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maximal efficiency of government

rross
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10/11/2013 12:11:21 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/26/2013 11:41:08 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 9/26/2013 8:01:19 PM, rross wrote:
At 9/26/2013 5:46:07 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

In case I am not absolutely crystal clear on this point, the system is not designed for any person or group of people. It is designed with maximal efficiency of governance in mind.

prove it.

I'm curious as to why this is a point of argument, and know I will be dissatisfied since it seems you won't be able to respond for a bit.

Regardless, I would think this reasoning is tautological. The purpose of government is to govern, the purpose of a school is to educate, the purpose of a library is to hold books, etc...

The purpose of government is NOT to accommodate the desires of men. If men happen to be the ones that govern the most efficiently, then these men will frame the government into an institution that would help them to more effectively govern. If men were found to govern less efficiently than trained chimpanzees, then these chimpanzees will attain rank and position in the government, and will frame the institution into one that would help them more effectively govern. You may then ask how we would know which is more efficient given the status quo equates to maximal efficiency in how I am framing this argument, and the answer at least in a democratic system is simple - you vote in who you want to govern, and the administrators then frame the position as they see fit.

...

http://www.debate.org...

I just don't understand this. The most efficient form of government, I would think, would be to have a ruling class that's trained from childhood for government. Better would be some kind of dictatorship so that the inefficiencies of elections are avoided and all the inefficiencies of turnover. And we're seeing this a bit in Western democracies, with these dynasties of politicians.

The way I see it, this kind of efficiency is detrimental to the aims of democracy which should include some sort of representativeness in government.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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10/11/2013 12:23:38 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/11/2013 12:11:21 AM, rross wrote:
At 9/26/2013 11:41:08 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 9/26/2013 8:01:19 PM, rross wrote:
At 9/26/2013 5:46:07 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

In case I am not absolutely crystal clear on this point, the system is not designed for any person or group of people. It is designed with maximal efficiency of governance in mind.

prove it.

I'm curious as to why this is a point of argument, and know I will be dissatisfied since it seems you won't be able to respond for a bit.

Regardless, I would think this reasoning is tautological. The purpose of government is to govern, the purpose of a school is to educate, the purpose of a library is to hold books, etc...

The purpose of government is NOT to accommodate the desires of men. If men happen to be the ones that govern the most efficiently, then these men will frame the government into an institution that would help them to more effectively govern. If men were found to govern less efficiently than trained chimpanzees, then these chimpanzees will attain rank and position in the government, and will frame the institution into one that would help them more effectively govern. You may then ask how we would know which is more efficient given the status quo equates to maximal efficiency in how I am framing this argument, and the answer at least in a democratic system is simple - you vote in who you want to govern, and the administrators then frame the position as they see fit.

...

http://www.debate.org...

I just don't understand this. The most efficient form of government, I would think, would be to have a ruling class that's trained from childhood for government. Better would be some kind of dictatorship so that the inefficiencies of elections are avoided and all the inefficiencies of turnover. And we're seeing this a bit in Western democracies, with these dynasties of politicians.

The way I see it, this kind of efficiency is detrimental to the aims of democracy which should include some sort of representativeness in government.

Ok. This gets into something that someone with a formal degree in political science would probably be much better equipped to answer.

As it is, from my own studies (degree in Asian studies, Chinese economy), I can say with a good degree of confidence that what you're describing is how emperors were raised in China. This caused several problems:

1) Knowing who was going to run the country, those who had influence over the emperor's education had extreme incentive to steer his education in a direction that favored the educators and their political connections. Obviously these educators would be the ones actually running the country while the emperor was being educated...so as you can see, there is already a gigantic bureaucratic apparatus built to do one thing - deny power to those who are ostensibly supposed to wield it (the emperor), in order to transfer power to those who are ostensibly supposed to support those in power (the educators).

2) This bureaucratic establishment (the educators) also had reason to continue the bloodline of the emperor. Why? Because this all but guaranteed a long lineage of powerless figureheads who were trained by those in power to acquiesce to their demands. In China, this resulted in the emperor being nearly suffocated by "rites and rituals" that consumed most if not all of his mental faculties.

3) This all but guarantees a sort of leaderless leadership, as what would actually be occurring in the capitol is that a bunch of bureaucrats would be fighting against each other to gorge themselves of the tax revenues flowing into the empire. They are not responsible for this corruption...the emperor is responsible...through manipulation, a proper scapegoat is found by the bureaucrats, the emperor rubberstamps an edict to punish the scapegoat...all is well in the capitol again...the corruption continues unabated.

4) There are IMHO modern parallels with how Wall Street and Washington DC interacts. Washington DC, that entire political apparatus, would be the powerless figurehead, and Wall Street the corrupt bureaucrats that hold the real reigns of power.

You can watch Jamie Johnson's video "The One Percent" to see another microcosm of this phenomenon. Jamie Johnson's family are the heirs of the Johnson and Johnson business empire...his dad is a painter. He has little to no say in any affairs of consequence...he has advisors for just about everything, and they cow him into submission.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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10/11/2013 12:25:22 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Bottom line, what you're saying has been done before. It remains to be seen if the modern liberal system is able to overcome the hurdles I just described.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
rross
Posts: 2,772
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10/11/2013 2:55:46 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/11/2013 12:23:38 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/11/2013 12:11:21 AM, rross wrote:
At 9/26/2013 11:41:08 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 9/26/2013 8:01:19 PM, rross wrote:
At 9/26/2013 5:46:07 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

In case I am not absolutely crystal clear on this point, the system is not designed for any person or group of people. It is designed with maximal efficiency of governance in mind.

prove it.

I'm curious as to why this is a point of argument, and know I will be dissatisfied since it seems you won't be able to respond for a bit.

Regardless, I would think this reasoning is tautological. The purpose of government is to govern, the purpose of a school is to educate, the purpose of a library is to hold books, etc...

The purpose of government is NOT to accommodate the desires of men. If men happen to be the ones that govern the most efficiently, then these men will frame the government into an institution that would help them to more effectively govern. If men were found to govern less efficiently than trained chimpanzees, then these chimpanzees will attain rank and position in the government, and will frame the institution into one that would help them more effectively govern. You may then ask how we would know which is more efficient given the status quo equates to maximal efficiency in how I am framing this argument, and the answer at least in a democratic system is simple - you vote in who you want to govern, and the administrators then frame the position as they see fit.

...

http://www.debate.org...

I just don't understand this. The most efficient form of government, I would think, would be to have a ruling class that's trained from childhood for government. Better would be some kind of dictatorship so that the inefficiencies of elections are avoided and all the inefficiencies of turnover. And we're seeing this a bit in Western democracies, with these dynasties of politicians.

The way I see it, this kind of efficiency is detrimental to the aims of democracy which should include some sort of representativeness in government.

Ok. This gets into something that someone with a formal degree in political science would probably be much better equipped to answer.

As it is, from my own studies (degree in Asian studies, Chinese economy), I can say with a good degree of confidence that what you're describing is how emperors were raised in China. This caused several problems:

1) Knowing who was going to run the country, those who had influence over the emperor's education had extreme incentive to steer his education in a direction that favored the educators and their political connections. Obviously these educators would be the ones actually running the country while the emperor was being educated...so as you can see, there is already a gigantic bureaucratic apparatus built to do one thing - deny power to those who are ostensibly supposed to wield it (the emperor), in order to transfer power to those who are ostensibly supposed to support those in power (the educators).

2) This bureaucratic establishment (the educators) also had reason to continue the bloodline of the emperor. Why? Because this all but guaranteed a long lineage of powerless figureheads who were trained by those in power to acquiesce to their demands. In China, this resulted in the emperor being nearly suffocated by "rites and rituals" that consumed most if not all of his mental faculties.

3) This all but guarantees a sort of leaderless leadership, as what would actually be occurring in the capitol is that a bunch of bureaucrats would be fighting against each other to gorge themselves of the tax revenues flowing into the empire. They are not responsible for this corruption...the emperor is responsible...through manipulation, a proper scapegoat is found by the bureaucrats, the emperor rubberstamps an edict to punish the scapegoat...all is well in the capitol again...the corruption continues unabated.

4) There are IMHO modern parallels with how Wall Street and Washington DC interacts. Washington DC, that entire political apparatus, would be the powerless figurehead, and Wall Street the corrupt bureaucrats that hold the real reigns of power.

Are you arguing that democracy is a necessary part of avoiding corruption? And therefore democracy is the most efficient form of government?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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10/11/2013 7:46:01 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/11/2013 2:55:46 AM, rross wrote:
At 10/11/2013 12:23:38 AM, wrichcirw wrote:

Are you arguing that democracy is a necessary part of avoiding corruption? And therefore democracy is the most efficient form of government?

I didn't make that claim. What I did say though was that what you're proposing has been done before, and there are problems with what you are proposing.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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10/11/2013 10:02:31 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/11/2013 12:11:21 AM, rross wrote:
At 9/26/2013 11:41:08 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

I just don't understand this. The most efficient form of government, I would think, would be to have a ruling class that's trained from childhood for government. Better would be some kind of dictatorship so that the inefficiencies of elections are avoided and all the inefficiencies of turnover. And we're seeing this a bit in Western democracies, with these dynasties of politicians.

The way I see it, this kind of efficiency is detrimental to the aims of democracy which should include some sort of representativeness in government.

To address your comparison with democracy directly, the idea is that there is ambivalence in many political decisions made, and that this ambivalence results in unclear choices for the administrator. If this administrator is a dictator with little to no connection to the populace (and it seems you are indeed advocating a distinct, separate distinction between this governing class and the populace), then this dictator will invariably make decisions that benefit the administration over the objections of the populace, because his/her training has been geared towards such.

Well, given that this administration owes its very existence to the economic veracity of the populace, this type of setup will invariably lead to the collapse of the economy, and thus the collapse of the dictatorship. Marie Antoinette immediately comes to mind.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
DanT
Posts: 5,693
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10/11/2013 11:13:51 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
A government is any organized body with legislative powers, and a state is any government body with executive powers. A nation is an aggregate of people with a common culture; a nation may or may not be governed by a government body.

The role of a government is to govern the people; that is to say the role of a government is to create policies for the nation. The role of a state is to lead a nation; that is to say the role of a state is to administer government policies.

Because a state is a leader, and leadership requires followers, the state ultimately derives it's authority from the nation. Without followers one cannot be a leader.

As for the policies of government. The more heterogeneous a nation the more decentralized the government should be. The more homogeneous a nation the more centralized the government should be. This is why socialist policies may work well for a small tribe or clan but not for a large nation. The Roman empire's collapse was due to the over-centralization of a government making policies for a heterogeneous nation. As Lao Tzu once said "governing a large nation is like cooking a small fish, too much poking and prodding spoils it."

There are 3 categories in which a government can be centralized;
1.) the policies of the state
2.) the sovereignty of the state
3.) the sovereignty over the state
The later 2 categories deals with the constitution of the state/government.

In regards to the policies of the state, the most centralized policies are socialism and nationalism; the least centralized policies are classic liberalism and anarchism.
In regards to the sovereignty of the state, the most centralized constitution is a unitary state, and the least centralized constitution is a confederation of states. In regards to the sovereignty over the state, the most centralized constitutions are a monarchy or tyranny, and the least centralized constitutions are a democracy or republic.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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10/11/2013 1:11:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/11/2013 10:02:31 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/11/2013 12:11:21 AM, rross wrote:
At 9/26/2013 11:41:08 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

I just don't understand this. The most efficient form of government, I would think, would be to have a ruling class that's trained from childhood for government. Better would be some kind of dictatorship so that the inefficiencies of elections are avoided and all the inefficiencies of turnover. And we're seeing this a bit in Western democracies, with these dynasties of politicians.

The way I see it, this kind of efficiency is detrimental to the aims of democracy which should include some sort of representativeness in government.

To address your comparison with democracy directly, the idea is that there is ambivalence in many political decisions made, and that this ambivalence results in unclear choices for the administrator. If this administrator is a dictator with little to no connection to the populace (and it seems you are indeed advocating a distinct, separate distinction between this governing class and the populace), then this dictator will invariably make decisions that benefit the administration over the objections of the populace, because his/her training has been geared towards such.

Well, given that this administration owes its very existence to the economic veracity of the populace, this type of setup will invariably lead to the collapse of the economy, and thus the collapse of the dictatorship. Marie Antoinette immediately comes to mind.

Anyway, I think my objections to your proposal can be summed up in one word: accountability.

In a democracy, there is accountability. In whatever system you're envisioning, which sounds like a dictatorship with aristocracy, there is no accountability. If people are upset with the dictator, they will have to show their displeasure through force of arms instead of through the ballot box. This is naturally more disruptive to economic activity than an election.

The question then becomes whether or not there is a "real" democracy in countries that have it. Again, this is probably where a political scientist would be more adept at answering your question. I have lingering suspicions, but not enough of a researched opinion to be sure.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
rross
Posts: 2,772
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10/11/2013 10:34:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/11/2013 10:02:31 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/11/2013 12:11:21 AM, rross wrote:
At 9/26/2013 11:41:08 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

I just don't understand this. The most efficient form of government, I would think, would be to have a ruling class that's trained from childhood for government. Better would be some kind of dictatorship so that the inefficiencies of elections are avoided and all the inefficiencies of turnover. And we're seeing this a bit in Western democracies, with these dynasties of politicians.

The way I see it, this kind of efficiency is detrimental to the aims of democracy which should include some sort of representativeness in government.

To address your comparison with democracy directly, the idea is that there is ambivalence in many political decisions made, and that this ambivalence results in unclear choices for the administrator. If this administrator is a dictator with little to no connection to the populace (and it seems you are indeed advocating a distinct, separate distinction between this governing class and the populace), then this dictator will invariably make decisions that benefit the administration over the objections of the populace, because his/her training has been geared towards such.

Well, given that this administration owes its very existence to the economic veracity of the populace, this type of setup will invariably lead to the collapse of the economy, and thus the collapse of the dictatorship. Marie Antoinette immediately comes to mind.

Tell me if I've got this right. According to you, there is efficiency/stability in the connection of the decision makers with the populace. Specifically, the decision makers need to be motivated to make decisions that benefit the populace. If there's no such connection, then decisions will be made that benefit a ruling class at the expense of the rest, and this imbalance will lead to economic collapse.

This latter part about collapse seems unlikely to me just because of those empires - such as the British empire - which flourished under a monarchy. In those empires, there was a ruling class/country which enriched itself at the expense of the colonies, and it didn't lead to economic collapse at all, as far as I know. But I could easily be wrong.

The other point is about the intangible nature of this connection between government and populace. For instance, totally hypothetically, there could be a moral ruling class, trained to govern and utterly devoted to the well-being of the serfs attached to their estates. Assuming such devotion, this would be a more efficient model than democracy.

But about democracy, then. Suppose that a certain background is required to successfully run for public office, in practice. A certain level of education or access to funds, for example, which would exclude swathes of the population from serving in government. Does this matter for efficiency and the connection of the decision-makers with the populace too, in your opinion?
rross
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10/11/2013 10:42:42 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/11/2013 11:13:51 AM, DanT wrote:
A government is any organized body with legislative powers, and a state is any government body with executive powers. A nation is an aggregate of people with a common culture; a nation may or may not be governed by a government body.

The role of a government is to govern the people; that is to say the role of a government is to create policies for the nation. The role of a state is to lead a nation; that is to say the role of a state is to administer government policies.

Because a state is a leader, and leadership requires followers, the state ultimately derives it's authority from the nation. Without followers one cannot be a leader.

As for the policies of government. The more heterogeneous a nation the more decentralized the government should be. The more homogeneous a nation the more centralized the government should be. This is why socialist policies may work well for a small tribe or clan but not for a large nation. The Roman empire's collapse was due to the over-centralization of a government making policies for a heterogeneous nation. As Lao Tzu once said "governing a large nation is like cooking a small fish, too much poking and prodding spoils it."

How interesting. Why is this, though? Is it an observation based on histories of successful organization, or a theory based on knowledge about human social behavior?

There are 3 categories in which a government can be centralized;
1.) the policies of the state
2.) the sovereignty of the state
3.) the sovereignty over the state
The later 2 categories deals with the constitution of the state/government.

In regards to the policies of the state, the most centralized policies are socialism and nationalism; the least centralized policies are classic liberalism and anarchism.
In regards to the sovereignty of the state, the most centralized constitution is a unitary state, and the least centralized constitution is a confederation of states. In regards to the sovereignty over the state, the most centralized constitutions are a monarchy or tyranny, and the least centralized constitutions are a democracy or republic.

So according to this, the most efficient model would be thousands of petty tyrants ruling over tribes, organized into mildly liberal states, which interact in an anarchic international system...?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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10/12/2013 7:43:23 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/11/2013 10:34:11 PM, rross wrote:
At 10/11/2013 10:02:31 AM, wrichcirw wrote:


I just don't understand this. The most efficient form of government, I would think, would be to have a ruling class that's trained from childhood for government. Better would be some kind of dictatorship so that the inefficiencies of elections are avoided and all the inefficiencies of turnover. And we're seeing this a bit in Western democracies, with these dynasties of politicians.

The way I see it, this kind of efficiency is detrimental to the aims of democracy which should include some sort of representativeness in government.

To address your comparison with democracy directly, the idea is that there is ambivalence in many political decisions made, and that this ambivalence results in unclear choices for the administrator. If this administrator is a dictator with little to no connection to the populace (and it seems you are indeed advocating a distinct, separate distinction between this governing class and the populace), then this dictator will invariably make decisions that benefit the administration over the objections of the populace, because his/her training has been geared towards such.

Well, given that this administration owes its very existence to the economic veracity of the populace, this type of setup will invariably lead to the collapse of the economy, and thus the collapse of the dictatorship. Marie Antoinette immediately comes to mind.

Tell me if I've got this right. According to you, there is efficiency/stability in the connection of the decision makers with the populace. Specifically, the decision makers need to be motivated to make decisions that benefit the populace. If there's no such connection, then decisions will be made that benefit a ruling class at the expense of the rest, and this imbalance will lead to economic collapse.

This latter part about collapse seems unlikely to me just because of those empires - such as the British empire - which flourished under a monarchy. In those empires, there was a ruling class/country which enriched itself at the expense of the colonies, and it didn't lead to economic collapse at all, as far as I know. But I could easily be wrong.

The other point is about the intangible nature of this connection between government and populace. For instance, totally hypothetically, there could be a moral ruling class, trained to govern and utterly devoted to the well-being of the serfs attached to their estates. Assuming such devotion, this would be a more efficient model than democracy.

But about democracy, then. Suppose that a certain background is required to successfully run for public office, in practice. A certain level of education or access to funds, for example, which would exclude swathes of the population from serving in government. Does this matter for efficiency and the connection of the decision-makers with the populace too, in your opinion?

I'm not (at all) well-versed in British history, but I can think of a couple counter-arguments:

1) Magna carta materially differentiated British monarchy from others in that it was a clear and (for Europe) a novel attempt at developing a social contract. Any contract of course comes with obligations and accountability.

2) Your point about colonies was weaker than I expected.

I've been told that British common law was actually rather cruel all the way up to the modern period, yet, as you said, Britain flourished nonetheless. I would balance this out with exactly your point about the colonies - the colonies were subject to different laws that were even more onerous than Britain proper, and so we see independence movements occur in the colonies that could actually fight for independence (white colonies). Other colonies that could not fight due to an asymmetry of power held by the British were exploited, yes, and this enriched Britain, which IMHO enriched the populace despite onerous local law.

Basically, the rights of the colonists didn't matter when it came to governance of Britain proper.

It bears emphasizing that during the colonial period, all of Europe held an incredibly vast advantage over every other nation in the world. Even nations that were considered to be at the pinnacle of economic development at the time (India, China) were defeated militarily by forces a tiny fraction of that of the defending power. Other nations were incapable of reciprocal action - India and China did not have navies that could reach Europe, or even if they did, they did not bother trying for whatever reason. If India and China could not put up anything close to a credible resistance even though they were the largest economies of the world during that time, you can imagine what kind of resistance the Native Americans, Africans, and SE Asians put up.

3) About a "moral" ruling class, this is very Confucian and is IMHO not at all a hypothetical. East Asia (i.e. Confucian countries) had a "caste system" of sorts - the typical structure was a) ruling class, b) farmers, c) artisans, d) merchants, e) everyone else.

The ruling class in China was the scholar-official, in Korea, it was the yang-ban (essentially noble aristocrat), in Japan it was the samurai. The latter two were hereditary.

Even though this is highly debatable, in China at least, there was widespread recognition of the necessity for a meritocratic government derived from anyone that was deemed capable. The examination system there was open to anyone. While this is very different from a democracy, the point I am making is that this ruling class came from the populace and was not some sort of aristocracy/nobility. Also, the literature that described "moral rule" was not exclusionary...anyone could buy books on Confucianism - they weren't some sort of aristocratic "scripture" or what not like Catholicism before Martin Luther. A comparison to ascertain the effectiveness of political systems between China, Japan, and Korea generally speaking is not really possible - Korea was wracked by invasion and etc and was for most intents and purposes a Chinese protectorate for most of its unified history, and Japan's history as a unified country was barely 200 years before contact with the West, which of course changed everything.

China also had its own version of a "social contract" through the Mandate of Heaven. Again, somewhat different, but the general concept is similar, that being that the ruler is held accountable to his/her performance. Japan could not institute this contract because of the divine and thus unchallengeable nature of the emperor (either that or its short history simply made the concept less malleable).

While you could say that Japan did quite well vis a vis China after contact with Europe, this IMHO brings in so many significant external variables that the comparison ceases to be meaningful. China was a huge target for European colonization efforts...Japan and Formosa were seen more as "safe harbors" to facilitate Western colonization/exploitation of the real target, i.e. China, and one of the most profitable, if not the most profitable crop, to come out of India was opium. In this sense, Japan benefited by NOT being the target of Western colonization, and was essentially invisible in this regard. This allowed them, as an "outside observer" to figure out exactly how Europe became so dominant, so they did.

I also have a theory that this was allowed in that perhaps Europe was forward-thinking...they may have already surmised they would not be able to hold China, so they "acculturated" Japan in order to maintain a presence in east Asia. That might be giving too much credit to Europe though, especially since Japan during WWII was almost rabidly anti-Europe. (http://en.wikipedia.org...)
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
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10/12/2013 7:45:12 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/12/2013 7:43:23 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/11/2013 10:34:11 PM, rross wrote:

2) Your point about colonies was weaker than I expected.

Sorry, I didn't mean for this to come out as it did...just that when I first read your argument I found it quite convincing, but after some though found it much easier to refute than I expected it to be.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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10/12/2013 8:15:02 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/11/2013 10:34:11 PM, rross wrote:
At 10/11/2013 10:02:31 AM, wrichcirw wrote:

But about democracy, then. Suppose that a certain background is required to successfully run for public office, in practice. A certain level of education or access to funds, for example, which would exclude swathes of the population from serving in government. Does this matter for efficiency and the connection of the decision-makers with the populace too, in your opinion?

Finally, just to answer your questions:

1) IMHO all of this is malleable. The "certain background" is going to depend on the state of the nation. If the nation is ridiculously poor, then the background of the leader is going to be less contingent on economic prosperity (i.e. Mao). If the nation is oppressed, then the background of the leader is probably going to be that of a rebel (Hitler).

2) I think the population in a democracy would realize that the leader should have certain qualities suitable for leadership. What is leadership exactly, yes? We can use this simple wikipedia line:
"Leadership has been described as "a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task""
(http://en.wikipedia.org...)

...and just say that the leader must be cognizant of what this common goal would be. In a complex capitalistic society like America, many leaders are successful in business, which typically requires advanced professional degrees such as an MBA. In other societies, it could be completely different, for example, a Muslim country like Egypt electing the Muslim Brotherhood platform.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
DanT
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10/12/2013 1:38:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/11/2013 10:42:42 PM, rross wrote:
At 10/11/2013 11:13:51 AM, DanT wrote:
A government is any organized body with legislative powers, and a state is any government body with executive powers. A nation is an aggregate of people with a common culture; a nation may or may not be governed by a government body.

The role of a government is to govern the people; that is to say the role of a government is to create policies for the nation. The role of a state is to lead a nation; that is to say the role of a state is to administer government policies.

Because a state is a leader, and leadership requires followers, the state ultimately derives it's authority from the nation. Without followers one cannot be a leader.

As for the policies of government. The more heterogeneous a nation the more decentralized the government should be. The more homogeneous a nation the more centralized the government should be. This is why socialist policies may work well for a small tribe or clan but not for a large nation. The Roman empire's collapse was due to the over-centralization of a government making policies for a heterogeneous nation. As Lao Tzu once said "governing a large nation is like cooking a small fish, too much poking and prodding spoils it."

How interesting. Why is this, though? Is it an observation based on histories of successful organization, or a theory based on knowledge about human social behavior?

Both. It is firmly grounded in social science. It is one of the key principles I learned in my organizational behavior course. Anyone with at least an Associates in Management or Leadership should have learned this in college.

There are 3 categories in which a government can be centralized;
1.) the policies of the state
2.) the sovereignty of the state
3.) the sovereignty over the state
The later 2 categories deals with the constitution of the state/government.

In regards to the policies of the state, the most centralized policies are socialism and nationalism; the least centralized policies are classic liberalism and anarchism.
In regards to the sovereignty of the state, the most centralized constitution is a unitary state, and the least centralized constitution is a confederation of states. In regards to the sovereignty over the state, the most centralized constitutions are a monarchy or tyranny, and the least centralized constitutions are a democracy or republic.

So according to this, the most efficient model would be thousands of petty tyrants ruling over tribes, organized into mildly liberal states, which interact in an anarchic international system...?

No. The sovereignty over the state depends on the degree of heterogeneity of the nation. A family unit would likely benefit from a patriarchal monarchy, but a larger community, such as the US, would benefit more from a Republican form of Government. The reason being, is that a monarch is much more likely to serve the general interest of a small national unit, such as a family, than a large national unit. The larger the nation the more decentralized the sovereignty must be.

Likewise, a unitary state is ideal for a small homogenous nation like New Hampshire, but not for a large heterogeneous nation like the United States. The United States requires the decentralization of either a Federation or Confederation of Unitary States. Uniform laws are beneficial only when the population is uniform, otherwise the effects will not be uniform. When the population becomes more diverse, decentralization is required, so that each homogenous state can determine what policies are best for their sub-nation.

When implementing polices one also needs to take into consideration the effects of those policies. For example; each of the 50 states have their own healthcare needs. If the US was to implement a uniform national health service some states would be paying for benefits they don't need, because other states need those benefits. Likewise, some states would not get the benefits they need included in the plan, because most states don't have any use for those benefits. In addition, the cost vs benefit of the plan may be disproportionate between the states. Some states may have a cost benefit ratio of 1:2 while others have a cost benefit ration of 2:1. Some states may be better off with privatized healthcare while others may be better of with socialized healthcare. This is why the degree of homogeneity plays a role in determining which policies should be enacted and which policies should not be enacted.

It all depends on the Nation's homogeneity, in various aspects of the community. Not every nation is the same.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
wrichcirw
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10/12/2013 3:34:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/12/2013 1:38:19 PM, DanT wrote:
At 10/11/2013 10:42:42 PM, rross wrote:
At 10/11/2013 11:13:51 AM, DanT wrote:
A government is any organized body with legislative powers, and a state is any government body with executive powers. A nation is an aggregate of people with a common culture; a nation may or may not be governed by a government body.

The role of a government is to govern the people; that is to say the role of a government is to create policies for the nation. The role of a state is to lead a nation; that is to say the role of a state is to administer government policies.

Because a state is a leader, and leadership requires followers, the state ultimately derives it's authority from the nation. Without followers one cannot be a leader.

As for the policies of government. The more heterogeneous a nation the more decentralized the government should be. The more homogeneous a nation the more centralized the government should be. This is why socialist policies may work well for a small tribe or clan but not for a large nation. The Roman empire's collapse was due to the over-centralization of a government making policies for a heterogeneous nation. As Lao Tzu once said "governing a large nation is like cooking a small fish, too much poking and prodding spoils it."

How interesting. Why is this, though? Is it an observation based on histories of successful organization, or a theory based on knowledge about human social behavior?

Both. It is firmly grounded in social science. It is one of the key principles I learned in my organizational behavior course. Anyone with at least an Associates in Management or Leadership should have learned this in college.

Your tone here is not only inaccurate, but insulting as well.

The highlighted is complete fabrication. According to you, Congress (and not the POTUS or the SCOTUS) is "government" and the President (and not the rest of DC) is the "state".
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
rross
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10/12/2013 7:54:33 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/12/2013 7:45:12 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/12/2013 7:43:23 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/11/2013 10:34:11 PM, rross wrote:

2) Your point about colonies was weaker than I expected.

Sorry, I didn't mean for this to come out as it did...just that when I first read your argument I found it quite convincing, but after some though found it much easier to refute than I expected it to be.

OK :)

So what was that refutation? That colonization involved military force and so economic gains are invalid? Or that the colonization did not result in economic gain? Or that overall gain was not evenly distributed and so doesn't count?

Take the example of the Incan Empire and the Spanish. Both were successful economically before the conquistadors arrived, but when they did arrive, suddenly South American gold, which had had little value to the South Americans, became extremely valuable. By shipping that gold to Spain, there was a huge economic gain, right? Decisions were made to benefit the Spanish at the expense of the South Americans. But overall, there was no economic collapse (your original point - that governmental preference to one section of the populace leads to economic collapse). Although there's no question that the South American population, practically enslaved for centuries, were disadvantaged.
wrichcirw
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10/12/2013 8:02:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/12/2013 7:54:33 PM, rross wrote:
At 10/12/2013 7:45:12 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/12/2013 7:43:23 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/11/2013 10:34:11 PM, rross wrote:

2) Your point about colonies was weaker than I expected.

Sorry, I didn't mean for this to come out as it did...just that when I first read your argument I found it quite convincing, but after some though found it much easier to refute than I expected it to be.

OK :)

So what was that refutation? That colonization involved military force and so economic gains are invalid? Or that the colonization did not result in economic gain? Or that overall gain was not evenly distributed and so doesn't count?

The colony's well-being only mattered to the extent that it enriched the colonial power. Economic gains for the colony proper are thus invalid. All that matters is the gains for the colonist.

Take the example of the Incan Empire and the Spanish. Both were successful economically before the conquistadors arrived, but when they did arrive, suddenly South American gold, which had had little value to the South Americans, became extremely valuable. By shipping that gold to Spain, there was a huge economic gain, right? Decisions were made to benefit the Spanish at the expense of the South Americans. But overall, there was no economic collapse (your original point - that governmental preference to one section of the populace leads to economic collapse). Although there's no question that the South American population, practically enslaved for centuries, were disadvantaged.

Wait. The Incans were wiped out by the Spanish. Where are you getting your rendition from?
http://en.wikipedia.org...
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
rross
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10/12/2013 8:03:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/11/2013 10:02:31 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/11/2013 12:11:21 AM, rross wrote:
At 9/26/2013 11:41:08 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

I just don't understand this. The most efficient form of government, I would think, would be to have a ruling class that's trained from childhood for government. Better would be some kind of dictatorship so that the inefficiencies of elections are avoided and all the inefficiencies of turnover. And we're seeing this a bit in Western democracies, with these dynasties of politicians.

The way I see it, this kind of efficiency is detrimental to the aims of democracy which should include some sort of representativeness in government.

To address your comparison with democracy directly, the idea is that there is ambivalence in many political decisions made, and that this ambivalence results in unclear choices for the administrator. If this administrator is a dictator with little to no connection to the populace (and it seems you are indeed advocating a distinct, separate distinction between this governing class and the populace), then this dictator will invariably make decisions that benefit the administration over the objections of the populace, because his/her training has been geared towards such.

Well, given that this administration owes its very existence to the economic veracity of the populace, this type of setup will invariably lead to the collapse of the economy, and thus the collapse of the dictatorship. Marie Antoinette immediately comes to mind.

What if the populace was so oppressed that it didn't object to anything? What if the populace revered the administrators? Then this would be the most efficient model, right? It's only when the populace starts to get restless that problems arise.
rross
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10/12/2013 8:07:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/12/2013 8:02:15 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/12/2013 7:54:33 PM, rross wrote:
At 10/12/2013 7:45:12 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/12/2013 7:43:23 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/11/2013 10:34:11 PM, rross wrote:

2) Your point about colonies was weaker than I expected.

Sorry, I didn't mean for this to come out as it did...just that when I first read your argument I found it quite convincing, but after some though found it much easier to refute than I expected it to be.

OK :)

So what was that refutation? That colonization involved military force and so economic gains are invalid? Or that the colonization did not result in economic gain? Or that overall gain was not evenly distributed and so doesn't count?

The colony's well-being only mattered to the extent that it enriched the colonial power. Economic gains for the colony proper are thus invalid. All that matters is the gains for the colonist.

Take the example of the Incan Empire and the Spanish. Both were successful economically before the conquistadors arrived, but when they did arrive, suddenly South American gold, which had had little value to the South Americans, became extremely valuable. By shipping that gold to Spain, there was a huge economic gain, right? Decisions were made to benefit the Spanish at the expense of the South Americans. But overall, there was no economic collapse (your original point - that governmental preference to one section of the populace leads to economic collapse). Although there's no question that the South American population, practically enslaved for centuries, were disadvantaged.

Wait. The Incans were wiped out by the Spanish. Where are you getting your rendition from?
http://en.wikipedia.org...

The Incas were just the leaders, the kings, of the empire. So, yeah, maybe they were killed off but the population remained. I think sometimes people talk about the Incas as the particular tribe, but they were just the ruling tribe that had taken over all the other tribes in the empire. They weren't all killed, although many were, I suppose. But anyway, the indigenous population outnumbered the Spanish and still does, I think, although most of olivia, Equidor, Peru and Chile (the location of the old empire) is mixed up racially.
wrichcirw
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10/12/2013 8:07:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/12/2013 8:03:20 PM, rross wrote:
At 10/11/2013 10:02:31 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/11/2013 12:11:21 AM, rross wrote:
At 9/26/2013 11:41:08 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

I just don't understand this. The most efficient form of government, I would think, would be to have a ruling class that's trained from childhood for government. Better would be some kind of dictatorship so that the inefficiencies of elections are avoided and all the inefficiencies of turnover. And we're seeing this a bit in Western democracies, with these dynasties of politicians.

The way I see it, this kind of efficiency is detrimental to the aims of democracy which should include some sort of representativeness in government.

To address your comparison with democracy directly, the idea is that there is ambivalence in many political decisions made, and that this ambivalence results in unclear choices for the administrator. If this administrator is a dictator with little to no connection to the populace (and it seems you are indeed advocating a distinct, separate distinction between this governing class and the populace), then this dictator will invariably make decisions that benefit the administration over the objections of the populace, because his/her training has been geared towards such.

Well, given that this administration owes its very existence to the economic veracity of the populace, this type of setup will invariably lead to the collapse of the economy, and thus the collapse of the dictatorship. Marie Antoinette immediately comes to mind.

What if the populace was so oppressed that it didn't object to anything?

oppression:
unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power

http://www.merriam-webster.com...

The idea here is that if they didn't object to anything, then they weren't oppressed.

What if the populace revered the administrators?

Why would they? Are you pointing to the Incas here? Because IMHO you were materially mistaken there. Colonization did not benefit the Incas at all, indeed it destroyed them, as it did the Aztecs as well.

Then this would be the most efficient model, right? It's only when the populace starts to get restless that problems arise.

lol, one phrase readily comes to mind: "Let them eat cake!"
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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10/12/2013 8:10:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/12/2013 8:07:25 PM, rross wrote:
At 10/12/2013 8:02:15 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/12/2013 7:54:33 PM, rross wrote:
At 10/12/2013 7:45:12 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/12/2013 7:43:23 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/11/2013 10:34:11 PM, rross wrote:

2) Your point about colonies was weaker than I expected.

Sorry, I didn't mean for this to come out as it did...just that when I first read your argument I found it quite convincing, but after some though found it much easier to refute than I expected it to be.

OK :)

So what was that refutation? That colonization involved military force and so economic gains are invalid? Or that the colonization did not result in economic gain? Or that overall gain was not evenly distributed and so doesn't count?

The colony's well-being only mattered to the extent that it enriched the colonial power. Economic gains for the colony proper are thus invalid. All that matters is the gains for the colonist.

Take the example of the Incan Empire and the Spanish. Both were successful economically before the conquistadors arrived, but when they did arrive, suddenly South American gold, which had had little value to the South Americans, became extremely valuable. By shipping that gold to Spain, there was a huge economic gain, right? Decisions were made to benefit the Spanish at the expense of the South Americans. But overall, there was no economic collapse (your original point - that governmental preference to one section of the populace leads to economic collapse). Although there's no question that the South American population, practically enslaved for centuries, were disadvantaged.

Wait. The Incans were wiped out by the Spanish. Where are you getting your rendition from?
http://en.wikipedia.org...

The Incas were just the leaders, the kings, of the empire. So, yeah, maybe they were killed off but the population remained.

No, according to the wiki, most of the population was wiped out too:

After the fall of the Inca Empire many aspects of Inca culture were systematically destroyed, including their sophisticated farming system, known as the vertical archipelago model of agriculture.[19] Spanish colonial officials used the Inca mita corv"e labor system for colonial aims, sometimes brutally. One member of each family was forced to work in the gold and silver mines, the foremost of which was the titanic silver mine at Potos". When a family member died, which would usually happen within a year or two, the family would be required to send a replacement.[citation needed]
The effects of smallpox on the Inca empire were even more devastating. Beginning in Colombia, smallpox spread rapidly before the Spanish invaders first arrived in the empire. The spread was probably aided by the efficient Inca road system. Within a few years smallpox claimed between 60% and 94% of the Inca population,[citation needed] with other waves of European disease weakening them further. Smallpox was only the first epidemic.[20] Typhus (probably) in 1546, influenza and smallpox together in 1558, smallpox again in 1589, diphtheria in 1614, measles in 1618 " all ravaged the remains of Inca culture.

I think sometimes people talk about the Incas as the particular tribe, but they were just the ruling tribe that had taken over all the other tribes in the empire. They weren't all killed, although many were, I suppose. But anyway, the indigenous population outnumbered the Spanish and still does, I think, although most of olivia, Equidor, Peru and Chile (the location of the old empire) is mixed up racially.

I do very much believe you are absolutely mistaken in your assumptions. The Incas were largely wiped out in every manner conceivable, culturally, politically, and physically/genetically.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
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10/12/2013 8:12:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Even without the wiki, I do remember learning in high school that the Incas were systematically wiped out by the Spanish. I don't know where you are getting your rendition from. Regardless, it is coloring your judgment on the effects of the "white man's burden".
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
DanT
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10/13/2013 12:32:07 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/12/2013 3:34:18 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/12/2013 1:38:19 PM, DanT wrote:
At 10/11/2013 10:42:42 PM, rross wrote:
At 10/11/2013 11:13:51 AM, DanT wrote:
A government is any organized body with legislative powers, and a state is any government body with executive powers. A nation is an aggregate of people with a common culture; a nation may or may not be governed by a government body.

The role of a government is to govern the people; that is to say the role of a government is to create policies for the nation. The role of a state is to lead a nation; that is to say the role of a state is to administer government policies.

Because a state is a leader, and leadership requires followers, the state ultimately derives it's authority from the nation. Without followers one cannot be a leader.

As for the policies of government. The more heterogeneous a nation the more decentralized the government should be. The more homogeneous a nation the more centralized the government should be. This is why socialist policies may work well for a small tribe or clan but not for a large nation. The Roman empire's collapse was due to the over-centralization of a government making policies for a heterogeneous nation. As Lao Tzu once said "governing a large nation is like cooking a small fish, too much poking and prodding spoils it."

How interesting. Why is this, though? Is it an observation based on histories of successful organization, or a theory based on knowledge about human social behavior?

Both. It is firmly grounded in social science. It is one of the key principles I learned in my organizational behavior course. Anyone with at least an Associates in Management or Leadership should have learned this in college.

Your tone here is not only inaccurate, but insulting as well.

The highlighted is complete fabrication. According to you, Congress (and not the POTUS or the SCOTUS) is "government" and the President (and not the rest of DC) is the "state".

Nice strawman. That is not what I said. A state is a government with executive authority. Not all governments are states but all states are governments.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
DanT
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10/13/2013 12:50:32 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
"In order to achieve the highest level of good governance, the best choice for the type of political system (centralization or decentralization) depends on the structure of the society (homogeneous or not). Centralization is best in homogeneous societies, while decentralization is best in heterogeneous societies."
http://www.palgrave-journals.com...
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
wrichcirw
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10/13/2013 3:00:51 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/13/2013 12:32:07 AM, DanT wrote:
At 10/12/2013 1:38:19 PM, DanT wrote:

A government is any organized body with legislative powers, and a state is any government body with executive powers. A nation is an aggregate of people with a common culture; a nation may or may not be governed by a government body.

Nice strawman. That is not what I said. A state is a government with executive authority. Not all governments are states but all states are governments.

One day, for your sake, I hope you will be able to figure out how you can work on clarity, and how your statements here have been unclear. I will leave it at that, because I know arguing with you is almost completely pointless.

I will also point out that it would behoove you to be less insulting to those that did not insult you. I don't know why you sought to be condescending with your statement that "Anyone with at least an Associates in Management or Leadership should have learned this in college," although I do not know why anyone would try to be condescending with such a statement. At any rate, that is not my business, I just found it offensive to read.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
rross
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10/13/2013 4:34:16 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/12/2013 8:10:40 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/12/2013 8:07:25 PM, rross wrote:
At 10/12/2013 8:02:15 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
Wait. The Incans were wiped out by the Spanish. Where are you getting your rendition from?
http://en.wikipedia.org...

The Incas were just the leaders, the kings, of the empire. So, yeah, maybe they were killed off but the population remained.

No, according to the wiki, most of the population was wiped out too:

After the fall of the Inca Empire many aspects of Inca culture were systematically destroyed, including their sophisticated farming system, known as the vertical archipelago model of agriculture.[19] Spanish colonial officials used the Inca mita corv"e labor system for colonial aims, sometimes brutally. One member of each family was forced to work in the gold and silver mines, the foremost of which was the titanic silver mine at Potos". When a family member died, which would usually happen within a year or two, the family would be required to send a replacement.[citation needed]
The effects of smallpox on the Inca empire were even more devastating. Beginning in Colombia, smallpox spread rapidly before the Spanish invaders first arrived in the empire. The spread was probably aided by the efficient Inca road system. Within a few years smallpox claimed between 60% and 94% of the Inca population,[citation needed] with other waves of European disease weakening them further. Smallpox was only the first epidemic.[20] Typhus (probably) in 1546, influenza and smallpox together in 1558, smallpox again in 1589, diphtheria in 1614, measles in 1618 " all ravaged the remains of Inca culture.

I think sometimes people talk about the Incas as the particular tribe, but they were just the ruling tribe that had taken over all the other tribes in the empire. They weren't all killed, although many were, I suppose. But anyway, the indigenous population outnumbered the Spanish and still does, I think, although most of olivia, Equidor, Peru and Chile (the location of the old empire) is mixed up racially.

I do very much believe you are absolutely mistaken in your assumptions. The Incas were largely wiped out in every manner conceivable, culturally, politically, and physically/genetically.

I suppose it depends what you mean by Incas. But descendants of the pre-Spanish population of the Inca Empire are still the majority of the modern population.

I think perhaps you're getting confused with other parts of South America, notably Argentina, where the original populations disappeared almost entirely.

According to the CIA, about 55% of Bolivians are Quechua or Aymara, and another 30% are mestizos (mixed-race). Only 15% are European descendants. There are similar proportions in Peru.
https://www.cia.gov...
rross
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10/13/2013 4:45:46 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/12/2013 8:12:27 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
Even without the wiki, I do remember learning in high school that the Incas were systematically wiped out by the Spanish. I don't know where you are getting your rendition from. Regardless, it is coloring your judgment on the effects of the "white man's burden".

o_O
I thought we were discussing your idea, that government is (or should be) designed for maximal efficiency.

I have never had that belief, myself. From your comments, I've assumed that by maximal efficiency, you mean maximal economic efficiency. And I was only trying to illustrate the idea that other, less desirable, forms of government might be more efficient than democracy. And because they're less desirable, it means that maximal efficiency is not the only consideration when assessing a democratic system of government.

But maybe it would help if you described "maximal efficiency" a bit more. I'm not really sure what you mean.
rross
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10/13/2013 6:14:18 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/13/2013 12:50:32 AM, DanT wrote:
"In order to achieve the highest level of good governance, the best choice for the type of political system (centralization or decentralization) depends on the structure of the society (homogeneous or not). Centralization is best in homogeneous societies, while decentralization is best in heterogeneous societies."
http://www.palgrave-journals.com...

I can't access this article, and the abstract doesn't mention the methodology.

At 10/12/2013 1:38:19 PM, DanT wrote:
At 10/11/2013 10:42:42 PM, rross wrote:
At 10/11/2013 11:13:51 AM, DanT wrote:

As for the policies of government. The more heterogeneous a nation the more decentralized the government should be. The more homogeneous a nation the more centralized the government should be. This is why socialist policies may work well for a small tribe or clan but not for a large nation. The Roman empire's collapse was due to the over-centralization of a government making policies for a heterogeneous nation. As Lao Tzu once said "governing a large nation is like cooking a small fish, too much poking and prodding spoils it."

How interesting. Why is this, though? Is it an observation based on histories of successful organization, or a theory based on knowledge about human social behavior?

Both. It is firmly grounded in social science. It is one of the key principles I learned in my organizational behavior course. Anyone with at least an Associates in Management or Leadership should have learned this in college.

It should be easy for you to explain then :)

In particular, which theories of human behavior is it based on? And what evidence exactly?
DanT
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10/13/2013 8:58:44 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/13/2013 3:00:51 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/13/2013 12:32:07 AM, DanT wrote:
At 10/12/2013 1:38:19 PM, DanT wrote:

A government is any organized body with legislative powers, and a state is any government body with executive powers. A nation is an aggregate of people with a common culture; a nation may or may not be governed by a government body.

Nice strawman. That is not what I said. A state is a government with executive authority. Not all governments are states but all states are governments.

One day, for your sake, I hope you will be able to figure out how you can work on clarity, and how your statements here have been unclear. I will leave it at that, because I know arguing with you is almost completely pointless.

It is not my clarity that needs work, it your your ability to digest and grasp what you hear and read. I made a clear point to define a state as a "government" body, and a government as an "organized" body. If a state is not a government, it cannot be a government body. You need to actually read what people write before making snap responses.
I will also point out that it would behoove you to be less insulting to those that did not insult you.
I did not insult anyone. You are the only person here that is being insulting.
I don't know why you sought to be condescending with your statement that "Anyone with at least an Associates in Management or Leadership should have learned this in college," although I do not know why anyone would try to be condescending with such a statement. At any rate, that is not my business, I just found it offensive to read.

I was not being condescending, I was stating a fact. I have an AS degree in that field. It is one of the most important primary principles taught in the field. My audience does not necessarily have a degree in that field, so I was making clear the fundamental nature of the principle to such a field of study. If I wanted to be condescending, I would have been more open about it. Just because you feel stupid after reading what I said, does not mean it was my intent to belittle you. That is your reaction, not my intent.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle