Can anyone explain to me

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by JBeukema, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. JBeukema
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    JBeukema BANNED

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    the difference between rearing your child to be loyal to any two different flags? What is the difference between Americanism and loyalty to the South Side 37th Street Crips? Both are defined by geographical location. Both involve professing loyalty to a collective of individuals defined primarily by their geographical location. Both involve denouncing as either ally or enemy people you do not know based on their geographical location. Both have accepted ways of displaying their flags. Both fight both defensive and offensive conflicts with other tribes (defined, again, by geographical location) over land, resources, and power. Both have their own accepted rules and societal norms within their tribes and scoff at being held to the rules or expectations of outside agents (the police/the U.N./neighbors/Mexico) unless it is deemed to be profitable (working relationships with other gangs/nations, such as NAFTA and arrangements regarding the movement of goods of any given sort through eachother's territory or purchasing said goods from eachother)

    What difference is there at all, other than scale, between the nationalist and the gang member?
     
  2. emilynghiem
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    emilynghiem Constitutionalist Supporting Member

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    Are you including in "Americanism" the idea of personal responsible of the people for government and democratic principles under the Constitution?

    You seem to list a lot of external factors.

    What matters are the internal commitments and traditions, to concepts such as equality, justice for all, life and liberty, and the greater good.

    As long as people are not putting their own self interests before others to the point of violating laws, imposing harm or damage, or other abuses; then you can be loyal to any group and still be in harmony with any other person or group.

    The difference with Christian and Constitutional laws that are both part of American history and tradition and culture is that these laws provide for means of correction and due process, not just imposing and carrying out judgments or decisions without answering for those.

    Many groups abuse authority because they do not have equal checks and balances, this goes for corporate abuses, cult or religious abuses, even legal and judicial abuses where there is manipulation to bypass the intended checks and balances in the system.

    So there can be abuses within any group, whether American based or some other affiliations, depending on whether equal rights and protections are respected for all people.

    Here are the policies I would recommend all citizens and groups incorporate into practice, in order to prevent abuses by resolving conflicts of interest before it leads to violation or corruption:
    ethics-commission.net
    These are based on American constitutional principles, but any person can adopt similar standards of governance, representation and conflict resolution for redressing grievances.
     
  3. JBeukema
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    JBeukema BANNED

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    1) those ideas are far older than this nation

    2) those ideas don't really apply in this country nowadays
    Define: equality

    Of outcome? Of body? Financial equality? Legal equality?

    In practice, none of these exist. Equality is a myth.

    Define: justice.

    Is justice locking a man away forever or giving him the tools to become a contributing member of society? Is it killing criminals and risking making us all murderers the when an innocent man is executed? Is justice making a rape victim pay, through taxation, for her rapist's room and board so long as they are both alive? Is justice making a rapist be responsible for the woman he has shamed? Historically and today, there seems to be a lot of disagreement regarding just what 'justice' is.

    Define: liberty

    Is it the liberty to make and sell what you will? is it the freedom to not be surrounded by drugs and gangs? The liberty to conduct my business as I will or the liberty to enjoy a river free of pollutants? Is it the liberty to 'employ' cheap labour wherever I can or the freedom of the Guatemalans to live their lives without the CIA and the United Fruit Company making them into a colony? Can you have liberty for all without limits on that liberty? Can you have your 'justice' without curtailing liberty?

    Define: the greater good

    Is the greater good to pull a robin hood? Or to guarantee the health of the next generation and those to come through mass slaughter in the present? Or is the greater good protecting life and liberty now while knowing it will condemn countless children to horrible disease? Is the greater good putting into place a massive health insurance system or protecting my liberty to go without? Who decides what the greater good is?
    But they are. They always are. You and I violate the 'Law' that the gangbangers recognize through their social contract with eachother just as they violate the 'Law' we recognize via our own social contract. We just happen to outnumber them- depending on where we are. If they are Darwinists, they might even claim the same moral highground that you would. Only our collective might allows us to subject them to our will instead of being subjected to theirs. This is the reality.
    Que Marxist analysis of the capitalist system?

    Que libertarian rant about taxation and collectivism?

    Is it harming a man to restrict or infringe upon his liberty? If so, then are not all systems harmful?
    So were slavery and spousal rape. You really want to appeal to tradition here?
    What is culture of not history and tradition?
    That's debatable.
    Which has what to do with the actual question I asked? Isa you answer 'nothing'? There is no difference at all between the two examples I provided other than raw scale?
     
  4. emilynghiem
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    emilynghiem Constitutionalist Supporting Member

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    Hi JB:
    1. First, I totally recognize that Constitutional laws are based on universal laws which exist independent of expression. These natural laws are true for all humanity, but because they are made "statutory" in the Constitution, they find expression and enforcement in an agreed way. You can compare this group of people to a gang, and I agree there are both abuses and proper uses of shared resources and connections in both cases.

    a. but if you are going to point out only the negative things about US/constitutional institutions, as long as you point out the same abuses going on with gangs, then this is fair.
    The point, again, is if the affiliations are used for good, to help people, or abused for bad, to oppress or exert the interests of one party over or at the expense of other people's interests. I agree any group or law or policy, whatever, can be used for either good or bad.

    b. So I agree there have been ganglike corruption organized criminal actions and abuses of governemnt resources and power in the name of the Constitution or government. My whole neighborhood has suffered for this, but it could be blamed more on partisan hijacking of representation and decisions that violated teh Constitution and were not checked by it because the city institutions are not directly under that authroty. So they were acting more like gang members, teaming up to abuse public resources and authority to violate the rights of others despite Constitutional protections that just weren't enforced!

    However, even in that case, the fact there were federal funds and govt officials involved in collusion, there is accountability to apply the laws BACK to Correct the abuses and claim restitution for the victims of the abuses.

    JB where in your gang policies is there anything where victims of abuses
    can hold them accountable? That is a MAJOR difference.

    1. As for defining abstract terms,
    LIBERTY
    JUSTICE
    GREATER GOOD

    These are based on what we all agree they are. True justice is what we all believe is justice for everyone, not just one interest group over another. That is manmade justice.

    So if we don't agree what our government is doing is for the greater good or is protecting equal justice for all people, then we petition and execute changes or reforms ourselves that enforce what we believe.

    If we do this by consensus, by conflict resolution, then we respect the equal free will, protection and representaiton of all other interests in the process of seeking and establishing justice and greater good. We include all people, insetad of imposing
    like mob rule or dictatorship, or even gang members treating others outside their group as enemies instead of working for the equal interests and protections of all.

    JB do you know any Gang who works for the equal interests of all people?

    The people I know who do that are either Christians or Buddhists or
    Constitutionalists, or secular humanists who take a universal approach to serving all humanity. But none of these people would relate to themselves as a gang.

    Most o fthe ones who are universal are independent and don't affiliate with any one group at all! Because it would defeat universal principles!

    So I would find more Constitutionalist and Christians who would serve all people independent of affilation.

    Can you name any gang members who would do that, JB?
     
  5. JBeukema
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    JBeukema BANNED

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    What are these 'universal laws'? Demonstrate their existence. All I see is social contract.
    You mean gravity and the weak nuclear force?


    Rarely. Usually it's both. The gang and the nation state helps its own members and serves the collective self-interest of those who are part of the in-group. Both tend to work in ways harmful to outgroups.

    Guatamala held us accountable? The people who lead the genocide against the natives were held accountable? By members of the same in-group?
    Then they mean nothing and appealing to them is an appeal to nothing
    And if those in power refuse?
    I know of gangs that work to improve their communities and share their income with the poor in their neighborhoods. In fact, most gangs started out that way, which is more than I can say about a nation founded by slavekeepers
    Again, they align themselves with a State, which we've already established as being fundamentally no different than any other ingroup defined primarily by geographic location
    So they are internationalists who work against the nation-state and would see it undermined? Sounds like communism...

    The Guardian Angels?
     
  6. emilynghiem
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    emilynghiem Constitutionalist Supporting Member

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    I would say the main difference between US govt and other gangs
    is that the negative abuses by govt officials occur when the contract is violated,
    while the negative abuses by gangs occur "in keeping" with their intent.

    All the abuses of govt that you could compare with gang activity
    can be shown to violate one or more of govt's own policies:
    ethics-commission.net
    Either Constitutional principles themselves or the Code of Ethics.

    JB is this true of all the gangs you talk about?
    Do the actions objected to as abuses or crimes occur
    because they were "violating their own policies" in practice?

    ==================
    Hi JB: My lunch break is over at work. I can only reply to quick points and then I will have to finish later. Is that okay? I love this discussion by the way. You have no idea how close you are to things I've said about the problems with government and people acting as gang.

    1. first about Guardian Angels. If these people are enforcing the same laws or values as people would under the Constitution such as defending security from attacks violence or abuse, then it is THAT defense of principle that is important. Not the fact that it is a gang or it is a citizen, military or official doing that. Anyone can enforce that defense of peace and justice by natural laws. So if you do not relate this to the US then don't relate it to the gang either, but jsut natural laws that anyone can enforce. And if you are going to credit the gang then also credit the US or anyone else for the same thing.

    2. Secondly about universal laws. You mention social contracts which I see as part of natural laws. That human nature has three levels, the individual/physical level the collective or you can say spiritual level to stand for global/beyond just yourself and the intermediary level of conscience or contract or agreement in relations with others.
    So these are universal elements in human nature, and our laws reflect the level of social contract.

    If the gang, group or govt makes social contracts or enforces them to abuse resources or power to benefit some at the expense of others, that causes problems no matter which group does this. So I agree with you.

    However, again, if you are jsut saying that is abuse or use of the social contract
    then do not credit/blame the gang more than the govt when this is abused.

    If you blame one group more than the other, then that is not focusing on what was the abuse in the first place regardless which group did it.

    Is this what you are saying?

    3. One last point and then I gotta stop for now.
    Here is an excerpt from letter I wrote to a newspaper editor comparing govt collusion to gang activity:

    ... The biggest unchecked gang activity in Houston is
    the organized crime by developers scheming to
    violate the rights of property owners. City and
    state officials need to recognize the pattern of
    fraud and malfeasance against the public through
    the abuse of city ordinances and nonprofit statutes
    to funnel profits into the hands of private
    developers at taxpayers' expense. Until
    government officials team up to investigate and
    fight real crime, instead of media-generated
    images of it, they are part of the crime problem.
    Antigang policies cannot be taken seriously while
    the government ignores, if not participates in, real
    organized crime.

    Emily Nghiem
    Houston

    Very Special Thanks to the Editors:
    The Houston Press, March 2, 2000
    =================

    I would say the main difference between US govt and other gangs
    is that the negative abuses by govt officials occur when the contract is violated,
    while the negative abuses by gangs occur "in keeping" with their mission and purpose.

    All the abuses of govt that you could compare with gang activity
    can be shown to violate one or more of govt's own policies:
    ethics-commission.net

    JB is this true of all the gangs you talk about?
    Do the actions objected to as abuses or crimes occur
    because they were "violating their own policies" in practice?
     
  7. emilynghiem
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    emilynghiem Constitutionalist Supporting Member

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    Dear JB:
    Sorry I could not get to all your replies this weekend, as I had to bring work home and catch up first. I will try to get to that this weekend instead, as you bring up many interesting points worth exploring and discussing in full, not neglecting these.

    So I may understand where you are coming from, and we are not talking past each other from two different contexts, can I ask you if you are okay with this relative/subjective definition of justice:

    Justice being a balance between peace and freedom, both being relative/subjective to each person.

    RE: Freedom
    We all want our free will, our consent to be respected, in making decisions and having our government or institutions represent our interests if we are going to be subject to that.

    But we are willing to compromise some freedom for the sake of security, or peace.

    For example, I would love to be able to do anything I want at any time; but for the sake of security, I would avoid driving if there is ice on the road or flooding, if it is not safe at night to go run errands (for either my own safety or someone else worrying about me); etc.
    So I am willing to accept limits on my choices or freedom in order to have peace of mind.

    RE: Peace
    Likewise with peace, for example, all our computers would be more safe and secure from viruses if nobody had internet access at all. But that would take away our freedom to interact openly. So we are willing to compromise our security in order to enjoy freedoms.

    The key is where we AGREE to laws that balance freedom and peace, where we neither impose peace and order to the point of sacrificing freedom (like taking all guns or cars away), and we do not abuse freedoms unchecked to the point of breaching or disrupting the peace (like abusing freedom of speech or religion to harass or harm someone else).

    I would prefer to establish a just balance by consensus, either directly with one another, or collectively laws can be passed that reflect consensus on where to draw the lines.

    Are you okay with that concept of "justice" as an agreed balance between
    respecting freedom and respecting peace -- that is DOES depend on each person's thresholds and standards instead of imposing. I recognize these things are subjective, so when it comes to interacting with another person, both people's standards should be met to be fair and equally inclusive/protective of both.

    So that way, laws or social contracts should reflect the consent of the governed,
    in order to protect all interests and beliefs/views equally under Constitutional laws.

    If we can agree on a starting point like that, I believe I would probably agree with your points about people acting by natural laws on "social contracts" regardless of affiliation.

    I just happen to use Constitutional language for these concepts for convenience, but agree with you they occur by natural laws about human behavior and relations as social beings.

    If this is not how you see liberty and justice, can you describe in your words what you believe to be a fair social contract / social justice and what is oppressive or unjust?

    I am willing to work with your viewpoint and terminology if mine is not appropriate for you.

    Thanks JB
    I will try to reply in more detail next weekend instead
    Yours truly
    Emily
     
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  8. JoReba
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    JoReba BANNED

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    Do you belong to God?
     
  9. Kalam
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    Kalam Senior Member

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    Nothing. People will start to catch on to that eventually.
     
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  10. emilynghiem
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    emilynghiem Constitutionalist Supporting Member

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    1) Yes, I agree the concepts were adopted from before.
    But Constitutional/natural laws and Christian/divine laws are still major components in American culture.
    So much you cannot remove them from the recipe.

    Regardless of sources, these driving influences are responsible for both a lot of GOOD things (not just for Americans but for the world) as well as BAD things. So if you want to point out the bad, also point out the good; I believe when you put all things in perspective you will find more good. That in general, the good things, even charity for others worldwide, outweighs the bad things that "nationalists" may do in abusing laws and freedoms. The best way I know to stop the abuses is to enforce the very laws by which corporations invoke the rights and freedoms to act without checks and balances otherwise.

    2) So I disagree with the notion that natural laws of democratic government, social contracts, checks and balances, separation of powers, etc. "don't apply in this country today" -- I AGREE that the natural balance has been overridden, but that is because the laws are not being taught or enforced equally.

    The attitude that the laws are void is what allows abuses to go on.

    If you allow bullies to run the world, then you lose the concept of equal protection of the laws, equal representation and equal access to due process.

    Some of the factors that have thrown off the balance are
    a. the granting of personhood and "individual civil rights" to corporations
    which are then unequal to other individuals due to collective resources and influence
    b. the private monopoly/interests/biases over laws and courts by lawyers and judges that are tied together through election financing, state bar associations, and professional interests.
    c. partisan political lobbying and media bias, where both corporate, legal professional, and media influence on campaigns, elections, legislation, etc. is biased toward profiting off conflict and competition for office instead of investing resources into cooperative solutions

    I assess blame to those factors, not to the Constitutional principles themselves that have been abused and not followed because of these interfering interests for political gain.

    I posted a separate message asking your take on justice.
    Justice is relative to different people, so it would depend on the standards or concept of what justice means to you. For there to be justice for all means that everyone standards must be included and accommodated in decisions made by govt.

    Again, we are not living up to that principle because of competing interests that abuse the political and legal system instead of following Constitutional laws and ethics.

    I'm sorry you do not believe that justice or equality is possible under the given system.
    But you seem to believe truth and justice are worth pursuing to even post your questions.

    You seem to have no problem exercising freedom of speech/press and "right to petition" for social change.

    Another difference between Americanism and gangs is that
    * Americanism or nationalism can be practiced without depending on a gang.
    Any individual can practice this alone, just exercising rights and freedoms under
    either natural laws or the Constitution based on natural laws.
    * Can a gang member practice individually and still be a gang?
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2011

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