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  1. #1
    Courage is immortality Valiant's Avatar
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    Lightbulb States and criminal organizations: what's the difference?

    In my book, the state and the police are just criminal organizations like any other.
    Collecting fees, taking a cut of every profit, sometimes waging war against other states, imposing rules on their laborers in order to maximize efficiency and profit.
    How are the cops different from any other criminal organization's enforcers that roams the streets?
    To be honest, the police are actually more violent and criminal than almost any given criminal organization.
    They cause more damage, harass people more and enforce laws that are really quite dubious.
    In my book, they are just another gang. The difference is that they virtually have Carte Blanche.
    They get to carry their guns everywhere. They get to do violence and intimidation. Enforcing the rules.
    They get to collect debts or punish those who can't pay. If a shop owner doesn't want to pay a cut of his profit to the state, they punish him.
    That's racketeering, people. Nothing else.

    Really, how is it different? Or even better than the Hells Angels? The IRA? The Italian Mafia?
    It's funny that just by "being in power", they get away with so much.
    When will people realize that they are living in a cage that limits human potential and freedom in benefit of cheap comfort?

    You know what, in my book, just skip the word "criminal" altogether. It's just a ridiculous word used in propaganda against competing organizations.

    Honestly. When soldiers from both the EU and the USA are all over Afghanistan, protecting the interests of druglords, something is wrong.
    Our boys are dying out there, protecting 87% of the heroin on the world market.
    Why are the yankee boys fighting in Iraq, then? That's entirely different.
    You know that Saddam wanted to change the oil buy/sell currency to the Euro instead of the Dollar?
    Well, that would have triggered a domino effect and the dollar would have lost most of its value.
    Bigass crisis á la grande would have ensued. I can understand that the U.S went to war, so would I have done if the U.S was my organization.

    Right, how is this different from a turf war of some sort?
    It's all about the same thing. Profit. It's never about ideals of any sort, or "freedom".

    You know the alleged "war on drugs"? It's all a hoax. Why the hell is the U.S supporting druglords in both South America (Colombia, prdominantly) and Afghanistan?
    It's funny how they try to depict the FARC guerilla as terrorists and drug farmers/traffickers. It's sort of weird, since last I heard it's the FARC boys who burn the opium fields of the big ranchers as well as teach and encourage small farmers to grow other crops.

    According to the laws of any nation, many, many things that we are involved in are just wrong.
    I'm not saying Sweden, my country is any better than any other, we're all in this mess.
    Our boys are "peacekeeping" in Afghanistan. I.E protecting opium plantations at least part-time.
    We also manufacture weapons and ammunition in huge quantities for the NATO countries.

    Everyone knows that the criminal organizations deal in drugs.
    Well, the states does that as well, we just can't see it happening right in front of us because it's all normal.

    In my book, they're even worse, since countries are so damn large and they do far worse things than any criminal organization that doesn't claim to actually be a country.
    In my book, countries and criminal organizations are just competitors on the same market.


    Now to the point... Again, how the hell are countries any different from criminal organizations?

    (And i'm perfectly aware that I wrote "In my book" five times. You know what, name this little speech of mine "In my book". You know, kinda like "I have a dream".)

    Mightier than the tread of marching armies is the power of an idea whose time has come

  2. #2
    Senior Member Chunes's Avatar
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    Really, how is it different? Or even better than the Hells Angels? The IRA? The Italian Mafia?
    It's funny that just by "being in power", they get away with so much.
    When will people realize that they are living in a cage that limits human potential and freedom in benefit of cheap comfort?
    You think we don't? You really think that because people don't grab their rifles and head to the statehouse that we don't at least realize it?
    "If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. But do not care to convince him. Men will believe what they see. Let them see."
    Thoreau

  3. #3
    Courage is immortality Valiant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chunes View Post
    You think we don't? You really think that because people don't grab their rifles and head to the statehouse that we don't at least realize it?
    Well, I don't think most people have reflected upon it.
    It's good to see you have, though.
    I know many people have.

    Let me turn the question.
    Just because some have thought about this, do you think most have?

    Mightier than the tread of marching armies is the power of an idea whose time has come

  4. #4

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    Sorry man but no.

    There's a very clear difference between legit authority and illegit authority, accountability, recourse and due process.

    True states can turn criminal and then they can be considered tyrannical, no one I believe would come out an condemn Tyrannicide but they might differen between whether its clearly the King of France during the revolution there, the Czar during the revolution in Russia or Hitler following his revolution in Germany.

    As criminal agencies the state pretty much sucks ass, as states criminal agencies or gangs do too.

    That's not to say that in any given time or context it can appear that they are reading each others lines or performing each others parts, sometimes informal or summary justice can be dispensed by criminal agencies which resolve criminal behaviour or provide satisfaction to victims which states cant but its never a good idea and no state of chaos called lawful will persist for very long.

  5. #5
    Courage is immortality Valiant's Avatar
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    Why does any organization force people to follow a set of rules in the first place?
    It should be more about the individual choice.
    The rules of the system are just there to ensure stagnation of the human mind and the profits of our masters.
    It's all the same as when we used to be slaves, we just have fancier living, no more control.
    It's all because production is more efficient and we get to have a few extra bread crumbs.

    Mightier than the tread of marching armies is the power of an idea whose time has come

  6. #6
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YourLocalJesus View Post
    Why does any organization force people to follow a set of rules in the first place?
    It should be more about the individual choice.
    The rules of the system are just there to ensure stagnation of the human mind and the profits of our masters.
    It's all the same as when we used to be slaves, we just have fancier living, no more control.
    It's all because production is more efficient and we get to have a few extra bread crumbs.
    Start with Jean-Jacques Rousseau and keep going. The answers are there.

    Sorry, man, in some ways, life just sucks like that. You've got to deal with it.

  7. #7
    Courage is immortality Valiant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Start with Jean-Jacques Rousseau and keep going. The answers are there.

    Sorry, man, in some ways, life just sucks like that. You've got to deal with it.
    Oh, I know.
    I have just realized gradually that this pretty much gives me no moral obligation towards society, whatsoever.

    Mightier than the tread of marching armies is the power of an idea whose time has come

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by YourLocalJesus View Post
    Why does any organization force people to follow a set of rules in the first place?
    It should be more about the individual choice.
    The rules of the system are just there to ensure stagnation of the human mind and the profits of our masters.
    It's all the same as when we used to be slaves, we just have fancier living, no more control.
    It's all because production is more efficient and we get to have a few extra bread crumbs.
    So when's your book coming out YLJ, can I go ahead and reserve an advance reading copy now?

    Well, individual choice is a good example of the rules you're talking about and not everyone will respect that so someone has to enforce respect for that rule and they as an authority have to pass certain tests to be legitimate.

    Mind you its not just states and in any good society there'll be a whole host of functioning informal mechanisms which will mean there's not recourse to the formal authority in the first place.

    I dont think its the same as slavery, there's a huge difference between alienated freedom and slavery, huge difference even between wage slavery and actual slavery, although some sweated labour and indentured labour comes close.

    You are right though, there are trade offs, the standards of consumer satisfaction and mass production alone wouldnt be feasible in most of the advanced capitalist societies if libertarian capitalist philosophies where followed to the letter, the money would be sucked out of circulation and while I'm sure a small, small elite would do well the majority would be in penury and depdence.

    I'm happy to make some of those trade offs, for instance taxation to circulate money in the economy, belief in progressive taxes which will hit me if I earn more or win the lottery or get lucky at the poker tables but then I think chasing a perfect state of affairs in an imperfect world isnt a great idea either.

  9. #9
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YourLocalJesus View Post
    Oh, I know.
    I have just realized gradually that this pretty much gives me no moral obligation towards society, whatsoever.
    Obligation toward society in what sense?

    Even if you could prove no difference between the state and a stationary bandit, that would not remove my sense of obligation to society.

    Virtually all that we have come to take for granted in civilization is only possible with an elaborate administration of some kind. Call it legitimate or illegitimate, either way it is better than a hopeless attempt at anarchy.

    The the extent that I want nice things and care for the well-being of others, I need to support some sort of system of government.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by YourLocalJesus View Post
    Oh, I know.
    I have just realized gradually that this pretty much gives me no moral obligation towards society, whatsoever.
    And society owes you?

    Rousseau did think people traded their happy free state of being too easily and that all modern politics was a plea for longer chains, bigger cages and nice jailers but if you read his confessions, a better book than his novels or essays, you'll see he didnt exactly practice what he preached and he was disarmingly honest about it.

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