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    • Mon, Sep 03, 2012 - 12:57am

      #7

      ALIHAYMEG

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      The Real Challenge

    Well stated Alihaymeg

    Since you indicate that a “monetary market paradigm” is part of our social structure, how can you envision a situation where we live without it?

    There is no greater challenge facing the human race than to find an adequate answer to that question. There have been many visionary persons and groups attempting to do just that, and many of their solutions make a great deal of sense. It seems that the first step is already under way; namely a shifting of consciousness away from the “dog eat dog” mentality that we have all been forced into by the system itself. In other words, what is required is a “revolution in consciousness” as Krishnamurti calls it. Nothing can change until this shift becomes pervasive. What it will look like is an abandoning of the “Darwinian” notion of “survival of the fittest” which is what we have all been indoctrinated into. It will be marked by a distinctive change in the underlying mentality of the human race; from self-centered and personal prosperity to collective prosperity; from idiosyncratic pursuits to a place of defining ourselves by what we contribute to the collective rather than what we can strip away from it for personal gain.

    The largest barriers to this shift are the dominance of the “corporate” entities that have effectively set themselves up as the masters, while simultaneously co-opting the blind acquiescence of the majority; the fear of the masses of middle class citizens in “Western” nations who are under the spell of the “corporate owned” media propaganda machine; and the fact that we have become completely decoupled from the reality that nature is nothing if not a dictatorship. In other words, the laws governing nature are not under our control. We are at all times subject to the limitations imposed upon us by the finite nature of Earth’s resources. The majority of our citizens still believe that we can continue on this path indefinitely, and that all of the warnings of impending shortages are just exaggerations.

    It’s quite a challenge indeed, but I also see it as inevitable. I’m just not sure if we can do it the easier way or if it will require a complete meltdown for the necessity to become obvious. I hope for the former but expect the latter.

    As for the specifics, I think we will have to come to those collectively and allow them to “emerge” naturally as every system does. I do lean toward the concept of a “Resource Based” paradigm.

     

    • Sun, Sep 02, 2012 - 06:00pm

      #5

      ALIHAYMEG

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      Natural State

    It is the natural state of everything to be FREE. The imposition of COST is manmade and certainly not natural. We have created the only species ever to exist that must “purchase” its right to be alive. The creation of a monetary market paradigm has been instrumental in allowing humanity to progress and become more than it could have been otherwise; I do not dispute that fact or claim that we could have gotten to where we are without some form of it. That does not mean that we will ALWAYS have to subject ourselves to the whims of an un-natural market based system in order to live well. To answer the question more specifically, if all monetary value was stripped away there would still be cost associated with the use of resources. But these costs could be weighed honestly and naturally; without the distorting influence of an added layer of value to consider. Everything has value, but it is not unavoidable to have to consider “monetary” value above the “human” value of things. The air we breathe is the most valuable substance on the planet from a “human” value perspective; and it is the least valuable substance from a monetary perspective. That reveals the distorting tendency of “monetarisation”.

    • Wed, Aug 22, 2012 - 04:39am

      #36

      ALIHAYMEG

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      We Walk With Blinders On

    I think people should be paid for their talents scaled within something called the labor market. While it is messed up right now due to other craziness the labor market itself allows resources, people and their talents, to be scheduled in a reasonably efficient manner. Let’s take me as an example. I am a Senior Engineer and a I manage a team of 5 engineers. It is difficult for my mind to comprehend the 30 years of hard work and periodic death marches I have endured to get to be a Senior Engineer. The vast majority of the population would not even consider doing what I have done. And it is not just me, every person that works for me feels the same way. Because the people on my team have very special skills I pay them pretty good. If they quit there would be great pain for me and the Company. As a result they are valuable. So I pay them decent. They also have decent benefits. I don’t think they are going anywhere. I would be really surprised if one quit. My team performs a valuable service to the Company. It is one of the reasons the Company makes money and employees a number of people. We are all getting paid because we generate a product that is in demand – a foreign exchange trading system. Other people are willing to pay to have us create, maintain, and enhance a foreign exchange trading system they want to use. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. People who are willing to do difficult things that others are not willing to do should get paid more.

    Can I ask an honest and sincere question though dshields; Is money the only reason that you do what you do? There is no doubt in my mind that you are a brilliant and accomplished engineer, and probably contribute more to society than 90% of the rest of us; possibly more than that. Would you stop doing what you do if it didn’t bring you more wealth and comfort than other people enjoyed?

    You see, in my vision of the future, you would still be held in the highest regard. The reason for that admiration would be different though. It would be an honest admiration based on a lifetime of contribution and dedication to the betterment of humanity. In my vision of the future, you and those like you would be the ones guiding things; not because you are better or more deserving of input, but because engineers and technicians actually know how to solve problems. Politicians have little to no technical knowledge of the issues that they are making decisions about. But it wouldn’t be decisions made in the interest of maximizing profit and squeezing out the competition. There wouldn’t be any competition.

    Imagine a situation where there are no longer any borders or barriers in the world. You could go anywhere you wanted and work with the top minds in multiple disciplines without worrying about giving away trade secrets or compromising intellectual property. You could use your talents and skills solely for the betterment of mankind; reaping the direct rewards of that service through public recognition, autonomous self direction, and salient evidence of the positive effects of your work on the lives of people. Tell me, if all of your baser needs were met and you had access to all of the “things’ you could ever want or need, would that not be reward enough? Imagine the world we could create if we were able to get all of you amazing people together cooperating to make the world better. There isn’t anything that you couldn’t accomplish. As it stands, that kind of global cooperation is not possible, nor is it desirable in the context of protecting corporate profits.

    • Tue, Aug 21, 2012 - 10:32pm

      #34

      ALIHAYMEG

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      Almost Complete Agreement… Almost

    Tyranny is when the government controls everything and confiscates your assets for themselves and/or for redistribution. The government should be minimized – both in size and power. The constitution did a pretty good job of that. But we slipped up and allowed our government to violate the constitution. A lot of the mess we are in now is due to that one issue. For instance, why is there a Federal Reserve ? Why does America have to borrow all its money from a banking consortium ? That is crazy. The constitution clearly states that the Federal Government as the authority to create money. The Federal Reserve should be nationalized – the sooner the better. I can not imagine what possessed people to allow the creation of the Federal Reserve. We pay enormous sums to a banking consortium for the privilege of borrowing our own money ? That is clearly broken. I can not imagine why this is tolerated.

    Of course you are absolutely correct about everything you said there. I see reversing all of those things as the beginnings of the solution; I’m just not stopping there. The current system is tolerated because none of us were alive to see it any other way. It is the epitome of normalcy to us. There was always going to be a “Federal Reserve System” implemented; of course there was. It is a mathematical certainty when the underlying system rewards greed and encourages manipulation for personal gain. Getting to the place that you want to get would be a great start, but we will end up exactly where we are again if we stop there. It is “the system” itself which is the problem. As I said before, continuing to do the same things expecting different results is insanity. Nothing will change so long as we ignore the fact that we must change our goals from self-serving personal interest to serving the common good and identifying with EVERY other person on the planet as kindred. That is the emotional and logical transition that will lead us to finally understand what it means to be “civilized”. We have a very long way to go.

    • Tue, Aug 21, 2012 - 10:18pm

      #33

      ALIHAYMEG

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      The fallacy of the “Meritocracy”

    It seems clear at this point there are some problems in this topic. There are always going to be some people who are more intelligent or industrious or just plain lucky than other people. On the other hand there can be excesses. We have excesses. Compared to say the 1950s we have a very different wealth distribution now. This is a problem. History has shown that nations become unstable when wealth distribution becomes to lopsided. We are heading that way right now.

    I’m in complete agreement with everything you wrote in that post dshields. I think maybe one problem may reside in the differences in our individual worldview. Although I agree that there will always be those who have varying measures of intelligence, determination, and luck, I don’t see those things as being reason enough that those individuals should have more than anyone else for the sake of their talents and abilities. That may sound like an unreasonable thing to say, but let me explain why I have come to feel this way.

    We had no say in where, when, or into what situation we were born; that was purely the luck of the draw. Some may hold to the notion that they were somehow pre-destined to be whom and where they are, but i see no evidence to substantiate such a belief. If we accept that our birth circumstances were “accidental” and not “determined”, then we must also recognize the truth of the matter; namely that all that we are is the result of things that are out of our control. It is a short trip from there to realize and accept that what we produce, invent, or imagine is not really our property. It belongs, because of the myriad of influences and happenings that conspired to make us who we are, to every human being. I see no justification for the concept of “intellectual property”, nor do I see any usefulness in the concept other than to hoard and control an inordinate amount of wealth and influence in the world. It’s a foreign concept, I know; but one that I think needs to be considered in order for us to get to the kind of world we all want to live in.

    I have many talents and abilities that the majority of human beings do not poses. Does that give me the right to claim ownership of the resources that you need to survive? I think not. Does it somehow make me a more valid or valuable human being than you or any other? Of course not! This is the “revolution in consciousness” that is happening around the world right now. Human evolution is leading us into new territory; new ways of seeing one another and the world. Viewing the world this way does not allow for inequality. It demands that every human being be granted an equal “right to life”, and that NO ONE be allowed to jeopardize that right by having infinitely more than they need; so long as that situation leads to suffering for others. I have yet to hear an argument that could make me see it otherwise.

    • Mon, Aug 20, 2012 - 10:50pm

      #30

      ALIHAYMEG

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      Still Not Far Apart

    OMG – I could go on forever on this. Where to start – hmmmm…

    There are these nasty little things called facts and numbers. They always get in the way. They get in my way all the time. I can see they are getting in your way also. Please see my embedded comments prefixed with “dws”. I would suggest you read a book called “Liberty and Tyranny” by a crazy named Mark Levin. He gets a little carried away sometimes but he is on the right track. We have to get the government back under the control of the people. The fundamental function of the US government is to protect the rights of the people. The government has lost its way. And, you are right — we all need to work together as best we can in an effort to reorient the government back toward its intended purpose.

    Numbers do not concern me nearly as much as seeing the world become the kind of place that EVERY human being DESERVES to live in. The sad truth is that “we the people” have never HAD control of our own governance. That was just an illusion. Our government is “privately owned and operated” and always has been. There is nowhere to get “back” to; the only way is ahead, and together.

    • Mon, Aug 20, 2012 - 10:44pm

      #29

      ALIHAYMEG

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      “By Design”

    dws – The Fed Gov needs to be cut approximately in half. Spending must be brought in line with revenue or there is going to be a financial collapse. We have a government we can not afford. Our economy simply does not generate sufficient surplus to pay for the government we have. Half the Fed Gov needs to be released back into the private sector where they can be productive. That is a problem right now as there are not enough jobs for them. We are caught in a terrible debt trap at the end of the largest credit/debt bubble in recorded history. The politicians have massively screwed up. They promised impossible things and people voted for them. I personally attribute this a fundamental failure in the education system. People do not have sufficient critical thinking skills to understand what the politicians have and are doing to them. It is going to be a terrible ordeal to get back into some kind of reasonable balance. Many people are going to suffer. Many of them are completely innocent of any wrong doing other than not voting for responsible politicians or simply just not voting. One problem with my view here is there have not been a lot of responsibile politicians to vote for. Oh well – it is all water under the bridge now. If the people had demanded responsible politicians they would have got them. It may be harsh but America will get the government it deserves. We got what we asked for and now we are going to pay the price.

    I sympathize with your position here, but I think you may have missed the underlying point of that section of my post. The point is that the system and the way that it currently operates is “BY DESIGN” leading to great wealth for a privileged few at the top. I don’t claim to know every nuance of the issue, but I am positive that giving even more power and control to the international private interests that caused this crisis in the first place is the absolute worst idea I’ve ever heard. Corporations perfectly fit the definition of a psychopath; and since they are considered to be “persons” under the law now, they have been set free to wreak havoc on our lives and our economy without any of the responsibilities and social pressure that being a “person” usually comes along with. Private interests and their continuing campaign to use their hegemonic control over the wealth of the word; hiding behind their make-believe “persons” known as corporations, are the CAUSE of the problem, not the solution.

    • Mon, Aug 20, 2012 - 10:33pm

      #28

      ALIHAYMEG

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      Still Not So Far Apart

    dws – We agree here to a point. There is surprising waste. Stupid stuff should not be made. A Prada hand bag might be a good example. However, if people want to work and use their income (their private property) buy stupid stuff it is their right to do so. Once again, there is this little thing called Tyranny that we need to avoid if we are going to survive as a civil society.

    Tyranny wears many faces. One of them is the forced subsistence by the majority due to the greed of the minority. I really don’t care how many houses, cars, boats, etc. the wealthy man wants; not so long as there are 20,000 children dying every single day from poverty and preventable diseases. Again, the “spear” wants the freedom to skewer as many of the little fish as he sees fit, and considers it a limitation of his freedom to be kept from it. That is usually what politicians mean when they use the word “freedom”; “The power to take as much as I want; without regard for any other or the planet; and I will consider any challenge to that “divine right” to be an act of tyranny.” I would suggest that a new definition of freedom is needed. One that doesn’t defend exploitation of one group to benefit another; one that is balanced and reasonable; taking into account the sustainable practices that will allow our species to survive; without all of the religious notions of some divine “invisible hand” guiding markets and providing prosperity for a privileged few. We can no longer afford such childish notions.

    • Mon, Aug 20, 2012 - 10:22pm

      #27

      ALIHAYMEG

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      Not So Far Apart

    dws – You can not just confiscate the private property of people and redistribute it based on your opinion what who should get what. There is a name for that – it is called Tyranny. There are these little things called the constitution and the bill of rights that get in the way of that.

    Every definition of tyranny that I have seen includes the element of coercive force. There is no situation that I can think of where that approach would be either justified or desirable. It also isn’t necessary. What is needed is for people to realize that they have been programmed to believe a certain way; that a person or group who has the power to take something also has the “right” to do so; regardless of the harm their avarice causes to others. What we are debating is really regarding the difference between “negative freedom” and “positive freedom”. It’s a long-standing debate among intellectuals. Negative freedom is the absence of restriction, and is most often the position taken by those who already poses at least some level of mastery over themselves, as well as a level of comfort within their society. It is the spear arguing that limiting his ability to skewer as many fish as he likes is a tyrannical limitation of his freedom. Of course, the fish see freedom as the right to live free from the threat of being skewered. Perspective usually determines a persons definition of freedom.

    The other understanding of freedom is its “positive” state. If negative freedom constitutes “freedom to” then positive freedom is “freedom from”. The popular analogy is to imagine yourself stopped at a traffic light. If you are able to turn in any of the three directions in front of you, then it could be said that you have complete “negative freedom” to choose, or the absence of any external restriction. What “positive freedom” does for you is to cause you to go strait in the direction of your place of work, rather than turning right to go to the local crack-house for a fix. It is a level of personal mastery, and often manifests as “delaying gratification” so as to reach a more desirable goal in the future. When perverted, this type of freedom can be used to justify many horrific things as it has been in the past. Governments use it all the time to justify limitations that are supposed to guide us toward “higher” thoughts and purposes. But, true positive freedom can only manifest itself from the inside out. True strength, power, and control are only valid when turned inward; never outward in an attempt to control others.

    I hope you understand now that my image of the future does not involve confiscating anything; nor would I ever support such a course of action. This must be a voluntary transition, as more of us begin to identify ourselves as individuals within a collective of equals; and also realize that an equitable world would mean better and more fulfilled lives for us all; including the 1%. It will happen eventually. It is inevitable.

    • Thu, Aug 16, 2012 - 10:33pm

      #25

      ALIHAYMEG

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      What the heck is that?

    Centrally planned socialism has never worked for any length of time in a large population.

    What exactly IS “centrally planned socialism” as per your definition dshields? Are you saying that human beings are incapable of cooperating for mutual advantage, and will always be forced to compete for scarce resources; violently and selfishly if necessary? If so, why do you believe this; and are you sure that you are not just repeating a mantra forced into your thinking through endless repetition and social reinforcement?

    I would love to go back to believing that way. It was so much easier than being an outcast. But I could never go back to that point of view after seeing past it. Give me even the slightest reason to and I’ll gladly go back to the easy way of believing.

    “Things” require price discovery so markets can allocate them efficiently.

    Not when markets are not doing the allocating. Not when allocation is based on the most efficient use of available resources within the context of human need. Markets are what distort the true value of “things”, making some items which have very little practical value, like a Prada bag, seem to be worth so much more than the utility of the materials involved in making it. That is the very source of the waste. We produce and consume items that have very limited utility (if any at all) out of an insane need to constantly consume more and more; creating inferior products that end up in landfills instead of being built to be upgradable; for no other reason than our incessant desire to perpetuate an insane and obsolete system. Why can’t we see past it?

    In the US the Federal Government consumes far too many resources and is straining at the bit to consume far more.

    Absolutely, but what is rarely discussed is the fact that our system is set up to operate this way. All of those “entitlement” programs that are so dreaded and hated by those who have no need of them are a source of revenue for thousands of businesses. That money doesn’t just evaporate into this air. First, the banks that issue the credit to our government to pay for the programs profit handsomely; (understand the difference between liability debt and asset debt) then state government workers are paid to facilitate the programs; and then the recipients of those benefits spend every last dime of that directly back into the local economies where they were received. Just try taking those billions of consumer dollars out of circulation and see how fast the ship capsizes. The causes and solution are much more nuanced than the rhetoric.

    I also find a positive in that it is allowing people time to prepare for the coming events. You should use this time wisely.

    Use it wisely by doing what though? Most of the solutions and preparation advice disseminated here seems to be aimed at those who have the means to buy precious metals and other commodities in anticipation of having something of value after the crash. I can tell you that there are millions of us out here that do not have that option opened to us. A solution that only protects the few while watching the rest perish is no solution at all. The only way to get there is together, with strategies that transition us away from this insane system that is so disconnected from reality.

     

     

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