What do I owe society?

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What do I owe society?

Postby edy420 on October 14th, 2010, 11:32 pm 

The Government imposes many laws and taxes a lot of my money.

I'd be happy to live in a bush hut somewhere, but that is not possible due to the fact that all land is owned by someone. (in my country anyway)

Why should I follow the laws or pay taxes, if I don't want to be a part of society at all?
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Re: What do I owe society?

Postby CanadysPeak on October 15th, 2010, 7:33 am 

edy420 wrote:The Government imposes many laws and taxes a lot of my money.

I'd be happy to live in a bush hut somewhere, but that is not possible due to the fact that all land is owned by someone. (in my country anyway)

Why should I follow the laws or pay taxes, if I don't want to be a part of society at all?


The short answer, and I don't mean this to be hostile at all, is that man is a social animal. We have complex "packs" with multiple relationships and heirarchies. But, at some level, we are not that different from the African Painted Dog (I think you live in Africa and, thus, probably just call them Wild Dog). The Columbus Zoo has a breeding program for these dogs, and the vets there have learned that, if they have to tranquilize one dog and handle it, they must tranquilize and handle the entire pack; else, when the tranquilized dog wakes up five hours later, the rest of the pack tears it apart.

We humans do the same. We use drug laws, chain gangs, lethal injections, or (when we're veddy polite) shunning, but we attack those who are different. The Psychologist Elliot Aronson has studied and written widely about this phenomenon.

There was also an excellent play in the 50's called The Beard if I recall correctly. I don't have information about it, but it dealt with an American man who returned from a hunting trip with a beard (as was common then) and delayed shaving it off. Within days he was the object of hate, violence, and ostracism. If I had to guess, I would suspect it was by Shirley Jackson, but I can't locate it now.

So, if you decide to live outside society, and we find you, we may well kill you. Your only hope is to cultivate a special talent or religious pretension. This seems to work for NFL quarterbacks and fundamentalist megapastors.
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Re: What do I owe society?

Postby Forest_Dump on October 15th, 2010, 8:48 am 

"Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains." The opening line from Jean-Jacques Rousseau's 1762 "The Social Contract." As good a place as any to start.
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Re: What do I owe society?

Postby HigherLvlofThinking on October 15th, 2010, 10:08 am 

I say just go and do it. Live off the land and a few pounds of rice and see how you would like it out in the wilderness!! i loved it
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Re: What do I owe society?

Postby edy420 on October 15th, 2010, 12:02 pm 

There seems to be too much to have to worry about, like being ostracised etc.
But living with society means having to put up with morals that I don't always agree with, that are imposed on me by way of laws and having to work 40hrs a week just to survive.

I'm not interested in just surviving, paying a mortgage for half of my working life and being stuck in the middle class work force just because I don't know how to play monopoly, nor do I want to take part in an economic system that encourages putting profit first.

I live in New Zealand, which isn't a very large country, so places to go camping/living are not all that abundant.
Where there is native forestry, there is no option of just moving there because it's illegal to cut down native trees which would be a necessity for such a way of life.

What I want to know, is why am I born with no option at all, but to take part in this slavery that demands I pay tax and follow silly laws that get innocent mothers locked up for simply disciplining their children. (ie smacking)
Silly laws that prevent me from growing one of man's most versatile plants that can actually provide me with all my living needs, if I were to go bush. (marijuana would play a big part in providing me with medicine, shelter and food, but is illegal to grow here)
Silly laws that demand I pay fines "or else go to jail".

If I don't accept the Governments contract of slavery and do as they say, I go to jail, but what right do they have to prevent me from living the way I want to?
All I am asking for is my freedom, but instead I am forced into a life of being a criminal, in order to achieve the type of freedom I want, which IMO, I have the right to.
What is there to say that I don't have this right.
would it not be ethical to turn down a corrupt system, or do I have to just take part in it because the Government knows what is best for me? (corrupt from my perspective)

I can see how my co-operation can benefit the Government and society, but that does not mean that I Must take part, so what does?

(BTW ill look into what has been suggested so far, when I get some more time)
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Re: What do I owe society?

Postby HigherLvlofThinking on October 15th, 2010, 1:48 pm 

I get what you mean man. Im not a fan of living in America or even society at all. I wish we could all just be free without any laws or goverments telling us what to do when they really dont have the right too?
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Re: What do I owe society?

Postby CanadysPeak on October 15th, 2010, 4:25 pm 

curly_kid13 wrote:I get what you mean man. Im not a fan of living in America or even society at all. I wish we could all just be free without any laws or goverments telling us what to do when they really dont have the right too?


There are places where you can go to completely escape laws and regulations: the tribal areas of Pakistan; northern Chihuahua; or Mogadishu come quickly to mind, but is that really what you want? There are not many areas of unsettled wilderness left and the few that exist are hardly conducive to life. As long as you live within settled areas among others, of course they have the right to tell you what to do. It is unethical to expect to be able to piss in the drinking water of downstream communities. It is unethical to expect to be able to burn firewood in Manhattan. It is unethical to expect to be able to pick fruit from trees that you have not planted.

But, you do have the freedom to emigrate. Select a place and move there, if they'll have you. But expect such a place to either enforce their laws or customs.
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Re: What do I owe society?

Postby CanadysPeak on October 15th, 2010, 4:28 pm 

edy420 wrote:There seems to be too much to have to worry about, like being ostracised etc.
But living with society means having to put up with morals that I don't always agree with, that are imposed on me by way of laws and having to work 40hrs a week just to survive.

I'm not interested in just surviving, paying a mortgage for half of my working life and being stuck in the middle class work force just because I don't know how to play monopoly, nor do I want to take part in an economic system that encourages putting profit first.

I live in New Zealand, which isn't a very large country, so places to go camping/living are not all that abundant.
Where there is native forestry, there is no option of just moving there because it's illegal to cut down native trees which would be a necessity for such a way of life.

What I want to know, is why am I born with no option at all, but to take part in this slavery that demands I pay tax and follow silly laws that get innocent mothers locked up for simply disciplining their children. (ie smacking)
Silly laws that prevent me from growing one of man's most versatile plants that can actually provide me with all my living needs, if I were to go bush. (marijuana would play a big part in providing me with medicine, shelter and food, but is illegal to grow here)
Silly laws that demand I pay fines "or else go to jail".

If I don't accept the Governments contract of slavery and do as they say, I go to jail, but what right do they have to prevent me from living the way I want to?
All I am asking for is my freedom, but instead I am forced into a life of being a criminal, in order to achieve the type of freedom I want, which IMO, I have the right to.
What is there to say that I don't have this right.
would it not be ethical to turn down a corrupt system, or do I have to just take part in it because the Government knows what is best for me? (corrupt from my perspective)

I can see how my co-operation can benefit the Government and society, but that does not mean that I Must take part, so what does?

(BTW ill look into what has been suggested so far, when I get some more time)


My apologies. I thought Africa rather than New Zealand. If you are Maori, you may have a righteous complaint, but you will have to eliminate the Europeans first, I'm afraid.
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Re: What do I owe society?

Postby Forest_Dump on October 15th, 2010, 4:44 pm 

CanadysPeak wrote:If you are Maori, you may have a righteous complaint, but you will have to eliminate the Europeans first, I'm afraid.


Of course, the same caveats would have to apply to the native peoples in Australia, North and South America, chunks of Asia and Africa.
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Re: What do I owe society?

Postby CanadysPeak on October 15th, 2010, 6:15 pm 

Forest_Dump wrote:
CanadysPeak wrote:If you are Maori, you may have a righteous complaint, but you will have to eliminate the Europeans first, I'm afraid.


Of course, the same caveats would have to apply to the native peoples in Australia, North and South America, chunks of Asia and Africa.


Do you get paranoid when one of the First People say, "Come here a minute, white man, and see if you figure out what's stuck in the barrel of my gun"?
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Re: What do I owe society?

Postby Paralith on October 15th, 2010, 7:01 pm 

You act as though there are zero benefits to living within a modern society. Government helps make sure your water is clean, that your food doesn't contain poisons, that someone will come help you if you are a victim of a crime, that an ambulance will be able to get to you if you are seriously hurt. I'm not trying to pretend that governments are perfect and do all these things 100% well, but that's really a separate issue. If you want to talk about why you think your government isn't doing a good job, you should probably take that to Politics. Regardless, living in a cooperative society brings a lot of benefits. You're not a slave, you're sometimes a donor and sometimes a receiver. That's how all cooperative relationships work. And that plays no small part in how humans have been able to spread into and thrive in almost every environment on this planet.
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Re: What do I owe society?

Postby edy420 on October 17th, 2010, 4:40 am 

Paralith wrote:You act as though there are zero benefits to living within a modern society. Government helps make sure your water is clean, that your food doesn't contain poisons, that someone will come help you if you are a victim of a crime, that an ambulance will be able to get to you if you are seriously hurt. I'm not trying to pretend that governments are perfect and do all these things 100% well, but that's really a separate issue. If you want to talk about why you think your government isn't doing a good job, you should probably take that to Politics. Regardless, living in a cooperative society brings a lot of benefits. You're not a slave, you're sometimes a donor and sometimes a receiver. That's how all cooperative relationships work. And that plays no small part in how humans have been able to spread into and thrive in almost every environment on this planet.


Hello Paralith.

I wouldn't say zero limits, but I would say limited.
To go on holiday, or do anything recreational with my family, I need to save up for at least a few months.
Education is poor, as it only knows how to teach people who understand its teaching structure.
Water is abundant, clean and free.

All that society has to offer, does not really interest me.
Apart from using a PC and the Internet, my needs and wants are easier to obtain and maintain, if I were not bound by society.

If I were to turn my back on society, what would be unethical about defending myself when I am forced to go to prison?
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Re: What do I owe society?

Postby edy420 on October 17th, 2010, 4:55 am 

CanadysPeak wrote:
Forest_Dump wrote:
CanadysPeak wrote:If you are Maori, you may have a righteous complaint, but you will have to eliminate the Europeans first, I'm afraid.


Of course, the same caveats would have to apply to the native peoples in Australia, North and South America, chunks of Asia and Africa.


Do you get paranoid when one of the First People say, "Come here a minute, white man, and see if you figure out what's stuck in the barrel of my gun"?


It's usually the other way around, lol.

There has been talk of civil war, some tribes are even setting up forts in the north.

Large tribes are making their own drivers licenses that they argue are legitimate, yet they are fined, but the fines are laughed at.
Car registrations are ignored as well as car warrants, and they are getting away with it.

If they can get away with it, then when I try to copy them, drive around with no licenses etc, what is unethical about playing with my right.
Because many Maori argue that the Maori text of the treaty, makes us exempt from the British justice system.
Personally, I don't speak Maori fluently, so I wouldn't know.

Activists, fighting for their rights are displayed as terrorists on the news.
Yet all they want is what is rightfully theirs.

All I want is the right to live how I want, but without having to fight for it.
But, if I had to fight, why would I want to fight in favour of society, when I owe them nothing?
What would be unethical about fighting society/the government, if all they can do is put me at the bottom of the ladder (lower working class) and tell me to start climbing. (learn to make money)
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Re: What do I owe society?

Postby bamahick on October 17th, 2010, 8:15 am 

I have been reading a lot of your posts edy420 and I think that your main problem is the fact that your society will not let you partake of the substance that you so dearly love. I feel your pain.

I have not messed with that stuff for years and I miss it. But i have a family that needs someone to provide for them so I can not take the risk. I cannot aford it either. It would take food from my chidren.

Are you sure you want to live in the wilderness? Why not just move to Amsterdam?
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Re: What do I owe society?

Postby Forest_Dump on October 17th, 2010, 12:20 pm 

To me there is an interesting set of theoretical questions that I would like to return to but first, a couple of more pragmatic points should be addressed.

At the most pragmatic, I am not sure there has been "free" or available land anywhere in the world for at least centuries. Land has since been given away, etc., but in all cases I can think of that has only happened after it has been taken away from someone else. Hence the so many land claims problems, etc., with various native people all over the world. This has all been the result of various conquests, etc., ultimately rationalised in a might is right ethos.

At another level, it is worth considering that no individual human can really say that they are self made and don't owe society. Even before they are born, individuals benefit from the "investment" in taxes, etc., that allowed them a safe birth, including clean water, transportation to a medical establishment, transportation of clean, safe, fresh food, education, etc. Some of these points were made above by Para, of course, and should not be overlooked. All societies have been investing in people before they were born for millions of years and even social animals "owe" something to the group they were born into.

To me, however, the most interesting component of this is as an extension of the sense of entitlement that seems to be almost universal now. "Back in the day" people were, I think, brought up with far more of a sense of duty to something bigger and broader (God, king and country, etc.). But not any more. While some of the conservative "right" might still point to some sense of duty to God or a very limited kind of patriotism (which generally doesn't extend to contributing to national health by way of the tax base) and devotion to a deity, this is clearly diminishing across the board. We instead see what seems to me a majority far more concerned about what they think they are owed without having to pay for it or contribute to or sacrifice for some good they want. I do think this sense of entitlement can be a driving force often but I also think it can go too far. So perhaps my counter question might be "why don't you think you owe society for the tens of thousands of years of investment that has resulted in what you are and can be today?"
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Re: What do I owe society?

Postby reasoning logic on October 17th, 2010, 4:56 pm 

edy420 wrote:The Government imposes many laws and taxes a lot of my money.

I'd be happy to live in a bush hut somewhere, but that is not possible due to the fact that all land is owned by someone. (in my country anyway)

Why should I follow the laws or pay taxes, if I don't want to be a part of society at all?



Modern industrial civilization has developed within a certain system of convenient myths. The driving force of modern industrial civilization has been individual material gain, which is accepted as legitimate, even praiseworthy, on the grounds that private vices yield public benefits, in the classic formulation. Now, it has long been understood, very well, that a society that is based on this principle will destroy itself in time. It can only persist, with whatever suffering and injustice that it entails, as long as it is possible to pretend that the destructive forces that humans create are limited, that the world is an infinite resource, and that the world is an infinite garbage can. At this stage of history either one of two things is possible. Either the general population will take control of its own destiny and will concern itself with community interests, guided by values of solidarity, sympathy and concern for others, or alternatively there will be no destiny for anyone to control. As long as some specialized class is in a position of authority, it is going to set policy in the special interests that it serves. But the conditions of survival, let alone justice, require rational social planning in the interests of the community as a whole, and by now that means the global community. The question is whether privileged elite should dominate mass communication and should use this power as they tell us they must -- namely to impose necessary illusions, to manipulate and deceive the stupid majority and remove them from the public arena. The question in brief, is whether democracy and freedom are values to be preserved or threats to be avoided. In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than values to be treasured; they may well be essential to survival.

In Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media, 1992


During the early stages of the industrial revolution, as England was coming out of a feudal-type of society and into what's basically a state-capitalist system, the rising bourgeoisie there had a problem. In a traditional society like the feudal system, people had a certain place, and they had certain rights - in fact, they had what was called at the time a "right to live." I mean, under feudalism it may have been a lousy right, but nevertheless people were assumed to have some natural entitlement for survival. But with the rise of what we call capitalism, that right had to be destroyed: people had to have it knocked out of their heads that they had any automatic "right to live" beyond what they could win for themselves on the labor market. And that was the main point of classical economics. Remember the context in which all of this was taking place: classical economics developed after a period in which a large part of the English population had been forcibly driven off the land they had been farming for centuries - that was by force, it wasn't a pretty picture. In fact, very likely one of the main reasons why England led the industrial revolution was just that they had been more violent in driving people off the land than in other places. For instance, in France a lot of people were able to remain on the land, and therefore they resisted industrialization more. But even after the rising bourgeoisie in England had driven millions of peasants off the land, there was a period when the population's "right to live" still was preserved by what we would today call "welfare." There was a set of laws in England which gave people rights, called the "Poor Laws" - which essentially kept you alive if you couldn't survive otherwise; they provided sort of a minimum level of subsistence, like subsidies on food and so on. And there was something called the "Corn Laws", which gave landlords certain rights beyond those they could get on the market - they raised the price of corn, that sort of thing. And together, these laws were considered among the main impediments to the new rising British industrial class - so therefore they just had to go. Well, those people needed an ideology to support their effort to knock out of people's heads the idea that they had this basic right to live, and that's what classical economics was about - classical economics said: no one has any right to live, you only have a right to what you gain for yourself on the labor market. And the founders of classical economics in fact said they'd developed a "scientific theory" of it, with - as they put it - "the certainty of the principle of gravitation." Alright, by the 1830s, political conditions in England had changed enough so that the rising bourgeoisie were able to kill the Poor Laws, and then later they managed to do away with the Corn Laws. And by around 1840 or 1845, they won the elections and took over the government. Then at that point, a very interesting thing happened. They gave up the theory, and Political Economy changed. It changed for a number of reasons. For one thing, these guys had won, so they didn't need it so much as an ideological weapon anymore. For another, they recognized that they themselves needed a powerful interventionist state to defend industry from the hardships of competition in the open market - as they always had in fact. And beyond that, eliminating people's "right to live" was starting to have some negative side-effects. First of all, it was causing riots all over the place: for a long period, the British army was mostly preoccupied with putting down riots across England. Then something even worse happened - the population started to organize: you got the beginnings of an organized labor movement, and later the Chartist movement, and then a socialist movement developed. And at that point, the elites in England recognized that the game just had to be called off, or else they really would be in trouble - so by the time you get to the second half of the nineteenth century, things like John Stuart Mill's Principles of Political Economy, which gives kind of a social-democratic line, were becoming the reigning ideology. See, the "science" happens to be a very flexible one: you can change it to do whatever you feel like, it's that kind of "science." So by the middle of the nineteenth century, the "science" had changed, and now it turned out that laissez-faire was a bad thing after all - and what you got instead were the intellectual foundations for what's called the "welfare state." And in fact, for a century afterwards, "laissez faire" was basically a dirty word - nobody talked about it anymore. And what the "science" now said was that you had better give the population some way of surviving, or else they're going to challenge your right to rule. You can take away their right to live, but then they're going to take away your right to rule - and that's no good, so ways have to be found to accommodate them. Well, it wasn't until recent years that laissez-faire ideology was revived again - and again, it was a weapon of class warfare. As far as I can see, the principles of classical economics in effect are still taught: I don't think what's taught in the University of Chicago Economics Department today is all that different, what's called "neo-liberalism". And it doesn't have any more validity than it had in the early nineteenth century - in fact, it has even less. At least in the early nineteenth century, Ricardo's and Malthus' assumptions had some relation to reality. Today those assumptions have no relation to reality. Look: the basic assumption of the classical economists was that labor is highly mobile and capital is relatively immobile - that's required, that's crucial to proving all their nice theorems. That was the reason they could say, "If you can't get enough to survive on the labor market, go someplace else" - because you could go someplace else: after the native populations of places like the United States and Australia and Tasmania were exterminated or driven away, then yeah, poor Europeans could go someplace else. So in the early nineteenth century, labor was indeed mobile. And back then, capital was indeed immobile - first because "capital" primarily meant land, and you can't move land, and also because the extent that there was investment, it was very local: like, you didn't have communications systems that allowed for easy transfers of money all around the world, like we do today. So in the early nineteenth century, the assumption that labor is mobile and capital is immobile was more or less realistic - and on the basis of that assumption, you could try to prove things about comparative advantage and all this stuff you learn in school about Portugal and wine and so on. Incidentally, if you want to know how well those theorems actually work, just compare Portugal and England after a hundred years of trying them out - growing wine versus industrializing as possible modes of development. But let's put that aside... Well, by now the assumptions underpinning these theories are not only false - they're the opposite of the truth. By now labor is immobile, through immigration restrictions and so on, and capital is highly mobile, primarily because of technological changes. So none of the results work anymore. But you're still taught them, you're still taught the theories exactly as before - even though the reality today is the exact opposite of what we assumed in the early nineteenth century. I mean, if you look at some of the fancier economists, Paul Krugman and so on, they've got all kinds of little tricks here and there to make the results not quite so grotesquely ridiculous as they'd otherwise be. But fundamentally, it all just is pretty ridiculous. If capital is mobile and labor is immobile, there's no reason why mobile capital shouldn't seek absolute advantage and play one national workforce against another, go wherever the labor is cheapest and thereby drive everybody's standard of living down. In fact, that's exactly what we're doing in NAFTA and all these other international trade agreements which are being instituted right now. Nothing in these abstract economic models actually works in the real world. It doesn't matter how many footnotes they put in, or how many ways they tinker around the edges. The whole enterprise is totally rotten at the core: it has no relation to reality anymore - and furthermore, it never did.

In Understanding Power ("The Fraud of Modern Economics"), 2002


In fact, just take a look at the history of "trucking and bartering" itself; look at the history of modern capitalism, about which we know a lot. The first thing you'll notice is, peasants had to be driven by force and violence into a wage-labor system they did not want; then major efforts were undertaken - conscious efforts - to create wants. In fact, if you look back, there's a whole interesting literature of conscious discussion of the need to manifacture wants in the general population. It's happened over the whole long stretch of capitalism of course, but one place where you can see it very nicely encapsulated is around the time when slavery was terminated. It's very dramatic too at cases like these. For example, in 1831 there was a big slave revolt in Jamaica - which was one of the things that led the British to decide to give up slavery in their colonies: after some slave revolts, they basically said, "It's not paying anymore." So within a couple of years the British wanted to move from a slave economy to a so-called "free" economy, but they still wanted the basic structure to remain exactly the same - and if you take a look back at the parliamentary debates in England at the time, they were talking very consciously about all this. They were saying: look, we've got to keep it the way it is, the masters have to become the owners, the slave have to become the happy workers - somehow we've got to work it all out. Well, there was a little problem in Jamaica: since there was a lot of open land there, when the British let the slaves go free they just wanted to move out onto the land and be perfectly happy, they didn't want to work for the British sugar plantations anymore. So what everyone was asking in Parliament in London was, "How can we force them to keep working for us, even when they're no longer enslaved into it?" Alright, two things were decided upon: first, they would use state force to close off the open land and prevent people from going and surviving on their own. And secondly, they realized that since all these workers didn't really want a lot of things - they just wanted to satisfy their basic needs, which they could easily do in that tropical climate - the British capitalists would have to start creating a whole set of wants for them, and make them start desiring things they didn't then desire, so then the only way they'd be able to satisfy their new material desires would be by working for wages in the British sugar plantations. There was very conscious discussion of the need to create wants - and in fact, extensive efforts were then undertaken to do exactly what they do on T.V. today: to create wants, to make you want the latest pair of sneakers you don't really need, so then people will be driven into a wage-labor society. And that pattern has been repeated over and over again through the whole entire history of capitalism. In fact, what the whole history of capitalism shows is that people have had to be driven into situations which are then claimed to be their nature. But if the history of capitalism shows anything, it shows it's not their nature, that they've had to be forced into it, and that that effort has had to be maintained right until this day.

In Understanding Power (pp. 203-204), 2002
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Re: What do I owe society?

Postby CanadysPeak on October 17th, 2010, 9:37 pm 

What did that have to do with Edy420's question?

Edy420 has a unique set of circumstances because of the Treaty of Waitangi. Under common contract law, unless I'm badly mistaken, the Maori retained a shared power with the British imperialists. They are thus entitled to their culture and land, without asking permission from the colonial powers.

Has this ever gone to the Hague? Or to the UN?
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Re: What do I owe society?

Postby edy420 on October 18th, 2010, 12:30 am 

There is a common theory among many Maori that the UN would work in our favour, although no one has tried as far as I can tell.

I was kind of trying to stay away from that argument, and lean more towards this "debt" that I am born into, regardless of tribal quarrels over land.

"why don't you think you owe society for the tens of thousands of years of investment that has resulted in what you are and can be today?"


The service provided is not the service I want.
If I had a broken power point in my house and some electrician decided to fix it without my consent and expected payment, then rational would have me inspect the job and see if it is worth paying for.
If it is a good job, then I would be happy to pay for it.
But if the job was poor, I wouldn't want to pay as much.
How ever, the service that society provides me (ie poor education system, safety through imprisonment, wrong use of tax money) is a service much like a repaired power point that has red and black wires sticking out the side and a switch that is stuck on.
This type of service would be booted out the door and told not to come back, no payment intended.

Education is crap.
I struggled all the way, and failed school certificate English, which is important for beginning most jobs.
My partner was told by the school teachers, that school is not for everyone and that her poor reading ability made it a waste of time continuing high school.
Apart from that the only subjects in school are ones that can teach us how to make money efficiently. (therefore more tax income)
Even art and physical education are guided towards a direction of most profitable income.

Policing society is done the wrong way.
Instead of having policemen out helping society, we have thugs in uniform that insist on busting you for whatever they can, whether its a $150 fine for not wearing a seat belt or taking you to court for growing marijuana, there is always income involved for the government, but very little learning for the criminal.
Instead of being taught where the criminal went wrong, he is forced into prison where he has to figure it out himself.
Instead of being taught that not wearing a seat belt could result in bodily harm, I am awarded a fine that has Authority written all over it "This fine must be paid OR ELSE" (not in those exact words but similar)

Tax, I have no immediate problem with.
But when my tax money goes towards funding drug busts that involve thugs in uniform breaking into houses only to find four plants, then my money is wasted.
When it goes towards funding the opposite of what I want it spent on then I feel ripped off.
ie, Building prisons instead of finding out what peoples problems are and funding a way of solving these problems, instead of locking people up for them.

Water is not clean, instead I receive chlorinated crap that comes with a foul taste.

A ride to the hospital in an ambulance comes with a bill, as does most medical treatment.

As for giving and receiving, I get to do more donating than I do receive, and what I do receive is not what I asked for.

I never asked for this service, nor do I want it.

If I didn't have to work 40 hours a week, then I would have time to learn my own medical treatment techniques as well as find my own clean water etc.

I'd rather walk away from an officer trying to arrest me, but when I do that, physical abuse is warranted.
Yet when I defend myself with a palm to defend a tackle, I get charged for assaulting a police officer.

When my compulsive behaviour has me get cheeky to a certain cop that doesn't like my necklace that has spiritual meaning, he argues that I have to take it off for fear of killing myself with it.
Yet when my cheeky mouth breaks into his human interior and forces him to elbow me in the collar bone, its fine, no problem there, its just an Enforcer of the Law dealing to a criminal.

The ethical question I want to ask is, if I don't agree with this service, why should I pay for it?

If I have to go to jail for my beliefs, why should I accept the jail time?
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Re: What do I owe society?

Postby edy420 on October 18th, 2010, 12:45 am 

bamahick wrote:I have been reading a lot of your posts edy420 and I think that your main problem is the fact that your society will not let you partake of the substance that you so dearly love. I feel your pain.

I have not messed with that stuff for years and I miss it. But i have a family that needs someone to provide for them so I can not take the risk. I cannot aford it either. It would take food from my chidren.

Are you sure you want to live in the wilderness? Why not just move to Amsterdam?


Moving was just an example of what I could do if I had the right to life.
I'm not really considering it, because my partner would not have it :)

Marijuana isn't even legal in Amsterdam and still isn't legal enough any where in the world, where I can grow enough plants to experiment with the fibres for clothing and turn the seeds into gruel. (although California looks promising)

It is very disappointing that society would demonize such a versatile, beneficial plant to our species, but that problem is just one of many that I have with societies views.

I honestly try to refrain from bringing it up all the time, but it's something that everyone knows about and is easy to refer to in situations like this :)
ie. I can use the legal issue, to portray my view towards societies opposing views.
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Re: What do I owe society?

Postby BaronSamedys on May 11th, 2016, 12:59 pm 

Did you find an answer to your question in the time that has since passed? I only inquire as I'm currently asking the same questions internally now....
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Re: What do I owe society?

Postby Serpent on May 11th, 2016, 2:13 pm 

BaronSamedys » May 11th, 2016, 11:59 am wrote:Did you find an answer to your question in the time that has since passed? I only inquire as I'm currently asking the same questions internally now....

These questions?
Why should I follow the laws or pay taxes, if I don't want to be a part of society at all?

You can be marginal to society without moving into a grass hut.

1. Don't make any friends. Don't get married or beget progeny.
Presumably, you've already discharged your obligation to the parents who fed and sheltered you and the community that provided you with an education and protection during your vulnerable early years.

2. Escaping taxation is relatively easy. To escape taxes: Don't own any property. Don't earn enough money to be taxed. Don't buy any but the most essential food items. Don't attend entertainments, sporting events or restaurants. Dress from a thrift store - even better, from dumpsters. People do that.
If you are above the poverty line, then you are probably also partaking of some benefits of civilization, in the form of roads and lights and fire departments.
No individual owns currency: it is made, owned, issued and underwritten by a government and merely lent out as symbols for units of value in transactions between people. If you don't have any money, or carry on trade with others, nobody can claim a surcharge on it.

3. Which particular laws would you like to disobey? Many of the laws don't apply if you follow all of the advice in 1. and 2. The basic ones about aggression against other people, theft and destruction of property will apply, even if you're a wild man in the forest. Some other laws regarding private activities are in the process of changing; all you have to is wait. Or keep them private and don't get caught.
Last edited by Serpent on May 11th, 2016, 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What do I owe society?

Postby Watson on May 11th, 2016, 6:09 pm 

A friend in the country had the field surrounding his home with a hemp crop a year or so back. And my neighbor buys hemp seed as health food, and our new government is on track to decriminalize the THC latent good only to bake or burn. Problems solved, least a few of them, if you don't mind learning how to speak Canadian?
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Re: What do I owe society?

Postby Serpent on May 11th, 2016, 6:43 pm 

Canajen in't that hard to learn. Seems we're eventually going to change the electoral procedure, as well. But I don't know how we'll cope with the Trump fallout. Any of youz know how to scrape charred insulation off-of electrical wire?
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Re: What do I owe society?

Postby BaronSamedys on May 11th, 2016, 7:53 pm 

Serpent » May 11th, 2016, 7:13 pm wrote:
BaronSamedys » May 11th, 2016, 11:59 am wrote:Did you find an answer to your question in the time that has since passed? I only inquire as I'm currently asking the same questions internally now....

These questions?
Why should I follow the laws or pay taxes, if I don't want to be a part of society at all?

You can be marginal to society without moving into a grass hut.

1. Don't make any friends. Don't get married or beget progeny.
Presumably, you've already discharged your obligation to the parents who fed and sheltered you and the community that provided you with an education and protection during your vulnerable early years.

2. Escaping taxation is relatively easy. To escape taxes: Don't own any property. Don't earn enough money to be taxed. Don't buy any but the most essential food items. Don't attend entertainments, sporting events or restaurants. Dress from a thrift store - even better, from dumpsters. People do that.
If you are above the poverty line, then you are probably also partaking of some benefits of civilization, in the form of roads and lights and fire departments.
No individual owns currency: it is made, owned, issued and underwritten by a government and merely lent out as symbols for units of value in transactions between people. If you don't have any money, or carry on trade with others, nobody can claim a surcharge on it.

3. Which particular laws would you like to disobey? Many of the laws don't apply if you follow all of the advice in 1. and 2. The basic ones about aggression against other people, theft and destruction of property will apply, even if you're a wild man in the forest. Some other laws regarding private activities are in the process of changing; all you have to is wait. Or keep them private and don't get caught.



What obligations you speak of do I owe my parents Serpent?

Also why cant I build my own house, who has jurisdiction over Earth itself, what right has any man or otherwise to buy or sell pieces of Earth.

Why after being forced into existence am I forced to live in a manner which is clearly ill fitted to us as a species.

Why am I a criminal worthy of punishment in one Country and an upstanding citizen in another. My society has criminalised me but, I don't feel like a bad person that did a bad thing (hypothetically speaking)

Why are some of us exempt from punishment within our society where others may not be? why are moral issues like tax avoidance not made legal issues.

Why is it okay to spend vast global resources on meaningless, pointless things when such actions have a direct impact of some of those in the worst societies of all?

Also, if like edy420 pointed out that we are not allowed to just move to the woods a live off the land (because its not our land) then does society have an obligation to provide me with an adequate life as I'm actively not allowed to provide me with the life I see fit?
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Re: What do I owe society?

Postby Serpent on May 11th, 2016, 9:53 pm 

BaronSamedys » May 11th, 2016, 5:59 pm wrote:What obligations you speak of do I owe my parents Serpent?

How should I know? Since human infants are incompetent for a long time, everybody who grew up had some help - if not from their parents, then aunts or wolves or somebody.
Also why cant I build my own house,

Maybe you can. Maybe you can even keep it.
who has jurisdiction over Earth itself,

A lot of people who are better armed than you are.
what right has any man or otherwise to buy or sell pieces of Earth.

Whatever rights the laws of their country give them.
Why after being forced into existence am I forced to live in a manner which is clearly ill fitted to us as a species.

You are not forced to live.
The species generally seems okay with social organizations.
Why am I a criminal worthy of punishment in one Country and an upstanding citizen in another.

I don't know what you've done in which country. They do all have different laws.
Why are some of us exempt from punishment within our society where others may not be? why are moral issues like tax avoidance not made legal issues.

They are. You'd have to have an income for this to be a problem, though, and in order to have an income, you must have entered into a contract regarding the trade of your services for currency, knowing that the income was taxable.
Why is it okay to spend vast global resources on meaningless, pointless things when such actions have a direct impact of some of those in the worst societies of all?

Who said it was okay?
Also, if like edy420 pointed out that we are not allowed to just move to the woods a live off the land (because its not our land)

And yet some people do. Only a few: it's not easy. Fortunately for the trees and bears, 7 billion of us aren't trying to do it. But if you were serious about building a house, you could probably buy a little piece of earth to build it on.
then does society have an obligation to provide me with an adequate life as I'm actively not allowed to provide me with the life I see fit?

Yes, most societies do have some mechanism for taking care of their weak and misfits -
though not as well as they ought to, of course. Political and social organizations are nowhere near as efficient or fair as I think they should be, and a lot of people are trying to improve them, while others are busy making them worse.
There will never be perfect agreement on the terms of the social contract; nor is it likely to to be revoked. But, if it's any consolation, civilization itself may be breaking down pretty soon. You may get total anarchy in your lifetime.

I'm not sure what you're trying to accomplish here.
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Re: What do I owe society?

Postby BaronSamedys on May 11th, 2016, 10:28 pm 

Serpent » May 12th, 2016, 2:53 am wrote:
BaronSamedys » May 11th, 2016, 5:59 pm wrote:What obligations you speak of do I owe my parents Serpent?

How should I know? Since human infants are incompetent for a long time, everybody who grew up had some help - if not from their parents, then aunts or wolves or somebody.
Also why cant I build my own house,

Maybe you can. Maybe you can even keep it.
who has jurisdiction over Earth itself,

A lot of people who are better armed than you are.
what right has any man or otherwise to buy or sell pieces of Earth.

Whatever rights the laws of their country give them.
Why after being forced into existence am I forced to live in a manner which is clearly ill fitted to us as a species.

You are not forced to live.
The species generally seems okay with social organizations.
Why am I a criminal worthy of punishment in one Country and an upstanding citizen in another.

I don't know what you've done in which country. They do all have different laws.
Why are some of us exempt from punishment within our society where others may not be? why are moral issues like tax avoidance not made legal issues.

They are. You'd have to have an income for this to be a problem, though, and in order to have an income, you must have entered into a contract regarding the trade of your services for currency, knowing that the income was taxable.
Why is it okay to spend vast global resources on meaningless, pointless things when such actions have a direct impact of some of those in the worst societies of all?

Who said it was okay?
Also, if like edy420 pointed out that we are not allowed to just move to the woods a live off the land (because its not our land)

And yet some people do. Only a few: it's not easy. Fortunately for the trees and bears, 7 billion of us aren't trying to do it. But if you were serious about building a house, you could probably buy a little piece of earth to build it on.
then does society have an obligation to provide me with an adequate life as I'm actively not allowed to provide me with the life I see fit?

Yes, most societies do have some mechanism for taking care of their weak and misfits -
though not as well as they ought to, of course. Political and social organizations are nowhere near as efficient or fair as I think they should be, and a lot of people are trying to improve them, while others are busy making them worse.
There will never be perfect agreement on the terms of the social contract; nor is it likely to to be revoked. But, if it's any consolation, civilization itself may be breaking down pretty soon. You may get total anarchy in your lifetime.

I'm not sure what you're trying to accomplish here.


I suppose I'm searching for a reason to live Serpent but just as your answers provide little in the way of help so does life provide little worth in actually living.

I was hoping for some kind of justification as to why we live the way we do when it appears so obviously broken. I have no want for life nor does it even have a need for me (or any of us actually.)

You seem a well educated individual so I'm not sure I understand your tongue-in-cheek answers.

I am in agreement with you on the fairly imminent downturn of society which just further compounds the fruitlessness of existence.

This is one avenue of a suspected ongoing existential crisis btw.....
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Re: What do I owe society?

Postby Watson on May 11th, 2016, 10:44 pm 

So what are your plans? Probably online is the wrong place to look for the answers you need. Twice in a day I'm saying that. Wish I could help, but I wouldn't know where to start.
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Re: What do I owe society?

Postby BaronSamedys on May 11th, 2016, 10:55 pm 

Watson » May 12th, 2016, 3:44 am wrote:So what are your plans? Probably online is the wrong place to look for the answers you need. Twice in a day I'm saying that. Wish I could help, but I wouldn't know where to start.


I don't have a plan. Like the mindset of my elderly grandparents whom seem happy just waiting for the inevitable end (to which they happily admit) I too am waiting for my end. The very will of existence seems to have eluded me.

I wasn't exactly online looking of answers per se just stretching out my virtual appendages to see if anyone has some insight into the apparent futility of human existence, and, ended up here :)
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Re: What do I owe society?

Postby Watson on May 11th, 2016, 11:04 pm 

You must be a youngster if both your grand parents are around to commiserate with you? It must be a common sentiment, because over the past years I have had a few people say it would be the worse thing in the world if they never woke up, one day. But life does seem to be wasted on humans.
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Re: What do I owe society?

Postby BaronSamedys on May 11th, 2016, 11:12 pm 

Watson » May 12th, 2016, 4:04 am wrote:You must be a youngster if both your grand parents are around to commiserate with you? It must be a common sentiment, because over the past years I have had a few people say it would be the worse thing in the world if they never woke up, one day. But life does seem to be wasted on humans.


I'm approaching my 30's. Not sure if it helps.

I don't see my family anymore, I cut ties when I no longer saw the point in maintaining a relationship on the basis of blood being the only common factor.

I think quite matter-of-factly that Earth would benefit greatly from mankind never waking up.
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