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Thread: What amount of political diversity should a state have?

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    Member Phil P's Avatar
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    What amount of political diversity should a state have?

    Political diversity being the difference in political opinion among the populace.

    Should a state be relatively homogeneous in political thought or is diversity beneficial? From what I can see, the greater homogeneity a state has, the faster more efficiently it can pass laws and the less problem it has with enforcement of laws.

    And how do you increase or decrease the difference in political thought in a state?
    "I'm so cool" - Carl Sagan

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    Senior Member Senseye's Avatar
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    More homogeneity when popular opinion = my opinion.
    More diversity when popular opinion != my opinion.

    I predict near universal homogeneity with the above specific opinion.

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    libertine librarian sandwitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Senseye View Post
    More homogeneity when popular opinion = my opinion.
    More diversity when popular opinion != my opinion.
    Yeah, whatever decreases the number of ignorant people (aka those who disagree with me) whose opinions I must tolerate.

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    you can send them to camp!

    I agree with @Senseye.
    Last edited by msg_v2; 04-02-2014 at 07:48 PM.

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    Member Phil P's Avatar
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    Ok, so I had this idea that brought about the topic of this thread:

    Would you see it as beneficial if we allowed a section of the US or anywhere in the world to become a sort of Christian Alliance States of America, where Christian morals and practices were hybridized with the US constitution to create their constitution. And say churches were given a section of land and a population limit, and the church of a section is given authority to organize their own economy and government and handle their own criminal action that does not involve another churches domain. Cases where multiple churches are involved would be handled by a district or supreme court. CASA would allow emigration from any region or the country at all times for any individual.

    Do you think having states like CASA would benefit both itself and the US by separating the fundamentalist christian group from American politics and economics into its own system?
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    Global Moderator Polemarch's Avatar
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    I don't want to give those people any more control over our nukes than they already have. Also - which state will the major corporations domicile in?
    We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us.

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    Senior Member skip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil P View Post
    Would you see it as beneficial if we allowed a section of the US or anywhere in the world to become a sort of Christian Alliance States of America, where Christian morals and practices were hybridized with the US constitution to create their constitution.
    Oh, brother...
    Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that a problem.

  8. #8
    libertine librarian sandwitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil P View Post
    Ok, so I had this idea that brought about the topic of this thread:

    Would you see it as beneficial if we allowed a section of the US or anywhere in the world to become a sort of Christian Alliance States of America, where Christian morals and practices were hybridized with the US constitution to create their constitution. And say churches were given a section of land and a population limit, and the church of a section is given authority to organize their own economy and government and handle their own criminal action that does not involve another churches domain. Cases where multiple churches are involved would be handled by a district or supreme court. CASA would allow emigration from any region or the country at all times for any individual.

    Do you think having states like CASA would benefit both itself and the US by separating the fundamentalist christian group from American politics and economics into its own system?
    Are you suggesting an autonomous Christian region where religious rulers have full power, without external accountability, so long as their population does not exceed a set number and external powers are only relevant in cases of inter-church strife?

    What would be the ultimate benefits of this Christian reservation, and would you propose similar situations for other religions? Could divisions of Christian ideology demand separate reservations for themselves? What would be the rights of non-Christians who enter these reservations, or reservation residents who convert away from Christianity?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil P View Post
    Ok, so I had this idea that brought about the topic of this thread:

    Would you see it as beneficial if we allowed a section of the US or anywhere in the world to become a sort of Christian Alliance States of America, where Christian morals and practices were hybridized with the US constitution to create their constitution. And say churches were given a section of land and a population limit, and the church of a section is given authority to organize their own economy and government and handle their own criminal action that does not involve another churches domain. Cases where multiple churches are involved would be handled by a district or supreme court. CASA would allow emigration from any region or the country at all times for any individual.

    Do you think having states like CASA would benefit both itself and the US by separating the fundamentalist christian group from American politics and economics into its own system?
    It might result in less headaches, if that would satisfy them. I think they might want to expand though.

    Also, in many cases, the divide has to do more with population density than anything else than "region" per se. Rural areas are more traditional pretty much across the globe, even in areas where Christianity isn't practiced much.

  10. #10
    Minister of Love Roger Mexico's Avatar
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    Look, there's obviously a certain baseline level of ideological homogeneity needed for any complex social system to function--at the very least, a critical mass preponderance of its members have to agree on the legitimacy of certain procedures for acquiring and exercising authority. (Elections, trials, rules of inheritance, whatever) If that doesn't happen, too many people revert to the more primal means of contesting questions about who will have what kind of power and how they will use it (i.e., violence) and you just can't really make a society run like that for very long without it falling apart.

    With that caveat, the idea of building a state with a subject population who all subscribe to the same political ideology is just inherently unrealistic, and the fact that it's unrealistic is the reason that attempts to do such a thing usually involve mass murder sooner or later. But then even this doesn't usually work, because suddenly no matter how many times you purge your population, there will inevitably end up being people who "just don't fit" again and again. Mao seems to have arrived at something of a "moment of clarity" about this in the wake of the Cultural Revolution, for example--he started writing that a state of 'permanent revolution' couldn't be achieved unless it meant a sort of never-ending cycle of violent turnover in which no one was allowed to remain in charge of anything for any length of time without being purged by the people they were in charge of.

    (Of course, being Mao and having gone batshit insane by this point, he then proceeds to basically ask "OK, so having reached this realization, how can we create a system that allows for this state of permanent revolution to exist"?)

    The problem is twofold here:

    On the one hand, ideology is not a fixed quality that people possess. People change their beliefs about things all the time, so even if you did relocate everyone who identifies as "Christian" to one side of a line while moving everyone who identifies as "atheist" to the other side, this wouldn't produce a durable state of consensus about religious issues on either side of the line. New belief systems would probably emerge on both sides of the line eventually (or very quickly), and your whole plan to create permanent homogeneity would be doomed to failure.

    Secondly, people naturally tend to subdivide themselves into competing groups. Anthropologists have extensively studied this as an element of human social behavior, and a lot of them have concluded that it's psychologically impossible for a set of human beings to define themselves as a cooperative group unless they can identify at least one person who doesn't qualify for membership in that group and define what makes them (the insiders) supposedly different from whoever they're excluding. So the perception of diversity and division within a group (how significant any given form of variation will be in the minds of people who notice it among their peers) actually tends to correlate inversely with the actual, objective degree of diversity that the group exhibits.

    Or in other words, people would go looking for reasons to to have "fundamental divisions" in their society, and even create them, if none otherwise existed. (The "Star Bellied Sneeches" phenomenon.)

    Take the United States, which is extremely ideologically homogeneous both in terms of its political institutions and popular opinion. (There are only two political parties of any significant size--most other democratic countries in the world have at least 3 or 4.) If you're a statistically typical American, you are either a "conservative" or a "liberal"--there is no third option--and then if you try at all to examine what these words actually mean you find you're looking at two slightly different interpretations of the same political-philosophy texts from the 17th and 18th centuries.

    One of the more important political parties in US history was called the "Democratic Republicans." (Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson belonged to it, among other people.) Now we only have two parties called the "Democrats" and the "Republicans", and OP here is hardly the first person to suggest that these two groups are just so, so... different from each other that perhaps they should each get their own country to run.

    (The first people to suggest this, of course, would be the Democrats who seceded from the US in response to the Republicans winning a national election in 1860, but that actually illustrates what I'm saying here--the whole slavery question was highly divisive in no small part because it's kind of an important one when you're deciding to fall into one subcamp or another of a philosophy that basically treats human freedom as a religious value.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    No history, no exposition, no anecdote or argument changes the invariant: we are all human beings, and some humans are idiots.

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