Skip to content
Welcome guest. | Register | Login | Add
About | Wiki | Legacy

When nationality, race and bloodline cease to matter all we have is citizenship!

58 replies [Last post]
memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 2 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12

I was reading about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama bickering about his African roots when the thought occurred to me: "Why the hell does it even matter?"

Indeed, if he is an US citizen and cares for the US society and their future why does it matter where he came from? And this catapulted a way of thinking about grouping of the world into countries not by their nationality, race, blood lines and other personal histories, but by their current preferences. In an increasingly globalized world, moving from place to place is becoming more common place. (uh.. an accidental pun Eye ).

Now contrast that fact with the difficulties we've encountered pondering the best possible social, economic and political systems and hitting the roadblock which is the same one as the reason why we see democracy as suboptimal - you can never please everyone!

However, one logical solution that comes to that problem is grouping people per their preferences. If you want to please everyone then just split everyone into multiple separate everyones and you've got it! :-) Imagine a world in which those who prefer libertarianism live in a country with a libertarianism abiding government and those who prefer some form of communism live in a communism abiding country. In such a world, international relations would be such to actually ease migrations for the sake of preserving the stability of a prevalent system in all countries. In essence, it would be in each country's interest for as many people as possible who don't like the current system to move away rather than cause disturbances.

In fact, this may even prove to be a good climate for systems to really work without corruption. When you have a place that abides to rights libertarianism, for example, everyone would believe in this as the best way for them and would have no reason to undermine it in any way - in a contrary they would want to preserve it, which may actually undermine corruption.

Encouraging a movement towards this kind of world may be one good approach towards making the world a better place. We can argue all we want about one particular system being the best. Libertarianism or some variation of it may be prevalent on Libervis.com, but there will always be people who disagree and who may in fact prefer a different kind of system, for any reason. Instead of just having it our word against theirs, one's majority against another minority, why not just part ways and live the way we want. Ultimately we might see the best system winning. If libertarian countries end up being the biggest or there being a largest amount of them then this may prove that libertarianism is the optimal system for human beings. And same goes for any other system.

This way of thinking, however, clearly flies in the face of national and racial distinctions. I think those are better left behind. There is nothing too bad about treasuring our past and ancestry, but it doesn't seem worth it to sacrifice our well being and a better future because of it. Past should be learned from, but it has passed. So instead of going about repeating it by cherishing it at the expense of learning from it, we should... well.. just learn from it and apply what we learned.

And isn't one thing we learned that pursuing nationalism, racism and various other trivial differences don't exactly lead to good things? You are you more than you are an american, dutch, croatian or brit.

A nice example of people already moving to a place which has a system they would like to live in is the Free State Project focusing on New Hampshire in USA. They chose a state which is the closest to the perfect state they imagined (rights libertarianism I believe) and are encouraging people who share that vision to move there and actually influence enough changes to make that system into the exact system they want.

I know about this thanks to discussions with Kevin Dean, who, among other things, also helped me realize that USA is not actually so coherent as an "it", a single entity, but that various states still have enough autonomy to make a difference. We outside of US may perceive it to be turning into a police state, but many US citizens aren't yet affected and still have many of the freedoms that made USA great. The most worrying thing about USA may not be what it currently is, but what it could become, which is why projects like the Free State Project are a great thing to see! There is still hope.

__________________

Daniel Memenode signature

User offline. Last seen 10 years 34 weeks ago. Offline
Moderator
Joined: 2005-05-29
One big problem:

land.

What if you are a libertarian and you really like how Chicago's weather varies throughout the year, but Chicago is an area of communists or some sort of theocracy or anything else?

__________________

idontknowctmwhatsthepointofcapitallettersorspacesorpunctuation

User offline. Last seen 11 years 31 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-08-23
Countries are much more than

Countries are much more than just their political systems. It's not just that and the climate either, which a thing pointed out.

One may want to live close to ones family, which may have different political points of view. One may want to speak ones own language most of the time, because usually ones first language is best for expressing ones emotions. One may be "addicted" to any aspect of ones culture (for example foods that are not sold abroad).

Another thing, your idea reminds me of the times in which different groups of people were supposed to live in different parts of cities / different parts of countries / different countries. Not the most pleasant times in history.
Humans have a built-in fear for the unknown. They need to be exposed to those who think differently all the time, to be reminded again and again those others are not so scary after all. If you move different groups to different countries, it's just a matter of time until one country attacks another because its citizens are afraid the other country will attack first otherwise.

And the biggest horror of all... if you huddle together with people who think just like you, you will quickly become stupid!

User offline. Last seen 7 years 26 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2007-02-26
Home is home wherever it is.

Home is home wherever it is. If you grow up to hold different views to your family and friends, in such a segmented world you then must choose between being close to your family and friends you grew up with or being in a society that lets you be yourself. Segfault blues.

Take gays or naturists in islamic states, that's too oppressive, on the other hand you could have a paedophile settlement somewhere, what about the rights of children born there? In the USA there are these communes where men take multiple wives and can marry girls as young as 14, and the government seems to do nothing about it though it's illegal.

I accept some nuances in local laws and government are good for freedom and diversity, but within a band. The law of the land that works for me is "whatever floats your boat so long as it doesn't sink anyone elses". That much I like about the free state project, but I also believe in universal healthcare, education, and a survival safety net for those who fall on hard times, so the FSP would never be for me.

memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 2 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
Alright, you shot it down

Alright, you shot it down successfully. There are indeed numerous disadvantages to this. I guess moving to a country with a more preferred political system could work for some (even if minority perhaps) and not for others..

Anyway I'd like to reply to some of what you guys said just to clarify what was on my mind.

tbuitenh wrote:

Another thing, your idea reminds me of the times in which different groups of people were supposed to live in different parts of cities / different parts of countries / different countries. Not the most pleasant times in history.

The idea wasn't to split up cities and existing countries (unless it's an union like USA or EU). Also people wouldn't have to live in any particular place if they don't want to. As much as governments wouldn't discourage people to migrate they wouldn't necessarily have much motivation to scare them away either, as long as people currently in the country don't significantly start threatening the system's integrity. This is not that dissent would be forbidden, but it's a moot point anyway. If a prevalent system in a given country ends up being one in which people want their freedoms to be stripped away then so be it (albeit I doubt this).

The hope is that this movement would lead to concentration of progressive and more positive political thinking in focal points where they could actually live on as a real independent country.. similarly to what the Free State Project is doing.

tbuitenh wrote:

Humans have a built-in fear for the unknown. They need to be exposed to those who think differently all the time, to be reminded again and again those others are not so scary after all.

That's a valid argument, although things could be more complex when you really get into it.. because it depends on what the system of a particular country is. Libertarianism, for example, wouldn't discourage others to travel and experience different cultures. There is also the internet which keeps a solid connection to the global world at large. If it is not censored and if it is a free country, the people in it aren't so likely to become one sides simply because they live in a shall we say a "perfect equilibrium". I don't think that everyone agreeing on a single thing, such is the system of government, necessarily makes everyone closed minded and un-inquisitive.

tbuitenh wrote:

And the biggest horror of all... if you huddle together with people who think just like you, you will quickly become stupid!

Same as above, it depend on the system. It's not like it would be huddling people who are the same in every aspect of their thinking, just in one aspect, the way the country should be run. They can still be very different people in various areas which would leave plenty of space for growth.. Also, it's not like, especially in free systems, the notion of dissent would be banned. Sometimes it may occur that a change in the system is necessary and deemed possible enough not to leave the country in question, but actually try to change it - and leave ONLY should the possibility of change given the majority preferences be proven impossible.

Also, the way I imagine it this would best work with small countries, as small as possible.

democrates wrote:

Take gays or naturists in islamic states, that's too oppressive, on the other hand you could have a paedophile settlement somewhere, what about the rights of children born there?

A good question.. but I feel it'd be a too big debate to enter here.. It would come down to whether it could be justified that even such things would be done in a given culture which we consider utterly immoral.. But it's a good point against the idea in any case.

democrates wrote:

The law of the land that works for me is "whatever floats your boat so long as it doesn't sink anyone elses".

Same here.

democrates wrote:

That much I like about the free state project, but I also believe in universal healthcare, education, and a survival safety net for those who fall on hard times, so the FSP would never be for me.

Another big matter for debate. There are some things Kevin said in our discussions on IRC that makes me question the idea of a government who takes care of these things.. Basically, such safety providing government is necessarily more big and powerful than one that doesn't need to provide for those things, leaving it to the people to organize for it. And the bigger the government the more potentially oppressive it may become. It is a question of dependence vs independence. Is it really better to rely on the government so much? Who is to say a band of non-governmental organizations dedicated to high standard healthcare, for example, wouldn't be better, operating within a social enterprise space?

__________________

Daniel Memenode signature

User offline. Last seen 11 years 31 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-08-23
the welfare state is the best thing since sliced bread

... or perhaps sliced bread is the best thing since the welfare state.

libervisco wrote:

There are some things Kevin said in our discussions on IRC that makes me question the idea of a government who takes care of these things.. Basically, such safety providing government is necessarily more big and powerful than one that doesn't need to provide for those things, leaving it to the people to organize for it. And the bigger the government the more potentially oppressive it may become. It is a question of dependence vs independence. Is it really better to rely on the government so much? Who is to say a band of non-governmental organizations dedicated to high standard healthcare, for example, wouldn't be better, operating within a social enterprise space?

Is it better to rely on a government than it is to rely on non-governmental organizations? Well, given how some non-governmental organizations spread the "Word" along with their help, it's a no-brainer for me. If the state doesn't take care of its citizens, the second most organized groups (the churches) will be among the top ones doing it instead.
If you want freedom, then all natural monopolies and basic necessities should be controlled by the government. Or would you rather have that they are controlled by organizations in which you have no vote?

It might be interesting to have separate elections and governments for separate responsibilities. No concentration of power that way. I think in practice people would quickly grow tired of all the voting, though.

---

(this got orphaned when I was moving bits of text around, but I'd still like to say it: You can have a government that controls only police and army (necessities to have a government at all), and still have a police state.)

memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 2 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
So you actually believe it

So you actually believe it is good for government to interfere with the free market? Well, on one hand it seems like it is sometimes necessary, like the net neutrality case. On the other hand, would the net neutrality issue even come up - and furthermore would we really have monopolies if our "free markets" were truly free markets? Not to mention that sometimes big companies get governments help to become even bigger and more powerful.

If you have a truly free market and a minimal government. Those health organizations which spread the "Word" would have to compete in that market. If majority of people believe that they shouldn't be the churches and that religion shouldn't have anything to do with healthcare there are bound to be secular organizations popping up and bypassing the churches.

In fact, I could argue that church would actually lose a substantial amount of power if it hadn't have such a bloated and mighty government above it. We all know that religious people, no matter how we swear to the separation of church and state, do end up in government and DO end up mixing their personal beliefs with their policy. The separation never seemed quite perfect.

If you have a truly free market instead, as the only one that needs to be "won" to gain power, rather than the big government above it, it is actually harder for any biased groups to do anything unless the market actually wants it. In essence, the democratic vote is no longer a one time in a few years vote, but your buying decisions and market choices that you do daily. We could actually have the kind of healthcare that we want because - if there is demand there will be someone to meet it.

Of course, government could put forth a certain set of regulatory rules on the free market which would merely serve to preserve it as a true free market. This could even be in the constitution, but further interference wouldn't be done. We could also argue that one of the rules should be that healthcare institutions should be social enterprises rather than corporations to remove the corruptive effect of money, but I'm not sure about that. If a true free market works as it's supposed to the prices of healthcare services will always be sufficiently down to be affordable for everyone and corruption levels would have to be low in order to be able to compete with others.

That does require total transparency to be one of the rules of the free market. If everyone can see the code, what you're doing, it's hard to do anything behind everyone's back.

It may also be worth noting that the minimal government system I'm describing actually seems to be based on the US constitution, one which has been numerous times broken in recent US history.

__________________

Daniel Memenode signature

User offline. Last seen 7 years 26 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2007-02-26
I'm inclined to agree with

I'm inclined to agree with tbuitenh on this, and it stems from viewing the government as *our* organisation, not some seperate self-interested entity. True governments can and do get away from serving the people first, but the answer I come back to each time is to get them working as they ought to.

At the same time, free people who see a need are quite entitled to take action to alleviate some symptom rather than wait for government to act, but it usually falls to the government to solve the long term underlying problems, eg a hit and miss education system.

I share the concern about making it too easy for some to abdicate personal responsibility, and government is too far away from the problem. Local direct democracy is one antidote, it's not the touchy-feely thing some may think, after all, if you see a neighbour slacking off on state welfare while the rest of us carry the load, would you vote to keep supporting that behaviour or to give him a boot in the behind to get out there and do some work?

People can usually suss whether they're giving to a deserving cause or being taken for a sucker.

User offline. Last seen 11 years 27 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2007-02-09
libervisco wrote: I was
'libervisco' wrote:

I was reading about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama bickering about his African roots when the thought occurred to me: "Why the hell does it even matter?"

Indeed, if he is an US citizen and cares for the US society and their future why does it matter where he came from? And this catapulted a way of thinking about grouping of the world into countries not by their nationality, race, blood lines and other personal histories, but by their current preferences. In an increasingly globalized world, moving from place to place is becoming more common place. (uh.. an accidental pun Eye-wink ).

The simplest answer here is that Americans are hungry for change. The "strength" of the Ron Paul candidacy, the motivation of greassroots groups for all of the candidates shows this VERY clearly. Where the problem comes in is that both "sides" (The democrats and the republicans) are marketing "the candidates" as "the policy". McCain wants to appeal to the Christian demographic, so they portray HIM as a Christian. There is a blurring, on both sides, between candidates and policy.

Because of this blurring, people can't (or won't) seperate Barak Obama's being black from him bringing change. To the masses, him being black means he thinks differently than all of the white men who they ALSO epitomize as the essence of everything that has failed in government before. Likewise, Hillary Clinton is capitalizing on this with her gender. The sad reality, however, is that both Senators consistantly vote the same way as the "white men" they're attempting to subtly lump in with "bad leaders".

'libervisco' wrote:

However, one logical solution that comes to that problem is grouping people per their preferences. If you want to please everyone then just split everyone into multiple separate everyones and you've got it! Smiling Imagine a world in which those who prefer libertarianism live in a country with a libertarianism abiding government and those who prefer some form of communism live in a communism abiding country.

Nothing is ever that simple. There's no such thing as "communism" or "libertarianism" since within each community there are groups who disagree on specific issues that matter a LOT. For some, having more than once choice and the freedom to make it is libertarianism to it's core. Because one can choose whatever government they want, or none at all, one is free from the TYRRANY of the government - which can only happen in libertarian systems.

That said, given all possible options, very few people would choose to have any government but since most people see no forceful government as impossible, they debate over which is the lesser of the evils.

'libervisco' wrote:

I think those are better left behind. There is nothing too bad about treasuring our past and ancestry, but it doesn't seem worth it to sacrifice our well being and a better future because of it. Past should be learned from, but it has passed. So instead of going about repeating it by cherishing it at the expense of learning from it, we should... well.. just learn from it and apply what we learned.

I kind of have to disagree with you here, thought it MAY be a matter of symantics. I see nothing wrong with preserving one's culture, language, style and heritage. I believe that everyone should learn from the past, both theirs and others, but at the same time the "no meddling" principals I hold close also mean that I can't hold someone's teachings, beliefs of lifestyles in contempt. I challenge you to name any nation that's done EVERYTHING wrong or name a single one that's done EVERYTHING right. Until then they are all equal and valid - the culture and ideals you hold as being "good" are as valid as the ones you hold as being bad. It's "nationalist" to want everyone to have the same values. When the US invades Iraq America is accused of fanatical nationalism for wanting to spread our systems everywhere. "Hereandnowism" is also a system that MANY feel is invading their ability to lead productive, non-intrusive lives.

User offline. Last seen 11 years 31 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-08-23
what market?
libervisco wrote:

So you actually believe it is good for government to interfere with the free market?

No, I believe it is good for the government to take care of the needs of the public when a free market is not realistically possible. The obvious examples of such situations are most infrastructure (imagine having four or five highroads between each city. yeah right!) (wireless communications are the exception).

Healthcare is a somewhat less obvious natural monopoly. Competition between general practitioners would be possible (if only there wasn't a shortage of them here), but competition between hospitals? Imagine you have some accident. Is the ambulance going to take you to the nearest hospital, or to the one you prefer because of its price/quality ratio, but is on the other side of the country?

Quote:

Those health organizations which spread the "Word" would have to compete in that market. If majority of people believe that they shouldn't be the churches and that religion shouldn't have anything to do with healthcare there are bound to be secular organizations popping up and bypassing the churches.

Well, assuming there is an infinite supply of doctors, maybe... But you're ignoring the fact religious groups are much more motivated and able to provide healthcare and education and such than secular groups that haven't been organized yet and that in the case of healthcare will have difficulty finding useful members because those useful members tend to be healthy and therefore not very aware of issues surrounding healthcare.

Quote:

In fact, I could argue that church would actually lose a substantial amount of power if it hadn't have such a bloated and mighty government above it. We all know that religious people, no matter how we swear to the separation of church and state, do end up in government and DO end up mixing their personal beliefs with their policy. The separation never seemed quite perfect.

Creating a perfect separation is impossible. You can't ban everyone who isn't an atheist or agnostic from being part of the government. It would be wrong, too, because the rights of people who happen to think in religious ways have to be represented too. Democracy is the best of the bad solutions.

Quote:

In essence, the democratic vote is no longer a one time in a few years vote, but your buying decisions and market choices that you do daily. We could actually have the kind of healthcare that we want because - if there is demand there will be someone to meet it.

"Market democracy" doesn't work. What you buy mostly depends on short term advantages, not on how your choice influences the bigger system or your life a few years in the future. Why? Because the more complicated issues are hidden. If the free market were truly transparent, there would simply be too much information to deal with. Instead we buy products with some kind of certification (and that only when we're feeling wise instead of cheap), and hopefully the certification organization is in turn verified by a government (there are lots of bogus certification orgs that are funded by the industries they claim to police).

To take the concepts to healthcare: too many people would gamble on not getting ill for quality healthcare at a reasonable price to be able to exist. Many wouldn't even know they're gambling, because the organization they pay a low price will claim to provide just as good quality as all the others, which would be true too, as soon as the reasonably priced quality providers go bankrupt.

And all this is assuming some kind of market - ANY kind of market - is possible at all in healthcare. Which in the real world it is not.

Quote:

Of course, government could put forth a certain set of regulatory rules on the free market which would merely serve to preserve it as a true free market.

Yes, let's end bureaucracy by introducing more bureaucracy!

Quote:

That does require total transparency to be one of the rules of the free market. If everyone can see the code, what you're doing, it's hard to do anything behind everyone's back.

As I said already in other words, total transparency only works if people can be bothered to care about all the details. Just look at all the utter crap in freedomware sourcecode, and you get an idea about how much care there would be. Of course most proprietary software is even worse, but one can get away with a lot more than is desirable.

Quote:

It may also be worth noting that the minimal government system I'm describing actually seems to be based on the US constitution, one which has been numerous times broken in recent US history.

Indeed!

User offline. Last seen 11 years 27 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2007-02-09
The same thing if you like

The same thing if you like Antarctica's isolation, unpolluted air and almost sterile living conditions - you move, accept that bad, or don't.

Issues of geography can't be solved and are irrelevant to discussions of political systems. No matter WHAT political system you have, you'll be limited from having yours everywhere UNLESS your political system is founded on stomping on the rights of others.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.