Philosophical Musings

Philosophical Musings

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Occupy wall street's declaration of independence..

Here is the source:

They sure have a lot of self evident truths, here. I'll take a look at them..
We hold these truths to be self-evident:
That the real, physical world is the source of our own lives, and the lives of others. A weakened planet is less capable of supporting life, human or otherwise.
I'll go along with this premise. The earth is our home. If it fails, we are dead.
Thus the health of the real world is primary, more important than any social or economic system, because all social or economic systems are dependent upon a living planet.
I'll go along with this logical conclusion of the above premise.
It is self-evident that to value a social system that harms the planet’s capacity to support life over life itself is to be out of touch with physical reality.
I suppose this would be true.. If you can show there exists such a system. IF iran or n. korea, for example, wanted to nuke the whole world & kill everyone & everything on the planet, that would be a bad thing. But i'm not sure they've defined 'social system' adequately to describe what they really mean.. we actually do know what they mean, but they don't want to say it directly.
That any way of life based on the use of nonrenewable resources is by definition not sustainable.
I disagree with this premise. Iron, for example, is non-renewable, yet many things we have are made with it. I don't know if you could say our way of life is based on it, but what would that be? Oil? I'm sure this is where they are going, but our way of life is not based on it.. it certainly is an important energy source, but no more than iron or aluminum is an important manufacturing source. Oil is not important if we don't have iron.
That any way of life based on the hyper-exploitation of renewable resources is by definition not sustainable: if, for example, fewer salmon return every year, eventually there will be none. This means that for a way of life to be sustainable, it must not harm native communities: native prairies, native forests, native fisheries, and so on.
Ok, now we're finally getting to the point. I don't agree with this premise or conclusion, because it has not been established that we are 'hyper-exploiting' anything. That is just assumed. Certainly care must be given to the wildlife & ecosystems. But it is possible for us to live in harmony with nature, as we have done for millions* of years. What is 'native'? Humans are native to the earth, so if humans occupy an area, they are native to it. I think humans have more responsibility to manage & protect the planet, since we are so dominant, & presumably have intelligence.

(*not all agree with this, but most arguing for this article would, i will assume)

That the real world is interdependent, such that harm done to rivers harms those humans and nonhumans whose lives depend on these rivers, harms forests and prairies and wetlands surrounding these rivers, harms the oceans into which these rivers flow. Harm done to mountains harms the rivers flowing through them. Harm done to oceans harms everyone directly or indirectly connected to them.
There seems to be a lot of usage of 'harm' in this. I don't think this has been established, but is assumed. Certainly i am in favor of responsible management of our environment, & regulating industry so it does not pollute. Is that all that you want? Regulations to reduce pollution?
That you cannot argue with physics. If you burn carbon-based fuels, this carbon will go into the air, and have effects in the real world.
People argue with physics & about physics all the time, even in the real world. If you boil water, it vaporizes & also goes in the air. Yes there can be extremes & excesses, but not all carbon is bad. Plants need co2 to live & grow.
That creating and releasing poisons into the world will poison humans and nonhumans.
Poisons? Are you suggesting carbon is poison? Or have we moved on, since the carbon issue is settled?
That no one, no matter how rich or powerful, should be allowed to create poisons for which there is no antidote.
I thought we were in the real world. You think regulations can be passed to prevent a 'rich & powerful' person to create poisons? I'm fine with the concept, but only a world totalitarian government, with total control over all manufacturing, research, & money could prevent such a thing from happening. But perhaps this is where you're going with this list?
That no one, no matter how rich or powerful, should be allowed to create messes that cannot be cleaned up.
Well, this assumes messes can be made that cannot be cleaned up. Perhaps world wide nuclear destruction would be tough to clean up, but even it could be in time. But we clean up after tsunamis, hurricanes, oil spills, terrorist attacks (twin towers), urban riots, and of course, war. So are those ok? I'd be for good, reasonable regulations that minimize accidents, & provides for cleanup after them.
That no one, no matter how rich or powerful, should be allowed to destroy places humans or nonhumans need to survive.
Away from the real world, again. We can 'not allow' all we want, but unless we have totalitarian world rule, some dictator somewhere will destroy places & kill people & bunnies. We could also kill all humans, which would end that threat. Otherwise, we are not in the real world, but in a fantasy world, telling world tyrants they are not allowed to destroy places.
That no one, no matter how rich or powerful, should be allowed to drive human cultures or nonhuman species extinct.
You mean like genocide? Ok, i'll go along with the idealistic fantasy.. no one like hitler should be allowed to come to power. Why, that was easy! Now the world is safe! Again, the only way to enforce this would be to give someone total authority over the entire world, with tight controls to prevent us from harming & driving living things extinct.
That reality trumps all belief systems: what you believe is not nearly so important as what is real.
Of course this is true! If only the writer could see the irony!
That on a finite planet you cannot have an economy based on or requiring growth. At least you cannot have one and expect to either have a planet or a future.
This is a non-sequiter, imo. What does a growing economy have to do with a finite planet? No correlations have been made. Would a declining economy be ok? How about an up and down economy?
That the current way of life is not sustainable, and will collapse. The only real questions are what will be left of the world after that collapse, and how bad things will be for the humans and nonhumans who come after. We hold it as self-evident that we should do all that we can to make sure that as much of the real, physical world remains intact until the collapse of the current system, and that humans and nonhumans should be as prepared as possible for this collapse.
Ok, collapse is inevitable. So we should become apocalyptic survivalists, learning how to purify water & build a cache of arms & seeds. Seems like you guys better get out of the city. How will the nonhumans prepare?
That the health of local economies are more important than the health of a global economy.
It seems to me that in our modern world, we are already codependent. How can you have isolationism in a totalitarian world dictatorship?
That a global economy should not be allowed to harm local economies or land bases.
You talk to global economies, now? You're going to tell them who they can harm or not harm? We are for sure not in the real world, now.
That corporations are not living beings. They are certainly not human beings.
Ok.. so you come up with a timeless truth that just happens to be a commentary on a fleeting current event? But i'll go for this one. Fine. Corporations are not people.
That corporations do not in any real sense exist. They are legal fictions. Limited liability corporations are institutions created explicitly to separate humans from the effects of their actions—making them, by definition, inhuman and inhumane. To the degree that we desire to live in a human and humane world—and, really, to the degree that we wish to survive—limited liability corporations need to be eliminated.
Man you really have it in for corporations. They have been around for hundreds of years.. some have been good, some bad.. just like people! What's the obsession with corporations? Aren't they just 'groups' of people, in a raw sense? And you label all as inhuman.. isn't that kind of judgmental? You want to end the right of people to incorporate.. either in a business, family, or any endeavor. But unions incorporate. So do political parties. What's wrong with letting people band together in a common purpose? How do you propose for people to group together in common ideals, like saving the whales, or stopping war, or electing some retard to office? Clubs? Nations? I don't get the hostility to all corporations. Sure, we need regulations, but banning all of them? This is another baby & bathwater proposal.
That the health of human and nonhuman communities is more important than the profits of corporations.
More corporation bashing. Of course people & the environment are more important than profits. You think ending corporations will solve that?
We hold it as self-evident, as the Declaration of Independence states, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends [Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness], it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it. . . .” Further, we hold it as self-evident that it would be more precise to say that it is not the Right of the People, nor even their responsibility, but instead something more like breathing—something that if we fail to do we die.
Since you're plagiarizing Jefferson, too bad you didn't succeed in brevity. Too many muddled premises & befuddled conclusions.. not simple like,

'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.'

See? That's how you write a declaration of independence.. concise, to the point, simple, timeless. That's what you should have copied, rather than muddled rants about corporations, the economy, & the environment.

If we as a People fail to rid our communities of destructive institutions, those institutions will destroy our communities. And if we in our communities cannot provide meaningful and nondestructive ways for people to gain food, clothing, and shelter then we must recognize it’s not just specific destructive institutions but the entire economic system that is pushing the natural world past breaking points. Capitalism is killing the planet. Industrial civilization is killing the planet.
Oh, so now it's 'we as a People'. I thought we needed a dominating world government, not personal liberty. Institutions? You mean corporations? Or national governments? You somehow think people would be peaceful & loving if they did not have a corporation to join? How can people get food in non destructive ways? eat soybeans? Neither capitalism nor industrialism is killing anything. The logic here is killing me.
Once we’ve recognized the destructiveness of capitalism and industrial civilization—both of which are based on systematically converting a living planet into dead commodities—we’ve no choice, unless we wish to sign our own and our children’s death warrants, but to fight for all we’re worth and in every way we can to overturn it.
So you're prepared to fight & kill the evil corporationists, who only want the planet's destruction. Oh, and capitalists are also included. What, no socialists? Don't they eat meat, live in inefficient houses, burn electricity made with unapproved raw materials, & fly around in jets burning non renewable fossil fuels? The commies do, too. And so do the libertarians! What about the totalitarians? Didn't Kim Jong-il also pollute & eat meat? He killed a lot of people.. why does he get a pass, but capitalists & corporations have to bear the blame for all the ills of the world?

I don't see how any thinking person could buy this crap. This strikes a chord with you? You really see logic & wisdom in this stuff? You think there are real answers to the world's problems in this movement? With declarations like this?

Sorry.. i hate to be dismissive or ridicule another's heart felt world view, but this is so absurd i keep thinking someone will jump up & say, 'Gotcha! Ha ha ha! We were just kidding!'

Either that or i am completely misunderstanding what is being said here.. maybe there have been a lot of word changes & mistranslations.. so if i have missed the point, please explain.

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