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Vadrosaul
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If thinking citizens don't sieze the reigns of society soon, we have all of that suffering to look forward to, and we face the collapse of civilisation. It has happened countless times before, so I guess it is human nature to do nothing until it is too late.

 

Anyone think we aren't doomed to another catastrophic civilisation collapse?

 

I dont know if thinking citizens can seize the reigns until contradictions and calamities start to pull things apart. The wealthy and powerful sit atop society and try to maintain the status quo through all the little thing we have been discussing, media, coercion, outright blood and guts militarism, enforced consumption, whatever. They are not a unified group by any means but they have several interests in common and so they tend to remain perched where they are, scratching one anothers back so to speak. But at times, they come into conflict, on rarer occasions they actually come to blows. These key opportunities are openings that can be exploited by thinking citizens, both politically and at times violently.

 

I dont know if society can collapse, at least fully. What I mean is that unless there is something titantic like an extraterrestrial impact, society is too complex, redundant, interwoven to fall to utter dust. What I would expect would be more of a fragmentation, hardly a picnic but I think some political bodies would survive. I do think we are probably headed for an economic meltdown, which will certainly be hellish. There is a free book available on the topic by the name of "Super Imperialism" which describes how the U.S. became the worlds biggest debtor and simultaneously the worlds bank, neatly scooping the other major powers into a catch 22 where all the U.S. debts are paid by U.S. Treasury Bills, which can only be redeemed in, you guessed it, the U.S. Another way of looking at it is as if I owe you 10 dollars, but the only currency available is MY currency from MY bank. Sure, I owe you 10 bucks but who do you think is in control of that situation. The reason I mention this is because the author, Michael Hudson, argues that this is unsustainable and that as the decades roll by the problem only grows more compacted. I strongly recommend this book:

 

http://www.michael-hudson.com/

 

look under "books" at the top, its a pdf. Its economic history but youll find yourself gobbling it up anyway.

 

 

I don't think that we are doomed in the sense that we are killing each other off. But I can easily imagine that some civil (or not so civil war) is not THAT far away either. In terms of historical timeframs, not in human lives. On the other hand, our advanced technology makes it much easier to control more people. Considering how much control the Nazi regime (or others) exerted with their, from now our point of view, limite technology, I wonder what current goverments can do already. Reading technical news on most news site seems to carry a single theme. Goverment X tries to impose more control by technology Y. I think there is not a single day where you can't read such news about plans, to install yet another technology that is purely designed to control even more people, and most of it is 'disguised' as to prevent terrorism or paedophilia.

 

I agree that those gadgets and gizmos are an attempt to control people and they can be effective "soft oppression" in steadier times. But look how ineffective the "hard oppression" of the U.S. forces in Iraq are at controlling the insurgency and even in influencing the general populace.

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Oh, I don't think we will kill each other off, we are too resilient for that, but I think there is a very real risk we will degenerate back to stone age technology and brutish societies if we keep up what we are doing now....

 

The problem for Governments (who are increasingly pawns for the uber-rich) is that the more you try to control society, the more uncontrollable society becomes. It is like squeezing an egg - too tight a grip and you crush the egg, and you can't put it back together again....

 

A lot of these control technologies are simply too expensive and impractical for widespread use: governments use them for show, a display of 'doing something', and use good old tried and true fear genreation and seduction through false hope to keep people in a constant state of nervousness and desire as their control mechanism. Fear is a very powerful thing, and those who have no fear cannot be controlled. Someone who is afraid of nothing cannot be controlled, and someone who limits their own desires is also very difficult to budge. They will simply do whatever they want unless you lock them up or kill them.

 

For all the tough anti-terrorism legislation being passed, few governments have the resources to actually enforce them - real terrorists are smarter than that, and there just aren't enough people in covert agencies to deal with a real terrorism problem. Mossad, for example, can do very little, in spite of all kinds of draconian measures, to stop palestinian terrorists getting loose.

 

The culture of profound secrecy in organisations like the CIA actually hamstrings their ability to function - as evidenced by the appalling 'intelligence' that these organisation manage to gather, in spite of all kinds of advanced spy satellite tech, listening devices, eavesdropping, surveilance and the Echelon project. They know very little, or more acurately, they potentialy could know a great deal, but since no one in these organisations knows what others in the orgaisation knows, as they are keeping everything secret from each other even more than the outside world, they effectively know almost nothing. They can manufacture a 'terrorist crisis' for the Government, but are very ineffective at dealing with genuine terrorism.

 

Actually, the most effective way a government can control a population is by being utterly open about it. The cost of keeping secrets is so debilitating that governments that rely on secret organisations to remain in power invariably collapse when the secrets inevitably get out, and the secrets become too many and too complex to track.

 

I am not overly worried about governments trying to control people (though I don't doubt they will try), as their attempts are doomed to failure from the start (their approach is wrong from the start), but I am worried (I'm not losing sleep over it though) about the risk of civilisation collapsing under the weight of human stupidity.

 

 

A free society will control itself - just like a school of fish will swim as one, without any centralised direction. Counter-intuitive as it may seem for people, a society with no power hierarchy, and minimal differentials between the wealthy and the less wealthy, will actually self regulate quite smoothly as long as no single individual is alowed to assume a disproportionate level of power.

 

A true democracy is one with no government, no leaders. The difference between anarchy and genuine democracy is purely the motivation of the citizens: selfish citizenry results in anarchy in a leaderless society, while selfless citizenry results in a smoothly self-regulating society. OK, that is conjecture on my part, and depends on individuals being able to balance their own self interest with the common good. A representative democracy would be more realistic, but at the moment, most Governments that claim to be democratic are really just pseudo-elective oligarchies, that represent the financiers of their campaigns, not the people that actually vote for them.

 

 

A simple principle though, that everyone should think about:

 

The people that most desire power, or wealth, are those least deserving of it, and those who should be prevented from attaining it at any cost.

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If somebody gives them a ride, then they take it, and some people even made a business out of it.

Man that sounds so dumb. They aren't showing their lack of dependance on the technology simply by not touching the steering wheel!

 

I had a Wiccan art teacher in high school, she was great as all weird teachers usually are. At least when real Wiccans worship sticks, they are celebrating the mysteries of living things, not carrying on a 2000 year old guilt trip. Im not referring to some dipshit who purchased "The Idiots Guide To Wicca" at BordersBooks and is now claiming to be a witch, I mean real Wiccans, the ones Ive met are pretty savvy folks. I appreciate the wonder they have for the natural world, as opposed to the Christian ethic of "God gave it to us to commodify, pollute, and turn into stripmalls"

Yeah, of all religions I've ever heard of, Wiccanism is my favorite. Then probably followed by Buddism because it actually accepts there are other religions to be respected.

Yeah wierd teachers are cool :)

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I like to play devil's advocate so... if people act like sheep, so easily swayed by words like "terrorism" and notions of "us vs. them", can you really blame those in power for treating them as such?

 

On the other hand, ever wonder if "everybody else is apathetic or stupid" is propaganda put forth to convince a majority of unhappy people willing to act that they're a minority and shouldn't even try? I sort of doubt it is, but it's interesting to ponder nonetheless. The big question for me, is if it's possible to determine the will of the majority without utilizing a centralized and therefore corruptable mechanism.

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When I lived in AMish country, I would go jogging in the summer, often only wearing shorts. I would run by an Amish farmhouse everyday where three ladies were often on the front porch working cleaning vegetables or shelling peas or such. THey would run inside as I went by, eyes covered. Then one day, no ladies, only the patriarch, glaring at me with the righteous wrath of Bog in his eyes as my sweaty, gleaming torso stumbled by.

Geez, what is accomplished by being so prudish?

 

If you believe in a god, then you're saying that his artwork is too disgusting for you to look at. If god could have his feelings hurt, I think he would have something to say about that.

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I agree that those gadgets and gizmos are an attempt to control people and they can be effective "soft oppression" in steadier times. But look how ineffective the "hard oppression" of the U.S. forces in Iraq are at controlling the insurgency and even in influencing the general populace.

 

That's exactly the point. Violent oppression is pretty obvious and will always gauge strong counter activity. Soft oppression is much more dangerous. Somebody tries to speak against the authorities and find others to help him put down an oppressive regime? Throw some bombs, label him a terrorist and blame the bombs on him, make a big fuss in the medias (who would jump on it for the story) and everybody will know his face, and is quite glad to be able to help catch a dangerous criminal. Maybe this won't work as smoot right now, because there are still independent people around who might be able to help you. But the more control a goverment gains, the more such a scenario can become valid.

 

Stuff like TCPA, controlled by MS can easily do seomthing like this, up to the point that you can't even access your own data anymore. How effecient can you battle an oppressor with pen and paper?

Gerhard

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Man that sounds so dumb. They aren't showing their lack of dependance on the technology simply by not touching the steering wheel!

 

I don't think it is dumb. It is consequent IMO. At least up to a point where it doesn't become ridiculous. I would consider it dumb, if they use it on a daily basis, but don't touch it, but I think this is not the case. On the other hand, if they have longer distances to travel then why should they not take a train or a car?

 

One thing is for sure though. Even though they use gas in bottles in their houses and other modern equipment as well, they are still much more independent of power failures or bad weather disrupting society, then any other community in the US.

Gerhard

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That's exactly the point. Violent oppression is pretty obvious and will always gauge strong counter activity. Soft oppression is much more dangerous. Somebody tries to speak against the authorities and find others to help him put down an oppressive regime? Throw some bombs, label him a terrorist and blame the bombs on him, make a big fuss in the medias (who would jump on it for the story) and everybody will know his face, and is quite glad to be able to help catch a dangerous criminal. Maybe this won't work as smoot right now, because there are still independent people around who might be able to help you. But the more control a goverment gains, the more such a scenario can become valid.

 

Stuff like TCPA, controlled by MS can easily do seomthing like this, up to the point that you can't even access your own data anymore. How effecient can you battle an oppressor with pen and paper?

 

 

Where I was headed was the point that soft oppresssion only works in soft times, and hard oppression only works for so long. I agree that soft oppression is dangerous, its an efficient form of control when things are relatively stable in a society. Tracking folks on the internet, over cells phones, monitoring their library habits, spying on their political groups, are great for keeping things running your way when the basic motors of a society are still in motion.

 

But what good is a video camera against an angry, hungry mob? Go ahead and track my internet trail, Ill just find an alternative way to get my info or to communicate with my buddies. Its now possible to physically trail someone via their cell phone use, so if I were a terrorist Id just go about stealing cell phones for use or set up a series of false identities. As someone once wrote in criticism of "1984" by Orwell, such a society as he described was impossible because there is no such efficient means of control. An none exists today for that matter, we have better means of control and repression but they cannot stand against masses of people who have decided to move in once direction or another. Technology is a double edged sword, it can be used against itself, and it often has blind spots and Achilles heels that can be exploited.

 

Ho Chi Minh had a name for it, "peoples war." When a large body of people takes a different course than the elites of their society wish them to, its like fighting a force of nature, in fact it IS fighting a force of nature. This does not mean that that movement will be in a positive or progressive direction, it can be horribly reactionary, but whatever form it takes it will not be easily contained by either cameras or cannons. The work of the leftist radical is to try and nudge such movements in a direction that promotes democracy, expanded freedoms, expanded access to resources for all, egaltarianism.

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Geez, what is accomplished by being so prudish?

 

If you believe in a god, then you're saying that his artwork is too disgusting for you to look at. If god could have his feelings hurt, I think he would have something to say about that.

 

Nothing is accomplished, and I personally think people who are disgusted by the naked human body have some issues, cultural or personal or both, but I wasnt about to try and debate it with Father Methusalah on the porch whose daughters were being scandalized. I realized I was disturbing them and so I just changed my path. It reminds me of my own mother, who would cover my eyes when a breast was exposed in a movie. Its kind of sad that people would view their own bodies as something "wrong", but then there are a lot of sad things in the world.

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As someone once wrote in criticism of "1984" by Orwell, such a society as he described was impossible because there is no such efficient means of control.

 

With the help of computers I think it can become possible. At the last superbowl there were how many people? 200-400.000 right? And even in that many faces the face recognition software identified more then 20 seeked criminals. And that is only the beginning because the software will become better over time. Already computersoftware exists, that can anticipate what movements you make before you even know it yourself. There are only bits and pieces, but with ever more effecient software this will become more and more linked and can work together.

 

An none exists today for that matter, we have better means of control and repression but they cannot stand against masses of people who have decided to move in once direction or another.

 

That is another thing. If you have almost exclusive control over medias, and computer content, then how will the people unite to become such a mob? That needs organization. Even in WWII they already said that one big problem of the resistance was communication and organization.

 

Technology is a double edged sword, it can be used against itself, and it often has blind spots and Achilles heels that can be exploited.

 

Of course. but it gets better over time, as engineers learn from their past errors.

Gerhard

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It reminds me of my own mother, who would cover my eyes when a breast was exposed in a movie. Its kind of sad that people would view their own bodies as something "wrong", but then there are a lot of sad things in the world.

 

This really irks me the most about USA. It is ok to show violence in kids shows, but if they see even hint of a naked breast they cry foul.

Gerhard

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Come on, be fair, breasts are an abomination of nature which corrupt all that view them, for did the Lord Jesus not hack off Mary's breasts and biurn them in a pit?

Violence on the other hand, is written into the the American constitution, They all have the right to buy automatic weapons and murder each other in the steet (judging from their murder rate anyway)

THey have to show violence on televison, otherwsie how will the public know the correct way to do it.

Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.

- Emil Zola

 

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Yup.

 

The Bible is replete with violence, often against innocents, but it rarely mentions the abomination that is sex.

 

Eh? Virtually the whole of the first few books in the bible is about endless begatting. THey couldn't get enough of it.

Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.

- Emil Zola

 

character models site

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Violence on the other hand, is written into the the American constitution, They all have the right to buy automatic weapons and murder each other in the steet (judging from their murder rate anyway)

THey have to show violence on televison, otherwsie how will the public know the correct way to do it.

The 2nd amendment says citizens have the right to bear arms (pistols, rifles, shotguns). However to get a fully automatic weapon you have to jump through varying hoops to get a BATF Class III licence which most gun owners dont posess. As for the murder rate, we have nearly 300 million people so it will probably be higher than European nations many of which are the size of a U.S. state. And no we dont need TV to tell us how to off people, the human race has eagerly done it's bloody deeds long before Television and guns were invented, the Mongols didnt need to watch Nightmare on Elm Street or Die Hard to get the idea to build pyramids of human heads after they burned cities and wiped out their inhabitants.

I dont fear the dark...the dark fears me!

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Most states have laws called "shall-issue" laws, which allow adults the right to carry concealed handguns if they do not have a criminal record.

Apparently it actually decreases the crime rate, but it just can't be the best way to do it.

THe US is actually only 24th for murder rate per capita.

Columbia is the highest - 1 out of every 2000 people get murdered every year!!

Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.

- Emil Zola

 

character models site

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The 2nd amendment says citizens have the right to bear arms (pistols, rifles, shotguns). However to get a fully automatic weapon you have to jump through varying hoops to get a BATF Class III licence which most gun owners dont posess. As for the murder rate, we have nearly 300 million people so it will probably be higher than European nations many of which are the size of a U.S. state. And no we dont need TV to tell us how to off people, the human race has eagerly done it's bloody deeds long before Television and guns were invented, the Mongols didnt need to watch Nightmare on Elm Street or Die Hard to get the idea to build pyramids of human heads after they burned cities and wiped out their inhabitants.

 

 

The 2nd amendment needs serious amendment. It was written a long time ago in a different world. The notion that a 80$ .380 semi automatic pistol that can be concealed in a glove or a semi-automatic rifle were being included in that amendment is a bit of a stretch, dont you think?

 

Our murder rate has as much to do with poverty as it does with handguns, they have an obvious synergy. Our culture is wildly violent but I suspect that has more to do with ideology and fearmongering rather than some latent savagery. The real culprits are the arms industry, which dumps cheap handguns into inner cities, incubates and promotes the "gun culture" via trade shows, conventions, and the N.R.A., buys whore politicians, oh, and provides the majority of the worlds munitions. Hundreds of billions of dollars spent on killing people annually.

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As for the murder rate, we have nearly 300 million people so it will probably be higher than European nations many of which are the size of a U.S. state.

 

In numbers, of course. But 'surprisingly' it's also higher in percentages, which can NOT as easily explained with the larger number. This can be more easily explained with easy access to arms and death penalty.

Gerhard

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It's not, I just said, they're only 24th in the world on a murder per capita basis. Poland is 21, Germany 48.

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/cri_mur_cap

Though, If you look at the murders with firearms, it's 8th.

Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.

- Emil Zola

 

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It's not, I just said, they're only 24th in the world on a murder per capita basis. Poland is 21, Germany 48.

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/cri_mur_cap

Though, If you look at the murders with firearms, it's 8th.

 

and one should mention that none of the 7 above it are considered to be part of the first world.

 

kind regards

gleeful

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In numbers, of course. But 'surprisingly' it's also higher in percentages, which can NOT as easily explained with the larger number. This can be more easily explained with easy access to arms and death penalty.
The death penalty (which I'm for) kills very few people a year and that's usually after years of wrangling in the courts so I dont think that really adds to the total. I'm perfectly comfortable with easy access to arms, I've owned guns for most of my life and have no evil criminal plans. My family and friends also possess some sort of weapon or another, it's part of our country's freedom. Considering the corrupt, power grabbling nature of any form of government and the poor track record of how it treats people including it's own citizens-I will never support any sort of gun control efforts, period. And if that means if there's more violent crimes, so be it-better to risk having some more criminals running around than increase the level of power the government holds over you.

I dont fear the dark...the dark fears me!

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Oh yeah, because gun ownership has proven to be a very effective strategy against removal of rights by the US government.
Of course there has been erosion of liberty in the U.S., but strip away the 2nd amendment and the process would quadruple in speed overnight. We already have too many laws, time to roll some back. Hopefully Congress's recent turn against the Patriot Act wont be an isolated event.

I dont fear the dark...the dark fears me!

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Of course there has been erosion of liberty in the U.S., but strip away the 2nd amendment and the process would quadruple in speed overnight. We already have too many laws, time to roll some back. Hopefully Congress's recent turn against the Patriot Act wont be an isolated event.

 

I have to disagree John, the only reason you still have your guns is because its proven a. profitable to a segment of wealthy elites, the munitions manufacturers, and b. is a great ideological tool to help cement a phony baloney "American" identity into place. For one thing, the historical relationship between U.S. citizens and guns is highly mythologised, guns were very rare outside of military/artistocratic circles in the pre to post colonial period and even after industrialization they were expensive and uncommon. The gun collections and conventions and all are very recent things, again heavily promoted by the arms industry and parasitized by politicos looking for access to rightward leaning mailing lists and possible voter data.

 

If tomorrow the federal government began to confiscate arms, you would be wise to surrender them. They are useless against the hellfire that would be brought against you in short time if you did not. Your liberty will not be bought with a weapon, at least not until things have torn asunder so far that armed insurrection is a reality in the U.S. Right now political education and organisation are the weapons to fight tyranny with.

 

Congress is a pit of whoresons, dont think for a second tht the Patriot Act will go away. It will return in one form or another, even if it DOES go away often such legislation does more long term damage by the shift in legal and judicial positions it accomplishes and leaves behind after it dies. Another example, the McCain ban on torture was passed recently, it provides some weak protections against torture of prisoners. At the same time, they passed another bill, the Gram-Levin Guantanimo (sp?) bill which takes those back and more.

Heres the article:

 

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=2782

Edited by Maximius
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