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Admin270's "The Degeneration of the Republic"


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vcczar @Reagan04 @Actinguy @Patine @Conservative Elector 2 @TheMiddlePolitical @WVProgressive @SilentLiberty @pilight @admin_270 @Hestia11 @Herbert Hoover @mlcorcoran @Leuser @upandaway @jvikings1 @Rodja @Edouard @jnewt @Nentomat @Kingthero @Sunnymentoaddict @RFK/JFKfan @Mr.Blood @Zenobiyl @Wiw @MBDemSoc @ThePotatoWalrus @Alxeu @Allyn @Cenzonico @CentristGuy @Ishan @billay @wolves @RI Democrat @lizarraba @lizphairphreak @TheLiberalKitten @MysteryKnight @avatarmushi @servo75 @Mark_W

@admin_270 has mentioned at least twice signs of the "degeneration of the Republic." I think this is an interesting topic. 

Based off what you think that term means, what do you think are the causes and symptoms of "the degeneration of the republic." Maybe based off our list, I'll create some sort of poll. 

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2 minutes ago, vcczar said:

vcczar @Reagan04 @Actinguy @Patine @Conservative Elector 2 @TheMiddlePolitical @WVProgressive @SilentLiberty @pilight @admin_270 @Hestia11 @Herbert Hoover @mlcorcoran @Leuser @upandaway @jvikings1 @Rodja @Edouard @jnewt @Nentomat @Kingthero @Sunnymentoaddict @RFK/JFKfan @Mr.Blood @Zenobiyl @Wiw @MBDemSoc @ThePotatoWalrus @Alxeu @Allyn @Cenzonico @CentristGuy @Ishan @billay @wolves @RI Democrat @lizarraba @lizphairphreak @TheLiberalKitten @MysteryKnight @avatarmushi @servo75 @Mark_W

@admin_270 has mentioned at least twice signs of the "degeneration of the Republic." I think this is an interesting topic. 

Based off what you think that term means, what do you think are the causes and symptoms of "the degeneration of the republic." Maybe based off our list, I'll create some sort of poll. 

Some ideas:

 

The lack of knowledge for the political process

The lack of knowledge for history of your home country

Selfishness 

The discontent for values and traditions

The tendency to take everything for granted

 

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6 minutes ago, vcczar said:

vcczar @Reagan04 @Actinguy @Patine @Conservative Elector 2 @TheMiddlePolitical @WVProgressive @SilentLiberty @pilight @admin_270 @Hestia11 @Herbert Hoover @mlcorcoran @Leuser @upandaway @jvikings1 @Rodja @Edouard @jnewt @Nentomat @Kingthero @Sunnymentoaddict @RFK/JFKfan @Mr.Blood @Zenobiyl @Wiw @MBDemSoc @ThePotatoWalrus @Alxeu @Allyn @Cenzonico @CentristGuy @Ishan @billay @wolves @RI Democrat @lizarraba @lizphairphreak @TheLiberalKitten @MysteryKnight @avatarmushi @servo75 @Mark_W

@admin_270 has mentioned at least twice signs of the "degeneration of the Republic." I think this is an interesting topic. 

Based off what you think that term means, what do you think are the causes and symptoms of "the degeneration of the republic." Maybe based off our list, I'll create some sort of poll. 

I would use, the word "decline." "Degeneration," sounds like a term used by far-right-wing extremists looking to gain governance of such a nation and claiming to have the "answers and solutions," to remedy said, "degeneration."

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Increasing wealth inequality

Growing distrust/discontent among the people with various democratic institutions and processes (such as elections)

Political polarization

Populism and Demagoguery

Government dysfunction/gridlock

 

 

 

 

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I already made a message about it.

But if you want a good book I firmly recommend :

 

The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It  (English Edition) eBook: Mounk, Yascha: Amazon.fr

 

I read it. And also.

 

Amazon.fr - What Is Populism? - Mueller, Jan-Werner - Livres

 

To talk about Yascha's book :

He personnaly believes that 3 things led to current situation :

-Economic stagnation

-Rising immigration (or important one) not to denounce, but to explain that some white people have felt "depossessed"

-Social networks which have let a total and uncontroled free speech but also conspiracy and hate speech (he compares internet to the print invention and says the print inventions led to religious wars)

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I point to the 24 hour news cycle.  That’s a LOT of time to fill, and yet almost none of it is spent talking about substance.  At best, we get talking heads yelling over each other.

The business model demands viewers and viewers demand conflict and so you’ve got CNN advertising political debates like they are literally wrestling matches, and almost NONE of it is remotely informative.  They (and here I mean all tv news, with Fox being the most egregious but not at all alone) tell you how to feel about an issue, but not why.

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Actinguy said:

I point to the 24 hour news cycle.  That’s a LOT of time to fill, and yet almost none of it is spent talking about substance.  At best, we get talking heads yelling over each other.

The business model demands viewers and viewers demand conflict and so you’ve got CNN advertising political debates like they are literally wrestling matches, and almost NONE of it is remotely informative.  They (and here I mean all tv news, with Fox being the most egregious but not at all alone) tell you how to feel about an issue, but not why.

 

 

I agree. True integrity and respectability of American journalism died when Walter Cronkite retired.

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  • Anti-intellectualism in national political life and in the media--this also parallels with a rise of populism. Internet and social media is playing a role in this. 
  • Income gap inequality, which also can be said to connect to the first point. 
  • Serious flaws in the public and private education systems, somewhat connected to my first point. 
  • Political parties seeking ideological purity, possibly also connects to the first point. 
  • Stubborn adherence to outdated traditional beliefs that often interfere with harmonizing a large multi-cultural nation that is a member of an international community. This also connects with my first point. 

Basically, my first point -- Anti-intellectualism in the public and private life of the American citizen. This isn't new, it's just more prevalent. McCarthyism was a surge of anti-intellectualism, for instance. 

 

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Well, Hitler seized power off the back of the Great Depression, right? The same applies here. On top of that, social media has caused more and bloodier wars than even print has. And, like I say, populism turns into fascism in the end.

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1 minute ago, Wiw said:

On top of that, social media has caused more and bloodier wars than even print has.

I'd be very interested in hearing what evidence there is to support that.

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8 minutes ago, Wiw said:

Well, Hitler seized power off the back of the Great Depression, right? The same applies here. On top of that, social media has caused more and bloodier wars than even print has. And, like I say, populism turns into fascism in the end.

"If you're constantly looking for the next Hitler, you'll be blindsided by what does come."

I can't remember who said that quote, but it's a good one.

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55 minutes ago, vcczar said:
  • Anti-intellectualism in national political life and in the media--this also parallels with a rise of populism. Internet and social media is playing a role in this. 
  • Income gap inequality, which also can be said to connect to the first point. 
  • Serious flaws in the public and private education systems, somewhat connected to my first point. 
  • Political parties seeking ideological purity, possibly also connects to the first point. 
  • Stubborn adherence to outdated traditional beliefs that often interfere with harmonizing a large multi-cultural nation that is a member of an international community. This also connects with my first point. 

Basically, my first point -- Anti-intellectualism in the public and private life of the American citizen. This isn't new, it's just more prevalent. McCarthyism was a surge of anti-intellectualism, for instance. 

 

The ideological purity one is a huge factor in congress and the senate. Dems and Reps are forbidden from even meeting in their personal lives, and congressmen are scored on how much they tow the party line.

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1 hour ago, Actinguy said:

I point to the 24 hour news cycle.  That’s a LOT of time to fill, and yet almost none of it is spent talking about substance.  At best, we get talking heads yelling over each other.

The business model demands viewers and viewers demand conflict and so you’ve got CNN advertising political debates like they are literally wrestling matches, and almost NONE of it is remotely informative.  They (and here I mean all tv news, with Fox being the most egregious but not at all alone) tell you how to feel about an issue, but not why.

 

 

Jon Stewart has a great quote on this exact problem.

”News is made for 9/11. In the absence of that, they’re (the media) not just going to say there’s nothing urgent going on.”

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12 hours ago, vcczar said:
  • Serious flaws in the public and private education systems, somewhat connected to my first point. 

We both see serious flaws in the education system, but I think we see them from a different angle. As said if I were supposed to lead a country's department, I'd like to see myself as the Secretary of Education first, because I saw/see the flaws of the education system first hand as a (college) student.

From my experience too much people intellectually not capable of going to higher schools or even colleges are allowed to attend them. You really notice that downward trend massively. I'd strongly propose admission tests for higher schools and colleges. I also think tuition fees might be a good idea, because I think too much people not even interested in their subjects are attending colleges. You can tell that by their attendance record, the low number of homeworks handed in, absolutely bad presentations etc.

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7 hours ago, Conservative Elector 2 said:

We both see serious flaws in the education system, but I think we see them from a different angle. As said if I were supposed to lead a country's department, I'd like to see myself as the Secretary of Education first, because I saw/see the flaws of the education system first hand as a (college) student.

From my experience too much people intellectually not capable of going to higher schools or even colleges are allowed to attend them. You really notice that downward trend massively. I'd strongly propose admission tests for higher schools and colleges. I also think tuition fees might be a good idea, because I think too much people not even interested in their subjects are attending colleges. You can tell that by their attendance record, the low number of homeworks handed in, absolutely bad presentations etc.

I’m not a fan of tuition fees, but I do agree that schools should be more meritocratic. It should be more difficult and rewarding to attend higher education. That said, it should also be cheaper and less necessary. Only those who want college should be attending, and they should not be concerned with the cost and instead with becoming skilled and educated citizens.

Currently our system has students who attend out of obligation, and students who don’t because of cost. It’s the worst of both worlds in my opinion.

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8 minutes ago, Zenobiyl said:

Currently our system has students who attend out of obligation, and students who don’t because of cost. It’s the worst of both worlds in my opinion.

Yes, I agree in part here. Not attending university in Austria nowadays is probably considered as a negative point in one's CV. That's because you have barely any obstacles to get there. You don't even need to have completed the type of prep school (Gynasium) anymore. You can still make an admission exam and get your way into college.

The standard here are state funded colleges, with a standard fee of just 20 bucks per semester. Smaller private colleges are considered not as prestigious because the experts are sitting at the University of Vienna (founded in 1365 and home to more than 90k students). It's weird somehow.

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13 minutes ago, Zenobiyl said:

but I do agree that schools should be more meritocratic. It should be more difficult and rewarding to attend higher education.

100% agree.

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26 minutes ago, Zenobiyl said:

I’m not a fan of tuition fees, but I do agree that schools should be more meritocratic. It should be more difficult and rewarding to attend higher education. That said, it should also be cheaper and less necessary. Only those who want college should be attending, and they should not be concerned with the cost and instead with becoming skilled and educated citizens.

Currently our system has students who attend out of obligation, and students who don’t because of cost. It’s the worst of both worlds in my opinion.

 

11 minutes ago, Conservative Elector 2 said:

100% agree.

But when you have political figures like, infamously Newt Gingrich in the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election, though seemingly definitely not exclusively him, and many wealthy captains of industry, that seem to believe and promote the idea, often without out and saying explicitly, that the majority of secondary school students should just prepare themselves for services and labour jobs. The, "someone has to dig ditches," gaffe from a member of the Reagan Administration over student loans and scholarship difficulties, that was parodied for a while in a bit of '80's media (like the first, "Caddyshack," move, for instance), is still an ongoing attitude in many circles of power.

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7 hours ago, Conservative Elector 2 said:

We both see serious flaws in the education system, but I think we see them from a different angle. As said if I were supposed to lead a country's department, I'd like to see myself as the Secretary of Education first, because I saw/see the flaws of the education system first hand as a (college) student.

From my experience too much people intellectually not capable of going to higher schools or even colleges are allowed to attend them. You really notice that downward trend massively. I'd strongly propose admission tests for higher schools and colleges. I also think tuition fees might be a good idea, because I think too much people not even interested in their subjects are attending colleges. You can tell that by their attendance record, the low number of homeworks handed in, absolutely bad presentations etc.

Here are my issues with this:

  • Admission tests: What kind(s) of tests. Standardized tests aren't a very good measure of real intelligence. It really only captures how well one does on standardized texts, but does little to capture global thinking, creative thinking, theoretical thinking, etc. Ivy League schools are moving away from these. Yet, it's the most efficient way to grade students because a computer can grade them. I think either a new sort of testing should be done or the "testing" is done via class performance their first semester. If they can get A's  or B's during the probationary period, then they get to stay. That might be a good compromise. Overall, I think testing should be based on the learning and thinking style of the student. Math and science students would have a test that is math and science based. A liberal arts student would have a test that is essay based or oral based. Something like that. Current test systems really leave people out. Many of the smartest people I know were mediocre test takers, and many of the best test takers I know have no original thoughts and no imaginative vision.
  • Tuition fees: Your reason for tuition fees is a little weak. Adding or raising tuition fees is mostly going to hurt people that want to go to college and are interested in their subjects. I hope you don't mean what your statement implies but it almost reads as if you think poor people aren't interested in their subjects; therefore, add tuition and then they can't or won't pay for them. If you want to kick out lazy students, then you raise the standards in the classroom. Don't raise the cost of attending. 
  • Attendance: My stance with attendance is this. If it wasn't for school policy, I wouldn't enforce attendance. Those too lazy or uninterested already diminish the classroom experience by just being there. Group work doesn't work well and etc. Let them be absent and let the grade reflect that. If they're going to fail anyway, might as well not have them in the room. In addition to this, I sometimes have brilliant students that learn best on their own. They could attend only the lectures that they find fulfilling and still get an A in the course, so long as they ace the exams. No reason to be a doctrinaire here. 
  • Homework: This may be different than with a math or science course, but graded homework should be restricted only to essentially important things. I assign almost no graded homework. However, I have a lot of reading assignments. I don't grade the reading, but they are so essential to in-class discussion, written exams, that I don't really need to. 
  • Presentations: I do like presentations by students, but I don't allow Power Point presentations because they just end up reading off the slides. I don't do many presentations. 

Where I do agree with you:

  • I do think the standards of staying in high school and college should be higher. I think a college degree should mean something. A real attainment. I just think we disagree on how to achieve that. 
    • I think all students should be able to go to a kind of high school. If one doesn't do well in a classical high school, there should be trade high schools and other kinds of high schools. A lot of kids going into high school haven't had the experience to even know what they are good at or what they are interested in. Parents also have too much control on a child's happiness, what interests they can explore, and how they should think about things. 
    • I think all students that want to go to college, should have that opportunity; however, I think all students should have some sort of probationary period which determines if they stay or go to a tech college or other kind of college. I also think businesses that don't really need a college degree should feel comfortable not requesting that applicants have a college degree. 
    • Going back to higher standards, I think schools and teachers should be more demanding on a student's learning, intelligence, etc. Assignments should be tougher but no less interesting. No busy work. I think there should either be a grade higher than an A. In college, I knew exactly what I needed to do to get an A. If there was a grade higher than an A, I would have aimed higher. Allow a grade of like S (for special grade) for students who basically perfect or for the top student in the class. Anything below a B is failing. A lot of C students are C students because they just aim to do enough to pass. They can and will do more.
    • One issue with grades is that professors grade differently. Despite my request for tougher grading, I'm quite lenient. The overall GPA should be prorated based on a professor's record. My Military History Professor (I took 5 classes with him) had a policy of awarding only three A's per class (he probably allowed exceptions). Another student might have a professor that gives out twice or thrice as many A's on the same material. Someone that gets a B in the strict professor's class would probably get an A in the other professor's class. I think selecting tougher professors can be encouraged by making the A's in those courses worth more than an A in an easy professor's course. 

Overall, I think the standards should be much, much tougher, but that reform has to be student-centric and exceptionally aware of the various types of thinking, intelligence, socio-economic factors of the families they come from, etc. I don't think anything cookie cutter is going to work. It has to be a very adaptable and multi-layered reform. 

I occasionally have daydreams in which I win a massive lottery and start my own reform-minded college. 

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8 hours ago, Conservative Elector 2 said:

We both see serious flaws in the education system, but I think we see them from a different angle. As said if I were supposed to lead a country's department, I'd like to see myself as the Secretary of Education first, because I saw/see the flaws of the education system first hand as a (college) student.

From my experience too much people intellectually not capable of going to higher schools or even colleges are allowed to attend them. You really notice that downward trend massively. I'd strongly propose admission tests for higher schools and colleges. I also think tuition fees might be a good idea, because I think too much people not even interested in their subjects are attending colleges. You can tell that by their attendance record, the low number of homeworks handed in, absolutely bad presentations etc.

What would the uneducated people you've excluded do?  

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4 minutes ago, vcczar said:

I hope you don't mean what your statement implies but it almost reads as if you think poor people aren't interested in their subjects; 

Thanks for a very explaining reply. One point specifically I need to refer to: of course poor people might be as or even more interested as rich people. That's certainly not a factor relevant here. However, my rational for tuition fees is, lazy people won't be eager to pay for staying at college just to stay there because they don't want to work, gain reputation or whatever. A degree nowadays becomes more or less the (higher) universal standard. And that's not the right way think. If you have like 99 BAs out of 100 people a BA doesn't mean something anymore.

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6 minutes ago, pilight said:

What would the uneducated people you've excluded do?  

I think I've probably answered for him quite accurately in my post just above, considering the type of politician I was mentioning as showing that attitude he seems to agree with almost down the board.

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10 minutes ago, pilight said:

What would the uneducated people you've excluded do?  

Probably work in branches which have problems to recruit young people. 

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