By in Random

Theories and Real Life

There are many ideas and practices that, in theory, should work. The difficulty, in my opinion, is that human nature often runs contrary to what is needed for many beautifully crafted theories to work.

For example, a very basic premise of communism is, as Karl Marx explained, "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs." What an extraordinary concept! If communism as it is practiced in the world functioned according to this premise, what a utopia would exist. Why isn't this theory practiced then? Human nature, where so many people operate by standards of greed, a need for exclusivity and more prevent this equal sharing of output and input.

Democracy in its purest definition gives power to the people. That's another beautiful concept, but one that is practiced in varying degrees throughout the world. For a democratic form of government to truly represent the people it serves, those people must make their choices known. In the United States, voter turnout is marginal during the off-presidential voting years and now where near 100 percent when it is a presidential election year. Even then, registered voters only represent a percentage of the entire population who are eligible for such registration. Again, human nature, along with a political system that that precludes true democracy, prevent the basic premise of the theory from coming to fruition.

These are just two of many examples of theories that work on paper but not in practice. Are there other such instances that you'd like to discuss?

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Feisty56 wrote on September 2, 2015, 2:06 PM

There have been a number of theories along this line, including that the black race was somehow inferior to the white race. I doubt any of these sorts of theories were ever based on scientific evidence -- at least not any balanced evidence -- and were really created to allow the white male in the US to feel superior to everyone else.

Unfortunately, there are still people who want to hold onto these "theories" for dear life, because of the fear of losing what they view as their God-given rights to be better than anyone else.

Rufuszen wrote on September 2, 2015, 3:00 PM

It is not just humans, the world refuses to act as it should. Every time we find out a new fact, theories have a little tweak.

MegL wrote on September 2, 2015, 3:55 PM

Those two theories are very important ones. If they don't work as they are supposed then not much else will.

msiduri wrote on September 2, 2015, 4:20 PM

LIbertarians also seek a utopia, based on the idea that people acting in their own enlightened self interest really don't need to be regulated. Yeah, aint that nice....

LoudMan wrote on September 2, 2015, 4:21 PM

That's not the only principle of communism. It's a slave-state design and, I've my doubts about capitalism, too. Too much chance of cronyism, which leads to inequity of opportunity for social mobility.

A theory I want to contend is that of the "childproof cap." Heck, children are the only ones who can open them!

Conspiracy? I think so. 😊

CoralLevang wrote on September 2, 2015, 4:42 PM

And people should be kind, reasonable, fair, loving, ... (shall I continue?)
Unfortunately, theory works only when implemented.

cheri wrote on September 2, 2015, 9:53 PM

I agree with your first lines of thought. Theories are theories and reality is another thing

RonElFran wrote on September 3, 2015, 12:08 AM

I think American democracy works perfectly. The populace gets exactly what they vote for, whether they vote at a polling station, or by staying away from polling stations (thereby voting "do whatever you want, I don't care"). Seriously, the lack of civic virtue often evident among citizens is why democracies are utterly dependent on some system of constitutional/legal checks and balances to work.

Paulie wrote on September 3, 2015, 2:41 AM

Yes, communism is a theory which sounds great but doesn't work due to human nature. Just look at what happened in China when communism was applied by Mao.

bestwriter wrote on September 3, 2015, 6:27 AM

Here everyone is encouraged to start their own business and that will only work in theory as it is not a joke to be a successful business person. It is not just producing, one has to promote, sell and collect dues. All cannot do it.

Feisty56 wrote on September 3, 2015, 10:44 AM

I imagine that theories are simply the basis for more thought, tweaking, revision, and more. Unfortunately, though, many people in high places act on theories as if they are facts themselves, while the rest of us deal with the fallout.

Greek sounds like a difficult language to learn -- do you think it is as difficult as in English, with all its exceptions to the rules?

Feisty56 wrote on September 3, 2015, 10:45 AM

I think that is the nature of theories, though, isn't it? To be tweaked, updated, or even discarded and new theories developed?

Feisty56 wrote on September 3, 2015, 10:49 AM

I think the two theories mentioned are shining examples of what could be -- in controlled circumstances, with like-minded, principled people from top to bottom. That's not the world we live in though, where only a few need to be out for themselves only to spoil what could be nearly perfect.

Feisty56 wrote on September 3, 2015, 10:52 AM

Whew, now there's a theory that is immediately easy to thrust holes into, isn't it? Enlightened self-interest...isn't that an oxymoron? : )

Feisty56 wrote on September 3, 2015, 10:54 AM

No, it's not the only principle of communism, but that simple statement has such a beauty to it in thought, don't you agree?

Childproof caps? Older folks everywhere with arthritic joints and loss of grip strength have to rely on kids to open those darn bottles, dang it!

Feisty56 wrote on September 3, 2015, 10:56 AM

Well, yes, that is an issue, isn't it? When the people involved in actually living the theory just won't perform as expected, darn it!

Feisty56 wrote on September 3, 2015, 10:58 AM

Theories and government policies, as I see it, can be shuffled together in a paper bag -- no matter which one you choose, whatever it says on paper is often very far from reality.

CoralLevang wrote on September 3, 2015, 11:06 AM

*laughs* Or those who will talk the talk, but don't walk the walk. Reminds me of the "do as I say, not as I do" example. emoticon :winking:

Feisty56 wrote on September 3, 2015, 11:26 AM

RonElFran , I think you have the makings of one or more posts in your comment here. i would submit that the political machine is quite content that many everyday folks are shirking their civic duty and have, in fact, created the perfect atmosphere for same. I think you'd get some lively discussion going with posts about your thoughts. I'll be looking for them. : )

msiduri wrote on September 3, 2015, 11:45 AM

I get your point. We deserve what we get. But I also think that all we have left to vote for, at least for higher elected offices, are those who are good at campaigning rather than governing. I think people are disgusted (and rightfully so) with the election process and just not quite sure how to go about changing it. Thus, candidates like Ross Perot. Thus single issue campaigns. Thus personal smears. And apropos of nothing, I'd like to see the electoral college done away with. I've seen it as a relic of elitism whose time is long since come (if, indeed its existence was ever appropriate) since it was explained to me in 8th grade civics class, long before I could legally vote. Oh, dear, guess it's time to get off the soapbox...

msiduri wrote on September 3, 2015, 11:55 AM

One of our friends treats Libertarianism almost like a religion. He described to me once a society where crime is punished not through a government (want as little government as possible) but through people's insurance companies. For instance, if someone steals my purse, I submit the loss to my insurance company, who reimburses me. I am then done. The insurance company seeks the identity of the thief, seeks reimbursement from his insurance company. Presumably, his rates will go up.

Isn't that a lovely world? Tyranny by insurance. I didn't try to argue that point with him, but took a different tack. If someone has, as I have, lost a family member through violence, simply being "reimbursed" by the insurance company and told to go on my merry way while the adults settle the matter is not going to work. I'd want assurances that whoever did this horrible thing will not be free to do it so someone else.

Last Edited: September 3, 2015, 11:56 AM

LoudMan wrote on September 3, 2015, 1:44 PM

It's the heart of communism. Let's have a PersonaPaper fight about it. 😱

Yup, only children can open them. I'd rather face an army of pickle-jars, one-handed and with sand in my eyes.

Feisty56 wrote on September 3, 2015, 5:15 PM

I don't think the fundamental theories of communism were at all what was put into practice. The name of the system was communism, but that's about all it had in common with the theories.

Feisty56 wrote on September 3, 2015, 5:17 PM

I agree with you -- not all of use are cut out to be entrepreneurs. And thank goodness, because who then would do the work beyond the administration and management of businesses?

Feisty56 wrote on September 3, 2015, 10:28 PM

In many ways, insurance companies rule our lives as it is -- particularly health insurance companies who make decisions for doctors and their patients based on rules the insurance company decides. I think your friend is already living in his utopia and doesn't even realize it.

Besides, what difference would it make whether it was the government or an insurance company doling out the rules and the punishment? It's still not self-government. I know, not your fight...but there are many holes in those theories.

Feisty56 wrote on September 3, 2015, 10:30 PM

Hmmm, I don't know about picking a "fight" with you -- you have way too much energy these days. Let's agree to disagree and live to "fight" another day. : )

Feisty56 wrote on September 3, 2015, 10:32 PM

But of course -- those theories and rules are for everyone but the ones who create them. Ugh! My Dad used to say that when I was a kid, "Do as I say, not as I do." Generally, he was a wise man, but that statement held no water with me.

Feisty56 wrote on September 3, 2015, 10:34 PM

I'm with you on the electoral college -- it's time has come to go the way of the dinosaur. I see potential posts in your enthusiasm here.

msiduri wrote on September 4, 2015, 8:53 AM

Or potential continued blathering. emoticon :smile:

VinceSummers wrote on September 4, 2015, 12:44 PM

How does the scripture read? "Man’s way does not belong to him. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step." - Jeremiah 10:23.

Feisty56 wrote on September 4, 2015, 1:43 PM

I would not disagree that God has a hand in our lives, but I also think that because we have free will, there are things that are at our discretion.

VinceSummers wrote on September 4, 2015, 1:45 PM

And quite right you are. The only catch is: most men misuse freewill, going against the direction of their creator, choosing for themselves what is good and what is bad.

Last Edited: September 4, 2015, 3:54 PM

AliCanary wrote on September 4, 2015, 3:40 PM

Add to that gerrymandering and ridiculous voter registration laws that are designed to let only certain people have their say...however, it's still a pretty good system, ideally!

CoralLevang wrote on September 4, 2015, 4:40 PM

We cannot forget the "children are to be seen and not heard" message, either. I was always in trouble for that one. So, I joined the military as soon as I could. *smacks my head* Doh!

chrisandmark wrote on September 4, 2015, 5:00 PM

There's not much democracy left in the world, with the most democratic Western countries having the hypocrisy to stamp down in areas that have nothing to do with them

lexiconlover wrote on September 30, 2015, 1:40 PM

I think people change theories as the world changes, weather this is techincally right or wrong. I do think it happens.