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My issues with cities

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San Lumen
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Postby San Lumen » Thu Jan 07, 2021 2:41 pm

United Dependencies wrote:
San Lumen wrote:That’s not the same as abolishing a municipal government.

The general assembly has also revoked a corporate charter and, as a result, unincorporated a town before.

https://www.ncleg.net/enactedlegislatio ... 9-235.html

https://canons.sog.unc.edu/repealing-a-city-charter/

edit: Again, this is North Carolina specific. I have no idea whether or not other states/countries do things differently.

What was the reason for that action? I’m surprised they didn’t use it before losing their veto proof majority.

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United Dependencies
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Postby United Dependencies » Thu Jan 07, 2021 2:48 pm

San Lumen wrote:What was the reason for that action? I’m surprised they didn’t use it before losing their veto proof majority.

It was in 1969 so I'm not able to figure that one out easily. I imagine it was something as simple as the town being inactive or going bankrupt or some such.

As to your second point: I don't think it would make a difference. Repealing the charter for a big city doesn't get rid of the voters therein. The only major result would be to create a void in utility and emergency services which would probably hamper economic growth.

Anyway, this is beside the point. I support urbanization and more density because it allows for a more efficient distribution of services such as water and public transportation. It also can help us reduce our overall CO2 output compared to the decentralized, car heavy country the US currently is.
Last edited by United Dependencies on Thu Jan 07, 2021 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Senkaku
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Postby Senkaku » Thu Jan 07, 2021 2:55 pm

The Emerald Legion wrote:Since I felt like the topic deserved a thread and to avoid further derailment into this particular topic.

1.) City life is inherently less free than country life.

Ugh, this is going to be bad, isn't it?

The close confines of the city, combined with the complex infrastructure needed to keep city life going inherently limits what you can do.

What does this even mean? I'd say it's just the opposite-- the combination of proximity and highly developed infrastructure is what allows me (in non-pandemic times) to go visit a museum, wander into an art gallery, watch a hockey game, and get a nice teriyaki dinner in the space of one afternoon. It expands the possibilities of what you can do, rather than limiting it.

Now, in some rural areas, maybe there's a different set of possibilities available to you, but it's not a less limited one.

Combine this with the fact that most people who live in cities don't own their home, and are thus beholden to maintaining it in a saleable state for their landlord. Meaning you have little freedom within your home and even less outside it.

The fetishization of home ownership as an end unto itself is one of the more unfortunate economic policy mistakes committed by the US government in the past century.

This is not only a problem for the obvious loss in quality of life, but also because over time it denigrates the value of freedom.

Whatever your poorly-defined "value of freedom" is, I bet you can get plenty of it in urban areas too.
Simply growing up in a city teaches you all the wrong lessons about life, through no fault of your own. When you grow up all your life in an area where you're not free to build a fort in the back yard.

You do realize that most major American cities aren't as dense as Manhattan, and plenty of people are able to build forts in their backyard while still living in cities? And even if that weren't the case, you haven't made the actual connection between "not being able to build a fort in your backyard" and "not understanding the true value of freedom."
Or not free to make a major renovation on your home.

This is true of poor people everywhere, urban or rural, renter or owner.
Not free to play with toy weapons for fear of misunderstandings and accidents.

Rural areas are free from misunderstandings and accidents, now?
Not free to have a basic social meet like a bonfire.

You do realize many cities have public parks where you can have fires, right? And again, even if that weren't the case: how does it inherently damage my ability to understand "freedom" if I have to see my friends at a restaurant or a bar or someone's apartment, instead of at a bonfire?

Instead you get channeled towards public facilities. Bars, parks, clubs.

...you think cities have publicly-operated bars and nightclubs?
Instead of being able to get together with friends for free and cook some food over an open fire,

Again, you can do this in a lot of city parks.
you end up either all crammed into someones apartment.

Okay, firstly: it's still free to do that. Secondly, why is this inherently worse than any other kind of party?
Or meeting at some either commercial or public place designed to have fun and you're once again now in public. Not able to just be with your friends and your friends alone.

The only takeaway here seems to be that you enjoy the illusion that you aren't being watched by others, and that being outdoors in a rural environment lets you successfully deceive yourself into believing this to be the case. News flash: you can see bonfires from a long ways away. Being outside is still being in public, even if there aren't as many people around.

All in all, that adds up.

What adds up? You've just listed some stereotypical Manhattan inconveniences, applied them to "cities" in general, and boldly asserted that they "denigrate the value of freedom."
Already we have to contend with a public education system more concerned with teaching you to be obedient to authority than it is with your education

Arguing that this is the case seems like it could be a whole 'nother thread, because that's a pretty huge assertion to make-- I'll content myself with simply observing that at least in the US, cities are not the only places with a public education system.
but even after you get out of that, life in general confirms this very authoritarian outlook where 'the powers that be.' control your entire life.

Sorry, what about this vague musing is unique to city living?

By and large this is partly why I feel Democrats culturally care so much about sex and gender issues. Because who they sleep with and how they dress is one of the few freedoms city folk have.

Not sure what to say to this.

2.) Cities either make you incredibly poor, or incredibly rich.

I can't tell if you've never spent time in a city or if you've never spent time in the country. Is inequality not a problem in rural America?
And if the former you get trapped. You end up almost literally chained to your job trying to keep above water because living in the city is expensive, why? Because demand is high, and other residents are rich. Particularly if you have a family you end up in a situation where staying amounts to slavery, and leaving is too expensive.

This is not a problem unique to cities. Yes, the cost of living in cities is higher, but that doesn't mean this is a problem only cities face.
Cities are more or less going to end up catering only to the super rich who inhabit them and dominate the lives of all others.

This is true of the entire country. In rural areas it just takes the form of billionaires carving out huge country estates or swallowing up entire islands, or big agribusinesses gobbling up farmland, or mining or fossil fuel companies taking water rights and poisoning huge areas of land.
So in a sense, living in a city is a bargain with those super rich. Either you do it carefully and make out with your wealth and move back to safer pastures, or you end up trapped and stuck in a never ending cycle of wage slavery.

You are diagnosing problems faced by the entire nation as the fault of cities, because your real problem with cities, and the only thing we haven't really touched on yet, is the people who live there.
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San Lumen
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Postby San Lumen » Thu Jan 07, 2021 2:59 pm

United Dependencies wrote:
San Lumen wrote:What was the reason for that action? I’m surprised they didn’t use it before losing their veto proof majority.

It was in 1969 so I'm not able to figure that one out easily. I imagine it was something as simple as the town being inactive or going bankrupt or some such.

As to your second point: I don't think it would make a difference. Repealing the charter for a big city doesn't get rid of the voters therein. The only major result would be to create a void in utility and emergency services which would probably hamper economic growth.

Anyway, this is besides the point: I support urbanization and more density because it allows for a more efficient distribution of services such as water and public transportation. It also can help us reduce our overall CO2 output compared to the decentralized, car heavy country the US currently is.

Taking such an action would be extremely unpopular as well.

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Resilient Acceleration
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Postby Resilient Acceleration » Thu Jan 07, 2021 4:53 pm

Nah. Rural poverty is a thing. I've been involved in a village development program before, which opened my eyes on how little opportunity there is on many rural areas. Rich landowners reign supreme as most people are farm laborers with very little wage, very little mobility, the education, information, and internet infrastructure is scarce and of terrible quality, and you are less exposed to ideas, meaning that hard social norms and Islamist conservativism is strong. I got to see a night sky full of stars, though.

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Sundiata
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Postby Sundiata » Thu Jan 07, 2021 4:55 pm

I love cities. Anyone who's ever been to a city cathedral knows how humbling the experience is.
Last edited by Sundiata on Thu Jan 07, 2021 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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San Lumen
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Postby San Lumen » Thu Jan 07, 2021 4:57 pm

Sundiata wrote:I love cities. Anyone who's ever been to a city cathedral knows how humbling the experience is.


I agree completely. I remember the first time I visited one of my cities main cathedrals. I'll never forgot how awe inspired and surreal the moment was seeing a place i'd only seen on television and films in person for the very first time.

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Sundiata
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Postby Sundiata » Thu Jan 07, 2021 5:50 pm

San Lumen wrote:
Sundiata wrote:I love cities. Anyone who's ever been to a city cathedral knows how humbling the experience is.


I agree completely. I remember the first time I visited one of my cities main cathedrals. I'll never forgot how awe inspired and surreal the moment was seeing a place i'd only seen on television and films in person for the very first time.

I felt the very same.
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Borderlands of Rojava
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Postby Borderlands of Rojava » Thu Jan 07, 2021 6:09 pm

I agree with your hate of cities despite living in a city (because you're right that cities cause these issues) but I'm against "disbanding cities."
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Borderlands of Rojava
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Postby Borderlands of Rojava » Thu Jan 07, 2021 6:09 pm

Sundiata wrote:I love cities. Anyone who's ever been to a city cathedral knows how humbling the experience is.


We don't need to abolish cities. We need to improve them.

Mend it. Don't end it.
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"The devil is out there. Hiding behind every corner and in every nook and cranny. In all of the dives, all over the city. Before you lays an entire world of enemies, and at day's end when the chips are down, we're a society of strangers. You cant walk by someone on the street anymore without crossing the road to get away from their stare. Welcome to the Twilight Zone. The land of plague and shadow. Nothing innocent survives this world. If it can't corrupt you, it'll kill you."

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San Lumen
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Postby San Lumen » Thu Jan 07, 2021 6:17 pm

Borderlands of Rojava wrote:
Sundiata wrote:I love cities. Anyone who's ever been to a city cathedral knows how humbling the experience is.


We don't need to abolish cities. We need to improve them.

Mend it. Don't end it.


Agree completely. Abolition is rarely the solution.

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Nurkama
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Postby Nurkama » Thu Jan 07, 2021 6:23 pm

As somebody who lives in a rural area and has been doing so for my entire life, I MUCH prefer the city over the country. I don't enjoy driving very much but I am forced to drive for at least 20 minutes each way just to access the most basic of services. Forget to buy milk at the store? Now you have drive for at least 40 minutes to go get it when in the city you can go and get it right around the corner. Most of my friends live in town and I feel incredible isolation being so far from some of my favourite people (not that it matters at the moment with the pandemic and all but I digress). Another issue I have to face is terrible internet access, with slow speeds and spotty connection making me long for the high speeds I can access for a much cheaper rate in the city. The only advantages of living out here for me personally is peace and quiet, as well as extra green space, but those two things are not enough to counteract my distaste for this area.

The issues you bring up regarding cities in your second point don't necessarily have much to do with cities themselves but rather the system in which the cities and people occupy. Cities don't inherently cause wealth inequality, socioeconomic and political systems do.
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Northwest Slobovia
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Postby Northwest Slobovia » Thu Jan 07, 2021 6:54 pm

Senkaku wrote:You do realize that most major American cities aren't as dense as Manhattan

In fact none are. But you've hit on the OP's major problem: he appears to think the US is divided into Manhattan and Maine, with nothing in between. And he seems to have some fascinating misconceptions about both: it seems the OP's America has neither rural poor nor rural Democrats, among other things.
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San Lumen
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Postby San Lumen » Fri Jan 08, 2021 8:20 am

Northwest Slobovia wrote:
Senkaku wrote:You do realize that most major American cities aren't as dense as Manhattan

In fact none are. But you've hit on the OP's major problem: he appears to think the US is divided into Manhattan and Maine, with nothing in between. And he seems to have some fascinating misconceptions about both: it seems the OP's America has neither rural poor nor rural Democrats, among other things.

They aren’t the only one. Many rural people have misconceptions about cities and vice versa. There is much blind hatred of the other side and it’s becoming a serious problem.

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Kernen
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Postby Kernen » Fri Jan 08, 2021 8:47 am

OP's analysis tracks with the inherent legibility of modern planned city life. Given the serious drawbacks to unsupported rural life without the kind of metis that comes from being born into rural life, I am not sure you gain much valuable freedom. Freedom to earn lower wages, have worse infrastructure, have fewer economic opportunities...

Seems a wash without the funds to back up the pitfalls of rural living.
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San Lumen
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Postby San Lumen » Fri Jan 08, 2021 8:51 am

Kernen wrote:OP's analysis tracks with the inherent legibility of modern planned city life. Given the serious drawbacks to unsupported rural life without the kind of metis that comes from being born into rural life, I am not sure you gain much valuable freedom. Freedom to earn lower wages, have worse infrastructure, have fewer economic opportunities...

Seems a wash without the funds to back up the pitfalls of rural living.

many seem to forget how much the cities they so despise impact them in rural communities.

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Adamede
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Postby Adamede » Fri Jan 08, 2021 8:53 am

Resilient Acceleration wrote:Nah. Rural poverty is a thing. I've been involved in a village development program before, which opened my eyes on how little opportunity there is on many rural areas. Rich landowners reign supreme as most people are farm laborers with very little wage, very little mobility, the education, information, and internet infrastructure is scarce and of terrible quality, and you are less exposed to ideas, meaning that hard social norms and Islamist conservativism is strong. I got to see a night sky full of stars, though.

I Willa did that the poster probably has rural America in mind. Things are bit different here.
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Kernen
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Postby Kernen » Fri Jan 08, 2021 8:55 am

San Lumen wrote:
Kernen wrote:OP's analysis tracks with the inherent legibility of modern planned city life. Given the serious drawbacks to unsupported rural life without the kind of metis that comes from being born into rural life, I am not sure you gain much valuable freedom. Freedom to earn lower wages, have worse infrastructure, have fewer economic opportunities...

Seems a wash without the funds to back up the pitfalls of rural living.

many seem to forget how much the cities they so despise impact them in rural communities.

It's easy to despise cities. I hate them. But it's hard to discount their economic value, even if they are generally bastions of state control.
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San Lumen
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Postby San Lumen » Fri Jan 08, 2021 9:01 am

Kernen wrote:
San Lumen wrote:many seem to forget how much the cities they so despise impact them in rural communities.

It's easy to despise cities. I hate them. But it's hard to discount their economic value, even if they are generally bastions of state control.

Why do you hate them?

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Kernen
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Postby Kernen » Fri Jan 08, 2021 9:04 am

San Lumen wrote:
Kernen wrote:It's easy to despise cities. I hate them. But it's hard to discount their economic value, even if they are generally bastions of state control.

Why do you hate them?

I don't like people. Being around that many of them makes my skin crawl. I much prefer living in a forest.
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Northern Socialist Council Republics
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Postby Northern Socialist Council Republics » Fri Jan 08, 2021 11:00 am

The conclusion that the OP draws is only reasonable if you constrain your definition of freedom to freedom from social propriety.

Since I don’t take this view, I disagree with the conclusions drawn.
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Kernen
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Postby Kernen » Fri Jan 08, 2021 11:51 am

Northern Socialist Council Republics wrote:The conclusion that the OP draws is only reasonable if you constrain your definition of freedom to freedom from social propriety.

Since I don’t take this view, I disagree with the conclusions drawn.

I'm not sure I agree. He seems to complain about the various intrusions of the state independent of their "moral" value or propriety as such. It's a fair complaint.
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Northern Socialist Council Republics
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Postby Northern Socialist Council Republics » Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:37 pm

Kernen wrote:I'm not sure I agree. He seems to complain about the various intrusions of the state independent of their "moral" value or propriety as such. It's a fair complaint.

The state is a social entity.
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Nilokeras
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Postby Nilokeras » Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:49 pm

Kernen wrote:
Northern Socialist Council Republics wrote:The conclusion that the OP draws is only reasonable if you constrain your definition of freedom to freedom from social propriety.

Since I don’t take this view, I disagree with the conclusions drawn.

I'm not sure I agree. He seems to complain about the various intrusions of the state independent of their "moral" value or propriety as such. It's a fair complaint.


I think in a typically American manner the OP is actually confusing the intrusions of private capital with the state. When they say people are forced into 'public' spaces, they are after all complaining about people being 'pushed' into mostly privately-held commercial spaces like bars and restaurants. When they complain about not being able to modify your rental apartment, you're renting from a private landlord. Really the OP's gripe is with the way that capital has seized control of and is extracting rent from the parts of life that make it worth living, but they're apparently not ready for that conversation - instead we get the bizarre agrarianist 'life is better when you can light fires' line.

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Kernen
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Postby Kernen » Fri Jan 08, 2021 2:11 pm

Northern Socialist Council Republics wrote:
Kernen wrote:I'm not sure I agree. He seems to complain about the various intrusions of the state independent of their "moral" value or propriety as such. It's a fair complaint.

The state is a social entity.

Then I'm not sure why it's a problem to take issue with unnecessary intrusion. We have rights against that already.
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