I completely agree about empathy. But you'll notice that you don't
empathize with yourself. You empathize with others. This is where the
"duty towards others" gets reintroduced, and I think your stress on empathy
is important. When one concentrates on "duty towards oneself" there is a
tendency to become idiosyncratic, to develop a sophisticated vocabulary
that only you understand. This does facilitate empathy. What facilitates
empathy is the turning towards the other and the keeping of a common,
simple vocabulary in which to communicate.
So when you say:
>IMO a successful society has much more to do with the communications process
>than the form of government. Even Communism would be successful in a climate
>of effective communicatio! ns skills.
I think you are right, insofar as the government facilitates a
communications process that is free and open. Communism (as a form of the
theory of socialism in practice) did fail to facilitate communications, as
you implied. The only gov't that we've yet created in practice that would
produce a climate of open, even empathetic, communication is democracy.
Indeed, I think one of the primary purposes of gov't is to provide for open
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