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Institutions of Higher Burning > United States of Whatever

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message 1: by Tentatively, (new)

Tentatively, Convenience (tentativelyaconvenience) | 128 comments Mod
One of my GoodReads friends passed along the poll below to me. I found it interesting & relevant to Cognitive Dissidents so I'm reposting it here. I chose to not vote for any of the choices for reasons I may state in (a) later comment(s). In the meantime, here it is:

"Let’s imagine – please read and then vote.

Americans invoke their power granted by the Declaration of Independence that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of their ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Ten political systems are imposed, one on each State, by a lottery. The other forty States choose by vote which political system they would join. Within the first year, every American would be allowed to transfer to another State without restrictions, after which each political system would make its own emigration and immigration laws.

These are the political systems:

1. The United States of Socialists

A citizen’s life belongs to society. One must serve the greater good prescribed by the majority.

Objectives: the welfare of all individuals, the abolition of poverty and suffering, peace and human brotherhood, progress and prosperity for all

Motto: One for all, all for one.

2. The United States of Barack Obama

Every citizen has a right to man-made values: cradle-to-cubicle education, job, cradle-to-grave healthcare, house, etc. Czars determine which citizens would provide free lunch, free education, etc., and who should serve in law enforcement or the military.

Objective: Promote the general welfare by spreading the wealth around.

Motto: The duty of serving one’s fellowmen is the price of citizenship.

3. The United States of Theocrats

Laws are based on the majority’s Holy Writ.

4. The United States of Reaganites

Political principles are based on small government, fiscal responsibility, low taxes, and family values as established by Ronald Reagan. The free market is regulated based on undefined, flexible, contradictory policies. Compassionate state-managed welfare is funded by deficit spending.

Objective: Promote the general welfare by imposing family values.

Motto: Pro-lifers are a blessed people.

5. The United States of Environmentalists

Nature is sacred. Humans must worship nature and Al Gore. Citizens must refrain from breathing to save the Earth from global warming, renamed climate change.

6. The United States of Animals-first Humans-last Advocates

Animals are sacred. Humans must worship animals and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Citizens must refrain from eating to save the Earth.

7. The United States of Altruists

Sacrifice is sacred. Self-sacrifice is the greatest achievement on Earth. Self-sacrificial at all times, citizens offer the fruits of their labors, even their lives, to the citizens of The Other United States and the citizens of the world.

8. The United States of Anarchists

The citizens are called Libertarians. The nation has no police force, civil/criminal courts, nor armed forces, since every resident respects individual liberty. That there will never be any disputes, misunderstandings, or rights-infringements (e.g. murder, fraud) is an absolute.

9. The United States of Globalists

Citizens recognize man’s fallibility – that man can know nothing, his claims to knowledge are biases, reason is rationalization, rights are arbitrary, and morality is indeterminate. Citizens acknowledge the myth of certainty and embrace an open society.

10. The United States of Capitalists

Citizens are selfish and greedy. The separation of state and economics is absolute. Citizens have equal inherent inalienable rights, defined as rights to action, limited only by the equal rights of others.

The only purpose of law and of government is to secure rights.

Your vote?

Answers:
• 1. The United States of Socialists
• 2. The United States of Barack Obama
• 3. The United States of Theocrats
• 4. The United States of Reaganites
• 5. The United States of Environmentalists
• 6. The United States of Animals-first Humans-last Advocates
• 7. The United States of Altruists
• 8. The United States of Anarchists
• 9. The United States of Globalists
• 10. The United States of Capitalists

See who else voted and get more info:
http://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/20..."


message 2: by Tentatively, (new)

Tentatively, Convenience (tentativelyaconvenience) | 128 comments Mod
Let's start by analyzing some of the descriptions of the 10 possibilities presented:

"2. The United States of Barack Obama

Every citizen has a right to man-made values: cradle-to-cubicle education, job, cradle-to-grave healthcare, house, etc. Czars determine which citizens would provide free lunch, free education, etc., and who should serve in law enforcement or the military.

Objective: Promote the general welfare by spreading the wealth around.

Motto: The duty of serving one’s fellowmen is the price of citizenship."

"cradle-to-cubicle education"? I don't know if the "cubicle" part of this refers to any specific speech of Obama's but I find "cubicle" to be a strange word choice that seems intended to be bureaucratically claustrophobic & behaviorist.

"Czars determine which citizens would provide free lunch [etc:]": again, does this refer to something Obama actually sd? I wdn't know since I don't waste my time on presidential speeches but the choice of "Czars" seems weirdly inappropriate & deliberately misleading. Is it meant to evoke pre-revolutionary Russia? Or Czars of Industry?

"5. The United States of Environmentalists

Nature is sacred. Humans must worship nature and Al Gore. Citizens must refrain from breathing to save the Earth from global warming, renamed climate change."

Ok, this is just pure sarcasm. Whoever put this together seems to hate environmentalists. Al Gore uses global warming as a political tool but who the fuck wd seriously associate a mainstream politician w/ serious environmentalism?! Not me. Conflating citizen's breathing w/ major causes of global warming like big industry & fossil-fuel burning is funny from a satirical perspective but more or less useless from a serious environmental one.

"6. The United States of Animals-first Humans-last Advocates

Animals are sacred. Humans must worship animals and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Citizens must refrain from eating to save the Earth."

More transparent anti-environmentalist sarcasm. Uh, does PETA advocate not eating plants? Or "Humans-last" for that matter? I'm a meat-eater but that doesn't mean that I advocate torturing animals for medical research. Nor am I a member of PETA (or any other such group for that matter).

"7. The United States of Altruists

Sacrifice is sacred. Self-sacrifice is the greatest achievement on Earth. Self-sacrificial at all times, citizens offer the fruits of their labors, even their lives, to the citizens of The Other United States and the citizens of the world."

More sarcasm. The thing about isolating any particular philosophy is that it's going to somewhat inevitably seem excessive in this isolation. Why not postulate The United States of Sadists as the counterbalance to this one? The point is that NO-ONE is altruistic at all times - nor do I think they shd be. Nor wd I define altruism as being "Self-sacrificial at all times", etc.. If I had a choice of being around people who're cooperative, caring, & friendly over people who're thieving, sadistic, & mean, I'd definitely choose the former - as wd, I think, most people. But that's not the same as choosing the ridiculously described "United States of Altruists" wch comes across as some neo-conservative paranoid fantasy.

"8. The United States of Anarchists

The citizens are called Libertarians. The nation has no police force, civil/criminal courts, nor armed forces, since every resident respects individual liberty. That there will never be any disputes, misunderstandings, or rights-infringements (e.g. murder, fraud) is an absolute."

I hope it's obvious that "The United States of Anarchy" is self-contradictory given that anarchists are trying to get away from states rather than establish new ones. ALSO, I don't think I know a single anarchist who believes that any situation will ever exist in wch "every resident respects individual liberty [&:] That there will never be any disputes, misunderstandings, or rights-infringements (e.g. murder, fraud)"! SO, again, more sarcasm about a largely fictitious naivety. Unlike most people in most societies, anarchists are often the ones actually willing to look at difficult questions like WHAT TO DO ABOUT MURDERERS w/o just automatically dividing the world up into oversimplistic 'good guys' & 'bad guys'.

It seems to me that all of these 'United States' are intended at least a little bit sarcastically & none are intended as something that any thinking person wd ever vote for. That sd, I detect more neo-con bias in the sarcasm than any other.

AND, of course, I wdn't 'vote' for any of them! ANY system is going to enable some & disable others. ANY narrowing-down of borders is likely to over-compartmentalize people. I do my 'voting' on a day-to-day basis just by living my life as close to the way I see fit as I can manage - sincerely trying to not fuck over other people in the process. But that doesn't mean that I naively expect the world to be free of assholes & sociopaths as a result of my personal path.


message 3: by Christy (new)

Christy Stewart (christyleighstewart) Can I have a mix of Anarchists, Globalists, and Capitalists

Motto: Total anarchy with the understanding we are all wrong and greedy.


message 4: by Tentatively, (new)

Tentatively, Convenience (tentativelyaconvenience) | 128 comments Mod
How about The United Tastes of Lists?


message 5: by Christy (new)

Christy Stewart (christyleighstewart) That might better fit on a business card.


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