Evonomics – Democracy. Capitalism. Socialism. Choose Any Three

Democracy. Capitalism. Socialism. Choose Any Three of the Above

If you don’t have a big bathtub of oil in the ground, you need all three to deliver widespread economic well-being.

I think this is the worst article I have seen on this site.

Steve frames opposing views as “incoherent claptrap” and the holders of differing views as “loony”.

I thought this site was about promoting discussion, and tolerance of diversity – how did something like this get in.

And to top it off, it is entirely backward looking.

He has looked at the first line of rice grains on the chess board, and has seen there are only about 500 grains – almost nothing.
Technology is doubling in computational capacity and performance in under a year.
It may not have emerged above the 5% noise level for most people yet, and when it does, it will only be 4 years from emergence to saturation.

4 years is not long for major social change.
We need to be prepared much sooner.
We do not have many years left.

Using linear analysis from the past is a guarantee of failure when dealing with exponential trends.

I agree with one of the themes – that markets and capitalism must stop being the dominant force in our social systems; and I do so from an entirely different perspective – one that is respectful of diversity, tolerant of difference, and accepting that real freedom must lead to increased diversity (exponentially expanding over time).

Under such conditions, the only safety any of us have is if we all accept a fundamental respect for life (all sapient life – every individual – no exceptions) and a fundamental respect for freedom.

Sure, in history, markets and freedom were often strongly associated, and that is changing with exponential development of automation.

Automation allows the production of universal abundance of anything fully automated, and anything universally abundant has zero market value.


In such an environment, if individuals are using market values to guide there decisions, there will emerge meta level incentives to remove any universal abundance. The evidence for such things is overwhelming for anyone prepared to look beyond the many levels of “spin” at the actual effects of most legislation in most jurisdictions.

And such freedom comes with responsibility, it is not about whim, but rather has strong elements of social and ecological responsibility.

It requires active tolerance of diversity, active respect – not name calling.

[followed by]

I completely agree that ignorance is rife in society.
To the degree that such ignorance is intentional, it is to be deplored and rectified, however, one thing I have noticed in my 50+ years of active enquiry is that the more I know, the more I know I don’t know, and the less confident I become about much of what I once accepted as Truth.
I don’t do Truth now.
Now the best I have is “useful approximation in the current context”.

When I first entered national level politics in this country in 1984 I was reported in the major daily newspapers 9 times. I read each of those articles carefully, and in one of them I could say that was something like what I talked to the reporter about, the other 8 bore no relationship that I could find to the discussion had.

After that experience it became clear to me that by reading newspapers I was becoming more ignorant, not less. Haven’t bought one since.

Very few institutions actively pursue diversity – most aim for conformity (religious, political, educational, legal, spiritual, scientific, …….).

As a child I cursed my inability to talk. I had a small flap of skin under my tongue that prevented me from making the sounds “r”, “t”, “l”, “d”,”j”,”n” and so my first teacher labelled me as a “retard” in front of my classmates. I was also the smallest kid in my class for most of my primary and secondary school years. I was 6 when they cut the flap of skin, and by 9 most of the speech impediments had gone. But that experience of social isolation, of being picked on, being rejected socially, allowed me to develop the intellectual habit of relying on my own judgement, and not trusting the establishment, or the group. It also meant I spent a lot of time in libraries reading as they were usually safe from the activity of bullies. It took me about 20 years to appreciate what a gift that actually was.

Social agreement is not a major driver for me. Nice when it happens, and almost incidental.

Making systems work is what drives me.
Creating systems that might actually stand a reasonable chance of delivering a safe environment for everyone who wants to to live as long as they choose.

So yes – the media is distorted. And from the deep systems perspective – why is that?

The answer is really simple, it is the natural outcome of a set of strategies based around market values and competition.

Human nature is complex. It has two major modalities – competitive or cooperative, and an infinite spectrum of mixes of those possible across time and context.

If one chooses to support cooperation over competition, and chooses to value human life and liberty above markets, universally – mine and everyone else’s, then that creates a very different set of strategic drivers and outcomes.

The thing to get is, any system of exchange must necessarily promote competition, rather than cooperation.
And competitive systems must promote winners and losers, and the majority of the population must end up losers.
Any system with losers is dangerous for everyone, because losers have nothing left to lose, and can use very high risk strategies.

In this deepest of strategic senses, security for anyone demands security for everyone.

Such security is impossible in a competitive market based (exchange based, scarcity based) system.

Such security is trivial in an automation based, abundance based, cooperative system; where the reasonable needs of everyone are met by fully automated systems, and such boundaries as are necessary are a matter of ongoing conversations.

No market based system can ever deliver such security.
No competitive system can ever deliver such security.

Complexity can only survive in a cooperative context – if the history of the evolution of life on this planet teaches us anything, it demonstrates that lesson in spades.

Democracy has many forms.
For the last 11 years I have been deeply involved in a community consensus governance process. Every decision taken by the group had to be agreed by all parties, commercial, recreational, conservation, traditional. Such things take time. The process can only work if there is a set of agreed values that everyone shares.
I am currently a candidate for mayor of my town, and will find out next week if enough people think I’m worth the risk.

You are not a lone voice.

There are a growing number of us, and there has been for many years.

40 years ago I found few people willing to have such conversations (less than 1% – significantly so).

Now I find most people are willing to engage (over 50%).

That is a huge change.
Still a considerable distance to go from conversation to action, and it is well down the path.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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