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User Starchild

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3 votes
The Mayflower Compact; How People Set About Governing Themselves?

Hi Virginia,

Well, I guess that depends upon *which part* of the heritage of the United States you mean. Your quoting of the Mayflower Compact brings to mind part of the story of that early colony founded by the pilgrims, and the origins of Thanksgiving, that most of us didn't learn in school:

"It's wrong to say that America was founded by capitalists. In fact, America was founded by socialists who had the humility to learn from their initial mistakes and embrace freedom. One of the earliest and arguably most historically significant North American colonies was Plymouth Colony, founded in 1620 in what is now known as Plymouth, Massachusetts. As I've outlined in greater detail here before (Lessons From a Capitalist Thanksgiving), the original colony had written into its charter a system of communal property and labor. As William Bradford recorded in his Of Plymouth Plantation, a people who had formerly been known for their virtue and hard work became lazy and unproductive. Resources were squandered, vegetables were allowed to rot on the ground and mass starvation was the result. And where there is starvation, there is plague. After 2 1/2 years, the leaders of the colony decided to abandon their socialist mandate and create a system which honored private property. The colony survived and thrived and the abundance which resulted was what was celebrated at that iconic Thanksgiving feast."

1 votes
Is it inevitable that North Korea and South Korea will never be united?
Opinion: I strongly suspect they will eventually be a single political jurisdiction. But that's not really the most important question, as I see it. What really matters isn't countries, but conditions on the ground.

In a sense, I don't particularly care where the government that claims me as a citizen is located, or what territory it controls. What I care about are things like how much freedom I have, how high the taxes are, whether my personal liberty and privacy are respected, whether I have the ability to travel, etc. If more people focused on those types of things, i.e. viewing the world in terms of peoples' quality of life instead of in terms of countries and national boundaries and so on, I think there would be fewer wars.

To use a sporting analogy, do you go to a game in order to root for "your team" to win over the opposing team, or do you go in order to enjoy watching talented people engaged in a competition? Of course it may be more "fun" to attend a game when you really care about the outcome (i.e. wanting "your" team to win), but imagine if people were getting injured and killed in the stadium as fans fought with each other, and players were being exploited by power-hungry coaches driven to win, etc. Then would it still be fun?

That's what the world is like. People identifying with the countries they live in (nationalism) causes them to support discrimination or violence against people in other countries, because they think that this will make "their team" safer, or more powerful, or whatever. Power-hungry politicians exploit these feelings to expand their control and make themselves richer and more powerful at the expense of people in "their" countries or others. Nationalism is as harmful and ugly as racism, sexism, or homophobia.

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  • Starchild
  • 1 year (since Jun 16, 2017)
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