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Occupy London protest.

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brian1208
brian1208 e2 Member 109963 forum postsbrian1208 vcard United Kingdom12 Constructive Critique Points
26 Oct 2011 - 10:22 PM

gcarth, as you know I am fairly careful about what I say, I was reacting to this comment of yours (as I clearly stated)


Quote: Because the attitude that you seem to take drives people to violence


I would not infer that you anywhere condone violence as I know you don't but was disagreeing with the idea that one persons "Attitude" (in holding and expressing views strongly opposed by others) can be used as an excuse for violence by someone else.

As I tried to express, my view is that the decison to commit violence in such a situation is taken by the person committing the violence and cannot be justified on the basis of a disagreement of points of view, however extreme.

(If I remember rightly Ghandi strove to practice non-violence and truth in all situations, and advocated that others do the same.)

Last Modified By brian1208 at 26 Oct 2011 - 10:23 PM
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26 Oct 2011 - 10:22 PM

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gcarth
gcarth e2 Member 92218 forum postsgcarth vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
26 Oct 2011 - 10:32 PM


Quote: I would not infer that you anywhere condone violence as I know you don't but was disagreeing with the idea that one persons "Attitude" (in holding and expressing views strongly opposed by others) can be used as an excuse for violence by someone else.

As I tried to express, my view is that the decison to commit violence in such a situation is taken by the person committing the violence and cannot be justified on the basis of a disagreement of points of view, however extreme.

(If I remember rightly Ghandi strove to practice non-violence and truth in all situations, and advocated that others do the same.)



Fair point, Brian. Smile

collywobles
27 Oct 2011 - 11:57 AM


Quote: What evidence have you for that? In any case, the argument that 'its always been that way and so should continue' is ridiculous.

Its obvious clearly there has always been someone who has more than someone else -- even if it is a Woolly Mamouth they have just killed.

Secondly I agree that the gap between the 'richer' and poor is getting wider,and ever since the fifties not one single government has reduced the gap at all - whoever you voted for -- and that is shamefull. My issue with all this is the attitude that just because someone has more than you -- then you are somewhat entitled to some of theirs. Hence my comments about getting off your arse and doing something about it. Now if you cannot because you are sick or lame of have been made redundent - thats slightly different. It strikes me that people spend more time complaining about it when they could be out there changing your position.

Im done.

Zatoichi
Zatoichi  4707 forum posts United Kingdom
27 Oct 2011 - 1:47 PM


Quote: My issue with all this is the attitude that just because someone has more than you -- then you are somewhat entitled to some of theirs. Hence my comments about getting off your arse and doing something about it. It strikes me that people spend more time complaining about it when they could be out there changing your position.

No one is complaining about having less than someone else or being entitled to what someone else has. This aspect of the debate is about equality and fairness or the lack of it. People are doing something about it like raising awareness through peaceful protest.

monstersnowman
27 Oct 2011 - 1:59 PM

The 'gap' tho is a statistic just like the number of people in poverty, when you actually should examine what constitiutes poverty and if the gap between subject (a) and subject (b) has any relevance. I have heard that the gap between the rich and poor has become wider and wider of many decades and effectively wider than in victorian times but as with all stats - I DONT AUTOMATICALLY BELIEVE THEM because there is another stat somewhere that proves the exact opposite .. and anyway who is to suggest the gap is actually the important figure and is it the gap between the richest handful and the lowest millions or the lowest of the very low few .. really the statement about the gap means very little on the face of it. What I do know is that rather than the poor house, no food, no health care, 13 to a one up one down house (six in a bed top to toe), no hot water, no heating, massive infant & early adult death, disease, child labour, no real possessions, etc etc etc as opposed to elite rich in mansions and second and third homes, living off family money with a dozen live-in staff and chauffeurs, 2,000 acre land with countless groundsmen etc etc etc it now seems that everyone expects and most get a reasonable house, maintained free of charge and paid for by the state, double glazed, decorated, centrally heated, good food and enough benefit to feed and cloth them with TV, satellite, mobile phone, laptop, fags and booze, as many kids as they wish to have who are all looked after by the health service, a longer life, some holidays, take-away food etc etc etc etc and yet all the landed gentry with sprawling land and huge houses run by teams of staff have all but gone. Houses lie in ruin and even our stars and heads of business dont have the land and staff anymore - nobody seems to be able to maintain the massive homes we used to have. I get the impression that these fabulously wealthy families with private money seem to have fallen on hard times and many homes lie in ruin or now belong to the NT or have been split into apartments with not a single Jeeves to be seen .. is the gap really that big and if it is then is that what we really should be looking at because some of my family are on benefit - they have kids (3), they cant be arsed to walk the short distance to school so they taxi twice a day, the dad is currently wearing a superdry windcheater, they go out at least once a week, I see the dad with a can in his hand (beer) during the day, they both drink and smoke, the house is provided free, and they have games console(s), flat TV .. mobile phones, and neither wants a job (or needs one). I cant be arsed to go on .. but they are not the poor of the early 20th century in ANY way shape or form .. they probably have a life better than people of that era who worked. So is the gap really widening if you analyse stats another way or just look with your own eyes and then look back at the documentaries that show how we used to live and die many years ago .. and if indeed some stats do show a gap between some millions and a few lucky people I wonder IF that GAP has any real relevance or is it just a nice stat for some people to get all worked up about ?

monstersnowman
27 Oct 2011 - 2:03 PM


Quote:
No one is complaining about having less than someone else or being entitled to what someone else has. This aspect of the debate is about equality and fairness or the lack of it. People are doing something about it like raising awareness through peaceful protest.

It almost never stays peaceful - group dynamics is a powerful thing really. And it ALWAYS seems to be the fault of the police - these protesters are all mild mannered angels .. they dont even swear you know ... and the ones that do cause trouble are not real protesters ...

mikehit
mikehit e2 Member 45759 forum postsmikehit vcard United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
27 Oct 2011 - 2:16 PM


Quote: I wonder IF that GAP has any real relevance or is it just a nice stat for some people to get all worked up about ?


I agree with you there monsterwoman. If the lowest stratum of society have access to education, healthcare and personal security then the difference between them and the richest is not important.

However, a growing concern for me (and this is where I agree with what I perceive as Zatoichi's and gcarth's issues) is the the wealthiest in society are becoming so rich that they are starting to skew the power balance in a way that I do not think has happened for decades. This particularly applies to media empires who can influence (manipulate?) the course of politics.
Maybe this happened on a similar scale in the 1920s, 1930s etc but they did not know about it. But that was before my time and I don't like what I am seeing develop now.

Zatoichi
Zatoichi  4707 forum posts United Kingdom
27 Oct 2011 - 2:39 PM


Quote: the wealthiest in society are becoming so rich that they are starting to skew the power balance

They have! The White House is basically owned by Wall Street, modern politics is dictated by the financial elite - who put Obama into power and what was his thanks? Goldman-Sachs was his biggest campaign donator, hence a Wall Street administration, Geithner's last job was president of Goldman-Sachs, banks being held to account was never going to happen.

The whole monopoly started in 1913 when the US president handed over control of money to private banks. A country the size of the US with two political parties? The members of who swop jobs between 'politics', finance and powerful corporations, some democracy.

monstersnowman
27 Oct 2011 - 3:07 PM

Havent the wealthy always had this massive influence over government ? I dont think it is a modern thing but with the same self-interest. I do how absolutely have no shadow of a doubt that the only difference between poor people and rich people is money - an obvious statement, that IMO means that given a lot of money and a position from which to influence an even better position for themselves the poorest here would do no different than the rich do now. Humans, in the main, are schemeing, selfish and very very corruptable no matter what section of society they come from.

gcarth
gcarth e2 Member 92218 forum postsgcarth vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
27 Oct 2011 - 3:53 PM


Quote: ...given a lot of money and a position from which to influence an even better position for themselves the poorest here would do no different than the rich do now. Humans, in the main, are schemeing, selfish and very very corruptable no matter what section of society they come from.



I wouldn't necessarily disagree with that; that is why it is up to governments to enforce taxation on excess wealth and/or enforce other appropriate curbs on our behaviour.
There is no country in the world that is truly democratic, though Scandinavian nations come nearer to that definition than most.
By the same token, there is no such thing as absolute freedom for all - the concept is illogical - an absurdity because too much freedom will always mean stepping on someone's toes. So surely the nearest thing to freedom is achieving justice and harmony in society by compromise and allowing freedom to do what you want, provided it doesn't hurt anyone else: So freedom has to come with the proviso that we all have responsibilities, not only to ourselves, but to others.
In other words, democracy is impossible without compromise.
I'm not suggesting that communism is the answer or absolute equality but I'm suggesting that we have to learn to live by some sort of consensus and that consensus can only be achieved if people generally think the government of the day is being fair and just.
As you say, monstersnowman, we are all corruptible but I feel that Scandinavian countries are far better placed than we are, though of course, I'm sure they would admit that even they still have a long way to go.
I think the only answer (which doesn't mean its going to happen) is to weaken the financial ties between corporate lobby goups and politicians and their electoral campaigns or at least make it a "more level playing field".

Zatoichi
Zatoichi  4707 forum posts United Kingdom
27 Oct 2011 - 5:03 PM


Quote: Humans, in the main, are schemeing, selfish and very very corruptable no matter what section of society they come from.

Essentially I don't believe that to be true. In a society where such extreme greed is rewarded with extreme wealth it is natural that corruption etc will follow. We are taught to be greedy, selfish and corrupt, these are not natural human conditions. I made a point in another thread, serial killers aren't born they are made.


Quote: Scandinavian countries are far better placed than we are

Scandinavian societies are top of the list for those that are the fairest and most equal on the planet. See above point Wink

mikehit
mikehit e2 Member 45759 forum postsmikehit vcard United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
27 Oct 2011 - 5:52 PM


Quote: Essentially I don't believe that to be true. In a society where such extreme greed is rewarded with extreme wealth it is natural that corruption etc will follow. We are taught to be greedy, selfish and corrupt, these are not natural human conditions. I made a point in another thread, serial killers aren't born they are made...

I belive that the human condition is one of self-preservation. However living in society has advantages to the self preservation and we are therefore taught to give and take: to be just the right amount of selfish that we trust each other. But occasionally those societal constraints are not there and instinct kicks in big time. After all if we were not selfish at all everyone in the town would bring our wages home in the evening, put it in a big pot and share it out. This works in small communities but not larger ones.

If you want an interesting view of 'corruption' I was reading one article explaining how in Mediterranean countries the family is central to the society. So when someone gets a position of authority it is 'natural' that they bring in some family members - partly to help 'the family' earn, and partly as a protection against others (more allies). To them it is a natural action but to the Northern Europeans it is seen as corrupt. Who is right?
But when you get total power the 'natural instinct' kicks in to get more - after all the type of person who builds an empire is often the sort of person who instinctively goes to acquire more. It is noteworthy that Rockerfeller only created his charitable foundations after his obituary was printed on the mistaken belief he had died - the obituary slated him as one of the great 'robber barons'. This horrified him and he wanted to reverse that impression of him - I wonder if in his search for bigger business he got trapped inside this insulated bubble and had lost sight of where he was in society, but the obituary brought him back down to earth. To me that is typical of the interplay 'natural instinct' and 'what we need to do to get on in society'.


On the other hand, it is intersting you bring up serial killers. Some are made by their upbringing but there is increasing evidence that for others there is some brain malfunction that means they cannot empathise. And there are a lot of similarities between some types of businessman and some serial killers - the former are sociopaths and the latter are psychopaths. The former have something in their background that gives them a release in the business world where they squash anyone who stands in their way, the latter do it by killing. But, to paraphrase the old saying: extreme cases make bad examples.

Last Modified By mikehit at 27 Oct 2011 - 5:53 PM
lobsterboy
lobsterboy Site Moderator 1013936 forum postslobsterboy vcard United Kingdom13 Constructive Critique Points
27 Oct 2011 - 5:52 PM


Quote: Humans, in the main, are schemeing, selfish and very very corruptable no matter what section of society they come from.

Clearly I have been lucky enough to have spend most of my time meeting the minority Grin

Zatoichi
Zatoichi  4707 forum posts United Kingdom
27 Oct 2011 - 6:11 PM


Quote: increasing evidence that for others there is some brain malfunction that means they cannot empathise. And there are a lot of similarities between some types of businessman and some serial killers - the former are sociopaths and the latter are psychopaths.

Read some epigenetics, the studies done around that are fascinating and, scientific, therefore falsifiable.


Quote: Clearly I have been lucky enough to have spend most of my time meeting the minority Grin

Likewise Smile

mikehit
mikehit e2 Member 45759 forum postsmikehit vcard United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
27 Oct 2011 - 6:25 PM


Quote: Read some epigenetics, the studies done around that are fascinating and, scientific, therefore falsifiable.

I am not sure if you are advocating the quality of that work or casting doubt on it...

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