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Old Jan 26, 2013, 08:32 AM   #1
Squilly
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Born Into A Fixed Society

I put a lot of thought into this, and really can't determine if we're "truly free". I"m basing this thread around the US, so I'll probably be using democracy a lot. We live in a democracy where we can make our own decisions, although we're born into something completely different. You're born knowing nothing, you die knowing nothing. In the middle of that time frame, you learn, make money, get a job, start a family, and socialize. Wouldn't you agree that that's the normal American lifestyle? Forced to get an education (whether you decide to drop out or not), forced to get a job since the world resolves around money, forced to obey the laws that create the fixed mix. I'm just trying to get other peoples' perspectives on this as well. Do you think we're born into a fixed society? I'll clarify points if needed.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 08:52 AM   #2
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The structures you describe were set into action intentionally and unintentionally by generations long dead. I think the social structure reflects our interests generally well, but is horribly implemented (I blame that on people reaching a level of comfort and satisfaction, so no longer feel the need to violently claw back control from the elite).

Social mobility is difficult to impossible to some modern democracies, and real change and progress is slow as our democracies are shades, not models of direct democracy in action, (UK has an unelected Monarchy who can interfere, and an unelected political 2nd House for example).

The only way society can really evolve fluidly is to have people vote for issues regularly, and do away with politicians - move towards a technocracy.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 09:24 AM   #3
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Do you think we're born into a fixed society? I'll clarify points if needed.
Why do you single out the US ?

Do you really think it's any different in other countries ?

At least, in the US, you are not tied to a certain cast, like for instance India.

-t
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 09:31 AM   #4
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Why do you single out the US ?
OP lives in the US, and clearly feels comfortable talking only about what he has experienced.

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At least, in the US, you are not tied to a certain cast, like for instance India.
I dare say that India is a bit more complex than this oversimplification. As for being tied to a caste in the US, try going up in abject poverty, and see how far you can climb.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 09:48 AM   #5
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I'll clarify points if needed.
Are you lamenting the fact that one can't just decide to divorce oneself from society and be a hunter gatherer from now on? Or is it the lack of social or economic mobility? Or something else?

Maybe an example would be more helpful. What is that you want to do that you feel you can't?
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 10:02 AM   #6
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Are you lamenting the fact that one can't just decide to divorce oneself from society and be a hunter gatherer from now on? Or is it the lack of social or economic mobility? Or something else?

Maybe an example would be more helpful. What is that you want to do that you feel you can't?
It's difficult to imagine since I don't live in the society I hope for. One without barriers, allowing yourself to choose your own destiny. ie. not just choosing your career.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 10:18 AM   #7
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It's difficult to imagine since I don't live in the society I hope for. One without barriers, allowing yourself to choose your own destiny. ie. not just choosing your career.
I'm confused by "choose your own destiny". What destiny would you choose for yourself in this ideal world? Give me an example.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 10:37 AM   #8
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I'm confused by "choose your own destiny". What destiny would you choose for yourself in this ideal world? Give me an example.
My choice destiny would be to live forever as the King of everything.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 10:41 AM   #9
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My choice destiny would be to live forever as the King of everything.
Sorry. "King of Everything" is already taken.

But you can come live in my kingdom if you want.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 10:44 AM   #10
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Sorry. "King of Everything" is already taken.

But you can come live in my kingdom if you want.
OP was right; you're just trying to limit my choice and setting barriers.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 10:50 AM   #11
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OP was right; you're just trying to limit my choice and setting barriers.
I think we just discovered a new universal law

Shall we split the Nobel 50/50, or does the OP get some credit too? Always wanted to go to Oslo!
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 11:25 AM   #12
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I think we just discovered a new universal law

Shall we split the Nobel 50/50, or does the OP get some credit too? Always wanted to go to Oslo!
I get at least 40% credit
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 11:34 AM   #13
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It's difficult to imagine since I don't live in the society I hope for. One without barriers, allowing yourself to choose your own destiny. ie. not just choosing your career.
Have you ever seen the movie "Into the Wild"?

Interesting take on society and what one wants

I know I have pondered when I have ever submitted myself to the laws of the land and if it is something you can break away from. Can you? I don't think it is possible as every pice of land is under some jurisdiction

With that said, I do recognize the benefits to living in a society and prefer it than being on my own
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 12:00 PM   #14
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Have you ever seen the movie "Into the Wild"?

Interesting take on society and what one wants
Watched it last week, pretty decent. We have a pattern in the UK of people moving to the city for work, then moving back out to the country when they can afford it. At the same time outdoors and back country areas are full of city folk at the weekends.

I guess it's the same phenomenon that drove the guy in that movie, but less extreme.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 01:04 PM   #15
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As for being tied to a caste in the US, try going up in abject poverty, and see how far you can climb.
I don't get your point.

Do you really think it's harder to climb out of "abject poverty" in the US, than in most other countries ?

E.g., do you really think someone born in "abject poverty" in Russia, China or somewhere in Africa has a greater chance of rising out of theses circumstances than people in the US ?

I don't think so.

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Old Jan 26, 2013, 02:25 PM   #16
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I don't get your point.

Do you really think it's harder to climb out of "abject poverty" in the US, than in most other countries ?

-t
It's getting much harder than it used to be:

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This technique shows Scandinavian societies to be very mobile. Only around 20% of parents’ relative wealth (or poverty) is passed on to their kids. China, in contrast, is fairly immobile: 60% of income differences persist between generations. The big surprise is the United States, where parental income explains around half of the differences in adult children’s income, much more than in Canada, and more than in any European country except Italy and Britain. According to this measure, social mobility in America now is lower than in most of Europe.
Read more: http://www.economist.com/node/21564417
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 03:35 PM   #17
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I will not dispute that it's getting harder, and that the US is not the great equal opportunity country anymore that it used to be.

BUT: just because it got harder doesn't mean it's impossible.

I believe that part of why people feel it's gotten harder is because people also have unrealistic expectations and much more of an entitlement mentality than they used to have.

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Old Jan 26, 2013, 07:32 PM   #18
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And then you have the press who are as equally obsessed as surprised that a regular, semi-working millionaires daughter can marry into royalty .
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 05:55 AM   #19
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You're born knowing nothing, you die knowing nothing. In the middle of that time frame, you learn, make money, get a job, start a family, and socialize.


But honestly, did you just realize we're not living in Utopia? I'd like to ask you, since your post sounds fairly fatalistic, is there a time in mankind you'd prefer to be born into? Because I really can't think of one which gave so much opportunities to so many people. So, it's not like everything is messed up, but if you prefer Determinism, I recommend giving Schopenhauer or Nietzsche a good read.

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Old Jan 27, 2013, 09:01 AM   #20
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Image

But honestly, did you just realize we're not living in Utopia? I'd like to ask you, since your post sounds fairly fatalistic, is there a time in mankind you'd prefer to be born into? Because I really can't think of one which gave so much opportunities to so many people. So, it's not like everything is messed up, but if you prefer Determinism, I recommend giving Schopenhauer or Nietzsche a good read.
Yes, I'm aware but we don't control ourselves. Everyone always says there are two things you must do in life: die and pay taxes. Death is inevitable at the moment but born to pay taxes is uncalled for. Being able to choose what YOU want to do, where YOU want YOUR money to go should be your decision.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 09:17 AM   #21
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It's difficult to imagine since I don't live in the society I hope for. One without barriers, allowing yourself to choose your own destiny. ie. not just choosing your career.
I believe you do get to choose your own destiny.

Every moment of our lives we have the opportunity to choose how we react to our perceptions of the world around us, and to the thoughts, emotions and feelings percolating in our mind and body.

You are focusing on the wrong barriers.

Break down the one's in your own mind and the ones outside will no longer matter.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 09:27 AM   #22
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I believe you do get to choose your own destiny.

Every moment of our lives we have the opportunity to choose how we react to our perceptions of the world around us, and to the thoughts, emotions and feelings percolating in our mind and body.

You are focusing on the wrong barriers.

Break down the one's in your own mind and the ones outside will no longer matter.
I could easily go into detail on that. Drive a nice car, sure I'd like that. Someone else causes a car crash. Outside barrier, coinciding with me.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 09:34 AM   #23
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...but born to pay taxes is uncalled for...
But if you didn't pay taxes, then you'd have to do everything for yourself. So you'd be stuck in another tyranny: The tyranny of having to deal with the minutiae of everyday life, all by yourself. No thanks.

Note that I deliberately avoided the question of whether we get value for money from our taxes. That's an entirely different topic. One that sadly tends to derail other interesting discussions.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 09:39 AM   #24
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Everyone always says there are two things you must do in life: die and pay taxes.
With all due respect, but that is the most stupid thing I've read in a while.

But I agree, democracy is not the perfect form of government, although I never heard anyone claim that - it is just the best, realistic compromise mankind came up with until now - and there were/are plenty of different ones. It also has to be controlled, checked, adjusted, defended at any time, since it is not a kind of 'perpetuum mobile' - once achieved and it will stay forever.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 09:40 AM   #25
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But if you didn't pay taxes, then you'd have to do everything for yourself. So you'd be stuck in another tyranny: The tyranny of having to deal with the minutiae of everyday life, all by yourself. No thanks.

Note that I deliberately avoided the question of whether we get value for money from our taxes. That's an entirely different topic. One that sadly tends to derail other interesting discussions.
Well that's not true. Business doesn't need taxpayers to exist.
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