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 slybandit
Joined: 7/10/2006
Msg: 60
Why did some societies advance and other not?Page 2 of 8    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
It hardly seems necessary or useful to post one more endorsement of Jared Diamond's works, but I will anyhow.

They are emphatically not "the People magazine of science and history". While one can certainly have intelligent disagreement with both many of his premises and his conclusions, one would hope it would at least be *intelligent* disagreement.

Moreover, even if one were to agree that his works were "the People magazine of science and history", better "the People magazine of science and history" than the "the National Enquirer magazine of science and history", which is what much of the works in this field (broadly defined) unfortunately are.

I could not disagree more with rsx11s' claim that one could "Take a map of the world and put a pin in the places where all great technological improvements have taken place. You'll find they're all in cold countries."

A few counterexamples:

1. Human-controlled fire: we have no idea where this originated, probably in many places at various times.

2. Stone tools. See above.

3. Agriculture, from the simplest forms to the more complex. Possibly originated in the Tigris-Euphrates valley (Mesopotamia), possibly the Nile Valley (Egypt), possibly Yellow River Valley (China), possibly Indus Valley (India) and probably in one or more of these locations independently. This is based on such evidence as has survived down to the present. None of these locations are "cold" by any common definition of the term.

4. The bow and arrow. See above.

5. Copper, bronze, iron tools. See above.

6. Building permanent structures with stone. See above.

7. Seaborne navigation in craft more complex than a raft or a dugout canoe. See above.

8. Written language. The earliest extant evidence we have is probably Mesopotamian cuneiform.

9. Mathematics. Arguably the same river valley answer as above, but based on the extant evidence, it would seem that the Indus civilizations were more advanced (the concept of the zero, for example, probably appeared there first.)

10. "Study of natural cycles by reference to the heavens." In modern terms we would call this the parent of astronomy, climatology and agronomy, but virtually every previous civilization included a fair amount of religion and social regulation in this field also.

11. "Law" rather than evolved local custom or arbitrary exercise of power as a means of governing human affairs. Arguably Hammurabi, in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley, again.

One could go on, to hundreds of examples, but it's not really useful.

The technological improvements to which rsx11s is referring are probably those which occur from the 1300's C.E. onward (with certain exceptions, such as the stirrup) predominantly in Northwest Europe and later in North America, and most recently, in Japan (also, generally "not cold" with the exception of Hokkaido).

And lest I appear to be simply attacking rsx11s, many of rsx11s' critical points about "Western Civilization" (---to paraphrase Mohandas Ghandi, something that would be nice but there does not seem to be much of it in evidence--) are perfectly accurate.

Nota bene to rsx11s: natural plant and animal pharmacopeia are frequently patentable by indirect means. I have this on some authority from a friend of mine, an intellectual property lawyer. This is actually a big growth area for the pharmaceuticals industry (and for quacks who push dubious natural cures, e.g. taxol).

At any rate, apart from all the bio-geo-climatological features which Diamond (and many others) identify, I would point to the fundamental **adaptability** of a culture as one key to advancement. The degree to which members of a given culture willingly and permanently adopt features of another culture with whom they come into contact, peaceful or otherwise, which are by their judgment superior to or more useful than, their own original culture, without abandoning or refusing these innovations because of some other social imperative.

Nowhere is this more obvious than in the military arena, but other examples abound.

1. China and Japan's initial adoption, then abandonment, of gunpowder-fueled weapons. (A counterexample, one which cost them dearly.)
2. Ancient Rome's adoption of much of Hellenic culture and civilization.
3. The near worldwide adoption (outside English speaking countries) of some descendant, variant or adaptation of the Napeoleonic Code of law (which itself descends from the CJC of the Roman Emperor Justinian.)
4. The propagation of particular food crops near-worldwide (e.g. the potato).

SB
 Larissan04
Joined: 4/28/2004
Msg: 61
Why did some societies advance and other not?
Posted: 4/3/2007 10:30:28 PM
nick1962~

1. women's rights... yep young idea... as many of these ideas are..but hardly an idea that is much embraced in many other cultures aroundthe world...even now...

2. end of slavery... well the history of slavery predates the etymology of the word slavery itself! (the root of the word slave is slav, as in the slavic people who have been historically one of the most enslaved people on the planet.) slavery dates back to the earliest known human history. it was not a "western" invention.

the brits were the first nation outlaw slavery, they did this in 1807. the brits even went so far as to police the seas and captured any ship that was transporting slaves, and treated it as piracy, all to a great exspense which they alone bore the cost of. noone had ever done that before. as a matter of fact, philisophically speaking, the earliest known writings questining the concept of slavery were authored by a greek playwrite... they were controversial, and didn't have much impact...then there was nothing for a few centuries... then you had two jewish sects, one the theraputae, the other the essenes, who also asserted the view that slavery was wrong... it was not until the enlightenment that people started questioning this barbarism... perhaps the roots of it can be found in the concept of individual rights... the abolition movement actually started in britain and spread to the united states...

the united states fought a war with itself to end slavery. we officially ended it in 1865, the saudis ended it in 1962, yet they still practice slavery today... today in saudi arabia there are individuals who are bought and sold as property... they are typically phillipino, or lower caste indians... the slave trade is alive and well in some parts of the world yet this is ignored. just do a google search on mende nazer, or franics bok. these two lived as slaves after being kidnapped in sudan... mende escaped her enslavement in 2001...

the "west" didn't invent slavery... but the "west" ended it.

3. no the greek state did not include everyone.

4.yes, socialism and communsm along with fascism were western inventions as well. but scholars catagorize them as occidentalist...being anti-western, anti liberal ideas.. and they are one of the scourges that the west has brought into the world for which we have much to atone...
 Larissan04
Joined: 4/28/2004
Msg: 62
Why did some societies advance and other not?
Posted: 4/3/2007 10:43:55 PM
slybandit~

i think you make a valid point ie: adaptablility.

a perfect example of this would be japan. when perry let off a cannon in the harbour it changed the japanese world over night. they embarked on a very premeditated effort to modernize as quickly as possible realizing that their very survival depended on it. they went from being a 7th century fuedal society to a fully modern-industrialized one within fifty years! while they did have some civil unrest during the meiji reforms, they never had a civil war nor a revolution.

japan has had the same royal family sitting on the emperial throne, and they were never colonized, unlike the rest of southeast asia. being as conservative as they are/were, it is amazing that they were able to adopt the ideas and the technology that they needed, yet maintain thier own distinct culture to such a large degree.

lar
 cedar77
Joined: 7/17/2006
Msg: 63
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History
Why did some societies advance and other not?
Posted: 4/7/2007 3:45:48 PM
Why did some societies advance and other not?

That's an easy one...it's because of genetics.
 Larissan04
Joined: 4/28/2004
Msg: 65
you call this an advance society?
Posted: 4/8/2007 11:04:11 AM
backwardduck~and everyone else...

over the past century there have been some philisophical ideas which have permeated our way of thinking, and have greatly distorted it. it is now common to not have any standard by which to measure ANYTHING. there has been a tendency towards moral equivalency, and the populist view has been to view all cultures as the same. that is why some of the posts here are expressing such umbrage at the word "advanced." this is not intellectually honest because it is an observable fact that some people's have contributed more or less to the expansion and yes, progress, of knowledge whether it be technological or philisophical... some cutlures have stagnated, and some have ceased to exist all together...remaining only a foot note in a history book somewhere..
and if a culture ceases to exist...then it is important for others to understand the factors that led to the decline...

it is an undeniable fact that western cutlure has contributed much to the world at large... wheterh that be in scientific discoveries, or in philisophical ideas that have improved the human condition for the common man... so i wouldn't say we are the takers... if anything, the west has given quite a lot...

an article just appeared in the chicago suntimes written by stevenpinker, which debunks the whole idea that we are becoming more violent or worse as a civilization. actually, studies are actually showing this NOT to be true. we have and are becomming much kinder and more empathetic.

here is a link to his article. i could not find a link to the chicago sun times version, which is in section b pages 1 and 4. this is the same though...

http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/pinker07/pinker07_index.html


lar
 Larissan04
Joined: 4/28/2004
Msg: 66
you call this an advance society?
Posted: 4/8/2007 12:10:25 PM
nick1962~

well, considering that the vast majority of the planet does not even have even the basics in sanitiation, vaccines, or emergency medical care (which by the way, in this country, even if you do not have insurance, you can still get emergency treatment... i know, just had to go to the emergency room a couple of months ago...went to cook county hospital.. got taken care of... currenlty don't have medical insurance....same thing happened 10 years ago in california after getting rear ended on wilshire ave in los angeles....didn't have insurance at the time.. i made payments to cover the costs of both of these bills over time even though i didn't have to... could have let the tax payer foot the bill.)

i have worked with individuals from all over the world. i have been tutoring people in english for a while now. last year i had a student from burundi that came to this country as a refugee. she is only 34 and can only walk with difficulty. why? because when she was a child in africa she walked through a pile of coals that had been covered with sand. it was the remenants of a fire that had been recently buried. the custom being, you cook your food over the fire, or in these make shift ovens, and then when you are done, cover them with some sand. i saw this practice among bedouins in morrocco while i was there years back. anyway, her feet were badly burned and never healed properly. there was no emergency room to go to. there was no ambulance to call. her feet were contorted by keloids and scar tissue on both feet...

last year before i moved, she was getting ready to have reconstructive surgery on her feet. this was going to be done for free. there are plastic surgeons who do such work as this for free you know. there is a charitable organization through which reconstructive surgeons perform surgeries for free on poor children that suffer from cleft palletes and other such disfiguring conditions.

this is in america. yeah, we're such an uncaring awful people, aren't we? what barbarism!

and pay for your own health care? well, who do you think ends up paying for it? we all do. we pay with our tax dollars. and considering that diseases such as diptheria and polio have been vastly eliminated due to advances in medical science, and that small pox was virtually wiped out ALL OVER THE world due to the dilligent work of some very caring physicians...i'd say your missing the point all together and taking a very distorted view....

here's a link on just one of many charitable organizations that does this sort of work. there are many:

http://www.operationsmile.org/

lar
 cedar77
Joined: 7/17/2006
Msg: 67
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History
Why did some societies advance and other not?
Posted: 4/8/2007 2:25:42 PM
Why did some societies advance and other not?

Genetics? I beg to differ:
Because of internal systemics within those societies and/or external dynamics of various kinds.

Ok...
Why did some societies develop the internal systemics and control the external dynamics in order to advance, while others did not?
That's an easy one....it's because of genetics.
 cedar77
Joined: 7/17/2006
Msg: 68
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History
Why did some societies advance and other not?
Posted: 4/8/2007 5:49:43 PM
much of it was pure dumb luck, as much as some of the posters here would like to think it was about being genetically superior.
I've just spent a year in a country that most would consider third world yet I've never before met so many happy, contented and helpful people (even in dirt-poor subsistence type villages). Makes you wonder if some of those 'lesser' civilizations may not have a lesson or two for the superpowers.

I highly doubt it had anything to do with luck ......and it depends on what you value if you want to term it "genetically superior".....this is where I find political correctness always seems to jump to conclusions.
How about ....genetically predisposed towards development , as we know it.
I agree that being happy and content is much superior to being "highly developed" and miserable ...that is for sure.
However , I think that ever increasing development along with happy and content should be the ideal.
I guess we have to decide what are values are.

 cedar77
Joined: 7/17/2006
Msg: 69
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Why did some societies advance and other not?
Posted: 4/8/2007 6:02:59 PM
I was hoping for more of an arguement .lol
 cedar77
Joined: 7/17/2006
Msg: 70
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History
Why did some societies advance and other not?
Posted: 4/8/2007 6:19:48 PM
advanced societies are those which maximize the welfare/utility of all people will providing the maximum possible degree of personal choice and freedom. Because it is the people, all people, that count in "advanced societies".

I agree , but , I think that we are along a path of technological development and we should continue that way ....there is no turning back.
I believe that there is no limit to our advancement, there is no problem that can't be solved... if we value what it is that advances us in the first place and support science and technology , knowledge , individuality , free speech and free thought and free enterprise . I think we should shun what we know stagnates development in all areas and creates misery for all ...which is repressive collectivism and centralization.
I think we need to stop our self loathing (guilt) due to the fact that we are "advanced" and also we should see advancement as something that should benefit all peoples of the world...we're all in this together.
 cedar77
Joined: 7/17/2006
Msg: 71
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Why did some societies advance and other not?
Posted: 4/8/2007 6:51:11 PM
Despite the hugely repressive pressures of political correctness....
Science is finding that genetics is the very basis of many aspects of human behaviour....it might go against what the media and establishment has made fashionable and "politically correct" ....but anyone who wants to gain knowledge and understanding cannot be prejudiced against the truth just because it doesn't suit the fashionable politics of the day .....genetics certainly has to be considered in an open minded manner...it's undeniable...and truth and knowledge can only be good for all of humanity.
 Larissan04
Joined: 4/28/2004
Msg: 73
you call this an advance society?
Posted: 4/9/2007 8:44:37 AM
nick1962~

the whole health care thing is really a side issue, and to me, not all that relevent to the question posed by the op.

i do think that the cost of health care is exorbitant of course, but i don't neccessarily think that creating another costly and cumbersome new program is the answer either. the problem with the social welfare state model is that if you have a population decline, as much of europe is experiencing, you run into a situation where you do not have enough workers to support the costly health care programs and pensions of those that have retired. it doesn't help that we are living ever longer either. that is one of the reasons that many european countries are bringing in ever increasing numbers of immigrants into their countries... unfortunately, many of these new immigrants do not share the same values of thier host countries, so of course the reuslt is conflict and tension...

regarding genetics:

i think it has more to do with values of a culture than anything else. values are the root of action, and determine how resources are allocated. i don't think genetics has as big a role in it as some here would assert. people come here (US) from all over the world and make someting out of themselves. they often could not have pursued the same things in their home countries because there was a lack of opportunity.

lar
 AnAdotSoul
Joined: 7/12/2006
Msg: 74
Why did some societies advance and other not?
Posted: 4/9/2007 9:26:44 AM
"I have often wondered why some early societies, (Mid east, Asia, Europe)advanced technologically more so than others. Up until very recently there were still societal groups that live as they have lived for thousands of years, (Amazonian tribes, Nomads and tribal groups in Africa). I would be very interested in other peoples take on the situation. My own original theory on the development of European cultures was the necessity to deal with winter, but that doesn't apply so much to the Mediterranean regions (Greece, Rome)."

Dominance... Cultures that 'advanced' had a need and greed for power, land, food etc. Cultures that didn't 'advance' didn't because they had no need to... Partially because of psychedelics in the diet. Many of these tribe' s (i know for sur ethe ones in the Amazon) still have various forms of psychedelics in their diets, and they get on and live just fine without all this 'advancement' we have... advancement towards our own demise is more like it.


http://users.lycaeum.org/~sputnik/McKenna/Evolution/theory.html

"For a very long time, as we evolved out of the animal nature, perhaps a hundred thousand years, psilocybin was part of our diet and our rituals and our religion. And though those individuals taking the psilocybin didn't know it, it was having a very profound effect upon them. What it was doing was it was suppressing a primate behavior that is so basic to primates that it goes clear back to squirrel monkeys. And what that behavior is is a tendency to form what are called male-dominance hierarchies. And we all know what this is, because it bedevils our own political situation, and our own effort to create a reasonable society. But there was a great long period in the human past when this tendency was pharmacologically suppressed, in the same way that you would give Prozac to somebody to suppress a tendency to manic-depression. In other words, what the shamans of the High Paleolithic figured out was how to medicate people so that they would live together in harmony, decency, and dignity."
 cedar77
Joined: 7/17/2006
Msg: 75
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History
Why did some societies advance and other not?
Posted: 4/9/2007 11:01:39 AM
Live in grass huts and be happier....or ....be constantly stoned and be happier ....or both? lol


Perhaps, as mentioned by some other posters here, there is even some debate as to what exactly constitutes an 'advanced society'. I suppose that it would be 'politically correct' to take for granted that it is the one to which the majority here seem to belong. I suppose the Greeks thought that, then the Romans, and a whole host of other 'advanced' societies that have fallen by the wayside. Would that include the post-industrial British Empire too?

Yeah the west is on the decline .....decadent and corrupted , having lost it's spirit and pride.
Actually ...I think it is politically correct to value the "virtues" of less advanced societies and to bash modern advanced society.....don't you?
 cedar77
Joined: 7/17/2006
Msg: 76
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History
Why did some societies advance and other not?
Posted: 4/9/2007 11:38:47 AM
Oh, I entirely agree. I was just pointing to well presented, published evidence related to the development of the different societies discussed here. Can you do the same in support of a 'genetic hypothesis'? I don't deny genetics plays a role, but there aren't too many who seem to have applied it wisely to entire populations.


If , in fact , I couldn't support the "genetic hypothesis" ....this would be the reason why....


Ideology and Censorship in Behavior Genetics
Glayde Whitney's Presidential address to the Behavior Genetics Association
The Mankind Quarterly, vol. 35, number 4, pp. 327-342
Scott-Townsend Publishers, Washington DC., Summer 1995

Presented below is the entire text of my presidential address presented to the Behavior Genetics Association (BGA) on the occasion of its 25th annual meeting at Richmond, VA on the second of June, 1995. Since the journal Behavior Genetics is sponsored by the BGA, some explanation is required as to why this presidential address is not published in the Association's own journal.


The primary topic of the address was ideologically-based dogma and taboo hampering the pursuit of knowledge in the science of behavior genetics. The response to the address has been such a parody of political correctness that it might appear to be an instance of collusion between the perpetrator and the detractors for the purpose of exposing an absurdity of our times. However sadly, there is no collusion. Both the author and the detractors appear to be sincere.
 cedar77
Joined: 7/17/2006
Msg: 78
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History
Why did some societies advance and other not?
Posted: 4/9/2007 2:41:47 PM
I find it ironic that the industrial revolution, which supposedly advanced western and European culture/society, will most likely also spell its doom. I personally don't feel we can adapt quickly enough to survive the mess we've made of things on this planet, and I'm speaking of genetic adaptation as well as a physical response to the crisis.

It's always a pleasure to reply to some posts....(-;
I think that there is no limit to what we (humanity) can achieve or problems we can solve , just as one very small current example .... hybrid cars .

You're right , all of humanity is in it together...
I think that we are on a track towards ever increasing knowledge and advancement ,
for every problem that arises out of technology there will be a solution and all the while quality of life will improve..(unless we enter into a period of collectivist , centralized, dark age )....to try to somehow turn back now, is not possible . People seem to run down modern society , but , what is the alternative? ....grass huts and stoned? ....sometimes that may sound enticing , but I don't think it's very practical .....although maybe some of the more anti-development set could form a community in the jungle and try things out....
 johnny prophet
Joined: 5/16/2006
Msg: 79
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History
Why did some societies advance and other not?
Posted: 4/10/2007 8:11:20 AM

People seem to run down modern society , but , what is the alternative? ....grass huts and stoned


I don't think that there are very many people who think that a tribal lifestyle is a "better" lifestyle. However....

Birds have been building nests for (presumably) millions of years. Building nests is not the "best" or "right" way for birds to live - it's simply the way that has tested out and worked for millions of years. It was a practice that evolved and has allowed birds to survive and flourish without overpopulating or extinction. It works.

Humans and our ancestors, where they have been allowed to continue doing so, have been living in small tribes for approximately 3-4 million years. The tribal lifestyle evolved and was stable. It works for humans the same way nests work for birds. It tested out. It allowed mankind to survive and flourish without overpopulating or extinction. It works.

However, in the short 10,000 years or so since ONE CULTURE started a NEW way of living, the experiment has been: Increased food production to feed a growing population. The laws of ecology state that in the absence of predation and with an abundance of food, any feeder population will continue to grow. For the last 10,000 years, our response each year to increased population has been to place more land under cultivation for human food - we increase the food supply, this leads to more people, so we branch out, place more lands under our culture's control, make more people, do it again, year in and year out.

What seemed like progress 10,000 years ago (and then, it was progress. The repurcussions were still centuries down the line...) looks like global catastrophe and possible human extinction today.

I'll take stoned in a grass hut over the destruction of the planet and the killing of major portions of its ecology, any day.
 Larissan04
Joined: 4/28/2004
Msg: 82
Why did some societies advance and other not?
Posted: 4/10/2007 5:15:08 PM
johnny prophet~

you talk about population growth...do you know that a report just came out... an article from the uk guardian (yesterday) to be specific... that projected growth in subsaharan africa would be about 80% and the islamic world would grow by about 132% in the upcoming decades... all the while europe is on a steady population decline.. if you don't believe me go goolge eurostat. it is a UN website that details fertility rates in europe and other parts of the world. germany, russia, france, et al have fertility rates of around 1.32, whereas in order to maintain just stable population, no growth, no decline, a society needs to maintain a 2.1 fertility rate... usernet daily had an article about two months ago stating that according to experts, germany has reached a point of population decline from which no other culture has ever recovered.. think about that... are we witnessing the death of a culture before our very eyes?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/story/0,,2053020,00.html

here's the guardian article...

and if you want to be stoned and live in a grass hut you CAN do that. you can go and learn to live off the land without electricity and such if you like. noone is stopping you. there are people that do this. but please, please dont expect the rest of us to do so. i like being able to get my teeth cleaned and get cavities filled when needed. i also like the fact that i don't have to sew all my own clothes or weave my own fabrics. i am glad that there are peopple who know how to make shoes, because hey... i am not going to get around to learning THAT trade anytime soon...let's be honest... i also appreciate the fact that can i can take a bath, or shower, and that i dont have to walk outside in the middle of a cold cold night to use the bathroom... somehow i suspect that you enjoy those very ssame things too, and that you will be one of the first to start whining when the price of gasoline goes up...

you cant have it both ways...

lar
 cedar77
Joined: 7/17/2006
Msg: 83
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History
Why did some societies advance and other not?
Posted: 4/11/2007 6:20:31 PM
And there is no limit to the corruption of humanity. Big business and government has effectively garroted the development of alternate energy sources, so, we stay dependant on oil. This is disastrous for the future of our planet. I know government is saying they will pump more money into alternate sources, but this is just not happening in reality beyond Bandaid status.

imho...there is no limit to the corruption of the control freak elitist socialists who indoctrinate people with guilt and negativity about humanity in regards to the earth and nature.
It is the same greedy elite who run government, media and corporations that monopolize and repress development and then lay guilt and self hate on regular people in order to get people to hand them over more power ..meanwhile regular people are actually quite environmentally responsible and given the chance and free enterprise ... society would develop the solutions to these environmental problems....e.g. alternate fuels and technologies.
 johnny prophet
Joined: 5/16/2006
Msg: 85
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History
Why did some societies advance and other not?
Posted: 4/12/2007 2:17:11 PM
you talk about population growth....population decline from which no other culture has ever recovered.. think about that... are we witnessing the death of a culture before our very eyes?


Yes. That's exactly my point. Our culture is dying and intends to take the rest of the humanity (not to mention the planet) with it.

Or were you trying to use this data to suggest that our global culture did not reach 6,525,170,264 as of last July? Where the babies are born does not seem to me to be the point.


and if you want to be stoned and live in a grass hut you CAN do that. you can go and learn to live off the land without electricity and such if you like. noone is stopping you. there are people that do this.


The 'stoned in a grass hut' was a humorous rebuttle of a previous post.

I point out the problem in our current way of thinking, not to suggest that we return to the cave, but rather to alert people to the blindspot in their reality.

I do this in the hope that, once awakened from this sleepwalk toward the cliff, the people of obvious intelligence (like yourself) might band together to come up with a solution that's better than "we'll walk slower, and try to gather sticks to build a bridge with."

I admit that I have no real desire to live in a hut because, like you, I am comfortable with technology and I believe that if there were a culture EMPHASIS on "green" technology and well-adjusted individuals, we'd have better results. Our current cultural imperative is to subjugate the earth and all of its resources because our big daddy in the sky said we could.

Our current cultural imperative is to PROFIT and PRODUCTION rather than PEOPLE and PEACE. There are ways that could be implimented that would encourage healthy relationships between individuals, communities and nations. These changes would not likely be to the gain of shareholders, however.

If we re-write our myths and teach our children new songs, we have a chance to save the world and still take showers. Or we can shrug our shoulders and get as rich as possible before the world dies.

If I honestly felt that my removing myself from the system in order to do as you suggest (go and live in a hut) would make a difference in and of itself, I'd do it. I think that I might have slightly more chance of affecting society by remaining connected to it.
 cedar77
Joined: 7/17/2006
Msg: 86
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History
Why did some societies advance and other not?
Posted: 4/12/2007 4:23:41 PM


The Earth Summit's Socialist Agenda

An important document called the Heidelberg Appeal was signed by hundreds of scientists worldwide and issued on the 1st of June. It has been, with the exception, at least to my knowledge, with the single exception of The Wall Street Journal, totally ignored by the media. The Appeal states, in part, "... We are worried, at the dawn of the 21st century, at the emergence of an irrational ideology which is opposed to scientific and industrial progress and which implies that economic and social progress should not continue. We contend that a 'Natural State,' sometimes idealized by movements with a tendency to look toward the past, does not exist and probably never has existed since man's first appearance in the biosphere, and insofar as humanity has always progressed by increasingly harnessing Nature to its needs and not the reverse." But this does not reflect the theme of the Earth Summit, which is embodied in the so-called Agenda 21, which was adopted by the 178 nations present in Brazil without any fanfare on the last day of the conference.

Now Agenda 21 deserves study. It consists of 115 different and very specific programs designed to facilitate, or to force, the transition to "sustainable development." The objective, clearly enunciated by the leaders of the conference, is to bring about a change in the present system of independent nations. The future is to be World Government with central planning by the United Nations.

Fear of environmental crises, whether such crises are real or contrived, is expected to lead to total compliance. If force is needed, it is to be provided by a new U.N. Green Helmeted police force recommended to be 500,000 men. Already the U.N. Security Council has expanded the definition of their charter to "threats to peace and security" to include "non-military sources of instability in the economic, social, humanitarian and ecological fields." That constitutes a very broad charter for intervention.

As Michel Rocard, the former Prime Minister of France and a leader at the Earth Summit, said, "Let us not deceive ourselves. It is necessary that the community of nations exert pressure, even using coercion, against countries that have installations that threaten the environment. International instruments must be transformed into instruments of coercion, of sanctions, of boycotts, and even outright confiscation."

In a stunning acknowledgment, also totally overlooked by the press, the Norwegian Prime Minister and vice chairman of Earth Summit, Gro Harlem Bruntland, publicly stated at a press conference that much of the agenda of the Earth Summit was derived from the goals of the Socialist International Party, of which he is, incidentally, vice president. One would have thought that such an admission was newsworthy; surely a socialist agenda should interest economists.

Human-caused environmental problems such as waste management and pollution are amenable to solution and great strides have already been made. But so-called environmental issues like climate change and the destruction of ozone are natural phenomena. The charges and accusations relating to them are not based upon scientific knowledge. It is the economic results of ill-advised, hasty, and costly solutions for problems that may not even exist that pose significant risks for modern society. Only if these realities are publicized can we maintain a healthy economy.

Only if we maintain a strong economy, can we also protect our freedom. "When one loses one's liberty one is correct to blame, not so much the man who puts the fetters on -- as he who had the power to prevent it but did not use it." Who said that? It was the Corinthian representative to Sparta -- and the year was 426 B.C. It is still true today -- and it is the profession of economics that bears the heavy burden of explaining to the public at large what are the extraordinary costs of embracing, without healthy skepticism, the agendas of extreme environmentalism. There are still some issues that are worth fighting for - and liberty through progress is one of them.
 cedar77
Joined: 7/17/2006
Msg: 87
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History
Why did some societies advance and other not?
Posted: 4/12/2007 6:12:32 PM
Your point being??

lol...nevermind...if you have to ask ..what's the point . Believe it or not , there are "radicals" who like the idea of freedom and nationhood and are a just a little bit leary of these sorts of things.
 cedar77
Joined: 7/17/2006
Msg: 89
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History
Why did some societies advance and other not?
Posted: 4/12/2007 9:19:29 PM
(there are thinkers who seriously think that "nations" are the best level of organisation/division of the humankind in the 21st century?????),

Definately ....there are many many people who are still "old fashioned"....history and human nature have proven it the best system...to disregard heritage and mix 'em all up has proven time and time again to be disasterous ..but ...it's somewhat fashionable at the presnt to be "new age" and a one worlder ...I'm not so sure how long that will last...unless a global tyranny becomes reality.
You seem to feel the sky is falling in terms of the earth and the environment ...that is your right .
....you certainly are free to voice your opinion ....but , do you think environmentalism has become a religion?..and you're preaching?
 Larissan04
Joined: 4/28/2004
Msg: 90
Why did some societies advance and other not?
Posted: 4/13/2007 5:29:43 PM
cedar77~

i agree with you... we are living in the golden age of human culture... and a good deal of the complainers just simply do not realize how good they have it in comparison.. what is needed is some perspective... i find that most people are very "knee jerk" in thier world views...and this goes for people on both the right AND the left... they simply take verbatim and join in with the group think on various issues... in truth, people are far more nuanced the more knowledgable they are on various current affairs....

when one learns how the western world thought and lived (and in other places on the globe, the way many still live!) pre-enlightenment one gains a better perspective of the trajectory... there has been significant advancement in all areas...not just in technology either... the past couple of hundred years have seen tremendous progression...

there have been other forms of government that have been more efficient, but none as balanced nor just, warts and all. probably the most effecient form of governement would be a monarchy, or even a benevolent dictatorship... the problems with such forms of government are glaringly obvious...

what is needed is a renewal of western values... the ideas such as individual rights, equality, liberty, self determinism, et al... for it is when we don't live up to our own ideals that we end up with those who foolishly think that throwing the western civilization baby out with the bath water is a good solution... socialism, communism, and all of these occidentalist -isms have done nothing to improve the lives and livlihoods of the nations that have embraced them...

anyone who advocates otherwise simpy does not understand that when you penalize production you get non production...when you fail to reward production you get non production...when you reward non production you get non production...so you want production in any area? then penalize non production and reward production.

it is really that simple... really.

that is what is fair, and the most humane...and this is what elevates the economic situation over all... getting out of the way and letting people have thier economic sovereignty...

and so what if someone who lives down the street from you is rich? who cares if someone else drives a better car? if you want to be rich then make that your goal and go do it... if someone else can do it that means you can too... but instead the complainers do just that... complain.. and insist that people only get rich by rippipng people off (which makes them the moralists... "i am not rich because i am not a thief...therefore i am the better person...") ...when in truth... if you go read the "millionare next door," 80% of all american millionares are first generation.... they started from nothing and worked thier way up...

lar
 2findU
Joined: 11/19/2005
Msg: 91
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History
Why did some societies advance and other not?
Posted: 4/16/2007 8:54:05 AM
I say its their culture and belief system. For a long time Christianity held Europe back too. It was their belief that Man was the center of the universe and that the Earth was in the center of it. Then Galileo came along and said we rovolve around the Sun. Well that was a big no-no. So there are still cultures and belief systems that will keep some people in the Dark Ages.
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