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Thoughts on Terrorism
Posted: 06 April 2014 03:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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The problems with modern revolution by violence against a well organized government are first, that many citizens will be killed, the social and economic structure will be damaged so the normal amenities like food, medical care, utilities, etc. will be disrupted, and second, that the people who move to the leadership positions if the revolution starts to be successful are almost always at least as corrupt and vicious as the prior regime.

As I see it, we have to move slowly to upgrade education greatly, get rid of things like gerrymandering, make elections publically funded, gradually move to a fairer taxation system, and institute controls to inhibit lobbying through large funding.

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Posted: 06 April 2014 03:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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One of the most disheartening things I’ve noticed during my three years spent as an activist, is activists rarely attempt to reach out to their adversaries. I’m not sure how you change minds, how you advance legislation, or how we can accomplish any change at all ... if we’re just screaming inside of our own echo chamber. I think there are issues where super majority support exists (e.g. money in politics), but that broad support is not reflected in the positions of our elected officials (and this to me is an opportunity to reach across the political divide and begin building broad coalitions that circumvent our systems attempts at keeping us divided).

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Posted: 06 April 2014 03:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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When I was younger I shared the disheartenment, however, I learned over the years that no matter how logical and rational one’s information is, it’s almost impossible to change minds.  For years I’ve had two weekly lunches with two different Libertarians, both of whom are very intelligent and “well-informed”  (If one considers Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, etc. good sources).  We respect each other and argue strongly, but the only value I get is sharpening my thinking about my ideas.  Neither they nor I ever convert the other. 

A major road block is that primitive self-interest seems to be the motivation of so many people at all levels from voter to Senator or Supreme Court Justice. 

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Posted: 06 April 2014 07:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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I’ve convinced several friends who are staunch lifelong republicans on issues like Medicare for all and public financing of political campaigns. Mathematical reality dictates that in order to effect peaceful change, a percentage of the population will have to change their minds about some things. If the current status quo is locked in stone, we’re done for (might as well start thinking about how to migrate to Germany or Scandinavia). There’s also independents, but republicans have done a real good job at gerrymandering, and the Supreme Court has shifted to the right. So the only real option left is changing minds (although changing the mind of someone who’s well read and a fairly intellectual libertarian isn’t likely, but that’s only descriptive of a small segment of the population). I’ve also come across more radical ideas for change, but the activist scene has died down considerably since 2011, so the numbers aren’t really there for more radical projects, and since activists are utterly incapable of getting along with each other, better off looking to mainstream organizations.

[ Edited: 06 April 2014 07:48 PM by francismjenkins ]
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