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InvisibleKrishna
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belief in the state?
    #4407051 - 07/15/05 07:48 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

i see a lot of people in this forum using arguments like, "our tax dollars have no purpose except for to be used for our own people", and so forth. now, in my mind, this is an absurdity - the nation-state is a joke, an imaginary line drawn for political/historical reasons. for me, the only 'nation' is the human-nation - and thus my tax dollars should go to benefit those most in need. the way i see it, by benefiting humanity, i benefit myself - and thus my 'nation'. now i understand/accept/believe that taxation systems as we have them today are very screwy - with a huge percentage of the money going to fund beaurocracy/corporate-welfare/the 'status-quo' - but i still can't fathom this argument of 'i only care to help those people who live in the same (illusionary) political border as me'.

care to discuss?


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Offlinedaimyo
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Re: belief in the state? [Re: Krishna]
    #4407173 - 07/15/05 10:07 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Tax dollars should not be spent to help anyone. The only time I can see using tax money to help our citizens is in an emergency situation such as hurricane devestation or a terrorsit attack.

IMO tax money should be used to keep the roads in good shape, fund our military, pay teachers a good salary, and help further develop alternative energy sources.

Spending money on foreign countries, while a humane thing to do, is a waste. Let nature take its course with them. By constantly giving them freebies we are stunting their growth. Just like people on welfare never want to get a job becuase they are getting things for free, so it is with countries. We need to seal off our borders and be done with the world.


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: belief in the state? [Re: Krishna]
    #4407175 - 07/15/05 10:08 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

I confess I am intrigued by the idea of anarchism. I would love to believe that we can all get along without the state, but for the time being, I am a minarchist.

Now, as for helping the rest of humanity, it's not that I don't care about the other 99% of humanity. It's that I don't believe the answer lies in throwing money at the problem. I believe the world would benefit immensely from a (true) free market and Georgist-style land reform. The problem is that I can't force these things upon the world. They can only occur in nations who choose to adopt such measures.


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InvisibleKrishna
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Re: belief in the state? [Re: Silversoul]
    #4407218 - 07/15/05 10:39 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

first,
Quote:

We need to seal off our borders and be done with the the world.




:confused: so we should just be happy that our ancestors were the ones that exploited the rest of the world, instead of the ones who were exploited, say 'tough shit, that's how history played out', and revel in our own glory? we don't owe anything to, say, the 3rd world for being one of the major causes for them being extremely poor and 'under-developed' today?

Quote:

Now, as for helping the rest of humanity, it's not that I don't care about the other 99% of humanity. It's that I don't believe the answer lies in throwing money at the problem. I believe the world would benefit immensely from a (true) free market and Georgist-style land reform. The problem is that I can't force these things upon the world. They can only occur in nations who choose to adopt such measures.




i agree, and disagree, to differing extents. i think it was you who first used that word 'georgist style land reform' and caused me to do some research on the idea, and i'll admit, i'm intrigued. however, i don't see why we wouldn't take it one step further - and say that the land itself (not simply the revenue made from it) belongs to the community who inhabits it. i've got nothing wrong with 'personal property' (ie this car is mine, i use it to get to and from work, to go to the beach, etc) but i've got something wrong with 'private property' (this car is mine, i hire you to work as a driver to drive the car around as a taxi, i make the majority of the money since it is my car, but pay you a wage for being my driver).
as for the answer not being to throw money at the problem, i agree 99%. (the 1% being left off for those few cases where countries have gotten themselves together to restructure resource management, industry development, gotten rid of corruption etc, but still might require outside capital to 'spark' the whole thing in motion - but then again, how would a country ever get all of those things together if they are struggling to pay off IMF debts/all their money is going into to corrupt coffers of a ruling class?)

i guess i brought up the issue of taxes because of some of your responses to Phreds "what would you say to this iraqi" thread. however, i meant this more in a general sense - to what extent do we have responsibility to people outside our "borders"? to what extent are these borders even real and meaningful?


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Offlinedaimyo
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Re: belief in the state? [Re: Krishna]
    #4407245 - 07/15/05 10:53 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Krishna said:
first,
Quote:

We need to seal off our borders and be done with the the world.




:confused: so we should just be happy that our ancestors were the ones that exploited the rest of the world, instead of the ones who were exploited,



Perhaps, but I don't think happy is the word for it.  Better us than them no?

Quote:

Krishna said:
say 'tough shit, that's how history played out', and revel in our own glory? we don't owe anything to, say, the 3rd world for being one of the major causes for them being extremely poor and 'under-developed' today?



Maybe the elimination of the IMF and World Bank, but that is it.  Giving other countries billions of dollars that bureaucrats on top are gonna get the majority of anyhow, while facing a HUGE national debt, is irresponsible at best.


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InvisibleKrishna
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Re: belief in the state? [Re: daimyo]
    #4407264 - 07/15/05 11:01 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Perhaps, but I don't think happy is the word for it. Better us than them no?

but better nobody than them! something that is quite feasible and possible (if we restructure things economically). and for somebody like me, where half of my family comes from the 3rd world, and half from the 1st - what should i say to that less fortunate half? better luck next life? i'd rather work towards getting rid of that inequality...

and i agree that giving money (esp with the state of most 3rd world countries today) isn't a solution at all. the elimination of the IMF and World Bank (and replacing them with organizations that function on a people before profits motive) would certainly be a great start, though!


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Invisibleniteowl
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Re: belief in the state? [Re: Krishna]
    #4407282 - 07/15/05 11:11 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

I see foreign aid as a bad thing.
Throwing money at these developing countries does NOT solve their problem.

It makes the people giving the aid feel good, but doesn't really help the average "Joe on the street".

If we want to really help these countries out of poverty. We would send advisers, to help them build themselves up.

Give a man a fish, he eats for a day
Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime


Sounds simple, but it would work better (in the long run) than throwing OUR money at the problem.


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InvisibleKrishna
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Re: belief in the state? [Re: niteowl]
    #4407288 - 07/15/05 11:14 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Ok i think we've all agreed that simply giving foreign aid isn't the proper way to deal with the problems.

the question that i wanted to discuss in this thread is, 'do we have a responsibility to help these countries out?' or 'fuck them, our only concern as a nation is our own nation'


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Offlinedaimyo
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Re: belief in the state? [Re: Krishna]
    #4407293 - 07/15/05 11:20 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

What do you think we can do to help these countries without burdening ourselves financially?


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OfflineProsgeopax
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Re: belief in the state? [Re: Krishna]
    #4407332 - 07/15/05 11:39 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Krishna said:
the question that i wanted to discuss in this thread is, 'do we have a responsibility to help these countries out?' or 'fuck them, our only concern as a nation is our own nation'



'We' as in the country? No. 'We' as in caring individuals who see it as a moral obligation to help our fellow man? Yes. We should not help out other countries, we should help out other people. If you take care of the individuals, the aggregate will benefit. If you give money to the coercive institution of the state, the state and those controlling it's levers of power will benefit (and the cost will be higher). I also think Niteowl had the right ideas in his post.


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You can accept, reject, or examine and test any new idea that comes to you. The wise man chooses the third way.
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Disclaimer: I reserve the right to change my opinions should I become aware of additional facts, the falsification of information or different perspectives. Articles written by others which I post may not necessarily reflect my opinions in part or in whole, my opinions may be in direct opposition, the topic may be one on which I have yet to formulate an opinion or have doubts about, an article may be posted solely with the intent to stimulate discussion or contemplation.


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Invisibleniteowl
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Re: belief in the state? [Re: Krishna]
    #4407348 - 07/15/05 11:49 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

do we have a responsibility to help these countries out?

Yes

I think we could easily bring these countries out of their "third-world status" with the right assistance.

By teaching them how to build their infrastructure so that their countries will prosper and grow. This could be done with very little money, just the cost of a few advisers.

However.....I don't EVER see our country doing that.
We really don't want an even playing ground, we want to be the biggest and strongest bully on the planet.


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OfflineRedstorm
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Re: belief in the state? [Re: Krishna]
    #4407361 - 07/15/05 11:54 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Krishna said:
i see a lot of people in this forum using arguments like, "our tax dollars have no purpose except for to be used for our own people", and so forth. now, in my mind, this is an absurdity - the nation-state is a joke, an imaginary line drawn for political/historical reasons. for me, the only 'nation' is the human-nation - and thus my tax dollars should go to benefit those most in need. the way i see it, by benefiting humanity, i benefit myself - and thus my 'nation'. now i understand/accept/believe that taxation systems as we have them today are very screwy - with a huge percentage of the money going to fund beaurocracy/corporate-welfare/the 'status-quo' - but i still can't fathom this argument of 'i only care to help those people who live in the same (illusionary) political border as me'.

care to discuss?




Pretty much as long as human beings have been civilized, they have drawn up borders between groups of people. This is because of the instinctive fear of "outsiders" that is prominent in most humans.

While the use of tax money to help people abroad is a cute ideal, I feel this money should go towards improving the homeland first. After we take care of our own, then the money should go to other nations.


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InvisibleKrishna
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Re: belief in the state? [Re: niteowl]
    #4407367 - 07/15/05 11:58 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

niteowl said:
do we have a responsibility to help these countries out?

Yes

I think we could easily bring these countries out of their "third-world status" with the right assistance.

By teaching them how to build their infrastructure so that their countries will prosper and grow. This could be done with very little money, just the cost of a few advisers.





:thumbup: :yesnod:

Quote:


However.....I don't EVER see our country doing that.
We really don't want an even playing ground, we want to be the biggest and strongest bully on the planet.



:sad: sad but true... in my mind, very little positive progress to a 'sustainable'-'equitable' future can be made within the framework of nation-states...


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: belief in the state? [Re: Krishna]
    #4407402 - 07/15/05 12:23 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Krishna said:
i agree, and disagree, to differing extents. i think it was you who first used that word 'georgist style land reform' and caused me to do some research on the idea, and i'll admit, i'm intrigued. however, i don't see why we wouldn't take it one step further - and say that the land itself (not simply the revenue made from it) belongs to the community who inhabits it.



Because then you have what's known as the "tragedy of the commons." When the land itself is communally owned, then you have people scrambling to use it to full extent possible for their own interest, often to the detriment of others. If land is kept in private hands while the rent goes to the community, then people have a vested interest in making the best and most sustainable use of their land, as the acquisition of more land will cost them more, with no long-term profit.

Quote:

i've got nothing wrong with 'personal property' (ie this car is mine, i use it to get to and from work, to go to the beach, etc) but i've got something wrong with 'private property' (this car is mine, i hire you to work as a driver to drive the car around as a taxi, i make the majority of the money since it is my car, but pay you a wage for being my driver).



Why? Would that cab driver have had the opportunity to make that money if you hadn't offered him that job in the first place?

Quote:

as for the answer not being to throw money at the problem, i agree 99%. (the 1% being left off for those few cases where countries have gotten themselves together to restructure resource management, industry development, gotten rid of corruption etc, but still might require outside capital to 'spark' the whole thing in motion - but then again, how would a country ever get all of those things together if they are struggling to pay off IMF debts/all their money is going into to corrupt coffers of a ruling class?)



These countries can stop paying their IMF debts at any time, and there's not jack shit the IMF can do about it except stop giving more loans. As for their corrupt leaders, there's two ways I can think of solving that problem. We can take the Bush approach and bomb the hell out of them, or we can end any trade barriers with them(such as our farm program) and hope that the increased prosperity for the region will bring greater demand for political freedoms, as often tends to happen.

Quote:

i guess i brought up the issue of taxes because of some of your responses to Phreds "what would you say to this iraqi" thread. however, i meant this more in a general sense - to what extent do we have responsibility to people outside our "borders"? to what extent are these borders even real and meaningful?



I certainly did not mean to imply in that thread that we should be indifferent to Iraq, but rather that any donations should be voluntary.


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: belief in the state? [Re: niteowl]
    #4407405 - 07/15/05 12:26 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

niteowl said:
Give a man a fish, he eats for a day
Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime




Actually, I believe the saying goes something like:

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day
Teach a man to fish, and he'll get busted by the Department of Fish and Game


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InvisibleKrishna
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Re: belief in the state? [Re: Silversoul]
    #4407583 - 07/15/05 02:03 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

1st, to the 'tragedy of the commons' - ok i see your point, but - if the  land was 'controlled' through a participatory process - not just this one patch of land, but all of the surrounding land as well, then i think we could avoid such a problem. any proposals, changes, alterations, or whatever as to how the land should be used would first be brought up amongst the people who directly operate the land. if the change would only effect them (ie workers shouldn't have to wear shirts while working), then the decision could be taken right there. however, if the decision would effect something like output (ie workers should all work 2 hours less per week), then it would have to be discussed on a larger level (these 2 hours less per week either means that other workers on other farms would have to pick up the slack, or everybodies consumption would have to go down slightly, or some new technology that made up for this lost work would have to be implemented, etc) if the land was run by such a ground-up participatory system, then it would be an impossibility for one person, or one farm, to make a decision that would negatively (or positively, for that matter) effect others in the 'community.' then, of course, the question of how big the community is is raised - for example, with an externality like environmental pollution - isn't the community necessarily the entire earth? hehe but i shouldn't point out holes in my own ideas, i should leave that to you :wink:

as to the cab driver - well, in our current system of things, probably not. however if all the cab drivers got together and said 'we refuse to drive your cabs unless we have empowerement over our own work-situation' what would happen? well, as history has so far shown us, the cab owners will find poorer people who will break the 'strike' and drive the cabs anyhow. :nonono: sad, but true... at least for now. however, if we envision sometime in the future, where the human will for economic-justice is stronger than the human desire for cash - the 'ideal' situation with, say, taxi-drivers would be very similar to the farmers - they would be organized into collectives where they shared the responsibilities for both driving and maintaining the cabs, as well as planning the logistics, as well as devising a future business plan. once again (:grin: i sound like a broken record, even to myself!) a ParEcon model would eliminate private property (not personal property, mind you) to the extent that the 'tools of the trade' (in this case, the taxis, the garages, the repair equipment, etc) would be collectively owned by the industry, which would be regulated by the employees (and, to some extent, by the community at large when it comes to externalities that effect the community at large)

as to not paying IMF debts - remember what happened to Argentina when they said "well, screw it, we can't pay, we're going to cancel our own debt." economic catastrophe. the problem being, of course, that the intl economic market is controlled by (basically) the same people (or the same agenda) that controls the IMF/WorldBank type organizations. if a country tries to step outside of this system, then these organizations will simply stop the importation of their products. and, in our world, where the majority of 3rd world countries have been molded as to be resource exporters, but not to produce any final products themselves, this means financial disaster for a 3rd world country. here is again where i see stepping outside of the nation-state to be a necessity. in fact, i mean black market - but in a very different sense than black markets usually are today - i mean trading between parties of similar levels of empowerment (for example, collective to collective - one participatorily run economy to another participatorily run economy). my hope being that, once people begin to see how having more empowerment means having better living circumstances (albeit at the cost of having to be more involved and educated in the affairs of your life/industry), more and more people would choose to step outside the norms of intl economic trade, thus pulling the power (labor and resource) out from underneath the system as we see it today.

as for your last comment, i can very much understand the position that donations for a war-effort/"help-effort" in iraq should be voluntary. the problem there, however, is that those who would donate the most would have the most power to shape the policy of 'how we will help them' - and, as our current economic system tends to dictate, will probably shape the policy to benefit themselves the most. oh wait a second. this is already what happened. doh!


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OfflineGazzBut
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Re: belief in the state? [Re: daimyo]
    #4407636 - 07/15/05 02:17 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

By constantly giving them freebies we are stunting their growth.




Would you care to expand on that? I agree that some methods of giving aid can be detrimental but I dont believe we should stop all aid if we really want to help poorer nations.

Quote:

Let nature take its course with them




If only we would...as much as some forms of aid may have a detrimental affect other forms of meddling which the western world have indulged in for centuries have had a far greater affect on 3rd world countries.

Quote:

Just like people on welfare never want to get a job becuase they are getting things for free




So everyone on welfare wants to be on welfare? Perhaps the way the system is run means it is unavoidable that there will be people without work whether we choose to help them or not?

Quote:

We need to seal off our borders and be done with the world.




Lol! And get rid of all technology and science too while you are in the mood for som unevolving.


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: belief in the state? [Re: Krishna]
    #4409270 - 07/15/05 09:45 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

From what I understand, this ParEcon model is about democratizing all economic decisions, correct? If so, then you have a lot more faith in democracy than I do. Mob rule has led to all sorts of calamities throughout history. As for externalities like pollution, Georgism is specifically designed to internalize externalities. You don't need democratic decision-making to do so. Now, you say that in ParEcon, only those affected by a decision will be the ones making it. But who decides who's affected by it? One could come up with all sorts of ways in which someone might be affected by someone else's decision, if they're creative enough.

As for the cab thing: Maybe the boss would fire the cab drivers and hire others for lower wages, but the cab drivers could also pool their money together and start their own cab company. It would be much easier for them to do so if we put an end to the banking monopoly, thus dramatically improving their bargaining position. As for ending private property, you seem to be defining private property as the means of production. But how do you make that distinction when I buy something? It's a car either way. All you are doing is restricting the ways in which I can use that car, which I find unfair and oppressive.

Basically, this ParEcon idea simply sounds like socialism under a new name. Sure, it's more democratically controlled and less authoritarian, but it still reeks of all the pitfalls of any other command economy, and I wouldn't give it too much credence.


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Invisiblelooner2
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Re: belief in the state? [Re: Silversoul]
    #4409519 - 07/15/05 10:55 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

the nation-state is a joke, an imaginary line drawn for political/historical reasons.

An imaginary line drawn for political/historical reasons? Am I reading that right?

How about a real line, not drawn from imaginary anything, but the blood from those who fought to define those lines and protect the people inside them. They weren't put there for museum purposes. They were, however, formed from the major historical events of human history.

Go to eastern European countries and tell them the "imaginary" line drawn around them by the communists a half century ago was a "joke".


Note: Although it is easy to logically tear down the foundations in which this world has operated within for thousands of years by cute sayings like, "the only 'nation' is the human-nation" it doesn't reflect a smidgeon of reality.


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InvisibleKrishna
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Re: belief in the state? [Re: Silversoul]
    #4410914 - 07/16/05 07:53 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

well, i wouldn't quite call ParEcon socialism under a new name. closer would be 'democratisation of the work-place' but even that wouldn't quite be the same - as ParEcon calls for, for example, balanced job complexes as well. the idea being that if every employee of an industry is empowered by their job (as opposed to today, where 5% are in decision making/empowered roles, and 95% have to do what they are told for the most part), then we'll end up with 3 things - first, employees that actually know the outs-and-ins (both the practicle - ie, when there are more than 25 people on the floor, it is too crowded, when people work more than 8 hours, they start to slack off, etc - and the economic - ie, the externalities that this industry creates are blah, blah, and blah, the industries that we are co-dependent upon are blah blah blah, the past market patterns and consumer predictions show a need to produce X amount of this, and Y amount of this, etc) of their industry. secondly, employees that are empowered to a creative position - instead of having 5 guys coming up with the innovation for the industry, now the entire work-force is in a position to do so, and also in a position to take leadership roles to push forward innovations that they find worthy. thirdly, a work-force more 'dedicated' to their industry - as now they control it themselves. of course, this would assume that people are willing to take the time/mental-and-physical energy to become knowledgeable about [nearly] every facet of their industry, as well as very well educated/smart people being willing to take a share in the shit-work, as they recognize that otherwise, there will be a disparity in the level of empowerment, and thus an imbalance developing in the work-place. the idea being that decisions in a ParEcon system wouldn't be simply mob-rule, it would instead be debate/discussion/decision-making between individuals of equal empowerment and knowledge base. of course, certain projects/ideas would interest some individuals more, so they might be a bit more willing to do lots of extra research to press a point they find important, but for the most part, the entire work-force could be considered to be quite competent about the decisions they are making.

But who decides who's affected by it? One could come up with all sorts of ways in which someone might be affected by someone else's decision, if they're creative enough.


true enough - and here we run the risk for over-involvement of outside parties in decision making. however, the idea here is that after some 'trial period' this would wane - the more time outside communities spend involving themselves in more 'internal' decisions, the less time they have to other projects, and the more they have to expend themselves for things that don't really effect them. however, in the cases that these decisions do effect them (a big example used is environmental externalities of an industry), or in the coming up with an economic-plan for the upcoming year (where they as consumers, as well as producers of the other materials necessary for said industry) - then it is vital that they share in the discussion/decision process - to a greater or lesser extent depending on the severity of the decision being made, and the severity of its consequences upon them.

as for the taxi (hehe i really like this example :smile: ) - the idea behind a ParEcon system is that it could function within the confines of our current capitalist market, to some extent. the theory goes that a ParEcon system (after a period of working out the kinks for the individual application) would be a much more efficient system - instead of having things decided from the top-down, with little or no room for situation-based altering of the 'schema', and a vast majority of the 'brain-power' of an industry going to waste through un-empowered/un-creative jobs, in a ParEcon system, things would be monitered/decided upon from a ground-up approach - and thus subject to mutation as the ground, shall we say, tremors. thus, if given the choice, why would an employee choose to work in an un-empowered industry (for your private taxi company) where the only control he has is the black-mail barganing power of a union (if you even allow unions, or don't just corrupt them) - when he could, instead, control his own 'destiny'? additionally with the increased [albeit perhaps long-term] efficiency of a ParEcon industry, the latter would provide the best future for him. I'm not advocating a forceful end to private-property/privately owned means-of-production (i'm not and never will [*cross my fingers*] advocate a forceful anything!), i'm instead advocating creating an alternate system where it soon would become apparent that there is no logical reason for the private-control of the means of production, and thus phasing it out of existence.

of course, the entire ParEcon model rests on the idea that human beings are willing and capable of controlling their lives - not just the little things, but complex things such as market patterns, consumer patterns, industry patterns, etc. i'd unfortunately say that in our current western-world, people who would be willing and capable of doing so are still few and far-between. however, the potential for such a "empowered human animal" to develop is staring us in the face, i believe.

as to looner,

How about a real line, not drawn from imaginary anything, but the blood from those who fought to define those lines and protect the people inside them. They weren't put there for museum purposes. They were, however, formed from the major historical events of human history.

Go to eastern European countries and tell them the "imaginary" line drawn around them by the communists a half century ago was a "joke".


First of all - the vast majority of the wars of our history have been a direct cause of the state (or a church, which is the state in a slightly different manifestation). In the words of Mikhail Bakunin, "Every State, whether it is of a federative or a non-federative character, must seek, under the penalty of utter ruin, to become the most powerful of States. It has to devour others in order not to be devoured in turn, to conquer in order not to be conquered, to enslave in order not to be enslaved - for two similar and at the same time alien powers, cannot co-exist without destroying each other." (from the Immorality of the State). so of course wars have been fought to preserve/change/increase these boundries - the very same boundries are the reason for the wars themselves.

as to the question of eastern europeans - as you may (or may not) know, i studied at an international school for 2 years - and out of this group, the overwhelming majority of the anarchists came from eastern european countries. they had seen first-hand what the state, whether the USSR, or the current 'gung-ho' capitalist states they have today, is capable of - and want nothing to do with it.

as to saying my ideas are 'cute' (i take it you mean idealistic, but instead want to demean them), most certainly they are. don't you think abolishionist ideas were seen as 'cute' during the hey-days of slavery? the state, in my mind, is an institution much akin to slavery (except to a much greater degree - whereby it enslaves all of mankind), and is just as likely to eventually collapse, given the right conditions.


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