I’m interested in making a society that can adjust to the pressures of modernity, including escaping the trap of prosperity that no nation in history has ever survived. I consider this list a work in progress as I begin in March of 2017. I will add things over time.
I’m not interested in being “left” or “right.” I just care what works.
Left pros: Understanding that society must prosper as a whole.
Left cons: Silly, naive views on human nature leads to lowest common denominator in everything, indiscriminate redistribution that bleeds societies dry and ends in famines that kill millions.
Right pros: More accurate views of human nature, including its unpleasant aspects.
Right cons: Stupid obsession with individualistic competition. “Free market” everything a flimsy excuse for sociopaths who want to parasitize the defenseless and then glory in the potato famines caused by their “good” greed.
Both right and left: See the world through the relentlessly materialistic paradigm of enlightenment thought, unable to address basic questions of social purpose or meaning. Both love to tally up wealth and maximize productivity but neither is capable of asking “what is the highest purpose of wealth?” or “what is the greater purpose of production?”
So what then are some of my views so far on how societies should be run?
Money: Is just a means of exchange every last cent of it must be kept consistent with real world wealth, financialization of the economy kept under strict control and heavily audited. Those who defraud the value of money against real wealth are far worse than murderers and to be ruthlessly hunted down and destroyed as parasites.
The important concept is that finance is a tool for effectively moving, using, and growing wealth. If wealth is blood, finance is like a heart that pumps it. So not only must finance serve the purpose of keeping the whole body nourished with oxygen, it also has the implicit responsibility to send blood where it does the most good. A heart that sends most blood to the appendix rather than to the liver is dysfunctional.
Health Care: Some kind of single payer system is normal in every civilized country except the USA. It’s an obvious domain of the state like the highway system or the military. Insurance maybe works for rare and/or avoidable events, but pretty much everyone is guaranteed to need healthcare, even if it’s just getting a checkup or going to the dentist.
The focus would be on urgent care and basic preventive care. The goal is so no one has to worry about dying in the street or being in debt for life if they slip and fall once in the shower and get an ambulance ride. Anything strictly optional and cosmetic like sex-change operations would not be covered by tax payers.
Also, the reality is human life is fairly cheap and varies depending on who the patient is. Taxpayers shouldn’t pay hundreds of thousands for a 70 year old with cancer to live another 6 agonizing months.
Even homeless off the streets should get basic treatment for common ailments, but if they need expensive procedures, like elaborate surgeries, forget about it.
The most expensive medicine would be for people that can pay for it, and those who can’t pay die as we all must sooner or later. But no one would die or have their finances ruined by a mundane emergency.
Military: Monopoly on violence is the fundamental basis of all government. On a small scale you have protection rackets. On a large scale we call it taxes.
However, the military when not in use just sits there, sucks up wealth and produces little of worth. Therefore, the military should be big enough to be a credible deterrant to other powers but no more…Unless there is a neighbor worth conquering, a proposition that becomes increasingly unlikely in a world defined by diplomacy between nuclear powers.
Of course, in a neo-tribal age, much conflict will no longer be between 19th century nation states, but between local tribal militias fighting town by town, city block by city block, just as we see already in the Middle East. As over there, conflict will be mostly low tech with some innovations such as using drones for reconnaissance. The will to fight and ability to fight sustainably is more decisive than having state-of-the-art weaponry.
Abortion: Infanticide was common even among stone age peoples for obvious reasons. If populations aren’t planned, then everyone ends up starving.
In modern populations, it is a matter of course to make abortion an instrument of eugenics, made easier or even incentivized for the dumbest and lowest of character.
Babies should be screened and those with disorders such as down syndrome be aborted. One retarded kid will cost society millions of dollars and decades of wasted time of hundreds of people. If they manage to reproduce the cost is compounded across generations. Society is already competitive, nature is harsh. It is merciful to not bring into the world those who will never have a chance at life.
Education: Looking back, there’s nothing we learn at school most of us use in real life beyond basic literacy and arithmetic. Education in practice is mostly political indoctrination and public daycare that makes it convenient for adults to pay more taxes to spend more time at jobs. In practice, public schools are just welfare for employers and for older employees by keeping the young out of the workforce for longer.
So aside from classes that teach children literacy and math through algebra or so, state education should be disbanded entirely. Children sufficiently taught at home should be able to test out.
If it’s worth doing, businesses will actually have to take on apprentices with little pre-existing skill and train them.
The steady supply of slaves put into debt with public college loans would be cut off. Universities would go back to being a niche service for the upper classes.
People have varying aptitudes and natures, those who have it in them to rise always will. If someone is naturally curious, they read. The public money would make sure everyone has easy, quick internet access rather than funding a worse-than-useless school system that wastes the youth of entire generations that could be apprenticing and the labor of millions of teachers and administrators in make-work.
At all levels of nature it is better to do nothing than to engage in useless activity. So in post-industrial society, it makes more sense to pay someone to stay home than force them to find frivolous or even destructive ways to make money.
Leisure is possibly the the single greatest problem of modern economies. Our economic system goes by the pre-industrial assumption that there’s always more work that needs to be done. This was more or less true when the vast majority of people farmed for a living. Now that hardly anyone farms and robots do a great deal of manufacturing we no longer need the whole labor force to be active all the time and that’s a good thing. If we think of society as a body, it’s good it has surplus energy.
Society however requires everyone to work to eat which results in “higher education” that keeps young people off the labor market for longer and foodstamps for the underclasses but not for valuable social cooperators who have done more to earn paid leisure. The inability to reconcile the religion of work-to-eat with reality just results in a distorted system.