What is (or might be) a good society?

  • February 2, 2013 · 3:00 PM

We discussed the "good life" in an open-ended way last year and this will be a first attempt to talk about social and political possibilities. There is no proposition for debate - everyone is asked to come and advocate what seems to them to be the best ways to organize human society. If you feel that "advanced welfare capitalism" as we seem to have here and in most 1st world countries is the best that can be, please explain. If you feel that its not so good, and we could do better, try and persuade others to your view.

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  • David C.

    I enjoyed the meeting, the discussion, and the way members listened to each other. The content reminded me
    That philosophy is not just an exercise in abrstactions
    But is relevant to every day life.An underlying theme

    I Thought was ' power and responsbiliy'. Made me think of a topic for a future meeting namely, 'is everyone responsible for their own health?'

    February 3, 2013

  • Silas Y.

    This is a good question to ask and a perenially relevant topic for dicussion. Only I feel it is broached for discussion by the wrong group of people , none of whom is in the position to craft social policies. Moveover, the answers are contingent on localised realities- what is best for one society needs not be the best for another, not qualifying as universal yardstick or criteria. Is the scheduled discussion premised on local or global context?

    January 28, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      why is there a "wrong" group of people? Always good to have debates and discussions, if only to raise awareness

      of course, if you are able to rope in people in positions to craft social policies, i'm sure that will be more than welcome.

      January 28, 2013

  • Koh Hwei L.

    sorry all, I will be busy preparing for Chinese New Year and out of SG during the first 2 weeks of Feb.

    January 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    unfortunately, i'm tied up so won't be able to join this time round.

    this is what i would have proposed though:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benevolent_dictatorship

    January 17, 2013

    • kit

      Oops, pressed enter by mistake. (2) How do you deal with legitimate democratic opposition, mass civil disobedience demanding democracy, without being a tyrant and therefore no longer benevolent?

      January 17, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      haha, i know, getting there and/or maintaining it will always be an issue. but we are talking about hypothetical situations here.

      addressing point (2), even though no one will be able to please everyone, if you are doing it right (enough), things will probably not escalate to give rise to mass civil disobedience.

      i think a good example may be the monarchy in Bhutan. The previous king, credited with coining the term Gross National Happiness, was widely beloved and actually faced resistance from the people when he initiated the general election. I am not saying he is perfect though, there were reports of ethnic cleansing and oppression of the minority communities there.

      and of course, there's always the issues of power corrupting and checks on powers.

      but just think about it, if society is run by a renaissance (wo)man with no selfish desires...

      we could all probably do with a little deus ex machina.

      January 17, 2013

  • Angeline P.

    Hmmm, i want to attend this session, but will be away for two weeks from Feb-02 to Feb-18. Have good discussion!!!

    January 14, 2013

  • kit

    Limited government, arising out of a national character that believes in the individual. http://sultanknish.blogspot.sg/2012/11/with-democracy-for-all-and-freedom-for.html

    There are two elements that make democracy livable. Limited government and national character. And the former depends on the latter. Dispense with the national character and you lose the limited government and democracy becomes a slow descent into tyranny, accompanied by the spectacle of hollow elections.

    ...

    Limited government embodies respect for the individual, for the values of one's neighbors and their right to keep living their lives the way that they always have. If you believe in the essential decency of people, then you are also willing to leave them alone. If however you do not believe that people will make the right decisions on their own, then you invariably reject limited government.

    January 13, 2013

  • kit

    I think this is a good place to start. I'd also love to hear from the "libertarian socialist."

    http://reason.com/archives/2005/03/01/ayn-rand-at-100

    January 13, 2013

  • Ellis

    man, i really want to attend this but I'll be away...Any chance of postponing this?

    January 13, 2013

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Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

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