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Psypher.....Are you confusing is and ought? There is reciprocity and symbiosis in a biologic sense as a human survival trait. Right, wrong, sharing and empathy are also intricate and central to Bonobo Chimp society. Power structures can poison the well, for sure, and yes, there ought to be a more just world. It still doesn't negate what is inborne and primal: morality in your personal dealings with your community and your loved ones.
Liberal Democracy is a brilliant self-correcting, self perpetuating ideology. Nations that foster a marketplace of ideas, capital, and lifestyle choices will achieve more prosperity and justice. This system fits our phenotype to a tee. Cooperation/competition, reciprocity/fairness. Which is in our nature.
The mythological model of human nature was challenged by the enlightenment. The Marxist model was a complete failure in both market dynamics and intellectual capital. Science and democracy, which are both error detecting and self-correcting, have a long way to go to conquer the globe. Probably less than 25% of the earth's people have a true democracy....... And these countries are the healthiest. There is a connection of what IS about us and the society we build that will benefit us the most. Jim
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mailsorter-101-2.bryant.webtv.net (8.8.8/ms.graham.14Aug97) with ESMTP id HAA23200; Mon, 24 May 1999 07:25:27 -0700 (PDT) Received: (from majordom@localhost) by maxwell.kumo.com (8.9.1/8.9.1) id IAA06098 for virus-outgoing; Mon, 24 May 1999 08:14:17 -0600From: "psypher" <email@example.com>
>In a /partial/ sense, it can. IE sometimes people's relationships
...individual interactions between people can't account for the whole of the culture. The presnt there is, at present, no culture which, as a whole is constructed to deliberately foster the cooperative interaction of its components. There is certainly no culture presently active which fosters the principle of cooperation with other cultures.
> Too absolutist, man. If the few have always benefited at the expense
> of the many, then the many should get progressively worse off as
> goes by, predicting that most people in modern Britain (say) should
> have less food/property/freedom than most people x-hundred years
...you're restricting your consideration to a particular geographical area. We MUST consider the world as an whole, because our actions within cultures effect the world as a whole. Right now the gap between the few [who have much - more than ever before] is bigger than at any previous time [to our knowledge] than has ever previously been the case.
> Erm, and I reckon most people now/here have better access to food,
> better medicines, better life expectancy/quality than they did in
> middle ages.
...where is "here"? Globally, this is not the case. Granted, the populations of certain areas of the world have access to all sorts of unutterably fantastic things, but this comes at the cost of people not "here". If it's far enough away, we generally don't give a damn - out of sight, out of mind.
If the many now have more than they did back in the day,
> then surely they're gaining from The Deal, in which case there's at
> least partial symbiosis going on somewhere.
...some cultures function effectively as units to extract materials from other cultures. The units of a dmoniator culture may act together - agreed, in partial symbiosis - with particular goals in mind, but on a larger scale humyn organisms are not encouraged to act together.