Re: Definition of Fascism (was: Re: Evolution in action)

Michael M. Butler (butler@comp*
Tue, 16 Sep 1997 18:55:56 -0700

>But in their culture this was considered 'acceptible behaviour'. This was
>my original point (several posts ago ;-) What is justifiable and what is
>not is dependend on culture, time, situation. No absolute right or wrong

Are you familiar with the old proverb attributed to Abraham Lincoln (though
I suspect it's a lot older than he):

"How many legs does a dog have, if you call a tail a leg?"

[sucker answers: "Five."]

"No, four. _Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg._"

_Maybe_ no absolute right or wrong exists. But saying what you have said is
no proof of this, just blind assertion.

I'm a believer in cultural relativism, but I take it to mean what it means
to anthropologists, which is that if you are going to understand an aspect
of a culture you have to examine it in context. It does not mean that all
cultures are equal, nor does it mean that everything is relative.

As a concrete example: if you were to be put to death while traveling in
certain parts of the world for the crime of sticking chewing gum to some
part of a rapid transit train (I am not making this up), would you smile
and say, "No problem, I understand, it's all relative, in fact since I'm
_here_, I believe it's JUST and GOOD that I die..."?


>Please explain to me how commercial governement/legal system works?
>The governement may not be all that nice and efficient but giving control
>over the ICBM'ss to an organisation who's primary purpose it is to make a
>yearly profit seems rather risky to me.

Hmm. You mean that having nuclear weapons in the hands of organizations
that have, in times as recent as ten years ago, as their stated purpose,
the destruction of capitalism--is somehow better?

Weapons of mass destruction are perceived as a toughie, but I'll let
someone else tackle that one.

Consider *this*, however: if things progress as many extropians expect or
hope or are working toward, eventually individuals will possess
energy-manipulation capacities in the equivalent-megaton-yield range. It
doesn't matter if you call the technology that provides this "dilithium
crystals", "shipstones" or "nukes"...

>I could think of some situations (in theorie at least) were I would put the
>interest of a number of persosns (the group) above the interst of one

As can I. The question is, am I free to choose? Or did the group choose for
me? *That's* the crux, and one of the things that keeps the same old
arguments going.

> Arjen Kamphuis | Learn as if you will live forever.
> | Live as though you will die tomorrow.


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