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Debates Forum

  1. Seongnam, S. Korea
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    22 Dec '18 03:29
    One of the more interesting things to me is how Pres. Jefferson opposed large urban areas a lot. He was not alone among the Founding Fathers.

    Here is some stuff on this topic:

    When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe. (Pres. Jefferson)


    From an article on the topic:

    Maybe we should blame Thomas Jefferson. He was the godfather of the urban sprawl racket in America. Though he held contradictory ideas about many things -- including slavery -- Jefferson was of one mind about cities: he hated them.

    "The mobs of great cities add just so much to support of pure government as sores do to the strength of the human body," Jefferson wrote.[1] Though Jefferson partied in Paris and had a hand in shaping Washington D.C., he thought cities were dens of corruption and inequity that would spoil the young American republic.

    He told James Madison: "I think our governments will remain virtuous for many centuries as long as they are chiefly agricultural; and this will be as long as there shall be vacant lands in any part of America. When they get plied upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, they will become corrupt as in Europe."

    As a writer, philosopher and leader, Jefferson was able to hard-wire an anti-urban bias into the culture of the United States. Consider the U.S. Constitution. What power does it give to cities and towns? None, nada, zip. In fact, the Constitution doesn't even mention cities and towns. It does give a lot of power to states. And states get more power -- through representatives -- by increasing their population.

    It's a formula for urban sprawl and weak cities. States need to grow to get more representatives and more political power. State politicians could try getting more people into urban areas by encouraging compact development. But that would risk giving more electoral power to cities, which Jefferson and his friends and followers (the "Jeffersonians"😉 thought were corrupt. The result? Encourage people to scatter on large plots of land -- of course after removing the Native Americans who happened to be living there at the time.

    After becoming president, Jefferson, intentionally or not, encouraged movement away from cities through the Louisiana Purchase. Without all this extra land, Americans, like Europeans, may have moved away from the frontier and into cities for security and economic opportunities. But with so much space, more than a few 19th century Americans were probably humming an early version of the "Green Acres" theme song.


    More here:
    https://www.planetizen.com/node/18841
  2. Behind the scenes
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    22 Dec '18 07:461 edit
    @philokalia said
    One of the more interesting things to me is how Pres. Jefferson opposed large urban areas a lot. He was not alone among the Founding Fathers.

    Here is some stuff on this topic:

    When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe. (Pres. Jefferson)


    From an article on the topic:

    Maybe we s ...[text shortened]... rsion of the "Green Acres" theme song.


    More here:
    https://www.planetizen.com/node/18841
    When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe. (Pres. Jefferson)



    An interesting topic for debate, however I would point out President Jefferson rose to political power at roughly the same time as Napoleon Bonaparte, and though President Jefferson was not hellbent on making war with his neighbors, I doubt he could have not foreseen the rise of the industrial revolution which drove people to find work in the cities rather than their family farms. In addition, I'm having a hard time convincing myself Cities such as Paris, London and Copenhagen are more corrupt than Chicago, Los Angeles, or Dallas, and I would feel much safer walking down the streets of those European cities, than most large American cities. President Jefferson was probably correct on this topic back in late 1700's, but I doubt that is true today.
  3. Joined
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    22 Dec '18 14:09
    @philokalia said
    One of the more interesting things to me is how Pres. Jefferson opposed large urban areas a lot. He was not alone among the Founding Fathers.

    Here is some stuff on this topic:

    When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe. (Pres. Jefferson)


    From an article on the topic:

    Maybe we s ...[text shortened]... rsion of the "Green Acres" theme song.


    More here:
    https://www.planetizen.com/node/18841
    yes! what a 18th century slave owner said about 18th century (and earlier) cities in 18th century Europe is totally relevant today, in the not 18th century.


    you must tell us more. perhaps publish some books.
  4. Seongnam, S. Korea
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    23 Dec '18 00:05
    @mchill said
    When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe. (Pres. Jefferson)



    An interesting topic for debate, however I would point out President Jefferson rose to political power at roughly the same time as Napoleon Bonaparte, and though President Jefferson was not hellbent on making war with his neighbors, I doubt he could ...[text shortened]... nt Jefferson was probably correct on this topic back in late 1700's, but I doubt that is true today.
    I up voted you even though you routinely make accusative posts in the name of objectivity. Thanks.

    Umm, sure, I see your point, but I think he could have foresaw the industrial revolution to a degree because he was quite the polymath and way into the rapidly advancing science.

    I think he wrote about this topic because he proposed an alternative modernity: one in which the elites and landed gentry largely presided over all government and designed the country to be primarily agrarian with different relationships to industry. This I admit is speculative though.
  5. Seongnam, S. Korea
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    23 Dec '18 00:07
    @zahlanzi said
    yes! what a 18th century slave owner said about 18th century (and earlier) cities in 18th century Europe is totally relevant today, in the not 18th century.


    you must tell us more. perhaps publish some books.
    So you don't think he was relevant because he spoke two hundred years ago and he owned slaves, lol.

    You think world history began in the twentieth century and before that humanity existed like some different species.

    How enlightened you must be, muchacho.

    WATCH OUT GUYS, WE GOT A REAL TINKER HERE. HE IS ONE STEP AHEAD OF US. CAN'T HANDLE THESE BANTS.
  6. SubscriberAThousandYoung
    iEn guardia, Ingles!
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    23 Dec '18 00:41
    Is this how you think we should live:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monticello

    Monticello (mon-tee-CHEL-oh) was the primary plantation of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, who began designing and building Monticello at age 26 after inheriting land from his father. Located just outside Charlottesville, Virginia, in the Piedmont region, the plantation was originally 5,000 acres (20 km2), with Jefferson using slaves for extensive cultivation of tobacco and mixed crops, later shifting from tobacco cultivation to wheat in response to changing markets
  7. Subscriberno1marauder
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    23 Dec '18 00:581 edit
    @philokalia said
    I up voted you even though you routinely make accusative posts in the name of objectivity. Thanks.

    Umm, sure, I see your point, but I think he could have foresaw the industrial revolution to a degree because he was quite the polymath and way into the rapidly advancing science.

    I think he wrote about this topic because he proposed an alternative modernity: one in whi ...[text shortened]... be primarily agrarian with different relationships to industry. This I admit is speculative though.
    Jefferson, for all his brilliance, had a parochial and primitive view of economics. He bitterly fought all the Federalist initiatives that helped lay the groundwork for the American economy in the 19th century; a central bank, spending on infrastructure, tariffs to protect infant industries, etc. etc. If his positions had prevailed (they did not), economic development in the United States would have been severely impeded.

    The idea that agriculture would remain the linchpin of economic activity for centuries as he believed was foolish and most of the Framers knew better.

    EDIT: An example:

    He did not believe that promoting manufactures was as important as supporting the already-established agrarian base. Jefferson deemed “those who labour in the earth” the “chosen people of God . . . whose breasts he has made his peculiar deposit for substantial and genuine virtue.” He advised his countrymen to “let our work-shops remain in Europe.”

    https://teachinghistory.org/history-content/ask-a-historian/24094
  8. Subscriberno1marauder
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    23 Dec '18 01:12
    @athousandyoung said
    Is this how you think we should live:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monticello

    Monticello (mon-tee-CHEL-oh) was the primary plantation of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, who began designing and building Monticello at age 26 after inheriting land from his father. Located just outside Charlottesville, Virginia, in the Piedmont reg ...[text shortened]... ixed crops, later shifting from tobacco cultivation to wheat in response to changing markets
    Actually, Jefferson was a terrible manager of the estate and died heavily in debt. In fact, five years after his death his daughter had to sell Monticello and its 130 slaves to pay off a portion of his debts. https://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2015/07/the-debt-and-death-of-thomas-jefferson-2/
  9. Joined
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    23 Dec '18 02:07
    @philokalia said
    One of the more interesting things to me is how Pres. Jefferson opposed large urban areas a lot. He was not alone among the Founding Fathers.

    Here is some stuff on this topic:

    When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe. (Pres. Jefferson)


    From an article on the topic:

    Maybe we s ...[text shortened]... rsion of the "Green Acres" theme song.


    More here:
    https://www.planetizen.com/node/18841
    Cities are more dependent on government. They are like islands of socialism.
  10. Joined
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    23 Dec '18 11:461 edit
    @philokalia said
    So you don't think he was relevant because he spoke two hundred years ago and he owned slaves, lol.

    You think world history began in the twentieth century and before that humanity existed like some different species.

    How enlightened you must be, muchacho.

    WATCH OUT GUYS, WE GOT A REAL TINKER HERE. HE IS ONE STEP AHEAD OF US. CAN'T HANDLE THESE BANTS.
    "So you don't think he was relevant because he spoke two hundred years ago and he owned slaves, lol."
    plus the fact that he spoke about cities in europe as they were 200 years ago, yes

    "You think world history began in the twentieth century and before that humanity existed like some different species. "
    strawmaning, huh. i have never seen that on this forum
    no, i didn't say that. some issues discussed by philosophers (any thinkers in general) can apply today if they are general enough or about something that hasn't changed.

    a man owning other people talking about the corrupting nature of cities in an Europe largely ruled by rather authoritarian monarchies is slightly out of date now and it was slightly hypocritical then. Things have changed in case you haven't noticed. Industry has changed, the nature of agriculture has changed, Europe is democratic. What that slave owner said then about this particular subject does not apply now.
  11. Joined
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    23 Dec '18 12:02
    @metal-brain said
    Cities are more dependent on government. They are like islands of socialism.
    no, dear, cities have more people and more diversity. the more kinds of people you come into contact the less bigoted you tend to be.

    sure i am not saying that people in small towns are all bigoted. i am saying that if you take bigoted people and make them work in big cities, of using the public transportation, of frequenting different pubs, etc most of them will tend to gradually lose their bigotry.


    since i (and others) brought brexit as a subject recently, here is a little tidbit of information. The percentage of remain votes where higher in zones with the highest immigration. The most leave votes came from communities with few or no immigrants. Why is that, i wonder? Could it be that if you come into contact with a romanian (or any other) nurse or doctor, you come to realize they are people too?
  12. Joined
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    23 Dec '18 12:308 edits
    @philokalia said
    One of the more interesting things to me is how Pres. Jefferson opposed large urban areas a lot. He was not alone among the Founding Fathers.

    Here is some stuff on this topic:

    When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe. (Pres. Jefferson)


    From an article on the topic:

    Maybe we s ...[text shortened]... rsion of the "Green Acres" theme song.


    More here:
    https://www.planetizen.com/node/18841
    I think Jefferson was on to something here. After all, during the early years one of the most influential colonies was South Carolina. Why? It was not because they had a bigger population or bigger cities. No, it was because they had concentrated populations of slave labor. The movers and shakers of South Carolina were also very clever. For example, they had their own little Boston Tea Party, only, they stole the tea instead of mindlessly dumping it into the sea and sold it to help the war effort.

    In a way, major cities are giant plantations of labor. Mass numbers of people live very close to their work plantation and must live with meager means because the more populated the more expensive real estate becomes. So they are forced to live in row houses and use mass transportation systems in order to function, which lends to government dependence, much like the slaves were dependent upon their owners for survival. But it helped make South Carolina the wealthiest colony in the Republic. Likewise, today the wealthiest states in the US have major US cities that are predominantly blue and not red.


    As a result of the power and influence slavery gave South Carolina, they were one of the most influential states when it came to the early years of the Republic. In fact, more wars in the Revolution were fought in South Carolina than any other colony, even though they had the smallest percentage of the population.

    And so it goes, collectivists are the most war like people on the planet. This is because they have concentrated all wealth and resources to a common cause. All influential dictators have done this from Hitler to Alexander the Great. All money is concentrated into a big pot to create world conquering armies.

    And this is what both President Wilson and FDR did. They helped further centralize power in the US to help create armies that could compete with collectivist military power houses in Europe. In fact, before the US entered WW 1, the military was a mess and not ready to enter WW1. It took a great effort to get them ready.

    It's become an age old question. What is more important, wealth or freedom? In fact, the Boston Tea Party is representative of this dilemma. Most people think that the event was triggered because England was trying to raise taxes on tea, but it was the reverse. The corporation East Indies company was cornering the market on tea and was lowering the cost of tea at the same time, so the rebellion was over control of the tea, even though it was going to cost the colonists more of their money. You could say that today the corporate model, which is a government creation that I think England mastered at using them as a tool to conquer foreign lands, is the engine that collectivists use today. Today, globalism is the key to world wealth and the corporate model is the means to join nations at the hip as they try to find ways to rid nations of their sovereignty in order to make doing business easier and more efficient. Today, England is facing such issues with Brexit. Do they choose freedom by going through with Brexit or wealth by abandoning it and embracing the EU?

    And that leads us to today's economies where computers are going to play a significant role. We already see corporations planting chips in us in order to increase efficiency within the business world, much like cattle are branded so that life is made easier for the rancher who uses them to make a profit. Again, freedom begins to wane in such environments, but who can argue with the ruthless efficiency of it when it comes to making money. In fact, governments will someday do the same to us all. Imagine, no more running from the law, no more missing persons, no more treating someone medically and not knowing their health history in order to give them the best medical care possible, no more cheating on taxes if you use the implant to buy and sell. Trillions and trillions of dollars would be saved in such a system, however, the individual's power will be significantly reduced is such an Orwellian reality, especially if such a device was able to record what we say and do.

    The problem though is, the love of money always wins in the current world system, so it's not a matter of if such events will occur, rather, it's only a question of when.

    But if you think that one can chose freedom over collectivism, who will protect you from the collectivist goons who will try to overcome you through force? Who will fight off the Hitlers of the world? But if you fight off the Hilters of the world, what will prevent you from becoming what you had just fought off? It reminds me of how the Founding Fathers tried to centralize their power to fight off England. They somehow did it but then turned right around and passed the Alien and Sedition Acts that prohibited people from speaking out against government. Luckily, Jefferson was there to put a stop to most of it, but what was "Left" FDR used to imprison innocent Japanese Americans.
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    23 Dec '18 15:271 edit
    @whodey said
    Luckily, Jefferson was there to put a stop to most of it, but what was "Left" FDR used to imprison innocent Japanese Americans.
    It is impossible to believe that you would not have wholeheartedly endorsed the internment of Japanese Americans had you been around at the time. It is equally inconceivable that you would be complaining about it, three quarters of a century later, had it been implemented by a President Landon, Wilkie, Dewey, or Taft.
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    23 Dec '18 16:22
    @teinosuke said
    It is impossible to believe that you would not have wholeheartedly endorsed the internment of Japanese Americans had you been around at the time. It is equally inconceivable that you would be complaining about it, three quarters of a century later, had it been implemented by a President Landon, Wilkie, Dewey, or Taft.
    Why would you post such a thing?

    I'll tell you why, because you have labelled me "Right wing", and as such, assumed that someone who is "Right Wing" is authoritarian and never met a law they did not like. Additionally, I must also be a racist cuz to be "Right Wing" I must hate other races cuz Hitler was labelled "Right Wing" as well and he was a racist.

    I really don't have the time to dissect all the logical fallacies I've presented here, but they are obviously ones you have adopted.

    First of all, I have been consistent on speaking out against authoritarianism. I've spoken out against the endless laws coming out of government, which tally about 40,000 laws and regulations per year. Are we really that bad? I've also spoken out on such things as the Patriot Act, passed by "W", and the NDAA, passed by Obama, even though one is a Republican.

    Yet people like yourself insist that Trump is sooooo much worse of a President. Tell me, what has Trump done that is comparable to signing the NDAA which allows the government to arrest us without due process based only on the presumption that, that person is engaged in terrorism?

    Then you have Trump pulling out of Syria and wanting to begin withdraws from Afghanistan while his predecessors started war after war, yet Trump is the one that is compared to Hitler.

    I have spoken harshly against Islam, specifically because I don't view it as much of a religion as I do a political movement that is hell bent on destroying our freedoms. This is based upon the fact that they view world wide Sharia law as their only utopia that they must all work towards. Islam has also banded together with the far Left to spew their hateful rhetoric and actions towards infidels and women and gays, something that the Left turns a blind eye towards.

    And why to they turn a blind eye towards their hate and violence? It's because they recognize the sheer numbers there are and the fact that they employ similar tactics, so as the cookie cutter collectivist does, they only care about one thing, mob rule. Power is all they care about, even if it means eventually succumbing to Sharia law.
  15. Joined
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    23 Dec '18 17:02
    @zahlanzi said
    no, dear, cities have more people and more diversity. the more kinds of people you come into contact the less bigoted you tend to be.

    sure i am not saying that people in small towns are all bigoted. i am saying that if you take bigoted people and make them work in big cities, of using the public transportation, of frequenting different pubs, etc most of them will tend to ...[text shortened]... nto contact with a romanian (or any other) nurse or doctor, you come to realize they are people too?
    More people in a small space is more dependent on public works and therefore more dependent on government. It has nothing to do with bigotry as you falsely imply.
    I live in the country, but I have also lived in the city. People in the city have an unrealistic mentality about policy. People call the cops because some guy killed a raccoon that got into the garbage. They think it is uncivilized or something like that. I killed 2 last winter for getting into my chicken coop and killing my chickens. Good riddance to the vermin.

    City folks want socialist policies because that is what benefits cities. Country folks take care of their own problems for the most part and would rather government get out of their lives. Unfortunately, you city people outnumber country people. We end up paying for a portion of your city lifestyle. All city socialism should be paid by city folks. Get your city hands out of our pockets!
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