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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 7:08 pm 
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bioalchemist
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Location: the dry land
I realized after I typed that sentence that it has a certain surreal quality to it.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 7:17 pm 
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Meanwhile...
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Location: Out on the banks
JewelSong wrote:
I am curious to know who here on this board has traveled outside their own country and the nature of that travel.


Since we've moved here, I've only brief out of country travel. Still - Italy, France, Spain, England, Caribbean, Israel.

Before I moved here... Well, you know that story.

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“It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.”

- Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman, Good Omens


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 8:19 pm 
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Feeling grateful
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Not as much as I would like to, to be honest.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 9:27 pm 
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Wrong within normal parameters
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 9:59 am
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Location: The other side of Michigan
I've spent a few weeks in Honduras and a few more in Canada (but that probably doesn't count).


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 10:13 pm 
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Here's an interesting article that might be apropos to this discussion, or at least to the exchange that prompted the discussion in the first place.

http://davidbyrne.com/the-echo-chamber


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:21 am 
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Throw me a rope.
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Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:13 pm
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Location: Deep in Oz
Born in Greece (and revisited several times over the years), lived in Switzerland, Germany (visiting uncle), Italy (visiting uncle), England, France, Holland, Portugal, Spain, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Israel (lived on kibbutz for a year), Indonesia, Bali. Oz too, of course. Oh, and the US to visit friends. The train journey through eastern Europe to Moscow doesn't count.
Most were short experiences, nowhere near adequate to gain any kind of understanding of life for citizens of the country.



Posting on phone via Tapatalk

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 2:03 pm 
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not something I would recommend
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Location: Florida
From an essay on the ideals that led to the founding of the US:


Quote:
Given so much uncertainty, it would be folly to search for a single concept which defines the intentions of the American founders. But among all the disputes over when, where, and for what purpose the American nation began, there is one essential philosophical conflict, one question, which can help to anchor almost all the others. And given the American belief in the timeless importance of the founding, it is no surprise that this conflict endures today. That question is this: was American democracy founded with the central aim of securing the greatest possible freedom for people as individuals, or the purpose of building a strong political community?

Scholars have different names for these ideological traditions within democratic thought. The first is often called individualism, "contractual" philosophy, or "classical liberalism;" the second is labeled "communitarian" thought, or "classical republicanism." They share a good deal of ground, but part ways on a crucial question: who should define the good life? Classical liberalism says only individuals can do so, and that the government must stay as neutral as possible when it comes to right and wrong. But classical republicans believe some values and ways of living are better than others, particularly in a democracy, and hold that the community can and must define those virtues.

It is very important not to confuse these ideas with contemporary definitions of "Liberal" and "Republican." Classical liberals - call them "small-l liberals" - emphasize individual rights above all, and believe government's only valid purpose is to enable individuals to be as free as they can be. They are suspicious of arguments about the good of the group, fearing restrictions on their ability to seek the good life as they define it. Today, small-l liberals include the devoted members of both the National Rifle Association and the American Civil Liberties Union. On the political "right," property-rights conservatives claim all taxes are illegal; on the "left," some radical environmentalists argue that trees have rights. All owe great intellectual debts to classical, "small-l" liberalism. If a single word captured liberalism, it would be "rights."

"Small-r" republicans, meanwhile, can also be found all over the American political map. Etymology gets us quickly to republicanism's core: "republic" comes from the Latin phrase res publica, "public thing," and indeed republicans tend to imagine the "body politic" to be a real entity. Citizens form that body together, and our actions make it healthy or sick. Where liberals believe the self-interested, rights-bearing individual going her own way is the democratic ideal, republicans argue that self-government can only work if citizens develop specific civic virtues, and learn to act in a public-spirited way. The idea at the heart of republicanism, then, is "virtue." Modern-day small-r republicans include conservatives like William Bennett and Joseph Lieberman, railing against the dangerous depravity of American popular culture, but also those on the left who want to use zoning rules and tax incentives to build stronger downtowns and stronger communities. On the right, advocates of a greater role for religion in American public life believe spiritual values will make the country strong; on the left, supporters of big increases in education spending believe the public schools can and must build responsible citizens if American democracy is to succeed.

The two philosophies are not mutually exclusive and overlap considerably - part of why both have endured in American thought. Most of us find different elements of each appealing. But if one or the other could lay claim to the heart of the American founding, the consequences would be tremendous and would reach far beyond the classroom - into contemporary debates over free speech, casino gambling, and educational and tax policy, among many others. That is why even historians who now consider the "liberal or republican?" question a bit overdrawn and shop-worn acknowledge that the debate remains an essential "chapter in the American search for a usable past," as Jack N. Rakove puts it.



So, which ideals would you say are more important to you, those of the "classical liberal" or of the "classical republican"?

I suspect you can guess my answer. :)

(Full essay here, if you're curious: http://www.flowofhistory.org/themes/ame ... erview.php)

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