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..Personal desires and wishes are dealt with according to cultural reference frames and proposals to change people's behaviour are done through ideas and not "facts on the ground" (like wars and violence).

Ideas cannot battle against "facts on the ground". If the facts on the ground give welfare to the thieves, it is not easy to tell people to be honest. If stealing is accepted by society, people steal more. You must change the facts on the ground, to not reward bad behaviour.

The question is how to to get there... And to get there we must understand human behaviour

Is there really a big "mystery" here about understanding human behaviour? Not all people are crooks, but there are a lot of them. By creating laws that don't reward crooks and thieves, we can create better societies to live. Whatever "being a human" in the end means or "what man wants?" are not questions that need to be answered. Only simple basic normal things. Give people liberty and reward from their labour, punish crooks and thieves etc.

by kjr63 on Sun Aug 30th, 2009 at 04:54:59 PM EST
Giving people liberty is about defining what is liberty. Is it moving aroudn freely , or not being listened to..

Is liberty from Wall Street investors (a liberty I cheer the most) a fundamental value of, say the dogon people in Africa?

And what about labour.. what happens in societies where the land is equally divided and clans rotate to fulfill a group endevour... there is no reward for personal labour.. people can just help the other for structural reason without any reward whatsoever. Not even status, jsut by role playing.

I am afraid the things you see so obvious are not obvious at all.. and do not work almost anywhere. Not even in western urban societies.

The arguments you proposed belong to a very particualr narrative about the relevance of reward and crooks..
In a society where no self and no-personal belongings exist, tehre are no crooks....

In a society where the relevant thing is the position wihtin the society , the "crooks" are those deviating fro the position (they do not staeal anything, they just do not their part).

If you talk about rewaring status to specific behavior, then we agree, rewarding status is vital for human behavior but diffeent societies give status according to different resason. Being a crook in WS is rewarded with high status because they do not perceive themselves as crooks (they think they perform a wonderful mission of stealing/transfering capital, actually most of them only bet).

In a word, stuff is more compliated than that.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Mon Aug 31st, 2009 at 09:02:18 AM EST
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