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Posted: 12 August 2009 11:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]
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Chris Crawford - 12 August 2009 10:59 AM

1. An old Russian joke during Soviet times ran as follows: “They pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work.” Because there were no incentives to work hard, nobody worked hard. And so the economy was stagnant. What would motivate somebody to work in a job? There aren’t that many happy jobs; almost every job has its share of frustrations and irksomeness. If there’s no incentive to work in a job, people just won’t work.

Like I said, motivation is a separate issue. My research into motivation is what led me to the communal unit idea. In a community where everyone knows everyone else and everyone depends on everyone else to make the community work, there should be a sense of accountability towards one another—members are all working towards the same goals and slacking would not make someone very popular at all. The idea is to intertwine social relationships with working relationships, as they would naturally be in tribal communities.

2. There are always schemes afoot to abuse power. Power is the ability to determine what happens in society, and those things that happen always benefit one party more than another party. A good example of this is the road I live on. Back in the 1950s and 1960s, all the country roads in this area were unpaved. My road was paved before any of the others—but only partway. How far? As far as the house of one of the county supervisors. The county supervisor oversaw the work of the people who making road paving decisions, and he can make their life easy or difficult. So when he asked, they were happy to do him a little favor.

Again, hopefully this will be solved by the community aspect, since it puts everyone on the same “side” and eliminates strangers. But on a larger scale, you’re probably right. I still like Chicken’s idea of a skeletal upper level. That may be the only way to go.

Are self-interest and venality the CONSEQUENCES of capitalism or are they the intrinsic human traits that capitalism harnesses for public benefit?

I’d say both, in a cyclic sort of way. Although I wouldn’t say “public benefit” since it’s really more for personal benefit.

EDIT: Just saw your post, Chicken. Looks like you and me are on the same wavelength! lol

[ Edited: 12 August 2009 11:40 AM by domokato ]
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“What people do is they confuse cynicism with skepticism. Cynicism is ‘you can’t change anything, everything sucks, there’s no point to anything.’ Skepticism is, ‘well, I’m not so sure.’” -Bill Nye

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Posted: 12 August 2009 12:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]
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domokato - 12 August 2009 11:35 AM

EDIT: Just saw your post, Chicken. Looks like you and me are on the same wavelength! lol

Yup!  I thought the same thing.  I’m looking forward to your article.  Post it when you can!

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Posted: 12 August 2009 12:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]
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Capitalism requires profit, profit requires someone being shortchanged.

Not at all. Right now, you’re paying, say, $10 for Widget A. I build a factory that makes Widget A cheaper. I sell Widget A to you for $9. You’re ahead, right? I’m ahead, right? Yes, I have to borrow money to build the factory and I have to pay workers to work in the factor. But if the people giving me the loan get good interest for their loan, and the workers are getting good pay, who’s being shortchanged?

In order to succeed in capitalism one needs to be concerned with self-interest over communal needs and being for sale (venality) is one of many human traits CULTIVATED.  Humans can be anything; just, injust, selfish, selfless, charitable, or greedy.  Capitalism requires the worst of us.  Selfish, greedy, injust bastards make the most profit

1. I know a few bigtime capitalists personally and some of them are very decent human beings. They care about integrity and the community they live in. They’re not a large percentage of the whole (I have also known a few bigtime capitalists who were truely facinorous.) I don’t think it’s necessary to be a greedy bastard to be successful, but it certainly helps.

2. Yes, capitalism cultivates greed. But it doesn’t create it—it’s already inside every person. Pornography doesn’t make people lustful, they’re already lustful. Any social system you devise must cope with greed. I see no provisions for greed in what you’ve presented so far.

3. Any individual human can be selfish, charitable, etc, but groups of humans retain some fundamental characteristics. There will always be people who pursue sex foolishly. There will always be greedy people. There will always be selfish people. Your design must take into account these eternal truths.

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Posted: 12 August 2009 03:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]
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fotobits - 12 August 2009 07:45 AM
PatrickMc - 12 August 2009 06:37 AM

Actually, yes you can. Not only could you go for a motorcycle ride any time you wanted, you could use any type of motorcycle for however long you wanted, even models that you cannot afford right now. Most likely the types of motorcycles designed under the Technate would be far superior to anything that exists today due to the lack of Price System constraints (planned obsolescence, planned waste, etc).

Yeah, right. I can just waltz into the local Ducati store and borrow a $20,000 motorcycle any time I want. Keep dreaming.

Obviously that’s not how it would work. This is an example of why I keep telling people that you have to consider the big picture of how Technocracy works before you can really understand how any single aspect of it would work. That’s why when I say something that doesn’t seem to make any sense at all, it is most likely due to not having knowledge of these other aspects. That’s why I ask that you maintain an objective, open-minded viewpoint and ask questions as to how something would work, or r to fill in the gaps for you, rather than just shoot ideas down with counterproductive and insulting comments. Based on your reactionary comments so far you seem to lack an objective viewpoint.

As far as how the carsharing system would work, There would be a garage located within 1 block of your house where the vehicles would be stored. Such systems are already in use today in many major cities. It would simply be made better and more efficient in a Technate so that everyone would be able to use it. There would not be any name brands any more because if you read my earlier posts, you would have learned that production would be organized into functional sequences. Due to the lack of Price System constrains, the motorcycles (and other vehicles) designed and produced by the Technate would likely be far superior to those produced by the Price System. Fueling and vehicle maintenance would be handled by the garage staff, so that these things would no longer be of concern to the citizen.

Under the Price System, a citizen would have to own an entire fleet of vehicles and hire a permanent personal mechanic and chauffeur in order to enjoy the same privileges that a citizen would have in a Technate with the Technate’s carsharing system. Today, you have the “right” to own your own fleet of vehicles as well as a mechanic and chauffeur, but how many people can really afford that? One percent?

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Posted: 12 August 2009 04:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]
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PatrickMc - 12 August 2009 06:39 AM

Those happy living where they are could continue to do so. However, it may not be possible to continue to accommodate several million American’s habits of daily automobile commuting across long distances, because of energy constraints. Perhaps some form of mass transit could be extended to rural areas, such as commuter rail. The point is that the Technate *does not determine your needs for you*. That is a subjective decision which would have to be decided democratically by the citizens of the Technate. However, once the goals have been *set down*, it becomes possible to use objective means (the scientific method) to determine the best way of achieving those goals.

If society decides collectively that they want everyone to have a mansion on five acres and a fleet of sports cars, well, I’m sorry, but that just isn’t possible. It may not be possible to sustain the suburban way of life in this country (watch The End of Suburbia). An achievable goal is to provide the maximum standard of living for the maximum period of time. In other words, the maximum standard of living that is sustainable. Now, does that still sound undesirable to you?

Yes, unfortunately it does.  You say that I can have what I want, live in the country and continue to get to our jobs, ride motorcycles, travel at will.  Then you say well, that really won’t be possible if too many people would want to to that.  So, now I can’t have what I want.  Which one is it?

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Posted: 12 August 2009 04:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]
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Hawkfan - 12 August 2009 04:01 PM
PatrickMc - 12 August 2009 06:39 AM

Those happy living where they are could continue to do so. However, it may not be possible to continue to accommodate several million American’s habits of daily automobile commuting across long distances, because of energy constraints. Perhaps some form of mass transit could be extended to rural areas, such as commuter rail. The point is that the Technate *does not determine your needs for you*. That is a subjective decision which would have to be decided democratically by the citizens of the Technate. However, once the goals have been *set down*, it becomes possible to use objective means (the scientific method) to determine the best way of achieving those goals.

If society decides collectively that they want everyone to have a mansion on five acres and a fleet of sports cars, well, I’m sorry, but that just isn’t possible. It may not be possible to sustain the suburban way of life in this country (watch The End of Suburbia). An achievable goal is to provide the maximum standard of living for the maximum period of time. In other words, the maximum standard of living that is sustainable. Now, does that still sound undesirable to you?

Yes, unfortunately it does.  You say that I can have what I want, live in the country and continue to get to our jobs, ride motorcycles, travel at will.  Then you say well, that really won’t be possible if too many people would want to to that.  So, now I can’t have what I want.  Which one is it?

The maximum standard of living that is sustainable for the maximum period of time: This means that production would be matched to what was sustainable given resource availability, environmental constraints, people’s ability to consume, etc. Then production would be divided among each citizen (see energy accounting for more information).

[ Edited: 12 August 2009 04:09 PM by PatrickMc ]
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Posted: 12 August 2009 04:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 67 ]
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Chris Crawford - 12 August 2009 12:06 PM

Not at all. Right now, you’re paying, say, $10 for Widget A. I build a factory that makes Widget A cheaper. I sell Widget A to you for $9. You’re ahead, right? I’m ahead, right? Yes, I have to borrow money to build the factory and I have to pay workers to work in the factor. But if the people giving me the loan get good interest for their loan, and the workers are getting good pay, who’s being shortchanged?

Completely wrong.  The worker builds the widget and gets paid x amount of money.  You sell the widget for x + expenditures + profit.  The worker is getting shortchanged.  Good pay?  What constitutes good pay?  Minimum wage?  Less than that if you happen to be an undocumented alien.  If I made a product and sold it to you for what it cost to make and my time, then no one would get shortchanged.  That is not capitalism.  Capitalism lets the market set the price for every item, and the price is set off the backs of the workers.  PROFIT, that is the meat and potatoes of capitalism.

1. I know a few bigtime capitalists personally and some of them are very decent human beings. They care about integrity and the community they live in. They’re not a large percentage of the whole (I have also known a few bigtime capitalists who were truely facinorous.) I don’t think it’s necessary to be a greedy bastard to be successful, but it certainly helps.

I said: As with our current corporations, all is well when the CEO wants to work for the customer and with the public to make the best products for the people as well as contribute to the well being of the community. In post #54.  I am acknowledging that a good CEO is like a good king, fleeting at best, but still a possible scenario.

2. Yes, capitalism cultivates greed. But it doesn’t create it—it’s already inside every person. Pornography doesn’t make people lustful, they’re already lustful. Any social system you devise must cope with greed. I see no provisions for greed in what you’ve presented so far.

Again, I already said that:  Humans can be anything; just, injust, selfish, selfless, charitable, or greedy. In post # 60.  I never said capitalism CREATES greed, selfishness, etc; but that it CULTIVATES those poor qualities in us.  I have not presented an ECONOMIC system alternative, just a political system alternative.  I earlier suggested that your patronage system mirrored capitalism.  You disagreed so I have been defending my conclusion.  If you’d like to know the economic system I would suggest, that would be a communal system without possessions.  Similar to the technocracy ideals espoused in this thread.

3. Any individual human can be selfish, charitable, etc, but groups of humans retain some fundamental characteristics. There will always be people who pursue sex foolishly. There will always be greedy people. There will always be selfish people. Your design must take into account these eternal truths.

I completely disagree.  A political system does not need to prevent against the best or worst of our human nature.  Our societal norms will take care of our public behavior, and whatever simple limits set by individual “units” as posited previously.  I’m not saying that I want to set all of the rules either.  I think the individual “units” should go about setting their own rules.

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Posted: 12 August 2009 04:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 68 ]
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Chicken, I just got done reading what you were saying about social “units” earlier.  This may be of interest:

admin-chart.gif

Essentially, the “units” you are describing would be the different Area Controls.

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Posted: 12 August 2009 04:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 69 ]
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Chris:

The reason I suggested you read the two essays by Hubbert that I posted is because I think that you are one of the people intelligent enough to understand Hubbert. I would really be interested in what you have to say about those essays.

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Posted: 12 August 2009 04:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 70 ]
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Chris Crawford - 12 August 2009 12:06 PM

1. I know a few bigtime capitalists personally and some of them are very decent human beings. They care about integrity and the community they live in. They’re not a large percentage of the whole (I have also known a few bigtime capitalists who were truely facinorous.) I don’t think it’s necessary to be a greedy bastard to be successful, but it certainly helps.

I also don’t think that all capitalists are bad people. They are merely doing what they need to do to be successful, given the rules of the game.

2. Yes, capitalism cultivates greed. But it doesn’t create it—it’s already inside every person. Pornography doesn’t make people lustful, they’re already lustful. Any social system you devise must cope with greed. I see no provisions for greed in what you’ve presented so far.

3. Any individual human can be selfish, charitable, etc, but groups of humans retain some fundamental characteristics. There will always be people who pursue sex foolishly. There will always be greedy people. There will always be selfish people. Your design must take into account these eternal truths.

Technocracy is a post-scarcity system. A post scarcity system has as its requirements: 1. sufficient level of technology 2. sufficient trained personnel to operate the technology 3. sufficient natural resources to produce an abundance (abundance being as much as can be consumed by the populace. Keep in mind consumed, not owned).

If 50% of doctors are motivated purely by greed, then the remaining 50% would have to be sufficient to operate a Technate, or else you would not be able to satisfy requirement #2.

Basically, if you have the requirements for a post-scarcity system, than a post-scarcity system is possible. If you don’t have those requirements, than it isn’t possible. It’s as simple as that. Technocracy is a post-scarcity system. If you have scarcity, then you have to use something else. Technocracy is like a set of instructions for distributing an abundance when the fundamental requirements for abundance have been met.

I also would like to point out that Domokato’s proposed community unit idea is a new research project being performed by him and others, and is not a part of the original design. The Technate Administration as originally conceived is depicted in the chart above. I think the “social unit” that Chicken is describing is analogous to the Area Controls. No one in a Technate would be able to get together and vote to outlaw certain types of behaviors, except for obvious ones like murder, rape, vandalism, theft (the motivation for which would be gone), etc. This is because the Technate’s mandate is to provide every citizen with the maximum quality of life that is sustainable. Obviously if someone is murdered that is going to interfere with their quality of life. Since outlawing a behavior which is harmless to others would interfere with the quality of life of the person who wished to engage in such behaviors, it would be impossible to outlaw behaviors which were harmless to others.

[ Edited: 12 August 2009 04:49 PM by PatrickMc ]
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Posted: 12 August 2009 04:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 71 ]
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Completely wrong.  The worker builds the widget and gets paid x amount of money.  You sell the widget for x + expenditures + profit.  The worker is getting shortchanged.

Wait a minute—how do you know that the worker is getting shortchanged? You don’t even know what I propose to pay the workers, but already you’ve assumed that I’m going to underpay the workers. There simply is no support for that assumption.

Perhaps you believe that everybody should share equally in the profits. I’d be happy to do that if everybody shared in EVERY downside to the company. If I, the entrepreneur, am taking a risk in getting the loan, I’ll be happy to cut the workers in for a share of the profits—so long as they take a commensurate risk.

If we all make absolutely equal contributions, then we should all share equally in the profits. But what constitutes an equal contribution? What if worker X spent years learning a special skill and worker Y dropped out of high school. Are their contributions identical? How do you decide exactly how much more valuable the skilled worker’s contribution is? What if I spent years designing my magical machine that makes widgets more cheaply. Should those years be counted as part of my contribution? What if my idea is totally whacko and will never work, and the workers make a big commitment and they lose their contributions because my whacko widget is a total failure?

Our economy is like a complicated modern automobile and you’re trying to sell us a tricycle because it’s so much simpler. Yes, it’s simpler—but it doesn’t do as much.

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Posted: 12 August 2009 04:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 72 ]
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PatrickMc - 12 August 2009 04:17 PM

Chicken, I just got done reading what you were saying about social “units” earlier.  This may be of interest:

admin-chart.gif

Essentially, the “units” you are describing would be the different Area Controls.

Interesting, not the “units” I describe, though.  Maybe the “units” of the Technate, but not mine.

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Posted: 12 August 2009 04:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 73 ]
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Chicken:

It might not be completely the same thing, but there are many similarities between what you describe and how the Social Relations Units, Area Controls, and Continental Constabulary would function.

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Posted: 12 August 2009 04:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 74 ]
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I think Chris has “ignored” me because he hasn’t responded to anything I’ve said… that’s too bad. This presentation pertains to what Chris is currently talking about:

http://www.technocracy.ca/simp/purchase/page1.html

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Posted: 12 August 2009 05:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 75 ]
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Down the road from me, in Medina, NY is the Bernz-O-Matic Factory-Yup the propane, and Mapp gas torches and accessory company. Been there since the beginning. I’m guessing 60-70 years plus.
Well, the same company found a way to make the stuff cheaper. In China! Everyone here except some support staff is losing their jobs.
So, here is an example of making a widget cheaper, and people are getting shortchanged. I’m sure the Chinese workers are getting shortchanged too.
The consumer probably is too-yes the torches won’t be any more expensive, or cheaper, but more of their fellow Americans are falling out of work. What kind of role these folks and millions of others are going to fill, I don’t know. But it lessens the “communal economy” for most Americans. Just like when the Auto Plants and other big industries fall around here, there’s less folks walking around with money to spend. Less for education, less durable goods to buy, less eating out, etc. So all the other attendant businesses fall down.
And these guys and gals weren’t getting rich working there either.

[ Edited: 12 August 2009 05:13 PM by VYAZMA ]
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