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The future of Government (if any)

...on serious topics that don't fit anywhere else at present.
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lewist
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2121 Post by lewist » July 13th, 2015, 9:02 am

Latest post of the previous page:

What is the point? Where is the passion? Where is the ability to tell right from wrong, good from evil? The Dug has the right of it.

Read and be inspired. Labour can only survive by returning to its moral roots. Perhaps, in time, they can save us from the wickedness that is coming from Westminster.
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

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Altfish
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2122 Post by Altfish » July 13th, 2015, 9:14 am

Oops posted in error, is there no 'delete' option

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Altfish
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2123 Post by Altfish » July 13th, 2015, 9:16 am

Nick wrote:Well, Altfish, perhaps you could explain why your question began with "Then..." That seems to mean that it relates to some previous post, but, as I suggested, I don't see the progression.

Secondly, your question is a "have you stopped beating your wife" sort of question anyway. I suggested why the action had been taken. You didn't like the answer. That's the way things seem to go around here....
As usual ignoring the main issue and heading off with a distraction.

Quite happy to leave it with the fact that you don't have an answer, that's fine

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Dave B
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2124 Post by Dave B » July 13th, 2015, 9:40 am

Altfish wrote: As usual ignoring the main issue and heading off with a distraction.
Coo, just like politicians do!
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Alan H
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2125 Post by Alan H » July 13th, 2015, 10:26 am

lewist wrote:What is the point? Where is the passion? Where is the ability to tell right from wrong, good from evil? The Dug has the right of it.

Read and be inspired. Labour can only survive by returning to its moral roots. Perhaps, in time, they can save us from the wickedness that is coming from Westminster.
Absolutely spot on:
There is no point to Labour, none at all. No meaning. No purpose. No bloody sense. All there is is the cold hearted triangulation of a spin doctor who’s never had to struggle against poverty or exclusion. Labour has announced that there’s very little they’re going to do to oppose as the Tories set fire to the social contract that Labour fought so hard to establish all those decades ago. The party is not going to oppose the cuts that the Tories are introducing to the benefits system, not going to oppose the loss of the principle that each mouth deserve to be fed. They’ve abandoned the principle of to each according to their need. Labour not only supports the final cutting through of the social safety net, they’re helping the Tories with the scissors. Spin and snip as they cut their own tendons, and the party falls never to stand again.

What is the point of you Labour? Nothing, nothing but to make us weep and rage at your wilful impotence, to scream silently in the vacuum of your lost soul. The hopes of our grandparents betrayed, their memories traduced. What is the point of you?
I had a go at Harriet Harman last night on Twitter along these lines...
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

thundril
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Joined: July 4th, 2008, 5:02 pm

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2126 Post by thundril » July 13th, 2015, 1:29 pm

Nick wrote:
thundril wrote:Yes, there have been attempts at other systems, and they have largely turned out pretty bad. And we could have a long discussion about the reasons for these failures.But that was not my question. My question was, do you think capitalism could operate well even if nobody at all was threatened with homelessness or hunger?
I don't think any system could be effective if there were no consequences if the able-bodied were not obliged to work.
Yes, that's very clearly put.. Capitalism cannot (or at least will not) end poverty, because capitalists THINK that if noone was poor, or under immediate threat of poverty, nobody would do anything at all.

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Alan H
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2127 Post by Alan H » July 13th, 2015, 1:38 pm

Nick wrote:
thundril wrote:Yes, there have been attempts at other systems, and they have largely turned out pretty bad. And we could have a long discussion about the reasons for these failures.But that was not my question. My question was, do you think capitalism could operate well even if nobody at all was threatened with homelessness or hunger?
I don't think any system could be effective if there were no consequences if the able-bodied were not obliged to work.
But we already have loads of able-bodied who are not obliged to work - we always have. And some of them do take it upon themselves to interfere in the lives of others so they can accumulate even more wealth so they have even less need to offer up their labour for the benefit of others.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

thundril
Posts: 3607
Joined: July 4th, 2008, 5:02 pm

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2128 Post by thundril » July 13th, 2015, 1:44 pm

Alan H wrote:
lewist wrote:What is the point? Where is the passion? Where is the ability to tell right from wrong, good from evil? The Dug has the right of it.

Read and be inspired. Labour can only survive by returning to its moral roots. Perhaps, in time, they can save us from the wickedness that is coming from Westminster.
Absolutely spot on:
There is no point to Labour, none at all. No meaning. No purpose. No bloody sense. All there is is the cold hearted triangulation of a spin doctor who’s never had to struggle against poverty or exclusion. Labour has announced that there’s very little they’re going to do to oppose as the Tories set fire to the social contract that Labour fought so hard to establish all those decades ago. The party is not going to oppose the cuts that the Tories are introducing to the benefits system, not going to oppose the loss of the principle that each mouth deserve to be fed. They’ve abandoned the principle of to each according to their need. Labour not only supports the final cutting through of the social safety net, they’re helping the Tories with the scissors. Spin and snip as they cut their own tendons, and the party falls never to stand again.

What is the point of you Labour? Nothing, nothing but to make us weep and rage at your wilful impotence, to scream silently in the vacuum of your lost soul. The hopes of our grandparents betrayed, their memories traduced. What is the point of you?
I had a go at Harriet Harman last night on Twitter along these lines...
Excellent writing!

Nick
Posts: 11027
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2129 Post by Nick » July 13th, 2015, 2:14 pm

thundril wrote:Yes, that's very clearly put.. Capitalism cannot (or at least will not) end poverty, because capitalists THINK that if noone was poor, or under immediate threat of poverty, nobody would do anything at all.
So clearly put, that you missed it! I said "any system", so it is not appropriate to apply my response purely to capitalism. Nor do I think you are right that capitalism somehow promotes poverty to further its ends. Capitalism would prefer to have people who can participate in the economy, rather than those too poverty-stricken to do so.

thundril
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2130 Post by thundril » July 13th, 2015, 6:06 pm

Nick wrote:
thundril wrote:Yes, that's very clearly put.. Capitalism cannot (or at least will not) end poverty, because capitalists THINK that if noone was poor, or under immediate threat of poverty, nobody would do anything at all.
So clearly put, that you missed it! I said "any system", so it is not appropriate to apply my response purely to capitalism.
But "any system" includes capitalism. I am not really discussing any other system at the moment: capitalism is the one we've got, and capitalism is the one I'm trying to understand. Is it your opinion that capitalism could function perfectly well even if all threat of poverty had been removed? You seem to be saying above that it could not:
I don't think any system could be effective if there were no consequences if the able-bodied were not obliged to work.
doesn't exclude capitalism, does it?
Nor do I think you are right that capitalism somehow promotes poverty to further its ends. Capitalism would prefer to have people who can participate in the economy, rather than those too poverty-stricken to do so.
I don't see where I have implied that capitalism is capable of having 'ends' or 'preferences'? I interpreted your words to imply that 'capitalists' (ie the people who make the dominant political decisions) believe that some people need to be kept poor, otherwise they wouldn't do any productive work.
Please correct me if I have misinterpreted.

Nick
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2131 Post by Nick » July 13th, 2015, 6:51 pm

thundril wrote:
Nick wrote:
thundril wrote:Yes, that's very clearly put.. Capitalism cannot (or at least will not) end poverty, because capitalists THINK that if noone was poor, or under immediate threat of poverty, nobody would do anything at all.
So clearly put, that you missed it! I said "any system", so it is not appropriate to apply my response purely to capitalism.
But "any system" includes capitalism. I am not really discussing any other system at the moment: capitalism is the one we've got, and capitalism is the one I'm trying to understand.
With 40-60% of GDP passing through the state's hands, I'd say that we cannot describe the Western economies as being purely capitalist.
Is it your opinion that capitalism could function perfectly well even if all threat of poverty had been removed?
It depends on quite where you set the level for "poverty". It also depends on what you mean by "function perfectly well". And the fact that in the developed world we do not rely on pure capitalism to solve our societies problems rather suggests that our priorities are not dominated with process, but on outcomes. I would also suggest that some of the most persistent cases of deprivation relate to factors which do not originate from capitalism.
You seem to be saying above that it could not:
I don't think any system could be effective if there were no consequences if the able-bodied were not obliged to work.
doesn't exclude capitalism, does it?
It doesn't exclude any system. (Though I probably need to expand upon that, on further thought.)
Nor do I think you are right that capitalism somehow promotes poverty to further its ends. Capitalism would prefer to have people who can participate in the economy, rather than those too poverty-stricken to do so.
I don't see where I have implied that capitalism is capable of having 'ends' or 'preferences'? I interpreted your words to imply that 'capitalists' (ie the people who make the dominant political decisions) believe that some people need to be kept poor, otherwise they wouldn't do any productive work.
I don't believe they do, I don't believe they have even given the active deprivation of their fellow citizens a moment's thought, and would deny it if asked. Nor do I think we can interpret an economic system you reference to some alleged economic masters of the universe. That's why I referred to -ism, as an approximation. I'll try to think of a better way of expressing it.

And that still doesn't show how we should measure the success or otherwise of capitalism. I think it is much more useful to consider what outcomes you are seeking, take into account human nature, have regard to your own principles (eg you may be green, or a pacifist, or cherish some aspect of human rights) and then consider how best the economy can meet them, rather than chose some system or other from the outset.

Karl Marx, not the capitalists greatest cheer-leader, thought that people should contribute according to their means. I don't think, however, that we should take that as a Marxist doctrine that the masses should be kept poor.
Please correct me if I have misinterpreted.
Hope that helps.... :D

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anaconda
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2132 Post by anaconda » July 13th, 2015, 7:28 pm

thundril wrote:
Alan H wrote:
lewist wrote:What is the point? Where is the passion? Where is the ability to tell right from wrong, good from evil? The Dug has the right of it.

Read and be inspired. Labour can only survive by returning to its moral roots. Perhaps, in time, they can save us from the wickedness that is coming from Westminster.
Absolutely spot on:
There is no point to Labour, none at all. No meaning. No purpose. No bloody sense. All there is is the cold hearted triangulation of a spin doctor who’s never had to struggle against poverty or exclusion. Labour has announced that there’s very little they’re going to do to oppose as the Tories set fire to the social contract that Labour fought so hard to establish all those decades ago. The party is not going to oppose the cuts that the Tories are introducing to the benefits system, not going to oppose the loss of the principle that each mouth deserve to be fed. They’ve abandoned the principle of to each according to their need. Labour not only supports the final cutting through of the social safety net, they’re helping the Tories with the scissors. Spin and snip as they cut their own tendons, and the party falls never to stand again.

What is the point of you Labour? Nothing, nothing but to make us weep and rage at your wilful impotence, to scream silently in the vacuum of your lost soul. The hopes of our grandparents betrayed, their memories traduced. What is the point of you?
I had a go at Harriet Harman last night on Twitter along these lines...
Excellent writing!
Yes, agreed!
John

thundril
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Joined: July 4th, 2008, 5:02 pm

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2133 Post by thundril » July 13th, 2015, 8:22 pm

Nick wrote:
thundril wrote: Is it your opinion that capitalism could function perfectly well even if all threat of poverty had been removed?
It depends on quite where you set the level for "poverty". It also depends on what you mean by "function perfectly well".
This is good. You think that the proposition that
capitalism could function perfectly well even if all threat of poverty had been removed
might be true if we exclude the word 'perfectly'. And you think it might be true under some definitions of 'poverty'. We are in danger of actually getting somewhere, Nick! Do clarify, please. To be precise, I am interrogating your statement that
I don't think any system could be effective if there were no consequences if the able-bodied were not obliged to work.
You write
And the fact that in the developed world we do not rely on pure capitalism to solve our societies problems rather suggests that our priorities are not dominated with process, but on outcomes.
Another goodie! We presently do not rely on pure capitalism, (ie the untrammelled working of market forces) to supply the most needy people with the most needed goods and services.
I would also suggest that some of the most persistent cases of deprivation relate to factors which do not originate from capitalism.
Of course capitalism has not caused all of humanity's problems, and is not capaqble of solving all of humanity's problems. I never asked whether it could. Simply, I am asking whether capitalism could operate in conditions where nobody stood in fear of homelessness or hunger.
You seem to be saying above that it could not:
I don't think any system could be effective if there were no consequences if the able-bodied were not obliged to work.

Nick
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2134 Post by Nick » July 13th, 2015, 9:24 pm

thundril wrote:
Nick wrote:
thundril wrote: Is it your opinion that capitalism could function perfectly well even if all threat of poverty had been removed?
It depends on quite where you set the level for "poverty". It also depends on what you mean by "function perfectly well".
This is good. You think that the proposition that
capitalism could function perfectly well even if all threat of poverty had been removed
might be true if we exclude the word 'perfectly'. And you think it might be true under some definitions of 'poverty'. We are in danger of actually getting somewhere, Nick! Do clarify, please.
I can't, until you clarify what you mean by "all threat of poverty" and how you quantify whether capitalism is "working well". The ball is still in your court.

thundril
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2135 Post by thundril » July 13th, 2015, 10:01 pm

Nick wrote:
thundril wrote: We are in danger of actually getting somewhere, Nick! Do clarify, please.
I can't, until you clarify what you mean by "all threat of poverty" and how you quantify whether capitalism is "working well". The ball is still in your court.
OK. We can go round and round, ad infinitum, with you avoiding an answer by demanding more and more precise definitions, like Slick Willy Clinton who ended up with 'It depends what your definition of is is'.
Instead, I invite you to define the terms you use in your own statement ' I don't think any system could be effective if there were no consequences if the able-bodied were not obliged to work.'

For further clarity: This is where I'm coming from: I am not hankering after any 'non-capitalist' system from history, nor proposing any alternative system in the present, nor dreaming of any other possible system for the future. I am asking about capitalism. In this context, can you explain and defend the statement you made above?

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anaconda
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2136 Post by anaconda » July 14th, 2015, 7:24 pm

Maiden speech of Mhairi Black SNPs youngest MP.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lZAmhB55_-k
John

thundril
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2137 Post by thundril » July 15th, 2015, 11:07 am

anaconda wrote:Maiden speech of Mhairi Black SNPs youngest MP.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lZAmhB55_-k
Brilliant, eloquent, straightformard. Simultaneously both passionate and reasonable. All the things modern politicians are not.
I would feel obliged to say these things, out of honesty, even if I didn't agree with what she actually said. Which I do.

Nick
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2138 Post by Nick » July 15th, 2015, 11:10 am

thundril wrote:
Nick wrote:
thundril wrote: We are in danger of actually getting somewhere, Nick! Do clarify, please.
I can't, until you clarify what you mean by "all threat of poverty" and how you quantify whether capitalism is "working well". The ball is still in your court.
OK. We can go round and round, ad infinitum, with you avoiding an answer by demanding more and more precise definitions, like Slick Willy Clinton who ended up with 'It depends what your definition of is is'.
I'm sorry if you feel it is unreasonable for me to ask what you mean by your statement, but I cannot address something without knowing what you men by it in some meaningful way.
Instead, I invite you to define the terms you use in your own statement ' I don't think any system could be effective if there were no consequences if the able-bodied were not obliged to work.'
So having said you are not going to clarify, you then ask for clarification from me!

Oh well, let's try this as a response. The economic system we have to do, which is complex, too complex to be simply described, is the product of human nature and the evolution of the resolution of conflicting demands within it, which continue to change. Human nature being what it is, if we had cigarette trees and soda water fountains, then human activity would be very different. But we don't. Assuming we want goods and services, the provision of these, ie the allocation of resources tends to be most effective when connected to reward, rather than coercion, through slavery or through command of the state.

Of course, there will be those who are unable to work, being too old or too young or too ill. Societies throughout the ages have had different solutions to this, sometimes killing them, but as societies grow richer, then tend to treat them better (though that is not a straightforward progression). There are also those who are looked after by others, just one example of which might be a "trophy wife". And, in response to Alan's point above, there are those whose "contribution" is financial. And in some cases, they have been given that financial advantage. But that is merely another aspect of looking out for ones own family, or tribe or whatever, another human characteristic. No advanced economy can work purely by an exchange of labour. Is the risk/ reward pattern complex and varied? Absolutely, which is one reason state-run economies tend to be less effective. It throws up all sorts of outcomes, some of them might not be what one would want, but that is not reason enough to get rid of it.
For further clarity: This is where I'm coming from: I am not hankering after any 'non-capitalist' system from history, nor proposing any alternative system in the present, nor dreaming of any other possible system for the future. I am asking about capitalism. In this context, can you explain and defend the statement you made above?
You may accuse me of not addressing "capitalism" specifically, but that is because I think they way in which I view the economic system is more useful; there is no purely capitalist system, one reason why Marx and Engels got it wrong.

thundril
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2139 Post by thundril » July 15th, 2015, 11:34 am

I was not asking for clarification of some specific word or phrase., Nick. I was inviting you to explain and defend the statement, which you have now done. Thank you. I will present my further argument in the light of this. I'll try to get it done today.

Gottard
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2140 Post by Gottard » July 16th, 2015, 9:43 am

Image
Comfortable? Sang Tan / AP/Press Association Images

Bad news week for BBC as Murdoch press sharpens claws
John Jewell, Cardiff University
It’s to be yet another week of crisis, inspection and introspection for the forever under pressure BBC as the government is set to publish a green paper on Thursday.
The only thing I fear of death is regret if I couldn’t complete my learning experience

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Alan H
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2141 Post by Alan H » July 16th, 2015, 3:18 pm

Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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