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Subject, Consumer, or Citizen?

Discussion in 'The Social World' started by Watchmen, Aug 4, 2022.

  1. Watchmen

    Watchmen Well-Known Member
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    Thought this was an interesting article on BBC. I might have to read the book. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20220803-citizen-future-why-we-need-a-new-story-of-self-and-society

    E
    ssentially, the authors say there are traditionally two paths ahead of us. Authoritarianism where we give up our freedoms and become subjects of a strong ruler in exchange for that ruler taking care of all the issues that plague us. Or, Consumerism where those in power are those with access to technology through wealth. We might have some freedoms, but the distance between the have and have nots continually grows.

    The authors then opine there’s a third path ahead of us: Citizenship. Not of a country, but of communities and the world. Basically, the people recognize we are smarter as a group than as individuals and we go to the group to solve problems (think collectives and crowdsourcing).

    I’m intrigued.
     
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  2. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Leaderless Animal

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    Exactly. The BBC is a Communist mouthpiece. {sarcasm}
     
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  3. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    There is no real difference. Either way the many are being controlled and exploited by the few. Sooner or later we humans are going to have to accept the fact that the people who want to be in charge are the very people that we need to make sure never get to be in charge. And that is going to require constant and ongoing effort, because those people who want to be in charge but never should be are relentless. They will never stop trying to gain positions of power and control. And if we allow them to gain those positions, they will inevitably use them to abuse and exploit everyone else.

    I don't understand why humanity has not yet figured this out, and come up with a method of ensuring their own basic safety. Nor do I understand why we humans still insist that competition is better than cooperation as a means to an end. But we clearly have not figured this out, yet, either. And time is running out. We can only remain this stupid for so long before it finally comes back to destroy us. And I fear that time is soon.

    And it breaks my heart, because we all know that nothing is going to change.
     
    #3 PureX, Aug 4, 2022
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2022
  4. syo

    syo Well-Known Member

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    Citizen, of course. :)
     
  5. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Student People Stabber

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    That tends to be my preferred solution, at least. The best example of this is the Cold War and how instead of working together we worked against each other, spending much time, effort and resources into developing terrifying bombs and impeding our progress into the Cosmos that could have reached greater heights had the two Super Powers worked together instead of competing against each other.
     
  6. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Student People Stabber

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    It tends to be more of a problem with Empires than others. The others are often closer banded and more forced to acknowledge their dependence on one another, and indeed that has been the greatest bulk of human history. It's when a society gets too big for it's britches and become far enough removed from this reality they can reasonably assume, and believe, from their own personal perspective that competition is better.
    Such as, America sucks crap through 10 bricks at taking care of its citizens. England, on the other hand, even their Conservatives like Margaret Thatcher and Boris Johnson are supporters of the NHS. The English also tend to have better teeth than Americans. Many other countries also invest more in schooling and developing curriculum designed to do more than produce obedient workers who just know enough to know how to show up on time and push buttons. The Scandinavians seem to set the bar for criminal recidivism rates, and a part of that is they do treat their inmates better and do better at helping them stay off a criminal path once they are released.
    But compare this to America where the only thing that ensures the children of any county in this country have books to read is due entirely to the generosity of a private citizen (Dolly Parton). We make jokes about having Oprah as president so people can get what they need given to them. America even makes it pretty hard sue corporations for any damages caused by destructive and dangerous practices and products (in some jurisdictions you can't sue a pharmaceutical company for bad meds after they have FDA approval).
    The one exception I can think of is when it came to taxes in ancient Athens. There the tax burden very largely and mostly fell on the wealthiest in society and they often paid more than asked for due to idea that they made their wealth because of the polis and without the polis they wouldn't have had the chance to acquire their wealth.
     
  7. Watchmen

    Watchmen Well-Known Member
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    What the authors posit is that taking the path of citizen will avoid the dichotomy you reference—the few controlling the many.
     
  8. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    When the citizens are out for themselves, at the willing expense of "others", they become just as tyrannical as any other individual or entity. It's the reason that no one wants to live under a pure democracy, and instead impose sets of rules intended to limit the power of the democratic majority. And it's very difficult to keep the citizenry from falling into this kind of callous selfishness in groups of any substantial size, because they can so easily ignore the suffering they cause to be inflicted on the "others".

    In the end, the only solution is cooperation for all our mutual benefit. But it's very difficult for people to trust in this ideal, especially when they see others grabbing all they can get for themselves. AND being rewarded for it.
     
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  9. Watchmen

    Watchmen Well-Known Member
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    Sounds like you didn’t read the article. You’re misapplying the author’s use of “citizen.”
     
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