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52

I think that Frank Herbert's points were these: Everyone is different, with different varying abilities. You might be good at math, I might not be. I might learn by doing, you might learn by reading. When people try to force people to meet a one size fits all standard so that everyone will be equal, it ends up creating injustices. Example: I'm not ...


52

It just happens that scoring high in the indexes you listed - progressive policies, social mobility, education and income equality - all require the same two things: A productive economy which generates a lot of GDP The political will to tap into that GDP through taxation and spend those funds on social politics So any country which has these two things ...


40

Another reason you cannot have a significant drop in house prices is that it would push millions of people into negative equity, which in itself would cause massive damage to the economy (not to mention ruining people's lives!). One particular thing to note is that we don't really have a housing shortage - what we have is a shortage of housing in the areas ...


25

TL;DR - the government should print more, take less, and stop interfering Houses aren't that expensive. Land isn't that expensive. Land with planning permission is incredibly expensive. A hectare of brown field land without planning permission might sell for £16,000, and you'll get 12-14 reasonable houses on that. The cost of land for each house is ...


19

tl;dr: If non-dictatorial communist societies existed, then not for long. But what is communist anyway? There's a lot of confusion concerning the term communism. There have been many movements that called themselves communist, and more often than not they have denounced each other as wrong or traitors. Let's try to get a definition from the horse's mouth: ...


14

Russia Today is a news network funded directly by the Russian government. You don't get anything with a stronger pro-Kremlin bias than them.


14

Yes, public nudity is legal in many countries, but it varies by community dependent upon what is considered indecent exposure. In Scandinavia, Barcelona, the United Kingdom, and Canada for example it is legal to be naked in public in some circumstances like sunbathing, skinny dipping, or similar activities. What constitutes indecent exposure depends on ...


14

The problem with this question is that you can not think of this as an objective mathematics optimization problem, because quantifying "benefit" and "suffering" is a completely subjective thing. So before you can answer the question what political system is the most optimized, you first have to agree on a consensus about what metrics to optimize for. ...


13

Is my observation somewhat justified or am I falling victim to my own confirmation bias when I see those lists (and ignore those lists that are not fitting into my worldview)? This does seem to be the case, because your list almost completely ignores individual, political, and economic freedom, so if we were to take it as a value system, we would prescribe ...


12

The entire social contract tradition on which most modern forms of government are based depends on equality of certain rights. The Declaration of Independence states it rather clearly 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, ...


12

I think an as-yet largely unaddressed point is the impact of planning permission. Trilarion mentions land being expensive, but this is true mostly due to artificial limits on supply. As an illustrative figure, an acre of arable Oxfordshire land typically costs under £10,000. With planning permission granted, this can increase by roughly 10,000% to ~£1 ...


12

Cynical answer: The paragraph quoted seems like an ominous portent of the boredom to follow. They're just saying that over the centuries various authors have various differing definitions of "the State", and the present book's authors are either: genuinely uncertain which, if any, is the most useful and correct of these definitions, and are hashing out ...


11

In fact, I believe attempts to create some abstract equalization create a morass of injustices that rebound on the equalizers. Equal justice and equal opportunity are ideals we should seek, but we should recognize that humans administer the ideals and that humans do not have equal ability." Caveat: my answer's main point is pretty similar to @TheLeopard's ...


11

Okay, this requires a lot to unpack, but I'm going to try here. For the purposes of this discussion, I'll use two "controversial" statements one that will be agreeable to most US society including Facebook ("I like Fireworks on the Fourth of July") and one which is not ("Nickleback is the greatest band ever"). These are meant to avoid actually really nasty ...


10

Facebook is not a government organization. It is a private company. As such, the first amendment does not restrict its right to free speech, it protects it. As a private company, they can decide what speech is and is not allowed on their platform. If the government would try to restrict the way Facebook moderates and distributes their content, then it would ...


8

Spain has a constitutional monarchy. The term "constitutional monarchy" means that the king is stripped from the conventional powers -though he retains very limited power- an absolute king would have. This contradicts the term absolute monarchy where the king is the de facto ruler - Qatar and Saudi Arabia, for instance, are absolute monarchies. That being ...


8

It's not an interesting quote politically or otherwise, because it's obvious. SF writers of Herbert's generation were prone to issuing frank and chronic updates of their educational misadventures. Herbert meant that his earlier too literal reading of a certain Jeffersonian premise eventually led him to a somewhat less over-literal interpretation. (Herbert'...


8

The bit concerning you seems to be humans do not have equal ability. That is manifestly true though. Some people are strong, some are fast, some are smarter, some more intuitive. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses and some are strong in many areas, others are weak in many. For example a special forces soldier has to be strong, fast, ...


8

As a question on this stack, this seems to assume that the "best" system will be political in nature. That's not necessarily so. Many of the improvements from five hundred years ago are technological in nature. For example, indoor plumbing provides a wide array of benefits in terms of convenience and health. But that is a technology that didn't exist ...


8

Political goods tend to reinforce each other. For example countries with good, free or cheap higher education tend also to have high social mobility. Moreover, an informed citizenry can hold the government to account more effectively. Whilst countries with robust welfare systems tend to do well with the overall health of the population. Hence countries high ...


7

What connects them seems to be some obvious (even to non-academic-politologists) facts. One of the most obvious is the trust in institutions: As per FiveThirtyEght (originally sourced from Gallup), trust in political institutions (and thus politicians) in USA is abysmally low. Like, low double digit low (Congress is at 10%). They don't have a separate line ...


6

From one viewpoint, equality is basically the same thing as fairness, and fairness is something that all primates tend to value. This National Geographic article, for example, discusses how capuchins will throw rewards back in the faces of researchers if someone's getting a better deal than them. We accept equality as a value because we're genetically ...


6

To answer the second part of your question about other seating arrangements: The British House of Commons is set up in a rectangle, with each party on one side of the rectangle and the speaker sitting in between the two aisles. Also unique to the HoC is the size. The chamber can only seat 427 of the 650 members. After WWII, Churchill had the opportunity to ...


6

Yes, Standard of Living correlates with higher education, because the latter is included in the measurement of the former. Standard of living refers to the level of wealth, comfort, material goods and necessities available to a certain socioeconomic class in a certain geographic area. The standard of living includes factors such as income, quality and ...


6

Note No country has ever claimed to be communist. They've claimed to be Socialist. Communism is a classless, stateless society. Some ones that may have become democratic socialist societies had they survived are Anarchist Catalonia, the Paris Commune, and the Bavarian Soviet Republic. All of these were destroyed by outside forces before we could see how ...


6

RT has been mentioned, but another worth nothing is Sputnik International. Without whom I would never have learned that not only does National Walrus Day exist, but it is November 24th. Their editorial bias is pretty much the Kremlin line, only they're aimed at an international audience. I was sad when they came to be, because they replaced RIA Novosti; ...


6

As others have pointed out, the affordability of housing is not really linked to house-building profits. House-buying is limited by: high-demand areas such as London; meanwhile there was a period when Stoke-On-Trent council was selling run-down houses for £1 on the condition that the owners renovate and live in them. Until the economy is more widely ...


5

Generally, equality is valued because it is the most pragmatic policy when it comes to government, law and economics. All the things I listed, are part of the greater society (of course there are other factors), but in the end, equality is the goal and it's the most "common sense" of all goals. In short, it's essentially the application of the Golden Rule. ....


5

The Dom (in North Africa and the Middle East) and Lom (in the Middle East) people are, insofar as I'm aware, relatively well integrated compared to their Romani cousins in Europe. The thing with North Africa and the Middle East is that they didn't have anything comparable to the level of Anti-Romanyism - culminating with the Porajmos during WW2 - that ...


5

I will try to provide an answer from Romania's perspective which has one of the largest communities of Roma people: ~850000. It might also explain, at least in part, Bulgaria's issues in integrating Roma people. So, I will cover the final question, since it is more answerable: Why don't the Central/Eastern European countries use their [countries where ...


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