Re: virus: Virus: Sociological Change

Martin Traynor (
Wed, 27 Nov 1996 13:58:55 +0000


On 26 Nov 96 at 16:18, wrote:

> 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
> want!

Why don't the 30% fuck off and the 70% stay? Tyranny of the minority

> 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.

Then I ask again; why is he there? If it's reliant on the will of the
people to implement it then he seems like a fairly useless appendage
to me.

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

But within any group of people you will find agreement on certain
ideals and disagreement on others. This is precisely the problem that
present western systems suffer from; you cannot please all of the
people all of the time. Let's say that person A is passionately
racist, non-sexist and supports the idea of a welfare state, person B
doesn't care about race or racism, is passionately sexist and
hates the welfare state and person C is anti-racist, doesn't care
about sex or sexism and doesn't give a toss about whether or not
there is a welfare state. Reconcile those three people to a state of
harmony. You might say 'well each can find like-minded people and
start three states' but what if the state was already in existence
but these issues were not considered in its foundation?

> 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?

And if 50% want the law and 50% don't?

> 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".

But they still need to decide whether or not to adopt the law so the
exercise of determining the 'general will' must still be completed
before any action is taken. Useless appendage factor strikes again.

> > 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.

I would find it more useful in the current context for society to
mean the cultural structures which make up a particular 'state'
as opposed to the people within that society. In this sense what is
good for the society (i.e. the structures) is not necessarily good
for the people.

> 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?

I would guess it'd continue. What else would have stopped it?
Spontaneous combustion? ;)

> > 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 :)

This boils down to their individual decision that the desired change
would cost more in time and effort than it is worth to them. That's
partially to do with inertia (which is what I think you're driving
at) and partially because other people don't want it to change, which
is their decision to make.

> 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).

How do you propose we decide the difference between a *necessary*
change and a *desired* change? How do you define 'necessary'?

Towards the conversion of sensible questions into pedantism ;)

Seriously though, I'm not being obtuse for the sake of it. I honestly
can't progress with parts of this discussion until I'm sure we're
talking about the same things.

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Martz <>
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Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. Salvor Hardin