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Iceland Taps Facebook To Rewrite Its Constitution

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the you-have-a-pending-rights-request dept.

Facebook 264

An anonymous reader writes "Iceland is finally overhauling its constitution, and it has turned to the Internet to get input from citizens. More specifically, the 25-member council drafting the new constitution is reaching out to its citizens through Facebook. Two thirds of Iceland's population (approximately 320,000) is on Facebook, so the constitutional council's weekly meetings are broadcast live not only on the council's website, but on the social network as well. 'It is possible to register through other means, but most of the discussion takes place via Facebook,' said Berghildur Bernhardsdottir, spokeswoman for the constitutional review project."

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public-private partnership (5, Insightful)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36459764)

I guess "reliance on large private corporations for operation of and participation in government" is going to be part of the new constitution? Not that it isn't de facto part of every other modern Western constitution, but now they've announced the overhaul it seems to me the right time to start being open about how the world runs now.

Re:public-private partnership (3, Informative)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 3 years ago | (#36459874)

Iceland has set a shining example to the rest of the world on how NOT to be subjected to never-ending corporate control [forbes.com] . An example that other countries citizens are fighting in the streets (literally) to try and follow.

Re:public-private partnership (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36459974)

'It is possible to register through other means, but most of the discussion takes place via Facebook ,' said Berghildur Bernhardsdottir, spokeswoman for the constitutional review project."

Re:public-private partnership (2)

digitig (1056110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460302)

Yes, and I bet before this people arranged meetings by telephone over systems run by large private corporations, drove to meetings in cars made by large private corporations using fuel supplied by large private corporations and took notes on laptop computers made by large private corporations or on paper made by large private corporations with pens made by large private corporations. So what's new here?

Re:public-private partnership (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36460584)

You can choose the brand of your car and use the same roads than others.
You can choose in which brand of stations you want to refill your car.
You can choose the pen that suit you the most to write on the brand of paper you prefere and anyone is still able to read you.
You can choose your phone carrier and handset brand and still communicate with other users of the network.
You can buy any brand of laptop, use the OS that you want and your favorite navigator and still be able to surf the web and read your email.

You have to use Facebook to read what is on Facebook.

Standards and interoptability matter.

Re:public-private partnership (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 3 years ago | (#36459992)

That article you linked to was full of shit. The richer EU nations have consistently given money to poorer areas in the EU (although imo it isnt their responsibility). The US bailing out its carmakers is not an example of the govt bailing out economically depressed area (vs companies). Flint, MI is going to stay as poor as ever. And Greece is in trouble largely through its own overspending - ie everyone there wants to be early retiring overpaid underworked bureaucrat there.

And that was only from the opening of that article. Needless to say, people/countries that don't pay back debts won't find a lot of investment dollars going their way. That's the price of walking away.

Re:public-private partnership (5, Interesting)

Rei (128717) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460134)

Indeed. So many people are perpetuating this false notion about the Icelandic crisis.

1) Iceland *has* taken austerity measures, and pretty significant ones -- about 40% cuts, 60% revenue.

2) Iceland *did* pump significant money into their banks -- nearly a year's worth of GDP as loans. However, they did it *after* the banks went into receivership. This let them fully bail out their own citizens while not fully bailing out the citizens of other countries who invested. This is actually the basis for the legal case against them.

3) This action is the reason that, contrary to popular misconception, the Icelandic crisis is *far* from over. This isn't about banks, the IMF, some shadowy cartel, or whatnot trying to force Iceland to pay back vague "debts". Rather, it's about paying back UK and Dutch citizens for their maximum insurable losses in their Icesave accounts. Individuals, not institutional investors, and the entities seeking the payback are the UK and Dutch governments. Iceland rejected reduced settlements with them in the referendum, so now they're having to fight paying back the *full* cost in the EFTA court system. If they lose, things will go very badly for them. One thing that may help is that the estates of the collapsed banks appear to be larger than expected, so they may be able to pay off most if not all of the overseas accounts just from that.

4) In a way, this is as much aggravated by old rivalries [wikipedia.org] than anything else, esp. with the UK. It certainly didn't help matters that the UK invoked a provision designed for terrorists against Iceland to sieze Landsbanki assets in the UK. It's so crazy that I sometimes run into British people online talking about how they should sue Iceland for the volcanoes.

I don't know that Iceland's approach was right or wrong. They definitely got themselves into a lot of trouble with their domestic bailout. But as for taking things to the EFTA, only time will see how that goes. I do find it admirable that they've thrown their legal system not just at the bankers that caused the mess, but the politicians who stood by or were complicit in allowing it to happen. Their real problem is that their banking crisis was so much larger than their economy, so when other nations wanted them to insure against the losses from their banks, well...

Re:public-private partnership (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36460370)

"Rather, it's about paying back UK and Dutch citizens for their maximum insurable losses in their Icesave accounts."

Yes, but one can't help wonder if a government/citizenry should pay for damages caused by corporations.

"Their real problem is that their banking crisis was so much larger than their economy"

That's also a problem for most of the rest of the world, given that the volume of the financial market is some 10 times larger than the volume of the rest of the market (source: CIA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stock_market).

Re:public-private partnership (3, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460608)

I have little sympathy for people who invested in Icelandic banks from overseas. They gave very favourable interest rates and returns in exchange for greater risk, and people are now complaining that they never expected that risk to actually materialise. Well, too bad, you took a chance and lost. The system in the UK compensates you up to (IIRC) £35k if you are a private individual but beyond that you are on your own.

I had an account with an Indian bank for a couple of years to get their high interest rates, but I never expected the same security as from a UK bank.

Re:public-private partnership (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36460684)

Iceland didn't have a problem with these compensation requirements when they were taking in the customers at the height of things.

Neither did the population (not only the bankers) which went on a credit feast, only to turn into "victims" of banking after things went wrong.

I find it funny that Iceland is getting into becoming a heaven of hosting. Yeah right. We know what they're worth if things go awry. They have shown their true colors. You cannot depend on these people on anything.

Re:public-private partnership (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36460994)

That's a bit like blaming the victim. I once considered moving money to IceSave. I'm Dutch, and a lot of Dutch people did this. Why? Because it was advertised everywhere that IceSave was a solid bank with a triple A rating. This was confirmed by a lot of financial experts (in magazines, newspapers, radio, etc) and people otherwise experienced in the matter. How can you blame the average consumer for taking a risk? As far as they knew, there was no risk. Or at least no bigger risk than other (Dutch) banks?

Blaming the victim happens a lot when it comes to financial stuff. The reality is that the average financial product is often so incredibly complex and riddled with nasty fineprints, that the average consumer cannot possibly be held accountable when they end up making a bad decision.

I never moved any money to IceSave by the way. Call me conservative, but when it comes to money I prefer to keep it close and on a bank that i'm familiar with. Of course this is what everyone should've done. But that's easy to say after the fact. I really can't blame people that did go to IceSave.

Re:public-private partnership (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36460950)

Here in the United States, instead of throwing our legal system at the people responsible, we gave them all cabinet positions in the current administration. That'll teach 'em.

Re:public-private partnership (2)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461098)

One of the central points made by the research professor in his analysis [forbes.com] was not all or none on austerity measures - but that the taxpayers were very correct in not agreeing to foot the total losses of the private banking sector - to the extent that Iceland would never be able to repay the private sector losses+interest, and so avoid entering national level "debt slavery" that they can never escape from. Besides the overwhelming evidence presented to support his analysis (including the "Brady bonds that resolved Latin American and Third World debts in the 1980s" and the resulting social and unfortunate economic impact those "austerity" measures have had on the region) - this particular professor of economics is not alone in his analysis. Increasingly economists who are worth their salt and not mere shills for the financial industry (a short list) are coming the the same or similar conclusions - including a nobel prize in economics winner [directdemo...reland.org] or two.

When I discuss this kind of analysis with some well educated Economist colleagues of mine, the knee-jerk reaction appears to be similar to "rolfwind" above "full of shit" - however once we begin to dig into the issue a little it becomes apparent that the intellectual dishonesty/deception (as discussed in the first linked article) has worked way to persuade people who really should know better and be capable of much better critical thinking about this most important issue that affects us all.

Re:public-private partnership (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36461126)

Here is a great blog [uti.is] by journalist Sigrun Davidsdottir about the Icelandic banking crisis for those interested in knowing more about the issue.

Re:public-private partnership (1)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 3 years ago | (#36459942)

They use a readily available media where they reach two thirds of their population. At the same time, they operate another portal, so they do not depend on that private organization.

How could you even ask for more than that? How is this not exactly the right thing to combine independence with available, modern technology?

Jesus, you'd find something to complain about if you could have your cake and eat it, too, methinks.

Re:public-private partnership (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460678)

Yeah because traditional referendums don't rely on corporations to print their ballots, corporations to make the voting booths, corporations to make the buildings the process happens in, the chairs people sit on, the transport people use to get to the polls, etc.

Re:public-private partnership (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460844)

Yeah because traditional referendums don't rely on corporations to print their ballots,

None of your examples are about the citizens needing to make an explicit choice to use a single private business in order to be able to participate fully in constitutional change. The analogy here would be requiring me to buy Dunbal(R) Branded Paper(TM) before I can write down my choice.

corporations to make the voting booths,

Is there a standardised voting booth design? Does a single private firm have to build one for every polling station across the country? Do I actually have to walk into the booth before I fill in my ballot paper?

corporations to make the buildings the process happens in,

Or public buildings built by public employees with public money. Or public buildings built with public money used to pay a local private firm.

the chairs people sit on,

As for buildings.

the transport people use to get to the polls, etc.

I know it's an oddity in America, but public transport built and served with public funding is fairly standard elsewhere. The older vehicles, before the global Reaganite stealing of public industries, were even built by public employees. For postal votes, we still have the public postal system.

Sometimes government relies on private business to provide goods and services - this may be appropriate for local government which can hire local firms (e.g. perhaps a carpenter to build chairs). But it is really never appropriate for a government to rely on a large corporation. Among every other disadvantage, corruption is inevitable.

Re:public-private partnership (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460848)

They should log the entire country on to Eve Online and debate their constitution there.

Re:public-private partnership (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460986)

I guess "reliance on large private corporations for operation of and participation in government" is going to be part of the new constitution?

"Reliance" is an extreme way to view this situation. Iceland is communicating with its citizens where they are.

Currently, Iceland is my favorite nation on Earth. The fact that as a country they decided to put their people ahead of bankers is simply amazing. I'm surprised we haven't sent bombers over there to bring them into line.

If we had done the same in 2008 we'd be in much better financial shape today. And that goes for the EU too.

So you wanna watch what you say about my Iceland...

The will of the people (0)

bit trollent (824666) | more than 3 years ago | (#36459772)

Iceland's new official currency is the bjork.

By the way, fix unicode character support.

Re:The will of the people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36459854)

Come on people, this is embarrassing.

How can Slashdot not handle such a basic task as international character support?

Re:The will of the people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36459900)

Testing... åäö

Re:The will of the people (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460040)

I don't know what you tried to type, but the the Icelandic thorn [wikipedia.org] doesn't show up.

B'cos /. is in English (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36460578)

Why is Unicode support on /. so important? It's a technical site in English. If a bunch of Russians want to post an article or thread, it would be more appropriate for a .ru site. /. should be more concerned about going IPv6, rather than Unicode support!

Re:The will of the people (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460300)

You know, Björk doesn't exactly dominate their music scene any more. At least upgrade your "Stereotypical Íslensk Band" meme to Sigur Rós [icelandicb...gurros.com] ;)

FIRST! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36459774)

"We the People of teh Iceland, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Lulz, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the breakfast of wins."

Your mom and three other people like this.

Re:FIRST! (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36459912)

They said facebook, not /b/

Re:FIRST! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36460464)

Depending on your "friends", it might be very similar.

helo world I am syrian and lesbian persecuted (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36459782)

please help me leave i am lesbian and am raped by all disgusting men hurry before i raped again hurry

Re:helo world I am syrian and lesbian persecuted (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460690)

Report to the soldiers in the tank that is just down the road from your house.

Farcebook (5, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#36459796)

'It is possible to register through other means, but most of the discussion takes place via Facebook,' said Berghildur Bernhardsdottir

Because we thought it would be fun to actively discourage 1/3 of our population from being involved in the discussion...

Re:Farcebook (2)

Grygus (1143095) | more than 3 years ago | (#36459894)

'It is possible to register through other means, but most of the discussion takes place via Facebook,' said Berghildur Bernhardsdottir

Because we thought it would be fun to actively discourage 1/3 of our population from being involved in the discussion...

If 2/3 of the population is using one platform, couldn't that automatically mean that most of the discussion would take place there, regardless of anyone's wishes? I think you may be seeing an agenda where there is only acceptance of reality.

Re:Farcebook (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461058)

If 2/3 of the population is using one platform, couldn't that automatically mean that most of the discussion would take place there, regardless of anyone's wishes?

Oh absolutely - the majority of the discussion would be on the (social) platform that people largely use.

However:

I think you may be seeing an agenda where there is only acceptance of reality.

The reality of the matter is that while 2/3rds of Iceland's population may have a facebook account, the Icelandic government is still, will, a government.

And when a government says "It is possible to register through other means, but most of the discussion takes place via Facebook", alarm bells should be going off to understand that what they're actually saying is: "you can also write us an e-mail, or a letter, or call us - but we're going to either A. ignore you or B. ask you to participate in our discussions at Facebook".

And that sets dangerous precedent.

If it were merely a "We set up a facebook account, friend us and join the discussion, which we're also feeding to officialsite.government.is along with discussions on twitter, flickr (insert other services popular with the Icelandic population) and the official forum", it'd be a different story.

Facebook sucks... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36461080)

If 2/3 of the population is using one platform, couldn't that automatically mean that most of the discussion would take place there, regardless of anyone's wishes? I think you may be seeing an agenda where there is only acceptance of reality.

Acceptance of reality? I loathe Facebook, I don't want to join Facebook and I find it extremely galling that people are being forced to join Facebook to be able to participate in the rewriting of the constitution of their country. It's kind of like being told "...well just accept reality and buy a Windows PC if you want to be able to file your tax return because the IRS web site uses Windows only plugins and we are not about to change that.". How hard is it to set up one of the many open source discussion forum software packages on some government run server and thus create an official, neutral, forum for citizens to discuss these things? That way everybody can participate without being forced to join the hive-mind that is Facebook.

Re:Farcebook (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36459950)

Hey, the politicians and all their friends use facebook, which means everyone uses facebook. Besides, disenfranchising the lower 1/3 of society is OK, they never have anything interesting to say. Bunch of fucking rednecks (yes, Iceland has their analogue).

+1 Like (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460244)

I just hope, they don't vote about it with clicking "Like".

Re:Farcebook (1)

Khenke (710763) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460436)

For me it is way better to "actively discourage 1/3 of our population from being involved in the discussion" than close to 100%.

My government (Swedish) don't give a rats ass about what I think or the rest of the population. It is actively making almost every citizen a criminal with new laws that only serve US corporations, it is actively helping US spy on it's citizen (breaking many laws in the process), it is taking away our rights, our courts are breaking constitutional laws without any reprimands. Our Secretary of State was involved (board member if my memory serve me right) in a company that have done mass murders in Africa in the hunt for oil.

An I know most western governments are going down this road to hell.

And how would they communicate instead? Via a custom build forum that none uses? To get feedback from 2/3 of the population is probably the most ANY government in history have done.

Iceland and Norway are the only two (as far as I know) countries in the west that are not going strait to being a police state. And yes, I have thought of migrating as I don't at all like the express road to hell we are on. In 50 years we will have history classes in school where the students will ask why no one cared or did anything (like what happened in Germany around WW2).

Yeah, I hate Facebook as much (or more) than anybody else, but if the devils tool can be used to stop the trip to hell, I'm all for it.

Re:Farcebook (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461028)

As opposed to most places that actively discourage 90% of the population from being involved in the discussion.

If they can show that people's opinions and ideas actually count it would be a major step forward for democracy, as important as the universal vote IMHO.

They cannot possibly get it right (0)

Beautyon (214567) | more than 3 years ago | (#36459816)

They will never get this right I'm afraid, but if they did, they would enshrine:

Freedom of contract
Private property
No State monopoly on security / police
No State monopoly on Law
No State monopoly on courts
No State money creation
No State theft of resources (Taxation)
No State $illigitimate_liberty_sapping_function

etc.

To give you an idea of the mentality of these people, did you know that Home Education is ILLEGAL in Iceland?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legality_of_homeschooling [wikipedia.org]

Yet another country where the people have been reduced to the level of property; the property of the State. Any nation of people that allows the State to outlaw Home Education at its core, doesn't understand what a constitution is for, and cannot possibly create a free society based on one.

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 3 years ago | (#36459852)

You seem to read a lot into the issue of legality of homeschooling and I can't help but think that you are very biased.

On one hand I do believe homeschooling should be legal but on the other hand I realize that there are some serious problems with homeschooling and depending on the state of your country's public school system it may very well make sense to mandate that all children must go to public schools for both their own good as well as the good of the population in general.

Similar arguments can also be made about private schools, especially those directly connected to political or religious organizations.

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (0)

Beautyon (214567) | more than 3 years ago | (#36459916)

I am biased; I'm biased towards freedom.

The State doesn't have the right to mandate that individuals do anything, including attend a State run school.

If you concede that the State has this right, then you are explicitly saying that the State is the ultimate parent of all children, trumping the rights of parents, and that they are the owners of all children. Clearly, as a moral person, you cannot be for one group of people owning another group; thats called slavery. The same goes for conscription and all other predations of the State; they are all fundamentally immoral, and decent, non violent people are not for them.

There are no 'serious problems' with Home Schooling if you understand what rights are and where they come from, the proper role of government, and you are not a violent collectivist, that believes that you own a quotal share in other people's children and their property.

Of course, there really are people who believe that children are the property of society, but they are most definitely evil in my book.

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 3 years ago | (#36459954)

I didn't want to call you a libertarian fruitcake but honestly, you seem confused.

In any parliamentary democracy the state is, at least technically, an agent of the people appointed by the people to run the affairs of the people on a national and international level.

Thus if the people support a ban on homeschooling then they are likely to support politicians who also support a ban on homeschooling.

Also, "violent collectivist" and a little rant about owning "a quotal share in other people's children and their property". Is the violent collectivist bit about how you hate taxes? Because if so I've heard the full version of that disjointed rant more than once from impressionable freshman economics students...

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36459972)

Because if so I've heard the full version of that disjointed rant more than once from impressionable freshman economics students...

And? What does this have to do with anything?

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36460006)

Taxes are agreed upon collectively thus they are evil (and "collectivist"!).

If you don't pay taxes and ignore all other attempts of the government to get your tax money eventually cops will show up, they have guns, thus they are violent.

There we have "violent collectivists" which are apparently evil.

Libertian Rant - The Cliff's Notes edition
please pad to at least four pages before use

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (1)

Beautyon (214567) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460030)

You need to explain how it happens that people can lose their rights by dint of a vote. All you have done is recited the State line of 'Parliament represents the people, therefore it is legitimate'. No vote by other men can take the rights of another group of men away from them. If you agree with this, then you agree that slavery is fine, until people vote and say it is not.

I hate violent people, and people who cannot think. For them, there is always a video nowadays:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGMQZEIXBMs [youtube.com]

If one wants to completely and logically justify the state, and its evils, one has to do better than reciting what was taught by rote in a government school.

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36460048)

yah man, it's all a conspiracy, the teachers are part of the machine that keeps the only true way, your way, from being the way of everyone.

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36461084)

For gods sake you are stupid. People don't inherently have rights to anything. Every right you have is only because the society around you has decided it is so. As long as goverment (however it's made up, whoever it represents) holds the biggest stick they grant the rights and freedoms. People can lose their rights by a vote, people can also lose their rights without vote when someone gains power. If they want to set up their society so that home schooling isn't allowed they have the right to do so. You can declare all the basic human rights all you want, but they still only last as long as society as a whole is willing to live by them, or as long as someone with means to enforce them keeps doing so.

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (1)

MacTO (1161105) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460064)

There is no such thing as absolute freedom, yet the is the negotiating of rights. Done properly, you can maximize the freedom of people. You will also find that very few of those negotiated rights will be universal because every culture brings their own values to the table.

Take your example of the child. You, and perhaps the country to which you belong, probably have a strong sense of paternal authority. Yet other people would strongly disagree with your assertion, equating that paternal authority to a form of slavery that society must work to overcome. After all, to leave the child enslaved to the individual is fundamentally immoral.

Of course, there really are people who believe that children are the property of the father, but they are most definitely evil in my book.

NOTE: I don't agree with everything that I just said, though I do see them as acceptable viewpoints. And that's what public consultation processes are about, collecting those perspectives and trying to compile them into something coherent. Without that consultation, those negotiations, you are essentially ruling by fiat/ideology/whatever and denying the freedom of others. The fact that Iceland is using Facebook to do so is interesting, but it may work out in this case (regardless of your opinion on handing over control to a major, foreign, corporation) because Iceland is a tiny nation with a relatively homogenous population.

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (1)

Beautyon (214567) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460384)

yet the is the negotiating of rights. Done properly, you can maximize the freedom of people.

No. Rights are not negotiated, and they do not come from legislatures, the UN or anywhere else. Rights are born with you, they are limited in number and all stem from property rights.

Take your example of the child. You, and perhaps the country to which you belong, probably have a strong sense of paternal authority. Yet other people would strongly disagree with your assertion, equating that paternal authority to a form of slavery that society must work to overcome. After all, to leave the child enslaved to the individual is fundamentally immoral.

Unbelievable. First of all, I dont belong to any country. Secondly, Paternal authority comes from property rights, and is entirely legitimate. In absentia of that, the State becomes the owner of all children, and it is this that is completely immoral. There is no such thing as 'society' in this case; what you really mean is that a body of 'Social Workers', individuals in charge of children's affairs, are the true owners of children. This is the reality. A small number of State employees with all their prejudices and perversions have absolute power and ownership of all children:

http://www.intermix.org.uk/features/FEA_20_oona.asp [intermix.org.uk]

No decent human being thinks that it is correct that a small number of State employees should have absolute power and ownership of all children. It is anathema, revolting and completely wrong.

The slavery you are talking about is actually the slavery of the State forced upon free people. You have it precisely backwards.

Of course, there really are people who believe that children are the property of the father, but they are most definitely evil in my book.

You are free to read and believe that book, as long as you do not try and violently force other people to believe what you believe. I dont have a problem with you brining up your children in any way you see fit. Its your business, not mine and not that of the State.

And that's what public consultation processes

No matte how many people you consult, outlawing redheads is immoral. Consensus cannot confer legitimacy to immorality. It might make you feel good, but its still dead wrong.

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36460498)

"Paternal authority comes from property rights, and is entirely legitimate."

No one owns another person, not even one's children. That does not lead to a default ownership of children by the state. No one owns children. The state then ensures that parents cannot do crazy things with their children that it is reasonable to expect the children would object to if they possessed the understanding and rationality entitling adults to a respect for their will. If children were property, they would have no rights, and clearly this is unacceptable to the vast majority of humans. Raising your children as you see fit cannot include killing them, for instance. Yes, it is debatable what those rights of children are, but intervention when those rights are abrogated would seem justified.

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (2, Informative)

Beautyon (214567) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460614)

No one owns another person, not even one's children. That does not lead to a default ownership of children by the state.

Your construction is interesting "one's children"; that is a possessive construction, and its one that everyone uses because quite naturally, properly functioning human beings understand that children really do belong to their parents; they are a unique specie of property in that they can be owned, but also have all the rights that human being have, meaning that they are not truly owned as a man owns a dog, but exist in a separate and special category of property that is not found in any other type of property.

Even if we were to agree that 'no one owns children' you have to accept that someone must have authority over them in the form of being a ward or guardian. The question then becomes who is that guardian, and why is that entity the rightful guardian. Its the same problem stated without the emotionally charged phrases.

All human beings have the same rights, no matter what age they are. That means (to refute your straw man) that killing your children, as a parent is wrong. Its not a matter of wether other people think that killing your children is wrong, it is a matter of objective fact that it is wrong.

Intervention when the rights of people are violated is justifiable, but this is not what we are discussing; what we are really discussing is what are rights and where do they come from. Rights do not come from the State, or the collective vote of the majority, or from a constitution or mass opinion or some economic need.

The matter of schooling in all of this is crucial, because it sits at a very tricky locus of relationships, where the state can interpose itself and bamboozle people into believing that it is legitimate, when clearly it is not.

Those countries that claim to be free but which outlaw Home Education are not free at all. The State lays claim to all children, and mandates what they must learn. Those states are even willing to violently kidnap children as they assert their ownership. No one with a working and complete moral center can say that this is right.

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460824)

Rights are born with you, they are limited in number and all stem from property rights.

Strictly speaking there is no right to property ...
Property is an artificial concept, if there was no mankind, the term property would not exist.
Sorry, I could say more to your post but it is so confuse, I don't really get what you want to say. For me it seems you want to live in an anarchy whre the only agreement is "people may own things" ...

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460838)

Rights are born with you, they are limited in number and all stem from property rights.

Please prove that property rights are innate.

Secondly, Paternal authority comes from property rights, and is entirely legitimate.

So is child slavery OK as long as the parents agree?

No decent human being thinks that it is correct that a small number of State employees should have absolute power and ownership of all children. It is anathema, revolting and completely wrong.

The ownership of children is revolting and completely wrong (in my opinion) - both by the State or parents.

Children have rights. If the parents are unable or unwilling to provide them, the State empowered by the People should provide them. Education is one of the rights, as decided by consensus.

(Not that I'm against homeschooling; but your argument applies to parents who provide no schooling at all, and I'm against that).

Consensus cannot confer legitimacy to immorality. It might make you feel good, but its still dead wrong.

Please provide the source of the One True Morality. Until then, there is no reason to believe that morality is anything but subjective to each person and therefore such judgments of value are meaningless.

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460150)

Then you accept that if a homeschooled individual can't find a job or otherwise finds him/herself in trouble, the state has no obligation to care for that person?
Not saying homeschooling is bad, just that authority and responsibility cannot be separated and one has to accept the consequence of changing either.

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (2)

Beautyon (214567) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460220)

Then you accept that if a homeschooled individual can't find a job or otherwise finds him/herself in trouble, the state has no obligation to care for that person?
Not saying homeschooling is bad, just that authority and responsibility cannot be separated and one has to accept the consequence of changing either.

Absolutely. Employment is not the business of the state, wether the person was Home Educated or not. The State cannot have obligations, only people have obligations. States do not have rights, only people have rights:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-Lb8YitPs8 [youtube.com]

For the record, Home Educated people have a higher rate of employment that the general government schooled population.

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460310)

According to you, what IS the business of the state?
In your various replies in this thread you seem to be against most things the state does. Did you just forget to mention the rest or are there some things you DO want the state to do?

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (1)

Beautyon (214567) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460432)

According to you, what IS the business of the state?
In your various replies in this thread you seem to be against most things the state does. Did you just forget to mention the rest or are there some things you DO want the state to do?

What I or anyone thinks the State should do is irrelevant; the State doesn't have the right to steal your money, conscript you into an army for 'national service', steal your land or do any of those things that people are forbidden to do by natural law. 'The State' can exist in any way that it wants, as long as it is bound by the same laws that bind men; no stealing, encroaching on people and their property, etc.

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460864)

natural law

Nonsense upon stilts.

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461018)

Actually it IS relevant to this discussion. The list you made is rather inclusive and pretty much boils down to "no state government at all". I wonder if this is indeed what you meant to say and, if not, what a state government is supposed to do.

Let me guess... (3, Insightful)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 3 years ago | (#36459930)

you are living in the country on earth that spends the most $$$/inhabitant on healthcare, yet bungles somewhere around Cuba in elementary healthcare statistics like child mortality and cancer survival rates. You firmly believe in printing your own money backed by a gold standard, but are posting from a shiny laptop you could never have bought if your government wasn't borrowing shitloads of money from the chinese. You have absolutely no clue about the damages which alcohol abuse historically have done in ALL countries close to the polar circle. Therefore you couldn't imagine that in a very thin spread population, in a country with tons of gravel roads, "I'm homeschooling my kids", could easily mean "I 'm too drunk to drive them to school.". The social and pedagogical effects of a child growing up on a remote vulcano and never meeting other kids is totally lost on you. Oh fuck it, this is boring...

Re:Let me guess... (-1, Troll)

Beautyon (214567) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460008)

You are as wrong as it is possible to be wrong.

I dont likve in the USA, I am totally against the Federal Reserve and its money printing, Im against government destroying 'health care' through its absurd interference, etc etc.

As for 'laptop that I could never have bought without government borrowing from china' this is just pure economic illiteracy and nonsense:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/8009736/Irwin-Schiff-How-an-Economy-Grows-and-Why-It-Doesnt [scribd.com]

try that for a primer on the fundamental principles.

Alcohol abuse in other people is not my business; and this is a deep flaw in your philosophy; you believe that because SOME parents are bad, ALL parents must be put under the wing of the State 'for the sake of the children'. This is the sort of reasoning that creates laws to control the internet, and it gives birth to totalitarian countries like Sweden (Home School banned, because their parliament says their society is perfect, and so there is no need for Home Schooling. Im not making that up. State monopoly on the sale of alcohol http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcoholic_beverages_in_Sweden [wikipedia.org] etc etc), Finland (where you are fined for speeding proportionally to your income) and Iceland (train wreck vassal state, hollowed out by the banksters, where you dont have even the most basic of your rights).

No wonder alcoholism is rife; these people are living in a sort of hell, where the human spirit is so suppressed they seek escape through drugs. All people instinctively know when they are not free, even if consciously they think that they are. You know the line from The Matrix; these people are born into bondage, bondage to the State. I chafes at their soul, and so, they seek solace in a bottle.

The State; its enough to turn a man to drink!

Re:Let me guess... (1, Interesting)

azalin (67640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460194)

You have obviously never lived in Scandinavia. Most people in Europe envy their way of live. Culture, social security, healthcare - but that is all nanny style communism is suppose. As for the alcohol: Try living in a place where the sun shows up for 2 hours a day during winter, where your traveling options a severely limited by ice and snow for several months and where winter depressions are common. (No not the "I'm not feeling happy today, so I must be depressed" kind, but the "I am going to drink my self senseless from October to March or simply kill myself" kind.) The laws weren't implemented because people were drinking vodka like soda and had a mortality rate not even heard of in any other country in the world.

Re:Let me guess... (1)

azalin (67640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460202)

damn. feeding the trolls again.

Re:Let me guess... (0)

Beautyon (214567) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460240)

All of that is irrelevant. The question is wether or not Scandinavia is a place where the people live in a condition where they can exercise their rights. Clearly this is not the case. They cannot Home Educate. They cannot buy and sell freely. This is immoral and unacceptable to decent people, and no matter what the glossy sheen that country has, not matter how nice the people are as individuals, the State there is evil and there is no doubt about it. This is about principles, not expedience, excuses and justifications for violent and sickening evil:

https://sites.google.com/site/thedeskofbrian/state-of-the-nation/swedengovernmentseizechildfromhomeschoolfamily [google.com]

For example.

Re:Let me guess... (1)

G-forze (1169271) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460546)

Like the other poster said; It's not forbidden to educate your child at home, but it is forbidden to deprive them of the education provided by the state. And I for one am all on the side of the state in this. Too many children would have to suffer because they happened to be born to nutty parents otherwise.

Re:Let me guess... (1, Informative)

Beautyon (214567) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460666)

Like the other poster said; It's not forbidden to educate your child at home, but it is forbidden to deprive them of the education provided by the state.

That is a flat out lie. Home Education is ILLEGAL in Sweden and Iceland and Germany (for example). You may not teach 'your' children at home, even if you decide to follow the State curriculum.

In the case of Germany, the law forbidding Home Schooling is one of the few laws left on the statute books from that country's dark era that Godwin's law prevents me from typing out. :)

Re:Let me guess... (1)

G-forze (1169271) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460718)

No, you just misread what I say. You can teach your children anything you want at home, for example after they come home from school. That is in no way forbidden. What is forbidden is you keeping them from going to school in the first place.

Re:Let me guess... (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460920)

That is a flat out lie. Home Education is ILLEGAL in Sweden and Iceland and Germany (for example). You may not teach 'your' children at home, even if you decide to follow the State curriculum.

That is bullshit, and that is the reason why I set "illegal" in quotes when I awnsered the first time to you.

I happen to live in germany. Teaching your kids yourself is ofc not illegal. However the children and parents have "school duty". That means the childrans have to go to school.

However: that in no way means you can not give them extra education at home.

In the case of Germany, the law forbidding Home Schooling is one of the few laws left on the statute books from that country's dark era that Godwin's law prevents me from typing out. :)

No it is not ;D The law about compulsory schooling
or school attendance is much older. And as I said above, it does not include anything preventing you to home school as long as your kids go to school ;D
I really doubt there is any country in the world that is forbidding "extra education" at home.

Re:Let me guess... (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461020)

However: that in no way means you can not give them extra education at home.

Actually in Germany you are EXPECTED to teach them to a certain degree at home. I was amazed at how early kids in Germany got out of school until a German friend told me that their parents(read mothers) are expected to educate them in the afternoons. Of course this doesn't really bode well for kids with busy and/or neglectful then their children suffer and are much less likely to get into Gynasium and beyond......

Re:Let me guess... (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460884)

All of that is irrelevant. The question is wether or not Scandinavia is a place where the people live in a condition where they can exercise their rights. Clearly this is not the case.

You Sir, have no clue. Especially not about nordic/germanic ideas how law should work or what property is.

Law and rights are completely arbitrary.

USA: I own land, you step on it, I shot you: legal! (And from an european or asian point of view: absurd!)

Norway e.g.: you own land, we have a stormy season with harsh weather, I make a camp on your land at the lake or the stream: legal!

In Norway I can make a camp everywhere I want for up to 4 weeks (or was it 6 weeks?) if the wether is fine. If the weather is harsh I can camp *indefinitely* on your land.

Completely different ideas what is legal and what is not.

In USA you have "the freedom" to shot one in Norway you have the freedom "to survive on foreign property" under harsh conditions. I consider the "freedom to survive" a much higher freedom than your ranting freedoms.

Thre are endless more examples ...

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36459944)

Why do you think leaving children's education completely in the hands of their parents is any better? Are children citizens (or citizens-to-be), or are they their parents' chatel to brainwash any way they please? Is it really okay to abandon millions of children to the ignorance dictated by their parents?

You lie in your summary: home education is not outlawed, it is ALWAYS legal in the west. It is simply not always acknowledged as an adequate substitute for the education that society also wants to provide. Go ahead and teach your kids whatever you like - Linear Algebra or advanced cthonian literature, fairy tales about Jesus riding dinosaurs, advanced quantum mechanics, how the free market will save their souls, or that the Earth is really flat - but they get to hear what the rest of society says, too.

I learned to read and write at home. I also learned all my math up to Calculus at home, as well as more Classical (Greek, Roman, and Persian) literature than most pre-collegiate schools will ever touch. I also went to school in the United States - because no two people can hope to provide the adequate breadth of knowledge and experience that a growing child needs, unless they truly want to damn the child to being a carbon copy of them, stuck in beliefs and understands that are at least a generation stale.

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (0)

Beautyon (214567) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460086)

Why do you think leaving children's education completely in the hands of their parents is any better?

Wether its better or not is a red herring. This is about the principle of who gets to control you, you, or the State. What your opinion about what should or should not be learned by anyone is your opinion and your business, and you should be free to live by your own opinions. What you think should not be forced down the throat of anyone. If you think otherwise then you are a violent character, and should just admit it and be done. What I find endlessly fascinating is how people who think like that and who are violent, claim to not only not be violent, but they simultaneously claim that the have the best interests of other people at heart. That is a supreme and total delusion of the first order.

You don't have any right to force other people to learn what you have learned in the way that you have learned it. What parents do with their children is not your business, nor it is the business of the State. You do not own a share in other people's children. Roll on the empty arguments about, "I have to pay for those children when they cant do $modern_necessity for themselves" its red herring, faulty reasoning all the way down, and no excuse for the violence all the brainwashed collectivist dupes bray for.

If you are for the State controlling you, then you have no business saying that the state has no right to interfere with and regulate the internet, or anything else that you might believe the State should not have anything to do with, including banning books and speech. You cant have it both ways; you cant be a little bit pregnant. Either you are violent or you are not. Either you are for the State, or you are not. Pick one, and then dont dissemble about it. Admit you are violent and move on.

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460226)

Wether its better or not is a red herring. This is about the principle of who gets to control you, you, or the State

So should you get to beat your children, too? This isn't an issue of state versus personal freedom, but of whether children are simply the property of their parents or not to do with as they will.

Oh, and by the way?

You cant have it both ways; you cant be a little bit pregnant.

Got it. State shouldn't be able to tell me to do *anything* or impose any force on me for whatever actions I take. Please excuse me, I have to go; this city isn't going to burn itself down.

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (1)

Beautyon (214567) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460336)

So should you get to beat your children, too? This isn't an issue of state versus personal freedom, but of whether children are simply the property of their parents or not to do with as they will.

No, its a question of wether the State owns children or the parents own them.

Discipline is a matter for the parents, not the State or you. If you have your own children, its up to you to discipline them in a way that is appropriate for them, you made them they are your responsibility and no one else's. Some children can be reasoned with without ever having to lift your hand. Others need a slap. Only the parent can judge what is appropriate, not you, not I, and not some aparatchick from the State.

If that is not the case, then the State is the parent of all children, and can order them to do anything, remove them from their families:

https://sites.google.com/site/thedeskofbrian/state-of-the-nation/swedengovernmentseizechildfromhomeschoolfamily [google.com]

brainwash them in government schools and essentially, do anything they want with them, because there is no one above the State to trump their authority when it comes to protecting them.

Many of the people who talk about 'beating' children and all this other emotive red herring garbage do not have children, do not understand rights and do not understand the proper role of government. When they find out the hard way, i.e. when the State goes after something that they are concerned about (like internet censorship) then they all of a sudden 'get it' and go berserk, without ever making the connection that other people's concerns about State intrusion into their lives are just as valid, and that they share common cause with those people.

Its a pure autistic response; 'only my view of the world is correct; I am the only one that is real, only my concerns are valid and only my rights matter'. No, everyone is real, everyone has the same rights, and attacks on the rights of one person or a set of people is an attack on everyone, no matter what you believe.

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (0)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36459976)

Ah, look at that, how cute. A culturless randroid fuckwit from the colonies thinking THEY invented sliced bread lecturing one of the oldest democracies on earth how things are done. If your understanding of the world is an indication for the quality of home schooling you are proposing, I think Iceland is doing quite right by outlawing it.

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (3, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460056)

No State monopoly on security / police

If any private party can claim police power, they can also claim the right to search your property and papers. Oh, and any complaint of illegal searches would go to the same system. That's the end of the 4th amendment.

No State monopoly on Law
No State monopoly on courts

I guess you don't believe much in the "with liberty and justice for all" thing. I'd rather not be hauled before a kangaroo court or get no protection if I have no protection money, thank you very much.

No State theft of resources (Taxation)

Without income, there's no public services whatsoever. Go to Somalia or some other anarchist state if that's your ideal society.

Yet another country where the people have been reduced to the level of property; the property of the State.

There are equally bad or worse fates, like being the property of your parents. Children are not pets and even pets have laws against animal cruelty. Any state that lets children grow up with no minimum standard of education is neglecting that child and its human rights. They may be your offspring but they are not your prisoner - physically, intellectually or otherwise. If I was to use as much hyperbole as you, I'd say you demand the right to brainwash your children. My country, Norway, has also outlawed home schooling but there are private schools like Montessori [wikipedia.org] or Waldorf [wikipedia.org] education. They have to document a competent staff, their plans and methods of teaching and adherence to minimum guidelines set forth by the government. And I think it's a good thing, YMMV.

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (1, Interesting)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460172)

You won't be getting through to him, mate. You are from Norway, after all, that makes you a socialist by definition. Our randroid friend is probably going through some elaborate ritual cleansing to get off the taint he acquired from reading your post. ;)

The more I hear about your country, btw, the more I consider getting up there, as things seem to go to shit around lately. Well, if you only could relocate the whole act to some place with a decent climate....

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (0)

Beautyon (214567) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460192)

If any private party can claim police power, they can also claim the right to search your property and papers. Oh, and any complaint of illegal searches would go to the same system. That's the end of the 4th amendment.

False. Private police forces do not claim any rights, they are purely defensive in nature. They defend your property and person, and that is all. They do not act in any way like State police forces. As for the fourth amendment, Uncle Sam has erased that already, through his TSA, US VISIT and the constitution free zone that extends 100 miles into America.

I guess you don't believe much in the "with liberty and justice for all" thing. I'd rather not be hauled before a kangaroo court or get no protection if I have no protection money, thank you very much.

I believe that I should be able to choose the sort of law I want to be bound by in any contract that I enter into. I can already do this in business contracts, so why should I not be able to do this with myself? The way things are now, I am involuntarily bound to courts that I do not agree with. Ask Julian Assange about Kangaroo courts, not having protection money etc. You are not thinking deeply enough about this.

Without income, there's no public services whatsoever. Go to Somalia or some other anarchist state if that's your ideal society.

This is faulty reasoning. First of all, there are no such thing as 'state income'. All of the things the State does are financed by stolen money. That is immoral. Before this state of affairs, America was a hugely prosperous and safe place. There is no need for the state to do all the things it is doing now. Just look at Underwriters Laboratory for an example. This is a commonly held myth; if the State were to disappear, there would be blood running in the streets. No one with any sense or even a little knowledge of history believes that is true.

There are equally bad or worse fates, like being the property of your parents. Children are not pets and even pets have laws against animal cruelty. Any state that lets children grow up with no minimum standard of education is neglecting that child and its human rights. They may be your offspring but they are not your prisoner - physically, intellectually or otherwise.

The question here is wether or not the State should be the parent of all children. I imagine you would concede that someone needs to take care of children, since they cannot take care of themselves. After we accept this, its a matter of who should be responsible for children. Some people who do not understand rights and nature, think that children should be in the care of the State from birth. Others believe that parents are the natural guardians of children.

The difference between these two camps is that the people who think the State should own children are willing to have children violently removed from their families on the slightest pretext, like Home Schooling. The people who are for natural rights are non violent, and do not interfere with other people. This is the acid test; who is the violent one, one who uses force, who is the brainwashed busy body, who will go into other people's homes and kidnap their children? Who is the immoral one?

This is a matter of pure right and wrong and evenly applied logic. Which is why so many people can't grasp these very simple issues.

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460242)

Weird, Mr. Randroid, in another post you stated you are not from the US then you go on about the prosperity of the US before the State started to finance itself by "stealing" money. When exactly was this mystical time? The Roanoke colony? As for the "pure right and wrong and applied logic" - I see you are an absolutist, who KNOWS what is right. Great going there, wish we had more of you. On some isolated island, where we could watch your anarchist paradise from far, far away.

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (1)

Ice Tiger (10883) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460814)

Go start a family in a failed state and let me know how that works out for you.

There is nothing stopping you do that if you don't like the country you are living in now.

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36460070)

Home schooling is child abuse. Children have a right to access to the accumulated knowledge of a society and parents do not have a right to block that access.

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (1, Insightful)

azalin (67640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460076)

Whenever I read stuff like this, I feel deeply sorry for the USA.

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460154)

In all fairness, it's probably not representative. I spent quite some time working and living in the USA and I never met a single real life randroid like the GP. Probably because they don't leave their basements and are mostly busy posting rants on random internet forums, I guess.

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (2)

Ice Tiger (10883) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460132)

Isn't that Somalia?

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (0)

Beautyon (214567) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461010)

Isn't that Somalia?

Not quite:

In our previous issue, my colleague Andrea Castillo exposed the if-you-hate-the-government-so-much-then-why-don’t-you-move-to-Somalia fallacy. This argumentative move is often used in the effort to reduce the libertarian’s position to absurdity. It is a way of pointing to the poverty and violence in Somalia, and saying “that’s what happens in the absence of a functioning government.” But all our critic has really achieved is a demonstration of his ignorance of Somalia’s recent history. It is true that Somalia is no anarcho-utopia.

But, as Andrea showed, the true cause of Somalia’s troubles is the predatory government that ruled there until collapsing in 1991. But more importantly, during its two decades of statelessness, Somalia has made significant economic progress and improvements in health and well-being. These facts suggest that government is not always necessary for progress. If anything, invoking Somalia seems to support the libertarian’s position.

        For many, this correlation between anarchy and progress in Somalia is a counterintuitive phenomenon. What explains it? Why hasn’t life in Somalia become increasingly “nasty, brutish, and short”? How has productive economic activity increased in the absence of government oversight and regulation? The simple answer is that, although lacking a centralized government, Somalia nonetheless has a decentralized social structure, made up of clans and their subgroups. This decentralized social structure had existed in Somalia for centuries before Western colonization introduced the top-down nation-state style of governance. Fortunately, the decentralized structure has survived, and it now provides the framework within which social, economic, and legal interactions take place.

[...]

http://freepressonline.net/content/decentralization-and-progress-somalia [freepressonline.net]

Seeing this same line over and over again, the Somalia Fallacy just shows how little original thinking there is, and how little thought comes from principle. People just repeat the same stock phrases that come from the State and its apologists and propagandists. Easy to refute, boring and stupid.

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461162)

There's too much money in the US for it to turn into Somalia - the OP is asking for the society straight out of Snow Crash.

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460178)

Don't look now, but strip clubs are illegal in Iceland, too ;)

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460798)

Any nation of people that allows the State to outlaw Home Education at its core, doesn't understand what a constitution is for, and cannot possibly create a free society based on one.

Rofl ... tell that the endless other countries where home schooling is "illegal". It is really funny from what kinds of "facts" people draw conclusions liek yours ... I'm still out of breath from my rofeling ...

What are you ranting about anyway? It is not like that Iceland has no constitution or is not a demogracy.

Re:They cannot possibly get it right (1)

Beautyon (214567) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460964)

You're laughing because that is the conditioned response to any challenge on your spoon-fed State conditioning. I note that you are from .de ; that tells us all we need to know about your 'education' if we were prone to generalizations:

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=home+education+germany [google.com]

People have been given political asylum after beign forced to flee from your 'free country' that is a democracy (mob rule, where even the dumbest have a say in the violence).

Facebook is now a world government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36459838)

I thought it would take another decade. But with things shaping up, Facefuck is now a de facto world government, at least on the same level as those revolutionary councils set up in strife-torn countries like Libya or Tibet.

Re:Facebook is now a world government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36459904)

No more than email, or postal mail, or television is. They are all just communications media that reach a significant percentage of their population.

Love the title (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 3 years ago | (#36459910)

Iceland taps Facebook

Sorry, but my first thought was a puerile one. Quite fitting, since I think Facebook is fucking over a lot of people everyday, it was just their turn to get "tapped".

New provision in the Icelandic constitution... (1)

Erbo (384) | more than 3 years ago | (#36459924)

courtesy of one of its more successful businesses:

"No one shall engage in unprovoked ganks in Empire highsec, on pain of being CONCORDOKKEN'd [youtube.com] ."

/still checking through early drafts, looking for the page where they inserted the phrase "HARDEN THE F**K UP"

Re:New provision in the Icelandic constitution... (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36459958)

Mate, they are basically vikings. Don't think they need to enshrine "Harden the fuck up" in their constitution.

Open Government? (1)

The1stImmortal (1990110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460020)

Hey, score one for open government I suppose. Hard to keep things hidden under "State Secrets" if Facebook keeps setting everything to "public" ;)

Big deal - countries tap whatever (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460022)

Big deal...

Here is a plausible scheme

930 [Country] Taps Free Men To Rewrite Its Constitution
1900 [Country] Taps Newspapers To Rewrite Its Constitution
1920 [Country] Taps The Radio Show To Rewrite Its Constitution
1940 [Country] Taps Telephone Company To Rewrite Its Constitution
1960 [Country] Taps The TV Show To Rewrite Its Constitution
2010 [Country] Taps Internet Site To Rewrite Its Constitution

So, where is the relevant news?

homeschool is synonymous with Christian extremist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36460026)

In the States, those most likely to homeschool are Christian extremists who want to shelter their children from heretical ideas such as critical thinking.

It is very likely this poster is a radical Christian, and his views originate from the extreme right-wing dogma that has been preached to him.

"Tapped Facebook" (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460392)

I tapped someone I met on Facebook once. I got a really nasty disease.

Summer Wars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36460548)

This move reminds me so much of the movie Summer Wars... it didn't go well.

How accurate is that count? (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460926)

The claim that 2/3rds of the Icelandic population is on facebook, based on the number of facebook accounts listed in Iceland? That seems sketchy to me. I would be hesitant to accept every one of those accounts as actually belonging to a real person, actually living in Iceland. Back when I used ICQ, I used to say I was in Uzbekistan, but I don't think the ICQ guys were silly enough to count me as an Uzbek citizen.
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