BS: In my view, the path to more democracy is less government, and more
voting with money.


On Wed, Nov 6, 2013 at 12:12 PM, Telmo Menezes <te...@telmomenezes.com>wrote:

> I guess it's impossible to avoid these discussions. Maybe we should
> create everything-politics?
>
> I will reply with my apologies to Craig, with whom I cut-off a
> political discussion earlier.
>
> On Wed, Nov 6, 2013 at 5:25 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
> > On 11/6/2013 12:58 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
> >
> >
> > There is nothing wrong being rich, unless the money is stolen money, and
> > that's the case today.
> >
> >
> > There's nothing morally wrong with being rich, but it creates an ethical
> > problem.  Being much wealthier than others bestows a lot of power.
>
> I don't know of a single human society so far where power asymmetries
> do not exist. It is perhaps naive to think they can disappear.
> Communism was perhaps the most serious effort to crete a society
> without power asymmetries, and it did not stand the test of reality.
> In fact, horrible atrocities were committed in the pursuit of this
> ideal. I don't blame Karl Marx for this, nor do I believe it was what
> he had in mind. I admire Karl Marx for rigorously trying to lay down
> an economical and social theory. But again, this was tested on a large
> scale and not only did it not make the asymmetries go away, it
> generated immense amounts of suffering and abject poverty in the
> process.
>
> Our current western system is more or less a hybrid of capitalism and
> socialism. Again, the power asymmetries are widening, if anything.
> There are two paths to power: money and politics. These paths are
> interconnected, and modern democracy seems to only create an illusion
> of choice. It is better to have some semblance of legitimacy through
> popular vote than to have power belong to a family, for example. But
> it is also unreasonable to assume that the problem is solved.
>
> So yes, money creates power asymmetries, but this already happens. The
> advantage of a radically free society based on mutually agreed
> commercial exchanges is that you are constantly voting with your
> money. Arguably, in the current system, the asymmetries are only
> aggravated by having the government control the supply of money,
> because people with political connections -- and these are bought with
> money -- can influence this supply and create unnatural leverage for
> themselves.
>
> > If there
> > is no effective government (like parts of Somalia)
>
> I think the error here is to believe that society is an outcome of the
> form of governance and not the other way around. True progress happens
> at the cultural level, and then we tend to stabilise on some form of
> governance. An example of this is how the institution of republics in
> Europe led to fascism. Then Europe grew culturally, and now republics
> seem more resilient to fascism, but they did not magically solve the
> problem. We had to evolve.
>
> Give Somalia a modern western system of governance and I'm sure things
> would collapse pretty quickly. They need to evolve culturally, and
> History shows that this cannot be enforced. Conversely, give advanced
> societies more freedoms and things would not collapse into chaos (I
> believe).
>
> Notice that I don't believe for a moment that there is any fundamental
> inferiority in the people of Somalia. I'm talking about the social
> context here. They are just a bunch of homo sapiens trapped in a
> cultural cul-de-sac. Western interventions in Somalia (payed by
> western taxes) are very much to blame too. In a sense, they didn't
> have a chance yet.
>
> > then the rich hire a
> > personal army to protect their property.
>
> This already happens, except that it's even worse: we pay for the army.
>
> > Where there is government, the
> > police protect their property and the rich attempt to control the
> government
> > through propaganda and buying influence.
>
> This is what we have now.
>
> >  So long as the rich are not so
> > rich as to live in a different 'world' than the middle class and they are
> > relatively diverse this works OK.
>
> Again, this is what we have already, no? I think this puts the focus
> on the wrong thing, and I also think that History shows I'm right. A
> more realistic set of expectations could be:
>
> - that there is more social mobility, as much as possible based on
> merit (because I believe we all gain when somebody gets rich by
> providing value);
> - that the rich cannot buy the power to write laws to enslave the
> middle class and the poor;
> - that the middle class and the poor have better and better lives,
> unlike what happened in the USSR where most people were equal but very
> poor.
>
> > But the system seems to be unstable in
> > that the rich can and do use their wealth and power to get more wealth
> and
> > power - and not necessarily productively.
>
> Agreed. This is an argument against regulation. Unless you really
> believe that a small set of us can be more honest and altruistic than
> all of us combined. I think this is the main mysticism with current
> political thought. I am for more democracy, not less. In my view, the
> path to more democracy is less government, and more voting with money.
>
> >  So those who inherit wealth tend
> > to gain even more wealth.
>
> It seem fundamentally anti-human to expect people to not want their
> wealth to benefit their kin. Everyone wants this. It's how we
> transformed from amoebas into homo sapiens.
>
> >  Society needs to do something to stabilize the
> > system and prevent the increasing concentration of wealth.
>
> We are going through the end of another cycle where this was
> attempted. So far, all attempts appear to have done more harm than
> good in that respect. What do you suggest we try next?
>
> Telmo.
>
> > Brent
> >
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