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What are the main categories of social strife

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7/4/2014 2:40:54 PM
Posted: 2 years ago the world? By all means explain your answers but your list should be succinct and distinct.

1. War
2. Poverty
3. Environmental Damage
4. Wage Labor
5. Crime

I didn't put disease on here because we all get sick and die, and the only relevant argument depends completely on poverty (sanitation, malnutrition, etc.). I don't view disease as a problem to be "fought," it is an act of nature and technologically extending life is nice but it's not a fundamental duty of mankind, so to speak.

These five items are all magnitudes that are directly proportional to how much "stuff" we demand. If I want a new cellphone, I am helping (a little bit) to put a Chinese person in a factory to build it, an American in an office building to service it, and a salesman at the store to sell it. Suffice to say, I would rather commit suicide than be condemned to any prolonged exposure to any of these occupations, they are exceptionally-bad career choices (4. Wage Labor).

That cellphone I buy will create (3.) Environmental Damage. The money I give to the company will create a corporate entity that will exert political influence, greasing the gears for (1.) War. While we always assign emotional values to war (e.g., "Japan attacked us, the Muslims are terrorists, etc.), it always comes down, in the end, to a struggle over resources, so somebody can be in charge of making that phone for me. I believe Plato shares my concern, from Book II of the Republic:
And the country which was enough to support the original inhabitants will be too small now, and not enough?
Quite true.
Then a slice of our neighbours' land will be wanted by us for pasture and tillage, and they will want a slice of ours, if, like ourselves, they exceed the limit of necessity, and give themselves up to the unlimited accumulation of wealth?
That, Socrates, will be inevitable.
And so we shall go to war, Glaucon. Shall we not?
Most certainly, he replied.
Then without determining as yet whether war does good or harm, thus much we may affirm, that now we have discovered war to be derived from causes which are also the causes of almost all the evils in States, private as well as public.

The money I spent on that phone represents economic resources, resources that should go to the most dire needs first. However we spend our resources on meaningless trinkets and indulgences, which do more to soften and weaken us, destroying our health and willpower, than they do actually create positive utility in our lives. Those with disposable incomes waste resources while those in (2.) Poverty suffer without them.

There's only two meaningful incentives for a person to commit a (5.) Crime or engage in corruption: because they are forced to (because of other items on my list) or because they also want a cell phone like me amongst other trivial indulgences.

Great thinkers like Plato and Jesus spoke out about material wealth for these reasons; our consumption is the root of all social strife. When we buy some cheap plastic crap from Wal-Mart, stuff that is inessential and luxurious, we promote all of these things. It comes right back around to affect us personally.
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7/6/2014 9:08:46 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/6/2014 3:36:39 PM, Wocambs wrote:
At 7/4/2014 2:40:54 PM, R0b1Billion wrote:

1. Capitalism and the State.

Is that how you interpret my post?