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building future communities?
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Bootstrapper



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 91
Location: Canberra, Australia

PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2005 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MacG wrote:
Bootstrapper wrote:
Loss of Cultural Identity: What defines a nation is a common race, language, culture, heritage, and religion. ?A multicultural world is a wonderful, fascinating place. A multicultural nation is an oxymoron. A nation is not defined or strengthened by cultural (or ethnic or linguistic or racial) diversity, but by cultural homogeneity.? -- Joseph George Caldwell. The Japanese, Chinese and Koreans know this. The Romans forgot it.


I'm not with you on this one. The concept of 'nations' is a very late thing. 1800's. Looking at a couple of (albeit transiently) successful operations we find a tremendeous diversity. Starting with Rome, continuing to Venice, passing the Hansa, and landing in ... Switzerland of all places. All of them harboured cultural diversity. The bloody Swiss have managed to live in peace harbouring at least four flavours of christianity (at a time when they were ripping eachother apart in the rest of Europe) and run three official languages. How did they do that? Mainly by avoiding to mess with eachothers religious belifs. Live and let live.

Although the Swiss cannot be called anything other than 'successful', they have not cracked more than half the equation. But that is pretty impressive. We should look at them and try to understand what they did right. What they did wrong is pretty obvious. An ex-Swiss colleague of mine told the short version: "Switzerland is like a prison - where everybody think they are the guards"


Hmmm... Interesting. What makes the Swiss, 'Swiss'? What makes the British, 'British'? What makes the French, 'French'? What makes Australians, 'Australian'?
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MacG



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 2863
Location: Scandinavia

PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2005 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bootstrapper wrote:
Hmmm... Interesting. What makes the Swiss, 'Swiss'? What makes the British, 'British'? What makes the French, 'French'? What makes Australians, 'Australian'?


Mainly the geographic locations they live in and their passports.

Historically, opportunity and prosperity tend to attract people of huge diversity, while cultural homogenity mainly is found in forgotten places of little prosperity but high in intolerance and inbreeding.
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skeptik



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 2969
Location: Costa Geriatrica, Spain

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MacG wrote:

Historically, opportunity and prosperity tend to attract people of huge diversity, while cultural homogenity mainly is found in forgotten places of little prosperity but high in intolerance and inbreeding.


You mean like Japan and South Korea?
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MacG



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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Location: Scandinavia

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

skeptik wrote:
You mean like Japan and South Korea?


Well, I'm not certain that Japan would be considered as very successful the last 15 years. Quite the opposite. There is also a hell of a lot of racism going on between Japan, China and Korea, and we have not heard the last word about that just yet...

What can be guessed from the records about ancient Greece, ancient Rome, Venice, the Hanseatic league, Stockholm in the 1600's and indeed New York, we find a hell of a lot of cultural diversity coinciding with prosperity.
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Bootstrapper



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 91
Location: Canberra, Australia

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What can be guessed from the records about ancient Greece, ancient Rome, Venice, the Hanseatic league, Stockholm in the 1600's and indeed New York, we find a hell of a lot of cultural diversity coinciding with prosperity.


I think I need to study this more. Are any of these records available on-line?
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GovCorp: The disease, masquerading as the cure.
The cure?
http://www.reinventingmoney.com/
http://www.schumachersociety.org/
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skeptik



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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Location: Costa Geriatrica, Spain

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MacG wrote:
skeptik wrote:
You mean like Japan and South Korea?


Well, I'm not certain that Japan would be considered as very successful the last 15 years. Quite the opposite.


Well I'm not sure that the second largest economy in the world quite qualifies as 'a forgotten place of little prosperity'

Their economy has been stagnant, but they look prosperous enough whenever I see the Japanese on TV or in Oxford Street.
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isenhand



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 1296
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I keep going on about the use of a multi-agent or holonic model for the formation of a community and a network of communities. I?m not sure if anyone follows what I mean by that so I have found a few articles on the subject that might help to get the ideas across.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holon_(philosophy)

http://www.mech.kuleuven.be/goa/hms-int/history.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-agent_system

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complex_systems

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-organization

Note: I?m talking about the technical side of an organised network of communities. Things like how it manages its resources, produces items and forms larger projects. I?m not talking about the people side of things. Very Happy
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beev



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 112
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nothing happens without people.
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isenhand



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 1296
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beev wrote:
Nothing happens without people.


correct Very Happy
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MacG



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 2863
Location: Scandinavia

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

skeptik wrote:
Well I'm not sure that the second largest economy in the world quite qualifies as 'a forgotten place of little prosperity'


Not my words!

But I hesitate to call Japan a sustainable runaway success which we all should try to copy. There are some huge issues with that society which are far from solved yet, and the outlook for the future is everything but obviously bright.

Nah, at the end of the day, I guess it comes down to my highly personal preference for cultural diversity. Cant really explain it, but it might have something to do with my heavy background in science. I have more in common with a fellow scientist from India than a lumberjack from Sweden. Guess we are a bit like the masons in the 1300's.

And the Brits should be deeply grateful for all the nice food the immigrants brought the last 30 years. Had it not been for Indian, Armenian, Italian, Chineese and good knows what food you got now, nobody, absolutely NOBODY had travelled to Britain today.

When I hear people talk about "cultural homogenity" I spontaneously think "Deliverance". Three teeth and a banjo.
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Bootstrapper



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 91
Location: Canberra, Australia

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would it be fair to say that successful, culturally diverse societies have encouraged their immigrants to integrate? This, as opposed to the idea of 'multiculturalism' which emphasises differences and discourages integration. A 'melting pot' as compared to a 'salad bowl'. Could this be the explanation behind the successful societies you mentioned - "Rome, continuing to Venice, passing the Hansa, and landing in ... Switzerland"?
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GovCorp: The disease, masquerading as the cure.
The cure?
http://www.reinventingmoney.com/
http://www.schumachersociety.org/
http://www.henrygeorge.org/chp1.htm
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MacG



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 2863
Location: Scandinavia

PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bootstrapper wrote:
Would it be fair to say that successful, culturally diverse societies have encouraged their immigrants to integrate? This, as opposed to the idea of 'multiculturalism' which emphasises differences and discourages integration. A 'melting pot' as compared to a 'salad bowl'. Could this be the explanation behind the successful societies you mentioned - "Rome, continuing to Venice, passing the Hansa, and landing in ... Switzerland"?


Dont know about "integration", but I'm pretty sure about "contribution". There were NO government wellfare programs in those days! The only things available were the guilds and their programs for widows and fatherless. And you could not get into those programs easily by just applying. If you "contribute", nobody has time or energy to bother about your religion, sexual preference or beard fashion.

When sifting trough books, museums and such, I get a feeling that prosperity has a tendency to attract entreprenurial people, and nobody has time to bother about their personal details. When prosperity reach some critical level, a busybody of some kind seem to use force and fraud to grab the prosperous region, and suddenly prosperity fade away.

In short, I agree that govcorp is THE huge historical mistake, and it's time to find other ways. Ways free from force and fraud.
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Bootstrapper



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 91
Location: Canberra, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Dont know about "integration", but I'm pretty sure about "contribution". There were NO government wellfare programs in those days! The only things available were the guilds and their programs for widows and fatherless. And you could not get into those programs easily by just applying. If you "contribute", nobody has time or energy to bother about your religion, sexual preference or beard fashion.


That makes sense. When I was much younger, migrants had to 'contribute' by working on public infrastructure projects, like the Snowy Mountains Scheme, before they could obtain citizenship and settle. Once released from this obligation most of them would 'integrate' into the communities where they settled. They'd 'anglicise' their names - "Jovo" became "John", "Uri" became "George" and so-on. They'd learn and speak (and read and write) English, often abandoning their native tongue. The attitude was that you came to Australia to be an Australian.

Integration was practical to. It was far easier to get a job, if you spoke English, could read and write the local language, dressed like everyone else and your christian name at least didn't sound 'foreign'.

Quote:
When sifting trough books, museums and such, I get a feeling that prosperity has a tendency to attract entreprenurial people, and nobody has time to bother about their personal details. When prosperity reach some critical level, a busybody of some kind seem to use force and fraud to grab the prosperous region, and suddenly prosperity fade away.


It seems to me that Australia (at least) was a prosperous place, until it became illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis that they couldn't understand what the boss was saying, read the signage or because their beard was a safety hazard (to them) around machinery. Never mind that the extra costs to businesses of catering to these people's 'special needs' did nothing good to the bottom line of the employer. Of course, Govcorp benefits from all the extra tax.

My point is that, if free from external (read Govcorp) restraints, communities will 'encourage' individuals (engineer the situation) to conform to the social 'norm' (to integrate). A part of that social norm is to be productive - to 'contribute'.
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GovCorp: The disease, masquerading as the cure.
The cure?
http://www.reinventingmoney.com/
http://www.schumachersociety.org/
http://www.henrygeorge.org/chp1.htm
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isenhand



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 1296
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MacG wrote:

In short, I agree that govcorp is THE huge historical mistake, and it's time to find other ways. Ways free from force and fraud.


Agreed Smile

Now, would fraud be possible if there was no money?

I think we need to move away from privet owned companies that are there just to make profit. Why not run production for everyone?s benefit?

Smile
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fishertrop



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 859
Location: Sheffield

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

isenhand wrote:
I think we need to move away from privet owned companies that are there just to make profit. Why not run production for everyone?s benefit?


Isn't that communism?

I agree that we need to move away from the huge private mega-corps we have today.

I think you can define "running production for everyone's benefit" in more than way.

If you have a small and vibrant "free market" (term used minus today's baggage...) system that allows small businesses or one-man businesses to prosper, and this is done within a framework that prevents all the nasty things we see today and uses a more appropriate form of "money", then you could say that runs the production for everyone's benifit.

If you want people to be productive, motivated, creative, efficient then I think you need to learn one of the (few) good things that capitalism has shown us is that directly tying an individual's efforts (pysical and mental) to his or her reward can be a very positive thing.

Contrast this with the old Soviet bloc, where contributing as little as possible to the system was the primary aim of each worker - they got paid the same no matter what.

The "profit" that a small private company makes may be no more than is needed to provide a decent standard of living for the co-owners.
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