conference a teacher quoted a poet in India, Tagore. "Whatever their efficiency, such great organizations are so impersonal that they bear down on the individual lives of the people like a hydraulic press whose action is completely effective in crushing out individual liberty and power." That defines the enemy we fought against. Then we turned around and adopted this enemy's bureaucratic organization and later the enemy's education for technology for industrial and military purpose. We are now what we defended our democracy against, and people feel this in their bones, and their desperation to restore their personal power, they have refused to wear masks in a pandemic or to get vaccinated when this became possible. We are living with insanity because there is no understanding of how we became as our enemy. There was a time when the most important authority in our lives was family, not the government.
  • Socialism or families?
    To each his own. Nothing is more simple or lacking in complexity than pointing a finger at "big government" with no understanding of how governments can and should work. How the Plutocracy prevents that understanding is anything but simple, and they even have people thinking big government is evil. But yeah, you can keep following their lead if you want.James Riley

    Excuse me, I studied government policy and administration at the college level. Did you say I do not understand how government works? The most important thing I have said about the shift in power and authority is the change in the bureaucratic order that now crushes individual liberty and power and controls everything by policy. If this form of organization stopped with the federal government, I would not object, but it has consumed every aspect of our lives. Individualism has been destroyed and we are all reduced to being members of a lonely crowd with a despot controlling even the minute details of our lives.

    It was the German model of bureaucracy that the US adopted that made Tocqueville's fear of what would happen to Christian democracies, a reality.

    I seek to trace the novel features under which despotism may appear in the world. The first thing that strikes the observation is an innumerable multitude of men all equal and alike, incessantly endeavoring to procure the petty and paltry pleasures with which they glut their lives. Each of them, living apart, is as a stranger to the fate of all the rest—his children and his private friends constitute to him the whole of mankind; as for the rest of his fellow-citizens, he is close to them, but he sees them not—he touches them, but he feels them not; he exists but in himself and for himself alone; and if his kindred still remain to him, he may be said at any rate to have lost his country. Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications, and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent, if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks on the contrary to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness: it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances—what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living? Thus it every day renders the exercise of the free agency of man less useful and less frequent; it circumscribes the will within a narrower range, and gradually robs a man of all the uses of himself. The principle of equality has prepared men for these things: it has predisposed men to endure them, and oftentimes to look on them as benefits. — Tocqueville
  • Socialism or families?
    ↪Outlander I think you might have misread Athena's use of this expression. Rather, I think she(?) used it as exemplary of the social thinking against which she is railing with this thread, the fact of which becomes clear from her following sentence:
    NO ONE WANTS TO BE JUST A HOUSEWIFE! How well I remember the "New Woman" magazine and the destruction of the value of a full-time homemaker.
    — Athena

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    and as Hitler and Neitzche, the cry is to be superior and crush the weak.
    — Athena

    As did Adolf Hitler, Athena, you completely...utterly misunderstand Neitzsche, which is easy enough to do as he often wrote in allegory, but I enjoin you to read him a bit more deeply, and with some guidance if that is found necessary. You cheapen he who was a profound thinker when you place him in category alongside someone like Hitler. In a nutshell, Neitzsche's "will to power" did not describe the striving to be superior over others, it described the striving to self-mastery, and the "Ubermensch" is he who has perfected self-mastery. Joshs renders a clear though succinct exposition of this in my current "will" thread. Wait...am I still on the "Philosophy Forum" site??

    Loyalty to the family has gone to hell and dependence on the state has increased.
    — Athena
    Personally, I believe family is more important than individuals. Love of state over love of family is reminiscent of Hitler's fascism.
    — Athena

    Your thesis in brief. I agree with your observations for the most part, but I disagree with your conception of the mechanism at work. I don't think that the percieved "decline of the family" is caused by an increased dependence upon the state. Rather, I think that the erosion of the concept of family, and particularly of "lineage", attended the revolutionary genesis of the American nation. This country was formed as a reaction against aristocracy, and by extension thereof, as a reaction against the concept of "lineage". This anti-lineage stance was early on codified within American law within such principles as "the Rule Against Perpetuities". The results of this today are that the concept if "lineage" has been so weakened in the American mind, that the expression of that concept is usually met with reactions of incredulity.

    When you do away with the "lineage", all you are left with for a concept of "the family", is the impotent "nuclear family", which is not a strong enough conception to withstand the onslaught of society's claims upon the individual person, and the claims of the nationalistic spirit for the affections of the individual. Why do you think we have the national anthem, the "pledge of allegiance" to the flag, various allegorical stories about the "founding fathers" of the country (many of which are utterly fabricated, like the G. Washington "cherry tree" fable, or embellished to the point of unrecognizability, like the "Paul Revere's Ride" nonsense), and other similar nationalistic devices? These are simply items of propaganda meant to secure the affections of a people left rootless by the destruction of the concept of "lineage", to a giant abstraction called "the state". This, of course, supported by more recent types of propaganda emanating from socialist thought (oddly placing nationalism and socialism in bed together), has been wildly successful in America, and are the reason for the diminishment of the weak "nuclear family". I might agree with @James Riley about the importance of community within a tribalistic or small communistic context, but within the context of "the state", the word "community" loses all of it's meaning, since the state makes all of the claims upon the individual that the community once did. This claiming obscures the fact that there is no true community within the context of the state. In the end, all who buy into the state's remonstration about "community" are left as no more than isolated individuals dependent upon and utilizing the state's willingness to mediate all traditional community functions in the creation of a type of "community by proxy", which leaves the state as the intermediary and arbiter of all function.
    Michael Zwingli

    It appears there is no awareness of intentional propaganda to double the workforce, such as the USSR saying "the full-time homemaker is a non-productive member of society". The point I was making seems to have been completely missed. the very dramatic social changes we have been through did not just happen. They follow a change in education.

    It does not matter if I miss understand Nietzsche. It matters how his philosophy encouraged Nazi behavior in the past and present. This includes believing one's self to be above the law and storming the Capitol Building. His effect has gone far, far beyond those who read his books. So to has the effect of Hegel's philosophy had a much greater ramification than influencing those who read his books. At least Charles Sarolea was concerned about Hegel's and Nietzsche's popularity and the possibility that Germany was preparing war.

    We might argue which came first the egg or the chicken? As I said happened in the USSR when women were "liberated" there was a rise in divorce and abortions rates and increasingly women and children fell below the level of poverty. It was realized working mothers made it necessary to provide child care. In the US marriage law was weakened following WWII and increasing jobs for women made it possible for them to get divorced, or for their husbands to be less concerned about the family they leave behind. This is a little complicated and it is not this or that but an interaction of this and that and the end result is we are no longer living under family order and we no longer valuing women as we did in the past and children are not growing up as they once did under the care of a mother. More and more is falling on the state, and more and more some religious folks are talking of how bad things are.

    I never knew of "the Rule Against Perpetuities". or even imagined a dead person had any power after death. That is an interesting subject. I noticed a failure of leaving behind estates and no longer thinking in terms of a man's home being his castle, did play into a weakening the family. So have the values of a technological society played into the weakening of family.

    "When you do away with the "lineage", all you are left with for a concept of "the family", is the impotent "nuclear family", which is not a strong enough conception to withstand the onslaught of society's claims upon the individual person, and the claims of the nationalistic spirit for the affections of the individual"

    That is nicely said however, I thought we have a national anthem because we go to war and when we are in a state of war we need to be strongly united and working together. Well, we did in the past. Our high-tech military has made that totally unnecessary. Now because we are not firmly united against a foreign enemy we are at war with ourselves. Our culture war is tearing us apart. Religion and changing social values are very much a part of our culture wars. It seems extremely few women want to be valued as we once valued women, but I think there are good reasons why we should.

    Until merit hiring we had nepotism.
    Nepotism is a form of favoritism which is granted to relatives and friends in various fields, including business, politics, entertainment, sports, fitness, religion, and other activities. The term originated with the assignment of nephews to important positions by Catholic popes and bishops.

    Nepotism - Wikipedia
    — wikipedia

    We still have nepotism because it is human nature, but legally and by policy people are supposed to base decisions on merit. But that does not prevent family businesses and I am glad of that. The Maccabees fought a war with the Greeks because the Greeks were doing merit hiring and not basing the decision of who got a job on the person's linage. Merit hiring kind of goes with democracy. And at this point can I thank you a lot for opening this expanded discussion of family verses a lack of family values. You have made this a much more meaningful discussion.

    "but within the context of "the state", the word "community" loses all of it's meaning, since the state makes all of the claims upon the individual that the community once did. This claiming obscures the fact that there is no true community within the context of the state. In the end, all who buy into the state's remonstration about "community" are left as no more than isolated individuals dependent upon and utilizing the state's willingness to mediate all traditional community functions in the creation of a type of "community by proxy", which leaves the state as the intermediary and arbiter of all function".

    wahwho! :cheer: "The Lonely Crowd" by David Riesman; ‎Nathan Glazer‎; ‎Reuel "Democracy in America" by Tocqueville and the new despot we will live under. And Hegel the state is God and how about the Bible and God's kingdom, but that kingdom does carry family values, Paradoxical. Do we want our children growing up without being bonded to family and being only members of the state desperately seeking their own happiness without family bonds?
  • Socialism or families?
    Everything except time and nature is within the power of the Plutocracy. And they are fighting those, too.James Riley

    It is only Satan. The Bible has told us of the last days and here we are. I think that is as much of a fact as I believe Plutoncrats are the problem. In other words, I don't believe those explanations and think things are more complex than those simple beliefs of evil powers.
  • What is 'Belief'?
    Perhaps the reason people have false beliefs is related to a wish to fantasise and fabricate 'the truth' because reality can be so grim and painful. There are all kinds of false beliefs, including ones about oneself. Of course, there may be false ideas which are believed fully or partially, and, at some point, an individual may need to face up to the false nature of beliefs, but as so many aspects of life are ambiguous it is possible to hold onto all kinds of fantastic ideas, even to the point of delusional ideas, or even 'psychotic' departures from accepted ways of thinking. The imagination can play all kinds of tricks, as a defense mechanism against the brutality of painful experience of facts.Jack Cummins

    Jack, my post to Corvus is a rather long explanation of the US no longer looking like the God-blessed nation we thought we had. I think your notion of our fantasies is correct.

    The pandemic, growing homelessness, increased tornados, floods, hurricanes, fires. Who wants to believe these things will not go away?
  • What is 'Belief'?
    Before I used to believe the USA is a great nation with exemplary democracy, politics, strong economy and power. However with the recent event of Corona pandemics and the government changes, my beliefs on the USA have changed a lot. Mind you, I am not the right person to say anything about USA issues, as I said earlier, the total amount of time I have visited and stayed in the USA is maybe about a couple of months as a tourist.

    Before I used to like the USA so much, I even wanted to emigrate, work and live there. But recently I was so glad that I was not in the USA. So, I must admit the recent news media reports about the USA has changed my views and beliefs on the USA tremendously.

    I don't believe that the USA is a safe and good society to live anymore. Maybe they are not as powerful as I used to believe. The society has deep and bitter divisions just like any other societies and nations in modern times. The divide between the rich and poor is utterly severe, and they don't have a good healthcare system for the middle class or poor people. To see a doctor, maybe one needs very expensive private health insurance, and even then if one needs complicated treatment in the hospital it could cost arm and leg for the treatment having to be paid by selling home and all the life savings if one had any.

    And then there are many other issues that I can never understand with the country such as gun ownership issues and the acute violence problems in the society. And in military power, it is supposed to be a superpower, but the way they exited from Afghanistan and the other countries once they had stepped in, without any resolutions as if they were retreating after losing the battle as if they were scared, and running away from them.

    So, all these recent events contributed to changing my beliefs on the USA I suppose. But again, I don't trust my belief 100% on anything being a sceptic and agnostic most times.

    It would be like, I am believing what an elephant is like, without ever having seen one in my life. All I know is, I know nothing as Socrates said, and my beliefs could be just groundless fuzz illusion. One thing for sure is that the beliefs are formed autonomously within me by the media propaganda. I keep telling myself, I should not trust the media reports 100%.

    Anyway, I thank you, and I feel privileged having been able to discuss the issues with you, who I guess, is a native American citizen born and bred in the country for all your life.
    Corvus

    You are wise. The US today is not the US of the past. We did not pay much in taxes before WWII and since WWII we have continued to pay almost as much in taxes and during the war years. We did not maintain a large military force and we did have military bases around the world, and we were very reluctant to go to war. Our wars since WWII have been very controversial with much public disapproval of the military actions. It is not fear of the battle that keeps us out of war, but disapproval. The forefathers of the US made it very hard for the US to go to war, but this has been changed. Some of us are strongly opposed to making it easier for a President to take us to war.

    War is only one thing we disagree about. Many of us want strong gun control laws. We also disagree on education issues and religious issues. A very serious disagreement is those who have more faith in science than religion. This pandemic has strongly pitted us against each other. Those who support Trump and those who oppose him, are also those who trust science and don't trust science. We have not been so divided since the civil war. This thread is about beliefs, and nothing is taken more seriously than those of us who trust science and those of us who don't. This is not a good time to visit the US especially not for people who do not look like Anglo-Saxons because we are so tense people are lashing out.

    One more very serious problem is we have never had so many homeless people! The sight of so many homeless everywhere we go is terrifying! This is as serious as the pandemic because it screams to us things are not as they should be. The more we try to resolve the homeless problem, the bigger it gets. This is very frightening! It strongly attacks our own belief in our nation.

    In so many ways we are not the country we defended and one has to ask- what do we think we are defending with our very costly military might? In my youth, the only time I saw a man sleeping on the streets, was when a man had gotten drunk and passed out. Now we see homeless women and children. We have not had this since the Great Depression. We speak of multi millionaires and see homeless women and children. This is so horrifying!
  • Socialism or families?
    P.S. People do have the right to unionize. Unfortunately, they don't have a right to prevent scabs or other efforts by the Plutocracy to increase the labor supply, thus reducing demand and value of labor. They just run over seas to the billions of people getting 30 cents an hour. The Plutocracy's rising tide lifts Chinese boats.James Riley

    “Right to work” is the name for a policy designed to take away rights from working people. Backers of right to work laws claim that these laws protect workers against being forced to join a union. The reality is that federal law already makes it illegal to force someone to join a union.

    Right to Work | AFL-CIO
    — AFL-CIO

    The price of the $5 dress is sweatshops and low wages. This is a consumer choice, not just the plutocracy's choice.

    Greenspan would have loved to have had the control of money that he thought he did. He was wrong to deregulate banks, and that crashed all the industrial economies. That was not within the power of a plutocracy. There are different economic theories and for sure big government can not control money. One reason our government can not control spending is that the amount of money that is being spent is beyond comprehension.
  • Socialism or families?
    Same guy. But he was not alone. Most men of the Enlightenment were headed down a liberal, if not radical road.James Riley

    I think that needs to be clarified by saying most educated men. The masses were not educated except by their church. Some churches had well-educated leaders and many did not. The well-educated men were literate in Greek and Roman classics (classical/liberal education), but even their colleges were tied to religion, not science and technology. On the other hand, the Masons were more excited about what science might reveal and really focused on the Enlightenment and New Age. They might have been deist, but not so much interested in unenlightened religion. I feel like this needs to be brought out because Christian control of education would lead us to believe Christianity gave us an understanding of democracy and that is not exactly true. No one saw anything to do with democracy in the Bible until there was literacy in the classics and if we are to defend democracy we need to be literate in the classics, not the Bible.
  • Socialism or families?
    ↪Athena Let me clarify a point: There is a great deal of difference in quantity and quality between a low level of inequality and an extremely high level of inequality. Perfect equality is unobtainable, but a low level of inequality can be obtained. A low level of inequality might be where the average high pay, average large asset holdings, is only 10 times the average low pay, average low asset holding. So, a 25,000 a year wage earner would be on the low end, 250,000 would be on the high end. A low level of inequality also means that most of the people would hold most of the assets. There would not be room for Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg.Bitter Crank

    :lol: Zuckerberg sponsors public broadcasting shows, and with my limited hearing I hear "suck a bird". Not until I saw your spelling of the name did I realize what I hear is not exactly what is said.

    On to the point you made. I wish my poor brain would do math and then that economic explanations came with the math. I think it is stupid as hell to demand higher wages and then blame the government for inflation! And what kind of sense does it make to restrict how rich a person can get? Restricting how people get rich makes sense to me, but not the amount.

    Now taxing the wealthy makes sense because I knew a man who won a shrimp picking plant in a poker game, and this resulting in him having so much money he had to invest it to avoid paying too much in taxes. Of course, his investment would mean more money the next year, so he would have to invest even more money! That meant his need to invest lead to the community having new businesses and more jobs.

    But the shrimp picking plant put many people out of work because before the machine came in, the shrimp was picked by hand and this meant more people got a wage off of the same industry. I thought it would have been so much better if the people who lost their jobs, could have bought the plant and each taken a turn at doing the far fewer jobs, with everyone getting a wage. But- maybe someone getting rich and starting more businesses was better for the community? Only with math can we know that. Capitalism is not just getting rich, it is developing a growing economic base for increasing wealth.

    And all those silver and gold mining towns that went belly up when the mines were exhausted were very poorly managed because the profit from the mineral should have been invested in a source of income that would replace the income from the mine, then all the landowners and businesses would have kept the value of their land and businesses. I think that is how government should work. It is really stupid to build up property value and businesses and let it all die because of poor planning.

    :lol: At this moment in time, I wonder if anyone would believe I normally argue in favor of socialism. But it is my nature to be contrary and no matter what someone says, I am going to think of an argument.
  • Socialism or families?
    First, we, as a society, need to distinguish between true capitalism and the faux shit spouted by today's self-identified capitalists who are quick to socialize their costs, hide behind big government's skirts, and refuse to take personal responsibility for their own actions.

    Once we understand that difference, then the only objection a socialist might have to capitalism is how the capitalist came into possession of "his" personal property in the first place.
    18 hours ago
    James Riley

    Oh yeah! If it were not for government contracts there would not be so much wealth. This is one of the biggest problems with big government! There is virtually no control of the money.

    Corporate personhood should NOT exist legally because a corporation is not a person.

    All human beings should have the right to unionize just as capitalists have a right to form corporations.

    But this might be getting off-topic and in a philosophy forum, some interesting things might be said of the power and purpose of the different human unions? Should we start such a thread?
  • Socialism or families?
    Private property rights is one of the primary liberal tenets. They were further caveated by Smith and other capitalists with the notion of "enlightened" self-interest. Don't milk your cow to death.James Riley

    Do you mean Adams Smith's book The Wealth of Nation's? Morality plays a strong role in economics and in family and I think I bit off more than I can chew but I look forward to returning tomorrow and chewing on all this.
  • Socialism or families?
    Ironic that Tucker Carlson had a recent segment on Fox criticizing the concept of paternity leave that many conservatives jumped on board to agree with. Seems like the question should be Capitalism or Family Values, eh?Maw

    Yes. That is the main point of this thread but it could be lost in verbiage. Everything is so complex. I really do not understand the difference between socialism and capitalism. Fascism is private property but government control of industry. Which makes the capitalist very interested in government and next thing you know, they are running the government. Obviously, Fox News and Christianity play very important roles in our politics. Making Plato's objection to democracy obvious.
  • Socialism or families?
    I have found information about Cicero and economics that I think might interest all of us. Accoring to Neal Wood, Cicero was....

    An "economic individualist" who recommended the enlightened pursuit of self-interest and defended property differentials, he was the first major political thinker to conceive of the protection of private property as the primary purpose of the stateNeal Wood

    I think we can assume he was not a liberal when it comes to property rights.

    I think letters written by Cicero concerning ownership of property would complement what
    James RileyJames Riley
    Bitter CrankBitter Crank
    have been saying about government protecting the rich, but at the same time we might see how this benefits everyone. I don't know, there is so much to understand about economics and I know I do not know enough. My best economic understanding comes from a geologist who wrote "Mineral Resources and the Destiny of Nations". Mineral resources have a lot to do with history and the future. However, if one is in the middle of game like Cicero was, the economic considerations are very different.
  • Socialism or families?
    I'm not sure about your information, or what it's based on.

    Cicero died in 43 B.C.E. I don't recall reading any writing of his addressing land ownership or loss of land by men of the legions.
    Ciceronianus

    As far as I know, he did not. And that is why I fault him for not understanding the economic problem.

    [/quote] Owning land stopped being a requirement for military service as part of the reforms made by Gaius Marius in about 100 B.C.E. I don't know how many men of the legions owned land from that time forward, let alone lost land. Marius began the development of the legions as a professional force. They were provided with equipment, armor and weapons. They could receive land or additional pay on retirement.

    Towards the end of the Roman Republic, generals like Sulla, Caesar and Pompey began to reward their legions with loot obtained during successful campaigns, and they became loyal to and dependent on their generals. The civil wars began which ended with the establishment of the Principate by Augustus, who standardized soldiers pay and guaranteed them land and money on retirement. Augustus and successor emperors sought to make the soldiers loyal to the emperor.

    Yes, a mercenary army. Nothing like men joining together to defend their homes and family. That moved Rome from a nation of civilians to the Beast that had to be fed. The power and glory of Rome. Why do we admire it?
    We get the reference to "bread and circuses" from Juvenal, who wrote in the late first and early second centuries C.E.

    There certainly were wealthy people, some of them former slaves (freedmen), and slaves, and there were also people who were not wealthy, and neither slaves nor freedmen, but lived and made or didn't make money. The system certainly favored the wealthy. That's been the case throughout history, however.
    21 hours ago

    Rome, totally blew it with their white togas. Imagine how much better their economy could have been with a wide variety of clothes and seasonal changes in what we wear. Sorry, that is most certainly a female point of view and not to be taken seriously. I don't think the history of Rome could have gone any differently because of the need to constantly find new supplies of gold. And I see the same thing in the US. Jeese, I thought fracking was going to make us independent of foreign oil, and the news has made it clear the cost of gas is going up because the Arabs are not interested in producing more oil, and Britain is struggling, and Russia is arguing the decline in gas exports is not political.

    I am not terribly worried about the poor if they can continue to have the essentials of life, such as family and community, Our focus has been pretty materialistic. Why would anyone want to be rich? Is there anything better than wealth? When there were two men in my life and I had to chose one over the other, I chose the man who had nothing but was the most caring. The man with all the wealth was a jerk. I am not materially rich, but through books and discussions like I can find here, I have a very rich life. I have known rich people who do not have rich lives.
  • Socialism or families?
    Your post was beautifully written and we have plenty of agreements. But I do not know why we should object to...
    "Government is a committee for organizing the affairs of the ruling class." Maintaining the capitalist machine which concentrates wealth is the priority of government (which includes the military).Bitter Crank

    However, that is a little simplistic. We protect entrepreneurship with pattens and anti-monopoly laws. In the past, 8th-grade dropouts began their own businesses and the US is known for its rags to riches stories. We are known as the land of opportunity. Overpopulation is a huge problem, but this is not a government-caused problem, nor are the rich to blame for it. We have exploited our national mineral wealth and spent the money but this is not a government-caused problem. We have very serious resource and population problems and I think we could do better. But on the good side is our education system that enabled millions of people to leave the farm and get good-paying city jobs. Following WWII and the GI Bill, a college education almost guaranteed upward economic mobility.

    Look, most working people owe more than they own. Student loans, credit cards, and mortgages count against any assets they have access to, like their house--for which like as not a bank holds the title. Not only can they not lift themselves up, they are in a deep financial hole to start with. Sure, retired workers may be in better shape than younger workers, but they aren't "wealthy" by any stretch of the imagination.Bitter Crank

    I think we have very serious economic problems but who is to blame? The GI bill included low-interest home loans. I knew a retarded couple who bought a home through a special government program that made it possible for low-income people to own their homes. Homeownership is a huge good and the government has supported it, but lately, our government is failing us and bankers sure have become our enemy! This proves the problem with amoral education for technology that has lead to immorality at the top, not just the lowly criminal element, and a loss of personal liberty and power.

    We can do better, but that will not be achieved by blaming others and understanding no more than some people are richer than others. Greenspan was wrong to believe deregulating banks was a good idea, and maybe our fiat money is a very bad idea. Both of those bad ideas seem to go together. Economies that depend on growth instead of on sustainability may be a very bad idea?

    Botton line, we need a better understanding of the problems than blaming the rich and we need to take responsibility.
  • Socialism or families?
    Reagan was a nice, likable guy, but he should have been providing sing-alongs around a campfire with a guitar at a camp for kids with cancer.James Riley

    :lol: That is a good idea. In a way, he was a wonderful President because he gave us wonderful feelings of patriotism. Unfortunately, that was good acting, and not based on reality. He lied to us about oil and the need to conserve. The only way to improve our economy and meet our need for oil was to use our military to overpower OPEC.

    But back to your faith in big government, your mention of Reagan allows me to make a point. I said the Eisenhower created new relationships with research and the media. Okay, that enabled the Reagan administration to completely replace research on poverty with research on welfare fraud. The findings of research on welfare fraud were fed to the media to scapegoat the poor for the economic crisis caused by OPEC embargoing oil. Exactly how Bush was able to feed the media and take the US into an illegal war with Iraq. That was an action taken by neocons, and Bush and Cheney were neocons.

    Why do you think big government that can be controlled by a handful of people is a good thing? The Civil War was very much about sovereign states having more power than the federal government. The Native American Federation and the Greeks and Celts basically all had city-states. We know Rome was the most powerful country in its time until it exhausted its supply of gold and could no longer pay for its military, leaving the church to bribe barbarians and prevent an invasion. I wonder if our fear of immigrants is related to the fall of Rome? They keep coming and coming and we are losing control.

    What can be done to increase the power of the people? Almost lost in this thread is the notion that strong families have something to do with the people having power over their government. The media is an essential defender of our democracy, or it once was, before education of a technological society replaced education for citizenship.
  • Socialism or families?
    We don't feed the lazy for them, we feed the lazy for us. We don't honor our agreements for the benefit of others. We honor our agreements because it is good for us to honor our word. I've oft used the example of Indians: We should not honor our treaties with them because we want what is best for them. Forget them. We should honor our treaties because our own Constitution provides that treaties shall be the supreme law of the land. We do it because it is who we want to be. We feed the lazy because we are good, right, strong, and not lazy. This is how we set standards that people want to aspire to. There will always be lazy, but there will be fewer of them when everyone looks around and says "Hey, would I rather be lazy and get something for nothing? Or would I rather be that guy who carries the lazy with broad shoulders and a smile on his face, embracing the suck, leaning into the load and enjoying the burn as he works his body?James Riley

    :heart: I love your reasoning and it is my understanding too, except we have a little difference of opinion about helping the lazy. I hold that enabling people to make bad choices is harmful. My city has made a gallant effort to help the homeless and I believe it was my activist work when Reagan was in office that woke people up to the need to help the homeless. The problem is our homeless population is growing and this is not sustainable. It has filled our city with undesirable people and this means more crime and is harming businesses and some neighborhoods. Just like when I brought people into my home and they stole from me, and/or became very angry with me because the more they took the worse they felt and it was my fault.

    A simple example of misguided city intentions was announcing a work project open to everyone and a free meal. The idea was to give them meaningful work cleaning up the city and thus including them in our community as people with value. Make it possible for them to feel like one of us. Problem was, they fed everyone first and they all walked away without doing a lick of work. I am sure you would agree this did not have the intended effect of everyone feeling like a valuable citizen. That is the first step to getting out of the trap of feeling worthless and having no motivation to change one's unfortunate circumstances. How would you feel if you took and walked away?

    Where is the locus of control?
    — Athena

    The people, not the Plutocracy. The Plutocracy forfeited their right to the status of people when they created the corporation. It was only then that they created laws making corporations people. But they are not. Only the people are people.

    That is a good answer but I don't think it works. I think under socialism the locus of control is the government.

    It is not the alcohol or the drugs that cause the dysfunction. Ask what kind of culture causes people to turn to drugs and alcohol?
    For sure I question what culture has to do with addictions and the destruction of the family. I rather have someone who cares about me and is fun to be with, than rely on alcohol or a drug to feel good. But having that special someone depends on having social skills and also material things. Social skills must be learned and we might consider that an important part of education as it was in our past. And addictions are very much a chemical thing, it could be sugar, alcohol, or drugs or even watching the news, or exercising- these behaviors are about chemicals and hormones. And like wearing a mask to avoid covid, education could help improve decision making, but teenagers aren't likely to value the lesson.

    Cultures can make families strong or weak and right now our culture in the US is doing many things that make families weak and this why I started this thread.
    — Athena

    I think you and I are saying much of the same thing and the agreement is there.

    I think we agree on almost everything, and I think our nation has a problem with religion. Some of our forefathers objected to religion that advanced false notions, but there was agreement that religion is good for teaching moral values. Unfortunately, superstition goes with those moral lessons, and Christianity is about a kingdom, not a democracy. Especially an Evangelical Christian believes we must be saved by a supernatural being and all this boils down to in 1958 we replaced our education for good moral judgment with education for technology and left moral training to the church. This was the worst thing we could do.

    this is a fight against the government's control of education.
    — Athena

    That is only true because government is controlled by the Plutocracy. There is nothing inherently wrong with goverment control of education. The problem lies in who controls government. Our foundind fathers believed in public education and they were right, in my opinion. But what happened to civics, etc.?

    It is not just the Plutocracy that is causing a problem. It is also religion! Christianity has been the worst enemy of education and the best buddy of Plutocracy that doesn't want to waste time and money on preparing the young to be good citizens. Especially Christianity with zero literacy of Greek and Roman classics is problematic! Only when there is literacy in Greek and Roman classics is democracy defended. We are now living with a Christian mythology of our democracy and this is terrible! It is very much behind the culture wars we are having and amoral atheist are throwing fuel into the fire. [/quote]

    Again, big government is not the problem and never has been (in the U.S.). The problem is, who owns the government? Money, or people? FDR was on the right track. But it was NOT government that created the MIC out of thin air or a vaccume. It was the private sector monied interests that did it. To kill government is to cut off your nose to spite your face. Kill instead the monied ownership of government. You see the giant turn in 1958 but money has sought to own government since the founding.

    Well, there we disagree. The Military-Industrial Complex is what Germany had, The Bush family and Hitler referred to it as the New World Order. It did not come out of nothing. It came out of war and awareness of how technology can change war.
  • Socialism or families?
    Who benefits from efforts to undermine and demonize a government's assistance to its people?
    — Ciceronianus
    James Riley

    Reagan scapegoated our poor for our economic troubles and he lied to us about not needing to conserve, so he could slash the domestic budgets and pour everything into military spending.
    Who benefits?
  • Socialism or families?
    My mom and dad both grew up in the heart of the Great Depression. I'm pretty sure no human being in the history of the Earth ever defied the laws of physics by pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps. That's just another myth that keeps us striving for the 1%.James Riley

    Okay, same cohort.

    We must do the right thing because it is the right thing to do.
    — Athena

    Yes, and many would argue that taking care of the weak lame and lazy is the right thing to do, and what strong people do. Those who argue "teach a man to fish" often don't know how to fish. They are still eating fish caught by others. And let's not forget the fish itself. If we are to turn our backs on, and ostracize the lazy, we should start with the 1% who spout shit like "bootstrapping" and "fish."

    I have to question the right of feeding lazy people. However, it could be argued getting rich by what one owns rather than by working. is just as much a problem as feeding a lazy person who owns nothing. Democracy is about relationships. It is about being inclusive and working together. We can throw in the statement that "man does not live by bread alone" and ask what else does he need? How about acceptance and fellowship and self-value?

    Before the 1970 recession, I did my "good thing" for "those people". In the recession, I became one of "those people". From this point of view, Roosevelt was very wise to create jobs for "those people". It might be better to make "them" one of "us" rather than to throw money at "them and feed them"?

    Bingo! And I tip my hat to you. That is what democratic socialism is all about.

    Okay, we may have an agreement but I am not sure what socialism is? Where is the locus of control? I want us to replace the autocratic model of the industry with the democratic model, and put the locus of on individuals working together rather than authority above them.

    I can also see, when people turn their back on family, the family is more apt to need government assistance. That is where family taking care of family is also about democracy, liberty, and our country. We are good citizens because that is how to have a strong nation and a good citizen takes care of family.
    — Athena

    Family disfunction is not caused by a government that is there to provide a safety net. That disfuction is the result of an economic system that devalues the family and defunds community, democracy, liberty and government. The need for government assistence is created, and then not funded, so those who need it hate government instead of the system that drove them to it. That system is afraid of a strong nation, good citizens and family.

    That is not how things look from my point of view. Family dysfunction is caused by many things. Alcoholism and drugs are big causes of dysfunctional families. Cultures can make families strong or weak and right now our culture in the US is doing many things that make families weak and this why I started this thread. Many of these bad things are done with good intentions, by people who do not participate in this forum and do not have the information and feedback they need.

    I would also point to autocratic industry as a very strong factor in making families and our democracy weak.

    Remember Joseph Campbell? He said the purpose of mythology is to transition youth into adults who function well in their society. Our education in the US had a mythology and made good citizenship a priority of education until 1958. Until then, parents controlled their local schools.

    There are good and bad things about parents controlling their child's education, but right now we are in a fight for our children and this is a fight against the government's control of education. I am thrilled to see this fight become so strong, but I am also stressed about how this fight is happening and that we have lost the understanding of the importance of culture and how to transmit it. Personally, I believe the 1958 National Defense Act, ripped our children away from us, and that this is behind the national youth crisis that was announced in the 70's, and the popularity of Trump and the attack on the Capital Building and even more serious social problems.

    But I think our Plutocracy problem is government supporting industry.
    — Athena

    Government supports industry because industry owns government.
    Absolutely no argument there! And, they took control of education in 1958 and this is destroying families and our democracy.

    I hope someone can correct me or explain what I am saying better than I have. Whatever, this is not the old plutocracy, this is a stronger trinity of military might, industry, and government. And the taxpayers are paying for it.
    — Athena

    You said it just fine. But it's not new. See "War is a Racket" by Smedley Butler. This MIC stuff has been going on for well over a hundred years

    If people do not realize the changes made by Roosevelt and Hover working together to create big government, and how this became the Military-Industrial Complex we have today, then there is no hope of correcting the problem. Yes, in the past industrialist enlisted the help of government, but that was nothing like the Military-Industrial Complex we have today. Today is not equal to the past. We did not have the institutional organization for the Military-Industrial Complex until adopting theGerman model of bureaucracy and the education that goes with it. Also, the US was a self-sufficient nation, meaning we did not have to import anything. We could mine and produce everything we needed. That is no longer true. Next, our money was backed by gold and silver and that is no longer true. Today is not like the past. Our high-tech, taxpayer-supported military might is new to the US. We oppose taxing people to support a large military and we had no interest in the rest of the world and WWII changed all this, not only because of enjoying being a military might, but our economy and technology depend on imports, and that makes military might essential. This is not the innocent and naive past. Only the average man on the street is clueless, not those above us.
  • Socialism or families?
    Actually, he asked the question in connection with his defense of someone accused of a crime. The sense of it is, that in determining who did something it's appropriate to ask who benefited from the act. And, it should be Cui bono fuisset.Ciceronianus

    My memory is poor, but seems to me, Cicero was clueless about the reality of those who went to war for Rome and lost their land while they were gone to war! Not only did they loose their land, but they could not get jobs because of slavery. The wealthy were wealthy because they owned land and had slaves. They also held the seats of power and that means the system was to benefit the wealthy, not all citizens.
    To a degree, giving the landless bread and circus prevented a violent revolution, but if I recall correctly some generals lead their troops to fight for what they believed they deserved, and in time these generals came to the seats of power. Should I look for more information?
  • Socialism or families?
    The Plutocracy is necessarily and increasingly paternalistic. So it is no wonder that its most obsequious subjects are invariably callow. In the US, the Plutocracy uses the phrase self-relient “bootstrapping” to describe their scheme of keeping people in their cubicles. Now that’s a telling phrase: We all know it defies the laws of physics to bootstrap.

    It seems likely to me that anyone living in that sort of system—raised in it, educated by it, paying for it—is nearly doomed to become dependant on it. And to be honest, I can hardly blame the man, his money stolen and used to build the wealth of others, when he seeks some sort recompense in the form of what it can offer. It’s not beyond the point of repair though. We can raise and educate our children to be what the family used to be, before it was nuclearized to benefit the Plutocracy with lies of independence.

    As stated earlier, socialism (democratic) can be seen as the family writ large. Any paternalism is just all of us acting as a father-figure to those obsequious, callow, petulent kids who come running home when the world gets tough, but run away, acting all tough, when they don't like when daddy says "our house, our rules." They want all the benefits of society but they don't want to contribute. Oh well, they can run away to their cubicle and get to work for their masters.
    James Riley

    :grin: Philosophy is fun because we can look at the same thing, but it does not look the same from different points of view and like the gods we can share our different points of view and work for agreement. That is democracy! What rules is not you or me, but what we agree upon. Rule by reason.

    I am 100% behind pulling one's self up by their own boot straps and my different point of view on this, probably is my age. I could be closer to the generation that survived the Great Depression than you are. We must do the best we can do until we can do no more. We must do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. How people think today is completely different from what I grew up with.

    About your mention of grown children returning home but only for their own reasons, not a more wholistic understanding of family. Now we worry about people's emotions and if a young person is not happy, this can be blamed on the family, and the hurt person is encouraged to turn away from the "toxic" family. I took in my grandmother with Alzheimer's and she had no idea who I was and thought I separated her from her son and daughter and was holding her as a prisoner. Her son and daughter wanted nothing to do with her and dumped her on me, and the following years were not pleasant, but I saw it as my family duty and did the best I could. I have gone through life not thinking what it is in for me, but rather is the right thing for me to do for my family, and community, and country.

    But I hurt my grown granddaughter's feelings and she tells me I am "toxic" and that she wants nothing to do with me, or her mother, or her sister. This is a very different way of looking at life. What I want versus what is the right thing for me to do in this situation. :lol: I never would have dreamed of speaking to my grandmother as my granddaughter speaks to me, and when I turned to the internet for information, I found an explanation of generational differences. I can also see, when people turn their back on family, the family is more apt to need government assistance. That is where family taking care of family is also about democracy, liberty, and our country. We are good citizens because that is how to have a strong nation and a good citizen takes care of family.

    But the Plutocracy is another subject. It is related because everything is related to money and meeting our needs. But I think our Plutocracy problem is government supporting industry. I think the idea is a strong arms industry means good-paying jobs and citizens need good-paying jobs, so the government will support the arms industry. Using our military to secure our control of oil is essential to our national wealth. We can see what happened when OPEC embargoed oil to the US and its economy collapsed. We can not let that happen again, so we must maintain a military strength to prevent that from happening again. But this military action is not like wars of the past, modern warfare relies on industry to supply the military needs so we now have industries like Cheney's company Halliburton. It is more than this. Our government protects Mc Donnal's and Microsoft's interests around the world. These industries are part of our national wealth, but that wealth is paid for by our tax dollars supporting the industries and is not benefiting us as much as it benefits the multimillionaires. I wish I could be more factual. I hope someone can correct me or explain what I am saying better than I have. Whatever, this is not the old plutocracy, this is a stronger trinity of military might, industry, and government. And the taxpayers are paying for it.
  • Socialism or families?
    I wonder sometimes what those who decry socialism so frequently here in our Glorious Union think it to be. I suspect they don't think it's an economic system, one by which the means of production, etc., are owned by the government. They seem more inclined to deem it anything which they think benefits others (particularly certain others) more than it benefits them, or which limits their ability to do what they want to do, or which serves to persuade others not to think as they do. So Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, public education, welfare systems, have all been described as "socialist" or "socialism" by some in our Great Republic at one time or another, and have been claimed to sap us of our virtue and responsibility.

    One must ask, with my daemon Cicero--Qui bono fuisset? Who benefits from efforts to undermine and demonize a government's assistance to its people?
    Ciceronianus

    As much as I like Cicero, I fault him for having a very poor understanding of economics. An economic system that exploits some to benefit others, may not be any better than institutionalized slavery and excluding some from property rights because of their race or religion, or ethnic background. Free public education is awesome as it can empower people to achieve their full potential and to me, that is the best thing humanity can do for humanity and it is a goal of democracy.

    I like Roosevelt's attempt to lift everyone better than what we are doing now! Just giving people money because they breathe, is a terrible idea! What we get needs to be tied to what we give. Social Security is based on age and is based on past wages, that is, based on what was given. The idea is to protect people's dignity. Getting food, money, etc. based on need instead of on effort is damaging.

    I must mention Socrates who argues justice and said, if we exploit people, sooner or later they will become a social problem. That is something we want to avoid. How we avoid that is a challenging problem. But turning back to Roosevelt and thinking of our environmental needs such as reducing the destructiveness of fires, means we can tie what people get to what they give. And the giving is about good citizenship.
  • Socialism or families?
    The state is necessarily and increasingly paternalistic. So it is no wonder that its most obsequious subjects are invariably callow. In the UK, the welfare state architect used the phrase “cradle-to-grave” to describe his social security scheme. Now that’s a telling phrase.

    It seems likely to me that anyone living in that sort of system—raised in it, educated by it, paying for it—is nearly doomed to become dependant on it. And to be honest, I can hardly blame the man, his money stolen and used to build the system, when he seeks some sort recompense in the form of what it can offer. It’s beyond the point of repair now. The best we can do is raise and educate our children otherwise and hope for the best.
    NOS4A2

    I am glad you have a better understanding of what I am talking about than some do. However, I do favor public assistance, but as Locke said of kings, It would be fine if kings be like fathers, if like fathers, they prepared their children to be independent. In part I am talking about education the helps the young grow up and not only be independent but also capable of being civil and industrial leaders, Without that education, and the past understanding of family duty and responsibility, we get a socialist welfare state.

    My thinking includes respecting and trusting all professionals and giving them the authority they deserve. Stop trying to control them making them conform to policy.
  • Socialism or families?
    This is an absurd re-writing of history, as if there were a time in the past when rigid bright lines divided the family and society, where only through aggressive invasion could the powerful state impose its will on the family and provide for it food, shelter, clothing, education, and other means of social assistance. There never has been this dichotomy, with society properly "out there" while the family worked its magic independently and efficiently, leaving us now to lament a wonderful lost past.Hanover

    Okay I have the book on Family Law and it is authentic. What is your source of information?

    And I would not claim it was a wonderful past. Actually, some of the pioneer women in the west were very, very resentful of the big stink made over slavery while their own slavery was ignored because it was called "marriage". Some of them were married off to older men when they were 14. This was about survival, not love and marriage. I have spoken with women from a generation that is no longer with us and these women who were very glad when their husbands died, leaving a few years to enjoy their own lives. How do you know of their reality? What do you know of it?
  • What is 'Belief'?
    I thought the Trump time had passed, and it is a new era for the USA with the new president and new government. Are you still under the influence of the old government? Perhaps it is a historical issue and difference in beliefs which had been dormant for many years in the past within the society and nation? But then which society or nation is 100% unified with one idea and opinion in modern times?Corvus

    It is a matter of liberty and power. When Roosevelt was the president he and Hoover created a government with much more control of everything. We did not give up our education for citizenship that made our culture a strong democracy until 1958. In 1958 we began preparing the young for a technological society with unknown values, and no one educated to determine what our values should be. This means we have an amoral society and we are at each other's throats. The whole world can see this and it is not only embarrassing, but a dangerous sign of weakness. Jefferson understood what education has to do with being a strong republic supported by democratic culture. We no longer understand this.

    Amazingly Trump has maintain as much power over half people, as Hitler had power over the people. The US is being ripped apart. This is the result of replacing the education we had with education for technology and before this began the right thing to do, we replaced the inefficient and weak government bureaucracy we had, with the Prussian model that is efficient and strong. That is until the people are at each other's throats. :rofl:
  • Socialism or families?
    I find it hard to pin down exactly what fascism means today. One scholar said that fascism is better defined by it's methods than its ideology.Bitter Crank

    For fascism to exist the bureaucratic order must be developed to control everything and the young need to be taught to follow orders.
  • Socialism or families?
    You are obsessed with the National Defense Education Act and Eisenhower's speech on the Military-Industrial Complex. The changes that you lament (it sounds like an lament, anyway) started much earlier than 1958.

    Land Grant schools began with the Morrill act of 1862. The act set aside land in states to be used to help fund higher education. The Big Ten state universities are examples of beneficiaries of the Morrill act--universities like Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa, and others.

    Up until the time the Land Grant colleges and universities got up and running, higher education was largely an elite affair. The private colleges were focused on the Liberal Arts and limited their enrollment. The big Land Grant universities had the liberal arts as well, but also institutes of technology, medical schools, business administration departments, agricultural colleges, home economics, and so on. They were far more democratic in their mission and admission policies.

    The end of WWII brought a huge wave of enrollment by men returning from the war, at least partly funded by the VA program. The Baby Boom followed their father into college (starting in 1964). This brought about still more democratization of higher education, and yes, a dilution of old academic traditions and practices. The Berkeley Free Speech Moment (think Mario Savio: “The revolt began in the fall semester of 1964 as an extension of either vicarious or actual involvement in the struggle for civil rights.”) was a prominent flash point in the changing higher education culture.

    I would agree that democracy in the United States is not in great shape, but I blame the founding fathers. A lot of them wanted democracy for the few, not the many, and to a large extent the is the way things have worked out.

    The elite (based on wealth) ran things in the 17th and 18th centuries, continued through the 19th and 20th centuries, and appears to be immovable for the rest of the 21st century. So yes, democracy is unbalanced and has been in this country from the get go.
    Bitter Crank

    What difference did the Morrill act of 1862 make? It had nothing like the social, economic and political ramifications of the 1958 National Defense Education. In fact, education for technology and merit hiring levels out society. What you think is important and what I am talking about are completely different things.

    How many elite people ran everything? Most people were farmers or farm hands. Plenty of people owned their own business and in most the country there was no industry that people could depend on for jobs. You either owned land for an income or you had to create your own business and in rural America that is still true. Without a service economy people in small towns would have no jobs! I don't think those working people are the elite you are talking about.

    The US is best known for a person with nothing making it to the top. I do not believe the Founding Fathers are to blame for anything. For sure Jefferson took a strong stand against the Federalist and insisted the power rest with the people.

    Maybe if you understood why I focus on the change in bureaucratic order and education, we would share an agreement on why the US is now like Germany was when Hitler came to power. For sure there were serious problems with family order, such as excluding people because they are a different color, or a different religion, and hiring people not because of their merit but they are family or a friend of the family. The old family order was both good and bad. A technological society weakens family order.

    There is a lot to talk about, such as US industry is autocratic and not democratic and I have a big problem with that. James understands the value of liberal education and if we returned to that and replaced autocratic industry with democratic industry we could have a new golden age.
  • Socialism or families?
    I don't know about the dates, but I agree there was a shift. The plutocracy wants schools to produce good little producers and consumers; thus, they emphasize STEM, and de-emphasize the Liberal Arts (philosophy, reason, logic, language, history, political science, social studies, civics, etc.). It's interesting that a good foundation in the Liberal Arts actually stimulates an intellectual curiosity for STEM. I would think a kid going for STEM because he/she was curious about it would be the critical distinction between us and other countries (China?) that drill down on STEM as the be-all and end-all of education. But a kid that can think analytically and critically and logically and philosophically presents a substantial, credible threat to the plutocracy and we can't have that! Hell, even mom and dad don't want little Billy and Sally to come home from school and 'larn them; so they don't champion schools either.

    Biden and Trump may both be caught in the web, but Trump loves the web and wants to be the spider. He'd make the trains run on time all right, but not for everyone.
    James Riley

    I don't think I have come across someone who understands the problem as well as you do.

    In 1958 President Eisenhower asked congress to passed the National Defense Education Act. It was to last 4 years but as we can see we never returned to what Eisenhower called our domestic education. That education was liberal from the first day of school and focused on being cooperative. My grandmother would say we teach math to teach children how to think. We used the conceptual method where children learned increasing complex concepts. A forward to an old text book explains to the teacher not to fuss too much over students knowing the details of history, names and dates, but rather focus on the child's understanding of concepts.

    That domestic education was great for science and education for technology is not. Only specialized people are doing well with science. I have an old science for citizens book that was popular because everyone learned, school only prepared them to learn more, and it was their responsibility to keep learning on their own. Back in the day, people with only 8th grade educations would have thought people who do not understand the importance of wearing a masks during a pandemic were ignorant people. It was a patriotic duty to not be ignorant. Eisenhower warned us of the danger of relying too much on specialist and Pericles in his funeral speech explained Athens was generalist and that is better than the specializing of Sparta.

    So let us be clear about this. The change in education goes with the change in bureaucratic order. In the past people defined their job themselves and everyone did their job differently than others because how a job was done depended on what worked best for the person doing the job. Of course you can see when the person died the whole operation would be thrown into chaos, because the person who filled the job would not do it the same and everyone would have to adjust.

    Prussian military order controls everything with policy. Every job is narrowly defined and everyone who does that job is expected to follow policy, not his/her own inclinations of the best way to do the job. The organization meant, even if all the generals were killed, the war could go on because decisions were not made by individuals but a committee and from there everything is a matter of policy.

    Do you see how that change in bureaucratic organization leads to education preparing the young to be followers not leaders? Eisenhower praised the Germans for their contribution to democracy, because the bureaucratic order and education for technology is a great leveler. Independent thinkers are undesirable and this gets tangled up with Christianity! Teachers had to take Texas to the supreme court because Texas was forcing text book companies and teachers to teach creationism as equal to science. In 2012 the Texas Republican agenda was to prevent education in higher order thinking skills. Their reasoning was HOTS lead to children questioning their parents and that was a bad thing. Do not question anyone but do what you are told.

    I sincerely hope people can see what this has to do with racism, why Trump was elected, and why the Capital Building was under siege. Our politics are now as reactionary as Germany's politics were when Hitler came to power and thugs roamed boldly in the streets.

    Last thought, we replaced Greek and Roman philosophers with Hegel and Nietzsche.
  • Socialism or families?
    So where did you study public policy and administration and what books do you recommend?
    — Athena

    Colorado State University and University of Idaho, a life-time ago. I don't recommend any books.

    There can not be socialism without this change in bureaucratic order and the change in bureaucratic order crushes our individual liberty and power.
    — Athena

    When I hear "bureaucratic order" I think of "deep state." If the "deep state" is what kept fascism from a successful coup in January, then I'll tip my hat to it. Having a bunch of Masons acting as back up couldn't be all bad. I used to hate the two-party system (and still do), but I have also come to understand how a party might be useful, especially if a newbie gets in office and needs some institutional memory to keep the ball rolling. I'm all for throwing out the bathwater, but not the baby. Especially if a fascist is doing the tossing.

    Anyway, my point is, I'm not as quick to disparage institutions as I once was. What we need to do is take our government back from the Plutocracy. Good luck with that.
    James Riley

    Awe, that is why you are so smart and thought of Mussolini. We now have a great discussion going because you do know more than the average person. I am impressed by how you thought the good of political parties.

    I used to vote for both parties to keep things balanced, but we shifted from democracy being rule by reason, to power games. Our democracy is now unbalanced and I think this follows the 1958 change in education. Education for a technological society with unknown values has made our democracy an unknown value and we just assume everyone is fighting everyone else because we have conflicting interests. But having good government is not a conflicting interest.

    Democratically good government is not the Christian notion of God and a kingdom and its power and glory and Trump. :groan: We should have never dropped education for democracy because only when it is defended in the classroom can it be defended. Leaving moral training to the church along with adopting the German model of bureaucracy has us on the same path Germany followed. Now our most threatening enemy is not a foreign enemy.
  • Socialism or families?
    I don't know anything about the German bureaucratic model, but I will stipulate that you are correct, except on one point: You said "we" adopted. I don't think Americans sat down and said "Hey, let's adopt the German bureaucratic model!" To the extent that is what "we" have, it was just part of that tool I was talking about. The Plutocracy might very well find the German bureaucratic model more efficient it accomplishing their goals. But you know what? The Plutocracy absolutely LOVES you blaming government. That is one reason they keep government around: a punching bag for you, so you don't blame them for what they are doing to you (and "family").

    I'm also reminded of Mussolini. Didn't he make the trains run on time? Didn't he coin the term "fascism". Isn't that a condition where there is no distinction between the corporation and the state? Hmmm.
    James Riley

    Perfect! :cheer: You win the prize! WE did not! there would be no reason for me to say anything if people understood what happened.

    "The Plutocracy might very well find the German bureaucratic model more efficient it accomplishing their goals" Now you are on the right track! :grin: and neither Trump or Biden have the awareness to change this reality. You can bet your last dollar that this system favors the plutocracy because it favors power, not individual liberty and power and because the government is now a power game, both Trump and Biden will make terrible decisions. I keep saying democracy is rule by reason but unfortunately, I seem to be the only person who has that understanding of democracy so there is no support for this notion. Without understanding democracy is rule by reason, that leaves us power conflicts that will destroy our country.

    I disagree with your understanding of the plutocrat's understanding of government. Government is their tool, they own it and they control it. The Military-Industrial Complex is a trinity of power- military might, Industrial economy, and government all working together.

    Everyone loves to blame government. The plutocrats understand how it works and play it a fiddle and as long we can keep us believing the government is our enemy, we will remain powerless.

    "I'm also reminded of Mussolini." :heart: :cheer: Wow I am impressed! Yes, absolutely! During the Great Depression many people thought fascism was the solution to economic crashes and that is when we gave our government NEW POWERS. WE did not pay attention. Who studies bureaucratic order and power? We vote for the person we believe will best serve our interest and how they go about it does not matter. Like if we need a tumor removed from our brain, we don't want the medical details. That is how we vote, pick the best man to do the job and trust he will do the job well. SOCIAL SECURITY is not possible without adopting the German model of bureaucracy.
  • Socialism or families?
    Follow the money, Athena. It will not lead to the government you rail against. Government is merely the tool, bought and paid for by that same money.

    "Socialism" is just the family writ large. It was actually the norm for the majority of the last 200k years and it is what got us to where we are today. Once we left off of hunter-gather lifestyles, we started working toward what you rail against.
    James Riley

    So where did you study public policy and administration and what books do you recommend?

    Liberty and responsibility go hand and hand. We fought a war against being ruled by a king, and without understanding what was happening, we replaced our individual liberty and responsibility, the democracy we had, with a bureaucratic order that is more powerful than any king and unlike a king, a bureaucracy does not die. There can not be socialism without this change in bureaucratic order and the change in bureaucratic order crushes our individual liberty and power.
  • Socialism or families?
    And the state is not the machine. The state is now a fully owned and operated subsidiary of the machine. Politicians are bought and paid for.James Riley

    This would not be possible without the adoption of the German bureaucratic model that destroys individual liberty and power. Before we adopted the German bureaucratic model, our government was too small and too weak to do what it is doing today.
  • Socialism or families?
    The family was never autonomous or powerful. They just pretend to feel that way, at home, at night, in their "castle", where they might be allowed to sleep in peace at night before returning to the machine. Even then, the man ruled the woman.James Riley

    How old you are really matters to your perception of change. I have largely withdrawn from society because phone trees and trying to get things done by pushing buttons instead of talking to a human being is just rude! Dealing with a human being controlled by "policy" and expecting everyone to be equally controlled by "policy" completely destroys our liberty and power. My grandmother refused to teach in schools that did not give her complete authority over her class and so would anyone of her generation. Our understanding of what we defended in two world wars is so screwed by the false belief that our changed reality is progress.

    I was horrified the first time I was told not even if I pay cash can I see a doctor because only if I have the right insurance can I see that doctor. Every aspect of our lives is now controlled by an authority other than our own authority. This is so insidious, words to describe it, fail me. Getting dental care with my insurance is like being processed on a conveyor belt. We have lost so much liberty and power it is intolerable and Trump followers are justified. They are just wrong to attack liberals for the problem, and liberals are just as wrong because they have no more understanding of the problem than Trump followers have.

    The movie "The Brave New World" reveals the problem far better than I can.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hn5yUgci5Zg
  • Socialism or families?
    Something went wrong preventing me from completing that thought.

    Being a full-time homemaker can be a personal sacrifice that we do not want to make, but do we want to be a socialist despot? Do we want to give up our liberty and power to be well taken care of?
  • Socialism or families?
    Yes, I think I misunderstood you. I thought you were putting Sparta's way forward as an example of loyalty to traditional ways of life and duty to country.T Clark
    :grimace:

    I speak because I am not at peace with my thoughts. Spartan women had much more freedom and equality with men than Athenian women. I like that. However, the downside is no one had individual liberty and power. Athens adopted Spartas communistic, everyone serves the state and the state takes care of everyone when we mobilized for war against Prussia. However, Athens stopped short of being a welfare state. Pericles' funeral speech makes it very clear, in the war against Sparta, Athens was fighting for individual liberty and power. There are huge social, economic, and political ramifications to being too much like Sparta and the US has crossed that line.


    B
  • Socialism or families?
    I love your post.

    Everything you said is true and spot on. For sure the Military-Industrial Complex was put in place at the beginning of WWII. One of my old books expressed a lot of concern about those government contracts and the direction the US was going. The author questioned if things would return to a domestic economy or not? :grimace: Largely because of economic reasons it did not. There was a brief period between the end of the war and the beginning of the Korean war when government contracts were being dropped. You can bet your pibby that industry was thrilled to get back those government contracts, and those making the decisions noticed our economic boom was much better with those government contracts. Even without the USSR threat of Sputnik, there was a lot of pressure to maintain government contracts.

    My grandmother wrote romance stories for women's magazines and at least one of them centered on the conflict between husbands and wives when the war ended and now women were expected to give their jobs to the men, and they were to return to being domestic women. I know this conflict was one of the things that lead to my parents divorcing, and in general, divorces were increasing. Please can we stay with this fact of life for a moment?

    I lived through the "history" of which you speak. My cohort is perhaps the last one that was supposed to stay home and care for family. This was economically enforced by strict limits on the kind of education a woman could get and the kind of jobs she could have. My well-meaning father, the one who was strongly opposed to my mother following her dreams, told me the only thing I could study in college was homemaking and I should spend my life being a good domestic woman because men naturally earn more money, therefore, I should remain dependent on one. :grimace: I did my best to be a good daughter, a good wife, and a good mother, and this value system is in every cell of my body. I am compelled to put family first because this is what a good woman does. Please, understand this is a very physical thing, not just a thought.

    Okay, admitting that old social order did not work well for me and that I am aware that my notions of right and wrong could be more physical than rational, my notions are very much about social order and being independent of government or dependent on government. What is the alternative social order? How about military order applied to citizens? That is what we have now. Our technological society is no longer family order and there are good and bad things about this. Our lack of awareness of the change is absolutely terrible and very threatening. Since 1958 we have prepared the young for the Military-Industrial Complex and family order bearly exist. None of our relationships are as they once were. Now everything is controlled by policy, not individuals. This is a huge shift in personal liberty and power and I write to raise awareness of this.
  • Socialism or families?
    Well, you've expanded on the usual notion of "family" that tends to come to mind automatically. It is legitimate to do so, because in a certain sense, we are brothers and sisters. But family's have problems, as everyone knows.

    It's as Robert Fisk once pointed out, the biggest, nastiest fights we have in life are with family, not with friends or strangers. If applied to the whole of society, then some of our family members believe things that kill other family members and are odious. So it's still a problem, though this way of thinking can be useful.

    The religious depictions can be argued for a long time. But you could also take the idea that aspects of society can be used for familial improvement. That's the impulse for things like social security, health care and the like. The word "state" is subject to fierce controversy these days.
    Manuel

    You did an excellent job of seeing an important difference with the family model. The Greek gods fought a war with their parents and the parents' generation. I don't think they had a sense of brotherly love as Christianity would have us be loving. And oddly the goddesses were as liberated modern women, but the women of Athens were not. However, we are speaking legitimacy of power. Each has his/her realm of power and decisions were made with different points of view. And by the way, Zeus was a real jerk from a female perspective. It is bad enough that he slept around, but dragging his feet in helping Demeter get her daughter back from Hades crosses a line of my tolerance. :lol:

    Because the gods did argue with each other, we have the question of how did they resolve their differences? This separated the Greeks, especially those of Athens, from the rest of the world. Here is where we get the notion of logos, reason, the controlling force of the universe, and even the gods were limited by logos. To clarify, the supreme power was not a god, but universal law.

    Sparta did not pay much attention to the gods and sure did not live by family order!!! Here is the socialist difference. Germany was the Sparta of modern times because of being organized by Prussian military order and the US was the Athens of modern times until it began imitating Germany and adopted the German models of bureaucracy and education.

    Tocqueville warned that Christianity would bring modern democracies to despots. We do seem to be going that direction, with government ruling over us like the Christian God and taking care of us so much our ability to act like adults is in question.