Political Action

We have an opportunity to establish very high levels of cooperation that deliver prosperity and security far in excess of anything attainable under a market based set of values.

It seems that we (as humanity) already have the technical capacity to deliver an abundance of all of the essentials of life to every person on the planet. The major thing stopping us doing it is our societal addiction to the concept of markets and their derivative measure of value – money.

We can use distributed trust networks and automated production to deliver goods and services and security to all that is orders of magnitude beyond anything that has existed in history (even for the wealthiest).

Markets are a great tool for allocating scarce resources.
Markets are a great tool for incentivising work that no one would otherwise choose to do.
Automation gives us the ability to deliver universal abundance.
And markets cannot deal with universal abundance, as universal abundance has zero value (price point is by definition zero). If you doubt this, consider oxygen in the air, arguably the most important thing to any human being, yet of no monetary value due to its universal abundance.

This simple fact has profound implications.

It means that no market system can ever have internally consistent incentives to deliver abundance of anything to everyone, as there is no money in it.
Not only that, it means that markets are incentivised to destroy any universal abundance that exists, and turn it into a scarcity that can be marketed for a profit.

So long as we remain addicted to markets and money, there will be billions of people in poverty that are there for no other reason than a few people want to make a lot of money. And most of the rest of us will lead lives that are fundamentally and unnecessarily insecure in many essential aspects.

In this sense, the monetary system is about power and control of the few over the many – and as such is really the ultimate political tool of our time.

For me, it is clear that the existing monetary and political systems pose dangers at many different levels.

Creating political, legal, and technical systems that support every individual in being independent of all others, and then encouraging cooperation between potentially independent individuals, seems to me to be the most powerful and secure way to create our common future. If you want to understand the mathematics and logic of that then study games theory and evolution, particularly the works of Axelrod and Maynard-Smith and of course Richard Dawkins 1976 classic “The Selfish Gene” (which, contrary to the title, is actually a superb explanation the profound role of cooperation in evolution).

It seems clear to me that governance can most powerfully deliver security, liberty and opportunity to everyone if it focuses on delivering an abundance of those things required by all humans, to all humans; and then leaves individuals to exercise their own choice and creativity about what they do with their lives {which may or may not include market based activities}.

Human beings are extremely complex. Human nature is extremely complex, and very context dependent. We are all primed for cooperation, and we will all compete if we have to.

It is possible to characterise all major developments in evolution as new levels of cooperation in action.

We have the most profound opportunity in the history of evolution to create a new level of cooperation that includes every sapient entity (human and non-human, biological and non-biological).

It would be a shame to squander such an opportunity.

If this makes sense to you, then please hit the like button, or send me an email.
Critique of Bastiat’s The Law
A post on the lure of certainty.

Some quotes from George Bernard Shaw that seem to point towards the essence of something:

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

“nothing is ever done, and much is prevented, by people who do not realize that they cannot do everything at once.”

“One man that has a mind and knows it can always beat ten men who haven’t and don’t.”

I can be patient.   I can work consistently, persistently, over the long term, toward goals.

Authorised by Ted Howard – 1 Maui Street, Kaikoura

Comment and critique welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s