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War is not inevitable


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#16    Br Cornelius

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:45 AM

View PostRavenHawk, on 09 December 2012 - 11:03 PM, said:

I'm only going to respond to this part real quickly because I have to fly…

This is not a finite world when it comes to resources.  What we have is limited access to these resources.  That is what causes wars.  That is what makes us strong and the reason Man survives.

Before Einstein, we were far more limited in our resources.  What discoveries are yet to come?  We have unlimited resources and that base always changes.  That resource is Man himself.  We just need the stress to unlock the awesome power of Man.  And wars are just one expression of that.  And the Invisible Hand is part of that.

The highlighted bit is the fundamental flaw in your position - there is a finite amount of everything and everything has a bell shaped production curve. We may never extract the last bit of oil, coal, Uranium or clean water but that doesn't mean we can extract it at a cost which is economically manageable.
The most pressing finite resource is soil which is been eroded by modern farming practices - the problem been that we need modern farming practices to feed the population - but it destroys the resource that it depends on to create our food. Soil cannot readily and affordably be replaced once it is destroyed. Coupled to this is the fact that our food is dependent on oil to create the fertilizers and drive the energy intensive machinery to extract it. Look at the fertile cresent to understand what happens when you don't respect the soil - its not as fertile as it was.

The infinite accessablility of resources if we just apply our brains to it is an illusion - there are always limits and many of them are been reached. The consequence is likely to be, as it has been in the past, that when our agriculture collapses we will attempt to invade another country to access their land. This is what China is doing, though it is buying land at the moment. Eventually the foreign agricultural lands run out also.

Br Cornelius

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#17    Br Cornelius

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 10:03 AM

Let me just say - I make no distinction between capitalism and communism/socialism in this regard. They are functionally the same in their outcomes and both are dependent on growth as a core principle.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius, 10 December 2012 - 10:42 AM.

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#18    RavenHawk

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 04:56 PM

View PostBr Cornelius, on 10 December 2012 - 09:45 AM, said:

The highlighted bit is the fundamental flaw in your position –
But it is not a flaw, but one of my key points, or I wouldn’t have stated it.

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there is a finite amount of everything and everything has a bell shaped production curve.
That is certainly subjective.  Raw resources are only limited to the size of planet Earth and soon, the resources of the solar system – comets, asteroids, moons, and planets.  All will be determined by the greatest resource – Man’s mind and sweat.

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We may never extract the last bit of oil, coal, Uranium or clean water but that doesn't mean we can extract it at a cost which is economically manageable.
This is partially true, but man will find a way to do it or provide an alternative.  They predict that sweet crude will run out in 50 years or so, but other techniques like fracking is producing oil.  Some say that that causes Earthquakes, it may or may not but we’ll either learn a way to reduce the Earthquakes or live with them.  We may find out that these minor Earthquakes release the tension of bigger ones and keep them from happening.  Knowing the nature of plate tectonics, I don’t see how many minor Earthquakes would build up stress.  We wouldn’t have the power to actually move a plate, but we can ring it softly.

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The most pressing finite resource is soil which is been eroded by modern farming practices - the problem been that we need modern farming practices to feed the population - but it destroys the resource that it depends on to create our food. Soil cannot readily and affordably be replaced once it is destroyed. Coupled to this is the fact that our food is dependent on oil to create the fertilizers and drive the energy intensive machinery to extract it. Look at the fertile cresent to understand what happens when you don't respect the soil - its not as fertile as it was.
The reason it is not as fertile is because of thousands of years of human existence.  This is normal and to be expected.  Not respecting it is certainly a cause of it losing some of its fertility, but natural factors probably have more affect.  It’s believed that the Sahara is on a cycle that becomes fertile every 26,000 years.  Perhaps the Fertile Crescent is a diminishing remnant of that and it is “cycling down”.  In the Southern Plains of the United States in the 20s and 30s over farming lead to the Dust Bowl, but land conservation brought that land back.  Israel is turning their desert into productive lands.  Affordability may be a temporary limiting factor but the enabling factor is Man’s mind and back.  There are things we cannot control but what we cannot control, we get around.  We are custodians of the land.  That doesn’t mean that we can’t exploit for our benefit.  There are just better ways to do so than others.  This is what we need to learn.

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The infinite accessablility of resources if we just apply our brains to it is an illusion –
Not an illusion.  It just takes hard work.  We can’t expect the government to be there for everything.

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there are always limits and many of them are been reached.
Yes, there are limits, but they haven’t been reached yet.  Limits are not insurmountable.  We haven’t reached Maximum Entropy yet.

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The consequence is likely to be, as it has been in the past, that when our agriculture collapses we will attempt to invade another country to access their land. This is what China is doing, though it is buying land at the moment. Eventually the foreign agricultural lands run out also.
That is very possible.  The result will be war and famine and a culling of the heard, like has happened in history.  And life will improve for those that remain.  Perhaps those that has the CCR5-Δ32 gene will pass it on?  We hopefully learn from mistakes and learn how to stretch the resources we have, find new ones, or create them.  Perhaps a society without instrumentality?

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#19    F3SS

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:03 PM

Solar storms are caused by capitalism too. I read a study where monkeys said so.

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#20    Br Cornelius

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:25 PM

View Post-Mr_Fess-, on 10 December 2012 - 08:03 PM, said:

Solar storms are caused by capitalism too. I read a study where monkeys said so.

Irony Ha Ha

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#21    Yamato

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 08:11 AM

War is caused by stress which is caused by capitalism?    No.

War is caused by stress which is caused by competition for resources.   Capitalism is just a way of equitably competing for those resources.   Can war result from conflicts from the practice of capitalism?  Of course, there is no economic or political system that's immune to violence.

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#22    acidhead

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 08:27 AM

No beaurocrat ever solved a problem without creating more in the process.

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#23    Br Cornelius

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 09:44 AM

View PostYamato, on 11 December 2012 - 08:11 AM, said:

War is caused by stress which is caused by capitalism? No.

War is caused by stress which is caused by competition for resources.   Capitalism is just a way of equitably competing for those resources.   Can war result from conflicts from the practice of capitalism?  Of course, there is no economic or political system that's immune to violence.
Capitalism, or should I say materialism, is the problem because it has the growth (profit) principle at its core. The imperative to produce a surplus (profit) creates a constant draw on basic raw materials - which is the biosphere.
Capitalism/communism/socialism cannot be made compatible with a finite resource base. Some other economic system which respects the finite nature of the planet has to replace it or we will continue to destroy our environment and eventually the system which supports our basic life support mechanism.
Living within your means is not possible when growth is your goal. Ditch the profit/growth motive in order to replace it with a steady state model of economics.

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#24    Br Cornelius

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 09:46 AM

View Postacidhead, on 11 December 2012 - 08:27 AM, said:

No beaurocrat ever solved a problem without creating more in the process.
It is our aquiecence to an unsustainable model which is at issue. The problem is caused by us as individuals and should be solved by us as individuals by behaving in a sustainable way and insisting that our institutions do likewise.


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#25    Yamato

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 10:16 AM

View PostBr Cornelius, on 11 December 2012 - 09:44 AM, said:

Capitalism, or should I say materialism, is the problem because it has the growth (profit) principle at its core. The imperative to produce a surplus (profit) creates a constant draw on basic raw materials - which is the biosphere.
Capitalism/communism/socialism cannot be made compatible with a finite resource base. Some other economic system which respects the finite nature of the planet has to replace it or we will continue to destroy our environment and eventually the system which supports our basic life support mechanism.
Living within your means is not possible when growth is your goal. Ditch the profit/growth motive in order to replace it with a steady state model of economics.

Br Cornelius
Profit incentive is the reason for so much advancement in our world.   In saying that, I'm also not sure that advancement is morally superior to stagnation.   I read in a journal that world knowledge has more than doubled since the 1970s.  Societal advancement and its wonderful products and services may ultimately prove catastrophically worse than living off the land like the the Amish.   Much of the technological advancement that makes our worlds so dramatically better comes from the "survival of the fittest" games mankind plays on itself.   World War 2 for example.  Look at the massive gains in technology made between 1939-1945.   Who was it that said "Necessity is the mother of invention" is right.   Non-capitalistic systems don't have incentive to profit (produce, trade, and consume) but they do nothing to remove the incentives to violence.   War becomes commercialized like it has in US foreign policy over the past 10 years.  

I'm not game for a protracted discussion about economic models here.  Not without the calculus and the research behind them at least.

But I will pose a take home question:  Do we accept war as a morally acceptable form of economic stimulus (Keynesianism?), or population control (environmentalism?)?

Edited by Yamato, 11 December 2012 - 10:24 AM.

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#26    Br Cornelius

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 11:17 AM

View PostYamato, on 11 December 2012 - 10:16 AM, said:

Profit incentive is the reason for so much advancement in our world.   In saying that, I'm also not sure that advancement is morally superior to stagnation.   I read in a journal that world knowledge has more than doubled since the 1970s.  Societal advancement and its wonderful products and services may ultimately prove catastrophically worse than living off the land like the the Amish.   Much of the technological advancement that makes our worlds so dramatically better comes from the "survival of the fittest" games mankind plays on itself.   World War 2 for example.  Look at the massive gains in technology made between 1939-1945.   Who was it that said "Necessity is the mother of invention" is right.   Non-capitalistic systems don't have incentive to profit (produce, trade, and consume) but they do nothing to remove the incentives to violence.   War becomes commercialized like it has in US foreign policy over the past 10 years.  

I'm not game for a protracted discussion about economic models here.  Not without the calculus and the research behind them at least.

But I will pose a take home question:  Do we accept war as a morally acceptable form of economic stimulus (Keynesianism?), or population control (environmentalism?)?
War is a consequence of overexploitation. It requires the moral acceptance of overexploitation as a justifiable means of conducting society to accept that war is a justifiable means to an end. It is not.

Competition is not the only pathway to innovation - the most dynamic area of knowledge advancement at the moment is in the public commons field which is all about cooperation. Take the example of Linux - an entirely cooperative project which has produced results far superior to Windows and OSX (which is a derivative of Linux sold for profit). There is no imperative to indulge in war/competition to sustain innovation, innovation is the product of fertile minds who see a public need - it is a tragedy that most innovative minds are diverted into projects of War when they could be solving real public needs.

Advancement of knowledge is always most rapid when information is shared in a spirit of cooperation rather than been horded for commercial reasons.

It is a myth that we prosper by some neoDarwinist survival of the fittest - it is simply propeganda of the current victors in the war of ideologies - there is nothing Platonic about the inevitability of this outcome - we have choices.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius, 11 December 2012 - 11:23 AM.

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#27    lightly

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:04 PM

View PostDieChecker, on 10 December 2012 - 04:02 AM, said:

If having enough was enough to prevent violence/war, then we'd see those in poverty, who get just enough not turning to violence or crime. Gangs form regardless of the financial situations. War is not just economic, it it cultural and societal. And has 9,999 other causes, like I said earlier.


War can have other causes , true enough,  but economics has got to be the Primary cause?    ..  what would be the primary reason that "those in poverty"  who "get just enough"  would turn to violence or form gangs ?   ... to get MORE?

Economically , war can be not only about taking from 'outsiders'  but  about taking from within?  Wars are expensive and many people get rich by supplying war's needs.   .. which is another powerful incentive to make war•

Important:  The above may contain errors, inaccuracies, omissions, and other limitations.

#28    RavenHawk

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:03 PM

View PostYamato, on 11 December 2012 - 10:16 AM, said:

But I will pose a take home question:  Do we accept war as a morally acceptable form of economic stimulus (Keynesianism?), or population control (environmentalism?)?
Yes.  And that would go for plague and famine too.

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#29    Babe Ruth

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 08:58 PM

View Postlightly, on 11 December 2012 - 12:04 PM, said:

War can have other causes , true enough,  but economics has got to be the Primary cause? ..  what would be the primary reason that "those in poverty"  who "get just enough"  would turn to violence or form gangs ?   ... to get MORE?

Economically , war can be not only about taking from 'outsiders'  but  about taking from within?  Wars are expensive and many people get rich by supplying war's needs.   .. which is another powerful incentive to make war•

Or, as U2 put it, gold is the reason for the wars we wage.


#30    DieChecker

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 10:17 PM

View Postlightly, on 11 December 2012 - 12:04 PM, said:

War can have other causes , true enough,  but economics has got to be the Primary cause? ..  what would be the primary reason that "those in poverty"  who "get just enough"  would turn to violence or form gangs ?   ... to get MORE?

Economically , war can be not only about taking from 'outsiders'  but  about taking from within?  Wars are expensive and many people get rich by supplying war's needs.   .. which is another powerful incentive to make war•
What was the reason for WW1? The Korean War? Vietnam War? American Civil War? Afghanistan? Even WW2 was more about fulfilment of treatys then it was about resources. Most of these were driven by pride, arrogance and desire for power, not greed.

Economics certainly factors in, but it is only a fragment, not a majority of the reason most wars are fought.

Edited by DieChecker, 11 December 2012 - 10:18 PM.

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