(2017) by Peter Joseph
to the unpersons, those who embody the evidence of our grand social failures
writing in library
fueled by a socioeconomic condition that financially and thru accolades of ‘success’ rewards individual action while ignoring the social process that led to that action, we remain study in a very immature place.. the fact is, world society as we know it is a purely social consequence, ultimately cultivated by a process of sharing. the library, in all its ancient glory and hidden intuition, signifies this deeper wisdom.. as such, and as clichéd as it may sound, it is to this process i acknowledge credit of this text.. all the people.. i .. like them am just a link in the chain..
moreover as inspiring and helpful as the downtown la library has been while this work was formed, there was another feature of relevance present – a feature i doubt comes to mind when most consider this institution: the homeless.. w about 80 000 homeless on the street each night in la county, the libraries have served as a common refuge.. .. escape summer heat, use bathroom, drink water.. use computer.. their presence was overwhelming.. yet, at the same time, in an eerie way, they also didn’t exist at all.. they moved like shadow or ghosts that the general public and workers simply ignored. as it is on the street, where the more fortunate glide along w barely a passive acknowledgement of these fixture of human dispossession, the homeless and destitute exist in a rather dismissed, ignored, and forgotten universe. to invoke george orwell, they are a type of the unpersons.
as i sat each day surrounded by people who effectively don’t exist in the eyes of society at large, i began to understand that the homeless and poor are really walking threats to the way most wish to think about the world. they are threats to the way most wish to think about themselves. they are society’s black mirrors, reflecting the vast denial of our human incompetence. to acknowledge them is to admit a tragic fault. consequently, people go out of their way to pretend those ghost lurking about them really don’t exist at all. and so it is to these people that i extend my acknowledgment.
the homeless in that library served as a daily reminder of what is at stake,
further inspiring my need to help understand and fix what continues to go horribly wrong in this world..
as ..george bernard shaw eloquently put it.. the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place..t
the depth of this statement took a while for me to understand.
however any challenge to the integrity of the system is really a challenge to the integrity of its core foundation, and that core foundation is economic. how a society orgs its resources, labor, production and distribution is by far the most defining and influential feature of culture..
one term used a great deal.. socioeconomic. this refers to economic activity that connects to social and personal outcomes.. it can be used to describe a cause/effect.. a simple ie is poverty..
modern poverty is actually not an inevitable by-product of humans’ sharing a planet that is supposedly deficient in resources. rather, poverty today is a systemic consequence native to our current economic mode. in other words, its existence is artificial and contrived, not natural..t
whoa.. haven’t even started the book yet..
the bottom line is that when we trace the systemic chain reactions of our most detrimental social problems, we almost invariably end up at the doorstep of the economy..
i wish to reiterate that the real issue of concern today isn’t moral; it is structural..t
it has little to do with people’s general day-to-day intent and everything to do with the organizing framework of global society.. all the best intention in the world are not going to stop the existing and emerging problems as long as the current socioeconomic framework remains unaltered..
the character of our social system favors preservation and elitism..
social dominance and the facilitation of social control and oppression is structurally codified in the system; a normative function born from its inherently competitive, scarcity-driven ethic..t
given this the odds of any kind of easy transition are slim. that is because those with great power and wealth, those who have been rewarded greatly by the system, naturally find cognitive dissonance with the idea of altering the very mech that has rewarded them so disproportionately …
the train of thought as to what socioeconomic preconditions will allow for a highly sustainable and socially just world is virtually self-evident. how we get there – and if we get there in time – is the ultimate question
1 – system-bound: realizing relationships
mlk: can’t be me till you are you
if aspects of adult well-being and behavior can be linked to childhood treatment, the question then becomes what factors or conditions set the stage for childhood mistreatment..
james gilligan, prison psychiatrist and former director of the enter for the study of violence at harvard med.. actually refers to us prisons as ‘graduate schools for crime’
in a sense.. racism has effectively been a system reinforcer to optimize slave labor by way of sociological manipulation (1660s – no diff between white and black slaves/servants)
it is not just the generational tradition of racism in the white legal community that has created this pattern, but the ongoing *socioeconomic inequality that has been common to the black community ever since. this has created a **feedback loop that condemns the natural outcomes of socioeconomic deprivation (ie: crime, ***lack of ed)
***same as thinking lack of money (measuring things) is problem.. ed (validating people) as we know it is a perpetuator of brokenness as well..
it’s a cycle, and this cycle can’t be broken in a real way w/o the removal of poverty and low socioeconomic status
mlk: the black community, no matter what legal or civil rights it obtained, was still locked into a tragic cycle of discrimination and poverty was the binding factor…. the systemic consequences of poverty were too strong.. preserving oppression
then mlk’s push for bi
bi perpetuates the systemic illness as well.. ie: still measuring transactions.. even if getting to pass go and collect 200 more often.. still playing the deadly game..
generally feeling connected, respected, and accepted by others to some degree is not a subjective preference; it is a hard-wired emotional requirement for good health..
if connection is not obtained, imbalance and biopsycho distortion can occur
mere wants have been artificially turned into emotionally demanded needs by the drive for social inclusion
begs a getting back to an authentic have\need ness.. which will blow us away.. ie: already have all we need.. ness
while many economists have argue that this insatiable desire is simply part of our shared human nature, it appears this tendency is only human nature in the sense of a shares social reflex, not some uncontrollable compulsion of material gain.. such materialism is really a byproduct of the nature of our economy itself, *structurally induced..
james gilligan: used to think people committed robberies in order to get money.. i would start to hear comments like: i never got so much respect before in my life as i did when i pointed a gun at some dude’s face
psychological research shows that feelings of shame, inferiority and being disrespected are foundational preconditions for violence and crime.. no mystery that feelings of inferiority, shame and humiliation are staples of modern culture..
gilligan: if we wish to prevent violence, then, our agenda is political and economic reform
ghandi: poverty is the worst form of violence..
alludes to – structural violence
stokely carmichael 1967: when white terrorists bomb a black church and kill five black children.. act of individual racism.. when 500 black babies dies each yr because of lack of proper food, shelter, and medical facilities and thousands morea re destroyed and maimed physically emotionally and intellectually because of conditions of poverty and discrimination in the black community, tha tis a function of institutional racism
johan galtung.. formally intro’d the term ‘structural violence’ in 69 – he defined gandhi as a ‘structuralist’ ‘stating: gandhi saw conflict in the deeper sense of something that was built into social structure not in to the persons..
as mentioned in the intro of this book, this structuralist, systems based worldview is deemed critical to effective problem solving..
the question is.. can those roots be change to stop the negative chain reactions.. we need to seek out and resolve root causes that continue to lead to social oppression, ecological disregard, and other influences that reduce human well-being.
2 – beyond the pale: our social mythology
secular mythology comes in the form of social, ideological, or political narratives. . social psychologists have categorized aspects of this tendency in the term : legitimizing myths – meaning myths that serve to protect the status quo and assist social control..
when it comes to secular mythology, there is perhaps no better case study than the nation state and its tribal politics.. loyalty to a country, its people, and its methods, and shared opposition to it decreed enemies, is facilitated by a catalog of symbols, stories, ceremonies, revisionist history, and other element that serve the interest of social cohesion and status quo supports. .. anthems.. flags..
this tradition of unquestioningly holding military forces in public esteem, psychologically buttressed by ubiquitous ceremonialism including medals, parades and other adornments, has been a historical constant across the world..the taboo against criticism is even extended to where questioning any aspect of the war apparatus is condemned as showing disrespect for the sacrifice of the honored, noble soldiers.
walter lippmann, famous for his concept of ‘manufacturing of consent’
on language.. and bias.. words in particular: communist..conspiracy theorist..terrorism.. communism.. words used to reframe questioning of authority as irrational.. all used to incite fear and insecurity.. reframe questioning of authority toward irrationality.. this insecurity helps open the door to various power abuses..
carl schmitt: w/o a perceived enemy of a given society, something the majority feels threatened by in a unifying way, social cohesion and control may be jeopardized..
overall political langauge by its very nature imposes an associative mental framework that if reinforced properly can narrow one’s thoughts about social issues. thru this process people lose focus on other possible factors or viewpoints.
language.. beyond being our main tool to learn and communicate, can also function as a tool for social control by strategically imposing or restricting ideas, values, and biases thru associative influence..t
begs idio jargon
this long term trend toward democracy, to whatever degree of fen of application, has challenged the nature of how national loyalty and status quo preservation is to be maintained.. in other words, w populations becoming increasingly intolerant of overt oppression, other methods of social control by the establishment have been required, effectively cloaking the dominance effect..
edward bernays 1928 – propaganda.. not malicious and simply saw this kind of need for social control as natural and necessary: the conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. those how manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute and invisible govt which is the true ruling power of our country. we are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have neer heard o f. this is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society id organized. vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society
oy.. and why dem and dem schools unsettle me
w/in this context of propaganda.. we find consistent mythological patterns that tend to exist in all nations.. revisionist history, or the sanitizing of a nation’s past to control perception is a classic ie..
modern variations on this theme range from the suggested worship of political leaders via noble portraits hanging in civic areas.. to the soft idolatry of naming libraries or airports after past us presidents. these are echoes of a long tradition of power worship harking back to such doctrines ast he notorious ‘divine right of kings’ of 17th cent europe, which declared the monarch was subject to no earthly authority, deriving the right to rule and act directly from the will of god
in graeber’s – this kings ness was begin of structural violence..
this general pattern of codified or implied group superiority reps perhaps the most common and effective dominance myth in history. the view that one nation, religion, race, or whatever group is fundamentally superior to another has been at the root of vast historical injustices and atrocities..
arguably, all acts of war are foundationally acts of dominance, conquest, colonialism, or imperialism.. yet, this aggression is generally cloaked w the claim of defense or a humanitarian act of help. today this syndrome is best exemplified by the now clichéd western imperial ruse of seeking to spread ‘freedom and democracy’ .. similar to ‘fighting communism’ in the early 20th cent..
the excuse to ‘civilize’ a population with ostensibly more appropriate ethical or moral values has ben common.. ie: converting native americans to christianity.. if refused.. morally acceptable to destroy them ad they were simply not respecting god’s will
oy .. civilization ness
religion often serves to help galvanize and justify aggression or defense
roosevelt 1902: the warfare that has extended the boundaries of civilization at the expense of barbarism and savagery has been for centuries one of the most potent factors in the progress of humanity
ie: in pakistan, us drones have killed hundreds of innocent civilians in recent years. yet little is said about why the us is somehow exempt from international law and can send drones in to almost any country, killing people with robots.. the western population has been so indoctrinated in to he assume exceptionalism, currently under the guise of ‘anti-terrorism’ that it barely raises an issue with the overt criminal behavior..
social dominance theory: prompted by the ubiquitous nature of group based prejudice and oppression, we developed social dominance theory the theory postulates that societies minimize group conflict by creating consensus on ideologies that promote the superiority of one group over others. ideologies that promote or maintain group inequality are the tools that legitimize discrimination.. isms as means to maintain group based hierarchy
public consensus always oppresses someone
saying hierarchies.. strategic oppression .. just human nature..
ie of hierarchy-enhancing attribute: the police.. they are designed, in part, to react against any insurrection that may arise from the lower-class ‘have-nots’ against the upper-class ‘haves. this is not an issue of conscious police bias per se.. it si simply the structural reality of their position..
ie of hierarchy-attenuating: civil rights movements.. for they work against forces of disproportionate power and oppression.
this theory also implies that w/o this structural oppression and elite-preserving controls, society would be unstable..
the author writes: even though there are temporal and intersocietal differences in the ‘degree’ of group based social hierarchy the sad fact of the matter is that all known surplus producing social systems are in fact, organized as group based social hierarchies. there are no know exceptions..
thinking of james suzman .. and his case for no surplus..
superficially, this idea of an existing ‘econ surplus’ leading to the development of hierarchy is interesting, given how other social theories tend to lin scarcity not surplus..
.. relevance of econ survival by way of needed resource access is no doubt the most critical.. confronted with a sever survial risk, will likely become more divisive, aggressive, and competitive
perhaps surplus is where that comes to play though.. the idea that hoarding causes the gap of have have not ness.. like if we didn’t do surplus.. like suzman’s bushmen.. then we wouldn’t have some without.. thinking too.. about one ness dancing if it’s all of us.. not taking beyond authentic need..
need people to be alive.. waking up everyday to do/be their art.. for us not to seek beyond what we need..
overall the evidence shows that higher relative abundance, couple w equitable distribution correlates with a less stressful more tolerant and more peaceful society..
also matters how we’re defining surplus.. i’m thinking beyond rat park ness.. and maybe you are thinking rat park as surplus.. as in plenty..
in other words, econ surplus can create an immediate fear of future loss in this context, not a sense of ease.. .. in effect, we have generated a culture of conflict based on fear..
the aforementioned statement ‘the sad fact of matter is that all known surplus producing soc systems are in fact organized as soc hierarchies and no known exceptions.. is interesting because the distinction made is clearly in ref to hunter gatherer societies.. which .. were generally w/o soc hier and did not have an econ surplus..
in other words.. there is more to it than simply the intro of ‘econ surplus
the most influential characteristic of a civilization is the kind of tech means it has and how it si applied. when very large changes in applied tech occur, human culture and behavior tend to change as well
for roughly 99% of our existence.. homo sapiens lived as hunter gatherers.. very few of which remain today..apart from being generally egalitarian with no real dominance hierarchy, it has been well argued by anthropologists that they also had much less violence and no large scale organized warfare…. their subsistence level existence created a unique kind of minimalistic affluence..
marshall sahlins: hunger gatherers consume less energy per capita per year than any other group of human beings.. yet all the people’s material wants were easily satisfied.. to accept that hunter gatherers are affluent is therefore to recognize that the present human condition of man slaving to bridge the gap between his unlimited wants and his insufficient means is a tragedy of modern times.. where production and distribution are arranged thru the behavior or prices, and all livelihoods depend on getting and spending, insufficiency of material means become s the explicit, calculable starting point of all econ activity.
in terms of sustainability, th econ simplicity of life made living beyond one’s means virtually impossible.. unlike today, with the high tech to both create and destroy, there was a primitive natural balance with nature.. at the same time, the inherent characteristics of nomadic life result in a very diff sociology and culture from what we have today. ie: since mobility was essential, hoarding property or basing id on material possession would have been impractical. the very idea of ‘property rights’ which underscores modem econ and in many ways our society itself, really didn’t exist in hunter gather culture..
if put in modern terms.. hunter gatherers had a gift econ in their communities.. where they shared with no expectation of reciprocation..
this reciprocal behavior was considered offensive by the tribe, as they felt the ‘exchange’ was a refusal of friendship..t
huge.. exchange ness as killer
tim ingold: diff between ‘giving’ and ‘exchange’ has to do w social perception based around autonomous companionship vs involuntary obligation.. .. ‘clearly both hunter gatherers and agricultural cultivators depend on their environments. but whereas for cultivators this dependency is framed w/in a structure of reciprocal obligation, for h/g’s it rests on the recognition of personal autonomy..
the contrast is between relationships based on trust and those based on domination..’ t
expanding vocations and specialization… suddenly that skilled person had a differential value compared to those who lack that specific skill, but maintain other skills that may also be helpful. *this then logically leads to barter, credit systems, and other means of trade, slowly evolving economic exchange networks between and with in communities..
*why..? i don’t see the logic..
given disproportionate production skills and the unequal benefits of certain geographical features.. the outcomes of inequality, competition, and conflict were inevitable..
i don’t buy that either..
sapolsky: h/g’s had thousands of wild sources of food to subsist on . agriculture change all that, generating an overwhelming reliance on a few dozen food sources.. agriculture allowed for the stockpiling of surplus resources and thus, .. unequal stockpiling of them… stratification of society and the invention of classes. thus is has allowed for the invention of poverty..
over time these incentives, values, and protections became accepted as ‘just the way it is’ and what most consider ‘normality’ today has been the result..
peter gray theorizes other cultural factor that preserved the egalitarian ethos, including the playful nature of their socialization and the customary manner of childbearing
scarcity culture.. not enough to go around.. justifying dominance.. natural state.. one of war.. survival of the fittest.. et al.. the very foundation of market theory and practice reinforces a social view that makes any notion of equality or abundance almost inconceivable and the gravitation toward dominance and exploitation virtually inevitable..
this is why ie: profit is directly tied to scarcity and the scarcer an item in demand is, the higher its exchange value will be.. therefore.. the incentive system of the market actually prefers a general condition of scarcity.. translates to more short term gain
abundance on the other hand has no value in this kind of econ logic. in other words, abundance has not structural function or reward.. creating or preserving abundance doesn’t help income, job creation, or econ growth, ..
preservation, abundance, and even sustainability are problematic for the market econ.. as they remove instruments of exchange..t
as a mechanism, the market is based entirely upon the need for real or assume deficiency and insecurity.. and insecure culture.. conditioned to want more and more.. is ideal.. emotional insecurity, groomed to be rectified by material gain, neurotically becomes a positive feature of culture as it helps the market system work via increased demand..
this root socioeconomic orientation then justifies competition, self-interest, hierarchy, inequality and oppression.. it is important to make clear that the economy is not some secondary institution that is only engaged when needed. rather,
econ decisions permeate virtually everything we do
the main point here is that there is constant operant conditioning occurring, reinforcing behavior that narrowly serves a person’s or group’s economic success.. creates value systems/justifications that perpetuate a culture oriented around fear, self-interest, competitions and inevitably oppression and dominance.. ..
a thought syntax is created in which people narrowly navigate life, focused on a contrived game of economic survival.. t
making up money ness
over time.. our brains literally become wired to this dominant worldview.. given this.. it isn’t difficult to see how patterns such as what we call ‘greed’ can becom second nature.. .. as such.. they are able to rationalize walking over homeless people in the street w/o a second thought. ‘just the way it is’ as per the thought syntax..
ramifications of competition.. which is the basic driver of resulting dominance hierarchies.. people saying.. ‘well humans are just competitive and warlike’ end of story.. seems to make sense from superficial view of recorded history
science of people ness
phrase – survival of the fittest.. abused for over a century.. as meaning ‘survival of the strongest, fastest, and most aggressive’ yet ‘fittest’ actually refers to what best suits the environment.. this could be a range of behaviors including collab.. tolerance.. patience and so forth..survivial of the fittest is about adaptation to a given environment not the reign of the most dominant
unfortunately such fatalistic views of competition have been part of a long standing hierarchy enhancing mythology with endless historical claims invoking the idea th competition is an insurmountable impulse of human nature
human nature ness
margaret mead: profiled 13 diff indigenous cultures, finding that variability among culture could only mean’ being cooperative, competitive and individualistic is result of culture they live in and is a habit a taken for granted daily activity learned from parents and other members of society’
more recently… research.. coupled w neuroscience.. has suggested the more radical argument that humans are by nature actually moe prone to cooperative altruistic and prosocial behaviors as opposed to competitive ones.. it appears competition aggression and violence are natural reaction to stress…
douglas p fry: the grand conclusion.. from archaeological, nomadic foragers studies, primatology and evolutionary theory, as applied afresh to aggression, is that in humans, war is recent, not ancient and war is a capacity, not an evolved adaptation. in short, war was rare to nonexistent under the conditions in which our species evolved but obviously prevalent in more recent times that are dramatically diff ecological and cultural circumstances..
therefore.. we must look for the roots of aggression, conflict, and competition within our modern social structure and the culture of stress it has created.
the global econ which present competition as a virtue, pushes an ‘earn a living’ in-group/out-group ethic that basically says you either compete and win or you suffer and lose..
earn a living et al
while the term ‘war’ is often used in the context of military or armed conflict, it is accurate to say that the entire society is basically founded up on a general war ethic..it is built right into th every architecture and belief systems of culture as we know it
competition is a mech for destabilizing conflict and weakening public health, not a virtuous source of collective human progress..
the market.. you thus have the basisi fro property (ownership); capital (means of production); labor specialization (jobs); regulation (govt); and protection (law/police/military). in other words, you have grounds fo rwhat is now the ultimate mech of survival once again: the market system of econ
adam smith – invisible hand to suggest that people, acting selfishly in their econ behavior will paradoxically produce outcomes that improve society as a whole
in less than six yrs, capitalis’ inequality arguably kills as many people as communism is claimed to have killed during the entire twentieth century..
in fact, this mythology has been so deeply politicized and moralised as some mech of human dignity, you will find ‘free markets’ often associated with democracy itself in political and econ discourse. people even say to ‘vote with their dollar’ which is ironic since that is exactly the problem when it comes to most corruption in the world today
.. govt’s underlying loyalty and priority is and has always been to protect dominant business and econ interests.. this si not to say that he average employee involved in law enforcement or legal service will fully and consciously focuses his/her attention away from gen public good.. it isnt’ necessarily about conscious, personal intent. rather, ti si about the structural function those civil service positions serve within the social structure itself.. a social structure that is built upon a foundation of hierarchical loyalty and dominance, driven by the mech of market econ..
if monetary influence is considered something that can corrupt govt, why would corp lobbying be globally legal? .. lobbying is the route by which business uses govt to its competitive advantage..
consequently the greatest priority for protection are business interest, and the large the interests, the more outstanding the protection..
as of 2015 – more than half of the members of the us congress are millionaires.. it has been estimated that the number of working lobbyists in the us is around 100 000 and that lobbying brings in 9 bn annually..
given this.. no wonder that a detailed study in 2014 … concluded.. that
‘the preferences of the avg american appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero , statistically nonsignificant impact upon public policy’
james madison.. father of us constitution.. made clear in fed convention of 1787..
why senate should be created..’they ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent (lavishly rich) against the majority‘
they (founding fathers) knew that a true democracy would force a vast redistribution of wealth, since, of course, the vast majority historically have been poor..
it should be obvious of all national govts in world that his kind of protection of rich is structurally secured thru govt policy..
veblen: ultimate power in capitalist system is in hands of owners because they control govt. the govt is the institutionally legitimizing means of physical coercion in any society… as such, it exists to protect the existing social order and class structure..
this means primary duty of govt is to enforce private property laws and protect privileges associated with ownership..
drives… public consensus always oppresses someone … even deeper.. ie: govt is given as voted in .. as consensus.. and since oppresses (in this case paradoxically.. majority) .. structural violence extremely efficient.. legal.. too much.. et al
if the moral goal of society is to try to create the best condition of public health, happiness, and stability possible for the world’s population, seeking to prevent suffering, it must be realized that the structural impositions of our economy actually work against that goal..
it isn’t that people aren’t capable of more caring, compassionate, helpful, and socially respectful behavior – it is that the socioeconomic system won’t support it.. t
the real problem is that we have blindly accepted as custom a society based upon competition and scarcity, regardless of our vast intellectual ingenuity and the growing scientific evidence that we could, indeed, live quite differently if proper structural adjustments were made.. t
in other words.. we are reacting within a social system we have grown to perpetuate and assume is final, not reacting to some immutable restrictions imposed by the earthly habitat, human nature, or some natural law..
the statues, symbols, language, taboos, and other means of cultural manipulation are constant since the needed cohesion to stifle any interfering social change depends on it.. t
the ultimate moral conundrum today is this: how can we expect highly moral or ethical decisions by a population submerged inside a social system that rewards the exact opposite behavior
market capitalism is simply not conducive to mutual human concern..t
free will is th most reinforced and consistent ideological assumption in the world today..every human action is generally assumed to be a conscious willful free decision by both others and ourselves. it is a powerful intuition we all share…. yet, once a system perspective is taken.. the mythology of free will quickly begins to unravel..
preconditions.. pre conditioning us.. ie: language, religion, customs.. the shaping makes certain propensities highly probable, with others highly improbable, regardless of the ‘free will’ of the person..
in modern culture most people draw very clear lines between decision they feel are ‘free’ and decision they feel are not, often with unrelenting judgment and criticsim of others who act in ways deemed unsavory. this moral high ground is ever=presenst, which makes perfect sociological sense because once again, mainstream society flaunts the ideas of independence, free will, volition, and human choice as the starting point of all personal success and human virtue
fundamental attribution error: error of judgment people make when they experience a person’s behavior as unethical w/o knowing about other factors involved..
criminal justice system is predicated upon expressing the fundamental attribution error as a formalized method of evaluation.. *to exclude the biosocial condition of a person is really a crime in and of itself when one attempts to evaluate someone’s actions.. the myth of free will makes it easy, while helping to preserve the legal system’s role as a means of social control, once again..
*attempting to evaluate someone is a crime in and of itself..
same w econ.. if you happen to believe common capitalist myth that econ prosperity is available to everyone who ‘works hard’ .. then will likely agree.. everyone.. deserves what they get
if social dominance theory is assumed .. then ineq and poverty .. can only be natural and even necessary .. to ensure the larger order stability of society.. such shared social characteristics derived from this free will foundation are enormous in modern culture..
one important idea found w/in this school of utilitarianism (reducing people to hedonistic exchangers) is that of voluntarism…
the snapshot of a ‘voluntary exchange’ is a dangerou sfree will illusion as it distorts social perception of causality, limiting more thorough understandings.. cognitive bias .. et al
being the social organisms we are, arguably defined by others and culture itself int terms of personal id and self-worth, the power of our social nature often gets the best of us
we have a propensity ti id with groups.. drawing id and sense of status from them in many ways.. leading to.. in and out groups.. racism et al..
kevin and the jacket with logo.. and the sunglasses..
consequently.. this ubiquitous social tendency for inclusion and approval creates serious psych problems when it come sot rational choice and critical thought
vasily klucharev: the deviation of individual opinion from the group behavior is interpreted by the nervous system as behavior error or ‘reward preditions error’ which start the process of behavior change, based on the dopaminergic mech of reinforcement learning
in this sense (repeated ads promoting unhealthful behavior) we can rightfully view advertising as a possible form of violence..
the negative forces preserving the status quo today are not substantially affected by street protest, public outcry, media exposure of corruption or other traditional methods.. it is fruitless for us to demand idealized or ‘more just’ behaviors from our existing institutions since they have been built around a value and incentive system that thrives on the very behaviors we wish to change. only deep system changes will prove to have long-standing effects..
3 – structural bigotry: the economics of oppression
one may rightfully wonder why a society that ostensibly seeks to educate and prepare young people to be intelligent problem solvers and creators would perpetuate a system that shackles them w immobilizing debt (2015 american student loan debt was about 1.2 trillion) the moment they enter the post-ed workforce
ed is simply another product to be bought and sold.. the us govt allocated roughly 2% of annual budget to ed.. 20% to military.. suggesting war is more beneficial to the nation’s leaders..
there is something fundamentally wrong when people are eating extravagant meals, wearing 5 000 suits and drinking 800 bottles of champagne while a guy on state preaches about global starvation and poverty.. this is particularly troubling in nyc, a place with about 60 000 homeless on the street each night
it’s a unique state of mind when a company moves operations to impoverished areas of the world, exploiting the vulnerable for cheap labor, only to then try to convince themselves and others they are doing the region a favor..
what i came to realize is that there is often a distinct detachment from reality in wealthy culture. it wasn’t that these folks were overtly disrespectful or mean.. .. these were generally kind people and clearly caring when it came to their home life.. still, a clear disconnect from general society was obvious – a kind of cultural alienation.. if you will..
it is interesting how the term philanthropy, defined as ‘the desire to promote the welfare of others’ has become associated almost exclusively with the wealthy; a badge worn to show how they ‘give back’ to the community. yet, rarely is the question of why there is the need to give back considered from the standpoint of market dynamics itself.. while there is indeed growing global concern about increasing inequality, existing poverty, and so on, little real effort is being made to counter the problem from the standpoint of altering the social structure to correct what are clearly systemic problems inherent in our society..
i would argue that a true philanthropic ‘desire to promote the welfare of others’ could only seek to alter the preconditions creating social problems to begin with
ie: measuring transactions.. validating people..
the ongoing need for social-welfare charities is really a response to an inefficient econ system..t
.. idea of turning this supplemental act of charity into an established social institution, deemed inclusive to the system of capitalism itself, implies the society is no longer to view outcomes such as poverty and other interests common to philanthropy as a real problem.. rather, ti is a tacit admission that the resulting deprivation must be necessary, expected, and effectively accepted as ‘just the way it is’ forget trying to change the preconditions.. let’s just focus on ‘giving back’ after the fact.. that is the message – and it is a terrible one, as it avoids examining the structure of the economy itself..so neither piketty nor gates offers actual solutions… taxation.. is only a ‘patch’ .. doesn’t address structural/systemic mechs..(piketty)..
while charity is admirable.. once it becomes institutionalized/funded.. turns into something different.. with extended social ramifications (gates)
so what we have.. pseudo egalitarian capitalists.. generate wealth .. promoting very mechs that have led to structural violence and poverty.. they then turn around and offer their charity as the solution to the problems created by the very system that reward them..t
once again, this has nothing to do with intent.. it is about an underlying hypocrisy that bypasses and obscures the real problem solving focus desperately needed .. can only be structural..
deep enough.. to cure us
slavoj zizek: charity is the humanitarian mask hiding the face of economic exploitation..
inequality machine.. the rewarded wealthy are naturally the last to be critical of the very system that allowed for their flourishing and they are certainly hesitant to change it .. such is the historical nature of class conflict itself.. again..
this has nothing to do w deliberate conspiracy or the like.. it is simply a systemic result inherent to the logic, values, and structure of capitalism..t
yet it goes deeper.. while one may argue that a govt’s tax policies are structurally oppressive.. it isn’t exactly structural by my defn, as tax policy is actually designed to change and commonly does..
what i am referring to goes deeper and i will focus on two mechs:
1\ the incentive psychology inherent in market behavior itself and the structural interplay
2\ nature of monetary system itself – specifically the existence of and dynamics related to debt..
these are both structural in that they are interactive frameworks engaged by everyone with very little objection.. you will likely ont see voter referendums.. protests.. govt mtgs.. about altering them in root form.. rather.. constant protest movements and public outcry against the chain reactions created by these hidden structural mechs..
society is constantly battling symptoms, not causes..t
ie: blm – problem is sociological as opposed to political or moral.. these sociological issues stem from early econ practices – namely abject african slavery. like an infection that is constantly reinvigorated by contaminated conditions, racism between w and b culture has continued as a form of class conflict, long after abject slavery ended..
inequality and oppression are systemically reinforce thru the market’s most basic, trivial, incentivized gaming behaviors, regardless of the personal intentions of people..t
when it comes to ethical assessments in the market game, the real calculation very often comes down to how much ‘ethics’ you can afford, not what you think is morally correct
this makes whatever extreme of perceived moral violation merely a matter of degree.. in other words, when it comes to primary rationale.. no diff ...
in system fundamentally based upon the exploitation of economic circumstances, morality becomes one massive grey area along a continuum of general social indifference.
the dynamics of competitive self-regulation are what link and turn individual human actions into collectively generate system-level outcomes. and these outcomes can arise with no direct intention on the part of the players. again,
this is very important to understand, as our world has been obsessed with ethical arguments to improve things, missing the system-level outcomes that have little to do with an individual’s moral compass..
all the blaming.. as distraction..
they (negative externalities.. ie: pollution; ineq; poverty; overall structural violence; et al) are system-level problems and just about everyone is to blame to some extend for participating in the market economy itself..
a defining characteristic of externalities is that they require actions outside of the market’s primary logic for resolution.. this is another reason why mainstream economists take such a positive view of charity.. since those who are homeless and poverty-stricken clearly have no money .. charity is the only real option as a workaround.. explains why there are so many ngos.. trying to help clean up constant mess the market leaves in its wake.. unfortunately.. no matter what such groups do w/in existing socioeconomic system to help, problems resulting from these neg external forces will remain to on degree or another..
these are difficult costs to track .. they are not normal.. and the literal costs of these externalities .. reach into the many trillions each year..
water pollution which is largely attributed to industrial behavior, has been estimated to account for 40% of all global deaths.. targets the poor overwhelmingly..
well to do have option to avoid polluted water supplies for consumption..
people can only spend w/in their limits and there is not doubt that ethics are expensive.. comes down to what degree of morality can be afforded..
this seemingly innocuous practice (debt) has a very dark history.. tracks history of class conflict and slavery..
graeber: for thousands of yrs the struggle between rich and poor has largely taken the form of conflicts between creditors and debtors..
practice of debt peonage, also called servitude or bondage, ahs been a formal institutional practice throughout the past 5 000 yrs, coupled w debtor prisons that existed up until the mid 19th cent..
don’t they still?
i would argue that the only real reason we don’t have debtor prisons anymore is that people in prison are not generating any value
what about.. evicted.. ness.. ? et al
long standing econ myth that ‘free labor’ proved to be more efficient than slave labor and the transition away was economically practical. this is untrue and appears to be mere hopeful dogma; essentially, it’s an attempt to avoid the reality that slavery is inherent in the true roots fo capitalism..
edward baptist’s work.. explains how the real driving force that increased productive output by slaves was not just more slaves being brought over thru the slave trade, but strategic torture..
what enslavers used was a system of measurement and negative incentive.. measurement to calibrate torture in order to force cotton pickers to figure out how to increase their own productivity..
this is it.. this is school.. measuring things.. that’s how you get 7 bn to be what they’re supposed to be..
actually cultivation of tech that set this trend.. as machines assisted tasks, increasing efficiency
the main evolutionary link between modern capitalism and abject slavery rests with the practice of debt slavery.. something still with us to this day..t
after american civil war, millions of slaves were suddenly free in the sougth. quickly a troubling yet not unexpected prate termed convict leasing arose.
a very deliberate method of arresting and charging former black slaves with bogus crimes became common
they could pay fine, get a bondsman to pay, or go to jail.. except it wasn’t jail.. it was forced labor.. then still legally allowed for criminal punishment by the constitution.. to pay off debt.. if went with bondsman.. ended up doing slave debt for them..the practice was so popular that by 1898 convict leasing constituted 73% of the state of alabama’s total revenue.. till 1951
as an aside, what this convict leasing version of debt slavery also reveals is a feature buried deep inside ethe american criminal justice system.. the general practice of imprisoning people who cannot pay fines while employing private prisons that use prisoners to creat goods for corporations is alive and well in the us and elsewhere.. just like convict leasing.. based upon meeting labor-demand quotas.. toady private prisons actually hae contacts w state/local govts that effectively encourage same.. require a certain umber of ‘occupants’ to be sent by courts to he prison.. the stat complies.. and if doesn’t.. the it or the taxpayers mus pay for the empty cells…. it encourages max occupancy of prisons..regardless of level of crime..
2008 scandal – kids for cash – two judges in pa were caught taking millions in bribes from a for profit prison co to increase number of inmates..
earning as little as 23 cents an hour.. modern prisoners make things for us military, mcdonald’s, microsoft, and starbucks.. along w furniture, car parts, solar panels, … the facade is that convicts are ‘learning a trade’ so they can be better prepared when they get out
still common idea that the rise of capitalism was somehow instrumental in general ending of abject slavery on structural level is a little more than denialism..
that noted, what i find most interesting about debt slavery as a thru line of labor exploitation and coercion is how almost all the prior forms of its use – going back 5000 yrs – still exist on earth to one degree or another.. ie: 27 mn slave in world.. more in absolute terms than ever before .. challenged.. saying now 46 mn..
debt bondage is so strong in some areas today it can still actually be passed thru generations.. with children literally being born into slavery due to parent’s debt
monetary system.. while for a time was ‘backed’ ‘by precious metals .. its root association is and has always been based around credit and debt.. if all debt in world were paid off there would be no money in circulation..
all that is needed to create new money is, first, a demand for a loan, such as by a family who want to buy a car, and second , a bank’s meeting a required reserve % in existing deposits.. taken to math extreme, an initial 10 000 deposit that is repeatedly used as a basis for new loans can create about 90 000 in new money of course, each time a loan is paid back , the money disappears..
(on bank profit) the entire world is producing debt by way of interest charges that are mathematically impossible to repay..
since them, as of 2015, almost 7 mn people have lost homes to foreclosure in the us alone. as an aside the ratio of empty homes to homeless people is troubling to think about. in europe there are about 11 m empty homes and 4 mn homeless – 3 homes to one homeless person.. while in the us the ratio is six empty houses to one homeless person. in the uk alone there are ten empty house for every homeless family
financialization – fin markets – stocks – begin to see how the idea of trade for the sake of trade started to take hold as an abstraction. it didn’t matter what the merchants bought/sold, they simply made profit on the act of exchange..
late 19th cent.. raising capital to start new co’s was common.. rep co shares/stock issues to those who invested.. entitling them to % of ownership/profits of co.
stock exchange allowed people to trade shares of stock w people thy had never met..
currency-exchange markets allowed people to literally make money off money..
this abstract trading reality is only part of a larger trend termed financialization.. broadly defined as a ‘pattern of accumulation in which profit making occurs increasingly thru financial channels rather than thru trade and commodity production’
graeber – f & B same law
most profitable industry on planet.. econ mutation from merchant capitalism to financial capitalism.. expanding ineq.. like cancer.. as abstraction becomes reality..
the production of goods is becoming less profitable while immaterial fin services are becoming more so.. yet.. number of people employed in fin sector virtually stayed same.. while profit skyrocketed.. a ton of money going to very few people..
while more extreme, let’s not forget that financialization and the ability to profit directly off of social failure and human suffering is really just a variation on a longstanding theme..t
drone warfare econ – drones into distant territories to kill others.. in the abstraction of a video game..
class war – in age in which we live today.. climate of opinion still overwhelmingly favors materialism, competition, selfishness, dissatisfaction, war, and elitism.. critical to maintaining the capitalist social order.. anything contrary.. is fundamentally a threat
nothing more important to modern class war than the widespread belief that capitalism is in the best interest of everyone and any alt will only lead to social destruction.. any speculation th at the market system may indeed function as a means of oppression and social control, or is perhaps just highly inefficient in its assumed purpose, must be actively countered and made to appear irrational.
tactic was to associate org’d labor w communism and tyranny.. portraying it as un american…
once wagner act of 1930s.. as part of roosevelt’s new deal.. legally protecting union formation and collective bargaining.. business owners realized force wasn’t the best route (bloody class war).. it was time for pro-capitalist psychological warfare
national assoc of manufacturers (nam) did massive media blitz – painting unions as anti american and communistic.. the new deal as slavery, public ownership as totalitarian and free market capitalism as the only true savior of humanity.. this propaganda was incorporated in schools, social events, and ever major form of media..
labor has always been at the heart of class struggle.. important to recognize that the world’s labor movement are really extension of abolitionism. from abject and debt slavery to ‘free labor’ by wage, there is a continuum of exploitation in play that goes mostly unacknowledged by historians and social theorists..
from the standpoint of owners, laborers factor in as economic commodities, in the same way abject slaves were..
no matter how wealthy/happy a slave may be, it doesn’t change that he/she is being coerced in to labor for the disproportionate gain of an owner.. the qualifying diff has to do w degree of coercion or force perceived.
what about debt bondage? while humans are not technically owned, they are bound to contract tow work off debts, often in extremely inhumane circumstance.. 10s of millions of people in the world today exist in this condition and even the un refers to it as slavery..
then we have wage slavery.. in this case coercion comes from various unrelated pressures .. systemic forces .. ie: unresolvable debt.. threat of poverty.. while they may have some ‘choice’ as to whom they work for, they have no choice but to submit.. doesn’t matter if one can select between two co’s or two mn co’s it..
doesn’t change the structural, manmade coercion present.. .. keeping working class vulnerable and submissive..
strategic climate of opinion that helps ensure docility, creating illusion that people are as free as they ever could be.. arguing that everyone is simply ‘helping everyone else’ networking specialization for mutual benefit thru ‘voluntary’ trade. while i certainly appreciate my dentist and will exchange money for service, reciprocating in a mutually satisfactory way, this singular exchange is not even close to what defines capitalism as a structure or its systemic effects..
not to mention.. if lived a nother way.. 1\ would need dentist less 2\ wouldn’t need to pay when needed them 3\ they wouldn’t have to have gone thru pkg deal ed w debt .. et al..
the mantra that the rich need more tax breaks since they are the ‘job creator’
mlk: this country has socialism for the rich, rugged individualism for the poor
panama papers – leaks revealed enormous amt of tax avoidance… by super rich.. 21-32 trillion invested virtually tax free.. ie: walmart pay min wage.. while state fills in gap.. subsidizing wage.. one estimate of subsidization – 153 bn a year as of 2015
glenn greenwald’s – liberty and justice for some
on the most basic level, criminal behavior consequential to the precondition of socioeconomic ineq w/in the lower class allows for a systemic targeting by legal forces.. a feedback loop that structurally favor the preservation of existing power..
4 – public health: spectrum of disorder
1\ incapacity to problem solve accurately.. seek to use markets as the means.. most common – more economic growth..
vandana shiva: totally false history of poverty. the poor are not those who have been left hind.. they are the ones who have been robbed..t
jason hickel: need roughly 2.7-3.9 times existing poverty line.. otherwise.. more than 60% of humanity.. the un’s sustainable devel goals.. are set to use the 1.9 line to measure poverty. why do they persist with this implausibly low threshold.. because it’s the only one that shows any meaningful progress against poverty and therefore lends a kind of happy justification of the existing econ order
market econ based on cyclical consumption.. the system wants to produce not conserve.. system demands more and more human dissatisfaction and ‘want’ in order to function and grow
no matter what the long term threat may be, people’s most immediate sense of security comes form ensuring their next paycheck or biz opp.. market has everyone backed into a corner..t
2\ rise of consumerism ..a public health threat
need to change from need to desire.. banking on customer dissatisfaction
at least among some cultures and clearly in the us, the requisite insatiable values needed to be programmed in, manipulating our social nature so that we represent ourselves thru what we own, rather than what w actually think/do.. w great effort, social engineers accomplished this task thru.. ads/marketing..
edward bernays: conveying that mass consumption not personal indulgence… rather.. a civic responsibility designed to improve the living standards of all americans..
very convenient disposition.. since it implies that any lack of fortitude in working/consuming on the part of the public is the problem, not the power establishment or even the social system.
in the end.. this poverty of spirit, manifested in the form of mindless consumerism, has led not only america but .. world.. to embrace what is profoundly unsustainable and dehumanizing ethic.. it distracts society from the source of true happiness and satisfaction.. ie: social bonds..
this system requirement of market economics have now been encoded into culture.. ie: vast credit expansion, higher tolerances of debt, increased work hours, new variation of classism, racism and sexism set in motion..
what we see now is a growing commodification of life itself, from paying children to read for school to purchasing the right to hunt endangered animals.. to simply buying acceptance into prestigious unis.. to be human guinea pigs in experimental tests.. to stand in line fo others.. to fight in wars..
money becoming the measure of value and incentive of human existence and action
public health generally defined as ‘the science dealing with the protection and improvement of community health by organized effort’
however in its broadest form.. really a category of socially oriented cause and effect.. a population level phenom where societal action (or lack thereof) systemically lead to outcomes that affect significant numbers of people
ie: diarrheal disease.. global south killing roughly 2200 children each day
ie: suicide; violence – from shame and humiliation
james gilligan: most powerful predictor of murder rate is size of gap in income/wealth between rich/poor.. most powerful predictor of rate or national/collective violence – war, civil insurrection, terrorism – is size of gap between income and wealth between rich/poor nations
troubling..as wealth ineq is a textbook characteristic of capitalism.. effectively making capitalism itself a precondition of war/violence..
critical component – stress..
stress of simply feeling poor and inferior.. given how personal success is currently measured in material and class terms, has emerged as just as relevent a health detriment as a poor diet or polluted environment.. in effect, social stratification is a mech of structural violence
it (his own experience at his mom’s) is a pivotal ie of the systemic, corrosive nature o ineq. these people were not authors of their own poverty; they were consequences of the structural violence resulting from the econ imbalance generated by the social system itself
harm that is provably unnecessary.. yet.. due to society’s localized perception, such harm goes unregistered as actual violence since people haven’t been taught to see the connection.. hence they feel no sense of responsibility…
structural violence leading cause of death in world.. created by inequality.. founded by market economics.. hence.. it follows.. that market economics, in its now formal state of capitalism, is the worlds’ leading cause of unnecessary death..
james gilligan: ‘every single year, tow to three times as many people die from poverty throughout the world as were killed by the nazi genocide of the jews over a 6 yr period.. equiv of an ongoing unending .. in face accelerating.. thermonuclear war.. or genocide.. perpetuated on the weak and poor every year of every decade.. throughout the world..’
it is only thru the highly inefficient distribution mech of markets that the current circumstances prevail, appearing normal… ie: these billionaires could provide this direct aid for 200 yrs and still have about 550 m each on average.. a fraction of us annual military spending alone would also suffice…
imagine if we disengaged from money altogether..
such comparisons of what we are doing and what we could be doing with a portion of this wealth if properly allocated are more than enough to highlight the violence inherent in the system and the culture it has created..
johan galtung – 1960s – cultural violence.. instead of looking at billionaires as a manifestation of both our problematic social system and disturbed human psychology, the public is lured into cultural violence, idolizing billionaires as heroes and beacons of success..
social pollution – this section .. to organize some specific characteristics and outcomes related to hei economically driven structural violence..
ie: socioeconomic preconditions resulting in child abuse in early life, eventually leading to long term adult disorders fo the once abused child.. emotional damage in youth correlated to adult neurosis.. yet hard to pinpoint exact situational details in chain reaction..
it is this incentive logic that simply cannot be avoided if a person or business expects to succeed..
all three leading causes of death in low income countries are rarely present in high income coutnries.. tip of iceberg in case for structural violence, as.. major killers in poor coutnries are highly preventable if econ means facilitating basic health…
since market logic sees no merit in bringing service to those who cannot pay for it.. it isn’t difficult to understand the destitution in africa.. today, more money is being spent on treating male pattern baldness that finding better treatments for malaria..
fractal to all of this.. like.. many problems/diseases wouldn’t be problems in first place.. if lived in .. eudaimoniative surplus.. so.. wouldn’t be needing things like.. cure for malaria.. et al.. if planet/people are healthy.. no need for cancer cure if no cancer..
in response,, s africa and other regions sought to produce generic version themselves or import them from regions that already had permission to produce generics.. .. met with an appalling backlash from the patent industry and western power hubs such as washington… 1999 quest to flood africa w cheap aids drugs run headlong into conflict w american trade policy.. high level clinton admin officials blocking attempts to tamper w aids drug patents.. saying they undermine the entire system of intellectual property protection that encourage businesses to find new drugs
the structural violence of an industry unwilling to forgo a small % of industrial profits to save millions of lives adds an increasingly somber tone to mlk’s poverty of the spirit. but once again, this is not so much an issue of greed or even character – ti si an issue of system logic; of appropriate self-maximizing, ‘business as usual decision making…
so grounded this (no blame game – unless it’s all of us) .. so helpful.. thank you..
us as good case study of structural violence because of wealth gaps.. ie: lack of ed and racial discrimination linked to death of approx 874 000 americans in 2000
lack of ed..? or lack of validation because didn’t fit coerced ed’s rules..?
heart disease leading cause of death on earth.. low socioeconomic status is a heart disease risk factor on its own
low test scores.. higher risk of dropping out of school..
oy.. don’t go there.. surely you see the systemic ness (structural violence et al) of school..?
brain damage.. areas related to functions such as language, reading and decision making.. .. an effective reduction in iq..
hence, capitalism, which is the embodiment of this market-create hierarchy, is really a poisonous social construct.. hierarchy simply makes people sick..
what we need is a means to undo our hierarchical listening
sapolsky: isn’t about being poor, it is about feeling poor..
gabor maté: greatest damage done by neglect, trauma, or emotional loss is not the immediate pain they inflict but the long term distortion they induce in the way a developing child will continue to interpret the world and her situation in it.. not all addiction are rooted in abuse or trauma, but i do believe they can all be traced to a painful experience.. the effects of early stress or adverse experiences directly shape both the psychology and the neurobiology of addiction in the brain..
begs rat park
bruce levine: suicidality, depression, and mental illness are highly correlated w involvement in the criminal justice system, unemployment and poverty
denmark study from 2011 – increased suicide rate not only for people found guilty and incarcerated, but also for those simply had gen exposure to process.. found innocent and set free..
systemic reasoning forces the realization tha most all crime in the world is property-driven to one degree or another.. ie: if no scarcity pressure, no core survival stress or status-shaming ineq.. crime would drop dramatically..
suicide.. 10th leading cause of death in us.. 105 everyday.. w an attempt made very 31 seconds.. globally about 800 000 commit suicide annually.. 75% occur in low and middle income countries.. w 30% occurring by way of pesticide self-poisoning.. ie: mass suicides by farmers .. india now home of 1 of every 3 suicides.. between 1997 and 2014 – 280 000 averages to 16 000/yr .. crop failure..
in the case of india, the world bank’s structural adjustment policies required the country to open up its seed and overall agricultural sector to transnational corps like monsanto.. can’t reseed.. and have to use pesticide..
in time of great pressure to reduce gun violence.. half of all violent crime in america actually ordinates from the 33 000 existing gangs.. according to fbi as of 2011.. no one is talking about poverty control.. guns are not killing people in the gangland world.. the precondition of poverty… is.. guns are just hastening the process
same for drug cartels ad street gangs of mexico and colombia.. many forcibly removed from their land
5 – designing out: where we go from here
more than enough to maintain good health for most. yet a substantial portion of world still malnourished.. underutilized and potential methods far superior to what is being applied.. business does not favor optimized tech efficiency.. it favor market efficiency, which is basically the opposite..
ch recap: 1\ systemic ness..
the fuel .. is socioeconomic inequality.. the need for income
2\ social myths..
those in positions of power..with ie: mics.. have been most rewarded by myths.. so most likely to perpetuate them
3\ structural bigotry..
less about direct conspiracy or malicious intent.. more about procedural dynamics of model itself..
4\ spectrum of disorder..
structural violence – mother of all neg econ externalities…
the disappointing truth is that the most prominent form of scarcity in the 21st cent is that which is created artificially thru market behavior t
i would argue that what we have today isn’t really an economic system at all. it is an anti economic system.. grossly unfair in its allocation of resources.. one cannot define a system as being ‘economic’ when its structural characteristics support the opposite of thrift (ie: growth), the opposite of problem solving (ie: profit), and the opposite of equitable allocation
there is no technical reason for any human being to be w/o a generally high standard of living (alienated from what this means) in modern terms..
wealth signaling and class stratification itself is really a social pollutant, not an inspiration for progress, as is often argued..
it is time the drive for material excess be seen for what it si – a sociologically driven mental illness
our misconception of scarcity and sense o flack is so deeply ingrained that the mere suggestion that modern means and available resources can currently elevate the whole of humanity to relatively high standard of living is quickly dismissed as utopian.. natural.. we’ve been brainwashed w opposite message…
we have learned to to more with less
ephemeralization.. terms coined by buckminster fuller
real sociological transformation will not occur until the most dominant influence on our social psychology – our economic mode – is replaced..
indeed.. short bp .. to disengage
we cannot be naive enough to think the problem exists in the moral aptitude of individuals when.. there is really no such thing as an individual expressing free will w/o inhibitions..
a systems based worldview raises the question ow who and what we are and how we fit. truly embracing this understanding, accepting tis limitation and new possibilities, may be the very realization that has confounded our deepest sense of id and purpose as a species..
re wire ness
on doomsday ness.. isn’t that none of them have come true.. it’s that we’ve (band aided) come up with some innovation (more damaging in long run ie: fracking) to make it seem like doomsday didn’t come.. perpetuate broken loop
no one in us govt and its central bank cartel really cares about us govt debt because money is made out of thin air and can always make it to pay.. only care about public regulation/perception..
capitalism and markets simply cannot be respected if we expect to move forward with integrity..
humanity’s sense of possibility has been severely limited.. we have unfortunately cultivated a highly competitive, dehumanized, and warlike culture as a result
those dying from dehydration, water transmitted disease, and starvation in the world perish due not to the actual lack of food or water, but to societal inefficiencies tha allow (or create) such deprivation.
five attributes that form the foundation of this new economic model: 1\ automation (frees to do art) 2\ access (sans property ness) 3\ open source 4\ localization 5\ networked digital feedback – iot
the ideal of a step by step transition is improbable.. rather it will likley take large and dramatic leaps to move from one state to another..
the idea of a paid occupation has become so ingrained in our social id and sense of purpose that loss of opportunity can cause emotional harm.. such as with the correlation between suicide and employment noted earlier. at same time a limited view of human nature bleakly asks.. what would people do.. if they had no coerced labor role..
barry schwartz: we want work that is challenging..
some (rightly) see the ‘earn a living’ reality as a mech of social control.. david graeber – bullshit jobs..
jeremy rifkin: a half century from now our grandchildren are likely to look aback at the era of mass employment in the market w same sense of utter disbelief as we look upon slavery and serfdom.. very idea that human being’s worth was measure almost exclusively by his/her productive output.. will seem primitive even barbaric.. and be regarded as a terrible loss of human value..
today the sharing economy isn’t really an access economy but a fad based around consumer recycling of current ownership..
access is really at the heart of economic necessity.. while ownership is a creation of he market system’s need to store value and protect property from theft in a world based on the assumption of universal scarcity..
people don’t steal things they can gain access to
3\ open source
intellectual commons – sans ownership ness
if we understand that tech progress is inherently social.. w parties constantly building upon and improving existing ideas over time, then logic recognizes that more minds thinking about a given problem or proposal will always be better tha a few, if org’d properly..
a system of open source participatory economics reverses the process.. using a democratic means to decide what should/should-not be produced..
rather.. let’s use an eudaimoniative surplus process.. and let 7 bn daily curiosities decide.. let’s facil that..
from 2 convos.. connecting you locally.. daily..
not to mention the fulfilling of basic needs ness from these f to f interactions.. interactions that are about the thing you can’t not do.. not coerced.. not supposed to’s.. (saying this because much of what is mentioned here.. ie: 3d ness for production ness.. isn’t the main thing.. it’s not that we need means to produce more/better.. we need to connect more/better.. our more with less goes even deeper if healthy humans to begin with.. not just making more with less.. rather being more so craving less.. et al)
this shift would require a democratic , community process of organizing
for actual land spaces.. ie: city sketch up ness et al
ganhi: every village has to be self-sustained and capable of managing its affairs even to the extent of defending itself against the whole world
5\ network digital feedback – iot
to optimize info flows..
matters a great deal what info.. ie: currently.. info is not about us.. because we’re not us.. so.. suggesting we focus on self-talk as data.. via idio-jargon .. getting us back to us.. and back to what matters
in econ context.. iot could relyy/connect data regarding how best to manage resource, production processes, distribution, … consume demand..
consumer..? why use that word..?
and again.. matters little how efficient this is.. if wrong data..
we are far away from this kind of holistic approach to economic management despite its vast potential. but not because it isn’t technically feasible..
i find that while people are generally open to criticism of our social system, the moment the convo turns to solutions, the discomfort level rises substantially. while the five proposals seem radical
perhaps not radical enough..
i can’t stress enough the need for expanded sense of creativity and inquiry in this regard..
indeed.. let’s try this.. a nother way
the most advanced adjustment.. is one.. that actually has no market at all.
indeed.. money less.. no measuring of transactions .. no validating of people..
the scarcity-driven, socioeconomic imbalances seen today are politically justified thru public ignorance of modern potentials..
goes on to cover current means to enough food, water, energy
what i witnessed looking out that day was a gradual fortification of our social immune system (la extension of occupy.. march)
1\ move to automation facil’d by ubi
the more efficiency the less need for money or labor
? – i see us making all 3 irrelevant (as we know them today)
2\ move to access facil’d by sharing economy
3\ move to open source facil’d by royalty shares .. mandate corp sharing
? money..? – thought this was non market
4\ move from to localization facil’d by de\regulation
5\ move to digital feedback iot facil’d by scaling out systems already in use
taken to logical extreme, the end goal of achieving a truly sustainable post-scarcity econ would logically be one that has no trade or money at al.. may seem like a fantasy goal.. but from systems based scientific perspective, what is proposed here is simply what a real economy is, by defn
indeed.. trade is ok.. just don’t measure transactions..
thre are many possible avenues and degrees of incorporation.. but as stated.. this isn’t the real problem at hand. the real problem is that such moves will never happen w/o a massive amount of activist pressure put on the business run establishment..
maybe.. i’m thinking the real problem is .. we haven’t yet modeled an alternative.. i think once we do that.. business run establishments.. et al.. will choose to go alt route.. i believe 7 bn souls are craving this.. but.. like learning to walk.. they just need to see it first.. graeber model law.. et al
four basic levels of realization
4\ accomplishing this transition will require both creative initiative and activist initiative. the creative initiative has to do with developing *the efficiency-enhancing systems that will compose the new economic mode. the activist initiative has to do with the **strategic pressure/demands placed upon the existing power structure coercing change from the bottom up
**that’s this: us doing it.. all of us.. doing it.. designing/redesiging.. it.. everyday.. ie: rev of everyday life.. [via: problem deep enough.. mech simple enough .. system open enough for 7 bn to resonate with today.. with a means for 7 bn to leap to today]
it is realization four that is the real problem..
so let’s try this: short/bit
i am convinced that while there is a technical learning curve to some of what has been described in this book, it is not out of the reach of the average person
this is huge.. it has to be w/in reach.. and desire.. of all 7 bn plus of us.. today..
i reiterate.. this is huge piece.. it’s how you leap..
turning theory into reality..
let’s do it
appendix a – details of potential post scarcity social system.. ie: how we have enough.. food.. water.. energy..
this is great info/resource.. but i believe.. once 7 bn are set free .. as the day.. we’ll be blown away by our resourcefulness.. by our bliss.. by our indigneousness
appendix b – details of efficiency (design, production, distribution, recycling)
again.. great resource.. and peakat how things might transpire.. but i’m imagining the ingenuity of 7 bn people .. facilitated by their daily curisoities.. i’m banking on eudaimoniative surplus..
interreflections trailer.. adapted from human movement book
INTERREFLECTIONS, the long-awaited sequel to the legendary @ZeitgeistFilm series, is now FREE online in multiple languages. https://t.co/W93KYbAGRC
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/FilmsForAction/status/1396938049460838402