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Thread: Nationalism and the illusion of unity

  1. #1 Nationalism and the illusion of unity 
    Forum Ph.D. Darius's Avatar
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    There exists a terrible problem in todays world. It is a singular problem, but by no means a simple one; nor is it effortlessly solved. The problem dismantles democracy, destroys capitalism, and virulently spreads sheep-like thought and stupidity. Nationalism, unyielding fervor to a country, has ended many civilizations. With recent warnings like the rise of Hitler, and the continuance of dictatorships today, noticing the effects of this fervor should be painless. Rather than carefully treading onward, however, we have increased our fervor seventy fold. All that matters in the mind of laymen is "my country is better".

    In a modern democracy, the winner is he that bribes us most convincingly. Whether or not the winner delivers on these bribes is another matter. The most popular, and most effective part of a bribe, involves words pertaining to the "nation" as an entity. "For the good of America", "America the brave", "America the strong", "To help Americans", America, America, America. "One nation", a naive concept that believes everyone is on the same side, leads to harmful majority rule by opinion. In appealing to this singular entity, a politician controls the minds of those that believe in that entity. They convince these people to vote for them by artful persuasion; making the people believe they are the best vision for that nation.

    I implore you not to think of a nation, but to think of yourself. Think "me first", think "what's best for me" with enlightened self interest, not this vague notion of a united people. Unity, whether in thought or in action, is a plague that leads to destruction. Democracy will fail as long as these notions of "a united nation" exist, and only by shattering this fallacious ideology can we begin to have freedom. Avoid those that would use this illusion to sway you to their side, and seek out those that actually wish to help, that aren't deluded by the illusion of unity.


    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Or you can think of the whole planet.


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    As nationalism is this bad, globalism is even worse. I had thought this point was easy to extrapolate for anyone. Clearly not. I will be writing a separate post detailing the woes of globalism, but for now please stay on this one topic.
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    As nationalism is this bad, globalism is even worse. I had thought this point was easy to extrapolate for anyone. Clearly not. I will be writing a separate post detailing the woes of globalism, but for now please stay on this one topic.
    Is thst what college teaches you?
    I can agree with you about globalization, but not against unity of our states.
    Lincoln saved our union and indirectly worked against slavery.
    That is why I consider Lincoln to be our first great president.

    Capitalisms 'new world order' is an example of drawing the wrath of Allah, aka YHWH the original. These types of unity under ONE dictator is our major problem today.
    Our government is designed to outlaw these types of leaders with our power distribution separated into various forms like the president, house of representatives, senate, the Supreme Court and the allowance of arms among the citizentry in case of a coupe deEtat that is a very remote possibility.
    So with these power distributions, our Constitution will reign forever.

    Be proud you are an American citizen. The sad thing here though is that our Constitution did not consider the coupe deEtat of capitalism by corruption of our politicians. That is the one major problem we need to eliminate.

    We can do this with the Public Financing of Our Elections.

    We can also thank the capitalist CEO's that drove our economy into bankruptcy with their self serving greed that stuffed themselves with dollars that STOPPED circulating and were piling up to make themselves billionaires.
    So what we need is a FAIR wage for the workers and a lid at the top to reduce this dollar stuffing craving that led to the current failure of our economy.

    Cosmo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmo
    Lincoln saved our union and indirectly worked against slavery. That is why I consider Lincoln to be our first great president.
    I emphasize this particular excerpt because of how potent it is. When you look at the civil war, you see that one group forced another group to conform to what it did not believe in. While claiming to be a bastion of human rights, they crushed the personal freedom of people unwilling to conform.

    Truly, slavery is a terrible thing. In spite of this, we had no right to force them to change any more than we have a right to invade Russia and implement democracy. As a result of our enforced "liberation" in the civil war, those same southern states are now the worst educated and poorest states in the nation. The wealthier states abolished slavery because they no longer needed it, and the southern ones held onto it because it would devistate their economy. This further illustrates how unrealistic a "national" view is, because each individual state has its own needs that, due to nationalism, are not met or poorly met.

    Rather than demanding the abolition of slavery, they could have worked together to provide certain rights for slaves; until such a time as they were comfortable freeing them. Instead we had the worst display of nationalist driven fascism the world has ever known. Can you truly call that a democracy? It sounds more like elected dictatorship.
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    As nationalism is this bad, globalism is even worse.
    Globalism is a form of rampant capitalism that imposes identity and opposes diversity. That was not what I suggested as an alternative. I proposed thinking about the planet: all its peoples, all its cultures, all its religions, and all its diversity of lifeforms and habitats. That is as far removed from globalism as you can get.
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    I see. I am sorry for the misunderstanding, John Galt, but I am not used to such well thought out replies. Surely you can forgive me given the usual responses I receive. You speak of enlightened self interest, in a way.
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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    Globalism, as it's practiced, is about dividing and conquering. We tear down all the small groups with the empty claim that we're trying to build a large group, and then the large group never gets built, and all the small groups are gone too, and nobody has any unity to anyone.

    A lot of communist idealists imagined that their countries would benefit by destroying all religion and family ties among their people, so there'd be no group to unite with except the state.

    Trouble is, you need competing sources of unity. Without competition among different parties for your allegiance, your leaders get lazy, and greedy. There always need to be a number of viable leaders, or sources of leadership in place, at any given time, who can take over each others' roles at a moment's notice.
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    Darius

    For you to equate our democracy with fascism is far fetched.
    Our Constitution grants freedom to all and the selfserving chauvinists have taken avantage of this by gaining control of our government.

    All citizens are given an education to prepare themselves for a free life as skilled workers and any other skills needed in this modern era.
    This just opposite to the old days of lords and peasants type of society.
    So which of the two is closer to a fascist state?
    A government controlled by the wealthy is not my idea of a democracy.

    Cosmo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmo
    For you to equate our democracy with fascism is far fetched.
    In your mind, maybe. Yet was the civil war not a war to force one group to behave according to the demands of another? Is this not elected dictatorship? As for the rest of your post, it is nonsensical.
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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    I'm in stark disagreeance with the idea that slavery should have been allowed to continue until the south felt comfortable with abolition. In my eyes, it's all well and good to allow others to conduct themselves as they see fit, but when those lifestyles directly and intentionally, subjugate and kill others, you've lost your right to self government.

    Yes, blind nationalism is wrong, however many like myself have a patriotic attachment because we've studied the history and current administration of comparible states. I consider myself lucky to have been born in the USA, a nation where the government doesn't suppress my ideas by dispatching the Emperor's imperial guard to ravage my town for days at a time. Should I choose to verbalise seditious thoughts, my family will sleep safe. It really is an uncommon concept, historically. Whatever you think about my country or the leaders who guide it, the majority of voters have the welfare of fellow humans, regardless of race or origin at heart, the result of a cultural common decency.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kukhri
    I'm in stark disagreeance with the idea that slavery should have been allowed to continue until the south felt comfortable with abolition.
    Using the same logic as the civil war, I am now legally allowed to force you to submit to majority rule (assume majority rule agrees with me). This includes but is not limited to killing everyone that supports you. Oh wait.

    In my eyes, it's all well and good to allow others to conduct themselves as they see fit, but when those lifestyles directly and intentionally, subjugate and kill others, you've lost your right to self government.
    See above. Your opinion is subjective and a slippery slope. Your subjective morality has no business forced upon others. To believe so is to also condone hitler forcing his world ideal on others, it's to believe the church had a right to the holy wars, and it's to believe that terrorists have a right to bomb other countries. THEY believe they're right as well, and they believe those that do not follow their morals have lost the right to self government.

    Do you see how extremeist your statement is?

    Whatever you think about my country or the leaders who guide it, the majority of voters have the welfare of fellow humans, regardless of race or origin at heart, the result of a cultural common decency.
    Prove it. The existence of good samaritan laws, and the fact Americans routinely ignore muggings, stabbings, and so forth, in broad daylight - on top of stepping over a dying woman - strongly suggest that the majority are made up of less than caring individuals.
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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    There's a lot more to slavery than one side wanted the other side to conform.

    There were laws in place that prevented the "harvesting" of Africans, yet this was ongoing. The south was therefore breaking democratically upheld legislation of the country they were a part of, and thus democratically upheld punishment ensued.

    Democracy is fascist towards those against the majority. The purpose of democracy is not freedom but happiness, freedom is the ideal used to inspire happiness these days. "Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness" this is like saying the same thing three times, and it honestly goes without saying. There is not one of these things without the other two. Happiness, for most empathic and humane individuals, generally comes from being a part of a social order, and so by defending the majority, democracy makes the most happiness possible, in theory.

    A country can't exist in either extreme, total freedom of it's citizens, or total control of it's government. Just like humans can't learn with objective reasoning alone, we also have subjective experience. We can't survive with thought alone, we must also act. Sorry if these are bad analogies, but it is just like health, too much warmth, too much cold, too much dryness, too much humidity... everything exists in the balance that it is used to, extremes, excess and change cause disease.

    also:
    The constitution doesn't "grant" anything unless people defend it. The words of the constitution are written on hemp fiber; the spirit of the constitution is inside people, it is completely natural and goes without saying. The written document is a political symbol, that is all, it has no power but the power we give it.

    Unity is also natural and goes without saying. Preaching unity is no different than preaching intelligence or nationality; the act of preaching is different than the act of teaching. As I said before, you need experience and a reason to learn. One without the other creates illusion and doubt.
    You need to be a whole person, the embodiment of your ideals, before you can spread them to others. You don't make things whole by pushing them together, it's not that easy, your words are like glue, it needs to stick both to what you are trying to teach and who you are trying to teach it to.

    I implore you, not to think about the state, not to think about the nation, not to think about the world, or yourself, but the universe and your minute place in it.

    We are a part of something, everything, and everything is a part of us. Understand yourself, don't try to rationalize. Actions have many reasons, often those reasons will forever be unconscious, just as many of our actions are unconscious. Preaching anything will not accomplish anything, because for every person that agrees with you, another person will disagree and many will will interpret it in a way you never would have intended. You preach "enlightened self-interest" yet this can be interpreted to defend elitist puritanism, IE, fascism that you also preach against.

    Paraphrase Pythagoras "speak to a drunkard as a drunkard" If you teach something to someone who doesn't understand what you mean, at best you will confuse them, at worst you will empower their ignorance.

    I will say after that, that I whole heatedly agree with you, but my issue is what you consider "self" and "enlightened." These are somewhat ambiguous, abstract and relative terms. Nationality is after all the enlightened self interest of a nation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    You preach "enlightened self-interest" yet this can be interpreted to defend elitist puritanism, IE, fascism that you also preach against.

    I will say, that I whole heatedly agree, but what you consider "self" determines the extent of self interest. This is why there is nationalism: the collective enlightened self interest of a nation. "Enlightened" is also relative, just as "self" is.
    Clearly, since everything is relative, nobody should ever bother to do anything. Why did you bother to post that? Why, since language is so relative, I can't even understand what you wrote! My writing must also seem incomprehlisgiu nklni noaer oifs' [oionn iutn-=0

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enlightened_self_interest

    Learn what enlightened self interest is. It most certainly doesn't advocate a failing system such as nationalism.
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    See above. Your opinion is subjective and a slippery slope.
    It is indeed a slippery slope. In world affairs there is often a very fine, grey line between right and wrong.
    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    Your subjective morality has no business forced upon others. To believe so is to also condone hitler forcing his world ideal on others, it's to believe the church had a right to the holy wars, and it's to believe that terrorists have a right to bomb other countries. THEY believe they're right as well, and they believe those that do not follow their morals have lost the right to self government.

    Do you see how extremeist your statement is?
    This ignores my point. War is permissible to defend a direct and intentional infringement another's existence, despite the neccessary hypocrisy. Hitler made war not to liberate others, but to redeem the offence of the Versailles Treaty, to realise a despotic dream and to irradicate entire races. He made a war against those who were no mortal or liberal threat to others. The terrorists I assume you refer to kill because they believe the west is wrong to station secular soldiers on holy land and to interfere with politics in that holy land. They make war against those who are no mortal or liberal threat to others. As for "the church" making holy wars... who the hell knows why they do that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    Prove it.
    I can't. It would be nice for others to agree that most residents of America are good people, but we'll bear the burden of the world's hate if neccessary. Most of our foreign and domestic goals, however misguided or wrongly implemented you believe them to be, are concieved with desire to do right.
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    A desire to do right, as we have seen, does not make right. Maybe we should be more preoccupied with learning what right is before defending something that we all disagree on the nature of. Just a thought.

    I understand what enlightened self interest is, but the words used "enlightened" and "self" are still pop symbols, separating those who agree(the enlightened selves) with those who don't(the ignorant masses)

    I agree with your goal, just not your tactics. I could have said it simply, but then you wouldn't know what tactics I refer to. Sorry about any confusion I may have caused.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kukhri
    This ignores my point. War is permissible to defend a direct and intentional infringement another's existence, despite the neccessary hypocrisy.
    No, it compares your point to other dictators and so on. Each had their reasons, just because yours is the global "white knight" version does not make it any better. You would still be waging a senseless war and enforcing your ideals onto unwilling parties. They would fight, many would die, and you would be yet another dictator.


    I can't. It would be nice for others to agree that most residents of America are good people, but we'll bear the burden of the world's hate if neccessary. Most of our foreign and domestic goals, however misguided or wrongly implemented you believe them to be, are concieved with desire to do right.
    So, basically, you cannot prove your position but you declare it still correct. That's not just wrong, it's so wrong it redefines wrong. By definition the burden of proof is on you to prove your idealism, and as you can't you must admit that it is wrong.

    Incidentally, the most brutal wars are paved with what are thought to be good intentions.
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    Incidentally, the most brutal wars are paved with what are thought to be good intentions.
    I bet myself a nickle that someone would use some variation of that oft used phrase "the path to hell is paved with good intentions." Thanks for interrupting a five cent donation to PETA. I hate PETA.
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    "By definition the burden of proof is on you to prove your idealism, and as you can't you must admit that it is wrong. "

    Lack of proof is not evidence that something is wrong. Let me ask you if anyone can prove their idealism to be right, hmm? Principles are not chosen because they are right, they are chosen because they are better than apathy. Lets discuss these things in the philosophy section, that is, unless you can't prove them, then of course, you must be wrong... you might just be bad at expressing yourself, but since I am better, you are wrong. Can't argue with that logic... and if you can but not better than the next guy... your wrong. I just realized what forum this thread was in, POLITICS, HA!
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    It's quite clear that this stance is a matter of opinion that one may choose to sympathise with to any degree. How does one prove themselves right in a discussion of political decency? Any ideas expressed here are obviously meant to convey the mentality of the poster and implying otherwise is beyond rediculous.

    Do you seriously ask for empirical data proving American niceness? It's a simple equation called Moralplication. Each angelic halo exponentially multiplies goodness factor, divided by ambient grouchiness vibe within a four mile radius. It's cute that some take such delight in abrasively asking silly questions that cannot be answered, in an otherwise civil discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    Lets discuss these things in the philosophy section, that is, unless you can't prove them, then of course, you must be wrong... you might just be bad at expressing yourself, but since I am better, you are wrong.
    With all due respect, try to compose yourself as an adult.
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    Please don't try to keep me from acting my age.

    You explained all of this yourself very simply, I find it hard to believe you don't understand your own words

    "ideas expressed here are obviously meant to convey the mentality of the poster"

    My mentality was infected by your claiming that the lack of proof makes something not true. By your own standards this is "so wrong it redefines wrong." I will explain empirically if you would like. I suppose empirical data doesn't belong in a discussion on politics, but I think it is due time hypocrisy was evicted as well: "By definition the burden of proof is on you to prove your idealism"

    I was being rhetorical as I am well aware of how ridiculous it is to prove any ideal, yet here you are calling out for evidence, and then there you are ridiculing me for doing the same.

    There is no conflict here, I was just making a point that you are also trying to make. Except you are using the rule to measure others but not yourself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmo
    For you to equate our democracy with fascism is far fetched.
    In your mind, maybe. Yet was the civil war not a war to force one group to behave according to the demands of another? Is this not elected dictatorship? As for the rest of your post, it is nonsensical.
    So you believe in a divided nation?

    Our country was divided for centuries with the party concept,
    We have two parties now and the republicans that represent weath still have a voice in congress.
    So you still have a right to vote according to todays standards.
    No one is censoring you or has a right to do so.
    So you want everyone to accept your minority opinion?

    Cosmo
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    Start your own country where noone is in charge, call it Meland and you will realize that even you are in charge. Are you not devided at times between say, subjective reality and objective reason? Emotions and rationality, body and mind? survival and individuality?

    Your focusing on one extreme in efforts to get away from the other. I think the solution is to find balance, because neither extreme is right or wrong.

    To think about yourself is one thing, to think about your nation is another, and to think about the planet is another, but to think about it all equally, or better yet, none of it equally, that takes real will power.

    Nationality is, like many things, including individuality, a potential paradox.

    If you love your nation do you A: defend what the nation was founded on, IE, tradition or B: make the nation better?

    Do you know what will make the nation better? Do you know what the nation was truly founded on? Or are both of these more an expression of your own opinions?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmo
    So you believe in a divided nation?
    No.
    Om mani padme hum

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    Clayman

    What you describe already exists. It is Nature that promotes no law and all creatures enjoy life as programmed by their DNA.
    You are free to do that. Just go build yourself a log cabin in the wilderness and help yourself with all that freedom.

    My opinion is that you would give that existense up quickly and come scrambling back to your current livelyhood.

    Cosmo
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    Please don't assume I imply we do that.

    You are saying to me precisely what I was saying to someone else.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    Quote Originally Posted by Kukhri
    This ignores my point. War is permissible to defend a direct and intentional infringement another's existence, despite the neccessary hypocrisy.
    No, it compares your point to other dictators and so on. Each had their reasons, just because yours is the global "white knight" version does not make it any better. You would still be waging a senseless war and enforcing your ideals onto unwilling parties. They would fight, many would die, and you would be yet another dictator.
    The fallacy here is that the winner of a war would necessarily become a dictator. George Washington avoided becoming a dictator because he specifically chose not to use the authority he gained by winning the Revolutionary War to place himself as the ultimate authority. He chose to abdicate his power to a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

    The reason our invasion of Iraq is justified, is that our specific goal is to eliminate an oppressive and unpopular dictator, who imposes his rule through force of arms, in order to replace that government with a new government, entirely created by the Iraqi people.

    We are not imposing any of our views on the Iraqis. Any resembelance that their government bears to our own is the direct result of the free choice of the Iraqis. They are prefectly free to set up their government to be exactly like ours, but they are also free to set their government up to be completely different.

    We are also protecting the Iraqis from outside influence from the rest of the region, including Iran and Syria. The vast majority of civilian deaths in Iraq, and the entirety of civilian deaths that were intentionally caused, were caused by forces other than those from the U.S. led coalition. If we had our way, the only deaths involved would be those of the people who choose death over letting the Iraqi people control their own destiny.

    And before you imply that Iraqis were controlling their own destiny before the U.S. invasion, I should remind you that after the first Gulf War, the only reason Hussein was not overthrown by the Iraqi people was because he posessed far more machine guns than the hundreds of thousands of people he killed as rebels.
    A historical figure once said something that's extremely relevant to the current dialogue. If I knew who that was, or what they said, I'd probably quote them in this signature.
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    [quote="Chris the Bloviator"]
    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    Quote Originally Posted by Kukhri
    This ignores my point. War is permissible to defend a direct and intentional infringement another's existence, despite the neccessary hypocrisy.
    No, it compares your point to other dictators and so on. Each had their reasons, just because yours is the global "white knight" version does not make it any better. You would still be waging a senseless war and enforcing your ideals onto unwilling parties. They would fight, many would die, and you would be yet another dictator.
    The Civil War style hypocrisy can really be a problem, however, if one side is holding the other to a standard higher than what it is willing to adhere to itself.

    For all the Southern plantation owners to give up their slaves represented a huge financial loss for them. How much of a financial loss were the abolitionists willing to endure in order to serve their righteous indignation? Were they willing to arrange to compensate the southerners for their loss? Even partially?

    Were we all as a nation willing to gather together and suffer the financial loss together, or was one group specifically trying to make the other group bear the whole burden?



    The reason our invasion of Iraq is justified, is that our specific goal is to eliminate an oppressive and unpopular dictator, who imposes his rule through force of arms, in order to replace that government with a new government, entirely created by the Iraqi people.
    The trouble with the third world is that people in both worlds (1st, and 3rd) are constantly working to get rid of this or that "bad" thing (which really means "less than ideal), but hardly anyone is spending the necessary time or effort to figure out how to build a good thing to take its place.

    We go around saying "anything but that", and forgetting that "anything" might include something much, much worse.

    Half the revolutions in Afrika end up with a new dictator who actually oppresses the people more than their predecessor. Or worse: they end in anarchy, and then a bunch of warlords who feel no sense of responsibility whatsoever take charge and start mutilating people in order to gain control. (Or in the case of Iraq, you get an insurgency, and all kinds of people getting driven from their homes by the chaos)

    In the case of the USA revolution, I get the impression that a group of people (quite possibly the stone masons), already had a new plan of government most of the way figured out before the first shot was fired. Moving from a low to a high is worth killing over, but not moving a low to another low.



    We are also protecting the Iraqis from outside influence from the rest of the region, including Iran and Syria. The vast majority of civilian deaths in Iraq, and the entirety of civilian deaths that were intentionally caused, were caused by forces other than those from the U.S. led coalition. If we had our way, the only deaths involved would be those of the people who choose death over letting the Iraqi people control their own destiny.
    Anarchy is the ultimate cause.

    A ruling entity that doesn't feel responsible to stop anyone except its own soldiers from hurting you is, well, ..... not exactly the kind of entity I would want to have in charge of me.


    And before you imply that Iraqis were controlling their own destiny before the U.S. invasion, I should remind you that after the first Gulf War, the only reason Hussein was not overthrown by the Iraqi people was because he posessed far more machine guns than the hundreds of thousands of people he killed as rebels.
    The Sunni would never have wanted to overthrow him, but he oppressed the Shia and Kurds pretty severely. They would have risen.

    The Iraqis understand that "democracy" amounts to putting the Shia in charge (because they're the most numerous), and they'll just use their position to oppress the other two factions.

    What you have (and always had) is a 3 way tug of war. The Sunni (Sadaam's side) had the upper hand before we showed up, and now the other 2 are hoping it will be one of their turns. In the end, I think they want us to leave so they can do like the Bosnians and just have a massive civil war to decide who gets what, except maybe without all the rape.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    The trouble with the third world is that people in both worlds (1st, and 3rd) are constantly working to get rid of this or that "bad" thing (which really means "less than ideal), but hardly anyone is spending the necessary time or effort to figure out how to build a good thing to take its place.

    We go around saying "anything but that", and forgetting that "anything" might include something much, much worse.

    Half the revolutions in Afrika end up with a new dictator who actually oppresses the people more than their predecessor. Or worse: they end in anarchy, and then a bunch of warlords who feel no sense of responsibility whatsoever take charge and start mutilating people in order to gain control. (Or in the case of Iraq, you get an insurgency, and all kinds of people getting driven from their homes by the chaos)

    In the case of the USA revolution, I get the impression that a group of people (quite possibly the stone masons), already had a new plan of government most of the way figured out before the first shot was fired. Moving from a low to a high is worth killing over, but not moving a low to another low.
    How very true! Which is why I feel it is appropriate that we gave the Iraqis a starting point by setting up democratic elections, and a baseline of rules that incorporated our laws and theirs in the most general sense, then allowed them to use it as a base to build on. I wholeheartedly agree that asa superpower, we've had far too little stomache for nation building ever since Vietnam (not that I'm old enough to have personal experience, mind you; that's just what I derive from making deductions based on what my level of education has provided).

    At the same time, I think we've been slightly better about nation building in Africa (Bush's initiatives on AIDS, as an example), and I think we're actually smart enough now to clean up our mess in Iraq. I think if we do it right, we can possibly even make some headvay towards changing the broader opinions of many in the Middle East, who at this time, are quite justified in their lack of trust for Western society acting in their best interests.



    Anarchy is the ultimate cause.

    A ruling entity that doesn't feel responsible to stop anyone except its own soldiers from hurting you is, well, ..... not exactly the kind of entity I would want to have in charge of me.
    I think you're misunderstanding me. Our specific intent has been to protect the Iraqis until such a time as they could protect themselves. The fact that we failed at protecting civilians from a number of individual attacks doesn't mean we failed in the larger scheme. It also doesn't mean that we didn't have a large number of successes on the individual level. Furthermore, it doesn't even remotely imply what you're stating - that somehow we had no interest in protecting the Iraqis from outside influences.


    The Sunni would never have wanted to overthrow him, but he oppressed the Shia and Kurds pretty severely. They would have risen.

    The Iraqis understand that "democracy" amounts to putting the Shia in charge (because they're the most numerous), and they'll just use their position to oppress the other two factions.

    What you have (and always had) is a 3 way tug of war. The Sunni (Sadaam's side) had the upper hand before we showed up, and now the other 2 are hoping it will be one of their turns. In the end, I think they want us to leave so they can do like the Bosnians and just have a massive civil war to decide who gets what, except maybe without all the rape.
    Perhaps, but I have more faith than that. I think the best thing we can do there is to help them set up a system where their differences can be resolved without resorting to violence. Our own history is full of strife, including civil war. But many of the problems we've faced could have easily resulted in much more violence had we not had a political system capable of establishing both majority rule, and respect for minority rights. There may be very large cultural differences between the Middle East and Western society, but I believe that certain values and principles are universal. Many thought Japanese culture was too different to be able to accept democracy, at one time.
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    So, basically, you've got hope that Iraq will turn out to be something good for us, and for the people of Iraq. So, what would you think of invading Zimbabwe, or Myanmar?


    Quote Originally Posted by Kukhri
    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    Incidentally, the most brutal wars are paved with what are thought to be good intentions.
    I bet myself a nickle that someone would use some variation of that oft used phrase "the path to hell is paved with good intentions." Thanks for interrupting a five cent donation to PETA. I hate PETA.
    I somehow think the decision to declare war should have the same burden of evidence as the decision to imprison someone for committing a crime. It's a decision with a lot of gravity to it, not to be taken lightly.

    It would never be as easy to frame someone for murder as it was to frame Iraq for WMD possession. (Whether you believe the official story: that informants deliberately misinformed Washington, or the unofficial story: that the Bush Administration went data mining. )
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris the Bloviator
    The fallacy here is that the winner of a war would necessarily become a dictator. George Washington avoided becoming a dictator because he specifically chose not to use the authority he gained by winning the Revolutionary War to place himself as the ultimate authority. He chose to abdicate his power to a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
    I make no fallacy, and rather a factual observation. If the entire world was united under a single view, then opposition to that view would not exist. Worse, as is proved by history, any potential opposition will be highly discouraged (if not illegal). After all, if you are so accepting, why purge the world to begin with? Your intents aer about as honorable as the act of genocide itself.

    The reason our invasion of Iraq is justified, is that our specific goal is to eliminate an oppressive and unpopular dictator, who imposes his rule through force of arms, in order to replace that government with a new government, entirely created by the Iraqi people.
    A "dictator" that Iraqi's voted/supported. Oops. They caused their problem, they can deal with it.

    And before you imply that Iraqis were controlling their own destiny before the U.S. invasion, I should remind you that after the first Gulf War, the only reason Hussein was not overthrown by the Iraqi people was because he posessed far more machine guns than the hundreds of thousands of people he killed as rebels.
    "hundreds of thousands"? Really? Do you enjoy distorting reality or is it more of an occupation for you? If the majority wants something, the majority will get that something. The people always get the government they deserve, no exceptions.
    Om mani padme hum

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    I make no fallacy, and rather a factual observation. If the entire world was united under a single view, then opposition to that view would not exist. Worse, as is proved by history, any potential opposition will be highly discouraged (if not illegal). After all, if you are so accepting, why purge the world to begin with? Your intents aer about as honorable as the act of genocide itself.
    You specifically said that every time there's a war, one side imposes it's will, and the victor becomes a dictator. I named a single exception to your premise, and I can name far more.

    A "dictator" that Iraqi's voted/supported. Oops. They caused their problem, they can deal with it.
    If you truly believe this, then our conversation is doomed from the outset, based on lack of shared assumptions. I strongly urge you to reevaluate the validity of any elections held under the Hussein regime.

    "hundreds of thousands"? Really? Do you enjoy distorting reality or is it more of an occupation for you? If the majority wants something, the majority will get that something. The people always get the government they deserve, no exceptions.
    Here is a source that corroborates my statements regarding the numbers of people Hussein killed fighting rebellion in his own country.

    http://www.moreorless.au.com/killers/hussein.html

    And here is a very simple example of how a majority does not get what they want under a tyrant. Lets say that you, me, and one other person form a country. There's one weapon in the country - an AK-47 - belonging to me. You and the third citizen "vote" for you to be the leader. I shoot you, and tell the third citizen that I'll shoot him if I don't get to be the leader. Therefore, the mahjority doesn't get what they want.

    Your problem is that you take the political system you live under for granted. You can go out and protest your government without "vanishing" as a political prisoner of the government. You would be extremely naive to assume that that political system exists universally on earth.
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    Some people have vanished
    Dick, be Frank.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    Some people have vanished
    Mostly "friends" of government officials that prove to be inconvenient, and mostly under Hillary Clinton's first 8 years as president.

    Err.. I mean Bill.

    And yes. I'm being fecetious.

    kinda.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris the Bloviator
    You specifically said that every time there's a war, one side imposes it's will, and the victor becomes a dictator. I named a single exception to your premise, and I can name far more.
    You named no such exception. The united states imposed its will, and that's the sole reason Iraq has a new form of government. Otherwise it would still be the same shit hole. It does not matter what kind of government is imposed, it's still imposed.

    Here is a source that corroborates my statements regarding the numbers of people Hussein killed fighting rebellion in his own country.

    http://www.moreorless.au.com/killers/hussein.html
    Your source lists a lot of people that disappeared or were killed, but it says absolutely nothing about said people fighting a rebellion.

    And here is a very simple example of how a majority does not get what they want under a tyrant. Lets say that you, me, and one other person form a country. There's one weapon in the country - an AK-47 - belonging to me. You and the third citizen "vote" for you to be the leader. I shoot you, and tell the third citizen that I'll shoot him if I don't get to be the leader. Therefore, the mahjority doesn't get what they want.
    That's hilarious, and also stupid. If you shoot us both you're suddenly king over nothing. If the majority _really_ wanted saddam out of power, he would have been out. Mass death or no.

    Your problem is that you take the political system you live under for granted. You can go out and protest your government without "vanishing" as a political prisoner of the government. You would be extremely naive to assume that that political system exists universally on earth.
    Your problem is you think I do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris the Bloviator
    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    I make no fallacy, and rather a factual observation. If the entire world was united under a single view, then opposition to that view would not exist. Worse, as is proved by history, any potential opposition will be highly discouraged (if not illegal). After all, if you are so accepting, why purge the world to begin with? Your intents aer about as honorable as the act of genocide itself.
    You specifically said that every time there's a war, one side imposes it's will, and the victor becomes a dictator. I named a single exception to your premise, and I can name far more.

    A "dictator" that Iraqi's voted/supported. Oops. They caused their problem, they can deal with it.
    If you truly believe this, then our conversation is doomed from the outset, based on lack of shared assumptions. I strongly urge you to reevaluate the validity of any elections held under the Hussein regime.

    "hundreds of thousands"? Really? Do you enjoy distorting reality or is it more of an occupation for you? If the majority wants something, the majority will get that something. The people always get the government they deserve, no exceptions.
    Here is a source that corroborates my statements regarding the numbers of people Hussein killed fighting rebellion in his own country.

    http://www.moreorless.au.com/killers/hussein.html

    And here is a very simple example of how a majority does not get what they want under a tyrant. Lets say that you, me, and one other person form a country. There's one weapon in the country - an AK-47 - belonging to me. You and the third citizen "vote" for you to be the leader. I shoot you, and tell the third citizen that I'll shoot him if I don't get to be the leader. Therefore, the mahjority doesn't get what they want.

    Your problem is that you take the political system you live under for granted. You can go out and protest your government without "vanishing" as a political prisoner of the government. You would be extremely naive to assume that that political system exists universally on earth.
    Yeah, it's a tough question deciding whether it's the guns themselves, or the people holding those guns that puts a person like Hussein in his position of authority. (In the US the question would be whether it's the deeds of a politician, or the press's interpretation/presentation of those deeds that motivate the voters, and whether the voters have free will when they're ill informed.)

    Also, be careful how you interpret that article:
    Quote Originally Posted by The Article
    Kill tally: Approaching two million, including between 150,000 and 340,000 Iraqi and between 450,000 and 730,000 Iranian combatants killed during the Iran-Iraq War. An estimated 1,000 Kuwaiti nationals killed following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. No conclusive figures for the number of Iraqis killed during the Gulf War, with estimates varying from as few as 1,500 to as many as 200,000. Over 100,000 Kurds killed or "disappeared". No reliable figures for the number of Iraqi dissidents and Shia Muslims killed during Saddam's reign, though estimates put the figure between 60,000 and 150,000. (Mass graves discovered following the US occupation of Iraq in 2003 suggest that the total combined figure for Kurds, Shias and dissidents killed could be as high as 300,000). Approximately 500,000 Iraqi children dead because of international trade sanctions introduced following the Gulf War.
    The way I read it, the 150k-340k number comes from counting the number of people who died in the Iran-Iraq war. That could mean they're counting every Iraqi soldier who died fighting the Iranians as his kills, even though they were shot by Iranian forces.
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    I appear to have lost the train of thought from the initial question, but hes a few thoughts

    "Divide to conquer" is a strategy that has been used time and again by despots and empires to rule over a population. Differences of all kinds can arbitrarily be used to divide people, skin color, which invisible man in the sky you believe in, origin, culture, gonades/gender, you name it. But the ultimate division is individualism, every man for himself, me myself and I. A small cohesive group will always have the upper hand over individuals even when individuals outnumber that group. You want your prey to be individualistic, the last thing you want is for a population to organize cooperate for its own common interest.

    Nationalism can be good if it accentuates cooperation, pulling together, ect and bad if it is used to justify negative actions.

    Empires like the British Empire and its latest incarnation the American Empire dislike nationalism when it is used by the local population to advocate in favor of the local population's interest as opposed to the exploitation of the population for the Empire's benefit.

    Nationalism in Iran was bad, because Anlgo Oil interests did not want the local population to benefit from the Oil, they wanted the local population to live in abject poverty and to plunder the oil for their profit, which is why the elected government of Mossadeq was overthrown by MI6/CIA and replaced with a good old fashion brutal dictator the Shah who could keep the locals in check and rubberstamp the exploitation. The Empire thus wants local gangsters to rule over the population, the local gansters get a cut of the exploitation racket. Its similar to the feudal system, but when the banana republic's dictator is one of ours we call him a president, if hes not one of ours hes a dictator, its 'Saddam the president of Iraq' when he cooperates and wages war on our behalf, but its the 'evil dictator Saddam' when he no longer cooperates (and trades Oil in Euros instead of petro$).

    "The reason our invasion of Iraq is justified, is that our specific goal is to eliminate an oppressive and unpopular dictator, who imposes his rule through force of arms, in order to replace that government with a new government, entirely created by the Iraqi people. "
    Thats a cart of bullcrap, the reasons for going to Iraq were not those propagated by the corporate media and puppet politicians, more likely were Oil, petro$, Israel, etc. The US loves dictators like Pinochet, the Shah, unelected despots like the Saudi royals, as long as they favor US corporate interests, even Saddam was supported by the US, he was still a dictator then. Even the Taliban which now are the enemy-du-jour had the red-carpet reception when they were negociating the CentGas pipeline deal.
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    icewendigo, just because a nation is autonomous does not mean they are divided. Rather, I am suggesting each be free to change according to its need. That, essentially, should be the basic tenant of the united states. That should be what binds them together, and brings them to fight. Rather than a nasty tolitarian federal government, which seemingly everyone (except those benefitting from it) hates.
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    a nation should be treated as a sociological experiment, only through understanding can we better ourselves, same goes for a nation

    war should be to protect the experiment and keep variables to a low
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    I am angry with an evil b------d of a hacker that took me off this forum and caused me to lose my typed copy.

    So here goes again:

    My Nationalism and Unity is based on our US Constitution and what it promotes.
    And that is free speech and tolerence of all citizens regardless of their anscestral backgrounds.
    So in this respect, it would make a suitable religious document as well
    because it outlaws discrimination (old testament) and the papal christianity that promotes 'cruel and unusual punishment'.

    I better stop here because that b------d is harassng me.

    Cosmo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris the Bloviator
    You specifically said that every time there's a war, one side imposes it's will, and the victor becomes a dictator. I named a single exception to your premise, and I can name far more.
    You named no such exception. The united states imposed its will, and that's the sole reason Iraq has a new form of government. Otherwise it would still be the same shit hole. It does not matter what kind of government is imposed, it's still imposed.
    Pay attention. First, I stated that Washington did not become a dictator after he won the Revolutionary war, even though he had the opportunity. Furthermore, just because the victor "imposes his will" doesn't mean the establishment of a dictatorship. Because our will was to give the Iraqis democracy, and allow them to decide on their own government without coersion from a dictator, quite the opposit happened in that case as well.

    Here is a source that corroborates my statements regarding the numbers of people Hussein killed fighting rebellion in his own country.

    http://www.moreorless.au.com/killers/hussein.html
    Your source lists a lot of people that disappeared or were killed, but it says absolutely nothing about said people fighting a rebellion.
    Yes. It did. You weren't paying attention. It clearly illustrated how an entire village full of people were murdered after a failed assassination attempt. If you can't understand why there was not a large scale open rebellion, in light of that, then I'm afraid there's no hope for you.

    And here is a very simple example of how a majority does not get what they want under a tyrant. Lets say that you, me, and one other person form a country. There's one weapon in the country - an AK-47 - belonging to me. You and the third citizen "vote" for you to be the leader. I shoot you, and tell the third citizen that I'll shoot him if I don't get to be the leader. Therefore, the mahjority doesn't get what they want.
    That's hilarious, and also stupid. If you shoot us both you're suddenly king over nothing. If the majority _really_ wanted saddam out of power, he would have been out. Mass death or no.
    Not at all. For the third time, you're not paying attention. I didn't shoot the third person in our country. I just shot you, and threatened to shoot him. Therefore, I'm the leader of two. Of course, you're correct that I no longer have to deal with a majority against me, since I'm now half the population, but simply change the initial population to four, in which you, and two others vote against me before I shoot you, and threaten the other two with the same fate.

    Your problem is that you take the political system you live under for granted. You can go out and protest your government without "vanishing" as a political prisoner of the government. You would be extremely naive to assume that that political system exists universally on earth.
    Your problem is you think I do.
    I stand by my opinion. You seem to have no concept of anything outside of the world you live in, where your vote counts for something, and you're protected by the first ammendment. That's not an insult, mind you. You're likely very young.
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    Guns change the ratio of votes needed to "elect" a leader.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris the Bloviator
    You seem to have no concept of anything outside of the world you live in, .........You're likely very young.
    Most people grow out of that. :wink:
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    I'm sorry to make a quick hit and run post, but this thread kind of went way off topic. You're not really talking about nationalism any more, so much as Iraq and war.

    The OP started this by saying that nationalism is wrong, and you should think of you before the country. It is this exact sentiment that corrupts our politicians and makes them want to hold on to power. It is this reason they take campaign bribes to gain the power they look for, and then use their new influence to reward the behavior the OP claims to be against. When this happens, you end up with idiots running the country. The best example comes from right now: When did borrowing lots of money become a good way to get out of debt? It didn't, but someone has to be rewarded for campaign contributions. (Not that republicans are any better, mind you. This election was a disaster waiting on either end.)

    Then someone brought up Lincoln. The OP did correctly state that Lincoln was one of the worst presidents our country has ever had. I'd also say he was one of the best. Lincoln was amazing because he was a man of unwavering principle. He stood by his ideals, and fought for them. Unfortunately, in his pursuit of perfection, he used the Constitution for toilet paper. He ignored the rights of the people, suspended habeas corpus (had people arrested for seditious statements), controlled what the newspapers said, and finally, revoked the implied right to secede from the union. That last one is possibly the most damaging, and continues to this day to be an issue that has not been properly addressed.

    Now back to the point, it isn't nationalism in either of these cases that caused the problem. It's the people behind them. Lincoln was elected on a platform of peace, unity, and upholding the law. His view on secession fit with the requirements of his party, and his view on slavery was that of "I hate it, but it is the law, so I will uphold it, while working to fix the law." What went wrong is that he went against his promises when his view on secession was challenged. He turned into a dictator "for the good of the country." The only difference is that his dictatorship ended when he finished his job and won the war.

    Nationalism is a tool. It is very much like a gun, it can be used to stop a crime (American Revolution), or it can be used to commit a crime (Hitler). It does, however, tend to make a more unified place, free of little warring factions that could cause serious trouble later on.
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    This is the historical development of social borders: Clan, group of clans, village, town, city, kingdom, empire, and nation. Each one requires certain imagination. But not only that, concepts such as “self”, “I” , “you” also needs to be imagined. Human concept of “self” is not a natural one, but constructed by its place among a type of society in a particular time. It is impossible to believe chimpanzee brains and human brains produces same type (or “quality” if you like) of conscious self. “Self” is a room in your brain, a club for your existence. It can be decorated according to many things for humans. But these things can be found only in human markets. Your understanding of self, your devotion to a particular thing and your detest from some others, are all depend on what species you are, what kinds of cultural, social, economic and political backgrounds you have, and where you are and what do you want to be, as much as how do you define “self”: It’s philosophical, it’s an emancipator, a strategy, a construction… It’s very much fashion and very much human.

    This brings us the world of human imagination. But there is no other door, that is to say, there is no upper, divine, natural, absolute, post-universe power, reality, direction, formula, rule book or anything out there. We live only according to our imagination. We change the stories according to environment. Just as DNA evolves within the opportunities of certain type of climate, soil, minerals of this planet, our mental evolution depends on what a civilization can provide us: Stories, technology, art, conditions, enemies and friends, family, nation, globe… Human universe has been expanding throughout generations, cultures and populations. It does not work with gases, nuclear fusion, gravity or gene type codes. Human universe work with symbols, ideas, sex, priorities and principles, knowledge, music, emotion, language, and their animalistic heritage. You can calculate and predict everything in this universe; it’s just limited to calculation capacity, computer power. You can not dare to do the same calculation for human universe. We live in a dimension of non-existing things. Something can only affect us with ideas. Sun was God for my ancestors, sun is a nuclear fusion for me. And “I” define what is real and what is not.

    Nationalism was a creation to get rid of ancient agricultural religious naturalism. It was the ideology of wider gathering. On the basis of language, war stories, principles like justice and freedom, new identity to masses alternative to ancient ones. Members of a family know and kiss each other individually, people know their friends, waiters, teachers or neighbours, but they will never know every single member of their nation. They will imagine their existence, will convince with statistics and numbers, and TV shows.

    Nationalistic era, last 250 years, has been the introduction of planet earth and its inhabitants to almost every part of humanity through sophisticated war, communication and technologic achievements. Nationalistic era has become the test area for the concepts like liberalism, rationalism, abolition of slavery, woman rights, human rights, individualism. We find it stupid now, because we can brightly see that the planet is not like that. Nations represent nothing but artificial barriers against the common good and common future of life on earth. We need to get together and solve our common problems using common knowledge and resources. We are the last survivor of the humanoids.

    When we know something, we use it to entertain us. Like sending satellites to outer space… Now if we know that we can imagine anything and make ourselves believe in anything, we can use this knowledge to entertain our human universe.

    Great passion, ingenious projects and human thought options were created during the era of nations. Just as, the era of kingdoms or empires once did a similar contributions. Tears, blood and sufferings have been the heavy cost… That means, we need to find another dream where we can fit everyone and even everything in this universe with great care and importance. We can not escape from illusion, it is our only reality. We must intentionally design, create the illusion of unity, using the illusion of self , and submit the project to other human brains to make it real. Because you know, humans can do anything when they get together. Unique and single like a tree, but together like a forest. Why not?
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    Quote Originally Posted by baftansowibat
    Nationalism was a creation to get rid of ancient agricultural religious naturalism. It was the ideology of wider gathering. On the basis of language, war stories, principles like justice and freedom, new identity to masses alternative to ancient ones. Members of a family know and kiss each other individually, people know their friends, waiters, teachers or neighbours, but they will never know every single member of their nation. They will imagine their existence, will convince with statistics and numbers, and TV shows.
    Experience would have shown us early on that the largest unified group pretty much always wins at war. (Not absolutely always, as in the 300 Spartans who stood against the whole army of Persia, for example.)

    Everybody wanted to win the next war, instead of getting defeated and killed or made into slaves, so whenever they saw a concept that would allow them to become part of a larger group, the smart ones accepted it.


    Great passion, ingenious projects and human thought options were created during the era of nations. Just as, the era of kingdoms or empires once did a similar contributions. Tears, blood and sufferings have been the heavy cost… That means, we need to find another dream where we can fit everyone and even everything in this universe with great care and importance. We can not escape from illusion, this is not our reality. We must create the illusion of unity, with the illusion of self. Unique and single like a tree, but together like a forest. Why not?
    The big problem I see with making this jump is how to get people to unite without a common enemy. Whereas before, people would unify into large nations so they could pillage and plunder all of the smaller groups around them, the last great unity (making the whole Earth into a nation) will have to happen knowing we have no neighbors to attack or defend ourselves from.

    It also runs a reasonable risk of causing stagnation, because previous nationalizing efforts have tended to focus on consolidating everyone into a single culture, because that made it easier for everyone to work together.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    The big problem I see with making this jump is how to get people to unite without a common enemy. Whereas before, people would unify into large nations so they could pillage and plunder all of the smaller groups around them, the last great unity (making the whole Earth into a nation) will have to happen knowing we have no neighbors to attack or defend ourselves from.
    Exactly, and very much importantly.

    None of our unifications or acceptance of others as "enemies" were due to the great power of nature or anything beyond our perception. Everything was in our minds. Europeans were bombing each other just less than a century ago. Now they are living under the European Union standards. Such a union was a weird and impossible thought, but today it is reality, and something like European war is inconceivable. Who is the common enemy of European Union? I could not point a single nation, but maybe certain type of regimes where European principles of justice, equality and human rights are not in good shape. They don't even have a common army.

    But if you insist on common enemy, I'll tell you a couple: First and foremost is ourselves. The most difficult enemy among all. Yet again, it is defeatable. We are still the biggest enemy of ourselves with utmost examples of stupidity and ignorance. And we are altogether responsible from this enemy, it emerged among us, we have been culturally and socially nurtured and created hostilities by our brains. You can blame Hitler or other dark actors of history until the eternity, but we know that Hitler could not be as effective as he was without the help of others. He did not created and applied an unknown philosophy, methods or aims which are totally alien to human universe. He pushed the limits, we did not like him and pushed him off the cliff. If you think humanity in a tribe scale, this is exactly what happened. And it could be any other clever monkey, or any other nation. We must all take the blame, it's because of us. We should never allow similar situation to repeat, nowhere among human beings or other creatures, it was our great shame.

    What if we starve? What if we can not feed the humanity despite the level of technology and science we have. In this case, we will eat each other, that's what happened in South Pacific Islands when the food supply decreased. But these tribes were at least hunter gatherers, we must accept this excuse. We have come a long way such as agricultural and industrial periods, I think we can generate more sophisticated solutions before we invite each other to dinner: -"What's on the menu?" "-You!"... Forget cannibalism, we can not even go back to slavery, we know that alive individuals are more valuable, benefitial, profitable, entertaining than dead ones. Moreover, we find similar people more and more boring, we want diversity, we have just started to grasp the richness and opportunity of other people.

    Second but ready enemy is nature. It always try to kill us, and up until now it has been successful. It destroys our loved ones, precious human brains and possibilities. It can wipe out our kind when the available conditions occur. A disease, a meteor or an eruption of a super volcano. We have to find short-cuts for our survival. We can continuously listen to this enemy, get information about its secrets and strategy. We have to mobilise entire human wisdom to alter the possible attack of nature. I believe if we can beat the first enemy we would have chance to beat the second. We can start with unconditional total ceasefire between humans so we can concentrate on real obstacles against existence.

    Its all about shift in imagination and consideration. Reality will necessarily have to shift. It has no chance against a unified human enemy who is fighting for survival.
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    I think what happens is people have too many kids, and then get all surprised when real estate gets scarce. Their children remember growing up on all this land, where they could run around and play, and then they wonder why their own kids don't get that.

    "Surely it must be those other guys in the nation next to us!!!" They say, and rally to war.

    But the real answer is very simple: The amount of real estate cannot possibly ever grow by even so much as one acre. If the number of people increases, then each family must therefore give its children less acreage to play on.

    "What if I save more money and pay more for the acreage?" A parent will ask.

    Well, then everybody else who wants land does the same, and the price goes up even more, because they're all bidding against each other. They finally manage to buy their beloved home, and find they can barely afford to eat (or in the USA it would be that they can barely afford health insurance, or gas)

    That's the sense in which we are our own worst enemy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Experience would have shown us early on that the largest unified group pretty much always wins at war. (Not absolutely always, as in the 300 Spartans who stood against the whole army of Persia, for example.)
    But those 300 Spartans lost the Battle of Thermopylae. In fact, the whole incident is constantly misquoted. There were between 4,000 and 8,000 Greeks defending the "Hot Gates" at the pass of Thermopylae. The fighting lasted only two days before Persian forces enveloped the Greeks and a tactical retreat was ordered. True to common perception, 298 Spartans were present as a rear-guard, but they were joined by 300 Helots, 400 Thebans and 700 Thesbians. So now we have 1700 Greeks at the pass that day. The suicidal rear-guard action wasn't necessarily a matter of choice either. It may have been because the Persian flanking element prohibited retreat for a portion of the army. The remaining Greek force was quickly overwhelmed. Persian forces were also greatly overstated. Herodotus guessed that they numbered 1.7 million, with another 900,000 with the naval component but historians disagree, thinking it was closer to 100,000.

    Quote Originally Posted by baftansowibat
    What if we starve? What if we can not feed the humanity despite the level of technology and science we have. In this case, we will eat each other, that's what happened in South Pacific Islands when the food supply decreased. But these tribes were at least hunter gatherers, we must accept this excuse. We have come a long way such as agricultural and industrial periods, I think we can generate more sophisticated solutions before we invite each other to dinner: -"What's on the menu?" "-You!"... Forget cannibalism, we can not even go back to slavery, we know that alive individuals are more valuable, benefitial, profitable, entertaining than dead ones.
    Who are you suggesting might starve? Agricultural technology and productivity continually increase, throughout the world.

    When and which South Pacific islands are you referring to? The collapse of the Polynesian peoples on Easter Island perhaps? If so, I'm not sure how that could serve as an appropriate microcosm of modern, worldwide events. This was a secluded society with limited ability to trade, migrate and develop new subsistence sources.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kukhri
    Quote Originally Posted by baftansowibat
    What if we starve? What if we can not feed the humanity despite the level of technology and science we have. In this case, we will eat each other, that's what happened in South Pacific Islands when the food supply decreased. But these tribes were at least hunter gatherers, we must accept this excuse. We have come a long way such as agricultural and industrial periods, I think we can generate more sophisticated solutions before we invite each other to dinner: -"What's on the menu?" "-You!"... Forget cannibalism, we can not even go back to slavery, we know that alive individuals are more valuable, benefitial, profitable, entertaining than dead ones.
    Who are you suggesting might starve? Agricultural technology and productivity continually increase, throughout the world.

    When and which South Pacific islands are you referring to? The collapse of the Polynesian peoples on Easter Island perhaps? If so, I'm not sure how that could serve as an appropriate microcosm of modern, worldwide events. This was a secluded society with limited ability to trade, migrate and develop new subsistence sources.
    Honestly, do you find any difference between what I said and what you defended? You either jumped into this thread without reading the previous discussions or you are from South Pacific...
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    Quote Originally Posted by baftansowibat
    Honestly, do you find any difference between what I said and what you defended? You either jumped into this thread without reading the previous discussions or you are from South Pacific...
    My presence for the beginning of the discussion is not significant. My comments only related to your previous post which was worded in a way I find difficult to understand. I asked for clarification. Please provide it.
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    "What if we starve ?" is a hypothetical situation that I raised. Because my standing point is in favour of a possible human unification against nationalistic odds. However, taking the fear of "population is growing, resources are going to finish" seriously and putting it in front of humanly possible alternatives are something I wanted to eliminate. But while trying to eliminate the fear, I also considered the "What if" situation and draw the worst case scenario: We are going to leave all these science, technology and cultural accumulation and start to eat each other! This would be ironic and laughable.
    More details?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kukhri
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Experience would have shown us early on that the largest unified group pretty much always wins at war. (Not absolutely always, as in the 300 Spartans who stood against the whole army of Persia, for example.)
    But those 300 Spartans lost the Battle of Thermopylae. In fact, the whole incident is constantly misquoted. There were between 4,000 and 8,000 Greeks defending the "Hot Gates" at the pass of Thermopylae. The fighting lasted only two days before Persian forces enveloped the Greeks and a tactical retreat was ordered. True to common perception, 298 Spartans were present as a rear-guard, but they were joined by 300 Helots, 400 Thebans and 700 Thesbians. So now we have 1700 Greeks at the pass that day. The suicidal rear-guard action wasn't necessarily a matter of choice either. It may have been because the Persian flanking element prohibited retreat for a portion of the army. The remaining Greek force was quickly overwhelmed. Persian forces were also greatly overstated. Herodotus guessed that they numbered 1.7 million, with another 900,000 with the naval component but historians disagree, thinking it was closer to 100,000.
    I love the historical clarification you bring into these things. I was worried somebody would cite the 300 as a counter example, and now it appears even that battle didn't defy the rule of numbers.

    So, is it safe to say that, historically, whenever a very large force faced off against a very small force, the large force pretty much always won?



    Quote Originally Posted by baftansowibat
    What if we starve? What if we can not feed the humanity despite the level of technology and science we have. In this case, we will eat each other, that's what happened in South Pacific Islands when the food supply decreased. But these tribes were at least hunter gatherers, we must accept this excuse. We have come a long way such as agricultural and industrial periods, I think we can generate more sophisticated solutions before we invite each other to dinner: -"What's on the menu?" "-You!"... Forget cannibalism, we can not even go back to slavery, we know that alive individuals are more valuable, benefitial, profitable, entertaining than dead ones.
    Who are you suggesting might starve? Agricultural technology and productivity continually increase, throughout the world.

    When and which South Pacific islands are you referring to? The collapse of the Polynesian peoples on Easter Island perhaps? If so, I'm not sure how that could serve as an appropriate microcosm of modern, worldwide events. This was a secluded society with limited ability to trade, migrate and develop new subsistence sources.
    Well, taken as a whole, the earth is a secluded island in the middle of a very vast cosmos. We have nobody to trade with, nowhere to migrate, and our possibilities for subsistence are limited to the natural resources available (which technology can add to, but it can't extend them to infinity.)

    We can trade with each other, but... the Easter Islanders could trade with each other too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo
    I appear to have lost the train of thought from the initial question, but hes a few thoughts

    "Divide to conquer" is a strategy that has been used time and again by despots and empires to rule over a population. Differences of all kinds can arbitrarily be used to divide people, skin color, which invisible man in the sky you believe in, origin, culture, gonades/gender, you name it. But the ultimate division is individualism, every man for himself, me myself and I. A small cohesive group will always have the upper hand over individuals even when individuals outnumber that group. You want your prey to be individualistic, the last thing you want is for a population to organize cooperate for its own common interest.

    Nationalism can be good if it accentuates cooperation, pulling together, ect and bad if it is used to justify negative actions.

    Empires like the British Empire and its latest incarnation the American Empire dislike nationalism when it is used by the local population to advocate in favor of the local population's interest as opposed to the exploitation of the population for the Empire's benefit.

    Nationalism in Iran was bad, because Anlgo Oil interests did not want the local population to benefit from the Oil, they wanted the local population to live in abject poverty and to plunder the oil for their profit, which is why the elected government of Mossadeq was overthrown by MI6/CIA and replaced with a good old fashion brutal dictator the Shah who could keep the locals in check and rubberstamp the exploitation. The Empire thus wants local gangsters to rule over the population, the local gansters get a cut of the exploitation racket. Its similar to the feudal system, but when the banana republic's dictator is one of ours we call him a president, if hes not one of ours hes a dictator, its 'Saddam the president of Iraq' when he cooperates and wages war on our behalf, but its the 'evil dictator Saddam' when he no longer cooperates (and trades Oil in Euros instead of petro$).

    "The reason our invasion of Iraq is justified, is that our specific goal is to eliminate an oppressive and unpopular dictator, who imposes his rule through force of arms, in order to replace that government with a new government, entirely created by the Iraqi people. "
    Thats a cart of bullcrap, the reasons for going to Iraq were not those propagated by the corporate media and puppet politicians, more likely were Oil, petro$, Israel, etc. The US loves dictators like Pinochet, the Shah, unelected despots like the Saudi royals, as long as they favor US corporate interests, even Saddam was supported by the US, he was still a dictator then. Even the Taliban which now are the enemy-du-jour had the red-carpet reception when they were negociating the CentGas pipeline deal.
    You're correctly citing the results of our cold-war interactions in large areas of the world, but I think you're largely mischaracterizing the intent. Your point is valid that we largely expressed hypocrisy in our dealings with generally unsavory people in charge of a great number of nations, especially the Middle East. We're largely responsible for both the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, as well as the rise in power of Al Qaida, in a few respects. These were unintended consequences of our fight against the Soviet Union. Especially after Vietnam, we didn't have the stomache to engage in nation building, and put our own troops in harms way to fight not only for our own interests, but the interests of the broader region, and all of the stakeholders involved.

    In all of the instances you cite, the situation would have been handled much more effectively and finally through a traditional declaration of war, as well as a Marshall Plan style reconstruction of the affected nation in the aftermath. The Marshall plan is what finally stabilized Europe and brought about peace with Japan as well. America's biggest mistake in foreign policy since WWII was in forgetting to pick up our adversary at the end of the conflict, and offer them equality and a helping hand once the fight is over.

    I think two things made this difficult. The threat of nuclear attack made full scale invasions and land wars politically undoable, for fear of inciting a nuclear holocaust. The result was the Cold War's "limited warfare" that never truly resolved any conflicts, and mostly just managed to make a mess. Also, the post Vietnam radical liberal movement destroyed America's will to spread and protect democracy and fight for our allies directly, so when the government was charged with protecting our economic and political interests abroad, we were largely forced to do so without a strong military footprint, so we had to contract our interests out to anyone that would serve them. Our biggest mistake was sacrificing long term stability and peace for short term political gain, hence our current problems in the Arab world.
    A historical figure once said something that's extremely relevant to the current dialogue. If I knew who that was, or what they said, I'd probably quote them in this signature.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    So, is it safe to say that, historically, whenever a very large force faced off against a very small force, the large force pretty much always won?
    Numbers are only a single element. Supply, position, terrain, skill at arms and the armament itself are all important. There are many historical examples of outnumbered armies winning the day. The battle of Marathon in the first Greek/Persian war saw a Greek army of about 10,000 smash a Persian army of 26,000. In the battle of Salamis during the second Persian invasion of Greece, the victorious Greek navy was outnumbered roughly 370 ships against 600-800 ships. In the battle of Agincourt during the Hundred Years War, the English numbering around 6,000 bested the French army of 20,000 to 30,000 (though the numbers are disputed). During the Yom Kippur War, Israel was often outnumbered 5 or 10 to 1.

    As I often do in military themed threads, I must caution against generalizations that take only one or two factors into account.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kukhri
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    So, is it safe to say that, historically, whenever a very large force faced off against a very small force, the large force pretty much always won?
    Numbers are only a single element. Supply, position, terrain, skill at arms and the armament itself are all important. There are many historical examples of outnumbered armies winning the day. The battle of Marathon in the first Greek/Persian war saw a Greek army of about 10,000 smash a Persian army of 26,000. In the battle of Salamis during the second Persian invasion of Greece, the victorious Greek navy was outnumbered roughly 370 ships against 600-800 ships. In the battle of Agincourt during the Hundred Years War, the English numbering around 6,000 bested the French army of 20,000 to 30,000 (though the numbers are disputed). During the Yom Kippur War, Israel was often outnumbered 5 or 10 to 1.

    As I often do in military themed threads, I must caution against generalizations that take only one or two factors into account.
    That makes sense. I also think the Romans had a few battles where they won against some staggering odds by fortifying, or using terrain. Like in the British uprising in AD 60, where something like 10,000 Romans defeated a number ranging from 40,000 to 230,000 depending on the source. (I kind of doubt the higher number).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boudica

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris the Bloviator

    I think two things made this difficult. The threat of nuclear attack made full scale invasions and land wars politically undoable, for fear of inciting a nuclear holocaust. The result was the Cold War's "limited warfare" that never truly resolved any conflicts, and mostly just managed to make a mess. Also, the post Vietnam radical liberal movement destroyed America's will to spread and protect democracy and fight for our allies directly, so when the government was charged with protecting our economic and political interests abroad, we were largely forced to do so without a strong military footprint, so we had to contract our interests out to anyone that would serve them. Our biggest mistake was sacrificing long term stability and peace for short term political gain, hence our current problems in the Arab world.
    Good point that limited engagements don't seem to solve anything. I'd have to agree. It's almost like people only really respond to the threat of outright genocide, in terms of geniunely relinquishing their objectives and giving in.

    In WW2, both the Germans and the Japanese had been guilty of just such atrocities, so it wouldn't have been too hard to convince them they were going to become victims of total depopulation if they didn't totally surrender.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    That makes sense. I also think the Romans had a few battles where they won against some staggering odds by fortifying, or using terrain. Like in the British uprising in AD 60, where something like 10,000 Romans defeated a number ranging from 40,000 to 230,000 depending on the source. (I kind of doubt the higher number).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boudica
    How could I forget Boudica's uprising? The Romans backed into the mouth of a V shaped forest line, protecting their flanks. Up to 80,000 rebel Britons were killed, inflicting only 400 dead and another 400 wounded on the Romans and their friendly British conscripts. Not surprising as the Brits had a habit of wandering into battle half naked. They also liked to bring women and children along to holler and make scary noises. Turned out, Romans don't much have a problem with putting them to the sword as well.
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