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Secular values are rooted in social policies

 
Thomas Orr
 
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Thomas Orr
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26 March 2010 21:50
 
eudemonia - 26 March 2010 10:01 AM

Thats great. Sounds like the Utopia we all want, especially here at Project Reason.

A secular, science and technology based society, supported by the growth and innovation of a regulated free market economic system, Gee, what a nice concept. Would probably work and produce for us a very nice society.

I’m in.

Continue TO. I’m all ears.

Sure. The problem is how to get started. I rejected the idea of ideological campaign aimed at converting the masses. They are not ready for it. I also rejected the idea of organizing a political party and trying to win elections. The odds are stacked against us.

As the first setp, I want to create institutions and elevate our intellectual elites to more prominent role in the society. But I don’t have the political power and I don’t have influence over those who have power to accomplish it “by a decree”. Our best option, I think, is to create a political movement and try to create institutions from the bottom, as a grassroots movement. It is a huge effort but with chances to succeed. One thing we can start now is to think about legal framework for the institutions we envisioned. Being an experienced lawyer teuchter can help us with explaining what is and what is not possible, what are the legal challenges, etc.

 
Dennis Campbell
 
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Dennis Campbell
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26 March 2010 21:55
 
Thomas Orr - 26 March 2010 08:50 PM
eudemonia - 26 March 2010 10:01 AM

Thats great. Sounds like the Utopia we all want, especially here at Project Reason.

A secular, science and technology based society, supported by the growth and innovation of a regulated free market economic system, Gee, what a nice concept. Would probably work and produce for us a very nice society.

I’m in.

Continue TO. I’m all ears.

Sure. The problem is how to get started. I rejected the idea of ideological campaign aimed at converting the masses. They are not ready for it. I also rejected the idea of organizing a political party and trying to win elections. The odds are stacked against us.

As the first setp, I want to create institutions and elevate our intellectual elites to more prominent role in the society. But I don’t have the political power and I don’t have influence over those who have power to accomplish it “by a decree”. Our best option, I think, is to create a political movement and try to create institutions from the bottom, as a grassroots movement. It is a huge effort but with chances to succeed. One thing we can start now is to think about legal framework for the institutions we envisioned. Being an experienced lawyer teuchter can help us with explaining what is and what is not possible, what are the legal challenges, etc.

The above bold faced text is rather critical. 

Dennis

 
 
Thomas Orr
 
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Thomas Orr
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26 March 2010 22:45
 
Dennis Campbell - 26 March 2010 08:46 PM

I’d like to read more of your ideas.
Dennis

Let me catch a breath before I write another post. I have a tendency to produce lengthy posts and I am glad so far I managed to be brief in this thread. I want to continue this way.

I also want to spend the weekend on computer programming competition. While programming I will keep thinking what my next post here should be about. Maybe somebody will post something inspirational pointing this thread to a new exciting direction.

 
Dennis Campbell
 
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Dennis Campbell
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26 March 2010 23:00
 

TO,

I gave up “inspirational” many year ago.  Maybe someone else here?

Dennis

 
 
Thomas Orr
 
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27 March 2010 00:17
 
Dennis Campbell - 26 March 2010 10:00 PM

TO,

I gave up “inspirational” many year ago.  Maybe someone else here?

Dennis

OK. My bad. By inspirational I meant a good question. I want to avoid lengthy posts. Good question will help me in writing short posts. I will simply answer the question.

Another possibility is somebody will suggest something I didn’t think about. This (spontaneous generation of good ideas) frequently happens when discussion catches interest of smart people.

 
Dennis Campbell
 
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Dennis Campbell
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27 March 2010 00:24
 

What are the parameters of the political movement or ideology you’re seeking to promote?  To what influential part of the populace do you appeal?  Absent the self-interest of corporations, where is your proposed political power base?

Dennis

 
 
Thomas Orr
 
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Thomas Orr
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27 March 2010 01:26
 
Dennis Campbell - 26 March 2010 11:24 PM

What are the parameters of the political movement or ideology you’re seeking to promote?  To what influential part of the populace do you appeal?  Absent the self-interest of corporations, where is your proposed political power base?

Dennis

Most of the people who succeed in America (in the financial sense) get there by working for corporations. Among those many have college degrees and consider themselves professionals.

If you are a person in such position you realize that it is hard to be successful in a corporation and be true to your profession at the same time.  I think that the concept of institutions as alternative career paths can be very attractive to those who would rather work for an ideal higher than working for the corporation bottom line. Higher ideal is more than a slogan. It also means, in practical terms, less work place politics, less nonsense and more employment security in the long run.

Also, left leaning rich and famous like Gates, Soros and some Hollywood celebrities are intelligent enough to recognize the values and appeal of the ideas I want to promote.

The broader segment of the population which might be receptive to the ideas I promote are those seeking more control over their lives, more security and more stability. I don’t know if you agree with me but my observations suggest that lack of economical security is the biggest problem Americans have to cope with. If you show Americans that they can have more employment security, affordable health care, affordable college education for their children and secure retirement they will listen.

 
Dennis Campbell
 
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27 March 2010 01:36
 

I think that the concept of institutions as alternative career paths can be very attractive to those who would rather work for an ideal higher than working for the corporation bottom line

TO,

Your rhetoric is attractive, the realities by which or through which you propose to realize that rhetoric escapes me.  Like it or not, as long a this is a democracy in which people vote for governance, you need to appeal to those voters.  Alternative career paths sound worth pursuing, as long as somehow people are paid in so doing.  Keep plugging away, you might get somewhere.

Dennis

 
 
Thomas Orr
 
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Thomas Orr
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27 March 2010 01:37
 
Dennis Campbell - 26 March 2010 11:24 PM

What are the parameters of the political movement or ideology you’re seeking to promote?  To what influential part of the populace do you appeal?  Absent the self-interest of corporations, where is your proposed political power base?

Dennis

To complete my previous post. You asked for the parameters of the ideology I am seeking to promote. For a modest start let’s aim to make America a little more like Europe or Canada. At this stage the point is less about a perfect vision where we want to go and more about how to start moving in that direction.

 
Dennis Campbell
 
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27 March 2010 01:40
 

TO,

And how would you propose to make America a little more like Europe or Canada?  You have not addressed the parameters I asked for, and in all candor, neither could I.  But you’re making the proposals, so it is incumbent on you to do so, not I.

Dennis

 
 
Thomas Orr
 
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27 March 2010 02:00
 
Dennis Campbell - 27 March 2010 12:36 AM

TO,

Your rhetoric is attractive, the realities by which or through which you propose to realize that rhetoric escapes me.  Like it or not, as long a this is a democracy in which people vote for governance, you need to appeal to those voters.  Alternative career paths sound worth pursuing, as long as somehow people are paid in so doing.  Keep plugging away, you might get somewhere.

Dennis

I have already indicated that I am not trying to win elections. I want to start with building institutions. It might be simpler and more mundane than people imagine. During the health care debate we’ve heard about some hospitals and medical centers converting into coops to lower the cost of medical care. The idea of a medical coop where doctors work for a salary has many attributes of an institution I have in mind. Doctors feeling better about how they serve the patients being quite an important factor, too. All we have to do is provide help and assistance to those budding institutions until they firmly stand on their own. Spreading news about this new and “revolutionary” employment opportunities for professionals to encourage similar initiatives in other places and other professions may turn out to be all we need to do to initiate the trend.

More about it tomorrow (hopefully).

[ Edited: 27 March 2010 02:03 by Thomas Orr]
 
Thomas Orr
 
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27 March 2010 10:28
 
Dennis Campbell - 27 March 2010 12:40 AM

TO,

And how would you propose to make America a little more like Europe or Canada?  You have not addressed the parameters I asked for, and in all candor, neither could I.  But you’re making the proposals, so it is incumbent on you to do so, not I.

Dennis

To continue. In my previous post I suggested helping in creating institutions. This is where rhetoric ends and hard work begins, and where the organized movement is needed. The “assistance”, if you will, has many aspects.

1. “How to” assistance. Legal expertise is needed to propose the legal framework of the institution to happen. Knowledge of history and experience is needed to propose what internal status of the institution best guarantees the institution success.

2. Financial assistance. We can learn from big corporations set on expanding the international markets. They created IMF, World Bank and similar institutions. Those institutions are not charities and neither the entity we have in mind need to be. You need to start with some sort of initial funding but in my opinion the future “bank” (or the family of banks) which will be funding the creation of new institutions will have to operate in a financially sustainable fashion. In other words, loans need to be repaid so they can be “reused” to fund new institutions.

3. Creativity. Look at the problems around you to see the opportunities. How to get doctors to your medical coop? The attractive venue is to find medical school graduate with big educational loans and offer to help in repaying the debt. Well, repaying the debt will not really work. Just cover the loan payments while he/she is employed.

4. Legal battles. You need to fight for the laws favorable to the institutions to survive and thrive. It is not good when Credit Unions have to defend themselves against banks accusing them of unfair competition. It should be the other way around.

 
Dennis Campbell
 
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Dennis Campbell
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27 March 2010 12:56
 

TO,

Will watch your posts for a time, premature for me to pose questions at this point.

Dennis

 
 
eudemonia
 
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eudemonia
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27 March 2010 13:05
 

‘I want to create institutions and elevate our intellectual elites to more prominent role in the society. ‘

Love this idea. This is the only real way to a progressive, technologically based advanced society. Trouble is, this will sound authoritarian to about half the country. Elitism is something that is respected only by the elite and the enlightened. Libertarians will consider this basically another variation of the divine right of Kings, only with science replacing divinity.

But I wholeheartedly agree that we need some type of institutions to draw talent from that prevent people like George W Bush being elected President of the free world.

I can invision an institution(s) of Political Scientists, with certain academic requirements. Trouble is, will Pizza flippers and auto mechanics?

 
 
Thomas Orr
 
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27 March 2010 13:47
 
eudemonia - 27 March 2010 12:05 PM

‘I want to create institutions and elevate our intellectual elites to more prominent role in the society. ‘

Love this idea. This is the only real way to a progressive, technologically based advanced society. Trouble is, this will sound authoritarian to about half the country. Elitism is something that is respected only by the elite and the enlightened. Libertarians will consider this basically another variation of the divine right of Kings, only with science replacing divinity.

But I wholeheartedly agree that we need some type of institutions to draw talent from that prevent people like George W Bush being elected President of the free world.

I can envision an institution(s) of Political Scientists, with certain academic requirements. Trouble is, will Pizza flippers and auto mechanics?

It’s not more authoritarian than Kato Institute or various conservative think tanks. Anyway, you worry too much about pizza flippers. The reality of a professional institution is that it also needs to employ guards, cleaners, secretaries. I see it as an important factor in transforming society. When institutions compete with corporations on the labor market the workers benefit. No need to fight for the minimum wage.

 
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