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Thread: Is society on the verge of collapse

  1. #51
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    Re: Is society on the verge of collapse

    Quote Originally Posted by dry lips View Post
    @ric_nyc: this is completely off-topic, but i just thought i'd like to mention it
    before i forget it again: Your avatar rocks!
    + 1
    Which is more important in obtaining the truth, "what" or "why"? Trick question. They are of equal importance.
    Freely ye have received, freely give.

  2. #52
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    Re: Is society on the verge of collapse

    Quote Originally Posted by F.G. View Post
    @drawkcab i personally believe that the medieval church was principally driven by the economics of power and money. and the theologians/theology were essentially secondary. i'm sure you're aware that the templars were the first international bankers and they also practiced usury. most pilgrim routes across Europe essentially acted as ideological barriers as their geography suggests they might (eg the santa maria del compostella rout across the top of Spain, to protect against the Moors). If the principal aim had been non-capitalistic social redistribution of wealth then the vatican would not be nearly so ornate. pardons and indulgences were boought and sold like any other commodity (i point you in the direction of Chaucer's 'Pardoner's Tale').
    anyway, just my opinion...
    No, I actually agree with all this. But I still think that the substantial difference is that the espoused values and cosmology of the Christian church, operating perhaps at the local level, were still at odds with the economic and political values that animated the organization as a whole. It is really in the last 200 yrs that economics has displaced both religious and scientific reality as the fundamental reality according to which most in the developed world live their lives whether they admit to it or not. I can't help but imagine what Jesus, who threw the money changers out of the temple, would think of Joel Osteen or any of the other pastors out there who preach the gospel of material success.

    Quote Originally Posted by F.G. View Post
    to all ye Locke fans out there, read the Leviathan, Hobbes is clearly the superior philosopher (i feel like all the Americans in the room have frozen in shock at this comment).
    Most Americans don't understand the Lockean basis of their Constitution. That said, I agree with you that Hobbes is the better, more consistent philosopher even though most reject him on the basis that they find his conclusions unacceptable.

    The thing that's most significant about Locke, I think, is that it marks the place in time that property/wealth becomes the prime public value. This is to say that, publicly, all interests must be convertible into property interests given the fact that all other values and conceptions of the common good have been regulated to the private sphere. This solved the problem of how a religiously plural polity can survive in the modern world but it does so by pre-empting the possibility that the polity might be criticized in terms of values other than property values. Thus the founding fathers can complain about taxation w/out representation (i.e. taxation as slavery) while still holding slaves (i.e. slaves are my property and essential to wealth acquisition).

  3. #53
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    Re: Is society on the verge of collapse

    Quote Originally Posted by drawkcab View Post
    You're talking about two things:

    1. It's wishful thinking to believe that industrial society won't collapse. The industrial/capitalist paradigm of solving all economic problems by growing production and consumption is not sustainable. We are rapidly consuming the thermodynamic base of our society. Shifting to a combination of alternative energies will help ease the problem but there's no silver bullet replacement for fossil fuels even when we combine them. Couple that with the fact that we are simultaneously destroying the ecological base of our society and the picture looks worse. Will society collapse suddenly and abruptly? Probably not. Nevertheless industrial society will likely decline and decomplexify slowly over the next 150 years as the reproduction of human life becomes more and more difficult. The financial collapse and resource wars of the last decade are just the beginning. All of this is to say that civilization is about to go through the most radical transition in history.

    2. The effect of industrial capitalism on human being is to alienate human beings from nature, from others and, finally from themselves. Marx (estrangement), Thoreau (quiet desperation), Marcuse (one-dimensional man) all problematized alienation (don't worry it is an ethical/ontological issue, not a political issue). Their concern was essentially correct, that a capitalist order structured by class struggle (between those that own the means of production, i.e. capitalists, and those that labor on behalf of capitalists) inevitably shapes man into a vicious producer/consumer who, at the end of day, values the accumulation of property more than nature, living well, other human beings or even their own happiness. Since human beings in industrial capitalist orders are necessarily conditioned to respond to economic directives, the economy becomes their cosmology, their fundamental reality. Hence it is impossible for them to critically engage industrial capitalism, to consider the hypothesis that it is neither sustainable (ecologically and thermodynamically) nor desirable (ethically and democratically). The end result is wishful thinking, the belief that it is in fact both sustainable and desirable (i.e. "what else would we do?").

    Ironically enough, I am writing this as my students take an exam in an institution that is supposed to be educating them. But the truth is that this is not about educating (i.e. developing the human being to their highest intellectual and moral potential) so much as it is about instructing (i.e. developing their capacity to integrate into the economy as successful producers/consumers). What is even more ironic is that we are preparing them for an economy that will likely not exist in 20 or 30 years while giving them no capacity to critically transform their social, economic or political realities.
    Those are some of the points addressed by the tape shown to our class in 2008. Along with addressing the fact that it has happened to civilizations before (several ancient civilizations were named). Although I don't believe in a social calapse (people will always be around there are just too many now to keep from bumping into each other.) I do believe in a structural calapse. That is what I'm afraid of. Millions of people under government collapse. I can only guess how that would turn out (anywhere from small religious communities in areas, to absolute anarchy in other areas. Each group having their own laws that they are free to enforce or deny)
    Which is more important in obtaining the truth, "what" or "why"? Trick question. They are of equal importance.
    Freely ye have received, freely give.

  4. #54
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    Re: Is society on the verge of collapse

    Not to hijack the thread, but consider how unintelligent the U.S. health care (non)system is in terms of how much we spend vs. how much we get when compared to our peer nations. I really don't understand why the primary questions isn't this: what is Norway getting right that we're getting so wrong?


    Total Health Expenditure per Capita, U.S. and Selected Countries, 2008




    Total Health Expenditure per Capita and GDP per Capita, US and Selected Countries, 2008



    Growth in Total Health Expenditure Per Capita, U.S. and Selected Countries, 1970-2008






    The World Health Organization's ranking
    of the world's health systems (2000)

    1 France
    2 Italy
    3 San Marino
    4 Andorra
    5 Malta
    6 Singapore
    7 Spain
    8 Oman
    9 Austria
    10 Japan
    11 Norway
    12 Portugal
    13 Monaco
    14 Greece
    15 Iceland
    16 Luxembourg
    17 Netherlands
    18 United Kingdom
    19 Ireland
    20 Switzerland
    21 Belgium
    22 Colombia
    23 Sweden
    24 Cyprus
    25 Germany
    26 Saudi Arabia
    27 United Arab Emirates
    28 Israel
    29 Morocco
    30 Canada
    31 Finland
    32 Australia
    33 Chile
    34 Denmark
    35 Dominica
    36 Costa Rica
    37 United States of America
    38 Slovenia
    39 Cuba
    40 Brunei
    41 New Zealand
    42 Bahrain
    43 Croatia
    44 Qatar
    45 Kuwait
    46 Barbados
    47 Thailand
    48 Czech Republic
    49 Malaysia
    50 Poland

  5. #55
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    Re: Is society on the verge of collapse

    Interesting.

    Is the society on the verge of collapse? Which society? I will assume it to be the Modern Western Society, which was created out of the Industrialization to suit Industrial structures, its values of consumerism and its reinvention of slavery based on the high morals of democratic ideals. Here workers are not owned, in the strict sense of the word, they are hired under contracts which are offered as a choice but is there one, really? In what kind of a societal setup is 'to work' is the highest ideal? Is there a choice? Is there any free choice?

    This is the society BY the Private Masters and FOR the Private Masters. We don't know if THIS SOCIETY is on the "verge of collapse", what we do know is if its built it then eventually it will collapse. Bigger the structure greater the fall and its consequences. I would love to study/read about the psychological state of the Slaves in the pre-modern era. I doubt that they fared any worse then the today's "free" workers with choice. (By workers I imply anyone who works for some one else). Isn't it strange and ironic that we endeavor so damn hard to become one by going to college/universities, queuing up for job interviews, fighting amongst us for plump and or meager job offers? Doesn't all this give the impression that we are doing this out of our own volition? Are we?

    This model is being emulated all over the world with an impish zeal in the name of progress and development. There is too much going on against this societal setup, something will give in... it has to. The Oil-Age is definitely coming to an end sooner than later... and with it will come the end of lots of things as we know it today.

    If one is to equate the modern societal setup as Closed-Source then Societies should seriously consider the Open-Source Free(dom) model and build a society around it. Why not?
    "Evolution is Nature's way of issuing upgrades."


  6. #56
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    Re: Is society on the verge of collapse

    Quote Originally Posted by Dry Lips View Post
    @Ric_NYC: This is completely off-topic, but I just thought I'd like to mention it
    before I forget it again: Your avatar rocks!
    Quote Originally Posted by ki4jgt View Post
    + 1

  7. #57
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    Re: Is society on the verge of collapse

    But lets say "The West" finally collapses, just like the doomsday prophets says it will. Can we please sit down and define "The west" before that?
    We all agree that Africa, South America, Mexico, Asia and Russia as well as Australia is not a part of it? I guess we can bicker over Australia, but its ignored enough to be left out, since its geographically far away from the rest of the word.

    So basically "The west" is North America(USA and Canada) and quite a large portion of Europa, perhaps every single nation who attempted imperialism is to be charged guilty of belonging to this definition? We could still extend it to the members of the EU that has not been a part of the previous imperialism and colonization, just to get a rough definition.
    So lets say USA collapses, because that is what is currently the issue. Why will Canada and EU collapse then? Canada might be dragged down due its geographical location, but still: Why will EU which is across a waist ocean fall down alongside North America?

    Of course, there might never be a issue of collapse, just some other nation group deciding to out tech the rest of the world, IE China.

  8. #58
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    Re: Is society on the verge of collapse

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonbite View Post
    I'm moving!
    You are gonna hate this but at one stage I managed to accumulate 120 days of paid leave!

    I never really took leave and ended up with that. Rules changed and leave accumulation was gradually reduced to about 30 or 40 days. I cashed most of my leave in.

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    Re: Is society on the verge of collapse

    Quote Originally Posted by ki4jgt View Post
    this is not proper research. the news, more often than not, is just fictional entertainment presented under the disguise of trustworthy information. if you're serious about what you're studying, you should be reading scholarly journal articles/books. see here: http://www.library.arizona.edu/help/...rly/guide.html

    about your whole concern over society collapsing, i would say not to worry about something like that. nobody can predict the future really. if you think a certain society is worse than another, then figure out a way to move to the more desirable society and invest your taxes there. if you think something is wrong with the world, like the war, then get a job with some non-profit organization where the mission statement is to end the war. if you're dead-bent on theorizing over the conditions of society, then work your way through a phd program in sociology or philosophy and get a job in academia where you're paid to do that for a living.

    that's my philosophy. it's very pragmatic. i've taken graduate level theory classes in sociology, and i'm not very fond of theorizing about stuff like this. admittedly, i was bad at theory, but i just feel like people have been complaining about something forever, and it just never ends. i don't mean to rag on theorists. i regard theory as more important than i understand it to be. i just don't really want to work in academia, is what it basically boils down to.

  10. #60
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    Re: Is society on the verge of collapse

    Is society on the verge of collapse? I don't know. Let's ask this question instead:

    Is infinite growth possible on a finite planet?
    In a ham and eggs breakfast, the chicken is involved but the pig is committed

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