Archive for September 24, 2006

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September 24, 2006 at 3:17 pm Leave a comment

Imposition, Rail Guns and Nuclear Bombs, Other Stuff

One of the reasons why we’re here today, surfing the internet etc, was that education was imposed on people through out the world by various governments. Like it or not, you’re going to learn. Cutting down on ignorance or the possibility of feral children etc. While we associate the totaltarian with the holocaust and hence bad, it’s whole sale approach (and nigh marxist optimisim) can also be used to do something that can help society as a whole too. Hence is it discredited entirely for bad reasons or do we have the technologies (and know how) to convince people to better themselves with out having to require it? The totaltarian is rightly feared, but what it takes away (choice) is also what makes it’s anti-thesis weak too.

In terms of ethics lets look at the following: nuclear bombs are bad becuase they can kill millions in an instant, but the choice of killing millions is also what holds them up, you pause for a second, do I really want to eliminate everyone in this city etc? In essence nuclear bombs are hard to justify using because their results push at the upper limits of categories, the people in country X might be bad, but you would really really have to believe that everyone is alike and hence part of the bad people of country Y category to be able to justify nuking them (or perhaps just feel that some people really deserve to die and the others are accpetable casualities). On the other hand let’s say you have have a rail gun, it can kill anyone in the world at anytime painlessly (or perhaps incredibly painfully if you so choose). Now the rail gun is more contextual, it let’s you single out the individual in the mess that you want to do away with. Would this weapon be more likely to be used than a nuclear bomb? Yes, it would and the year on year total of killing would probably exceed those killed by nuclear weapons rather quickly. In essence, because nuclear weapons force the user to consider their actions over a greater diversity of people, they’re less likely to be used than weapons that can single out an individual. But how does this relate to the first paragraph, it’s quite simple.

Totalatarians have done a great deal of damage to the world, but a lot of it is through indirect means, Mao didn’t mean for the Chinese to starve, he just happened to have fucked up the country’s farms with bad planning, it was an honest mistake. Had he approached it from a free market angle, the risk of various different plans would have been spread over a greater area of innovators leading to some people messing up and others suceeding. But the real problem with Mao’s idea was that he wasn’t thinking contextually or individually, his policy killed millions. He was just the wrong guy, at the wrong moment, with the wrong line of thinking. It’s this means of killing that makes totaltarianism bad, but that doesn’t make it ethically wrong or a-moral it took deliberate genocide to do that, but the actual numer of people killed by autocratic genocide is probably less than those killed by individuals in free countries fighting over resources or ideas etc. While numbers do not necessarily make up the impetus of a good arguement, totaltarianism has it’s advantages in both allowing good ideas to be absolutely implemented along with bad, democracies have their disadvantages in letting individuals choose to pursue their own vices and also spreading accountability for choices to their government instead of the voter or tax payer, very rarely do people in a democracy take blame for voting in programs that fail etc. On the other hand every text book has the story of Mao and China’s starvations, hence future dictators should have learned that thinking on the wholesale non-contextual categorical method was a bad thing, while voters should have continued to vote bad policies in and not taken accountability for them. Of course while the later has happened, the former hasn’t happened. Why don’t Dictators learn?

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September 24, 2006 at 2:47 pm 2 comments


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