The Government's Role? Society or Liberty?

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Society or Liberty?

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Total Votes : 7

The Government's Role? Society or Liberty?

Post by TNine on Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:12 pm

DON'T VOTE FOR DEMOCRATIC, AS WAS POINTED OUT THAT'S NOT REALLY A "DIFFERENT" OPTION

"He who sacrifices freedom for security, deserves neither."-Benjamin Franklin
"Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." John F. Kennedy

This an interesting problem that i've grappled with, and was wondering your opinions on it. What is the ultimate role of government in society? To create prosperity, regulate economy, and help the helpless? Or to protect liberty and enforce laws? Of course, modern day government does both, to varying degrees. What's interesting is that there is rarely clear lines of someone who wants one without wanting the other two:

Liberty stands for:
Deregulation of the economy
Freedom of marriage (ie Gay Marriage)
Drug legalization (across the board, too)
Lower taxes
Internet Freedom

Society stands for:
Economic regulation
Marriage regulation
Universal healthcare
Welfare
Minimum Wage
Scientific advancement (ie NASA)
Higher Taxes
Affirmative Action

Interesting how, in the US at least, both parties take positions on both sides. Social freedom vs social benefits, internet freedom vs economic freedom. Both positions have benefits and losses, and the extreme in either direction can lead to amoral industrial complex or invasive communistic police states. But where do you draw the line? How do you define what issues in which the government should respect the individual, as opposed to what issues in which the government should force people to take certain actions for the greater good? Can you justify an issue as protecting liberty while simultaneously asking the government to impose regulation on another issue to protect society?

Perhaps it should be truly democratic, where the everyone decides what issues the government should act on. But what is the guiding principle for society? Don't forget, democratic institutions can easily turn into mob mentality--look at public executions and lynchings. Is it better to appeal to the masses? Does the government have the right to go against the masses in order to protect them? If not, then who protects the minorities? Who decides what rights an individual has, and what is merely a privilege?


Last edited by TNine on Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:43 pm; edited 6 times in total
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Re: The Government's Role? Society or Liberty?

Post by KrAzY on Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:06 pm

your poll and separation and definition of society and liberty seems arbirtary and inaccurate.

how about you edit this and just ask people to talk about their positions, as opposed to making this a confusing mess from post 1
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Re: The Government's Role? Society or Liberty?

Post by Nocbl2 on Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:24 pm

^ agreed.

Don't define "society" or "liberty". Because

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Re: The Government's Role? Society or Liberty?

Post by Kasrkin Seath on Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:01 pm

Well, from how the two terms were defined above, Liberty sounds more like no government while much of society seems to include functions which by default are in the territory of a government.

However, both groups seem to be poorly thrown together.
For example...

- Marriage Regulation falls under society and Gay Marriage under Liberty, yet for the government to legalize and protect gay marriage it is regulating marriage as a whole.

- Less Welfare Systems is part of Liberty, implying that they exist under the system, yet Welfare in its entirety is under Society as well. So The difference between the two in that regard is that one has less than the other, which happens to have an undefined amount.

Also, a possibility is posed at the end: "Perhaps it should be truly democratic, where the everyone decides what issues the government should act on. " I have a bit of an issue with the statement as though this is separate from "Liberty" and "Society". I have a bit of an issue with the statement as Democracy is separate from "Liberty" and "Society". Democracy is a form of government, "Liberty" and "Society" are not; they are abstract ideas as to the purpose of government.

Overall, I think the initial post needs a rewrite.


Last edited by Kasrkin Seath on Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:27 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Government's Role? Society or Liberty?

Post by TNine on Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:15 pm

KrAzY wrote:your poll and separation and definition of society and liberty seems arbirtary and inaccurate.
That's because i suck at writing, apparently. It simplifies into "how much power should government have", and whether the government has the right to infringe on the rights of the individual in order to benefit everyone. But i ended up rambling a bit, i admit.

However, i don't think that any of the distinctions i made are "arbitrary", quite the contrary i think that they are the logical conclusion to the different positions taken.

Kasrkin Seath wrote:Well, from how the two terms were defined above, Liberty sounds more like no government while much of society seems to include functions which by default are in the territory of a government.
Economic regulation is by default in the territory of the government? Marriage regulation is by default in the territory of the government? Internet freedom?

- Marriage Regulation falls under society and Gay Marriage under Liberty, yet for the government to legalize and protect gay marriage it is regulating marriage as a whole.
If there is no regulation on marriage than gay marriage is, by default, legal, since there are no laws against it.

- Less Welfare Systems is part of Liberty, implying that they exist under the system, yet Welfare in its entirety is under Society as well. So The difference between the two in that regard is that one has less than the other, which happens to have an undefined amount.
I was trying to define a dichotomy, though since i don't create a dichotomy on all points its a bit confusing.

Also, a possibility is posed at the end: "Perhaps it should be truly democratic, where the everyone decides what issues the government should act on. " I have a bit of an issue with the statement as though this is separate from "Liberty" and "Society". Democracy is a form of government, "Liberty" and "Society" are not; they are abstract ideas as to the purpose of government.
This was stupid, i was trying to suggest how to impose an "arbitrary" limit (which is pretty much what we have now), but i probably shouldn't have put it in the poll.

how about you edit this and just ask people to talk about their positions, as opposed to making this a confusing mess from post 1
Overall, I think the initial post needs a rewrite.
Yeah, i probably should have left this up and edited it rather than impulse-posting it.
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Re: The Government's Role? Society or Liberty?

Post by dragoon9105 on Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:25 pm

A tool which i will use on my path to world domination along with cloning technology railguns and Donuts.
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Re: The Government's Role? Society or Liberty?

Post by Kasrkin Seath on Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:41 pm


Kasrkin Seath wrote:Well, from how the two terms were defined above, Liberty sounds more like no government while much of society seems to include functions which by default are in the territory of a government.
Economic regulation is by default in the territory of the government? Marriage regulation is by default in the territory of the government? Internet freedom?
Regulation is carried out by a governing body.
Internet Freedom wasn't even listed under Society.


- Marriage Regulation falls under society and Gay Marriage under Liberty, yet for the government to legalize and protect gay marriage it is regulating marriage as a whole.
If there is no regulation on marriage than gay marriage is, by default, legal, since there are no laws against it.
If there is no regulation on marriage under liberty, it would probably be better to say that instead of just "Gay Marriage" to avoid confusion. Also, using "Gay Marriage" in Liberty implies that it does not exist under Society.

Anyways, dropping out of "ARGUE EVERYTHING" mode, I think this would make a good debate with the individual ideas (Regulation/Lack of for Economy, marriage, etc.; Welfare vs. No Welfare) presented as the major points instead of the two conflicting concepts(Liberty and Society) which are in regards to the overall purpose of government.

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Re: The Government's Role? Society or Liberty?

Post by KristallNacht on Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:30 pm

I believe the government has no reason to get involved in lots of things, except for pure corruptions sake.

Marriage shouldn't be so regulated (formerly in the form of no interracial marriages, and currently with no gay marriage) and that is clearly a sign of corruption by religion.

Fundamentally the issue of the government regulating the economy is shit, because the economy can't be regulated in any decent way. It has natural laws, and regulation inherently ignores that fact (minimum wage, 'job creation', stimulus, etc)

now, onto your quotes, I agree with both, but don't fully understand how they apply to the argument as you presented it.

And I fully hate the idea of democracy (its the worst form of government, aside from all the rest) because voters are too damned stupid to research ideas and then only vote for the things they know and understand. There's a big social push for people to vote, but not to learn about the options. As was pointed out to me by "Stranger in a strange land" by Robert Heinlein, you have to fully understand something before you can be for or against it. Democracy is really just about the most sensationalist side winning, regardless of whether its better or worse.
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Re: The Government's Role? Society or Liberty?

Post by CivBase on Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:14 am

I think the government's roll in the economy should be only to preserve competition, collect their taxes, providing public goods, and nothing more. As far as moral intervention, the government should be responsible for protecting our basic rights (as already defined by the constitution) through the creation, enforcement, and careful interpretation and application of laws.

That is not to say that every action permitted by this description is necessarily an appropriate one.

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Re: The Government's Role? Society or Liberty?

Post by TNine on Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:43 pm

Kasrkin Seath wrote:

Economic regulation is by default in the territory of the government? Marriage regulation is by default in the territory of the government? Internet freedom?
Regulation is carried out by a governing body.
Internet Freedom wasn't even listed under Society.
Well, yes, any form of regulation is by default part of the government, that's why we call it "regulation". That does not mean that it is by default the territory of the government--plenty of people don't think the government should be in the economy at all.


If there is no regulation on marriage than gay marriage is, by default, legal, since there are no laws against it.
If there is no regulation on marriage under liberty, it would probably be better to say that instead of just "Gay Marriage" to avoid confusion. Also, using "Gay Marriage" in Liberty implies that it does not exist under Society.
I was just trying to juxtapose liberal and conservative beliefs--i'll try to make it less confusing.

Anyways, dropping out of "ARGUE EVERYTHING" mode, I think this would make a good debate with the individual ideas (Regulation/Lack of for Economy, marriage, etc.; Welfare vs. No Welfare) presented as the major points instead of the two conflicting concepts(Liberty and Society) which are in regards to the overall purpose of government.
And i think the point is that you really can't do that. Who decides on what issues government should intervene? Isn't it hypocritical to say that the government has no right to regulate marriage, then say they have every right to regulate the economy? (That's not a rhetorical question, by the way--i'm legitimately interesting in knowing whether you think it's hypocritical.)

KristallNacht wrote:I believe the government has no reason to get involved in lots of things, except for pure corruptions sake.
I don't know if you mean government corruption or economic corruption. If its economic corruption--who gets to decide what actions a business takes that are "corrupt".

Marriage shouldn't be so regulated (formerly in the form of no interracial marriages, and currently with no gay marriage) and that is clearly a sign of corruption by religion.
I'm going to go ahead and agree with you on this issue--i don't think it's the government jobs to enforce personal ethics.

Fundamentally the issue of the government regulating the economy is shit, because the economy can't be regulated in any decent way. It has natural laws, and regulation inherently ignores that fact (minimum wage, 'job creation', stimulus, etc)
But an unregulated economy leads to heavily oppressive and destructive aristocracy-powered economies. Look at late 1800 and early 1900 industrial America--conditions were absolutely awful for a lot of people until the government was able to intervene.

And I fully hate the idea of democracy (its the worst form of government, aside from all the rest) because voters are too damned stupid to research ideas and then only vote for the things they know and understand. There's a big social push for people to vote, but not to learn about the options. As was pointed out to me by "Stranger in a strange land" by Robert Heinlein, you have to fully understand something before you can be for or against it. Democracy is really just about the most sensationalist side winning, regardless of whether its better or worse.
If you don't think that the common person is smart enough to make decisions, do you agree that the government should have the right to protect people against themselves--ignore the wishes of the masses in order to do the right thing? It's a fine line to walk.

I agree with your assessment on empowerment without intelligence--people vote on things without understanding them. But, on the other hand, stupid people are more likely to think they understand an issue than a smart person is, and who can judge whether someone is "smart" enough to vote?
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Re: The Government's Role? Society or Liberty?

Post by KristallNacht on Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:01 pm

TNine wrote:stupid people are more likely to think they understand an issue than a smart person is, and who can judge whether someone is "smart" enough to vote?

and that's where the real problem exists.

And the case of what they did to improve conditions of labor in the industrial age was NOT regulation of the economy, but regulation of basic human welfare. Economic regulation is things like minimum wage, stimulus plans, and 'job creation'. The economy will always be as good as the people allow it to be. Regulation just puts on a cap on how good it can be.
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