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The Debate of The Bleak Assessment

Discussion in 'House of Debates' started by Justinian, Jun 16, 2007.

  1. Justinian

    Justinian New Member

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    Something happened to me today that made me realize something I had been fighting for years. While this happening is personal, my thoughts on some things have changed temporarily in dramatic ways. For a moment I thought I glimpsed the larger picture and it became clear. How clear? Let's find out, shall we? This very device I'm using right now is ironically part of the very thing that has compromised the very existence of social order and human continuity in the world. There's something going on that has filtered into every orifice of the daily life destroying and compromising much by its very nature and this of course is the industrial revolution. Now this is just a thought, ladies and gents and nothing I've chiselled but it is still something worthy of debating. The world has seemingly become a slave to Man's enginuity that has affected all human life and transformed it, politically, socially and economically.

    The very rules that governed humanity of old are becoming more and more obsolete and incompatible with 'the mechanical society' of today. The world has gone through some very big changes in the last couple hundred years economically which were all designed to harness the reins of industrialization. Apparently, society is more and more being driven to a compatibility with the mechanical society and everything about it previously designed for purposes of community, codes and principle are today meaningless and being pushed towards antiquity. Example: Politicians are not put into high office by the unity of principled groups seeking a refined, newer national identity but by corporate conglomerates where their people have no principled alliance but economic which is what they want in return. The idea TR had for the Presidency in the post-colonial world, to be the spokesman and honest interpreter of government affairs and the advocate for the people is no longer possible. The old simple, honest ways which our government was designed on at the very end of its existence is now in reality operating in a completely different world with completely different rules of order.

    Today, our government is souless, it's functions purely mechanical with no spiritual relevance or meaning of almost any kind and religion is looked at merely as a past time in this capital-driven dog-eat-dog world. Morality and integrity, merely amusing personal charades of little value because they do not have anything to do with money. Moral judement are often looked at as small scale 'conflicts of interest' or 'social turbulence' with no or little higher regard or understanding of value. The best you can hope for to not become a name-tag two-bit slave of the corporation is to own your own business. But the price of liberty and freedom of discretion is high and staggering. You must be always on the watch for lawsuits, paying hefty bills and protecting your assets and you mustn't be stupid enough to begin one without success. Should you fail, it could cost you your life or at least the life as you know it. Unfortunately, these businesses are increasingly under attack by the corporate machine which strives to either put you out of business or buy you.

    So America's government today is in a sense merely a higher plane for smaller totalitarian bodies that govern society called "Corporations" and we are a slave to them both. Oh but Justinian, how can you be so cynical when there are so many wonderful things this industrial revolution has given us? What it has given us is the irrelevance of material wealth in exchange for your 'voluntary cooporation' of enslavement and stifled freedoms mixed with emptiness of spiritualism. You give up your human nature, your very soul (if you retain it after your twenty-odd years of expensive brainwashing [complements of the impersonal private universities and the state]) in exchange for a hundred by a hundred+ shack and a toy car. Doesn't sound too great, huh? Well hopefully you'll get to keep it because in this world where nothing is free, people often get married to save money and if your wife leaves ya' (which there's a Damn good chance she will) she's probably also going to get the best of your assets and be given ultimate control of your kids. Then you will have nothing except some old friends and a boss that is if you don't shoot someone or yourself and wind up in your tax-payer's suite they call Prison, yet another system of enslavement and control. When ya lay it all out, life has very little meaning today especially if you wanted to live FOR something and not FROM.
     
  2. mustardayonnaise

    mustardayonnaise New Member

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    Wow. Never thought I'd say this Justinian, but I agree. America, inc. is a reality. Your people have sold their souls and freedom for SUVs and Paris Hilton on plasma screens. Your President is supposed to be beyond corruption, but he is owned by Big Oil and Saudi Arabia. I do disagree on the point of Christianity being the source of morality, but otherwise this is pretty much what I've been telling people for a long time.
     
  3. 9sublime

    9sublime Active Member

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    I agree with everything you said about the problems in todays world, but I don't agree on your belief in what has caused it.

    It is not lack of religion, religion should be a past time for those who want it, and kept out of government.

    Its simply human nature. Downright greed and corruption. Our government may be souless, but organized religion wont restore the soul. Bucking the pressures from coporations, getting sickening amounts of money out of politics and into the country itself, that is the answer.
     
  4. Segep

    Segep Member

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    Damn Justinian, just when I think there's no hope for you you go and post something intelligent. I hope when you get back after 3 months you will have more posts like this one.
     
  5. 9sublime

    9sublime Active Member

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    Indeed indeed.
     
  6. JavaBlack

    JavaBlack New Member

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    ..

    I'm going to disagree on several counts, summarized as this:

    1. The term "mechanical society" is actually being used opposite its real meaning. In classic sociology the term "mechanical" is used for older, more traditional tribal societies in which the connections between individuals were comparable to a "well-oiled machine", always working cyclically and never growing.
    "Organic Society" refers to the bureaucratic society we've been moving toward for the last couple centuries. In an organic society, institutions act as organs do in the human body with specialized tasks.
    My memory is lousy with details. I belive this was Durkheim's work... but it could have been Weber.

    2. The shift you are complaining about is not related to religion nor is it comp[letely related to the shift in the mode of society from "mechanical" to "organic" (which is for most intents and purposes, a good thing). Rather it is partially based on a huge population that makes peoples' votes and voices seem less powerful, as well as the switch in capitalism toward a consumerist bend which focuses on creating "needs" rather than solving them. Such an economic shift, actually a philosophical shift, not only impairs our ability to progress, but it makes Americans more complacent and apathetic- while at the same time making them more angry about not getting things exactly their way.

    3. We're not exactly slaves. We have the power to force the hands of corporations and the government... if only we can learn to compromise, form coalitions, and be active. Powerful institutions need only keep us divided in order to win (or to do things in secret... so we must call for transparency) to triumph. We who have only our votes have the burden of building coalitions... but it means that we have to give up the delusion that all of us will get exactly what we want.

    On these things I agree:

    1. There is a lot of power in the hands of large corporate entities... however, I think it's always been that way. Occasionally the people do something to assert dominance when they're really pissed off... but normally the elites have disproportional control.

    2. I agree there is a problem with too much divorce (though often the woman is a victim of it as well... and it is way more common for the poor than the well-off). People often break their vows from the start... by entering into the institution of marriage lightly. I do not consider this to be a problem of religion or tradition. Rather it seems to be another manifestation of the ultra-individualist consumer culture. People are always shopping around for what's "best for them"... People no longer see marriage as a relationship of mutual benefit that requires compromise... but as a unique stage in the "individual's" life.

    3. I agree community is falling apart. But I disagree that this is because of multiculturalism or lack of religion. It is another aspect of extreme individualism and consumerism. People do not see themselves as part of a larger society. They live under the delusion that everything they do and everything they get is their own work. The interdependence we have is largely invisible in the modern world and people are raised to be far too self-centered... regardless of religion (quite often people use their religious tags as another aspect of themselves... another reason to be self-righteous).


    So I do agree that the loss of community is one of the great challenges of our modern age. But I think its time we put aside religious and cultural labels and start working for what is beneficial to all groups... even if that means we must compromise.
    The biggest problem with the modern age is that we are unwilling to compromise. That is a double-edge sword. It makes us feel like we are more individualistic... but that's just a feeling. It's by this vanity we are "enslaved". It breaks us apart and keeps our minds diverted.
     
  7. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    If you read Durkheim than you are my new best friend.
     
  8. JavaBlack

    JavaBlack New Member

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    ...

    I've never read anything direct by Durkheim. Mostly I've just studied the second-hand accounts of his work. I was a soc major in college, so Durkheim, Weber, and Marx almost seem like relatives to me.;)
     
  9. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    I took an introductory sociology class this past semester and I was intrigued. I picked up Durkheim's Suicidie and it was...well, it was dry as hell, but it was still fascinating. I tried reading a couple of Robert Merton's essays, but I didn't have time while I was at school.
     
  10. JavaBlack

    JavaBlack New Member

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    I find that the descriptions done of classic sociology studies are easier on the eyelids. You would think Goffman would be entertaining by the weird experiments he did... but if you ever read his work... it's painfully dry.
    C. Wright Mills is the one who I can actually read... but he's not quite as objective as a lot of others.
     
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