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Thread: The Zero Sum Game

  1. #1

    The Zero Sum Game

    I don't know definitively whether politics is of necessity a zero-sum game, but it is observable fact that it is always played as if it were.

    Any time "government" auto-increments itself, individual rights and the powers that evolve therefrom are decremented by at least an equal proportion, though in my experience it appears to always be a greater loss.

    There are ways to limit this, but can it be eliminated, short of eliminating "the state"? I doubt it.

    The minds of men are poisoned with all manner of evil thoughts that have in time become normalized such that they now believe them to be fundamental truths. There is not much that can be done about this, which is what has lead people of all stripes to each others' throats, time and again. We, the softened children of the "modern" age mostly blanch at the thought of these presumably barbaric historical occurrences, yet because we know nothing of the realities of those times and places, can we really judge them with consistent validity? Is it not possible that the resort to slitting the throats of our fellows is not inevitable, once men choose to live in unnatural proximity to one another, marinated in the artificialities of man's "law" that appear always to grow in number and stricture such that nothing but ever increased individual stress is the primary result?

    Just look at how miserable the people of this planet tend to be. Health is low from tooth decay to bad vision to cancer and AIDS - the list seems nearly endless. Had human health been of this caliber in ancient times, does anyone here think the human race would have survived this long?

    It is my posit that this is all the result of some men imposing a corral upon the rest such that the natural tendencies are thwarted and flummoxed such that the only possible result is bad physical and emotional health. Theye are killing us; destroying us; rendering our short time in this world of so low a quality as to almost not be worth the experiencing. Some will cite the "miracles" of cell phones, networks, "medicine", powered flight, and so forth. To them I say BOLLOCKS! Is even the totality of these admittedly impressive human inventions worth one's inner peace and freedom? One can only decide that for himself. As for me, I would rather be free and live the simple life, and mine is already far simpler today than are those of most here in America.

    If one man is limiting the power and avenues of choice of another, I see no way that this is anything BUT a zero-sum affair. Any time a man or group thereof suggests an increase in his or their powers over the rest, it would seems that the remaining population must perforce become losers of those very powers, and IMO likely more.

    Those in power never relinquish or attenuate that power, save through the presence of external forces that bid them so. It is for this reason that the only thing that ever appears to reduce or even temporarily eliminate tyrants is reset, an event of deep disruption such that all hell breaks loose and thereby interrupting the status quo sufficiently to change the fundamental social order... for a while.

    And while I'm at it, how is it that tyranny ALWAYS returns? It is as perennial as the grasses, to borrow a line from Max Ehrmann.

    I don't give a damn what benefit is claimed, ANY increase in Theire power will ALWAYS result in a net loss of same for YOU. And Me. And him. And her. And Grandma and Grandpa, and...

    We as a species appears to be hopelessly doomed to tyranny and slavery no matter how long our tenure in this universe may prove. It is my hope that I am not seeing something of future developments that will somehow free humanity from the boot heels of his fellows, but I am yet to be convinced that this is even possible.

    Imagine Star Trek style energy manipulation becomes possible. One speaks into a wall, saying "Tea, earl grey, hot" and the item appears as if by miracle. One would tend to think that all that would be needed is for ONE of those things to escape proprietary hands and the world could be soon thereafter freed from all material want. Let us assume it is so for argument's sake - I manage to steal one and start replicating replicators. Before you know it there are hundreds of them in WV and some end up in CA and God only knows where else. "Government" attempts to stop it, but the juggernaut is too much, too large, too fast, too determined and in a year or two there is no corner of the planet without millions of them.

    Everyone eats. Everyone be clothed. Everyone who wishes it is armed. The motivation for theft may even be gone, for what is the point in the risk if all you have to do is say "Tea, earl grey, hot" and it is yours?

    Would men then be effectively free? I doubt it. Would fundamentalist Muslims suddenly stop wanting to slit the throats of every infidel? Would thrill seekers stop seeking to "get over" on their fellows just for the challenge of it?

    I don't know for certain the answers, but it SEEMS that human nature is of a sort such that far too many of us want to take from the other for its own sake.

    Zero-sum thinking is a real problem for us.
    Through lives and lives shalt thou pay, O' king.

    "Itís just interesting to note how constant government oppression can kill peopleís fighting spirit." - Withur We

    Pray for reset.

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  3. #2
    If you don't have power, then someone else does.
    __________________________________________________ ________________
    "A politician will do almost anything to keep their job, even become a patriot" - Hearst

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Collins View Post
    If you don't have power, then someone else does.

    Where does the true power lie?

    "Government ... does not exist of necessity, but rather by virtue of a tragic, almost comical combination of klutzy, opportunistic terrorism against sitting ducks whom it pretends to shelter, plus our childish phobia of responsibility, praying to be exempted from the hard reality of life on life's terms." Wolf DeVoon

    "...Make America Great Again. I'm interested in making American FREE again. Then the greatness will come automatically."Ron Paul

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by CCTelander View Post
    Where does the true power lie?
    He doesn't concern himself with such academic questions.

    It exists, therefore he wants it. Tell him how to get it or get ignored.
    Quote Originally Posted by angelatc View Post
    There's not a liberty lover on the planet who isn't called a liberal by the right, and a con by the left.

  6. #5
    The OP basically sums up Tytler's Cycle of Democracies. It is just that... a cycle. As man experiments with new ideas and methods (of control), this cycle perpetuates undeterred. It can also be summed up thusly, "Strong men make good times, good times make weak men, weak men make hard times, and hard times make strong men." It is the very nature and essence of groups of human living in close proximity in large numbers. Humans would not be afflicted with such horrors were we scattered to the frontiers, the plains, the yukons, and the oceans. It is only when we 'choose' to create "civilizations" [sic] and settle large cities, states, and nations... whatever those are.
    There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.
    -Major General Smedley Butler, USMC,
    Two-Time Congressional Medal of Honor Winner
    Author of, War is a Racket!

    It is not that I am mad, it is only that my head is different from yours.
    - Diogenes of Sinope

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by CCTelander View Post
    Where does the true power lie?
    That's a vague question. Be more specific.
    __________________________________________________ ________________
    "A politician will do almost anything to keep their job, even become a patriot" - Hearst

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Collins View Post
    That's a vague question. Be more specific.
    Methinks it springs from the combination of the lust for it on the one hand and complacency on the other. It amazes me how humans hand themselves over to criminals and scoundrels every time.

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