19 Apr 2012

Philosophy - the downfall of mankind - Part 6 - Capitalism and Communism

Capitalism and Communism – by P.K.Odendaal – 14 April 2012

Maybe I am right, maybe I am wrong, but I get the impression that Capitalism and Democracy are two intertwined Government forms. They are thought to be bed-fellows and you can't have the one without the other. I also get the impression that it is Conventional Wisdom that Communism and Dictatorships go together.
Being very sceptic, weary and on my guard for Conventional Wisdom, I came to the conclusion that the Conventional Wisdom is wrong again – as it almost always is on profound issues. Therefore I have decided to set the record straight.
Capitalism is based on Capital, owned by Individuals and Companies, and managed by Individuals and Companies according to a set of principles which change from State to State, depending on the development stage and maturity of corruption in the specific State. The idea is that the State should not inhibit Capitalism or the way the Capitalists wish to manage their Capital. If the State is Democratic, the State will wish to control that Capital, taking the control thereof from the Capitalists. And this is the conflict and why Capitalism and Democracy are in fact two vehement enemies. To try and reconcile them in  one State is useless, having been proved so two thousand four hundred years by Athens and Plato.

10 Apr 2012

Philosophy - the downfall of man - Part 5 – Democracy will always fail.

Philosophy - the downfall of man - Part 5 – Democracy will always fail.
by P.K.Odendaal - 10 April 2012.

Quotes added 26 February 2014.
Here are a few well known quotes about democracy:

Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. Johan Adams (1814).

Democracy stands between two tyrannies: the one which it has overthrown and the one into which it will develop. Paul Eldridge (1965).

Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage. H.L.Mencken (1949).

Democracy substitutes the selection by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few. George Bernard Shaw (1903).

Note added 25 July 2014

The conventional view is that democracy is based on the notion that more half the people are right more than half of the time, giving a success rate of just over 25%. Well ... that is meagre and will not cut the mustard for anyone who can make their own decisions.
However, my notion is that most of the people are wrong most of the time (about state issues). That gives a success rate of very near to nil - and that is why democracies are failing everywhere, especially when they are coupled to capitalism. The social order of politicians of democracies is that of socialism, and we have seen from Rumsfeld's adages that a socialist will spend other people's money until it is exhausted.

Note added at end: 21 April 2013

Note added 6 November 2013.
Socrates posited that the rich are corrupt and the poor are feeble and that the middle class should run the democracy, meaning that a democracy will only work when you have a very large middle class - and that is the most revealing and true statement that I have ever heard on democracy. In terms of our values of today, which is still the same as two thousand three hundred years ago for Socrates, is that the middle class should run the country. He said that those middle class people, who own property and are not rich should run the country.
I will take two examples on the extremes of this argument to elucidate the proposition.
In Canada 69% of the people own homes, and I will take that as an indication of the size of the middle class. Only 1% of the people earn more than $ 191 000 per year and are termed rich. The latter are not rich, but are excluded here from the middle class. The lower income group earning less than $ 14 000 are only 14% of the population, which gives us a middle class on this count of 85%. So my deduction is that the middle class in Canada is between 70% and 85% - wow - that is an achievement! And this is the success of democracy in Canada, which democracy I rate as one of the best in the world.
In South Africa the middle class is not greater than 10% presently having grown from about 3% some twenty years ago. And this is the failure of democracy in South Africa, but not only in South Africa, but also in all states with a small middle class. It is valid for states like Egypt and probably most of the Arab states and most of the dictatorial states in the world.
In fact, a state with a freely elected government with a middle class of less than about 30% is no more than a dictatorial state.
And that is my deduction - that the size of the middle class determines the success of its democracy - a failed state form, but which may still work, but then only in states with a very large middle class.
There is a worldwide movement and pressure on undemocratic states, instigated by the USA, to convert their form of government to a democratic one, two thousand four hundred years after it was proved to be a failed system, and explained and said to be so by the greatest of all philosophers, Plato.
And so the USA will continue to do to shore up their political and economic system, based on wealth for the top 1% of their population, as more recently manifested by the creed of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Ultimately they will want wealth for the top 1% of the world, which will be mainly their citizens.
Fortunately many fledgling states coming out of dictatorships have chosen not to go that disastrous route, and there is a growing consensus by political analysts, that the new systems should not be democratic.
Back to Plato and his early wisdom, but first, the famous allegorical tale of Socrates as modified by myself.

5 Apr 2012

Philosophy - Part 4 - Innocence and Ignorance

Philosophy - the downfall of man - Part 4 - Innocence and Ignorance
by P.K.Odendaal - 3 April 2012.

If there were no Christians, there would be no Atheists. I am very sure of this. The arguments of Atheists are not about whether there is a God or not - it is whether there are Christians to antagonise them. With regard to the existence of God they have already accepted the idea that if God cannot be proven physically or rigorously, then He does not exist.
I grew up in a strictly Christian era and a strictly Christian environment, with the result that when I heard of Atheists in my late teens, I was very shocked that such a thing or person can exist. If someone had told us at school that he was an Atheist, we would have asked him where he hid his fork. And until today I have never really met and talked to an Atheist, as they are very scarce in our community, or they are hiding somewhere in closets?

2 Apr 2012

Philosophy - the downfall of man - Part 3 - Heisenberg and Gödel

Philosophy - the downfall of man - Part 3 - Heisenberg and Gödel
by P.K.Odendaal - 2 April 2012.

If you wonder why God hides Himself so successfully, here are some of the answers. Of course we will not know all, but I think we know enough to understand that. And before I dive into technical stuff, the first and foremost reason is so obvious.

God created everything and is omnipotent and omnipowerful (?), so everything he created or still creates is of necessity subordinate to Him.
On the other hand He is human and has all the (good) emotional and intellectual qualities of mankind, having created mankind in His image. So, yes, he has lots of love and care, but loving and caring for people who are your subjects, are not as fulfilling as loving and caring for your peers - ask dictators. And that is the reasons why He made us in His image and that He became man himself - difficult as it is to comprehend - but still - look at the manger and the cross.

The next step is that He cannot reveal Himself in any physical way, being our peers and friends. As soon as we see Him in all his glory, we will immediately become His subjects again, thereby losing His friendship and communion. So He had to hide Himself in a subtle and ingenious way. He mainly did that by creating two different worlds - one that we live in, and an invisible part of Him, and another which He lives in and an invisible part of us.

1 Apr 2012

Philosophy - Part 2 - Facts, Faith and Fiction

Philosophy - the downfall of man - Part 2 - Facts, Faith and Fiction

by P.K.Odendaal - 26 March April 2012.

So you thought that Science is based on fact - WRONG ! - it is based on faith.
Fact 1 :   Religion is based on faith - and axioms. The statement : 'There is a God' is an axiom. It is believed to be true, but it has never been proved to be true or false. It cannot be proved to be true or false in a rigorous way.

Fact 2 :   Mathematics, and therefore Science on which it is based, is based on faith - and axioms. The statement one plus one is equal to two is an axiom. It is believed to be true, but it has never been proved to be true of false. It cannot be proved to be true or false in a rigorous way.

              So why do scientists reject God and accept Science - because of scientific bigotry - and because they have become casualties of Philosophy.