Re: virus: Virus: Sociological Change
Tue, 26 Nov 96 16:18:22 GMT

> On 26 Nov 96 at 13:55, wrote:
> > Can each individual exist in a society where there is a perfect state of harmony?
> Would they still be individuals?

Naturally. Just because you get on with other people doesn't make you a clone.
After all, I get on with most people that I meet, but I'm hardly stereotypical
(well, maybe not anyway :)

> > > It depends on the nature of the society. In a democracy (or something
> > > approximating it, such as we have today in western society) I would
> > > say yes; the legal system is, to an extent at least, driven by the
> > > will of some people (but not necessarily the majority - see below).
> >
> > This is a problem known in Political Theory as "Tyranny of the Majority", and
> > the will of the majority is often not the will of the whole.
> Note: The point I was trying to make is that it is not necessarily
> even the majority who tyrannise. Here in the UK less than 50% of the
> electorate turned out last time (Tyranny of the Apathetic?).

Yeah, I was just pointing out the term for it (or you could call it "Tyranny of the
Minority") afterall, I've got to do something with the 2 years I spent studying
Political Theory, and Politics in Britain ;)

> > Jean-Jaques Roussea
> > advocated small states within wich *all* people can participate in the democratic
> > process (Direct Democracy), and that the act of making law is given to the "Lawgiver"
> > who is an individual, or a body of individuals, above, outside, and beyond the law and
> > the State. Hence they have no vested interest, other than the well being of the
> > people.
> If they have zero vested why would they bother. If they have any
> vested interest (even if it's just a paypacket), they are open to
> corruption so why should we trust them.

True again, but remember that this is just political theory, it's not necessarily at all
implementable. I find it good, because there has to bu Unanimity in Rousseau's
fundamentals when setting up the state. And it cannot fail to happen, either.
If a group of people want to create a State, then they vote on it's set up.
30% vote for, 70% vote against (simplified, obviously). No problem, those 70% can fuck
off and make their own State, and the remaining 30% set up the one that they

Once such a systemn has been built, then the lawgiver is just a bloke who looks
objectively at the state, and proposes Laws that would better it. Yes, he gets paid,
but a bribe is not necessarity effective, because ultimately, if the people don't like
the law, then it won't get passed. Incidentally, Rousseau wrote a book "On Representitive
Government" which dealt with the ideas of having representitives. I havn't studied
it in depth, but basically he says it's not a very good way of doing things.
I can't remember how Rousseau proposes voting, but I seem to rememebr that it was
not quite as simple as Majority wins.

> It sounds to me like so many
> other political systems, fine and dandy on paper but relying on
> concensus for stability, only if *everybody* agrees with the founding
> principles can we say there is 'harmony'.

See above

>Again I ask; would they
> still be individuals?

Yes, but they'd be individuals with the same ideals, which is just what political
organisations, etc.. are!

> > For me, this is the most convincing argument so far on the organisation of a
> > democracy. Of course, whether the populace accepts the lawgiver's law is purely
> > up to them ... sensible?
> let's see. This guy makes the rules but they're not
> really rules because I don't have to pay any attention to them.

No, but if you don't, you'll have to ensure that there are enough people to your
method of thinking who'll also decide not to adopt a law. And there's the strengh
in it: You don't like it - you don't accept it. Now isn't that a better idea?

> So
> why don't we all make up our own rules and the hell with him?

Because the general populace would require too much time (the important factor
in change) to decide what the "General Will" is (and that is one fucking big area
that I'll cover if need be), and act upon it. The lawgiver, outside the state,
can see it much easier, because he is not influenced by his "particualr will".

> > Can
> > the aims be achieved in a reasonable time period, before society's needs evolve
> > any further?
> Societies needs or the needs of the people? You appear to be using
> the two interchangeably and I don't think they're necessarily the
> same thing (although I'm willing to be convinced otherwise).

I'm merely using the two for more colour in the language. As far as I can see they
are the same, but please feel free to differentiate them.

> > But what would happen if groups didn't fight for change?
> We would have already achieved the state of harmony you were asking
> about.

Depends on whether Societies needs change. Would they change, or would the
slave trade have continued for all eternity if someone hadn't thought that
it ought to be stopped?

> If enough people want it it will happen immediately, if not, then why
> should it happen at all? Because *you* want it to?

The point I was making is that change doesn't happen fast enough, because the people
who want the change, but don't *really* wan't the change, won't get off thier arses
and do something about it. If they did, it might change things. The problem being
that if no one does then no-one else will. Kind of like an Anti-Lemming effect :)

> That's trite and
> somewhat antagonistic I know, but I'm trying to clarify *exactly*
> what it is you're asking.

I don't know exactly what I'm asking! I hoped that if I threw it open to the
floor, then we'd start to think about change in Society, and come to some conclusions
about what can be done when change is needed (and not just in my opinion).

Towards going home time....

Richard Jones
"We are the New Breed,
We are the Future."