Proposal for a new social contract
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27-08-2011, 12:18 PM
RE: Proposal for a new social contract
You've really thought it over.

I sounds good...Where's the dotted line? Smile

I think your first thing is to start convincing people that giving up some freedoms will eventually benefit them in the end.

Observer

Agnostic atheist
Secular humanist
Emotional rationalist
Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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27-08-2011, 12:27 PM
 
RE: Proposal for a new social contract
(27-08-2011 12:18 PM)The_observer Wrote:  I think your first thing is to start convincing people that giving up some freedoms will eventually benefit them in the end.

I am trying, I am trying! (see the "Nature of Money" and the "Needs versus Wants" threads).
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27-08-2011, 01:32 PM
RE: Proposal for a new social contract
Freedom is much overrated. Most people live in an illusion of freedom anyway.

Observer

Agnostic atheist
Secular humanist
Emotional rationalist
Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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27-08-2011, 01:46 PM
 
RE: Proposal for a new social contract
(27-08-2011 01:32 PM)The_observer Wrote:  Freedom is much overrated. Most people live in an illusion of freedom anyway.

In the "push-button phrases" thread I wrote: "Freedom for what? If human affairs are not organized intelligently and we live in a mess (like now) then what are we free from or free for?"

You are right about our illusions. Most people never think past catch-phrases and cliches. It has to do with the poor education system that does not teach elements of critical thinking:

"How do I define things?"
"How have I acquired this 'knowledge'?"
"What is it I know from personal experience?"
"How reliable is my second-hand information source?"
"What is the cause-and-effect chain resulting in a particular event?"
"What are my most basic principles?"
"How do I apply them consistently?"
"Do I harbor any contradictions in my convictions?"

These are all questions any competent scientist asks daily, at least in their science (many don't carry it over to their personal lives).
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27-08-2011, 01:58 PM (This post was last modified: 27-08-2011 02:06 PM by Peterkin.)
RE: Proposal for a new social contract
(27-08-2011 12:18 PM)The_observer Wrote:  I think your first thing is to start convincing people that giving up some freedoms will eventually benefit them in the end.

The people who would lose their freedoms are basically the parasitic class at the top. And the particular freedom they'll lose it that of mistreating the other people - they can still do pretty much everything else they want.
The vast majority is far from free now. Illusion, as you say. We are told that we are free to take a job or quit a job - while being fired, or losing our pensions and benefits, or becoming totally obsolete - at the stroke of a stranger's pen. Bosses are free; underling never have been. Wage-slave is not a joke label; it's quite real. We are told that we are free to elect or reject a government or ideology, but we're never allowed anywhere near the decision-making apparatus. We are told that we are free to object to whatever the rulers do, through petition, law-suit, strikes and protests, but the first two are ineffective and the second pair can get our heads bashed in. We are told that we have rights, but any one of those rights can be overruled by establishment paranoia, legal finagling or institutional cynicism.
Freedom is control. If you don't have your hand on the tiller, you're cargo.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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27-08-2011, 02:06 PM
RE: Proposal for a new social contract
(27-08-2011 01:58 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  Bosses are free; underling never have been. Wage-slave is not a joke label; it's quite real.
Bosses aren't free either. We are all slaves of wanting things beyond our needs.

Observer

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27-08-2011, 04:32 PM
RE: Proposal for a new social contract
I suppose...

You know what? i just wrote a whole big thing on unfreedom, but it doesn't belong here. Think i'll put it in a new thread.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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22-01-2013, 05:54 PM (This post was last modified: 22-01-2013 07:28 PM by Zat.)
RE: Proposal for a new social contract
Since bemore expressed "missing" my philosophical discussions/thrads (and Kim seconded it), I decided to revive this old thread to see if there is interest in serious intellectual exercises in social justice.

I consider this as a pilot case, to see if anything changed since my last TTA presence.

Those Canadian members, who can remember that far back, will have a hoot!

(one kind or another).

Here it goes:

The suggestion takes the form of a fictitious cabinet meeting
right after election victory.
........................................
"JEAN CHRÉTIEN: Gentlemen, the country is in a big mess. There
are a lot of unhappy people, hungry children, abused wives,
waste, crime and corruption. We are elected to solve these
problems. What are we going to do about it?

SHEILA COPPS: Mr. Prime Minister, we have to plan
scientifically. We have to define the objectives of a human
society and then plot a course to get there from where we are.

ELINOR CAPLAN: I agree absolutely. In my view a society is a
community of human beings, organized by using division of
labor, to achieve production, distribution and consumption of
goods for basic human needs, and after those are satisfied,
some luxuries for those who want to work for it.

JEAN CHRÉTIEN: Very good. Since the purpose is to satisfy
basic needs, we have to make a list of them so we all agree
what they are.

DAVID COLLENETTE: That is very simple, sir. We all need food.
clothing, housing, energy, medical help, education,
protection, entertainment.

ALLEN ROCK: If we want to function as an organized industrial
society, then we also need transportation, communication,
power, tools and basic raw materials.

JEAN CHRÉTIEN: Don't forget about the clean-up. We are not
starting from zero, we have a very sick environment on our
hands, we have to do something about all the pollution and
crime and mess we inherited.

ALLEN ROCK: We also have to make a list of our resources to
know how to allocate them to the different tasks we will have
to perform. We have our population, we have our row materials,
we have our energy sources. That is all it takes to do
anything: people with skills, materials and energy.

JEAN CHRÉTIEN: Excellent. We are making progress. What are the
skills we need for creating the basic needs?

PAUL MARTIN: Sir, we have a problem with that. There are a lot
of 'skills' that, frankly, do not do any good to anybody.

JEAN CHRÉTIEN: Really, what are those?

PAUL MARTIN: Everybody involved with money. Anyone who does
not directly contribute to production and distribution.
Accountants, bankers, investors, speculators, cashiers, mint
workers, etc. etc. It is a very long list.

JEAN CHRÉTIEN: That is true. Money is not a basic need, it was
invented to help distribute the produced goods according to
contribution. It seems that we spend more time and energy
arguing about how to distribute goods than we do producing
them. Is there an alternative?

BRIAN TOBIN: Actually, sir, there is. If we decided to share
the produced goods equally, then we could liberate all the
wasted energy and manpower that is now spent on arguing over
and handling distribution. My estimate is that due to the
enormous simplification of our economy, we would all be better
off then most people are today.

JEAN CHRÉTIEN: Everything? Do you suggest we share all
produced goods equally? But we don't have equal needs and
interests! How do you allow for individual differences?

BRIAN TOBIN: You are absolutely right, sir. What I am
proposing is to put our priorities right. We have to identify
those products that are needed by everyone. Our job is to make
sure that every citizen's basic needs are satisfied. We have
to have control over what is required for providing adequate
levels of food, housing, clothes, health, education,
protection, means of transportation and communication for
everybody. Beyond that ... this is a free country. If some
people want luxuries, they are welcome to produce those in
their spare time, provided they do not harm the common good in
any way ... by pollution, noise, crowding, fraud or
exploitation.

JEAN CHRÉTIEN: It sounds like you propose to merge Capitalism
and Communism. I have to admit, it is an attractive thought:
Save the best part of both systems and have some basic
fairness, compassion and freedom in the Country. But what
about the lazy bums? Those who would just help themselves to
their share without contributing?

BRIAN TOBIN: That's true, sir, there would be some of those,
inevitably. However, we just agreed that we have all those
unproductive millions today who do not contribute anything to
satisfying our real needs. I am sure that the number of those
who would just bum along would be significantly lower.

JEAN CHRÉTIEN: How about justice? How can we tolerate that
some people get a free ride without contributing?

BRIAN TOBIN: Sir, we can not avoid that. There will always be
bad apples. We have them now. Just look at all the rich
speculators and manipulators who are ripping off the system.
Is there justice in that? We have to make sure that the system
is as fair as possible. It will never be perfect.

JEAN CHRÉTIEN: True, we don't want to throw out the baby with
the bath water. Our objective is to create a country with a
largest number of happy citizens that we can realistically
have. It would be stupid to drop the overall level of
happiness just to make sure that nobody gets away with
anything. We would end up exactly where we are now.

ART EGGLETON: I agree, sir. There is another point in favor:
most of the lazy bums have families. We can't punish their
children by withholding their share. The children are not to
blame. It would be cruel and unfair. We don't want to continue
with the poverty and suffering that we have now. Also, it just
occurred to me that most of the criminals would be out of
business. If there is no money, we would not have bank
robbers, muggers, embezzlers, thieves. Very few people would
want to steal finished products that they can not convert to
invisible cash. It is a lot harder to unobtrusively stockpile
antique furniture or TV sets than to hide money. Also, can you
see a drug trade flourishing without the cash it is based on?

JEAN CHRÉTIEN: Excellent points.

LUCIENNE ROBILLARD: Sir, I think that many of the lazy bums
would become productive if we found a real place for them in
the production cycle. Just look at the millions of unemployed,
under-employed or those who are employed in degrading ways. If
we organized production intelligently, most of those people
could become enthusiastic contributors.

JEAN CHRÉTIEN: That is a very good point. This brings us to
the next important question. What about unemployment? With the
automation in our industry we already have a high number of
people who have no jobs. If we eliminate all those
unproductive occupations that have to do with money, then we
will really have a lot of people with nothing to do.

BRIAN TOBIN: That is relatively easy to solve, sir. All we
need to do is shorten the workday. This would be consistent
with historical trends too: as our technology has been
improving since the start of the industrial revolution, the
workday has been shrinking steadily from 80 hours a week to
the current 40, where it has been stuck the last fifty years.
It does not make any sense for some people working for forty
hours and some others none. The shortened workday would have
another benefit: those who want luxuries will have plenty of
time left to produce them.

JEAN CHRÉTIEN: You are right. We can also use the additional
manpower to clean up our lakes and rivers and air, fix our
roads, provide day-care, improve our education, police,
justice system. There is no end of real problems to solve,
gentlemen, unemployment is crazy when there is so much to do.
We just have to organize the work and allocate the resources.
If we have no money to argue about, we will be free to act.
The reasons our previous governments couldn't achieve anything
was lack of money. If we eliminated money, we eliminated our
problems. All we have left to do is organize our projects: we
have manpower, we have resources, we have time. Let's do it.

JOHN MANLEY: We still have a problem, sir. How about the other
countries? We have a global economy now, it is all tied
together. How can we eliminate money and still be able to
participate?

JEAN CHRÉTIEN: That is a tricky question, gentlemen. The
biggest problem we have is foreign ownership of our economy.
We will have to find a way to regain our sovereignty. One way
of doing it is trading off those industries that we have no
immediate need for, against those that are essential. Since
now we produce so many needless luxuries and instant junk, I
am convinced we still have enough capacity to produce for our
real needs if we reorganize intelligently. As far as trading
with other countries, there is no problem: we trade in goods
instead of money.

BRIAN TOBIN: I agree, sir. It makes sense to aim at
self-sufficiency when our basic needs are concerned. We are a
resource-rich country, we have everything we need for our
basic requirements, right at home. We do not want to risk
serious deprivation in necessities just because there is an
upheaval somewhere on the Globe! Like the collapse of the
Pacific bubble, for example. We do not want to be hostage to
situations beyond our control.

LUCIENNE ROBILLARD: Yes, but wouldn't it be an enormous task
to reorganize our entire economy for self-sufficiency in basic
needs?

JEAN CHRÉTIEN: Gentlemen, we were able to reorganize our
entire industry for war production during the last world war.
In a very short time. If we were able to do it out of fear or
anger, I believe, we should be able to do it out of wisdom and
compassion.

LUCIENNE ROBILLARD: There is still one problem, sir. What do
we do with those of our citizens who own our industry? You can
not expect them to co-operate freely and give up their
control.

JEAN CHRÉTIEN: That is another tricky question. Well, we have
to be reasonable. We should call a conference with the owners
of our industry and agriculture and explain it to them that
the country needs their co-operation. They are Canadian
citizens too, you know. I am sure they love their country just
as much as we do and once they see how everybody would be
better off with the new system, they would not oppose it.
Those who would, well, we can not expect a country to stay
miserable just to satisfy a few no good selfish bastards. If
they do not want to be Canadian, they can go somewhere else. A
society, gentlemen, is based on consensus of the community. If
the community wants equal sharing, that is what the community
shall have. Let's get started on the details. We have a lot of
work to do."
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22-01-2013, 07:40 PM
RE: Proposal for a new social contract
(22-01-2013 05:54 PM)Zat Wrote:  Since bemore expressed "missing" my philosophical discussions/thrads (and Kim seconded it), I decided to revive this old thread to see if there is interest in serious intellectual exercises in social justice.

I consider this as a pilot case, to see if anything changed since my last TTA presence.

Those Canadian members, who can remember that far back, will have a hoot!

(one kind or another).

Here it goes:

The suggestion takes the form of a fictitious cabinet meeting
right after election victory.
........................................
"JEAN CHRÉTIEN: Gentlemen, the country is in a big mess. There
are a lot of unhappy people, hungry children, abused wives,
waste, crime and corruption. We are elected to solve these
problems. What are we going to do about it?

SHEILA COPPS: Mr. Prime Minister, we have to plan
scientifically. We have to define the objectives of a human
society and then plot a course to get there from where we are.

ELINOR CAPLAN: I agree absolutely. In my view a society is a
community of human beings, organized by using division of
labor, to achieve production, distribution and consumption of
goods for basic human needs, and after those are satisfied,
some luxuries for those who want to work for it.

JEAN CHRÉTIEN: Very good. Since the purpose is to satisfy
basic needs, we have to make a list of them so we all agree
what they are.

DAVID COLLENETTE: That is very simple, sir. We all need food.
clothing, housing, energy, medical help, education,
protection, entertainment.

ALLEN ROCK: If we want to function as an organized industrial
society, then we also need transportation, communication,
power, tools and basic raw materials.

JEAN CHRÉTIEN: Don't forget about the clean-up. We are not
starting from zero, we have a very sick environment on our
hands, we have to do something about all the pollution and
crime and mess we inherited.

ALLEN ROCK: We also have to make a list of our resources to
know how to allocate them to the different tasks we will have
to perform. We have our population, we have our row materials,
we have our energy sources. That is all it takes to do
anything: people with skills, materials and energy.

JEAN CHRÉTIEN: Excellent. We are making progress. What are the
skills we need for creating the basic needs?

PAUL MARTIN: Sir, we have a problem with that. There are a lot
of 'skills' that, frankly, do not do any good to anybody.

JEAN CHRÉTIEN: Really, what are those?

PAUL MARTIN: Everybody involved with money. Anyone who does
not directly contribute to production and distribution.
Accountants, bankers, investors, speculators, cashiers, mint
workers, etc. etc. It is a very long list.

JEAN CHRÉTIEN: That is true. Money is not a basic need, it was
invented to help distribute the produced goods according to
contribution. It seems that we spend more time and energy
arguing about how to distribute goods than we do producing
them. Is there an alternative?

BRIAN TOBIN: Actually, sir, there is. If we decided to share
the produced goods equally, then we could liberate all the
wasted energy and manpower that is now spent on arguing over
and handling distribution. My estimate is that due to the
enormous simplification of our economy, we would all be better
off then most people are today.

JEAN CHRÉTIEN: Everything? Do you suggest we share all
produced goods equally? But we don't have equal needs and
interests! How do you allow for individual differences?

BRIAN TOBIN: You are absolutely right, sir. What I am
proposing is to put our priorities right. We have to identify
those products that are needed by everyone. Our job is to make
sure that every citizen's basic needs are satisfied. We have
to have control over what is required for providing adequate
levels of food, housing, clothes, health, education,
protection, means of transportation and communication for
everybody. Beyond that ... this is a free country. If some
people want luxuries, they are welcome to produce those in
their spare time, provided they do not harm the common good in
any way ... by pollution, noise, crowding, fraud or
exploitation.

JEAN CHRÉTIEN: It sounds like you propose to merge Capitalism
and Communism. I have to admit, it is an attractive thought:
Save the best part of both systems and have some basic
fairness, compassion and freedom in the Country. But what
about the lazy bums? Those who would just help themselves to
their share without contributing?

BRIAN TOBIN: That's true, sir, there would be some of those,
inevitably. However, we just agreed that we have all those
unproductive millions today who do not contribute anything to
satisfying our real needs. I am sure that the number of those
who would just bum along would be significantly lower.

JEAN CHRÉTIEN: How about justice? How can we tolerate that
some people get a free ride without contributing?

BRIAN TOBIN: Sir, we can not avoid that. There will always be
bad apples. We have them now. Just look at all the rich
speculators and manipulators who are ripping off the system.
Is there justice in that? We have to make sure that the system
is as fair as possible. It will never be perfect.

JEAN CHRÉTIEN: True, we don't want to throw out the baby with
the bath water. Our objective is to create a country with a
largest number of happy citizens that we can realistically
have. It would be stupid to drop the overall level of
happiness just to make sure that nobody gets away with
anything. We would end up exactly where we are now.

ART EGGLETON: I agree, sir. There is another point in favor:
most of the lazy bums have families. We can't punish their
children by withholding their share. The children are not to
blame. It would be cruel and unfair. We don't want to continue
with the poverty and suffering that we have now. Also, it just
occurred to me that most of the criminals would be out of
business. If there is no money, we would not have bank
robbers, muggers, embezzlers, thieves. Very few people would
want to steal finished products that they can not convert to
invisible cash. It is a lot harder to unobtrusively stockpile
antique furniture or TV sets than to hide money. Also, can you
see a drug trade flourishing without the cash it is based on?

JEAN CHRÉTIEN: Excellent points.

LUCIENNE ROBILLARD: Sir, I think that many of the lazy bums
would become productive if we found a real place for them in
the production cycle. Just look at the millions of unemployed,
under-employed or those who are employed in degrading ways. If
we organized production intelligently, most of those people
could become enthusiastic contributors.

JEAN CHRÉTIEN: That is a very good point. This brings us to
the next important question. What about unemployment? With the
automation in our industry we already have a high number of
people who have no jobs. If we eliminate all those
unproductive occupations that have to do with money, then we
will really have a lot of people with nothing to do.

BRIAN TOBIN: That is relatively easy to solve, sir. All we
need to do is shorten the workday. This would be consistent
with historical trends too: as our technology has been
improving since the start of the industrial revolution, the
workday has been shrinking steadily from 80 hours a week to
the current 40, where it has been stuck the last fifty years.
It does not make any sense for some people working for forty
hours and some others none. The shortened workday would have
another benefit: those who want luxuries will have plenty of
time left to produce them.

JEAN CHRÉTIEN: You are right. We can also use the additional
manpower to clean up our lakes and rivers and air, fix our
roads, provide day-care, improve our education, police,
justice system. There is no end of real problems to solve,
gentlemen, unemployment is crazy when there is so much to do.
We just have to organize the work and allocate the resources.
If we have no money to argue about, we will be free to act.
The reasons our previous governments couldn't achieve anything
was lack of money. If we eliminated money, we eliminated our
problems. All we have left to do is organize our projects: we
have manpower, we have resources, we have time. Let's do it.

JOHN MANLEY: We still have a problem, sir. How about the other
countries? We have a global economy now, it is all tied
together. How can we eliminate money and still be able to
participate?

JEAN CHRÉTIEN: That is a tricky question, gentlemen. The
biggest problem we have is foreign ownership of our economy.
We will have to find a way to regain our sovereignty. One way
of doing it is trading off those industries that we have no
immediate need for, against those that are essential. Since
now we produce so many needless luxuries and instant junk, I
am convinced we still have enough capacity to produce for our
real needs if we reorganize intelligently. As far as trading
with other countries, there is no problem: we trade in goods
instead of money.

BRIAN TOBIN: I agree, sir. It makes sense to aim at
self-sufficiency when our basic needs are concerned. We are a
resource-rich country, we have everything we need for our
basic requirements, right at home. We do not want to risk
serious deprivation in necessities just because there is an
upheaval somewhere on the Globe! Like the collapse of the
Pacific bubble, for example. We do not want to be hostage to
situations beyond our control.

LUCIENNE ROBILLARD: Yes, but wouldn't it be an enormous task
to reorganize our entire economy for self-sufficiency in basic
needs?

JEAN CHRÉTIEN: Gentlemen, we were able to reorganize our
entire industry for war production during the last world war.
In a very short time. If we were able to do it out of fear or
anger, I believe, we should be able to do it out of wisdom and
compassion.

LUCIENNE ROBILLARD: There is still one problem, sir. What do
we do with those of our citizens who own our industry? You can
not expect them to co-operate freely and give up their
control.

JEAN CHRÉTIEN: That is another tricky question. Well, we have
to be reasonable. We should call a conference with the owners
of our industry and agriculture and explain it to them that
the country needs their co-operation. They are Canadian
citizens too, you know. I am sure they love their country just
as much as we do and once they see how everybody would be
better off with the new system, they would not oppose it.
Those who would, well, we can not expect a country to stay
miserable just to satisfy a few no good selfish bastards. If
they do not want to be Canadian, they can go somewhere else. A
society, gentlemen, is based on consensus of the community. If
the community wants equal sharing, that is what the community
shall have. Let's get started on the details. We have a lot of
work to do."
I wish. Weeping

I dont think we will ever see it if im honest.

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

-Bemore.
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22-01-2013, 07:51 PM
RE: Proposal for a new social contract
No, we won't, bemore.

However, it is nice to dream, isn't it?

And, without knowing what kind of world we would like to live in, we won't know in what direction we should be progressing either.

I just wanted to paint a scenario that would make PERFECT SENSE, if only our species made sense at all.

The question is: can you IMAGINE, living in a world like that?

If you can, then you have a compass to guide you.
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