Re: what if...?

From: Kari-Hans Kommonen (
Date: Wed 14 May 2003 - 19:03:16 GMT

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    At 14:05 -0400 14.5.2003, Wade T. Smith wrote:
    >On Wednesday, May 14, 2003, at 02:02 PM, Kari-Hans wrote:
    >>One indicator of success of the egalitarian approach here is in my
    >>opinion that the public services (health, child care, education,
    >>pension, transport, libraries, ...) are not just barely tolerated by
    >>those who do not have a choice, but are instead used also by the
    >>wealthier citizens, who do not see a reason to waste their own money
    >>on things that the society provides efficiently and with good quality.
    >Having just seen the movie 'The Man With No Past', I'd like to hear
    >your thoughts on this movie, and what it says about these issues in

    I think it is a great movie. Kaurismäki has a strong message and tells his stories with an impeccable style. The characters, events and places are not realistic, but the ideas behind them are.

    For example, we do not have the kinds of communities of people living in containers in the port with this kind of a social system, but as the harsh global competition society of the day is pushing people in that direction, we might end up in that situation, and the ways his community reacts to that may offer us an idea of the hope that people themselves can represent and realize for themselves. So to me, he is advocating the idea that we all are responsible of the quality of society and we can actually all do something about things.

    >Lawry's question hasn't really been answered with these lists of
    >places (one's homeland always seeming to be the first choice),
    >because, he said 'what if?' not 'where is?'
    >So- 'what if?'
    >What if there _were_ such a place (because, IMHO, there ain't).
    >Would we know about it...? How would we get there...?

    well - the question was not 'what if' but instead 'what, if any, countries', so I think that a listing is a good answer. Also, it seems that one knows one's own country, so it is quite natural to talk about its characteristics.

    At 12:41 -0400 13.5.2003, Lawrence DeBivort wrote:
    >What, if any, country or countries manifest the values of --

    I agree that how to move towards good ideals is a more important question than some competition between countries. But I also believe that it is important to try to see what things seem to work, and then it may be helpful to hear opinions from those who believe they have seen something that does work.

    I can tell you that a large part of the population in Finland is worried about getting the kind of globalization that would force values and practices upon us that would give us the crime rates, drug traffic, corruption, polarization etc. that we currently do not have, and more and more are seeing that the so called 'welfare society' is something we all should fight for. People are against tax cuts, for example, and support radical wage increase for nurses, etc., because they see services eroding around them, and they know that with a few more euros a month in their purse will not replace the services they are losing.

    This has not, however, been heard well enough by the politicians who spend too much time with big business and macroeconomics.

    best, kh

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