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View Diary: [UPDATE - MORE PHOTOS] 200,000 Rise Up in Brazil - "The People Have Awakened" (333 comments)

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  •  Scandinavia more than Canada (1+ / 0-)
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    Canada's been jostled less than the US in the economic turmoil but she is challenged to pay for her social net too, is the impression I get. But certainly Norway with its small population and North Sea oil revenue is having a much easier time of it. Small, cohesive nations have a marked advantage. Norwegians seem to agree to a great deal what is good for Norway.

    •  make no mistake, Norway has been hit too (1+ / 0-)
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      When I was there two summers ago, people would always remark that the recession has impacted them too. And indeed they have made a number of cutbacks, some of them unpopular.  But they are VERY VERY careful not to impact on any of the social programs that really help their people, and to make their cuts elsewhere.

      They know their priorities, and no major political party (I happened to be there during election time) disputes those priorities.

      •  Oil comes and goes. National cohesion is lasting (1+ / 0-)
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        The Norge put their oil revenues into a sustaining national fund instead of squandering them. (As I understand things.) That sort of social cohesion is a powerful good for a nation. But it is easier to achieve in smaller populations. In the USA, it's pretty much a pipe dream. :)

        •  well, they have a small population, but (1+ / 0-)
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          they have a small economy, too.

          Per capita, there's no reason we can't do just as well as they do.  We are, after all, the richest society that has ever existed in all of human history.

          •  That's not really what I said (1+ / 0-)
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            Tony Situ

            My only point was to observe how smaller populations have certain advantages over larger populations. Or if not plural advantages than at least one. in this case Norway has a better social net because the vast bulk of Norwegian society agrees with making that net a national priority. The Us is much more fractured on this issue and thus has not gone nearly as far down that path.

            •  ah, I see. Yes if there is one thing Occupy taught (2+ / 0-)
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              Tony Situ, Quicklund

              us, it is that small groups are much better for decision-making and consensus-building than large groups are.

              But Norway also had the advantage, ironically, of having an enlightened exploiting class, who freely admitted that they supported the social network enthusiastically because, as my Norwegian professor friend put it, "Happy workers don't make revolutions".

              •  Enlightened is as enlightened does (0+ / 0-)

                Social stratification will always be with us but I don't see the upper class as the exploiting class in a society where everyone gets a fair shake. "Happy workers don't make revolutions"... that pretty much sums up the working classes' demands and leverage. Message received, i'd say.

                It's been a long time since I had a Norwegian friend but I have the rare experience of having a Norwegian family live across the street from me while I was in 1st grade. They had a son my age and we were good pals while they lived here.

                •  well, I'm a marxist and you're not ;) (2+ / 0-)
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                  Quicklund, marsanges

                  My Norwegian friend is a professor of geology at the University of Oslo.

                  So I got to have a nice long behind-the-scenes look at the "Ida" fossil before it opened for display.

                  •  Then enlighten me :) (0+ / 0-)

                    What is the goal of society other than to provide people with the opportunity for a happy life? I don't see happiness as belonging to a particular ideology (or excluded from any either.)

                    •  oh, I can accept that as the social goal (1+ / 0-)
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                      I'm referring more to this:

                      I don't see the upper class as the exploiting class in a society where everyone gets a fair shake.
                      I think any society with an upper class is, inherently, not one where everyone gets a fair shake.
                      •  That is artificial (0+ / 0-)

                        That imposes one person's value system upon another. If I am happy working for a lower wage in exchange for some other benefit, who's business is it of yours to tell me I cannot live my life that way? Is not happiness a personal affair?

                        Besides, what you envision has no example in biology or in recorded history. Goals should be achievable.

                        •  every social system is artificial. (1+ / 0-)
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                          Every social system imposes someone's values onto someone else.

                          Every social system tells someone how to live their life.

                          I don't worry about wages--wages are an element of a capitalist system and don't exist in any other economic system.

                          And until 1789, elected democratic governments did not exist in biology or recorded history either. And every king in Europe said democracy was an unachievable goal, because obviously people were too stupid to rule themselves (and ironically the Founding Fathers agreed with them--they were both wrong).


                          •  I worded that poorly (0+ / 0-)

                            I suspect a static system cannot thrive. But that's getting too far off track. If a society developed in which everyone was satisfied with their lot, I'd accept that as a fair society.

                          •  in the economic sense (1+ / 0-)
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                            If a society developed in which everyone was satisfied with their lot, I'd accept that as a fair society.
                            I'd agree.

                            Every society has to strive continuously in areas like science and technology, though.  And of course, as Mazlow so brilliantly pointed out, that is only possible when the first steps of the social hierarchy--economic necessities--are fulfilled.

                            The excuse given by apologists for capitalism--that such advances are only possible through a system of private profit--is simply silly.  The most basic and important achievements in human culture----fire, stone tools, metal smelting, pottery, brick, textile weaving--were all made solely for their social utility.  Their inventors didn't get a dime of profit from them. Humans are driven to create and to improve our creations. That requires no profit motive.

                            (And indeed as an aside, it's not usually the inventor of something that profits from it even today--the idea is simply bought out by some corporation who then makes a ton of money after paying the inventor a pittance.)

                          •  Well, my inventions went straight to my employer (0+ / 0-)

                            That was a condition of employment, standard in the industry. But at least my employer paid decent bonuses for patents regardless of the utility of the patent. So in some cases the inventor would be paid thousands more than the invention was worth,in other cases teh fraction would be in "pittance" territory.

                            But I worked at another corp which paid a flat legal minimum fee of $1/patent. :(

                          •  good (0+ / 0-)

                            I am happy to see that educated marxists are still around in the US. But elected democratic governments, to be fair, they werent a new invention in 1789. (Or 1776). It wasnt a great new discovery. You can trace the history of such representative rule through to the deeps of time. Thats some of the good hidden in humans, they do have this idea and will keep coming up with it even if they are wholly on their own.

                        •  Everyone should see the Happy Movie as you are (1+ / 0-)
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                          quite correct in pointing out happiness as a goal of organized society and one which has no idealogical base.

                          "If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." Winston Churchill

                          by Kvetchnrelease on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 06:15:35 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

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