The Idea of Freedom

Is the idea of Freedom more enticing that the reality. Don’t get me wrong I am pro freedom. There have to be some limits to guarantee freedom but in general I like it.
What I am wondering is does what freedom promises match the reality. Freedom also includes the possibility of being out on the street. Living in an awful house. Owing large amounts of money. What do we think?
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Comments

  • Freedom only works within boundaries.
  • tclunetclune Shipmate
    Hugal wrote: »
    What I am wondering is does what freedom promises match the reality. Freedom also includes the possibility of being out on the street. Living in an awful house. Owing large amounts of money. What do we think?

    For all of my life, the American liberal view of freedom starts with FDR's four freedoms.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Hugal wrote: »
    What I am wondering is does what freedom promises match the reality. Freedom also includes the possibility of being out on the street. Living in an awful house. Owing large amounts of money. What do we think?

    Interestingly this experiment has already been run. One example we could examine is Oney Judge. Despite being relatively well provided for by the standards of late eighteenth century slavery, Ms. Judge took great risks to achieve her freedom. In material terms her years living free were much poorer, especially after she was widowed, than being a house slave to one of the most prominent and wealthy households in Virginia, yet despite her former owner's repeated efforts to reclaim her as his property she never considered voluntarily returning to slavery.

    This is just one example of a larger pattern. We have very few examples of people voluntarily returning to enslavement after having gained their freedom. We have a lot more examples of escaped slaves taking extraordinary measures to preserve their hard-won freedom.
  • LydaLyda Shipmate
    My niece, who is a US citizen but who grew up in the Philippines, rather shocked me when she casually said that democracy wasn't all it was cracked up to be. She doesn't really mind where she lives and how much nominal political freedom there is there, as long as the place is peaceful and people can live happily in their private lives. I think Singapore is her ideal. But she is happy enough living in the US with her husband. I doubt she votes.
  • Lyda wrote: »
    My niece, who is a US citizen but who grew up in the Philippines, rather shocked me when she casually said that democracy wasn't all it was cracked up to be. She doesn't really mind where she lives and how much nominal political freedom there is there, as long as the place is peaceful and people can live happily in their private lives. I think Singapore is her ideal. But she is happy enough living in the US with her husband. I doubt she votes.

    I think personal liberty, to live one's life as one wants, is more important than political liberty to a great many people. You can argue that you need the latter as a safeguard against infringements of the former but that's not immediately obvious.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    I think personal liberty, to live one's life as one wants, is more important than political liberty to a great many people. You can argue that you need the latter as a safeguard against infringements of the former but that's not immediately obvious.

    I'd say it's more that there's not a particularly clear dividing line between the two. For example, do Jim Crow laws or the Nuremberg Laws infringe on political liberty or personal liberty? I'd say "both". Restricting the ability of African-Americans to vote (for example) was political, but also done in service of maintaining a racially hierarchical social structure (i.e. how one lives one's life). Likewise the question of whether Jews were citizens of the German Reich or merely "German nationals" was both a political matter and also affected personal things like the ability of Jews to emigrate from the Third Reich.
  • IMO the shadow side of freedom is responsibility.

    Only take as much freedom as you're willing to own complete responsibility for and you'll be fine.

    As it turns out, people don't really like it when they have it because shitty things tend to happen that are beyond our control, no matter how good our intentions are.

    But if I'm only willing to own the things that turned out the way I intended them to, then I am abdicating responsibility for the part I played in the things that went sideways.

    I can't do that and remain in integrity. If I played a part I played it. I own it. For good outcome or for bad, my fingerprints are on it. I was free to make the decision but I am bound to accept ownership of the consequences.

    AFF
  • Lyda wrote: »
    My niece, who is a US citizen but who grew up in the Philippines, rather shocked me when she casually said that democracy wasn't all it was cracked up to be. She doesn't really mind where she lives and how much nominal political freedom there is there, as long as the place is peaceful and people can live happily in their private lives. I think Singapore is her ideal. But she is happy enough living in the US with her husband. I doubt she votes.

    If she grew up under Marcos I can well understand her view. Duerte too has no time for democratic norms. Democracy in the Philippines veers from a controlled sham supporting a dictator to the freewheeling chaos of unstable governments.
  • "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to sell,
    (and if you want narcotics we can get you those as well)."

    Saint Billy Bragg, The Marching Song of the Covert Battalions.
    In capitalism, only those who have money can enjoy real freedom. Those who have no means of living other than selling their labour power may have freedoms, but their opportunities are always restricted. In bourgeois society some freedoms are considered more important than others.

    This is from The Encyclopedia of Marxism but I nevertheless believe it expresses a truth about freedom in our market-driven societies. Without the readies, your freedom is curtailed. With the readies, your freedom is only constrained by the mores of your social circle.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    In my analysis, the Libertarian "utopia" means that the rich can effectively put you in chains rather than the government. In a democracy I get a say in when the latter can do so, which seems preferable.

    I also don't particularly care for the freedom to die of hunger, hypothermia or treatable medical conditions.
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    In my analysis, the Libertarian "utopia" means that the rich can effectively put you in chains rather than the government.

    On that note, it's interesting how many of the online libertarians seem to end up as monarchists of one stripe or another.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host, Epiphanies Host
    Freedom is the right to say 2+2=4. If that is granted, everything else follows.

    A famous quote. But is it the whole story? I'm no longer as sure as I was. Freedom to speak the truth without fear of who you might offend, to express an opinion at variance with received wisdom, does seem to me to be foundational in any society which claims to be free. But is it sufficient? And suppose the opinion is hate speech?

    I don't think these are easy questions.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    I also don't particularly care for the freedom to die of hunger, hypothermia or treatable medical conditions.

    I'm not sure there's a clear relationship between freedom and privation. You can also die of hunger, hypothermia, or treatable medical conditions in captivity or slavery.
  • There are (at least) two kinds of freedom: Freedom To, and Freedom From. Sometimes they are in direct conflict.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited February 13
    Crœsos wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    I also don't particularly care for the freedom to die of hunger, hypothermia or treatable medical conditions.

    I'm not sure there's a clear relationship between freedom and privation. You can also die of hunger, hypothermia, or treatable medical conditions in captivity or slavery.

    Libertarians frequently object to welfare and state provided medical care on grounds of freedom - it goes along with taxation is theft and arguments about freedom of association. I'm pointing out that the flip side of that is there being no safety net should we be unable to pay for necessities.
  • Re Libertarian, there is such a thing as Left-Libertarian. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-libertarianism

    Politically I usually identify as left-libertarian because while much of what I support is left-wing, I dislike the collectivism inherent in socialism.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    I've been wondering what this "freedom" is for a long time. I think about my students. who are "free" to sign themselves into substantial debt in pursuit of the "freedom" to seek (but not necessarily to secure) employment which may sustain the relatively (by current Western first-world standards) modest lifestyles to which most of them aspire. But both our economic and occupational arrangements are subject to not-always predictable fluctuations -- downturns, bubbles, etc. -- and these are layered upon personal uncertainties -- which can throw plans into a cocked hat -- accident, illness, disability, family disruptions, etc.

    This looks a lot more like indentured servitude to me than "freedom," as it's a "bargain" where the risks weigh far more heavily on the person "choosing" the servitude than on those underwriting it.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Point:
    Hugal wrote: »
    Is the idea of Freedom more enticing that the reality. Don’t get me wrong I am pro freedom. There have to be some limits to guarantee freedom but in general I like it.
    What I am wondering is does what freedom promises match the reality.

    Counterpoint:
    In 2008 Ruben Martinez Jr. was sentenced to 47 years and eight months in prison for a series of armed robberies, even though he was at work when two of the crimes were committed.

    Eleven years later, he finally proved his innocence.

    The 49-year-old was freed this month after serving 11 years of that sentence. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge William Ryan vacated Martinez's conviction, permanently released him from prison, dismissed his case with prejudice and found him factually innocent of the crimes for which he was convicted.

    Now I would contend that an enormous wrong was done to Mr. Martinez. He was deprived of his freedom for eleven years on grounds that turned out to be false. To @Hugal and others on this thread, this is apparently no big deal. According to them what Mr. Martinez was deprived of was of marginal value, at best. Sure he lost his freedom, but he at least had shelter and the fine cuisine of the California prison system, so it all balances out. Right?
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    edited February 13
    Sorry I don’t see how your counterpoint connects to my OP. What I am asking is do our ideas of what freedom is match the reality.
    I would agree that in the case mentioned the man had his freedom taken away wrongly. He did not deserve the treatment he got. That is different from my question.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Hugal wrote: »
    Sorry I don’t see how your counterpoint connects to my OP. What I am asking is do our ideas of what freedom is match the reality.
    I would agree that in the case mentioned the man had his freedom taken away wrongly. He did not deserve the treatment he got. That is different from my question.

    We both agree that he didn't deserve the loss of his freedom, but where we seem to disagree is how severe a wrong it is. I think it's pretty horrific, eleven years of life wasted, eleven missed wedding anniversaries, all that just . . . gone.

    On the other hand you (and others on this thread) seem to regard it as not that big a deal since if Mr. Martinez had his freedom the reality of it might not match his expectations and at least he wasn't suffering from hunger or hypothermia.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    Croesos: Sure he lost his freedom, but he at least had shelter and the fine cuisine of the California prison system, so it all balances out. Right?

    This just about sums up the nature of freedom in the welfare states of Western Europe and their like. It's often forgotten that the last sentence of Orwell's 1984 (i.e. 1948) was: "He loved Big Brother."
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited February 13
    Crœsos wrote: »
    Hugal wrote: »
    Sorry I don’t see how your counterpoint connects to my OP. What I am asking is do our ideas of what freedom is match the reality.
    I would agree that in the case mentioned the man had his freedom taken away wrongly. He did not deserve the treatment he got. That is different from my question.

    We both agree that he didn't deserve the loss of his freedom, but where we seem to disagree is how severe a wrong it is. I think it's pretty horrific, eleven years of life wasted, eleven missed wedding anniversaries, all that just . . . gone.

    On the other hand you (and others on this thread) seem to regard it as not that big a deal since if Mr. Martinez had his freedom the reality of it might not match his expectations and at least he wasn't suffering from hunger or hypothermia.

    How bizarre. Because I consider dying of hunger or hypothermia a bad thing, and think taxing people so that it can be avoided is a worthwhile trade, that means I don't think being incarcerated is a bad thing?

    More than one thing can matter, you know.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Kwesi wrote: »
    Croesos: Sure he lost his freedom, but he at least had shelter and the fine cuisine of the California prison system, so it all balances out. Right?

    This just about sums up the nature of freedom in the welfare states of Western Europe and their like. It's often forgotten that the last sentence of Orwell's 1984 (i.e. 1948) was: "He loved Big Brother."

    You'd prefer no safety net and people starving in the streets?
  • Freedom is complicated. For one, nobody can have complete freedom without impinging upon the freedom of others. As societies get larger, compromises become more necessary.
    The choice, really is in what compromises we make.
    The real danger is the illusion of freedom masking the deprivation of freedom. And the trading of freedom for the illusion of security.
  • Re Libertarian, there is such a thing as Left-Libertarian. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-libertarianism

    Politically I usually identify as left-libertarian because while much of what I support is left-wing, I dislike the collectivism inherent in socialism.
    The illusion of libertarianism can only exist in the safety of collectivism.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited February 13
    KarlLB wrote: »
    How bizarre. Because I consider dying of hunger or hypothermia a bad thing, and think taxing people so that it can be avoided is a worthwhile trade, that means I don't think being incarcerated is a bad thing?

    More than one thing can matter, you know.

    If you say so, but this thread is about one thing (the idea of freedom) and I consider it bizarre that the you seem to position tax policy as the biggest threat to freedom, whereas incarceration (i.e. loss of freedom imposed as a penalty for a severe crime) or slavery (i.e. removal of freedom to extract labor by force) warrants much less discussion according to you.

    I'm not sure the state using taxation to pay for its functioning counts as a loss of freedom per se.
  • tclunetclune Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    I'm not sure the state using taxation to pay for its functioning counts as a loss of freedom per se.

    If it's true that "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose," taxes may actually be freedom's right hand...
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    edited February 13
    Crœsos wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    How bizarre. Because I consider dying of hunger or hypothermia a bad thing, and think taxing people so that it can be avoided is a worthwhile trade, that means I don't think being incarcerated is a bad thing?

    More than one thing can matter, you know.

    If you say so, but this thread is about one thing (the idea of freedom) and I consider it bizarre that the you seem to position tax policy as the biggest threat to freedom, whereas incarceration (i.e. loss of freedom imposed as a penalty for a severe crime) or slavery (i.e. removal of freedom to extract labor by force) warrants much less discussion according to you.

    I'm not sure the state using taxation to pay for its functioning counts as a loss of freedom per se.

    Many Millennials on this side of the pond are thinking they have become indentured servants because of student debt load. They cannot even seek relief through bankruptcy court. They do not feel they can build up there savings for a down payment on a house, let alone save for retirement. Forget getting married and having kids.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited February 13
    Crœsos wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    How bizarre. Because I consider dying of hunger or hypothermia a bad thing, and think taxing people so that it can be avoided is a worthwhile trade, that means I don't think being incarcerated is a bad thing?

    More than one thing can matter, you know.

    If you say so, but this thread is about one thing (the idea of freedom) and I consider it bizarre that the you seem to position tax policy as the biggest threat to freedom, whereas incarceration (i.e. loss of freedom imposed as a penalty for a severe crime) or slavery (i.e. removal of freedom to extract labor by force) warrants much less discussion according to you.

    I'm not sure the state using taxation to pay for its functioning counts as a loss of freedom per se.

    I agree it doesn't. I was arguing against people who think it is.

    You seem to have mistaken the position I criticise for my own position.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited February 13
    My main point is that the underlying premise of this thread seems to be ‘bad things can still happen to people who have freedom so maybe freedom isn’t that great after all’. This strikes me as a vapid expression derived from the immense privilege of someone who has never faced a realistic chance of being enslaved, imprisoned, or otherwise had their freedom seriously curtailed. If the worst ‘infringement’ of your freedom you can imagine is paying taxes to a democratically elected government then you’re not really discussing freedom.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    You misunderstand me. I was addressing and opposing the Libertarian view I've seen expressed that taxation to provide safety nets is an intolerable violation of freedom to use one's property as one sees fit.

    My point was that the flip side of the complete freedom to do so that they desire is the freedom of others to die in the manners I described, which is not a freedom I value.

    You seem to be attributing to me the position I am arguing against.
  • God gives us the freedom to be cruel or kind, to be greedy or to share. We limit each other's ability to take cruelty to extremes, to the extent that we physically stop them by confining them in prisons, and to take greed to extremes through taxation. We are in the process of trying to also limit the freedom of those who use hurtful words.

    I wonder how far we should go by limiting freedom using law, rather than allowing freedom using education and encouragement and cultural pressure.
  • If God allows both evil and good, then s/he is irrelevant to the conversation.
    The limits of the law should be a constant conversation. But the question isn't law or education and encouragement and cultural pressure. It is and.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    edited February 14
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    If God allows both evil and good, then s/he is irrelevant to the conversation.
    The limits of the law should be a constant conversation. But the question isn't law or education and encouragement and cultural pressure. It is and.

    Slight tangent. A line I remember from the play JB (nearly 50 yrs ago):
    If God is good, he is not God. If God is God, he is not good.

    End of tangent.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    Kwesi:
    This just about sums up the nature of freedom in the welfare states of Western Europe and their like. It's often forgotten that the last sentence of Orwell's 1984 (i.e. 1948) was: "He loved Big Brother."

    KarlLB: You'd prefer no safety net and people starving in the streets?

    The point I'm making is that in the societies I describe citizens are prepared to surrender, without recognising its extent, a significant degree of freedom to enjoy a high level of social security, not to mention the ubiquity of surveillance cameras as protection from crime and 'terrorism'. Free societies are more like a Hobbesian state of nature. Orwell's point is that individuals prefer the security of control to the insecurities of freedom, as Hobbes had argued in Leviathan.
  • tclune wrote: »
    Hugal wrote: »
    What I am wondering is does what freedom promises match the reality. Freedom also includes the possibility of being out on the street. Living in an awful house. Owing large amounts of money. What do we think?

    For all of my life, the American liberal view of freedom starts with FDR's four freedoms.

    In ascending order.
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    I consider dying of hunger or hypothermia a bad thing, and think taxing people so that it can be avoided is a worthwhile trade

    There's an additional layer to this, which is the question of whether farmers are free to decide not to produce food any more or doctors are free to decide not to treat illnesses any more. For that matter, are any of us who have jobs free to decide not to do them any more?

    The usual answer is "yes, but then you won't earn any money so you won't be able to buy food or shelter". But then you say we should raise taxation so that we can provide food and shelter to anyone in such a situation. Which means people won't need to work. Which means there won't be anyone to provide those things......

    So we can't all have the freedom to decide whether or not to work (or even what work to do), because somebody has to do the jobs that enable society to function - if none of us freely choose to do them then some of us must be forced to. Freedom in society basically boils down to being free to do whatever you want, as long as it's what society wants you to do. Which isn't really freedom at all, it's just less restrictive than slavery or incarceration.

    What a nice cheery thought for a Friday morning :cry:
  • Marvin, you forget greed and social status as motivators. Welfare is looked down on, hence current affairs telly. Doing useful work is admired, as is doing extremely remunerative work and having lots of things. Also, welfare is usually bureaucratic, almost a job in itself. So I don't accept that if a certain standard of life can be attained without working, people will not work to attain a better standard of life, or the admiration and respect of their social circle and family.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    The vast majority of people do not want merely to subsist, which pace tabloid rants about generous benefits is about all that benefits enable a person to do. This prevents most people from making a strategic decision not to work.

    IME the ones who do are mostly unemployable anyway so their decision is largely illusory.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    Re Libertarian, there is such a thing as Left-Libertarian. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-libertarianism

    Politically I usually identify as left-libertarian because while much of what I support is left-wing, I dislike the collectivism inherent in socialism.
    The illusion of libertarianism can only exist in the safety of collectivism.

    The form of collectivism I object to has much in common with moral conservatism.
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    The vast majority of people do not want merely to subsist, which pace tabloid rants about generous benefits is about all that benefits enable a person to do. This prevents most people from making a strategic decision not to work.

    IME the ones who do are mostly unemployable anyway so their decision is largely illusory.

    I'm an anomaly having lived on benefits for much of the last decade. I have no dependants and dislike spending my time on things I don't enjoy. Hence I have a couple of voluntary jobs but am otherwise free to live in a beautiful part of the country and spend my time as I wish.

    Am I subsisting? Financially, yes, but I have few ambitions that require significant finance and those I have I am prepared to postpone as I am due a substantial inheritance at some point.

    Crucially, there are other worlds beside the material one and my principal ambitions are in the realm of the imagination and creativity.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    Hugal wrote: »
    Sorry I don’t see how your counterpoint connects to my OP. What I am asking is do our ideas of what freedom is match the reality.
    I would agree that in the case mentioned the man had his freedom taken away wrongly. He did not deserve the treatment he got. That is different from my question.

    We both agree that he didn't deserve the loss of his freedom, but where we seem to disagree is how severe a wrong it is. I think it's pretty horrific, eleven years of life wasted, eleven missed wedding anniversaries, all that just . . . gone.

    On the other hand you (and others on this thread) seem to regard it as not that big a deal since if Mr. Martinez had his freedom the reality of it might not match his expectations and at least he wasn't suffering from hunger or hypothermia.

    Again you seem to be on a different tack to me. A formal discussion tone doesn’t mean I don’t agree with you. This is a discussion. As it happens I do agree with you. We are discussing a point rather than a person. It requires a more formal approach
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    ISTM a major problem with this post is the way it has been framed as a conflict between individualism as an expression of freedom and collectivism as an expression of unwelcome welcome restraint restricting human potential. Human beings, however, are social animals who can only fulfil their potential within a collective context, whether as entrepreneurs, sportsmen, artists, entertainers, doctors, academics, authors and so on. Aristotle and Plato understood that the problem was less the promotion of freedom than the construction of societies in which one could pursue the good life where justice involved giving each their due. The good society, IMO, requires a balance between the claims of the collective and individual autonomy in which neither's interests can be regarded as absolute.


  • Kwesi wrote: »
    ISTM a major problem with this post is the way it has been framed as a conflict between individualism as an expression of freedom and collectivism as an expression of unwelcome welcome restraint restricting human potential. Human beings, however, are social animals who can only fulfil their potential within a collective context, whether as entrepreneurs, sportsmen, artists, entertainers, doctors, academics, authors and so on. Aristotle and Plato understood that the problem was less the promotion of freedom than the construction of societies in which one could pursue the good life where justice involved giving each their due. The good society, IMO, requires a balance between the claims of the collective and individual autonomy in which neither's interests can be regarded as absolute.

    pretty much spot on. The difficulty is agreeing with where the balance point lies and constant vigilance to maintain it.

  • Kwesi wrote: »
    Aristotle and Plato understood that the problem was less the promotion of freedom than the construction of societies in which one could pursue the good life where justice involved giving each their due.

    When it comes to the idea of freedom, the most important question is "who gets to define what 'the good life' actually is?"
  • tclunetclune Shipmate
    Kwesi wrote: »
    Aristotle and Plato understood that the problem was less the promotion of freedom than the construction of societies in which one could pursue the good life where justice involved giving each their due.

    When it comes to the idea of freedom, the most important question is "who gets to define what 'the good life' actually is?"

    I would have thought it was "who gets to define what is 'their due.'"
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    MarvintheMartian: When it comes to the idea of freedom, the most important question is "who gets to define what 'the good life' actually is?"

    tclune: I would have thought it was "who gets to define what is 'their due.'"

    Answer: The arbiters in a 'free society' are whoever are the strongest, which may be the most physically strong, the wealthiest, the brainiest, the most cunning, the most virtuous, the most venal, or whatever, depending on the context. Freedom, in other words, favours those possessing the qualities most advantageous, whatever they might be at any particular point of time or place . It greatly disadvantages those most deficient in possessing the essential ingredients. Unrestrained individual freedom does not bestow equal power or influence, and has no interest in promoting the needs of the weak. A society of unalloyed free individuals seeking to assert their own interests is rather unpleasant because it is a state of war of each against each, where the strong give no quarter to the weak.

  • Kwesi wrote: »
    MarvintheMartian: When it comes to the idea of freedom, the most important question is "who gets to define what 'the good life' actually is?"

    tclune: I would have thought it was "who gets to define what is 'their due.'"

    Answer: The arbiters in a 'free society' are whoever are the strongest, which may be the most physically strong, the wealthiest, the brainiest, the most cunning, the most virtuous, the most venal, or whatever, depending on the context. Freedom, in other words, favours those possessing the qualities most advantageous, whatever they might be at any particular point of time or place . It greatly disadvantages those most deficient in possessing the essential ingredients. Unrestrained individual freedom does not bestow equal power or influence, and has no interest in promoting the needs of the weak. A society of unalloyed free individuals seeking to assert their own interests is rather unpleasant because it is a state of war of each against each, where the strong give no quarter to the weak.
    Shades of Ayn Rand there. Power confers control and power is as often, if not more often, inherited. The idea, suggestion or hint that the powerful are powerful because they are superior is rubbish.

  • lilbuddha wrote: »

    Shades of Ayn Rand there. Power confers control and power is as often, if not more often, inherited. The idea, suggestion or hint that the powerful are powerful because they are superior is rubbish.

    IMO there is no such thing as a meritocracy. It's a fine idea, but like all great ideas (such as justice or communal property) it's almost impossible to execute or sustain in this version of reality.

    IMO Plato was right.

    AFF



  • lilbuddha wrote: »

    Shades of Ayn Rand there. Power confers control and power is as often, if not more often, inherited. The idea, suggestion or hint that the powerful are powerful because they are superior is rubbish.

    IMO there is no such thing as a meritocracy. It's a fine idea, but like all great ideas (such as justice or communal property) it's almost impossible to execute or sustain in this version of reality.

    IMO Plato was right.

    AFF



    I'm not sure meritocracy is a great idea. Should someone be left to rot because they don't have the abilities society deems valuable?
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