3 votes

Getting Back to 'The Good'

Look around at our general culture, with its art, its manners and political values. We are all free to choose, and that is a great thing. But do we choose well? Why is it that so many choose things that seem veritably bad?

Take popular music. Is pop music evidence that the market can be led by the nose to value terribly poor products, just by clever marketing?

What about politicians? Are they evidence that the market and the majority decision are easily led astray by dedicated minorities of superior ability?

Is fast food and its cousins evidence that the market and consumer majorities can be led to bad, ill informed choices in a setting of general free decision?

Are popular superstitions, fallacies and unfounded beliefs good grounds for concluding that humanity is a dangerous beast that is best corralled by the alert and able few?

If politics and institutions are a game of managing this beast so that it doesn't hurt itself or others, is it wrong to engage in this game of belief and culture management?

If the beast is by its nature managed, is it wrong to engage in the fight for management rights against other elites who will lead it and direct it poorly and astray from the good?

Is bad culture, bad health, bad politics, bad attitudes, bad education, bad food, rampant waste, short sightedness, and the like, not good evidence that leadership and good stewards are needed for the health of the social beast?

Should good people really refrain from and shy away from being leaders, role models, and 'elites' for their own communities and for people in general?

What is the 'good' in a world where humanity, by its nature, avails itself to manipulation?

Freedom can hardly be the answer, since freedom is merely the starting point and open door to bad elites and bad leadership manipulating culture and politics via the market.

What would good elites and good leaders do in their communities?

What in fact is 'The Good,' if mere 'freedom' is an insufficient answer? Is there such a thing, or is it all relative, subject to the dictatorship of the free consumer?

What is the good in health, morals, art, politics, family relationships, and so on?

Have we "modern people" not overlooked a key area of life, by removing all concerns with what's really good from public or civic discourse, from education and from religion? Or is somehow this an advance?

Education is now just facts and training with a large smattering of spin, myth and political correctness.

Churches are just dispensaries of doctrine and too often unconcerned with promoting a general civic and secular good. They occupy a small cubby hole labeled religion, and are not interested in imparting a holistic set of values to the mind and life of a community.

There is no civic culture defining the good in all these areas, besides maybe rabid political correctness and cultural Marxism. For the rest, it is all left to the for profit "culture market," to manufacture and sell the commodity of culture.

All other players have cleared the field.

Can that be good?

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Specifics enumerated

1.
"Look around at our general culture, with its art, its manners and political values. We are all free to choose, and that is a great thing. But do we choose well? Why is it that so many choose things that seem veritably bad?"

My view of those words goes like this (as I think about those words):

"...our general culture, with its art..."

I stop right there and I say to myself: Our general culture does not exist, and therefore what does not exist cannot possess anything, as our general culture is a convenient way of labeling an aggregate measure of many individual people doing many individual things, and so IT, the entity called IT, this THING called IT, cannot POSSESS, IT cannot THINK, it cannot DO, IT cannot be responsible, and IT cannot be accountable, for art, for non-art, for anything, for nothing, IT does not exist.

More specifics:
"We are all free to choose, and that is a great thing."

Some people choose to perpetrate crimes such as lies, threats, and aggressive violence upon innocent people, and some people choose not to defend those innocent people, and I do not see anything great about those choices, so what is the meaning of "great" in that sentence?

Is the meaning such that the word great means the same thing as powerful.

As in:

"We are all free to choose life sustaining choices or life destroying choices, and that is a very destructive or productive power commanded by individuals, and by groups of individuals who share either destructive or productive choices, and that combining of individual powers to choose becomes an exponentially greater power of either destruction or production."

Great is then a meaning that is synonymous with power, and power can be destructive or productive in greatness.

"But do we choose well?"

Those who are honest are intentionally answering and sharing the answer to that question within their power to do so; while those who are dishonest are also commanding the power to answer that question accurately while the dishonest only share the answer with their fellow cooperators cooperating at deceiving the targeted victims who are not afforded the sharing of the accurate answers to that question.

"Why is it that so many choose things that seem veritably bad?"

Five links come to mind (the short list):

1. Confessions of a Monopolist
http://direitasja.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/howe-the-confe...

2. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTbdnNgqfs8

3. The Red Button Story

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83A2jAGcl7Q

4. The Greatest History Lesson
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxCuc-2tfgk

5. Equitable Commerce
http://www.anarchiwum.bzzz.net/yak/equitable%20commerce.pdf

Now five short answers (offered competitively):

1.
Victims allow criminals to get away with crimes in proportion to how many criminals choose to create victims.

2.
Ignorance is chosen because criminals create a demand for ignorance.

3.
Victims are led to believe that criminals are the only ones that can defend the victims from the criminals.

4.
Victims are inspired during each injury by criminals to pay the criminals more for their false protection services.

5.
Victims are offered a piece of the action and then victims become criminals themselves.

"Take popular music. Is pop music evidence that the market can be led by the nose to value terribly poor products, just by clever marketing?"

I do not think that false advertizing (a crime when innocent people are measurably injured) is "clever marketing," so my thinking about those words is such that labels used by criminals ought not be the labels used by the targeted victims, unless the idea is to transfer more power to the criminals by helping the criminals cover up their crimes.

"What about politicians? Are they evidence that the market and the majority decision are easily led astray by dedicated minorities of superior ability?"

The crime of fraud perpetrated by people who do not specialize in the work of defending the innocent is relative to the crime of fraud perpetrated by people who do specialize in the work of defending the innocent.

A criminal posing as a defender of the innocent is guilty of two crimes not one.

1. Willfully failing to do the job of defense.
2. Using the job title as a cover for perpetrating a crime.

Failing to do the job is one thing, serious in nature, because people depend upon the job being done by those who specialize at doing the job, no different than any other link in a chain. The chain does not work as a chain when one of the links fails to do the job. The sooner it is found out that the link does not work that link can be replaced with a link that does work. The one in that position who is unable to do the job can find a job that can be done by that one, and someone who can do the job can do the job.

The crime is to willfully take the position knowing that the chain will not work, not informing other people that the position taken is false, and therefore the victims are those who are led to believe that the chain does work because they falsely think that the links are made up of those who are able to do the job.

This works in many ways not limited to defense against criminals. If someone willfully disarms a storm warning device that people depend upon, and someone does so for reasons that may include a money wager on stock options concerning a business interest adversely affected by the damage done by the storm, then the princpile is exemplified in that way too.

1. Willfully failing to do the job of defense.

2. Using the job title as a cover for perpetrating a crime.

Using the false claim of taking on the responsibilities of defense for cover as a criminal then perpetrates crimes upon innocent victims directly, not merely being paid for "not doing the job," is another crime, a separate crime, as not only does the defender not defend, the defender perpetrates another crime upon other victims directly.

"What about politicians? Are they evidence that the market and the majority decision are easily led astray by dedicated minorities of superior ability?"

Does the word "politician" mean something specific or something ambiguous?

1. Politician means someone hired as a false defender; someone who is actually a criminal who uses the false claim of defender as a cover for crimes done by the so called politician.

2. Politician means someone hired as a defender; someone who competitively defends compared to other defenders.

3. Politician means both 1 and 2 at the same time because the idea here is to confuse the victims and render the victims powerless at defending themselves from criminals.

When both are one then the following happens:

1. The actual defenders are rendered powerless because the actual defenders are blamed for the crimes done by the false defenders.

2. The false defenders gain more power as they take the credit for anything done in defense that is done by the actual defenders.

Trying to be more specific:

"Are they evidence that the market and the majority decision are easily led astray by dedicated minorities of superior ability?"

There is no such thing as "majority decision" as this falsehood weakens the defenders and empowers the criminals in a significant manner that can be explained in great detail to anyone caring to know the facts.

There is an aggregate sum total of decisions which can be called market forces or that aggregate market force can be a false justification for criminals to then act according to some claim of authority authorized by a nebulous vote count; whereby the actual counting of the votes is often falsified.

Even if the vote count is true, as in the saying The Majority Rules, then the power of that collective sum total of votes is manifested in some way, at some time, by some people, in some place, and those people acting according to that vote count are then accountable for what they do, and those who vote are accountable for what they do, and there is no such thing as collective punishment, whereby the supposed Majority (who supposedly rule) are all, at once, in unison, guilty of something done by some one, in some place, at some time, to some victim or number of victims.

The term collective punishment is another falsehood, lies told by criminals, and lies believed by victims.

The criminals know the lie, the victims are victim to the lie.

People are individually responsible in every single case where someone does something in some way at some time in some place.

The lie works for the criminals because the THING, the COLLECTIVE, the MAJORITY, or the MINORITY, are blamed, and the actual criminals are not held to an accurate accounting for what the criminals do in time and place as they perpetrate injuries to innocent victims.

The majority did it.

Society made me do it.

The government did it.

The gun did it.

Drugs did it.

A dog named Sam made me do it.

To be continued?

Joe

Just like everything else,

Just like everything else, "good" is what we make it. "Good" is decided upon by the individual, although the recognition of what is "good" is necessarily based upon the influence of others. If we want to make or promote "good" then we must figure out: what are "good" things, ideas and concepts.

What do you think about good as decided by Nature?

"Creating conditions conducive to life is good."

Can this apply to human nature?

Are humans part of Nature? Or, are we not bound by its mandates?

"Creating conditions

"Creating conditions conducive to life is good." Yes, definitely! Love is good too--so is honesty, respect, and peace--so are hydrogen and oxygen. My point is that there are many good things--to try to sum up an all-encompassing definition of "good" in one simple statement is futile. We could spend a lifetime discovering what is "good". There aren't really wrong answers--just disagreements.

I've always said--"humans are a part of nature, not apart from it." Humans create nature, we can change nature, but we also must necessarily abide by it. Humans, as they relate to nature, can be seen as either subject or object, or both, it is only a matter of our perspective. I might go so far as to say that "nature" would not exist without humanity because "nature" is a definitively human concept.

I believe that even a single mundane thought formed in your own mind is a natural change--it is a change in your nature, a change from the thought you had before. Your nature, as you read this, is changing, if only in the most infinitesimal way.

My tendency is to believe that nature is what happens, what exists, nature is our current state of being--nature includes all the beauty in the world, but it also includes all of the bloodshed. I wish, naturally, that our nature was different--I think our nature ought to change dramatically if we are to live in a better world.

Thanks for such a good reply, Deducer.

I may have misunderstood your original comment, though.

I offer "creating conditions conducive to life is good" as not only a definition, but a measure to determine how "we must figure out: what are "good" things, ideas and concepts" as you worded the challenge above.

Indeed, your short list of examples that are "good" ring true, but they are "things, ideas and concepts" as you stated, not actions or activities.

For example, an "act of Love" can be good or not depending on its results.

To me, an oxygen molecule floating alone in space at the edge of the Universe is not good or bad. But here in our biosphere it is definitely good since it acts as an indispensable unit in the molecular stew that creates conditions that are conducive to life.

Do you see the difference?

Can you suggest an alternative measure of "the good" that fits or performs better?

I can act honestly towards

I can act honestly towards you. I can respect you. I can be peaceful with you. I can love you. To me these are actions and activities.

My bottom line is this--"good" is just a matter of perspective. You can make love bad if you so choose. What I say is good is my choice. I say that love is always good--if it is not good, then it cannot be love--this is my view.

We can try to convince each other based on reasoning that our own version of "good" is the best version, we can try to align the thoughts of others with our own by using logic and exposing contradiction, but we can never perfectly communicate. Personally, the reason for my choices regarding what I say is "good" comes from an interest in identifying the things that are almost universally understood to be "good".

In other words, I try to take my cues from what real people actually think. I mention peace, love, respect, honesty, hydrogen and oxygen because, as humans, almost universally, we see these things (or actions) to be almost always "good". I hope I am conveying my meaning, it's difficult--I'm eager for more questions and to know if I answered yours.

Thank you, Deducer, with Love

I would be pleased to see more good results in our global culture that have come from your suggestion that your examples are "almost universally understood as 'good'".

But, mostly I see a civilization failing with few new, adoptable ideas of what would be a good, workable course away from a collapse.

I am sure most of the passengers on the Titanic were good people with an up-to-date worldview of what is considered to be good. But, they found themselves in the frigid water along with those who were not.

No, I don't think you directly answered my question. I may not have posed it well.

I propose that Nature gives us a way to measure the "good." It works for all life. It doesn't work much at all for the good of our future if humans just disregard it as merely some man's personal perspective.

My revised question is:

"Can you suggest an alternative measure of "the good" that can be used by all people at all times that fits or performs better?"

There is no measure of "the

There is no measure of "the good" that can be used by all people at all times. It is just as easy, and no less "true" to someone who believes it to say "creating conditions conducive to life is bad." I think that a person who felt this way is likely a "bad" person, but I would not dismiss the opinion as universally untrue.

A set of ideas can be true to one person and untrue to another person simultaneously. Truth, like all else is just a human concept which requires interpretation.

Nature is just the same as truth in that it can be interpreted in any way--as I tried to explain above, I see nature as the whole state of things as they are in the present moment. I think things as they exist are natural. I think that if it wasn't natural, then it would not exist. I believe it may be more helpful to think that we should change nature, rather than follow it.

I'd like to try and clarify

I'd like to try and clarify further, or maybe I'll just be muddying the waters!

Why is the floor below and the ceiling above?

I believe that the answer contains the fact that we have a mutual understanding regarding the meaning of "floor" and "ceiling". Our shared experiences give words meaning.

Consider the possibility that half of English speakers started to call the ceiling the surface below and the floor the surface above. While it may have been clearly true before, the difference, the truth regarding the floor and ceiling, has changed due to a change in interpretation.

This is maybe a bad example that I've given, but I do believe words change in this way, and so truth, as far as it is explained by language, is altered as well.

If there are ultimate truths I think it's unlikely that we could know them, and even less likely that we would be able to describe them with language.

You have really lost me.

I apologize for my ignorance.

The best that I can do to understand what is your point is that you propose that a person can truly believe something is true for them that is not true for most everyone else.

Someone believes the sun is cold, light is dark and 2 + 2 = 5.

And, since they truly believe it, it is true to them. And, you propose, furthermore, they can be right about this because language and the meaning of words may be different for them.

I apologize, but how can I know now that anything you say is true. Accordingly, the meanings of your words may be the opposite of mine.

This reminds me of the story of Babel.

lol, I'll try to explain

lol, I'll try to explain further...

If someone says 2+2=5, then would you believe them, would you call this sort of math "true"? Of course not! Neither would I believe in something so ridiculous! We both know it's wrong due to a shared understanding, but NOT because of an ultimate truth.

Like I said, truth is an interpretable concept, so yes, 2+2 can equal 5 in the truth of someone else. They'd be wrong, they'd be completely insane if they insisted upon 2+2=5 as truth--this is how you and I would see it, and basically everyone else who understands math.

But! What if, to the person who says 5 is the result of 2+2, perhaps "5" has a different meaning, perhaps "2" has a different meaning, perhaps "+" has a different meaning? If we are open-minded I think we must consider all possibilities!

What I am saying is not something that is likely to occur in reality regarding the math example, but the analogy, I think, if it is associated with the addition of one word to another, is appropriate.

Again, different words have different meanings to different people--it is a matter of the character and degree of difference which communication depends upon.

I've probably just confused you more!

You have not "un-confused" me less...

Thanks for trying.

It seems that this discussion is morphing into jabberwocky with a pinch of flapdoodle.

I will be happy to get back to the original program.

Well, OK. Darn!

Well, OK. Darn!

But what if jabberwocky with a pinch off flapdoodle is the key to our existence?

I want to add: you can't know

I want to add: you can't know that what I say is true without deciding that what I say is true. You make the decision regarding truth, It's your choice! The truth, luckily enough, is completely up to you.

If that works for you...

Good luck!

the answer

sydpotter posts below:

> You opine that I must already know the "answer".

> I am not sure what is the question to which you refer.

> Is it the topic of this OP? (What is the good?)

> Is it my reference in asking how can we discover new
> global solutions to our cultural and environmental decline?

> You then paraphrase what is that answer as "...A community
> in which he can live and do meaningful work sustainably
> living and deriving his life; providing something for the
> community which the individuals in it voluntarily want and
> need and using the land and people of that community kindly
> as they voluntarily wish to be used..."

> Your description here seems not so much an answer, but more
> of an hypothetical end result of finding this answer.

I did not mean to "opine." I simply assumed that when you spoke of yourself as a "steward" and a "farmer" it meant something different from "I just get up each morning and work on the farm, and there's nothing sustainable about it except my tenacity." That doesn't sound like the life of a steward.

My response was to your "new global solution" question. I assumed that as a "farmer" you would be in a unique position to see that solution. Farmers are not necessarily the only people in a community, but they are among the few who are necessary in a community. There is no such thing as post-agricultural society.

The "answer" is understanding that people don't need masters to be productive, and they don't have to produce loads of crap (legal systems, interstate highways, cell phones, airplanes, nuclear bombs,...) to be happy, healthy, and secure. The answer is turning the wealth generating dynamic of voluntary exchange to the ends of responsible people who are connected to a particular place and willing to be responsible for their own provision and defense. The answer is to remove consent from the psychopaths and the psychopathic system of trying to get something for nothing---trying to extract something from others and the environment to which you have no right, and which has brought us to the current state of iminent societal collapse.

That "answer" is the exact opposite of almost everything you see in the world around you. It is very near the opposite of much you see praised here on the Daily Paul.

People have made some bad assumptions about society. A few people have figured out that one of those bad assumptions is that "some people need to rule over others and enforce their vision of the world." (This was very clearly the legacy of the open master/slave society---an uncivilized society in which we still live, while some might suggest it was the result of a deliberate well-intentioned adoption by some wise and benevolent overseers.) It turns out, that the people who want to force their vision of the world on others are precisely the worst of the worthless psychopaths in the world. And the "good" people in principle have been docile while these psychopaths have done their evil work, until a situation has been achieved that it is far more comfortable for most people to adopt the modus operandi of the psychopaths and build their lives around trying to get something for nothing than to do honest work.

How is this possible? The answer, I believe, is through the ever increasing permanent and irreversible destruction of resources---an unsustainable situation putting future generations in a very bad position.

In addition to turning many "good" in principle people into dependent, irresponsible, incompetent, weaklings preoccupied with worthless activities, this has turned the vast majority of them into ardent supporters of the structures which allow both the plunder/exploitation of others and the destruction/exploitation of the environment. Exploitation is the key word.

The people who have recognized this are called anarchists. Thomas Jefferson was one. And he started to try to figure out the consequences of this discovery. He made some good observations, but in a certain sense, he didn't really get too far. As an elite, he picked up his idea from the colonists who, in a practical sense, understood the princples of anarchy much better than he did. As Adams said: "The revolution was won in the hearts and minds of the people two or three generations before the first shot was fired at Lexington." After the war, those people were mostly dead. Jefferson, Henry, and others were not in a position, either philosophically nor practically, to stop the psychopaths like Hamilton and Washington from setting up the next slave-based society of which we are heirs.

But we know more now. We know consequences of the unavoidable anarchist/voluntarist principle which Jefferson didn't know. And the ideas are new and powerful.

For example, Jefferson probably didn't know that "consent of the governed" was a fundamentally contradictory phrase. It means "I give a ruler permission to force me to do that which I think it is *wrong* for me to do."

It's actually a combination of two things, I think. The first is the actual consequences of voluntarism which a few people like Larken Rose are starting to understand pretty well. The second is the role played by "unsustainable exploitation of resources." I'm not sure many people understand this at all. If you put these two things together, you get "kindly use" of both people and place, which is something that Wendell Berry writes about, though I'm not sure he entirely understands the anarchist principle. Though he does seem to have come to the conclusion at length that political efforts are misguided, not just in particular, but in principle.

Kindly use is the answer. And kindly use is another word for voluntarism.

If responsible people come together and live sustainably within their communities (providing for themselves food, shelter, clothing, and whatever else it is they want and need) while taking every opportunity to prevent the coercive element in society from stealing their wealth/productive capacity, if they understand that they have a fundamental right to a place on this earth which they sustainably steward and derive their lives from, and no "consensus," i.e., majority (or most often some minority) of psychopathic humans can suggest otherwise, if they can simply govern themselves, then they will be unstopable. But it's crucial for them to realize that they owe absolutely nothing to the current barbaric system, and they have a responsibility to future generations to destroy it.

The answer is, as you said, directing your efforts toward that which creates health for the community. It is the only answer I can imagine.

If it still seems like a consequence rather than an answer, ask yourself: Am I connected to a particular place and community from which I derive my life? Or, could my life be lived, more or less, anywhere? That should be a start to help you realize it really is an answer rather than a consequence.

Farmer, you are certainly passionate...

Farmer, you are certainly passionate about your certainty that voluntarism is the obvious path to a good civilization.

I think that voluntarism is a good idea, too.

But, I am sure that there are new ideas that can achieve faster and better results in steering our culture away from the precipice of failure where it is heading now.

Furthermore, I understood this OP to be a cultural discussion of where does the good come from and where are the obvious leaders and good results. I welcomed the topic as a relief from the tedious and unfruitful (to me) anarchism debate that has dominated the Daily Paul over recent months.

I hope I haven't misunderstood your point that voluntarism is humanity's saving grace. Thank you for sharing and for your earnestness.

I just think that we need to discover and develop something better.

all the best

I'll work hard. Given enough time, maybe I'll be able to offer an invitation to the solution rather than a suggestion or explanation of what I think it is. I'm working on it.

I leave you also with a quote from Wendell Berry:

There is no use pretending that the contradiction between what we think or say and what we do is a limited phenomenon. There is no group of the extra-intelligent or extra-concerned or extra-virtuous that is exempt. I cannot think of any American whom I know or have heard of, who is not contributing in some way to destruction. The reason is simple: to live undestructively in an economy that is overwhelmingly destructive would require of any one of us, or of any small group of us, a great deal more work than we have yet been able to do.

(The Unsettling of America, p. 18)

What is not good?

Governance is good. It's utility in organizing groups of volunteers has a long historical precedence.

States in debt are not good.

Free includes debt-free!

I'm not quite sure that I follow your reasoning...

If one has a measuring device that determines what is good, then conceptually all of an organization's activities can be determined to be good or not.

What are you using as a measure in these examples?

And, are you proposing that "organizing groups of volunteers" in itself is always (or usually) good?

In an earlier comment below, I have offered a definition (a conceptual "measuring stick") for determining the "good". It is inspired by Nature. So far, no one has refuted it. Nor, has anyone confirmed it.

Do your examples ring true by the definition I suggest? (It is "Creating conditions conducive to life is good.")

By this definition, an army can be good if its mission is good.

The short answer.

You have presented and objective view of the good:
"Nature's survival strategy is to create conditions conducive to life, which is good."

I presented a subjective view:
"Is it good when my world view conforms to reality?"

The boon of the post-Kantian thinkers is they established the roles of objective and subjective reality in establishing a viable world view.

The native Americans seem to me to have integrated these realities.

Free includes debt-free!

Further thoughts...

Your example of a subjective view does not discern either the good or the non-good since both exist in reality and in Nature.

The definition of good that I am offering is quantifiable. Yet, if integration of a subjective and objective view is the ultimate view, then one based on Nature's universal conclusions is the most integrated authority that we can discover in reality.

Nature is the greatest master of integration in this place and time.

The question of the subjective view. "Is it true for me?"

There is no disputing taste.

If nature is an endless string of causes and effect with unidentified butterflies for effect, then how does good arise?

Free includes debt-free!

Is it true for me and six billion others?

When it comes to ideas I think that you are correct that there can be little meaningful dispute whether it is 'tasteful' or 'good' or not to another individual.

But, this OP is about culture, the moving tally of what is tasteful and deemed good for a civilization at large.

Today, six billion humans think that cell phones (and lately their upgrade, smart phones) are so good that they own one. In 1972 almost no one had even heard that there was such a device.

How did that almost total saturation across humanity arise in such a relatively short time?

In Nature at large the good arises and flourishes because it is conducive to creating life. If it proves to be not good and conducive to creating life it declines and finally goes extinct.

Case in point

Just an example, the IRS snoops losing their records of what they were up to in targeting political groups.

The level of corruption is so blatant and unashamed of itself, it isn't embarrassed. It has zero expectation of a rebuke from the press or from any institution that speaks authoritatively or with confidence from the public.

People here the news and maybe sense that it's wrong, but they shamble along because they have no where to turn to for that moral feeling to be aligned with others amplified.

The great success of the modern state and market has been to break down any institutions that have wide public trust and are motivated by basic civic, moral or ethical stances.

The welfare state has pulled out a key support in any such hypothetical institution by providing money to the poor. The moral legitimacy of an institution that provides charity to those in need is better neutralized by the state through welfare.

Same thing with any sort of generalized organization of wage workers for provisioning retirement and insurance needs fraternally and defining conditions under which members will work, in order to put pressure on capitalistically organized businesses to follow certain guidelines.

With the decline of religion in large sections of population, and with the changing nature of Church services, the function of church congregations as a kind of community square and general rallying point for local decision making has also disappeared and not been replaced by any secular alternative.

Case in point for what?

Bill, why do I think this is quite a lame comment that doesn't meet your usually high standards?

It seems that this comment is merely an extension of your 'laundry list' from above of more bad things from which people "shamble along".

It doesn't deepen the dialogue much. And, it brings nothing much new to the discussion.

What happened to your sharp, double-edged sword?

I miss your laser-like logic.

Why did you post this original topic at all? You seem disinterested in serving as a good steward of your OP here like you usually are in most of your other postings.

Cool

.

There you go again!

Do you mean "Cool" as in "Big Daddy Cool Breeze"

Or, "Cool" as in "Cool down and chill out"?

Big daddy Cool breeze

obviously.

related

This post relates to the art post (sydpotter), weebles' post, and the original post.

The art post mentions a promising, paradigmatic and adoptable idea comparable to the idea of controlled fire.

I think we have that idea. It's called "voluntarism" or anarchy. We just need to get people to understand what it is and adopt it.

Bill3's assertion that anarchists "can't convince anyone of anything" is factually incorrect. And that is key. It's true that we have been unsuccessful in explaining to Bill3 what anarchy is, but more and more people are starting to understand. And I think that is the hail Mary if there is one. We can obviously use the help of artists or anyone who can help.

I guess what I'm saying is obvious, and it also relates to Nystrom's post. What I wonder is whether or not Michael understands the necessity of responsibility in relation to freedom?

So my suggestion is this: We need a group like Bill3 suggests which understands what is good and provides good advice to those who don't understand things. Of course, we need people who don't understand things to be responsible enough to realize their shortcomings and take the advice, but that is not really the problem. The problem is having good advice based on an understanding of how human interactions and society function in the first place.

It is not a "third group" per se because it can make the other groups (the evil people who want to coerce others through the idea of authority or whatever meaningless group designations one wishes to push) powerless and irrelevant.