Is there a point in trying to change the world?

Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#11
I have read 1984. Am familiar with Brave New World but have not read it.
People ask if the future will be like 1984 or Brave New World, but I would say that it would be like both. The society of Brave New World within the political system of 1984.

To truly cause a change one needs to understand reality. A Cynic could do this if he had a desire to gain power and like a pied piper get the masses to follow in their plans.
Brave New World is well worth reading, also Animal Farm, which I've always seen as a satire/allegory of Communism EG'"Some Animals are more equal than others"

I think you're right about the future being perhaps a combination. EG Look at China; it has become less overtly oppressive, allowing people engage in private commerce , and become rich whilst remaining politically oppressive. The UK has been slowly getting more oppressive. Eg It is my understanding that England has more street security cameras than anywhere else on earth. IE one for every 11 people.
 
Feb 2012
3,888
Portugal
#12
Is there a point in trying to change the world?

It depends on what in the world you're trying to change. Inventors have made the most profound changes in the lives of ordinary people and did it mostly without asking anyone. If you don't drive an automobile, fly on airplanes, use the internet, and get all your information from newspapers, then maybe all you need is a telephone, canned goods and/or refrigeration. Maybe a radio too. Nature provided the world of our Stone Age ancestors with everything they needed. They had no need to change the world. Why did they?
The thing is did they? Wether a person believes in the materialist perspective that things happen by chance or in a universal design that guides the world then people are either just part of the rolling dices or the grand plan believing they are changing things when actually they are just responding to the forces operating in the world.
I have read 1984. Am familiar with Brave New World but have not read it.
People ask if the future will be like 1984 or Brave New World, but I would say that it would be like both. The society of Brave New World within the political system of 1984.

To truly cause a change one needs to understand reality. A Cynic could do this if he had a desire to gain power and like a pied piper get the masses to follow in their plans.
To be honest personaly the thinker that has made more sense in understanding how the society/person changes from a political/personality perspective is Plato because societies and people too seem to evolve just like he predicted. Wether it be Caeser, Napoleon or Hitler these characters usually seem to appear as the final product of a cycle, of course there are also the lawgivers like Lycurgus, Augustus and the Founding Fathers who start a new cycle.
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#13
"To be honest personaly the thinker that has made more sense in understanding how the society/person changes from a political/personality perspective is Plato because societies and people too seem to evolve just like he predicted"

OK. It's a long time sinceI've read Plato. Perhaps I was too young and shallow at the time to understand. Reading 'The Republic' I came away with the understanding that Plato was against Democracy as a form of government. That he believed that a country should be ruled by people trained for the job. Not an unattractive idea, if you believe that such people would be, and remain benign and uncorrupted.


I tend to agree with Winston Churchill who said "The greatest argument against democracy is to spend 10 minutes talking to the average voter"

However, he also said . "our system of government is the worst in the world, except for all the others" I believe that too. I even believe that Parliamentary democracy is a better form of government than a Republic, especially the American style Republic. I suspect we may like the system to which we are accustomed best, as long as it doesn't go all Kim Jong-Un.:rolleyes:
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#15
"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself" - Leo Tolstoy

For dystopian novels, check out Evgeny Zamyatin's "We".

Thanks, I'll look for that book-

--10 minutes later. Checked it out. Fascinating. Did you know there's a film? "Wir" (We) 1982. It's free on Youtube . I'm going to have a look
 
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Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#16
@Eye of Woland

I now have a copy of "Wir" . I'll watch it later.

Leo Tolstoy was a strange man , with some unusual ideas for a Russian landowner at that time.

One of my favourite aphorisms: "It's easy to philosophise on a full stomach" . (Tarquin St john Shagnasty)
 
Feb 2012
3,888
Portugal
#17
"To be honest personaly the thinker that has made more sense in understanding how the society/person changes from a political/personality perspective is Plato because societies and people too seem to evolve just like he predicted"

OK. It's a long time sinceI've read Plato. Perhaps I was too young and shallow at the time to understand. Reading 'The Republic' I came away with the understanding that Plato was against Democracy as a form of government. That he believed that a country should be ruled by people trained for the job. Not an unattractive idea, if you believe that such people would be, and remain benign and uncorrupted.
Sorry for the 15 days latter answer. Have the same oppinion as you that for Plato the best is to have people governing who know what they are doing and if memory is not failing this is also the view of Xenophon's Socrates. But about the forms of government either I didn't get him right or for Plato no form of government that is likely to exist in this world is exactly something in which a philosopher should get involved as his ideal form of government is presided by the Greek equivalent of an enlightned buddha. His criticism of democracy seems to be the same found in Ancient writers in Ancient Republics when government became increasingly based on popular demand and good sense as it was perceived was abandoned. But any of the other "worldly" constitutions, have their negative aspects too for they do not come from the wisdom loving position. Also we should not assume that Plato is endorsing tyranny as tyranny to him is even lower ranking than democracy.
 
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Feb 2012
3,888
Portugal
#18
Adding to the above just brought up Plato based on his description of how forms of government seem to involve and more important how the leading part of a person's soul and for that matter society as a whole seem to progress and which he probably just limited himself to describe based on what he observed. Plato is a writer that needs to be understood and politics is really not his main goal and as we have seen in recent history it is a really dangerous thing for a group of idealists to try to apply their ideals with a ruler and a square in the real world. Plato certainly doesn't seem to come from that perspective as he always expressed the opinion this world is not ideal nor passible to be made to be.
 
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Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#19
Adding to the above just brought up Plato based on his description of how forms of government seem to involve and more important how the leading part of a person's soul and for that matter society as a whole seem to progress and which he probably just limited himself to describe based on what he observed. Plato is a writer that needs to be understood and politics is really not his main goal and as we have seen in recent history it is a really dangerous thing for a group of idealists to try to apply their ideals with a ruler and a square in the real world. Plato certainly doesn't seem to come from that perspective as he always expressed the opinion this world is not ideal nor passible to be made to be.
Good post, thanks.

Although I've always though his views on government are a smidge unrealistic, ,I think his views on democracy are right; I consider 'democracy' to be a one word oxymoron.

Yeah, weird. However, I've heard people claim modern democracy is based on greek (Athenian) democracy. It ain't. The kind of democracy people like the ideal ,has never existed, up to and including now.

Athenian democracy may perhaps be more accurately described as 'rule by referendum' ( like the Californian system, but more extensive) Less than 1/3 of the adult Athenian populations could vote ,as women and slaves were excluded.

I agree with Churchill's low opinion of the average voter. Here we call the votes of most people 'the donkey vote'.That means the people who choose a party when they start to vote, and vote for that party regardless for the rest of their lives. In Australia, we have compulsory voting with a 98% turnout. In every election, power is decided by the' swinging voters',like me. We make up between 3-6% of the total vote,.

Me? I voter for the least offensive bunch of venal incompetents on offer. So far, in 50 years of voting, that has always been the Labor Party in the lower house .and the Greens or an independent in the Senate. I don't like having the same party in control of both houses. It happens from time-to-time, and trends to be a disaster, as any and all government legislation is passed without serious scrutiny and without amendments.

I've also noticed some basic differences between Parliamentary Democracy such as that in UK, Canada and Australia and the Republican style of Democracy of the US.

This is my perception,I may well be completely wrong: My perception is that US democracy places perhaps its strongest emphasis on the rights of the individual. The emphasis of parliamentary democracy seems to be on equality. Interesting, but moot; the democracy that many people think they enjoy, does not and has never existed.. BUT,.BUT, BUT no matter how imperfect I'm very content as a citizen of Australia, and would never willingly swap with say the US. Canada, perhaps, UK, not on a bet
 
Likes: Yôḥānān
Feb 2012
3,888
Portugal
#20
Good post, thanks.

Although I've always though his views on government are a smidge unrealistic, ,I think his views on democracy are right; I consider 'democracy' to be a one word oxymoron.

Yeah, weird. However, I've heard people claim modern democracy is based on greek (Athenian) democracy. It ain't. The kind of democracy people like the ideal ,has never existed, up to and including now.
Makes all the sense this and the rest. But in Plato's case since what he is speaking is a "state of mind" or the rulling part of the soul at a given time maybe we can see his constitutions under formal forms of government that don't correspond to them. For instance in the Portuguese first dinasty it moves from an honour loving society rulled by the nobles based on duty where peasents worked for free and people were called to do free lçabour for the crown, to an oligarchic society controled by Jewish capitalists where money and wealth became the driver and working hands became expensive and the nobility was squeezed leading to a democratic society withn people complaying in documents that now everyone sits at the table with whomever they like and the old social order is gone, untill the chaos of the succession crisis with the peasants in revolt seizing the entire region of Alentejo, then replaced by a new order i.e. the second dinasty. Yet all the time the form of government was the same an aristocratic monarchy.
And about your first sentence like Pierre Grimes points out in an interview: “I understand,” he said; “you mean the city whose establishment we have described, the city whose home is in the ideal;5 for I think that it can be found nowhere on earth.1” “Well,” said I, “perhaps there is a pattern2 of it laid up in heaven for him who wishes to contemplate it and so beholding to constitute himself its citizen.3 But it makes no difference whether it exists now or ever will come into being.4 The politics of this city only will be his and of none other.”
Plato, Republic, Book 9, section 592b
BTW there is a typo in my previous comment, "evolving" and not "involving".
 
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