Something New . . .

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okubow's picture
okubow
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Something New . . .

I'm not really sure, but I'm probably one of the younger members of this site. I'm 25, a US citizen, and I'm currently teaching English in Warsaw, Poland (I've also worked for a large corporation and I run a small online business on the side). I get the sense that many of the people writing new threads and comments have accomplished quite a bit in their lives and they may be a bit older than me. I wanted to bring something forward which I feel is important and I don't see being discussed much.

What do people think about a new system?

I'm not talking about Communism or socialism. I'm talking about something completely new.

I understand many of the arguments for sweeping reforms of our monetary and political systems, but quite frankly, I have little faith that any such reforms will endure. I understand that what we're seeing today is not free market capitalism and I too have often felt the allure of the argument: 'just give the free market a chance.' (I've made this argument myself at various times, to various different people.) If we could just clean things up, get the right politicians in office and let the free market be free, we'd be back on the path to prosperity.

Here are the problems as I see them:

1. The free market, when left alone does not maintain and evolve. It devolves. It devolves and becomes increasingly corrupt over time. The time we're living in now is a result of steady devolution and growing corruption at the highest levels. I'm aware of the strengths of this system, but I cannot deny its obvious weaknesses.

2. It distributes wealth, better than any other system so far, but it still does so very inequitably (5% of the world population gets 25% of the resources in our current model).

3. It provides incentive and brings out the best in many of us, but it also provides negative incentive and brings out the worst in others. (Some of these abhorrent and sociopathic behaviors are perfectly legal; read Confessions of an Economic Hit Man and you'll understand what I mean).

4. It definitely creates more goods and services for more people, but it also ignores the environment, pollutes and suppresses clean energy solutions which are less profitable, but more sustainable than oil. In essence, the system often trades short term gain for long term pain when it comes to our natural resources and the environment.  

This system of ours has been quite an achievement in many respects, but now it's breaking down. It's a system which slowly devolved over the years into it's current manifestation (a very sick and decadent state). It's a system which is completely out of touch with the laws of nature and the finite resources of our planet (watch Chris' 3 hour video and you'll know what I mean).

We are remarkable creatures. Many of us have found ways to remain strong, compassionate and successful; even within the framework of a broken system. I believe that human imagination is as boundless as the universe.

We managed to imagine and create a system based on fiat currency backed by nothing (now showing its first signs of decay). In my view, this is at best a crude joke and at worst a devious scam against normal people by a few wealthy and powerful men. Never the less, what's to say we can't apply that creative capacity and imagination to designing a new and more sustainable system, thoughtfully turning the page on the fiat currency experiment?

I'm not looking for utopia or perfection, I'm looking for improvement. Certainly there are things that we can and should carry on doing, but there are many more things that we could do, which would benefit many, which would be sustainable, and which we have yet to even imagine.

I, for one, would like to hear some ideas from you on how we could create a more sustainable and equitable system. I expect some criticism for writing what I've written, but I hope to read some good ideas.

I'd like to see more of a world movement this time. Not a world government. I don't think that's wise. I want the countries to remain sovereign, but in this day in age, it would be silly to restrict ideas to borders. The discussion should be open to people all over.

If you've ever had ideas about how things could be changed and made better, this would be a good time to let everyone know!

Thank you.

Orion

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Re: Something New . . .

Orion

Very thoughtful post.  I'm not really sure of many peoples' ages; I'm ten years your senior but my experience, while varied and deep in some areas, is always lacking somewhere.  I sympathize with your obvious frustration.  I don't think there's a person on this site who won't.  A few of the words you use strike propaganda warning bells for me (sustainable, improvement) - these kind of words get used by the political class in this day and age to change the apparent meanings of their ulterior motives.  I think your aim is true, though, and perhaps it's my 'jaded age' where I've lived through too many instances of power-speak violating the meanings of words that once meant something to me.

The key to your frustration is, in fact, the corruption.  It exists no matter what system was set in place and was even expected by the contitutional framers of the US (they tried to put in safeguards to let the people retain control, but not only was the country only 13 colonies at that time, but the sad fact is that people will work little by little to exploit any system they can).  Look to Jefferson's 'tree of liberty' quote to get an idea of the realistic view they took of it - I believe none of them expected their experiment would survive a century and by many counts they were right.

My solution is to always strive for anarchy.  It will never be totally achieved but if 'the people' are always working to remove unweildy and uncooperative power structures (usually by a method that would be called 'free market,' more on that later) you have an opportunity to constantly change the system in whatever way best suits the time and the generation.  I have a soft spot for local cultures and think that the nitty gritties of law should be agreed upon locally and more general law and higher levels of arbitration (contract disputes, inter-culture law compromises) should be the only things that higher levels of government exist for.  This is a big old pie-in-the-sky ideal, but if you don't shoot for the moon, where do you get?  I believe that the first order of a culture/society should be teaching people from a young age a certain standard and expectation of morality and decency (there aren't too many variations on basic morality world wide) and that these citizens should be given the most personal liberty and trust that they demonstrate befits them.  Any system that intrudes more than that is trying to steal from them (us) and the more they intrude, the more they're trying to steal.  The way I see it, it's a matter of stemming that intrusion if government is a necessary evil.

As for 'free markets' - first of all I don't know much of capitalism as a philosophy and I expect it differs from my vision of what free market economics is.  The way I see it, saying 'let the free markets work' is like saying 'let the weather be what it will'.  That's not to say it isn't criminal and immoral for a country to pass a law that you have to use its monopoly scrip under the threat of violence and then devalue it slowly to steal from your labor, but I think the 'free market' is ultimately inescapable.  Markets are an 'invention' of humanity in a sense (so they're more manipulable than the weather) but they're still subject to certain laws of nature.  Anyone who puts forth a philosophy that says they can control the economy and make it all good for everyone always just makes my eyes roll.  It'd be funny if it didn't hurt so many people.  The injustices that you list above come not from the natural flow of 'the market' but from unfair advantage being brought to a few by the threat of violence as embodied in the governing power.  Again, this is your corruption. 

There will always be corruption and graft.  That's as much a part of 'the market' as sharks and wolves are of 'nature'.  The trick is to arm the populace with a nimble enough system that they can, with a little effort, always stay out of the shark's water.  Starve the beast and you've nothing to worry about.  Maybe not a perfect metaphor but maybe it does something for you. You cannot force a sociopath not to be sociopathic, but you can arm the citizenry with the means to ostracize or the power to make his antisocial actions more painful than compliance with their best interests.  It'll never be perfect, nor sanitized. 

Anyway, thanks again for the thoughtful post.  I hope, if nothing else, I've mentioned something that makes you google curiously on your lunch break.

Daniel

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bklement
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Re: Something New . . .

Interesting....

I've always thought that a couple simple changes to our government we're needed and those changes may address a lot of the current problems. 

The first would be to cap the campaign funds of any canidate and their party to an extremely low number.  It seems to me the only chance that anyone has at getting elected to the congress or president is if they have or can raise large amounts of money.  And by raising money they then owe someone something by the time they're elected.  With the medium of things like the internet campaigns could be done cheaply. 

The second would be that the only way changes could be made that directly affect the government officals would be through a popular vote.  I wish I could sit down with my coworkers and decide that we all want to get paid more or have a better pension and all it would take would be a vote from us.

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Re: Something New . . .

 

 

Daniel wrote:

My solution is to always strive for anarchy.  It will never be totally achieved but if 'the people' are always working to remove unweildy and uncooperative power structures (usually by a method that would be called 'free market,' more on that later) you have an opportunity to constantly change the system in whatever way best suits the time and the generation.  I have a soft spot for local cultures and think that the nitty gritties of law should be agreed upon locally and more general law and higher levels of arbitration (contract disputes, inter-culture law compromises) should be the only things that higher levels of government exist for.

 

OK, I have almost 40 years on Orion.  Anarchy always seems to have negative overtones to me.  I interpret that you are saying that the more local the government, the better.  It is my sense that the US constitution was very much aimed in that direction, but the country has morphed into more and more centralized power.  The tenth amendment in the bill of rights has certainly grossly been ignored in the 20th centrury.  There is a move afoot to restore some of that local control but it would likely take a lot of time to get there unless it all breaks down.  And if it all breaks down, it is hard to predict what direction society will choose or have forced on it.

I would suggest reading Glenn Beck's "Common Sense".  His TV persona frequently goes overboard on the entertainment side, but there is a theme there that suggests the founders had it right, we have just let it get away from us.  Certainly I think the free market will be more efficient than government at achieving any goal.  The challenge is having government choose the correct ground rules without assuming control.  Maybe that is an oxymoron, but I hope you get the sense of what I mean.

Good discussion,

Jim

 

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Re: Something New . . .
Quote:

The second would be that the only way changes could be made that directly affect the government officals would be through a popular vote.

I think you are going to see it and sooner than expected.  Call me optimistic, but it seems like more and more people are "getting it".  Maybe not all of them, but more and more are certainly getting the sense that something in the fridge stinks and it ain't the moldy cheese.

We had a great discussion at the Lowesville Seminar about real change.  It doesn't happen unless there is a significant shock to the status quo and I think we are staring at the headlight of the oncoming train.

One of the many challenges to initiating change via our elected officials is the simple fact that no meaningful program or social change event has originated from within Capitol Hill - with the Space program being the possible exception, and that originated in the Soviet Union.

I do get a kick out of the smug Republicans eating up the poll results showing Democrat losses in the House and Senate.  Why they don't think they are just as vulnerable is beyond me.  I am very close to never voting for an incumbent again.

Buckle up, it's gonn be an interesting ride.

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Re: Something New . . .

 

If there is anything NEW that would work.  I would have to agree with the Resource Based Economy.  A RBE uses no money systems at all, and is not ran by politicians.  People call it communism but they are deeply uninformed.  

Communism still uses Politics, Money, and insufficient technology.    

A RBE, would be ran by a cybernated computer system.  True, human oversight would still take place, but there is no monetary incentive to destroy a community.  First off why would you?  If you are responsible for monitoring a system that would make your children's life better, why ruin it?  Automation would replace boring mundane jobs, and new more important incentives would emerge.  

Monetary systems always produce nasty byproducts, such as greed, crime, corruption, bailouts, wars, human traffic, booms, busts, recession, depressions and so on.  It's an old outdated system that is reaching it's peak.  

Want more information then read "the best that money can't buy" or watch zeitgeist addendum.  or do both.  

Our monetary system has done many great things, but it's going to peak.  

 

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Re: Something New . . .

bklement - If only it were so easy.  It's possible you're right, but I think the system is far too corrupt for campaign reform to 'work' for it.  I think the power of the government has to be curtailed and the amount of profit and graft available through a political career (something that was never intended - by the people meant citizens with careers and extensive private experience would take a few years out of their lives to serve publicly.  This is an extension of the classical meaning of the term 'militia' as well).

JRB - until about a year ago, I associated anarchy with Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious trashing hotel rooms they hadn't paid for.  And that's only cool if a few people are doing it, not everybody.  A lot of Austrian theory economists are anarchists (or borderline) and I got a completely different perspective when I started researching that.  The fact is probably 90% of the interactions (social, business, international) that go on in the world are already anarchistic.  Don't confuse it with 'chaos' (which is what those who wish for strong governments would prefer you associate it with) so much as simply allowing interaction not to be controlled or regulated by a governing body.  "Hi, how are you, my name is Daniel" - look, anarchy!

Gotta run.  Looking forward to more comments here.

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Re: Something New . . .
JK121 wrote:

A RBE, would be ran by a cybernated computer system.  

Not in my community. 

It would be run by the simple fact that I have eggs and horses.  One of my neighbors has milk cows and needs to borrow my horses to get his milk to the market - on the way to market he drops off milk at my house and drops off butter, cheese and my horses on the way home that night.  maybe he even stays for cheese omelettes.

My other neighbor is a doctor, he gets to use the horses whenever he needs them and he will never be in short supply of eggs.  In exchange for my ability to be able to call on him any time someone in the family gets sick or injured.

I don't want some quantum entangled Seven of Nine borg running my economy.

Unless of course it was Jeri Ryan.

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Re: Something New . . .

I agree with jackal in that I think the key to understanding most of this is corruption. I'm a believer in the free market if for no other reason than it at least tends to give individuals more control over their personal lives. I think this is an inalienable right.

But as far as seeing the system devolve, there are caveats to everything: the free markets require that the public is generally moral and willing to enforce laws. This has not been the case for a very long time in this country. People might think that politicians are corrupt, and they certainly can be, but many people become cynical and "give up" on politics rather than at least trying to learn and discuss political issues with others. The other extreme is having blind faith or hope that particular leader will solve all the problems. As is typical of human nature, it is far too easy to shift responsibility onto others rather than accepting responsibility for one's own actions (or complacency).

Another warning issued to future generations by Thomas Jefferson was: "Yes, we did produce a near-perfect republic. But will they keep it? Or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the surest way to destruction."

We can see countless cycles in history of abundance followed by destruction. It occurs mostly because of human nature and the complacency and then corruption that follows abundance. Unfortunately, these cycles are very strong as they represent sea changes in culture and outlook. It is difficult enough for a cigarette smoker to bend his or her will to quitting. Try to imagine how difficult it is for an entire herd (nation) to bend its will.

History speaks loud and clear as to what we can expect next. It's not inevitable, but the odds are strong. In my view, the American Revolution represented one of the greatest "exceptions" to the historical "rules." The many quotes of the Founding Fathers showed that they had an understanding of their Revolution and their life within a very broad historical context. Further, they were visionary enough to recognize the potential, and largely unavoidable weaknesses in the system they created. John Adams reminds us:

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

I'm not here to cast judgment on our society's morality or spirituality today, but if the "rulebook" for how to use our system of government has a prerequisite such as this, perhaps this is the type of thing we need to ponder and consider when we realize the system isn't working properly. Unfortunately, I don't think I've heard a single government official challenge anyone else using the word "corrupt." That is not only unrealistic, it's negligent.

This might sound sad to some, and I suppose it could be interpreted that way. But using hope as a strategy to plan your future, especially when it goes against the odds is a proven recipe for disappointment. In my opion, the best course of action is to focus on what you and your neighbors can do through your own power. If everyone did this, the system would be less sensitive to corruption, since corruption can really only be damaging to the extent that certain individuals are empowered over others.

And I haven't stopped discussing the issue with others and remaining somewhat politically engaged. But my motive is more one of educating and motivating individuals rather than believing the politicians in our current system actually care about what I have to say.

So in conclusion, I view a lot of this more as a reflection of society and less as a reflection of the strengths or weaknesses of free markets or centrally planned ones. I finish with a quote / prophecy from Lincoln. The key to understanding our political way out of this mess is to apply and understand this quote within the modern context.

"The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace, and conspire against it in times of adversity. The banking powers are more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. They denounce as public enemies, all who question their methods or throw light upon their crimes. I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me and the bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one at my rear is my greatest foe. [As a further undesirable consequence of the war...] Corporations have been enthroned, and an era of corruption in high places will follow. The money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in the hands of a few, and the Republic is destroyed." - Abraham Lincoln

-Mike

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Re: Something New . . .

 

Well DOG in a PILE.  You trust computers more than you do humans on a day to day basis.  So why go back in time instead of moving forward?  

People trust alarms clocks not humans to wake them up, People trust plains, trains, and automobiles to get from point A to B.  People trust the fax machine to get documents from point A to B instead of humans the list goes on and on.

You trust technology more than humans.  Technology does not know what Greed and Corruption is.  Technology is not going to kidnap your children, technology will not sell drugs.  

 

 

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Re: Something New . . .

IJ,

I dunno...  I'm an introvert.

- Jim

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Re: Something New . . .

JK -

A computer is a tool.  I don't "trust" it any more than I trust a hammer or an axe.  I trust in my ability to use tools, but I certainly don't trust the tool itself.

Actually, I trust the axe more.

And with everything that's coming our way, we will be forced back to simpler times. 

Two steps back to take giant strides forward??

You bet.  Sign me up for that.

Mike Pilat's picture
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Re: Something New . . .

the more I use technology, the more I am (sometimes painfully) aware that it is subject to the limitations of the human designers and manufacturers of the device. I have no reason to think that an automated system would be immune to these influences any more than the NYSE is free from the effects of Goldman Sachs' high frequency trading code. Besides, widespread understanding and awareness must absolutely take place before a new system is implemented, lest the new system fail immediately. Our goal should be to focus on the process of spreading awareness. If we maintain focus on that process, I am confident that the system that would eventually follow would be much more a servant of the people, rather than its master. A lack and avoidance of analysis, understanding, and awareness is a sure sign that a new system being rammed through is being designed as a plundering scheme. You can't put the cart before the horse. Analysis precedes understanding precedes design precedes implementation. This is the path to success. A new system alone won't save us, but our understanding of how systems function just might.

I fully agree with Dogs. The system is a tool. Tools alone are neither good nor bad. How they are used makes all the difference.

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Re: Something New . . .

Technology is ment to make your life easier not harder.  And it has.  You see it everyday.  

You being on this website is all possible by technology.  Tools make your life easier.  You want a shovel or dig a hole by hand?  

Mike you are correct, making the population aware is the first step.  The RBE system will take a long time.  People will emerge to a better understanding on what is possible.  Specially when A.I., but I can see that being used for evil purposes.  

Time will tell fellas.  have a good one.

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Re: Something New . . .
Mike Pilat wrote:

t
I fully agree with Dogs. The system is a tool. Tools alone are neither good nor bad. How they are used makes all the difference.

Oh how profound!

Cool

I guess actually, those in charge of the system are tools...........

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Re: Something New . . .

Mike do you write for a living or are you just naturally well written(spoken electronically)?

My days are spent in the complexity of technology and computers and it seems to me that simplicity is key when in comes to a monetary solution. 

 A monetary system so simple that even a child can understand lends itself to being less corrupt.  Every person that uses a system should fully understands how it works.  They should know how money is added or subtracted, and how value is derived and maintained.  It should not be necessary for somene to take a college level course just to understand how the medium they use for exchange works.  Just about everyone now that knows how the system works realizes they are being screwed.  Imagine if everyone knew how the system fully worked.

 

I also theorize that the morality of our nation has really not shifted at all.  I do think that where the mass of our politicians lie on that spectrum of morality has changed.  It now takes great wealth to achieve a high office.  And great wealth often requires a moral sacrafice or two along the way.  (not always though)

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Re: Something New . . .

[Editing here because somehow I double posted my post from earlier and would rather update it]

 

Mike - I think we have a similar world view, both in terms of what makes 'realism' and what to do about it (get out of the way of the falling tower, educate and take care of people close and dear to us, damage control for all else) and I wonder how much of this discussion could be split over generational lines.  JRB having a larger amount of faith in the system as it is (and a longer amount of time living a trouble free life under it (not to belittle any troubles in your life JRB, just making a generalization here for the sake of my argument), and Orion being a bit younger and questioning, perhaps, even more than you and I.  Dogs, well, I suppose that's anachronistic in any generation.

JK121 - I've seen the zeitgeist project films and I think they're good stuff.  I don't buy it all but I respect your argument.  I certainly think this kind of stuff has to enter the public discourse and can't help but improve it all.  I'm so tired of "Republicans bad, Democrats good" or vice verse.  Still, your evangalistic tone makes me skeptical.  I'm not willing to buy into any system that promises an all one answer for all.  I have and still do program computers for a living.  I would never trust my life to the limitations of the scope and vision of a programmer or even a team of the best crack programmers you can find.  If you could sucessfully make a learning AI then there's no reason it can't become selfish and corrupted, too.  Not talking some kind of Terminator scenario, more like the difficulty you run into with a 2 yr old.  I think any ideas like that are a long way coming.

bklement wrote:

Just about everyone now that knows how the system works realizes they are being screwed.  Imagine if everyone knew how the system fully worked.

I think there's a Henry Ford quote something to the effect of "It's a good thing the public doesn't know how the money system runs or there would be revolution tomorrow" (from memory, may be inaccurate).

bklement wrote:

I also theorize that the morality of our nation has really not shifted at all.  I do think that where the mass of our politicians lie on that spectrum of morality has changed.  It now takes great wealth to achieve a high office.  And great wealth often requires a moral sacrafice or two along the way.  (not always though)

I agree with you that the morality hasn't necessarily shifted.  I think what has shifted over the years is the apathy of the public.  As Jefferson (a fellow anarchist) warned about people taking their good fortune for granted.  Career politicians are definitely a problem and if you removed the possibility of money or graft from the political spectrum altogether this would make a really sizeable change (I know I argued against your suggestion earlier, but campaign contribution limitations are not what I'm talking about - to remove the possibility of graft you have to make it unprofitable for a lobbyist to give money or favors to a politician, for instance, by removing that politician's ability to create a law that favors the lobbyists business.  If you make higher states of government simply arbiters of contract law and foreign diplomats, that makes it a really non lucrative position).

Daniel

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Mike Pilat
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Re: Something New . . .

bklement - I'm an engineer, lol, which means I'm supposed to be verbally illiterate, but I'm glad you enjoy reading what I write, just ignore my many misspellings and punctuation errors, please. I type faster than I think, sometimes. I agree with you, the simpler the system, the less b.s. we can be told about how others are "protecting" and "caring" for us.

Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler. - Albert Einstein

jackal - Perhaps I should clarify slightly. History shows us that most humans don't take action until the pain of inaction becomes unbearable. We are moving there fast and I think there could be a lot of turmoil as the system collapses. During the collapse itself, I don't see much reason to fight to prevent it. I think it's eventually inevitable, because our entire system has failed, not just individual components. The collapse could take a long time, which gives us great opportunity to educate others. The pain that follows will leave many clamoring for leadership, similar to the way the Germans demanded a strong man as the Weimar Republic collapsed. It is at this point that those of us that have a true understanding of the nature of the problems will be called upon to stand up for our country and its People and help to ensure that the new system is far less corrupt than the last. If we fail at this task, then the automatic wheels of history will take over and the future will look significantly less bright. The exciting, and hopeful part, is that responsibility for the new system will be in our hands.

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Re: Something New . . .

I really appreciate all of the comments (I took the time to read every one of them). Not one of us is perfect. We all have our own set of faults, shortcomings, weaknesses, biasis etc. etc.

I like the idea of an open source political movement, and this thread is a micro example of what I'm thinking. Rather than start off the thread by voicing your opinion about "what we should do next," you can present some ideas and discuss some failings that you see in the system and then turn to others for suggestions on how to fix the problems. This gives people the opportunity to voice their opinions freely, as opposed to putting forward your plan first, which often causes others to either jump to your defense, or attack your proposed solution(s). (I got this idea from Dale Carnegies book: How to Win Friends and Influence People.)

I'd also like to bring forward one of my favorite Emerson quotes:

"Every man I meet is in some way my superior. In that, I learn of him."

Perhaps this is faulty logic, but I believe it to be true.

I think Mike Pilat has quite magnificently summed up a lot of my personal, thoughts, fears and hopes for and about the future:

Mike Pilat wrote:

I think it's eventually inevitable, because our entire system has failed, not just individual components. The collapse could take a long time, which gives us great opportunity to educate others. The pain that follows will leave many clamoring for leadership, similar to the way the Germans demanded a strong man as the Weimar Republic collapsed. It is at this point that those of us that have a true understanding of the nature of the problems will be called upon to stand up for our country and its People and help to ensure that the new system is far less corrupt than the last. If we fail at this task, then the automatic wheels of history will take over and the future will look significantly less bright. The exciting, and hopeful part, is that responsibility for the new system will be in our hands.

Exactly! I don't want us as nation to blow this once in a life time opportunity! I think far too many people back in the states are still being seduced by Democrat vs. Republican WWF reallity show. I fear that as things continue to worsen, various factions will emerge within the US and they will begin fighting and squabling with each other rather than addressing the root causes of the coming collapse. I fear that once the collapse does occur, if it does occur, all sorts of wild theories will begin flying around about why. One group will blame Obama's "socialism" another group will say it's because conservatives stood in the way of some Obama plan which would have saved the country from ruin, then a third group will chime in, screaming that they're both wrong . . . .

I realize how radical and sensationalist this must sound to many of you, but can we really give this scenario a 0 probability ranking? I think not.

Good News

What I really like about this thread is that it shows that an intelligent discussion can be held between rational, educated adults.
Even though we hold different idealogies and perspectives, we all managed to bring our ideas into the discussion respectully. We also respectfully questioned one another without resorting to cheap shots. (I think that this is in part due to our shared understanding of the gravity and magnitude of the situation at hand which is made possible by our shared knowledge and shared experience of listening to what Chris M has to say.)

Closing Thoughts on This Thread . . .

While this thread might seem like a chit chat session to some, I don't see it that way at all. I think we've been discussing one of the greatest questions of out time: 'where do we go from here?' Despite our different idealogies, beliefs and convictions, we have agreed upon many of the root causes of our current problems. I think we have been able to reach a general consensus on some issues. Here are some general conclussions that I can draw from the discussion (please correct me if I'm wrong):

1. Knowledge is the first step.

      1a. Everyone should understand our monetary system. (brought forward by bklement)

2. Political Power in Washington should be limited (also suggested by bklement).

3. The two party system has failed (maybe I'm going too far here?). (Perhaps this is an opportunity for a third party to rise up?)

Thanks again, everyone. I hope that we will all keep thinking and sharing.

Orion

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