Social Question

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Should power be limited to those who won't missuse it?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (15064points) 3 weeks ago

As extreme as the ability to read and write? Also how would you determine who would be vetted? Do we have that now? You need to win an election or get the grades to have access to higher education and power?
After all schools say that knowledge is power? Should that very knowledge be restricted?

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56 Answers

kritiper's avatar

Sure but how can who gets power be controlled?

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@kritiper I don’t know. It’s one of my questions. Maybe that invisible hand we keep hearing about? Or by itemizing the maturity level for what power one need to have it?
Right now elections and grades are way for teachers, politicians and voters to decide. So I guess some fundamental force to decide like votes, or constitution.

kritiper's avatar

It’s the unknown/unknowable factor.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@kritiper How is it done now?

YARNLADY's avatar

Politics tries to have term limits to help curb this problem. There are also limits on authority, with rules to remove offenders.

Several volunteer organizations limit the length of time a person can hold specific position.

Business usually develops a system of checks and balances, such as requiring two signatures on important documents.

flutherother's avatar

Power corrupts and no one can be trusted not to abuse it. Power should be given for a limited time period only and operate within the constraints of an independent legal system.

seawulf575's avatar

If we were going to limit power (or knowledge) to those that wouldn’t misuse it, we should probably just do away with it altogether. People are flawed…always have been and probably always will be. We suffer from greed, envy, anger, and narcissism. Until you can do away with the flaws, the idea of limiting power is useless.

flutherother's avatar

Until you can do away with the flaws the idea of limiting power is essential.

seawulf575's avatar

@flutherother it is a paradox. But the idea of limiting is powerless unless you can overcome the flaws. You are putting power into the hands of someone to decide who gets limited. You are setting up someone with more power. We are stuck just having to deal with the concept of those in authority abusing their power. Which is top on my list of why I want a smaller government and want to avoid Socialism at all costs. Putting MORE power into the hands of those that crave power over others is the worst thing you could do.

flutherother's avatar

The paradox is that smaller and smaller government leads towards government by a small clique or ultimately with one man. When it comes to government more is sometimes less. Why fear socialism particularly when fascism can come from the right as easily as from the left?

All these ideas were considered by honest men 250 years ago. They gave us a detailed plan and we don’t need another. Plan B should be to make plan A work.

seawulf575's avatar

But smaller government has control over less. Less areas of our lives to be impacted by those that seek power. And those that try to exert extra power are easily seen and can be dealt with as it is happening. Larger governments not only impact more areas of our lives but have so many layers of bureaucracy that the power grabs are hidden and protected. We see that even today. Look at the Russia collusion thing. Created as opposition research, pushed by those that were trying to influence the election, rights were violated, lies were told, and yet it is almost impossible to try to find the ones that actually did the decision making and even if we find them, trying to have justice served is impossible.
You are right…honest men 250 years ago gave us a detailed plan and we should make it work. That plan was that each state would be its own governing body with the federal government there only to deal with those things that would be too onerous or divisive to decentralize. Military for instance, or making treaties with other countries, or determining how interstate commerce should look. A VERY small set of powers for the Feds. It was set up this way because it is easier to affect change on a state level rather than a federal level.
And rules that might help one state might hurt another. Yet over time we have tried making things go the other way….less power to the states and more to the Feds. So I agree…we need to make Plan A work. Shrink the power and size of the Feds.

LostInParadise's avatar

Power tends to concentrate. If there is little government control, power falls into the hands of large corporations, whose shareholders are primarily interested in making money for themselves.

In democratic socialism, everyone is represented, and if a majority is dissatisfied with those in government, they can vote for new officials. You can’t know for certain who is going to misuse power, but there are built-in ways of correcting the problem.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Power by definition is always an item rife with opportunities for abuse. Try to think of an example where the powerful can be declared such and their power successfully shielded from any possibility of abuse.

seawulf575's avatar

@LostInParadise I think you need to review history a bit. Every socialistic society we have had has led to the people suffering. Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Peron, Chavez…all wonderful cases for how good Democratic Socialism works. In fact, here is a quote you probably ought to read:
”“Italian Fascism led popular organizations to an effective participation in national life, which had always been denied to the people. Before Mussolini’s rise to power, the nation was on one hand and the worker on the other, and the latter had no involvement in the former. […] In Germany happened exactly the same phenomenon, meaning, an organized state for a perfectly ordered community, for a perfectly ordered population as well: a community where the state was the tool of the nation, whose representation was, under my view, effective. I thought that this should be the future political form, meaning, the true people’s democracy, the true social democracy.””

Juan Peron said that. Sounds very much like the same sort of thing you are saying. Kinda scary that he was talking about how great Fascism was. AND, let me point out that “social democracy” was a term used for a long time that was shortened in to “communism”. So I guess you could likewise throw China into the mix. Remember back about 1989 when the people were trying to get democracy reinstated from their communistic leaders? There was a small event that happened in Tiananmen Square. It wasn’t pretty.
So you are right…power tends to concentrate. And in Socialism, that is for the few at the top. History has said that again and again.

stanleybmanly's avatar

You are hopelessly absurd. You are asking us to accept the idea that Peron, Hitler and Mussolini were proponents of democratic socialism because THEY defined themselves as democratic socialists? THAT is how you authenticate the failure of democratic socialsm? This is not the first time that I have told you that every first world nation in the modern world is CURRENTLY one version or another of a social democracy INCLUDING OUR OWN. Moreover, if we are to remain a democracy we WILL be driven ever more toward socialist tendencies, because there is no other way out other than strong arm dictatorship.

LostInParadise's avatar

@seawulf575 , There are several socialist democracies in Europe that have higher standards of living than the U.S.

seawulf575's avatar

@stanleybmanly aren’t you defining yourself as a democratic socialist? I fail to see what the difference really is.

seawulf575's avatar

@LostInParadise Not really. Oftentimes Sweden is the poster child for claims like that. But Sweden isn’t socialist. They are a Democracy. They flirted with “democratic socialism” at one point and it took a growing economy and almost ruined it. So they turned away from it. Not really a good example and not one I feel we should aspire to. I don’t know why we would have to ruin our country to find out it doesn’t work when we have so many examples that tell us it doesn’t work.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It is pointless explaining MY fix on where I am until you have a better understanding of what YOU are talking about, and I’m not telling you this to be mean.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Sweden isn’t socialist? Well whatever Sweden is, should we strive for Swedish results?

stanleybmanly's avatar

What have the Swedes turned away, free healthcare, college tuition, childcare, state pensions assuring affordable old age for everyone? Which are they running from in their passion to be more like us?

seawulf575's avatar

@stanleybmanly yes, we probably should. Voting for the socialist democrats is not the way to go on that. Here is a great video about Sweden. It is a bit long but fascinating nonetheless. So take the time and educate yourself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jq3vVbdgMuQ

The way they work today is much the way our Founding Fathers pictured our nation working. The central government (our federal government) is very small and less impacting on the day-to-day operations of the people. The state governments administrate all the programs they want to offer. They are not dictated as to what programs they will have. But the problem with us following their ideals is that we have too many loonies that want a central government to make all their decisions for them. It doesn’t work. Sweden actually tried that and it almost ruined their nation. Now they all pull together for the good of all.

seawulf575's avatar

As to what are they running from? Their Socialistic attitudes drove all the major industry from the country. Volvo and Ikea were the big hitters. These companies couldn’t afford to operate under the onerous taxes. That video I suggested has a clip about that. They showed several people that suffered under the taxes. For example, they had one author that wrote children’s books. The government created taxes and taxes to the point that for every dollar she made in sales of books, she had to pay a dollar and a quarter in taxes. Guess how long she sold books? And this was not a lone example. Watch the video. You will find that your views are screwball.

stanleybmanly's avatar

“They all pull together for the goof of all. What system of government would you say THAT” suggests? And when you say the Swedes delegate authority to their individual states, which of those states would you describe as their Alabama or Mississippi?

seawulf575's avatar

You haven’t watched the video so you have no inkling of what I am talking about. You are speaking from ignorance…as usual. Watch the video. There is a lot there and most of it will surprise you. Then we can have an intelligent conversation.

stanleybmanly's avatar

What makes you think I haven’t seen your video? And what in that video leads you to believe that Sweden isn’t STILL a socialist democracy with MUCH better results for its population for that very reason? And finally, I want you to tell me what facts in that piece invalidates what I state in my first post. And here is the clincher: Our productivity gains dwarf the Swedes in their achievements since their reforms, and yet OUR middle class slides while theirs prospers. What’s that about?

kritiper's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 It isn’t possible. There is no way to be positively sure that the power won’t be abused.

kritiper's avatar

@seawulf575 Please to remember that there are at least 20 different types of socialism, so you can’t lump all results of any countries practicing any particular type under a single heading.

seawulf575's avatar

@stanleybmanly I think you haven’t watched the video because of the silly things you say. If you have watched it and still say these silly things then you are completely ignorant and I don’t believe that. What makes me think Sweden isn’t still a socialist democracy? Because they saw what being a socialist democracy did for their country and moved away from it. Because they affirm they are a democracy. Because they recognized the importance of small government, lowering taxes, encouraging entrepreneurship, and individual creativity and effort. But these are all things you would have known, had you actually watched the video. Do they have some socialistic things? Of course….so do we. So still, you refuse to educate yourself and we are still having an unintelligent conversation. Your belligernence astounds.

seawulf575's avatar

@kritiper No, there is really one type of socialism with various degrees. The socialism that fools like @stanleybmanly talk about is huge government, total control, everything given to everybody. That is his idea of Utopia. And that is the degree that always ends up with hunger mobs and a horrible quality of life.

stanleybmanly's avatar

“His idea of utopia?” You don’t have a clue about my ideas, even when I spell them out for you ignorant man, nothing is more obvious than the fact that my ideas are beyond your grasp. Again you indulge yourself in the luxury of putting words—stupid words in my mouth. You lack the wit to wrestle sensible words from your own mouth let alone invent dialog for mine. I watched the video of course. I had seen it before. Sweden adjusted its social democracy, and remains a preeminent example of the system. YOU should watch the piece again. The narrator states verbatim toward the end of the film EXACTLY that. As I said previously, it doesn’t matter WHAT you call the present day Swedish model, but you cannot deny that it is in virtually every respect superior to our own in its results And every one of those claims I made prior to rewatching your film still stands AFTER today’s viewing. Far from eliminating socialism, the Swedes adjusted and improved it. To say that socialism nearly destroyed the country is ridiculous. The Swedes corrected the excesses of government control and moved on. The big clue to that film is in who is behind it—“Freedom to choose”. But never mind that for now. The really important fact the film neglects is that regardless of any necessary reforms NO ONE advocates moving toward the predatory nightmare that is the United States. We should be a LOT more like them. Just try to find one of them who believes they should be a lot more like us.

seawulf575's avatar

@stanleybmanly Maybe you need to rewatch the video. The narrator specifically states they are not socialist, that they are fully a democracy. And yes, socialism nearly killed Sweden. It took firm resolve by the government leaders to make an unpopular decision and stick by it. That was to change from Socialism. People had gotten used to being given everything and it was unsustainable. To change their country, they had to shrink the size of the federal government. They had to move administration for different programs to a more localized level of government. They had to cut taxes like crazy. They had to do all the things that I have been saying we need to do for a long time. EVERYTHING you love about Socialism…everything you tout as being great…is being privatized in Sweden. They privatized healthcare, education….everything. The only thing they still have that is vaguely run by the government is their pension which we call Social Security. They recognized the toxic nature of most governmental regulations. They have fully entered into capitalism and away from socialism. They’ve just figured out a way to do that. Imagine for a moment our elected leaders in the federal government making and sticking by unpopular choices. It won’t happen. Imagine them voting to shrink the size and importance of their own jobs. It won’t happen. Yet you are continually pushing for growing the size and ridiculing anyone that says differently.

stanleybmanly's avatar

What I am ridiculing is the idea that this country can survive predatory capitalism, and its resulting relentless concentration of wealth at the top. You will notice that the Swedes are not confronted with such difficulties to our extent, and as a result, dire poverty is nonexistent. I’m not ridiculing one bit the idea that we should imitate the Swedes, educate everyone for free, provide universal healthcare, childcare and pensions. I’m all for it.

seawulf575's avatar

And you are blinded by your own hatred and biases. As I said…they are embracing capitalism. That is how it works for them. The problem is that we in the US…the people…the ones you want to put on top…are of the wrong mindset. The corporations in Sweden recognize that without people, their companies would tank. And the unions (of which there are many) recognize that without the companies being profitable, they will be out of a job. So they work together. Pensioners aren’t guaranteed a set value each month. If times are tough, their monthly payments drop accordingly. And they are okay with that…they understand the need. Try that in this country. Tell someone that is getting money that their amount is going to change and possibly go down. They will freak. Tell the unions they have to work with company leadership for the good of the corporation…they will not do it. Tell corporate leaders they have to ensure the unions are happy and that if they (the leaders) have problems they can approach the unions and know they have an understanding partner in the company success. It won’t happen. Tell our elected leaders that they need to get rid of many regulations, that they need to let go of the power over many programs, that they have to shrink the size of the government and see what happens. None of it will happen. Not until our peoples’ attitudes change. As I said before…imagine our elected leaders making the unpopular decisions…decisions that many people will find unpopular. It won’t happen. So I suggest it is people like you that are most of the problem in us solving the problems. You want instant gratification and rail against all the wrong things. If you were to actually step back and recognize what Sweden did to move to their current situation and what their current situtation truly is…capitalistic democracy…you might be useful in working to get what you claim you truly want.

stanleybmanly's avatar

What if I tell you that it isn’t people like me and what you perceive as my insistence on instant gratification, but rather people such as yourself who demonstrably don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground, people who view a propaganda piece and leave as ignorant as when they arrived without understanding that a social democracy need not eschew capitalism. A dummy so ignorant of the history and workings of his own country that he fails to understand that corporate power has systemically utilized his government to liquidate the union movement in his country? Save us some time and google democratic socialist countries. Let me know what you find

seawulf575's avatar

Yes, I know…Workers of the World Unite!!!! I got it. I’ve heard your tired diatribes many times before. As for democratic socialist countries, I did google it. I found a listing of countries that had democratic socialist parties. It went on to list the countries that were led by the Socialist parties. Those would be:
Armenia
Bolivia
Ecuador
Iceland
Nicaragua
Northern Ireland
Portugal
Serbia
Venezuela
Iceland is about the only one on that list that isn’t having problems. Yeah…Democratic Socialism looks even more enticing now!
It also gave a description of democratic socialism. This included that Private ownership being limited and the government controlling the economy. Funny…that’s what Sweden did that got them so sideways. Maybe if you actually did some research before challenging me on these things it would be a little harder to make you look like a fool. But then, if you actually did honest research (not just getting talking points from your communist leaders), you probably wouldn’t be arguing with me all the time.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I noticed that for a stickler of reading comprehension Sweden is missing from your list of countries contrary to every list I’ve come across. But never mind. Countries with democratic socialist parties? You can do better than that. You missed the list of countries which call THEMSELVES social democracies. Shall I retrieve THAT list for you so that I avoid looking like a fool? Sooner or later you will come to understand that I know what I’m talking about.

stanleybmanly's avatar

By the way if you believe government control of the economy to be an evil aspect of socialism, you’ll be disappointed that government control of the economy is the keystone of American capitalism; and believe it or not Sweden for all its reforms remains a state where the government strives to control the economy. Disappointed?

seawulf575's avatar

http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/democratic-socialist-countries/

Yes Mr. jackass…I googled what you wanted me to google and came up with this as the top search result. You tell me….you are smarter than the world population review? Admit it…you are out of your depth. You are w-r-o-n-g. Oh wait! what am I saying? The great @stanleybmanly can NEVER be wrong. It isn’t possible. Even when the facts are there that disagree with him…he can’t be wrong. Amazing. I told you Sweden was not a democratic socialist state. I told you they were a democracy. They do have a democratic socialist party in the country, but it is not the ruling party and it does not exert the control you like to think. You are wrong….plain and simple. Go ahead…admit it…you were wrong and I was right. The funniest part is that I have explained to you exactly where you were wrong the entire way along and STILL you argue.

stanleybmanly's avatar

What the hell are you talking about? That site documents every word I said There’s Sweden dead center on the list of democratic socialist countries. I really believe you are literally losing it. Are you telling me that YOU do not understand that a socialist democracy can utilize a capitalist economy? You truly are a profoundly ignorant man. Every Western Democracy, socialist or otherwise, utilizes a capitalist economy. I am actually flabbergasted that you don’t know this. What makes these countries more or less social democracies is the degree to which the government mitigates the evils of capitalism. The United States is technically a social democracy. I cannot believe this.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
seawulf575's avatar

And you are just arguing yourself into being more wrong.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Not so fast sparky. Have a look at that chart with the flags and the social democracies listed by population. Tell me what you see. I’m actually reeling at the thought that you know so little to talk SO much. You are a marvel.

kritiper's avatar

@seawulf575 So you’re saying that no form of Socialism could ever possibly work, even forms of socialism that haven’t been invented yet. That sounds like quite a stretch of logic on your part…

seawulf575's avatar

@kritiper in small groups socialism works fine. In larger groups it fails miserably. And it isn’t a stretch of logic…it’s a review of history. It is a review of human nature. People tend to seek the easiest path through life. Socialism always promises everything for everybody. But what is never discussed is that nothing is free. When you count on the government to give you everything, you are giving them power over you. So they will take all your money to pay for everything. Eventually, you have no money and the government isn’t providing what they say they will. We have seen that over and over and over again in history. At that point, you end up with one of a couple end points. The first, and most prevalent, is that the government becomes ugly. They become tyrannical. They believe the people exist for their pleasure, not the other way around. And you end up with revolution. The people get fed up and hungry and tired and fight back. The second, and less likely, is to do what Sweden did…look honestly at what their socialism is costing and how it is killing their country so they change things away from socialism back into a capitalistic form of government. That effort is extremely rare in our world’s history. So no…until people absolutely change, socialism is a doomed experiment.

stanleybmanly's avatar

How can you possibly swallow that right wing distortion of facts and history. It’s bullshit! You understand nothing at all. The entirety of Western Europe is heavily socialist and you almost certainly haven’t a clue as to why such committed capitalist countries happen to have a socialist streak that puts us to shame. Did you ever wonder how it is that such places manage to keep the ravages of capitalism in check?

seawulf575's avatar

Your proof of your wild claims? I don’t see any.

stanleybmanly's avatar

My wild claims. I want you to list some of these examples of failure that prove the inevitable doom of socialism.

seawulf575's avatar

Why are you always so outraged when asked to back up your claims? Do you really believe you are above everyone else?

stanleybmanly's avatar

DEFLECTION Once again you are changing the subject as you operate from a restricted vocabulary where contempt and hate are synonymous. This time it’s outrage and disgust which you deem interchangeable. The issue of just which of us is to be credited with “wild claims” is readily apparent. And I have simply resolved to make it a habit to call you on them. This time it’s the one about history proving socialism a doomed experiment. You who know nothing of either history or socialism yet babble interminably.

seawulf575's avatar

Yes, you deflected once again. You still have not provided a stitch of corroboration for your spew. At least you know it is DEFLECTION.

stanleybmanly's avatar

No once again I’m talking about YOUR deflection from my wild claims to my supposed outrage. You’re quick to assign such traits as hatred and outrage when you can’t conjure up rational discourse from that vacuum atop your neck. You’re the one claiming socialism dead as well as the declarative that history proves it, when clearly you know nothing of either history or socialism. When asked to prove it, up pop such DEFLECTIONS as hate and outrage. From here on out I shall amuse myself with pointing out your feeble tactics to disguise your ignorance.

kritiper's avatar

Surely we Americans with our “can do” spirit could come up with a form of socialism that would work.
Here’s a historical fact: Every democracy throughout history has only lasted about 200 years before evolving into something else.
Since the US is over 200 years old, it is clear that we must be evolving into that something else. I believe it will be a form of socialism. Care to offer a possible alternative idea on that change, @seawulf575?

seawulf575's avatar

@stanleybmanly Yes, you asked me to prove my statements…as a deflection so that you wouldn’t have to prove yours. You feel you are above actually having to show any proof and any wild claim you make. When asked to do so, you deflect like crazy. Now you are using your deflection as a deflection. Amazing. I guess it is up to the reader to decide, since you give nothing. I decide, then, that you are full of hot air, make up lies to suit your rants, and are basically unhinged. I use your answers and refusal to give citations as my basis…not that I need a basis.

seawulf575's avatar

@kritiper I agree with your assessment that democracy doesn’t last that long in the grand scheme of things. Historically it does eventually give way to socialism. Why? Because people start realizing, in democracy, that they can basically vote themselves “free” stuff. What they forget is that nothing is free. When they vote for free stuff, they are actually giving control of their lives over to the government. And you are right…each of these cases usually ends up in Socialism. But you didn’t take the cycle far enough. Socialist states, due to corruption of the now all powerful government, eventually turn tyrannical. Life for the proles falls apart as the government takes more and more. Eventually, each of these Socialist states devolves into something else too. Generally a corrupt Communism that either borders on or is fully a dictatorship where the government rules by force. Eventually there is an uprising…a revolution…and the corrupt government is overthrown. And it is replaced by Democracy again.
My answer to breaking the cycle is to identify and correct those things that drive it. First among them is working on the corruption of our government. It is the easiest thing…well, easier than dealing with the laziness, envy, and greed of the populace. In our case, change the details of being an elected official in the Federal Government. Install term limits today. 2 terms for a Senator and 3 for a Representative. After that, they are done. They cannot run for re-election again. That would help alleviate the idea that our elected officials could be bought for decades on end. Add to that the idea that all laws apply to the elected officials equally as they do to the public. Particularly the insider trading laws. Too many times we find congressmen or senators proposing laws or voting on them based on how they can benefit personally from them. Too many elected officials become millionaires in just a few years in office. I would erect a large apartment building and assign apartments to each position…one apartment for each office. That is where they will live in Washington DC. At the end of their term in office, they will vacate and their successor will move in. Also, serving in these positions is worthy of our thanks…but not a lifetime’s worth. When they leave office, they are not given a retirement that lasts not just for the rest of their lives, but the lives of their spouses as well, that gets cost of living increases and full benefits forever. They would get a severance. They would get one year’s severance for each term in office, with full benefits. At the end of that severance, they are done. This will help get rid of those seeking office as a career and replace them with those that want to serve.
That is where I would start toward breaking the cycle of which we spoke.

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