A new kind of Government

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Kalns, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. Kalns macrumors regular

    Kalns

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    #1
    Theoretically, if a government existed solely to meet the basic needs of the people and maintain civility and everything else was left to private enterprise, how do you suppose it would fare? I'm talking about a government essentially stripped of power.
     
  2. Queso macrumors G4

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    #2
    If business could be trusted to self-regulate, you'd be onto a winner. Unfortunately the form of capitalism currently being practised does not give the impression that it can.
     
  3. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #3
    Big Business History is loaded with abuse, it needs Govt to keep it honest,fair and balance otherwise we will all be screwed for a buck. Dont get me wrong Im for free and fair markets but Business will go astray time after time chasing the buck at the cost of all of us.

    Just Look at our borders, big Oil, Pharmacy giants or even Apple for Examples.
     
  4. calculus Guest

    calculus

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    #4
    Part of the function of government is to decide what those concepts mean. It's not just a question of implementation.
     
  5. Kalns thread starter macrumors regular

    Kalns

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    #5
    Okay well lets change the model just slightly then and say the governments purpose is to meet the basic needs of the people and keep big businesses in check. How do you feel about that?
     
  6. calculus Guest

    calculus

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    #6
    That's just about the best Freudian slip I have ever seen!
     
  7. Queso macrumors G4

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    #7
    In that case it depends on your definition of basic needs. Education and Healthcare count, as do Welfare and Pensions for the elderly. Also for countries with high population density someone needs to manage the public transport infrastructure to ensure it services as many as possible.

    And what about defence? Or are we setting this country on a planet where it is the sole government?
     
  8. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #8
    It's funny that conservatives are so willing to trust their fellow men to do right when they are in charge of a corporate entity, yet expect those same men to do wrong when in charge of a government entity.

    News flash! It's the same people. Government isn't some extra-terrestrial entity composed of non-humans.

    Which begs the question: Why should we elect someone who despises government? Won't they just do everything in their power to ruin government?
     
  9. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

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    #9

    To paraphrase Rousseau - people don't go to war against people - states go to war against states.
    If states didn't exist, or using Kalns proposition, they were only there to administer our affairs, and didn't have agendas of their own, there would be far less killing on battlefields across the world.

    Leaving it all to private enterprise would be a huge mistake though. There are too many market failures and common pool resource issues for that to work in the long run.
     
  10. Kalns thread starter macrumors regular

    Kalns

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    #10
    Should education count? After all, private schools are generally better educators. And in the times before education was such a standardized thing, learning a trade was certainly a reasonable alternative.
     
  11. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

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    #11
    ...for those that can afford it.

    Leaving it all to the private sector institutionalises inequality, and one thing I am a fundie about is my belief that we are born equal, and should have equal opportunities to achieve our potential.
     
  12. Queso macrumors G4

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    #12
    Without universal education you'll end up with a two-tier society, which will quickly become a class system where only the educated tutor their children, earn real money, and own property. Everyone else will simply learn the trade their parents had. It would be a step back to a form of feudal system. Not good.
     
  13. Kalns thread starter macrumors regular

    Kalns

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    #13
    What if everyone ha the opportunity for education, but they also had the choice not to pursue that route?
     
  14. Queso macrumors G4

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    #14
    Once again it comes down to money. Unless there is a sufficient welfare system to sustain the families at the bottom of the society, the children of the poor will never really have the choice to pursue education.

    BTW, j26, good point about defence, although it assumes that this new system could somehow be enforced globally simultaneously. I can't imagine any government currently in power to give up, lay down its arms and scale itself down. This sort of shift in thinking would need some cataclysmic event to shatter the status quo. A nuclear war perhaps.
     
  15. Kalns thread starter macrumors regular

    Kalns

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    #15
    What if it were like democracy in some respects but like communism in others. Communism has some good ideas, it's just the totality of it doesn't work out by itself.
     
  16. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

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    #16
    Totally agree with you on the education issue.

    On defence;
    Doesn't your Constitution have something about the right to bear arms to maintain a well regulated militia? Surely that would be sufficient to provide defence. Switzerland has no standing army, and is doggedly neutral on international affairs, and survives quite comfortably. Generally if you don't cross people they leave you alone. An expansionist state needs robust defence, an administrative one does not. Take power away from the state which has its own agenda, and it ceases to be a threat.
     
  17. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #17
    Then everything not the government would be handled offshore in third world sweatshops.

    Making the third world country the place to live and do business.
     
  18. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

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    #18
    You should read a bit of Marx.
    The (very) brief synopsis of his philosophy is that capitalism is merely a stage we're going through (after the feudal period), and that ultimately communism will happen - it's simply the next stage of human development.
    Communism doesn't envisage a state at all, in fact it will just wither away and die, and only some administrative functions will be left.

    Not too far off what you're saying, is it? Except that Marx was saying it will happen as sure as night follows day.

    Communism has never existed on a large scale. Even the Soviet Union never claimed to have reached communism. As far as I remember they never claimed to have gotten past "Developed Socialism". Also Russia was effectively a feudal society at the time of the revolution, so it was unlikely that it was going to bypass the capitalist stage which Marx viewed as a natural development from the feudal system. Don't confuse the Russian socialist experiment with communism.
     
  19. Kalns thread starter macrumors regular

    Kalns

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    #19
    Hmmm I should. I'm going to order a copy of the manifesto off Amazon.
     
  20. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #20
    See, I feel exactly the same way except replace conservatives with liberals and corporate entity with government. The same type of people that some here accuse of riding rough shod at the heads of corporations are the type that rise to through the ranks of government. Half the time they jump back and forth between the two anyway.

    I about laugh myself silly when I read the attacks on nameless corporate bigwigs jacking all the the little people when I look at the makeup of their boards and see their liberal heroes there right along side the supposed bad guys.
     
  21. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #21
    Marx made so much sense...when I was sixteen! Dude, communism works in families and monastic orders. Nothing destroys wealth, innovation, motivation and productivity faster than communism. Period. It's been tried in just about every incarnation possible and failed. Stick a fork in it. It's done.
     
  22. AP_piano295 macrumors 65816

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    #22

    Sounds like someone who never read Marx...Communism as Marx described it has never been attempted.

    Here's a brief overview of what Marx belived would happen (the word belived is key because his theory was more a prediction than a plan) He thought that Capitalism would eventually fail because all weath would filter into a small piece of society (this is happening though at a slower rate than what Marx predicted because Marx did not belive that the goverment would ever support the lower classes) Then the revolution would come where the upper class would be overthrown, next a simple government would be created to regulate a even distribution of weath slowly this goverment will deteriorate untill goverment essentially dissapears because it is no longer needed by the self regulating people.

    (grossly over simplified but the basic idea is there)

    Yes it seems like a rediculous idea now but go back to the dark ages and people would have said that about democracy.

    As for your other ^^ post do you mind naming a few of the liberal "good guys" who are standing next to the conservative "bad guys" cause I seem to be drawing a blank.
     
  23. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

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    #23
    Save some cash. It's on Project Gutenburg for nothing.

    I'm not a communist, I fundamentally disagree with the idea of the dictatorship of the proletariat. If you combine it with the vanguard principles of Lenin, you have a certain recipe for disaster. Mikhail Bakunin (an anarchist, and one of Marx's main adversaries in the First International) said "If you took the most ardent revolutionary, vested him in absolute power, within a year he would be worse than the Czar himself". Experience has shown this to be true.

    However, Marx's class analysis is still very useful to this day.
     
  24. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #24
    You'd get more exploding cars and dead pets.

    Citizens have rules and laws, so should governments, and so should corporations, because, the truth is, any organization cannot be fully trusted with too much power and no oversight.

    That's what our government is supposed to do. The fact that they don't isn't a design flaw. It's people perverting the process, and worse, often getting away with it or only getting caught when it's too late.

    Ok. They're both bad. And naive. Better?

    Though most people I know consider themselves neither conservative nor liberal, and just want gov to do it's job and stay out of the way. But both Dems and Repubs are guilty of wanting too much gov sometimes and not enough others. It would have been nice to see gov do it's job during Katrina or Enron, and stay out of our way when it comes to things like Terry Schaivo or gay marriage, just as it would have been nice to see someone come up with a health care plan that isn't a bureaucratic nightmare or do a better job of things like the mess that was Waco.

    But I believe what Mac's point was is that those who want to drown gov in the bathtub are more likely to be neocons, and aren't likely to be very good at governing because they'd rather legislate morality than provide much needed social programs (killing or defunding them instead of merely making them run more efficient) and allow businesses to get away with things that harm society (as I pointed out above) in the name of "freedom".

    Communism is great idea on paper, but so are socialism and capitalism. Not so great in practice. As we've seen, too much room for abuse.
     
  25. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #25
    I definitely believe in a role for the federal government, but want it limited to those areas delimited in the Constitution. I'm a strong proponent of federalism and would delegate a LOT of the federal government's current activities to the states. It's duplicated there for the most part already anyway.

    I agree with that. The poster earlier that suggested that I hadn't read Marx because I disagreed with the philosophy would be dead wrong. When you sort through all the theory it still boils down to removing rewards for productivity and innovation and providing a means for people to reap equal rewards for doing minimal effort. It never takes long for a portion of the population to see just how little they can get away with and still get their food, housing, and other basic needs. It's a recipe for stagnation or mere existance.
     

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