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Friday, August 9. 2013
Human cultures have developed, and history bears witness to many varieties, from brutal muderous tyrannies like that of Dracula to multicultural thriving economies as seen in ancient Persia. Recently a strange new dimension was added to any classification of governmental sytems, that of mechanization of labour. At the start of the twentieth century with only coal most people where in a struggle to add value to their own lives, now at the start of the twentyfirst, we have a large group that doesn't even know the first thing about what sustains their lives.
The aggregate, the collective approach to humans, is not new. Ancient egypt had many roles for people and detailed administration of what everyone did and why. People where valuable because of their ability to work in a low tech environment. Morality had to exist if only to keep the workforce healthy. Putting people to work had many real benefits. It gave a person a social role and increased welbeing. No one knows exacly how the pyramids where build, but it is easy to imagine it was a way to put many people to work, keep them strong (in case of war) and strengten the mythology of the ruling class.
All hands could increase wealth
The same pattern still applies, everyone is supposed to work hard and earn money, in shiny offices, temples to the higher glory of iconic personalities at the head of companies and governments. The system creates an opportunity for spiritual ascention, as well as accumulation of material wealth. All the system needs to do is be visible for people to desire access and start their conversion and inclusion. On the backside of this process people are disowned, disenfranchised, turned in perpetual lenders and renters. The less they have the more they will reinforce the 'building' to which penthouse they all climb.
It seems the use of the aggregate, the collective approach, in itself is not a problem, but merely a way to make large groups of humans work together. The introduction of law/religion must have been the first aknowledgement of equal treatment for all as a subsititute of the love in close relationships of small tribes. The notion of contemplating what is good or bad and imagining punishment for doing bad things was a true innovation when it first took hold. In its core it's the birth of the rule of a fantasy over reality, instead of the rule of actual physical force.
The law inhibits imorality, mechanization drives amorality
The Law is an example of using the aggregate 'bottom up'. Everyone is to know the law (being taught in church or at school) and abide by it. Anyone that breaks the law is punished. This means every individual participates in his/her roles in the imaginary aggregate. It doesn't exist in reality. There is no physical reality that demonstrates a law abiding country going about its daily work, except that it works. People voluntarily participate 99,999% of the time, and in a democracy make the laws that govern them.
Some very significant things changed in the last century, primarily the devaluation of humans as productive members of society. They where largely replaced by machines running on fossil fuels. When we use the abstraction 'agent' for both humans and machines to signify their role as producive elements, but also as seducers, motivators, influencers, the agents we have in our society can be grouped in two catagories : Humans and moral human inspired agents will carry the fabric of law and morality. Mechanical or immorally inspirde agents will not. Industrialization and the advent of information technology has introduced part of reality that is both no support for our fantasy of justice and no protector of human lives.
We are at the mercy of fossil fuel driven 'mechanization'
It is quite clear that part of humanity has been seduced by the power of fossil fuel driven machines. These people fantasize about a fully automated society, where food, shelter and social interaction are all embeded in a mechanized system. We are close to Blade Runner territory in some parts of the world. This mechanized infrastructure both amplifies desireable behaviour by presenting examples, by assisting us in constructing behaviour towards the goals it sets, and provides us with the result. Due to the incentive system (economics) goals alsways translate into use of more natural resources (mainly fossil fuels). Most of both the driving and executing part of this system has no inhibitions born out of awareness of the law, like humans have.
The same incentives that drive the expansion of the mechanized system motivate those that are part of it to prevent or hide the ammorality its existence and operation implies. There is no intention to do harm, just no inhibition not to. Human imagination can conjure up 'human rights' and 'democracy' but the AK47s keeps reloading, the tanks keep roling, satelites observing, video screens showing what we should be. Many are simply swayed by this new ammoral reality and 'want' to emulate the examples presented. Because of the fossil fuel driver behind all this activity the goal is no longer a shared wealthy life, but execution of the optimal fossil fuel expansion strategy.
The aggegate can be used reactively, it is not to be used proactively
The aggregate plays a pivotal role in this process, the database that allows analysis of behaviours, styles, motivated by economic incentives, to create new examples to herd people back into the servitude to the same carbonexpansionist agenda. Unlike the law, being a reactive aggregate force, we are faced with a proactive use of the aggregate, proactive because the machines run on coal, oil and gas, and they need to be payed off. People running them are caught in a choice between 'work' (running the machines) or poverty (caused by the machines). Machines can be actuall machines, or systems (like fertilizer/pesticide/GMO) systems. Cities are build with cars in mind, forcing people to buy them and work for fuel.
Even though cars and machines and systems don't necessarily kill or break the law, it is perhaps obvious that they should not obey the rules of economics, simply increasing their use and dominance while using up limited resources. Clearly there is a need to regain control over this process, to make the people that can have inhibition, that can inhibit, back in charge. May think that is a matter of becoming economically dominant. But money is only a means of exchange. Spend it and the system churns harder, don't spend it and it will be spend somewhere else. Spend on fossil fuels the availability of which is guaranteed by wars.
Humans must control the existential need of machines : Energy
The answer to this challenge is not controlling money, but energy. Bringing energy under control by only humans and not economic motivations ('make the number bigger and you will get a cut'). The control of machines through the control of energy should be a goal of our legal system in our name. All activities should be driven by moral considerations, and inhibited if they affect our notion of justice.
There are several ways to achieve this control, and making sure it stays with the people. First nationalization of any power plant, and democratic review of what the energy is used for. Second, putting the generation of energy in the hands of citizen, allowing them to use it or trade it locally. Third, nationalizing the banking system to ensure credit is not extended in ways that perpetuate the system. This means without interest, with a different notion of ROI, in ways that kill commecial banking as we know it (which is no loss).
The easiest and most direct way to start this process is to build renewable energy sources and lobby for the right to freely trade it, with or without money involved. This is still difficult for governments as they want to levy taxes to pay debts to banks. The more renewable sources are in public hands, the easier it becomes to achieve changes needed.
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