Sunday, January 30, 2022

972: The Shift....

It is no surprise that the existence of slavery as a common phenomenon was the source of inspiration of political thinking in Ancient Greece.


The Greeks must have been a proud people. For them, freedom was the highest good. 


Freedom in the sense of being able to live your life as you like and not be ruled or dominated by someone else.


Of course that had been people who had to lead, administrators, judges, and so on, but they were elected for one year or appointed by lot.


So, everybody could be a ruler or a ruled person one day:  rule by the people was the political system,


It may have begun between 500 and 400 BC., but it didn't last forever. When I look at history the behavior of Putin strikes me.


He gathered a huge army on the border of a sovereign country and it is considered a threat as if he intends to conquer that country.


I'd think, that something like this is no longer of this time, so outdated, but maybe I am a little naive in this matter.


How different it was around 300 BC. In those days it appeared to have been common practice to bring together a huge army and go and conquer the land and cities of your neighbor.


Finally, the ancient Greeks had to accept this reality too. First, the Macedonian Empire subjugated the Greeks, later followed by the Romans.


It meant that the Greeks lost their freedom, their most valuable quality of life. They became ruled by kings or a rich elite or the military.


At the same time, we see a shift in political thinking. Did freedom formerly mean being your own master and ruler in a political sense,


now the emphasis shifted to the individual. Freedom focused more and more on not being a slave of one's own lusts and passions.


Such a moralized concept of freedom was deeply rooted in Greek thought from time immemorial.


Euripides, in his tragedy "Hecuba" (c. 424 BC), already stated that most people were vilified by their lust for money, 


their lust for fame. or their fears, and that therefore they could not call themselves free. Now self-control and self-denial were equated with freedom.


Although this is mainly an ethical doctrine, you could also see it as a political statement, namely if you want to say 


that the freedom of people depends on their moral character traits and not the political situation. Such an approach makes living in subjugation bearable.


The Greek culture of freedom went through a steady change. Greek intellectuals continued to attach importance to freedom, 


but they increasingly identified it with a moral attitude, and not with a political system. This was about 300 BC.


It didn't mean that this political concept of freedom disappeared. To the West of Greece arose a new empire, the Roman Empire.


The Romans copied a lot of the Greek culture, also their political ideas, but that got its own history.


Thank you for your attention again...the floor is yours..


Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Annelien de Dijn: "Freedom. An unruly history".  2020

The Discussion

[13:18] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

[13:19] herman Bergson: The Stoa and stoicism became the popular philosophy

[13:19] herman Bergson: and that kind of can imprison my body but not my mind

[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes interesting

[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): how to survive a change like that

[13:20] herman Bergson: or the anecdote of Diogenes, if I  am not mistaken....

[13:20] herman Bergson: The most powerful man on earth, Alexander the Great asks him if he can do something for him...

[13:21] herman Bergson: Yes, Diogenes said...move are blocking my sun

[13:21] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :))

[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): thinks that was the same at the holocaust

[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): idea of imprisoning

[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): for Putin i read a scary thing before. He want Soviet back, thats why he tryes to invade all these nations. He want the terror times of Stalin Lenin and Hitler back. the WW2 era

[13:21] herman Bergson: what do you mean Gemma?

[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): was celebrated this morning

[[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): the anniversary

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as i said his name ends also with in

[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and the thoughts of survivors

[13:22] herman Bergson: ah yes, it was indeed

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): shudders

[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): were likethat they thought of the imprisionment of the body

[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): only

[13:22] herman Bergson: I am really puzzled when you see how people in those days went to war all the time to conquer their neighbors

[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): still free in their minds

[13:23] herman Bergson: yes...

[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): every day i think that putin is playing with the other countries

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm

[13:23] herman Bergson: It was the way for the Greeks to "justify" subjugation

[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): trying to get them to give up some issues

[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and just doing troop training

[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): as a fear to the west

[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): is that possible?

[13:24] herman Bergson: It also refers to Plato who didn't like democracy and prefered a wise ruler or king-phiosopher

[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): or am i dreaming

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i say this to Putin, if u want the WW2 era back, build a time machine and go back there yourself! we others dont want any part of it!

[13:25] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Putin doesn't care Bejiita

[13:25] herman Bergson: I am still at a loss here Gemma...

[13:25] herman Bergson: What he does is so antiquated....outdated

[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yep

[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): his past life in the KGB i think

[13:25] herman Bergson: In the old days it was common practice but in these times????

[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa ill-plupp him later as well!

[13:25] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): he is a very small man who wnat's to be taller

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): a REALLY big

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): * PLUPP *

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as iw that would help

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ehhe

[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): he lived in and loved the Soviet Union

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): shudders

[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): which WAS ancient

[13:26] herman Bergson: What he really wants is unclear to me because his demands are totally impossible

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed

[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): sigh time will tell

[13:27] herman Bergson: yes...

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): it feels like he could start WW3 to get his will though however

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that must NOT happen, i dont want a world war after Covid!

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): uugh

[13:27] herman Bergson: The problem is that he has moved so many troops to the border, that he almost HAS to do something with that...otherwise he'll lose face

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hopefully its no danger

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): he is creepy

[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not really they are TRAINING

[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!

[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...

[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not sitting around

[13:28] herman Bergson: ok...let's regard it to be training excersises :-)

[13:28] herman Bergson: maybe that is a way out

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa and hope it stays there

[13:29] herman Bergson: Here too freedom is the issue....

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): like now recently someone flew drones over all our nuclear power plants and all our political buildings

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): was it Putin?

[13:29] herman Bergson: a country can not be ruled by another country....

[13:30] herman Bergson: The last time that happened was in WW2

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): nuked, ? well nuked it can be

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but as said, i don't want global nuclkear war on top of covid. I want all to be good and nice and happy again

[13:30] herman Bergson: And here again we hear the words....We have to defend our freedom

[13:31] herman Bergson: Freedom is a value worth fighting for......

[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): putin still thinks the soviet union is possible

[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): as it was once

[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): all those countries now

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): scary indeed

[13:31] herman Bergson: Seems so, yes

[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): wants them back

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): he is insane

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the soviet time is over

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): it ended with the Chernobyl disaster

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): among other things

[13:32] herman Bergson: The system of replacing rulers after one to four years is a healthy practice...

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes

[13:33] herman Bergson: People too long in power lose sight on reality

[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Putin want's to stay until 2036

[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bejita insanity is not an issue anymore many have that and are leaders

[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): omg

[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): OMG!!!

[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): every day

[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): since trump

[13:33] herman Bergson: yes, a worrisome development

[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thenhe will be 85

[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): more are showing up running for offices

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yep

[13:34] herman Bergson: have some pretty insane candidates on the shelf Gemma

[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): like Berlusconi....he want's to come back too

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (shudders)

[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): some with the idea of controlling the counting of ballots in the next election

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): pffff

[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): in those states where Biden won and they think trump did

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): UUUGH

[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): really believe it

[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): amazing but true

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (shakes head)

[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): so forget insanity

[13:35] herman Bergson: Yes I have seen such people too Gemma....unbelievable.....completely immune for facts

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm indeed

[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): rigth and Fox helps

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and radioactive amulettes!

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats karma at lest

[13:36] herman Bergson: The most creepy one lately was Boris Epshteyn

[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): is Fox from Trump?

[13:36] herman Bergson: and Peter Navarro

[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): no

[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): but supports him

[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): teh owners allow it

[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!

[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...

[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): promote it

[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes I saw that many times Gemma

[13:37] herman Bergson: Fox is owned by Rupert Murdoch

[13:37] herman Bergson: a very old conservative crow

[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): they are blaming things on Biden that are world wide

[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): inflation for one thing

[13:38] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Biden can't do anything good according to Fox

[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): things that happened because of covid

[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and yet the country is in better shape since 1982 is priven

[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bye economics

[13:40] herman Bergson: Well...we'd better think of some more positive things for this weekend ^_^

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm

[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): snow!!!lol

[13:40] herman Bergson: For instance that T is gaining weight by the day :-)

[13:40] herman Bergson: Yeah ....snow!

[13:41] herman Bergson: skiing....sleerides

[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ha

[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): vorige week zag ik een paar sneeuwvlokken:)))

[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!

[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...

[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yay

[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): shoveling snow

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): AND BEEEER

[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ah ok

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:41] herman Bergson: I hope it won't be a too heavy snow storm Gemma

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed Blizzards are nasty

[13:42] herman Bergson: But no homework today so that you have time for snow shoveling :-)

[13:42] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol

[13:42] herman Bergson: Thank you all again ...

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): get a snowblower!

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:42] herman Bergson: Class dismissed....

[13:42] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): snowangles

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and blow it over to the neighbours

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): loool

971: Plato...

 One of the Athenians, who has written about political philosophy and democracy most extensively, has been Plato (428 -348 BC).


What Plato especially wanted was to define the best possible polity, and for him, that was the polity in which people were most likely to be truly happy. 


It was from this perspective, the question of human happiness, that he passed judgment on the main Athenian political value: freedom. 


For starters, Plato rejected the depressing power politics touted by the likes of the Ancient Oligarch. 


Politics was not just about power, he argued. The only legitimate regime was one that acted in the interests of both the rulers and the ruled. 


But he also rejected the idea that democratic freedom was an alluring ideal. In book 8 of his "Politeia", in which Plato discussed existing forms of government, he distinguished four forms: 


timocracy, rule of a military class, oligarchy, rule of a wealthy elite, democracy, rule of the common people and tyranny, rule of one person. 


Like most Greeks, he equated freedom with democratic self-government. Democracy, he explained, is the only form of government attractive to one who is naturally free. 


Moreover, Plato argued that the collective freedom afforded by democratic regimes was a necessary condition for preserving individual independence, 


because only in free states were individuals allowed to behave exactly as they wished. A democratic city, Plato wrote, was full of freedom and openness. 


A man says and does as he pleases, implying that the individual can arrange his own life as he pleases. 


According to Plato, individual independence was therefore a necessary consequence of democracy. 


If a city was not ruled by a king or tyrant, people would increasingly see themselves as their own rulers and thereby be encouraged to live their lives the way they wanted. 


According to Plato, this independent attitude would gradually penetrate from the political domain to the private domain of one's own home and everyone would become everyone's equal. 


Even slaves would begin to feel equal to their masters. You would think that Plato was a proponent of democracy, 


but he found it problematic that democracy stimulated individual independence so strongly. 


And thus Plato, in my opinion, comes to a strange conclusion. 


This strong independence, everyone is their own boss, would eventually lead to lawlessness, a state in which no authority any longer applies except your own. 


He needed this step to come up with his solution: the state must be led by the wisest people, who understand what contributes to human happiness and a good life, in other words, those are the philosophers. 


No popular assemblies, no voting, the philosopher can make the right decisions himself. 


In later writings he modified his position somewhat. He observes, for example, "If human nature is to govern all human affairs completely independently, it cannot but become filled with pride and injustice". 


Instead, he now believed that people lived in the best possible polity when they were under the rule of law, not people. 


This idea is still alive. If you look at America today, you see that the only salvation it has left as a democracy is the law. 


Maybe The Founding Fathers had this philosopher-ruler idea of Plato in mind when they put a Supreme Court at the top of their law system.

No one is above the law. We will see......future will tell.. 


Thank you for your attention.

Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Annelien de Dijn: "Freedom. An unruly history".  2020

The Discussion

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): so Plato created the concept of laws?

[13:22] herman Bergson: The idea of putting all faith in the  law,,,seems so it begins with Plato

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:23] herman Bergson: But I  think the Roman Law had a greater influence later

[13:23] herman Bergson: A lot of our laws are based on Ancient Roman law

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well u need SOME sort of rule system for sure, thieves and such would roam otherwise

[13:24] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): so everyone was equal, but philosophers were more equal?

[13:24] herman Bergson: The most important point here is, that NOBODY is above the you also can indict a former or sitting president or lawmaker

[13:25] herman Bergson: Yes Beertje....that was a somewhat silly idea...


[13:25] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): that's what i read in these lines:)

[13:25] herman Bergson: Plato was called to Syracuse and wanted to educate the king there and make him a philosopher...

[13:25] herman Bergson: after him his son...but he failed

[13:26] herman Bergson: Seems to be a problem with Thomas (and his wife:-) isnt it?

[13:27] oola Neruda: also a long time ago when he was sexualy harrassing his assistant

[13:27] oola Neruda whispers: the "good ol'  boys did not convict him

[13:28] oola Neruda: and he was a seated Supreme Court judge at the time as well as now

[13:29] oola Neruda: Anita Hill trial...he got off

[13:29] herman Bergson: In fact we still have the system the Ancient Greek invented....

[13:29] herman Bergson: Elected representatives

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes

[13:30] herman Bergson: everything based and protected by laws

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indirect democracy as its called in general

[13:30] herman Bergson: we are even better, because every adult is allowed to vote, men and women

[13:30] herman Bergson: yes Bejiita

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:31] oola Neruda: the new state laws in Florida and Texas will take care of that... already people's votes are being rejected and it is not even time to vote

[13:32] herman Bergson: I still believe it is the best we can have

[13:32] herman Bergson: The US isn't a democracy pur sang like most European countries

[13:32] herman Bergson: The US is more a Moneycracy

[13:33] oola Neruda: or even like it's old self

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm indeed

[13:33] oola Neruda: YES

[13:33] herman Bergson: In Europe the rich and big companies have political influence too, but not at a scale as in the US, I think

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the richer u are the more power u have and the poor are left homeless to rot in the guttters instead of getting much needed help cause they are seen as worthless and its their own fault

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sad really

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): :(

[13:34] oola Neruda: nods

[13:35] herman Bergson: In the ancient Greek cities it was a cause of civil war....the poor against the rich elite

[13:36] oola Neruda: the proud boys were setting Jan 1  up to be civil war

[13:36] oola Neruda: Jan 6

[13:36] herman Bergson: Yes but that had another reason...

[13:36] oola Neruda: they used those very words

[13:36] herman Bergson: not the rich / poor controversy

[13:36] oola Neruda: yes

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok

[13:38] oola Neruda: i should have said "right"... not in I agree

[13:38] herman Bergson: If everything has been said today and no questions unasked.....

[13:38] herman Bergson: time to dismiss class and thank you all again

[13:38] oola Neruda: thank you, Herman

[13:38] oola Neruda: must run... be well all

[13:39] herman Bergson: You were right oola ^_^

[[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): take care Oola

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu oola

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hugs

970: The Critics.....

In the period 450 to 400 BC numerous conflicts occurred between the poor and the rich, most of the time between democrats and the rich elites.


Yet the belief in equality by birth and government by the people, political freedom was a widely accepted view in Athens and its allies.


Thucydides (460 - 400 BC), an Athenian general during the Peloponnesian War, stated that during all these civil wars  both parties, 


democrats and oligarchs, invoked the same ideals of freedom and democracy., but in the end it came down to greed, self-interest and power, All politics was power politics.


In those you also heard the argument, that democracy in fact was the tyranny of the majority.


Plato (428 -348 BC) is one of the great philosophers of his time, who has said a lot about political philosophy.


If Plato's description is correct, Thrasymachus, a special teacher, argued that every form of government was intended to favor the powerful, not just the monarchy: 


"Democracy makes democratic laws, tyranny makes tyrannical laws. And what they have made, what is of course in their own interest, 


they portray to their subjects as righteous, and they punish anyone who goes against it as a lawbreaker and a criminal. 


In my opinion, this is the definition of justice in all states: the interest of the established power. Since the established power is undoubtedly the strongest, any sane person will conclude that justice is everywhere the same, namely the interest of the fittest."

These days we also see attacks on democracy, varying from voter suppression to extreme right-wing views and the call for a strong leader. What tells ancient Greek history us..

A remarkable fact is that there were two coups d'état in democratic Athens, one in 414 BC and another in 404 BC.


In both cases the rich upper-class grabbed the power. In the first one their regime collapsed due to internal conflicts. The oligarchs were kicked out and democracy was restored in Athens.


Then in 404 BC another coup d'état took place. Now a council of Thirty men was installed. As soon as the oligarchs were in power they began to prosecute their opponents under the rich.


Unsurprisingly, the regime quickly lost support, even among the Athenian elites, and not long after, the army of the Thirty was crushed. 


According to the historian Xenophon (c. 430 - 354 BC(, after their victory, the democrats behaved better than the oligarchs had done. 


Rather than retaliate, they called for a general amnesty and restored democracy and harmony among the people of Athens. 


Nevertheless, the arguments of the Ancient Oligarch and others continued to reverberate. They argued, after all, that the Athenian democracy gave most of the power to one social group, 


the less fortunate, and thereby excluded other groups, especially the rich, from power. 


The argument of the tyranny of the majority would resonate in the case against democracy for centuries to come.


Nevertheless, we can still score a positive point here: the democratic feeling among the inhabitants of Athens must have been so strong that it recovered after coups d'état.


And whatever you may think about the present situation on this globe, since 450 BC the number of democracies has only increased....


Thank you for your attention......


Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Annelien de Dijn: "Freedom. An unruly history".  2020

 The Discussion

[13:18] Blackrose (blackrose.baroque): thank you sir

[13:19] herman Bergson: If you have questions or remarks...feel free to say so

[13:20] herman Bergson: If you look at recent history...with the collapse of the Iron Curtain the number of (more or less) democracies has increased again

[13:20] Somedirtycat Saule: I think I like democracy better now. When do we get it?

[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hopefully soon everywhere

[13:20] AlexLib Subscribe-O-Matic Gizmo: A new listing of literary events of the fortnight comes to you from the Alexandrian Free Library.

[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but there are many things to solve

[13:21] oola Neruda: I think of the Heritage society and lobbyists

[13:21] herman Bergson: Churchill  once said...of all bad governmental systems we have democracy is the least bad

[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:21] herman Bergson: When do we get democracy....I wonder about that question....

[13:22] herman Bergson: I know...there still is a lot to be done....

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yep

[13:22] oola Neruda: and now, worse than that... self interest of the states who are gerrymandering in a most abusive manner... and passing laws to mess up voting

[13:22] herman Bergson: but whatever democracy you live have freedom of speech....

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (shudders)

[13:22] Somedirtycat Saule: I still don't think we had any democracy since the Greeks

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes

[13:22] herman Bergson: you are not arrested and tortured at random

[13:23] herman Bergson: democracy means rule of the people...

[13:23] oola Neruda: rule of the money

[13:23] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): depend on were you live Saul

[13:23] herman Bergson: I agree that when you look at all countries, there are differences...

[13:23] herman Bergson: Indeed oola

[13:24] herman Bergson: The US is a clear example of rule by the rich with a democratic flavour to it

[13:24] Somedirtycat Saule: Beertje, North Europe.

[13:24] herman Bergson: In Europe a lot is under control of the big companies...

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm

[13:25] oola Neruda: there are places that call themselves democratic...but money is still the yeast... the final stop

[13:25] herman Bergson: But not everything....

[13:25] herman Bergson: I agree oola

[13:25] herman Bergson: BUt yet...count your blessings to

[13:25] herman Bergson: You are free to protest

[13:25] oola Neruda: agree

[13:25] herman Bergson: free to publish and expose whatever you like

[13:26] oola Neruda: and get death threats

[13:26] Somedirtycat Saule: Protests is a very bad way of getting influence in a democracy

[13:26] herman Bergson: it is not that black and white I'd say

[13:26] herman Bergson: Why is that Saule?

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats all we can do

[13:27] Somedirtycat Saule: It means decisions already are made and somehow ppl are not involved enough to influence them'

[13:27] oola Neruda: there are a lot of phone calls and other sources of death threats to people who are standing up for democracy... anywhere from local offices to the Senate and House

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the issue today is we have indirect democraties and parties who promise stuff and then its all a lie

[13:27] herman Bergson: I agree...that happens

[13:28] Somedirtycat Saule: So why even talk about right to protest as a democratic thing?

[13:28] herman Bergson: With so many arms around in your country and regular mass shooting, I would get nervous myself too, oola

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and ooops there they shut down another nuclear power plant and power prixes skyrockets all days there is not storm outside cause they cynically think wind can successfully be our ONLY source of energy no prob

[13:29] Somedirtycat Saule: Its just a sign of ... not democracy

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but our parties think so

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): at least many

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): least

[13:29] herman Bergson: It is a sign of freedom of speech

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and lot of other stuff

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and people are angry

[13:30] oola Neruda: they raise the prices because they can... and want to... the flow of power can be thought out and spread around if they want to... but money rules in the end

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): in southern Sweden they shut down 2 reactors on new years eve 2020 and now the ones living in that region have energy bills of 1000s of dollars

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cause there is not enough power

[13:31] herman Bergson: It does as far as it is in the interests of parties involved oola, yes

[13:31] oola Neruda: money

[13:31] Somedirtycat Saule: Whats most important. Democratic influence or the right to have free speech that no one listen to?

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): mmmm

[13:31] Medussa Reddevil is offline.

[13:32] oola Neruda: with so many lies around... it is hard to know who to believe

[13:32] herman Bergson: We still have political parties and a parlament

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true oola

[13:32] herman Bergson: You can't say that that doesn't count at all in the political process

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we have a term here in sweden, Democratorship

[13:33] oola Neruda: and lobbyists with deep pockets

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yep

[13:34] herman Bergson: Can anyone mention one positive aspact of the world / country you live in?

[13:34] oola Neruda: remember who financed the perspective on whether or not there was climate change?... those who sold gas, oil etc

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sure we are free but things are a mess

[13:34] herman Bergson: Sounds as if we live in a dystopia here

[13:35] herman Bergson: We have free elderly care and healthcare for everyone....a good educational system, good universities, beautiful musea and national parks....

[13:35] Somedirtycat Saule: The focus on democracy is wrong imo. We have to talk about influence. I cant understand why ppl want formal democracy as it is useless if it dont carry influence. I prefer a good dictator over bad democracy

[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): careful what you say Saul

[13:36] herman Bergson: I am sorry Saule but "good dictator" is a contradictio in terminis

[13:36] Somedirtycat Saule: why?

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): like i said, i would be a great dictator, cause im not evil

[13:36] herman Bergson: As I said last time....

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but indeed all dictators have been evil so far

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): just causing suffering

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and yes its a paradoxal term

[13:37] herman Bergson: when a dictator takes a decision which I find immoral and I make that public...the dictator wqill ignore it and do even more...and goes on to act immoral

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yep

[13:38] oola Neruda: look at the record in S American dictatorships... unbelievable

[13:38] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): and it wil bcome worse and worse

[13:38] herman Bergson: We have to discuss ethics and political acts here

[13:39] Somedirtycat Saule: Democracy as I hear it here don't deliver. I want influence. If a dictator support my ideas and 'democratic' parties not, I support the dictator. It's simple as that.

[13:39] oola Neruda: one of my heros is Vallejo... and he was just a poet... look what happened to him...

[13:39] herman Bergson: Supose the dictator discards Human Rights Act?

[13:39] Somedirtycat Saule: Not sure all human act ar good.

[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): he has to support YOUR ideas?

[13:40] Somedirtycat Saule: Well. Isent it the same in democratic voting? You vote on YOUR ideas

[13:40] herman Bergson: No Beertje....everyone should have the right to influence freely the debate about any issue like happens in a parliament

[13:40] herman Bergson: That is the way we have institutionalized the process

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): problem is the definition of a dictator is they dont listen to anyone, so i could not be a dictator in the way i imagines it because the definition of dictatorship is use the people for ur own good and don't care at all about them or what they say

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but i want to make people happy and such so

[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i was talking on the dictator

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well its complicated

[13:41] herman Bergson: I see

[13:41] Somedirtycat Saule: Im trying to elevate things here. 'Democracy' works so bad now it is useless.

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i want to imagine it as easy but i know its not, just my vision

[13:41] herman Bergson: I disagree Saule

[13:42] Somedirtycat Saule: Thats fair, Herman

[13:42] herman Bergson: It doesn't work perfect,,,but you can't say that the voters have no influence at all at the process

[13:42] oola Neruda: i also disagree.... and am counting on time enough to get things through the legal system to make things more clear and fair

[13:43] herman Bergson: To begin with....

[13:43] herman Bergson: And don't forget polls...!

[13:43] herman Bergson: Nowadays opinion polls play an important role in how political parties operate

[13:43] oola Neruda: nods

[13:44] herman Bergson: and in the US especially, where popularity is  a number one quality

[13:44] oola Neruda: but so are lies

[13:44] herman Bergson: Yes, oola, Americans have made it into an art....

[13:44] herman Bergson: The best one I heard lately....

[13:45] oola Neruda: YES!!!

[13:45] herman Bergson: A republican was defeated in an election

[13:45] herman Bergson: He got 19.3% of the votes...

[13:45] herman Bergson: The democrat got 69% of the votes

[13:46] herman Bergson: then the Rep was ask if he was willing to concede his defeat...

[13:46] Somedirtycat Saule: I have good experience on democratic organizing in activist enviroment. You might not believe it lol. The larger groups of ppl the less democracy works.

[13:46] herman Bergson: His answer was...They SAY I lost, but we'll see

[13:47] herman Bergson: Some truth in that Saule

[13:48] herman Bergson: An election system is a construct we have invented to get at least some social and political organization in our society

[13:48] herman Bergson: It is based on the thrust we have in the people we vote for...

[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yep

[13:48] herman Bergson: In smaller groups you have shorter lines of communication

[13:49] herman Bergson: so influencing each other and decisions is easier and more direct

[13:50] oola Neruda: excellent point

[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true

[13:50] herman Bergson: What right wing parties like to do is questioning that trust.....

[13:50] Somedirtycat Saule: What I mean is that democracy may just don't work for larger groups.

[13:50] herman Bergson: We have a right-winger here in  the Netherlands ...he talks about the Fake parliament....haha...although he himself is a member of it

[13:51] herman Bergson: As long there is trust in each other and the system it works, I'd say

[13:51] herman Bergson: Just look at the US....

[13:52] herman Bergson: Already months before the elections Trump was claiming that if he would lose the elections have to be rigged

[13:52] Somedirtycat Saule: And shouting in the air where no one listening is perhaps a nice ego kick. I prefer a beer to boast my ego.

[13:52] herman Bergson: that is attacking the trust people have in their system.....

[13:53] Somedirtycat Saule: Hi Sabeen. Have a seat

[13:53] herman Bergson: Hi Sabeen overr here is a free chair

[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hi Sabeen

[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed

[13:53] Sabeen Schmidt: hai

[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and they let him get away with it

[13:53] bergfrau Apfelbaum: hi Sabeen

[13:53] oola Neruda: Fox news even helps him

[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm

[13:54] herman Bergson: The most important things in society are only based on mutual trust...

[13:54] herman Bergson: You have to trust that a certain piece of paper has a value....that you can banter it for  a loaf of bread

[13:55] herman Bergson: You have to trust that the numbers on your bank reciets are referring to real money you posses

[13:55] herman Bergson: You have to trust that votes in an election are counted fairly

[13:55] Somedirtycat Saule: We can build a good state with democracy but not repair a failed one. Thats my belief.

[13:55] herman Bergson: You have to trust your doctor

[13:56] herman Bergson: Up to you to define a "good state"

[13:56] oola Neruda: THINKING OF FLORIDA

[13:57] herman Bergson: Up to you to show what a failed state is

[13:57] oola Neruda: and Texas

[13:57] herman Bergson: the beauties of the US indeed oola

[13:57] herman Bergson: With DeSantis as the number one

[13:58] Somedirtycat Saule: If you don't understand this I think you got a naive idea about either democracy or the state of things.

[13:58] Somedirtycat Saule: or both

[13:58] herman Bergson: I call my country not a failed democracy...I even rgard it with all its limitations a good place to live a safe and comfortable  life

[13:59] oola Neruda: but we have bad apples doing rotten things among the good apples

[14:00] herman Bergson: " If you don't understand this " is a classic debating tactic to disqualify your partner in the debate and suggest that he must be ignorant....and it frees you from proving your point

[14:00] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true oola

[14:01] Somedirtycat Saule: I used belief. You should fall down on that if anything

[14:01] herman Bergson: I keep standing, if you don't mind :-)

[14:02] Somedirtycat Saule: I don't mind :)

[14:02] herman Bergson: Allthough the Athenians succeeded in restoring their democracy twice , I guess we didn't save it here today....

[14:03] oola Neruda: a happy thought... the supreme court has said that the "inquiry" can have trumps paperwork that he keeps trying to hide

[14:03] herman Bergson: so...a good reason to continue our quest into this subject a next time...

[14:03] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[14:03] herman Bergson: Is that so oola....... \o/   !

[14:04] oola Neruda: yes... the news today

[14:04] Somedirtycat Saule: This greek democracy still look quite 'right winged' in todays views

[14:04] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats a good thing

[14:04] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): he cant hide anymore!

[14:04] herman Bergson: Thank you all for your interesting participation again....

[14:04] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[14:04] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

[14:04] herman Bergson: See you next Tuesday again, I hope....

[14:04] herman Bergson: Class dismisswed...

[14:04] Somedirtycat Saule: Ok. See you next time

[14:04] oola Neruda: be well... all

[14:04] Blackrose (blackrose.baroque): Thank you Sir

[14:04] Somedirtycat Saule: Thanks all