Is socialism the future of our civilization?

Is socialism the future of our civilization?

[ 18/10/20 ]

If by socialism you mean a system where all property is owned by the group as a whole, then no – such a centrally controlled system is open to multiple sets of failure modalities.

The simple antithesis, of property owned by individuals and traded in markets, is also open to multiple sets of failure modalities.

What has some chance of working is a system where some things are in common ownership and some in private ownership, and everyone acknowledges that they all have responsibilities in respect of a duty of care towards to the societies and ecosystems that make the existence that they have possible.

And the world does in fact seem to be sufficiently complex, and contain sufficiently many sets of fundamental uncertainties and unknowables, that there will be eternal aspects of exploration required of all of us as to what responsibility actually looks like in the specific contexts we happen to find ourselves in. Reality seems to be sufficiently complex that no set of rules will be an exact fit to all contexts, and most sets of rules that have stood the test of time are some approximation to a useful fit in most of the contexts of the past.

So no – socialism is highly unlikely to be the future of our civilisation, at least not if the civilisation has a long term future.

Both socialism and capitalism are overly simplistic approaches to what is actually a deeply complex problem space.

One thing that 50 years of exploration of the strategy space has convince me, beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt, is that the only strategies that have any reasonable probability of long term survival with reasonable degrees of freedom are based in universal cooperation, where all individuals have what they consider reasonable degrees of security and resources and freedom. And there are real limits in some systems, and there will need to be conversations about what reasonableness looks like.

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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