Re: virus: Virus: Sociological Change

Martin Traynor (
Tue, 26 Nov 1996 14:52:09 +0000


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?

> > 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?).

> 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. 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'. Again I ask; would they
still be individuals.

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

> "Kill the Homophobe" could become the anti-meme for "Kill the Queers"!

Witness the racist/anti-racist clashes of recent years.

> 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).

> But what would happen if groups didn't fight for change?

We would have already achieved the state of harmony you were asking

> There must be some way of causing society to evolve rapidly enough so that people's
> selfish drive for what they want is attainable in their lifetime.

If enough people want it it will happen immediately, if not, then why
should it happen at all? Because *you* want it to? That's trite and
somewhat antagonistic I know, but I'm trying to clarify *exactly*
what it is you're asking.

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