The Purpose and Function of Government

What is the purpose and function of Government?

The first obvious function is to help create an environment in which people can create and live a good life.

Government’s responsibility is to provide a framework and ecosystem that supports its citizens living a good life.

This necessitates a few things.

First, we must understand Human Nature to first understand what is a good life for a human.

So, what are humans? We are a being comprised of Body, Mind, Soul, and Spirit.

{I have written extensively on my theory of the Quadripartite nature of humanity before, but as a quick refresher:
1. Body – The physical and biochemical processes of matter and energy dictated by physics and biology.
2. Mind – The rational conscious thinking part of ourselves.
3. Soul – the creative and emotional part of ourselves. (Not a religious/eternal soul). Part of the subconscious.
4. Spirit – Will, desires, inner power, character, instinct. Part of the subconscious.}

(I am Not going to argue for that breakdown here, as I have done it many times before. It is here merely as a reference to my building blocks and foundation of thought.)

We are beings in relationship to the Universe: We relate to the physical world around us, to nature. We relate to the people around us: to society and our community. We relate to ourselves. We relate to our concept of the divine, be that God, the Muses, Enlightenment, etc. Our individual Relationships constitute the essential truth of ourselves. How we behave and desire to behave toward all of those elements is at the core essence of who we are.

We are Free Will beings of matter and energy living in a physical world that we impact through our choices. We be, while we become. We have physical biochemical needs that keep us alive. We have emotional/creative/psychological/intellectual needs that give us quality of life. We feel a need to have some overarching purpose. We experience time linearly and thus create narratives of our lives. We constantly develop this narrative and accept or reject pieces and parts based on how they fit. Some pieces we have forced into our narratives, and we then must adjust our story to accommodate it. We are social beings. We thrive in a society, and while we can survive completely on our own, we are much more efficient and are better able to meet our needs in a community of our choosing.

We are beings that start with some limited processing power that grow and develop through time in response to stimuli. Our early years are quite formative. Our environment (socio-economic, actual climate, rural/city, country, intellectual, worldview, memes, etc) and relationships all impact the stories we tell ourselves.
Events happen to us, and we process them, creating narratives around them, which are informed by our past experiences, and how others teach us to react to them.

We are creatures that seek pleasure, and tend to avoid pain. We seek fulfillment. We tend to be creatures of habit. We Create and build. We also destroy and ruin. We desire. We crave and need love, and to feel and be empowered in our lives. We seek happiness. We seek to live a good life, by whatever standard we have constructed/been taught. We seek to do good actions, and be good people. We usually seek to live lives of character and integrity, for a variety of reasons. Humans have traditionally been religious beings seeking answers to large questions of meaning, purpose, and living well, outside the physical universe in the realm of the metaphysical and Theological. Due to biology, the normal basic family unit consists of a father and a mother and a child. This, of course expands, and permutates in infinite complexity. Humans tend to bond and feel most strongly about those closest to them in appearance and DNA. Next, they bond through shared experience and taste. Thirdly, they bond through affiliation with tribes, clubs, teams, etc without real prior personal contact.

Humans need Food, Shelter, Protective clothing (personal and portable shelter), oxygen, water, excretion, and general homeostasis in order to merely survive. Sex is important to create and build family units, and propagate the species. These things in proper balance provide health. Proper shelter usually turns into property. The tools by which you gain these basic needs are the most important possessions toward self determination. Shelter grants physical safety for both you and your family. Security of employment means that you can have the means to secure the aforementioned needs. Being able to protect your self and your family means that you have the ability to continue to survive. When your physiological and emotional needs and security are covered, we can have a stable family life, and develop friendships and intimacy with our family and community. This in turn creates confidence and respect for ourselves and others. It allows us the ability to succeed and achieve, if we are so inclined. At this point, our lives are functioning so well, we can create and appreciate creation. We can enjoy leisure, and be spontaneous. We can see possibilities, not just actualities. We can philosophize. In short we can attain our highest personal potential. In rare cases, some people short circuit these, and go out of order, but throughout history, the vast majority of people function this way.

Speaking of Sexuality, humans generally are either male or female, and generally sexually desire the opposite. Now, there obviously are genetic aberrations and socialized differences. Humans, though we tend to be, are not only sexually binary. There are scores of other variations upon the theme. However, the binary propagation model tends to be the normal standard. There is no right or wrong here. It merely is.

We are much more than this. We explore, we discover, we go new places and seek new things. We are curious about the unknown. We also fear it. We are brave. We are courageous. We are timid. We are loyal to our groups, and fiercely protective of them. We can yet transcend our identities and our groups, though. We can see generals, and infer specifics, and vice versa. We can learn and grow. We seek to change and grow in as much as we seek stability and comfort, and to remain the same.

We are spontaneous, impulsive, and creatures of habit and routine. We are logical, based on known quantities and we are erratic and insane. We see the world as we have been taught to see it, and we can see it as we want it to be. We have vast imaginations that create new possibilities and impossibilities.

We want everything, and nothing.

We destroy. we seek conquest, power, and glory.

We seek immortality, and devise a myriad of ways to achieve it. We fear death, and the idea that there is nothing beyond what we see and feel. We are faced with our own mortality, and insignificance.

We seek to glorify ourselves. We seek to propagate our name through works or through children. We seek to provide for our future immortality lineage.

We take what doesn’t belong to us for them. We think that we deserve rewards for goodness. We do evil things. We think that the world works in certain ways, and we delight and fear the surprises that expectation brings.

Humans are complicated. We think. We feel. We act. Or not. We destroy ourselves and enjoy the destruction. We build ourselves, and love the work. Or we hate all of those things.

What are humans? What are we? We are all of these things and much more.

So, what is the purpose of Government?

Proper and healthy Government is supposed to create an environment in which we can become fully human and reach our fullest human potential, by regulating each other to prevent the unjust exploitation of each other through a system of checks and balances, and watched watchers that answers to the people, is created by the people and is comprised of the people in order to best care for each other and protect each other from each other, in a global community. It is ideal to create a government that allows maximum personal freedom to self-determine our own individual purpose and fulfillment and allow us each the freedom of self-discovery and maximum personal development and growth. This personal realization of potential is great for everyone, for it helps foster an environment of success. Our greatest potential can only be realized in a community. Our greatest potential helps the maximum amount of people in the world. Everyone has a different potential.

Thus the true purpose of Government is to help us each discover our highest potential, and to create an environment in which everyone can potentially discover their highest potential. Our highest potential might be called living “the good life.”

Our highest potential is that which helps the most people in the greatest manner, while providing a sense of fulfillment, and purpose. How can we best positively impact all of our relationships (Divine, IntraPersonal, Societal, environmental, and cosmological)?

How can we most fully create the best possible version of ourselves?

It starts by being people of our word. All character flows from commitment to honesty, and doing what we say we will do, every time. Being trustworthy is the foundation to all other character traits. Foundational in that honesty is a respect of the human dignity and the view of absolute human equality. We respect our equals. We value those equal to us, and thus honor them with our honesty. If all men and women are equal, then we must unequivocally be honest and deal with them as equals. We treat others as we want to be treated because they are equal to us. We help our equals and are kind in the way we want to be helped and have kindnesses done to us. Loyalty, friendliness, conscientiousness, patience, gentleness, discipline, courteousness, cheerfulness, bravery, cleanliness, etc all stems from treating others as equals: the way that we want to be treated. These are the basis of integrity and character. All proper morality and ethics must stem from this basis of human nature and equality. It is more than just a trite truism, it is a foundational truth that underpins all Law, Ethics, Morality, Social Contracts, and social dealings.

So, with these foundational truths as a basis, What is the purpose of Government? How does it look?

Government originated through tribal nomads. The family unit was the original basis of government. Families and small groups were able to diversify their talents and secure the basic necessities. Because strength secured the ability to breathe, get food, build shelter, choose better choices, and maximize freedom, strength was originally most prized. Strength allowed the ability to have freedom. Strength also gave the ability to take freedom away from others, and to take their resources. Wisdom quickly developed as an alternative, and soon whomever held both wisdom and strength ruled the tribe of families, and later cites, then city-states, then kingdoms, and empires. Wisdom alone is not enough to rule. Strength must necessarily be a part of it. Wisdom also governed Strength’s targets, timing, tactics, and reasons for attacking. It also countered other Strength’s attacks. Thus Government was born to lead people to safety and security, as well as to protect against outside uses of strength. It is very difficult for one man to grow food, build shelter, and care for all of his needs with any long term stability. More people meant that more tasks could be outsourced to others who were better and more productive at certain tasks. At first, all was held in common, and the Patriarch ensured that all received what they needed or at least received a fair share. As groups grew larger, it became increasingly difficult for one person to arbitrate and to ensure universal dispersion of resources to the needy. Trading the fruits of the labors became currency. Hard work creating desired resources necessary to the survival of the tribe became important. And with the burgeoning trades came people who helped the suppliers get their goods to the demanders. And relative value currency was created to help arbitrarily evaluate the relative value of one good to another, or one service to a good. Government helped ensure that this ran smoothly, and took a tax as payment for creating a safe environment in which to trade, without fear of robbery, cheating, or other hazards to livelihood. It also became necessary to create arbitration and means of recourse for wrong doing. Thus courts were born, and legal standards that were held as equal for all men. No men were above the law, not even kings or government. It created a standard of punishments as deterrents and a system of justice. Also, in primitive societies, Kings had counselors who gave recommendations to the ruler on how they thought society was best run, or on matters of immediate policy or danger. In early societies, this was a counsel of elders elected by the people to speak for them, and represent their interests around the counsel fire as matters of grave import were discussed and decided on. The king could either reject or accept their counsel, but often found that his rule was easier if he listened to the popular votes of his counselors. He found that they became his careful allies and helped convince people of long term strategy and of what was truly in the tribe’s best interest.

Thus, the basis of a democratic republic has its foundations in the earliest forms of human government. Our three branch system has existed in one form or another, with varying degrees of balance since the earliest tribal nomadic days of human history.

The King casts a vision for his people, and makes decisions with much input from the popular representatives and counselors, while a court system arbitrates disputes, and ensures that the King and Counselor’s decisions are based on precedent, and law, and are in the best interests of the country.

In the earliest tribes, people all lived as one. They all either starved, or feasted. When there was plenty, everyone succeeded. When there was famine, everyone starved. Everyone lived and died as a unit. They cared for each other, and made sure that everyone was cared for. If someone didn’t have enough, or have what they needed, their contribution was significantly diminished, so it was in everyone’s best interests to make sure that everyone was properly taken care of. As the support net has grown, the individual impact of successes and failures has diminished. It is spread out over a much larger area. It has become easy to ignore the devastation of others’ lives. It has become easy to ignore those who are starving, who are naked, who have no water, or who have no shelter or home. They have no means of contributing to society, for they are often ostracized.

What a job really is is a means to contribute to the success of the whole. Can you hunt? Can you cook? Can you farm? Can you create art? Do you build fire? Do you craft tools? DO you watch children? etc. How do you contribute? If a stranger wanders in out of the cold, and is naked, without food, and is sick, get him warm. Feed him, heal him, then figure out how he can contribute to the whole.

All that democratic socialism proposes is to help the people who cannot feed themselves, who are sick, and can’t heal themselves, and who have no homes, and cannot build one do these things. Once you care for the body, you can care for the spirit and mind and will. When these things are cared for, we can help them become a productive and contributing member to society. This is the central and core tenant. Help people survive long enough and raise themselves up to no longer worry about the basic essentials of life. Then habilitate them toward meaningful productivity and contribution.

The purpose of Government is to help people live the good life. Other people create the environment in which you live. If you help others, or empower others to help others, all of those others will help you create a better environment in which you can grow and live a good life. When the tide rises, so do all of the little boats.

Streamlining Immigration is about helping people become good citizens that can contribute to the overall well being – combining the other tribes resources into our own. Universal Healthcare is about the developing a populace that doesn’t need to fear disease and be destroyed by it. Welfare, the same purpose. Foreign Policy should be about how best to help the whole world live the good life, for that helps us life a good life.

Government is merely the extension of ourselves to help us live a good life, and to help others live a good life, and that requires that we contribute to the betterment of the government and society. It means that the way to best maximize our personal freedom and benefit is to force each other to pull our own weight and the weight of the cart. The role of government is to help get everyone off of the cart, and get everyone running toward a better tomorrow, without leaving anyone behind.

Let us help each other reach our maximum potential. We really don’t have a choice, if we want to truly be free.

Regarding Poverty: On the Balance of Libertarianism and Government

“By the standard of all scriptures, neglect of the poor, of widows and orphans, of the sick, the homeless, the insane, is an abominable perversion.”
-Wendell Berry
Like ·  · Share · February 4 at 11:53am near Los Angeles, CA ·

  • Richard Bloodworth yes but where in the scriptures does it say that that is a government and not an individuals responsibility
  • Richard Bloodworth No one argues that we should not take care of those individuals we argue that it is an individual responsibility not a government one. Also using this argument negates any mention of Separation of Church and State. You cannot on the one hand say that religion has no place in government and then make an argument from a religious perspective for a government welfare.
  • Col James RW Hiatt All that government is is the collective action and will of all individuals working together.Specific Religion has no place in government. Unless you want the Scientologists to institute Scientology law, if they ever take over.The term “Scriptures” here could actually refer to almost any holy book in the world, from the Torah, to the Bible, to the Quran, to the Vedas, to the writings of Confucius. The perspective embraced is a universal one.Personal Religion has a role in individual lives. The nature of the doctrine of “Separation of Church and State” is designed to keep any singular faith from foisting their individual doctrines upon a people, the way the Anglicans and Catholics and Orthodox have done in the past in Europe. State sponsored religion is intellectual and spiritual tyranny.

    The right wing does not have the corner on faith. Nor should they. There are many left-leaning people with a strong faith. However, they do not legislate their religious faith. They use reason, and ethics as the basis of legislation, and when Scripture reinforces that, a wonderful synchronicity follows.

    The teachings of Jesus are specifically and wondrously socialist. He urges societal principles which cause Ayn Rand to slit her wrists and vomit in rage. Government is the mean collective will and actions of individuals.

    Thus it is right and proper to encourage spiritual arguments when they line up. Also, it is useful to use Scriptures to persuade when speaking to people who believe them. It becomes a matter of urging internal and intellectual consistency, and discourages hypocrisy and Pharisaical behavior.

  • Dulce Chalé · Friends with Robby Strong and 1 other

    If you read the Old Testament, most of the directives to help the poor, the widow and the foreigners were to the nations, and the nations were the ones who were judged, not just individuals.
  • Richard Bloodworth but government is not the collective will of all individuals since there is dissent so obviously your definition is false.
  • Col James RW Hiatt That is the definition of a democratic representational constitutional republic, aka our government.
  • Richard Bloodworth dulce but we do not live in a nation that lives under old testament law and if you read the new testament Christ brought it to the individual level and the individual who shall be judged. Obviously James and I disagree on this because he is wrong. It is was and always will be the responsibility of the individual to take care of the less fortunate. This is a necessity of a FREE Society. Government infringes upon personal liberty and so should be controlled not trusted. The private sector is far more efficient at handling things. Government breeds bureaucracy and waist. Private sector breeds efficiency and results. ALWAYS.
  • Richard Bloodworth oh and I never said that the right had a monopoly on faith nor do I believe in theocracy. I am pointing out the hypocrisy of using a religious argument on the one hand while on the other saying religion has no place in politics. It is logically inconsistent.
  • Andrew Thomas Hussmann loved the Ayn Rand bit haha
  • Nathan Richter “All that government is is the collective action and will of all individuals working together. ” True! Unanimity is the basis of government. Hence the lack of laws and police.On a significantly less dishonest note, it turns out that government is composed of those most able and willing to commit violence.Which is really what the core, profound evil warned against by those who condemn institutionalized socialism on a governmental scale: it turns out that being willing to do violence upon the non-violent, even if one takes their wealth and inefficiently distributes it to others, is not a virtue. A lot of folks try to dress it up in fancy language in order to obscure the issue, but every law that collects money for redistribution is a gun pointed at the wage-earner’s head. It is an act of violence, even if we sanitize our language and hire many degrees of separation to act as middlemen.A fun thought exercise!
    Charity : Wealth redistribution :: Healthy sex : ?

    Hint: just add the threat of (or actual) violence, and see how the virtue flourishes!

  • Richard Bloodworth ooo ooo ooo I got it rape?
  • Col James RW Hiatt Money has no real existence. It is created by a government as a means of transaction, and is regulated by the Gov… It isnt sacred, and neither is wealth. Money is a societal tool.
  • Nathan Richter Is your point that citizens have no right to property? Is your point that because money (like liberty and dignity) is not fundamentally material, it cannot be owned by those who earn it? Or is it reasonable and right for violence to threaten or be committed against the non-violent as long as that of which they are being deprived fails to reach a certain threshold of being sacred? These are, on the face of them, absurd. I cannot understand how so many can consider a course of action reasonable that denies the simple and obvious truth that for every one who receives without earning, there is one who earns without receiving.
  • Col James RW Hiatt Things like Land ownership, Money, etc are created and regulated by Government. They are effectively “leased” to the people for a fee which we call taxes. You do not own your land in the ultimate sense. You do not own your money in the ultimate sense. You do not own or even run the economic system that you have flourished in. You must pay your entry fee into the arcade, and then you must pay for each game that you play. You do not own the game, and you do not own the tickets that you receive for playing the game. The tickets are simply transactional material as well. The arcade can choose to take a percentage of your tickets used in each transaction. You do not own the arcade, or the games, nor the system. You lease it. Taxes are your lease payments. 
  • If you wish to not be governed, go start your own anarchy based or libertarian based society, and see how well that works out for you. I bet Canada would give you a town (because they are such nice people) for this experiment. I bet that it would work perfectly if you keep the numbers small, and hand select the people in your community. As soon as you reach a certain point, it will crumble. It’s like your arguments against Swedish ways of doing things: you claim that things like Universal Healthcare will only work in small places with low population (while in this case I disagree).Libertarianism is truly only viable when there are few people. The Wild West was probably the best example of a laissez-faire economy and libertarianism practically instituted. It was lawless chaos. Gangs and Criminals ran things. Powerful and wealthy ranchers oppressed the small farmers and the smaller ranches. They would dam rivers upstream of whole towns and effectively kill the town, and sweep in and take the abandoned land. Whatever anyone wanted was theirs for the taking if they could build a gang and take it. This is the true face of unchecked capitalism, laissez-faire economics, and libertarianism. Too much personal liberty steps on personal liberty.People are not capable of governing themselves any more than children are capable of babysitting themselves or blind people are capable of leading blind people. A Democratic Constitutional Republic is the best form of Government. It is Government of the people, by the people, and for the people. It is government by a group of men for the benefit of all. Is our current government corrupt? yes, but not irreparably so. Government costs money. You have given your implied consent to be governed by your government, by choosing to live under its rule. Ergo, you have given your implied consent to be taxed and for your taxes to benefit society. You reap the benefits of our government every day. You pay for them. You reap other more indirect benefits by the government choosing to invest in other avenues that come back to benefit you. The Government takes responsibility for certain services so that you don’t have to do it everyday, like warfare, care for the sick and poor, education, etc.Should people only get the education that they can afford? If you can’t afford an education, does that mean that you are screwed, simply by the bad luck of being born to a poor person. Same goes for healthcare: because you are in poverty, and can’t afford to eat healthily, or get vaccinations, or preventative medical or dental care, should you just be allowed to rot and die? This standard of living is the natural end of unchecked libertarianism, and is a violation and an insult to the idea of human value and human dignity. We all benefit if everyone is well educated and healthy. More well-educated people means more entrepreneurs. It means less poverty, which actually means less welfare, and less Government assistance in the long run. Healthy people are more free to innovate and to create a stronger society. Sick and rotting people are innately limited in what they are likely to achieve. They are held back by their physical limitations.

    I strongly believe in Human dignity. Homelessness is an abomination. People Starving Is an abomination. People being held down through a lack of education is an abomination.

    You and I did not choose to be born in the culture that we had the good fortune of landing in that promotes values such as hard work, determination, growth, intelligence, discovery, etc. We did not choose our specific cocktail of genetic traits that makes us successful. We did not choose the socio-economic status that we were born with. In effect, very little of who you and I are is actually due to anything we consciously chose; “but for the grace of God, goeth I.”

    You argue that it is not the governments role to assist us. The government is comprised of the most fortunate people in society, who are leading society, and voting to help take better care of people. Wealthy and Powerful people are voting to take money out of their pockets, universally and equally to help those who most need it. The Government is not some inscrutable organizational Monolith. It is a group of people who see problems, and then decide the best way to fix them, and the best way to get everyone involved in fixing them. It is like a neighborhood association: you pay your dues, and they hire a security guard, or street cleaning, and sign painters.

    The Government is the aggregate will of the people through time.

The Free Market is…

130319140943-stock-market-economy-americans-opinion-620xaThe Free Market is not free. It is governed by a set of staunch rules. Free Markets are not free of rules. Rules define them. Governments set up, organize, and maintain the free market. The free market is not an eternal perfect concept ordained by the universe. It is an artificial construct, created for the good of everyone. The rules in place ideally are there to protect individuals from people, corporations, conglomerates, and interests who wish to unfairly exploit or coerce the individuals. These 20090825023531!Atlas_New_Yorkrules are for our own good!

1. There are rules governing what constitutes property that can be traded and owned.

2. There are rules governing the terms of property ownership, copyright, and transfer.

3. There are rules governing the conditions that goods and services can be traded under.

4. There are rules governing what is a public resource that must be used for the good of all people, and what is private and able to be exploited for individual usage.

5. There are rules governing how goods can be paid for, and what constitutes a currency.

There are, of course, others in addition to these basic summaries. The point is this: The so-called Free Market must be governed by rules. It cannot be anarchy. Anarchy always untitledresults in Authoritarian Dictatorship. It is too unstable and volatile. Anarchy is a “high energy state”. High Energy states seek to become low energy states. In nature we see this as a ball rolling down a hill, or a lightning strike. Dictatorship is significantly more stable than Anarchy. Indeed: even a Democratic Republic is a higher energy state than dictatorship. Energy can be added to the system and cause change, or course. Dictatorship can breed enough discontent to create Anarchy or a Democratic Republic. And Anarchy will soon coalesce into a new dictatorship, or perhaps an oligarchy or free society.

trickledownimg1033For the survival of a free society of any form, artificial constructs like socio-economics, religion, social stratification, education, etc must be a fair game, if all humans in a society are forced to play it. The rules cannot be simply re-written with the interests of those currently in power. They must be absolutely fair and change only insofar as they must to remain relevant. This, of course, is the basis of a living breathing constitution. However, Economic Policies would be better off if they were created with the best interests of the majority in mind. Reagan‘s ridiculous response to communism caused him to excise all beneficial socialism in favor of a more Ayn Rand-style system. This imbalanced society and crippled our economic system through McCarthian sophistry. Reagan’s policies bolstered under the Bushes leveraged Wall-Street-1the influence of Wall Street when it came to lobbying economic policy; the destruction of organized labor; the serf-level minimum wage; and the deregulation, monopolization and privatization of industries. These merely create a winner-take-all society that is a pale reflection of the Egalitarian American Economic Powerhouse before the 1980’s.

“The federal government that essentially created the Great American Middle Class – from the New Deal policies of the 1930s through other reforms of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, from Social Security to Wall Street regulation to labor rights to the GI Bill to the Interstate Highway System to the space program’s technological advances to Medicare and Medicaid to the minimum wage to civil rights. Many Americans don’t like to admit it — they prefer to think of their freemarket512families as reaching the middle class without government help — but the reality is that the Great American Middle Class was a phenomenon made possible by the intervention of the federal government beginning with Franklin Roosevelt and continuing into the 1970s.” -Robert Parry, AP. http://consortiumnews.com/2013/10/17/the-abject-failure-of-reaganomics/

Why must this game be fair? Because this Wuerker-FreeMarketActis the best way to fix the biggest problems in the world today. All Men are Created Equal. All Humans have equal worth. Those who are better at playing a fair game should be rewarded for their skill. Those who win a tilted game are merely cheaters.

Truth, Liberty, and Equality are the basis of Justice. Equality is the basis of Liberty; there can be no freedom if there is no Equality. Slavery is a form of inequality, and many inequalities become slavery. Without Justice, there can be no Liberty. Social Justice is the basis of Freedom. If we truly wish to live in a Free Country, then we must live in a country of Equals. The only way to ensure Equality is through Fairness and Justice.

gerard_lameiro_characteristics480Side note: every game of sufficient complexity with rules requires a teaching of the rules to new players. For a relatively simple game like chess, teaching the game only takes a few hours. For a complex game like the world economy and business, the explanation takes a couple of years. This explanation is the basis of public education.

There is no one who can intelligently believe that the current socio-economic system is not broken. We may disagree on how to fix the problems at hand, or even what necessarily caused the problems, but we all agree that it is broken. Things will not fix themselves, on their own volition. Entropy 99-occupy-logodoes not simply apply to physics. The friction of a system in use ultimately causes it to break down, if it is not maintained. Systems tend toward disorder. Laissez faire economics do not fix themselves. Instead, problems snowball until they become a catastrophe. The Economy must be guided. The Game must be governed to prevent cheating. The Game must be looked after to make sure that it does not break down.

Here are the biggest problems, or broken areas in the game of the world today:

free-market-correction1. Treatable Disease, and adequate medical care.
2. Access to Healthful Nutritious Food and Clean Drinking Water.
3. Protection from the elements in the form of shelter and clothing.
4. Lack of Education.
5. Clean Air, and a non-toxic livable environment.
6. Poverty.
7. Warfare/Genocide.

These are the problems facing the world at large. These problems reveal exactly where the game is flawed and the rules are being either bent, broken, or wrongfully changed.

The reality is that we can fix the game. docWe can make it fair. We can ensure Liberty and Justice for All. It simply requires that we all take responsibility for the problems and do what we can to fix them. It requires not being afraid of the Government. It requires faith in our fellow man. It requires trust in the good intentions of good people. It requires that we hold ourselves to standards of character and taste. It requires that we organize and become efficient. It requires a belief in Truth, Justice, Liberty-and-justiceLiberty, and Equality. It requires faith in society and human potential. It requires Faith. It requires Hope. It requires Love. It requires Vision.

Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We need humanity. We need Compassion. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness.
We can do it. We can create this reality. Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world. Let us fight to free the world – to do away with liberty and justice for allnational barriers – to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason. We the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. In the name of Progress, let us all unite!

 

P.S. Yes, that last paragraph is a cut and altered form of the final speech in “The Great Dictator.”

patriotic_military_-_us0741xx

 

The Failings of Modern Gender and Racial Superiority

symbol-sign-male-femaleMen should have as much say in defining what it means to be a modern woman, as women should have in defining what it means to be a modern man.

Which is to say less than 20%, for women should learn about femininity from other women, and men should learn about masculinity from other men. Men cannot teach women how to be women, and women cannot teach men how to be men. Both genders are unique and special, and share much in the greater human experience, whilst having great areas that do not overlap at all.

There has been much talk about Women Iron_Man_4_37358Hating. Let us agree that that attitude is wrong, and agree that we should remove the subtle sexism in our culture. Let us also agree that the rampant Man Hating is also wrong, and remove that from our culture.

Then of course there is the whole segment of 20M-30M Americans that don’t fit neatly into the traditional gender roles. You all have to figure out what it means to be you, for yourself. We of the traditional gender norms can only support you in your explorations and discoveries. We can’t define you. We really can’t be of article-1254609-087CC64E000005DC-863_634x473much help, though we try (all good intentions). You must self-actualize what it means to fall into your specific demographic, and let us know.

We know that Women, Gays, and Minorities have been repressed. We know that they have been marginalized. We know that they have been mistreated, and have had great evils worked upon them throughout history. And this must end. We must fight for equality for everyone. Men, Women, Gay, and Other. White, Black, Native American, Jew, Arab, Asian, Latino. We must all work together toward not merely “tolerating” one another, but embracing and appreciating. We must approach a Straight White Man with the same love as we do a Gay Latino Woman, and every other possible combination.

We must strive, hand in hand, toward equality.

11LUNCH1_SPAN-articleLargeHowever, Equality is never reached through revenge. Only through Forgiveness. Equality cannot be a product of despair, or sneering condemnation; it cannot arise through corrupted corrosive contempt or scorn. We cannot despise one another. We must relish in the glory that is the other. We must forget past wrongs. We must look to the future, and imagine a beautiful glorious state of being, and work towards that. So long as we hold bitterness in our hearts, and nurse old hurts and grudges, we will only grow inward and turn hard and spiteful. The only way to grow 1154130544_fupward, is to look out toward the sun, and long for the true warmth. Revenge only creates resentment and new wrongs. Revenge begets retribution, which only furthers the cycle of hurt, hate, and damage.

The only way to change the world is not through Militant Islam, or Radical Feminism, Black Power, or Gay Pride but through a Universal Unconditional Love. Love is Patient, and Kind. It does not seek to honor itself, but others. It is not proud.

Love looks out for others. It protects. It trusts. Love Hopes. Love endures. Love Forgives.

Let us be Love to each other.

buda

On Abortion, Women’s Rights, and Human’s Nature/Essence

First, with regard to abortion, abortion is based on philosophical precepts which makes it a human issue not simply a woman’s issue, though no one can deny women have a significant vested interest in the discussion and debate. However, their perspective is not the only one of merit, nor the only one to consider. There are many perspectives which are gender-neutral and should be asked by everyone regardless of their gender. It is a human right’s issue, even more than it is a “woman’s issue”. In fact if we relegated certain philosophical precepts to one gender or another, I can’t help but feel that that would limit many discussions negatively for women. If we want women to truly be equal, then we cannot relegate discussions to one gender or another. That flies in the face of true equality which, if I understand correctly, is the end goal of feminism. It also flies in the face of philosophic values.

I don’t feel that the decision about abortion can be made from a gender perspective. It should be made objectively from ethics, and from logic. It is a decision that affects many peoples lives at an intimate level. Like so many other fundamental ethics and issues, it has become embroiled within political laws and policies. However, the way it’s supposed to work is that these laws and policies are based on axioms and truths which are logically extrapolated in such a way that justice is administered Ethically with regard to all of humanity.

At the end of the day no one is pro-abortion. We also should not be pro-murder or really be pro-death penalty but that’s another discussion for another day.

I, too, feel that the decision to have an abortion or not to have an abortion is ultimately up to the mother. However the mother’s decision to have an abortion or not to have an abortion still must fall within ethical limitations that are not simply based on possession of the uterus. As with all ethics and systems of justice, our bodies, while our own, also belong to society as a whole. This is part of the reason why we don’t condone eugenics or euthanasia. It is part of the reason why suicide is looked down upon and is actually illegal in many cases. This responsibility to society argument is used by antiabortion advocates to their advantage: we have no idea if we are killing a potential Einstein or Hitler. We are robbing humanity of future potential contributors and consumers.

With all of that in mind I shall attempt to further outline my position on abortion.

Axiom number one: killing human beings is wrong. You must attempt to protect human life as best as possible and maintain appropriate standards of living. Now Peter Singer disagrees: “The argument that a fetus is not alive] is a resort to a convenient fiction that turns an evidently living being into one that legally is not alive. Instead of accepting such fictions, we should recognize that the fact that a being is human, and alive, does not in itself tell us whether it is wrong to take that being’s life.” I am not going to argue this much here. I am going to assume it from a relative sociological and Kantian categorical imperative perspective.

Axiom number two: being human is a definite state of qualitative being in a quantitative system. It describes the nature and characteristics of a living entity.

Axiom number three: cells, fetuses, and infants are all alive. They posses a life force. In the same way, plants and animals and human beings are also alive.

Axiom number four: there is a difference between the value of life of a cell, embryo, fetus, human being, animal, or plant.

Proposition number one: killing fetuses is not wrong because they are not yet human.

Scientifically speaking, in terms of human development, babies are almost fully developed at the end of the second trimester. They have all of their basic body parts, in proper proportion, and are properly functioning. They are small versions of fully developed babies that with emerge at the end of nine months. They have the capacity of limited thought and feelings. They act and interact with her environment, and learn to limited degree. They possess all of the necessary characteristics to be considered human even if they are at the most limited and fundamental degree. Now those last three months are essential for growth and development, Which is a matter of qualitative development. The quantitative growth of the various elements has already been done all of the categories have been implemented it’s a matter of raising those levels To the acceptable threshold for birth.

What are the basic elements of being human? What determines humanity? A car is a car due to certain physical and essence related characteristics. Cars are designed for transportation. They have certain physical characteristics, within an almost infinite scope variations, but are still directly related to each other. Their purpose is the same, and what they do is the same. how they do it is more or less the same though there is significantly more variation under the hood, so to speak. The essential human characteristics that separate us from animals are essentially a matter of degrees or a quantitative difference, rather than a qualitative difference. There are certain qualities that humans possess, that animals do not as well. This blend of qualitative and quantitative differences is what makes humans unique from animals.

I will go point by point down the list of the qualities necessary to label a being human. I will take the basic platonic tripartite principle and expound upon it with my own variations and deviances. Of course, I agree with Plato that we should all strive to live our lives by arete and a balance of the various pieces of what it means to be human is the strongest way to realize that goal of excellence.

The first most readily observable component of humanity, is our physical body. Our body is roughly the same as everyone else’s around the world. Like the automobile, there are a range in most of the characteristics. There are variations and permutations. However They are all based off of the same basic design, Within genetic variation.

The next key aspect of humanity is our will. Will determines purpose. With regard to purpose, human beings are purpose creating beings. Animals do not create purpose for themselves. Animals have purpose Bestowed to them by human beings. They have purpose bestowed to them by their function in the natural order and the circle of life. Their purpose is bestowed to them by the food chain. Human beings have no purpose innately, but give themselves purpose. In fact, that could be described as one of the central meanings of life; Discovering And creating your purpose. Purpose is not preordained. It must be created and discovered individually, and socially. And through our discovery of purpose, ideally we would do it anyway that maximizes our arete, Which then leads us to be individually more significant and have a greater positive impact on society. Our will makes us what we are, as a species, And as individuals. Self-determination is the single most important defining characteristic of humanity. No other creature or living being in the world has a force of will like ours. It is our self-determination and force of will that makes our freedom so it innately important, and makes freedom and inalienable human right.

The next crucial aspect of humanity is our mind, and intellectual potential. We are thinking/reasoning beings of great sentience, Rationality, and self-awareness. Some animals possess certain degrees of problem solving abilities and self-awareness especially certain higher orders of mammals. However none of them can compare to even the most intellectually challenged human being, Excluding, of course the most extreme cases of mental retardation and other extreme mental disabilities. Intellect gives our will its primary direction, of course with input from our spirit.

The next aspect of humanity is our soul or our spirits. This is our emotions, our feelings, Our spirituality, our creative right brained center of being. This aspect of ourselves is very physiologically based. It interprets and relates what is going on in our bodies to our minds and is that bridge. Is also the source of it’s own feelings and intuitions. It is every bit as important as the body and the mind and directly influences our force of will and provides The energy thereof. It gives our will it’s force and gravitas. Unfortunately in some less self-discipline people, the spirit/soul is quite flighty and fickle.

However, and this is merely a tangent, I found that listening to whatever comes out of the right brained spirit and saying yes to it once the right brain has been preprogramed with self-discipline, allows for the greatest creative potential. But I have written extensively on that topic 9 months or a year ago, and will not go into that further here.

Another important aspect of Our essential humanity is our ability to relate to other human beings and to the world around us any significant social fashion. Our empathy is a key part of this. As humans, we are social beings. This is an innate part of our very fabric of being. Our communication skills,the thousands of languages we’ve developed, reading and writing, nonverbal communication, and many many other forms of communication are all outpourings of this essential human nature.

One final point that may or may not be a essential characteristic of humanity is curiosity. Curiosity, I feel, accounts for our intellectual exploration, our social exploration, our Religiosity and curiosity about the mysteries of the universe including the nature of God and other philosophical pursuits. Is certainly tied into our quest for meaning and purpose, and tied into our process of achieving Arete. Curiosity certainly seems to be directly tied into the other major various parts of what it means to be human, so let me, for the sake of this argument, make curiosity a part of the nature of essential humanity.

At this point, I feel that I have fairly comprehensively touched on or discussed at length the key components to humanity. To recap: mind, soul/spirit, will, body, curiosity, Self-awareness, social interaction, empathy, purpose, and creativity. The varying degrees and preferences inherent in these categories composes our individual personality. I think that this sums up what it means to be human rather nicely.

Then what must be done, is to ascertain at what point a developing fetus has all of these qualities. According to my reading into the topic of human development, my best understanding is that a fetus at the end of the second trimester or approximately 24 or so weeks has fully developed It’s body, and it’s mind is beginning to work at a pre-intelligence level laying the basolateral pathways and beginning the writing on that Tabula Rasa, a glimmer, if you will, of what is to come. At this point, it is clearly evident that the fetus has feelings. It has moods.
It is exploring the womb around it, as its curiosity is beginning to wake up. It is beginning to learn. With learning comes Creativity. It explores its own body. It attempts self-determination and exercising its will as evidenced by kicking and other sorts of purposed intentional emotions and actions. Is attempting to maintain and create some level of control of its immediate surroundings. It interacts with its mother. It knows her voice. You can even learn it’s father’s voice. And respond to both of them. This is the most basic and base form of social interaction.

At the end of the second trimester, it is clear to me that this being has developed into a fully human being. It has all of the essential characteristics and qualities at some level. Before this point, it is lacking at least one or all of these at any real significant level.

Based on this definition and these understandings in my research, I submit to you that before the second trimester when the fetus lacks mind body Spirit will creativity curiosity self-awareness etc., that neither the embryo nor fetus is human. Instead it is merely a potential human. Forgive me for being biologically crass, But would you argue that male sperm is a human life or lives worth protecting? Each sperm has the genetic information of half of a Potential human being. If sperm is Human then the male body naturally aborts hundreds of thousands of babies every 72 hours, Or much more frequently the case of masturbation. The female body aborts an egg a month during her period. Are both of these natural processes murder? Are they rightly even called an abortion? Probably not. However some people do make the argument that every sperm is sacred or every Egg is sacred. The egg and sperm are each only half of a potential human being. Next, once the egg and sperm combine, the woman’s body has a high likelihood of rejecting this new mass of cells in the first trimester. Especially in the first nine weeks, so much can and often does go wrong. There is a high possibility of miscarriage. At this point in the first several hours and several days or weeks the cells are undergoing rapid mitosis and splitting apart and forming new cells. For the longest time, your new fetus is nothing more than a mass of cells. Eventually those cells begin to differentiate, And begin to look like potential future body parts. However most of them do not begin to function for a while. Slowly but surely the little embryo gradually becomes more humanlike or humanoid in it’s physiological development. However it is still a long way off from truly becoming a human being. Eventually, it’s heart will start beating. Eventually it will grow fingers and fingernails. Eventually knees will develop. Eventually photosensitive dark spots morph into the most advanced form of camera world has ever seen known as the human eye, complete with eyelashes and eyelids. However in the first trimester in the first half of the second trimester, the embryo is a long way off from having the rest of the human natures and capacities that we previously discussed. Toward the end of the second trimester, the fetus Begins to acquire and develop these essential characteristics in rapid succession.

For ethics sake, it would seem to me that abortion would be unthinkable in the final trimester. And for proprieties’ sake, in order to protect what may or may not be a human life, I would argue that two or three weeks before the end of the second trimester would be a good cutoff date for abortions. No need to cut it close.

In summary of proposition 1, we should not kill human beings, and I would argue that until the end of the second trimester fetuses are merely potential human beings, not actually Human.  Singer’s agruments Regarding infanticide and euthanasia and Down syndrome etc, are indicative of the utilitarian approach. I disagree vehemently with utilitarianism. I am not arguing for the destruction of a lesser human being. I am not arguing that we kill the inconvenient. I am arguing that there is an ethical time to have an abortion. I’m arguing that anything after that time period Is ethically wrong, whether or not they have Down Syndrome, or are senile adults who have outlived their usefulness. We don’t kill stupid people, or people with asthma, or less than perfect teeth or vision. Humans are ends in and of themselves, and there is no possible way to consistently apply any system of valuation to everything, which utilitarianism attempts to do.

Now, I would argue that there should be a good reason to abort the fetus. I would not encourage the wholesale abortion of all fetuses everywhere. I would not argue that abortion is consequence free. No one is pro-abortion at the end of the day.  I am in support of the option to have an abortion, though I hope no one ever needs to take advantage of it. In addition, I am perfectly happy to allow the woman to decide for herself what reason is appropriate or inappropriate to have an abortion before the second trimester. That choice should not be legislated, nor controlled by any one other than the woman, whose body is being affected. However, the Father should certainly be involved in the conversation. If men are to be required to pay child support, if the child is brought to term, or if they are to be expected to be a part of the child’s life, or have other responsibilities regarding the child, than the man should certainly “have a say”, and be an integral part of the decision process. No Taxation without Representation. However, once the development has reached the end of the second trimester, I feel that the choice is no longer the mother’s or father’s. The old arguments of a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body fall flat in the face of the consideration of a second human being in the primary equation. This is a defenseless human being who cannot fight for itself, and must be protected by others.

This is similar to all other forms of human social interaction: you may do with yourself, or to yourself almost anything that you want, within reason, provided that it does not hurt someone or something else in society. This is a fancy way to say the golden rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I can go for a drive, but I cannot run somebody else off the road with my car. Even in cases of extreme emergency.

Now, Ethically I am willing to allow for a Third trimester abortion in the extremely rare and extreme case of danger to the mothers life. I base this on the nature of self-defense ethic and law. You have the right, though not the obligation, to defend yourself and your life from other human attackers who either intentionally or unintentionally seek to do you harm. Now, the noble thing to do is self-sacrifice. Men have been nobly sacrificing themselves for others on the battlefield as long as there have been battles and men. Fathers have sacrificed themselves for their wife and children as long as there have been patriarchal based families. However, no one has the obligation to sacrifice themselves. It is entirely voluntary, and is contingent on the personal values of the decision-maker. Or in other words, the woman’s choice. And she should not feel pressured to decide one way or the other, with her life in the balance. It is entirely up to her and solely her prerogative.

In the case of rape, she has six months to make a decision whether or not she’s going to carry the pregnancy to term. That is not much time for social, emotional, psychological, or physiological healing, but that is all the time that there is. There is a deadline. Simply because evil has been done is not a license to do more evil.

Perhaps I engage a bit in the slippery slope of Peter Singer, but as with most issues, There is rarely a simple black and white solution to a complex problem. And the slippery slope merely means that the answer is a matter of degrees rather than a hard universal or categorical constant. Unfortunately, life rarely is that black & white, or cut & dried.

There, I have rushed in where fools and angels fear to tread.

 

Faith * Hope * Love = {Dream} + [Create] + (Inspire)

Hope is the antithesis to Fate.

road_sunset-wideThere is no fate, or destiny set in stone. There is only freedom.
There are only boundless possibilities. Hope and Fate cannot coexist.

Fate is a set path, that allows no hope. Fate is a set existence that cannot be changed. It is immutable. It is as good as it is going to be, and cannot be improved, or made better. It is exactingly precise, and predetermined. Hope requires that the future is incorporeal.

particles1 jardines-con-laberintosOur Hope is that the best of all possible futures is the one we select.
Our Faith is that Humanity, in all of its greatness and in all of its tragedy, is capable of discovering the Power of the Love necessary to move us toward that best possible future.

 

Love is the engine. Faith: the vehicle. Hope: the navigation.

We dream, and we create from love and faith. Through these, We inspire hope. And Hope fuels the faith and love.

Hope. Faith. Love. Dream. Create. Inspire.

the-universe-hails-our-love-299684This is the essence of the human condition:
Our Glory is our capacity for good.
Our Tragedy is our shortcomings, that cause us to fall short of our potential.
Our Struggle is to overcome these short comings, and reach our greatest potential.

Sisyphus_by_vmulliganTo overcome our Struggles, and reign Triumphant, we need to be guided by Faith, Hope, and Love.

However, without love, our mighty automobile is merely a burnt out wreck. If We have Faith that can move mountains, but have no Love, We have nothing.

Love always Protects.
Love always Trusts.
Love always Hopes.
Love always Perseveres.

sisyphusLove always wins.

The greatest way to destroy the world is to remove the love from it. Without Love, there is no Faith. There is no Hope.

The easiest way to destroy Love, is to promote self-interest, self-indulgence, self-glorification, and cause Humanity to become inward focused. By breaking down the bonds of human society, and dissolving or at least by greatly diluting Love, so that people cease to believe in it, one can eradicate it from society.

504x_775701003_76ce8283e8Love requires being Other focused. It is Patient. Kind. It is not proud, and lacks hubris. It doesn’t envy, or boast. It puts other people first; it does not dishonor other people. It is not self-seeking. It holds no grudges: Love forgives easily and often. Love is disciplined: it is not easily angered. Discipline is the easiest path to Freedom. Love loves Truth. Love Balances Justice. Love is about other people being more important to you than yourself.

Love is the essence of the Golden Rule: Love Your Neighbor As Yourself. Who is my neighbor? Everyone. The people you meet in public, the other drivers on the freeway. The workers who made your sweater and jeans. The farmer who raised your breakfast. The scientist who created your medicine. string_dimensionsThe mechanic and engineers who designed your car. Who is my neighbor? Everyone that I am remotely connected to. We must love them as we love ourselves. We must put society first, and work together to create a society built on Love. This restores Hope. This restores Faith.

This creates a Glorious and Beautiful Humanity and a Shining World for Tomorrow.

In the end, only these three things remain: Faith, Hope, and Love. The greatest of these is Love.

Love Each Other.8472136420_38bd056520_z

A Monsanto World Domination Thought Experiment

A Thought Experiment:

What if Monsanto developed a chemical that collapsed all bee colonies in the USA, which led to widespread famine as crops could not cross pollinate. Then, they stepped in with their Genetically Modified Patent Protected seeds that did not need the Bees, but they had to be replanted every year. Then, what if regulations made it illegal for people to garden and raise their own food in their own yards/houses? What if they simultaneously were working with the manufacturing companies and oil companies to pollute and destroy the water supplies? What if they had the only way to cleanse water from certain toxic chemical compounds

Thus Monsanto controlled the food/water supply, driving up prices so that only the wealthy could afford to eat and drink, contributing to the collapse of the middle class, entirely. Then in the chaos/Civil War that ensued as the poor became increasingly desperate and their number swelled, a Monsanto savior arose from the ashes, promising food and water. Then Monsanto built an empire upon controlling the people through their food rations and water.

He who controls the food and water, controls the world.

 

My Experience Voting Today

Today, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, I cast my ballot for the general municipal and special elections in the city of Los Angeles. I received my official sample ballot in the mail about a week or two ago. I diligently did my research studying the people and the issues that I would be voting on. Since I have to be at work at 11, I decided to get an early start of it. The polling place opens at seven but I did not arrive until Approximately 9 AM. I was told to show up to the Cienega elementary school auditorium blue table at 2611 S. Orange Dr., Los Angeles 90016. I should note that I live in a very heavily asked Nick neighborhood. I am white myself, but I am certainly in the minority In this ZIP Code.

The first challenge is parking. The Elementary school is located in a residential neighborhood. The school has no public parking lot. To make matters worse, one side of all of the streets is due for street cleaning today Throughout the entire neighborhood. After circling the blocks for 25 or 30 minutes, I eventually found a spot approximately a quarter mile away. Now, I am a young strong healthy man but I can’t imagine an elderly woman limping a quarter-mile to the polling place.

The polling staff themselves were quite helpful and friendly. They directed me to the polling room, Which have been changed from the auditorium to the library. When I arrived, I was told that and elections official just simply did not show up and did not bring or set up the blue table. Due to this gross negligence And disdain for free, properly-held democratic elections, I was now required to submit a provisional ballot – Subject to reconfirmation by the city clerk of my eligibility to vote. They handed me a little ballot, which I took over to the voting booth slid into the slots. I used ink stamp to fill in the appropriate bubbles and then went over to the next lady. I filled out the front of an envelope, and place my ballot with a provisional voting form inside and then I sealed it and handed it to the pollster. She told me that it would be provisionally submitted to the county clerks office for counting and verification.

Of course I can call the county clerks office in 30 days or so to verify whether my provisional ballot was counted. I can call 888.873.1000. I have my ticket stub number 000-2214 So that I may check on the status of my ballot.

I must say that this whole provisional business has me a little bit worried. Who is given the sacred trust of being a polling official and simply declines to show up, leaving thousands of people in the lurch? This is a act of high disregard and negligence for the sacred trust of society.

I got the impression that the red table was for Republicans and the blue table was for Democrats and independents. If this is true, my suspicions are raised. Especially given the fact that I live in a rather poor, mostly-ethnic ZIP Code. It could just of been an active laziness and negligence, but I wonder if it is a bit more malicious than that?

Voting is a right and a privilege of true democratic society. It is the safeguard to our freedoms. We are a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. If the people are inhibited in having a voice and having their wishes known, The entire safety of our great democracy is at stake.

Voting should be easy, and quick. The system is set up that when things are done properly according to the guidelines, everything takes place the way that it should. Elections should not be held in public schools during school hours in a residential neighborhood on a day that street cleaning Is scheduled, however. And pollsters must show up with the materials that they have committed to bring, In order to safeguard democracy for ourselves and our posterity. In 30 days I will be checking on my Ballot.

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A Sad Day for American Progress…

All Humans everywhere need access to food, shelter, healthcare, physical safety, education, and basic clothing.

A civilized society is judged by how it treats the worst off members of society.

When our poorest people cannot afford basic healthcare, because of a rigged system, we cripple the very fabric of our society, and rob them of basic human dignity. In effect, we equivocate human lives with that of stray animals.

This is a sad day for America, when the house republicans, and 2 democrats repeal a base standard of healthcare for Americans.

166089_10151597743732726_210088177_n
As the Pharmaceutical and Health Corporatocracies continue to escalate costs and prices, those who need healthcare the most are least able to afford it. Then small injuries become life threatening and debilitating, which costs the State and Society more money, time, and other resources.

Everyone deserves to have a basic Education. This is a basic human egalitarian right. Everyone deserves to have basic healthcare. Everyone deserves to have basic housing. This is a simple matter of societal Justice.

If we improve the baseline fabric of our cultural cloth, we can improve society as a whole. Why settle for weaving a society out of burlap, with a cashmere pattern on top, highlighted with satin and gold, when the whole fabric can be cashmere, with more satin and gold?

When the tides come in, all the boats should rise, but if boats are leaky, and full of holes, or broken in half, they simply sink to the bottom, and poke holes in the bottoms of other boats. If we fix the leaky boats, then at least we don’t have a harbor full of dangerous wrecks. Then the various ships are free to sail the high seas for trade, or fishing, etc: making their fortunes according to the risks they take! Instead, we have a harbor with excruciatingly high boat repair costs, that inhibits people from having a shot at fishing or trading.

We must help everyone start from a certain baseline standard. If by some chance, you start from a better position, great! We have no desire to bring you down. We only desire to raise the lowest common denominators to an acceptable standard that respects human dignity, and encourages all of society toward excellence.

Excellence breeds excellence. Mediocrity breeds mediocrity, and extreme poverty and hardship breeds crime, filth, disease, homelessness, national stupidity, and contributes to the destruction of all of our freedoms and to the collapse of our democracy. The oppressed – crushed under excessive medical bills, lacking education, proper housing, and food – continue to grow in number. They are the real America, and the real America has a huge problem.

We must stand up for the dregs of society and attempt to elevate them! This is our sacred duty as Americans: to equip everyone with the most basic traits necessary to pursue the American Dream. This will allow us to build the great shining “City on a Hill” that will shine the light of Liberty and Justice for All, around the world.

 

A refutation of C.S. Lewis’ belief of the non-necessity of Friendship, Art, and Philosophy.

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.

-C.S. Lewis

Though I appreciate the sentiment, his underlying axiom is entirely untrue. Friendship, philosophy, and art are essential to human survival. I will briefly analyze the importance of these three points, clearly demonstrating the falsity of this statement. I will start with the more esoteric and move toward the concrete. This is not intended to be an exhaustive analysis and could easily be expanded into a several hundred page volume. Today, I will merely draft a rough 2-3 page summary or sketch of the flaws in the argument.

Philosophy, as defined by Webster, is “1c: a discipline comprising as its core logic, aesthetics, ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology”…

“2a : pursuit of wisdom.”

“2c : an analysis of the grounds of and concepts expressing fundamental beliefs”…

“4a : the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group”

From a simple definitional analysis, the role philosophy plays in our daily lives and in society is evident.

Logic is essential to raw physical survival. Logical people learn from the past, and are more functional problem solvers. What is survival, if not a series of problems and hazards that must be solved and avoided? Anything which gives a creature an edge in that problem solving is essential to survival.

Ethics are essential to sociological survival. A coherent and consistent ethical code applied to a society is what allows society to survive and not fall in on and destroy each other. It allows people to manage expectations, and to understand how their individual behavior impacts the group. For instance, stealing is unethical for it actually removes resources and currencies from the “tool kit” of the victim that they could use to support themselves and take care of their families. In some societies, shame is the result of violating the ethic, which is an automatic sociological self-regulatory enforcement mechanism. A person’s code of ethics becomes the foundation upon which his reputation is built, which determines how he functions in society and how he treats and is treated. A high ethical standard garners respect, and can be used to further one’s interests in society and gain a higher standard of living. On a more base anthropological level, the simplest ethic, “Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.” is what allows societies to even begin forming. It is what allows family units to stay together and not kill each other. It promotes sharing and taking care of others, in the hope that if you fall upon hard times and can’t take care of yourself, others will take care of you. Of course there are other ethical survival examples, but this will suffice for making this point! I will leave the additional extrapolation of the survival value of a complicated ethical system to the reader. Feel free to explore Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethic, Jean Jacques Rousseau’s Social Contract, J.S. Mill’s Utilitarian Ethic, or Kant’s Ethics, etc. These are some brilliant minds that explore ethics at a brilliant level. From ethics, springs the political system which attempts to systemize and unify one overarching ethic by which a society is compelled to conduct itself.

Metaphysics is a traditional branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms: “What is there?” and “What is it like?”. Before man even evolved from monkeys, his innate curiosity asked these two basic questions, albeit at a rather unsophisticated level. These questions contributed information to the human scope of understanding, and allowed man to develop and communicate information to the tribe and to the generations. This curiosity is seen at its most basic form with regard to Chimpanzees exploring their environment, and playing with each other. They taste, smell, smash, touch, hold objects to understand them. The Chimps learn from each other’s experience what hurts and what kills. They learn what is edible and delicious. Without that curiosity regarding what is beyond the visible, man would never have survived even the most basic existence. We rely upon of curiosity and musing about the nature of the world to accomplish the simplest of tasks. Epistemology allows us to question not only what we know but how we know in order to give us greater insight into our conclusions derived from logic. It allows us to look at our basic educational and epistemological axioms and see the inner workings in order to clean up the system and move it to an ordered consistent and coherent whole. This allows us to attempt to have a more accurate understanding of the universe, and how it works for our own survival. The past three hundred years has seen this accelerate at an incredible rate and Metaphysics spawned a formal branch that we call “Science”, which has given us even more tools to promote our survival and comfort, such as medicine, engineering, technology, bioengineering, etc. Metaphysics allows us to systemize and categorize the world around us and human experience by means of the universal and the particular which is a uniquely useful categorization complex. Metaphysics allows us to explore causality, determinism, free-will, necessity, possibility, and other precepts of which our understandings partially determine our worldview and manage our expectations of reality. Metaphysical exploration gave us empiricism, and rationalism as well. Philosophy is “the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group”. Awareness of these beliefs and attitudes allows us to attempt to correct evolutionarily deficient memes, and encourage positive attitudes and dogmas. It diminishes sociological blindness and encourages everyone to think. This strengthens the multi-stranded cord of society. I will not explore this point any further, as I believe that I have sufficiently demonstrated that Metaphysics as well through Philosophy is essential to our base survival and to our growth as a species.

Whereas Philosophy is the left-brained exploration of the nature of reality, Art is the right-brained exploration and communication of postulations, world-views, and questions by the artist to the audience.

Tolstoy said in his essay “What is Art” that, “Art is not, as the metaphysicians say, the manifestation of some mysterious idea of beauty or God; it is not, as the aesthetical physiologists say, a game in which man lets off his excess of stored-up energy; it is not the expression of man’s emotions by external signs; it is not the production of pleasing objects; and, above all, it is not pleasure; but it is a means of union among men, joining them together in the same feelings, and indispensable for the life and progress toward well-being of individuals and of humanity.”  Frank Lloyd Wright said , “Art is a discovery and development of elementary principles of nature into beautiful forms suitable for human use.”  Elbert Hubbard said, “Art is not a thing — it is a way.” André Gide said in Poétique, “Art begins with resistance — at the point where resistance is overcome. No human masterpiece has ever been created without great labor.” Francis Ford Coppola said, “An essential element of any art is risk. If you don’t take a risk then how are you going to make something really beautiful, that hasn’t been seen before?” and Maria Popova summarizes: “This is the power of art: The power to transcend our own self-interest, our solipsistic zoom-lens on life, and relate to the world and each other with more integrity, more curiosity, more wholeheartedness.”

The essential thing to realize is that Art is about communication: it is an expression, or an exploration by an artist communicating with himself. Sometimes this speaks to others and communicates with them. Art lets us know that we are not alone in the darkness.  Many artists feel that if no one acknowledges their art, then it has no meaning, worth, or value. Art, though a communicative medium, is not primarily a means of communication at least in the traditional sense. Art doesn’t require an audience to have value. It doesn’t even need to be particularly high quality. Art’s primary purpose is personal. It’s meaning is individual. It is an expression/exploration of an idea, thought, feeling, or concept. Art is relative to the creator and the audience. Art made merely as a creative outlet is every bit as beneficial and useful as art made to decorate the Sistine Chapel. In fact, Oscar Wilde said that “All art is quite useless”. He didn’t mean that it has no value, but that if art is being twisted to serve a purpose, is it truly art? Propaganda is not art, nor is advertising under this definition. Now, he is also not advocating an ultimate all-encompassing definition of useless. He is primarily referring to art that has been commercialized, or ab-used to serve a purpose beyond the art. These things can have artistic qualities, but not necessarily be actual art. A play has value in merely being performed, whether or not anyone watches it. It indicates that mankind can create in a vacuum. It is truly “Creatio ex nihilo”. This is an important step in the evolution of humanity, this ability to create from nothing. It has an ontological value beyond what the actors experience.

Art must have thought behind the creation. It must be spawned from the creative spark within our being. It must flow from our soul, from the universe through the conduit of our bodies and minds. Art must be free to explore. Art must be the manifestation of the Universal. It must tie into something greater. This is why so-called “commercial art” is rarely art, though commerce and art are not exclusive. Jackson Pollack deconstructed ideas in his process of chaos, form, color, and meaninglessness. He was actively participating in understanding the universe in a new light in the creation of his splatters. Van Gogh, Monet, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo: all created a perspective of the Universal and translated it to canvas, or stone, or plaster. Beethoven heard the symphonies of the universe, even when deaf, creating some of the most transcendental music in human history. Banksy comments upon human nature and society in his graphic arts. Chuck Close and John Cage take a closer look at the elements of their respective mediums, analyzing their subjects in the light of their own novel world views. Art must be intentional. Beauty need not be.

Artists must explore the Universe, in all of it’s facets as they seek ultimate TRUTH, or whatever shreds of Temporal Truth they can seize, and represent. Artists are practical experiential philosophers. They provide a similar role in society, and explore similar issues, in a completely different manner which is usually more accessible to the masses than “hard philosophy”.

Painters must paint. It is what is within them. Writers must write. Film makers must make film. Sculptures must sculpt. Poets must wax poetic. The medium is not what matters. The critical view of reality and the attempt to discover it through creation is what matters. With this in mind, we see why an audience is non-essential and even tangential to the artistic process. However, we all hope that our art reaches other people, or displays what truths we have learned and discovered before them, so they might be enriched and lead greater, more full lives. We hope that our art challenges world views, or at least causes us to view the world with greater observative acuity. We hope that our art causes people to re-evaluate their axioms, and base assumptions as to the nature of reality, other people, nature, themselves, and their belief structures. Art is subversive. It is inherently unstable. It is dangerous. Free thought and action is required. It is quirky. It is weird. It views ordinary life through a new lens. It looks at the elements, and the big picture simultaneously yet independently and exclusively. It takes paradox in stride, bending our minds, and crushing our lazy banality.

However, in the end, art is for the artist. We make art, for art’s sake because we can’t do otherwise. We must connect to the Universal and allow it to pass through us into the specific. In this, art need not be beautiful, or True in and of itself. It must realize itself and grow. It must relate to the comprehensive whole, connecting our spirits with itself. That is where the Truth and Beauty lie. If it is True, it is inherently beautiful, no matter how horrible. If it is Beautiful, it is inherently True, no matter how false. That which is True, and Beautiful must be good.

Through all of this, Art springs eternal. Art is what binds us to the universe and to each other. Without Art, creativity must die. Without Art, critical perspectives will be lost. Art must be created to enhance our lives and understandings beyond anything that Math and Science can do. Art must direct Sciences and Math. And Sciences and Math must direct art. They must be in balance: a system in tension.  Different realms of knowing collide, but each are essential to crafting a great understanding of the mosaic of the Universe, and Art will allow us to Transcend our bounds and limitations and connect to the fires behind the curtain.

This divine spark of creativity is what directs humanity: this imp of the subconscious. It is brilliant, and quirky, and is what allows us to survive and thrive. Without it, there would be no survival, no science, or philosophy, or industry. Mankind would likely not be capable of even the most basic survival, without that spark of inspiration that acts as a guiding light. We need art for our soul, and for our mind, and for our will!

Art is the exercise that allows the muscle of creativity to grow. Creativity allows us to escape the basic problems, and solve various conundrums and trials which vex our human existence. Creativity goes hand in hand with logic to our survival.