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The Fundamental Differences Between Us

When people disagree, one thing I always try to do is figure out what is the fundamental disagreement. If you get to the very bottom of an argument you will normally find the main presupposition upon which you disagree. I find this exercise extremely helpful in that it makes me think about my own position and it also helps me intelligently debate against the contrary opinion.

Let me give you an example of how this works. Let's take the issue of gun control. On one side you have those who advocate for a European style gun control and on the other you have those who advocate for the status quo or even less regulation on firearms. Why this disagreement? On both sides are people who are rational, intelligent, who love their children and truly want what is best for this country (of course their are malicious trolls on both sides as well). This is where it is helpful to get to the bottom issue. Let me walk you through what I think the foundational issue is.

The gun control advocates (I am generalizing broadly) want guns out of the hands of ordinary citizens. They don't want them around except for military and police. When I listen to these people and hear their arguments I think they basically believe two things: First, that it is primarily the government's job to protect you. This means it is not your job, at least not first. There is an assumption by this group that the protection of life and property are primarily to be protected by someone else, i.e. the police. The second assumption they have is that the people in power can be trusted. In limiting who may have weapons there is an assumption on their part that the 'authorities' are trust-worthy and good. So, to sum up their foundational argument it goes like this: it's the government's job to protect you, and we can trust those in power.

Now, let's look at the gun advocate side. It's basically the opposite view. Why must a citizen be able to have a weapon (besides that it is an inherent right, ect.)? It is for two basic reasons: First, it is primarily the individual's responsibility to protect one's life and property. This implies that it is not the government's job, at least not primarily. If someone breaks into my house I will get my weapon and call the police, in that order. I want the police to come, but it is my responsibility, right, and duty to protect myself, family, and property first. The second reason is this; people are basically bad. There is a lot of garbage out there saying people are basically good deep down. But this simply is not true. We have great capacity to do good, this is true. However, we are deep down bad. We tend towards evil, not good. This is true of those in power as well. History teaches us that power corrupts. It teaches us that those in power will eventually abuse it and subjugate their people. While their are many people in power in the US who are good, responsible, and decent, they still have the tendency to do bad. I am not a fatalist, but the reality is; people are bad, and given the opportunity, they will do wrong. This premise urges me to arm myself, not as some crazy militant, but as one living in the reality of the world. So, to sum up the gun advocate/libertarian position; it is primarily your responsibility to protect your life and property, and people are basically bad.

Until we begin to engage on the foundational issues, we will never make progress in spreading liberty. We can debate facts, we can get emotional, but the most profitable thing we can do is get people to talk about the fundamental differences between us. What do you think?



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Sorta.... with a few corrections

I think it's more along the lines of

People who are For Gun Control:
-----Inherently trust government to keep order in everything
-----Believe that no man should be trusted left to his own devices

People who are against Gun Control:
-----Believe governments tend to become corrupt, favor special interest, and can't be trusted to do the simplest things without screwing it up. More government means more tyranny
-----Believe that man should be trusted to run his own life, that he is not a child and that no man should be more free than the next.

It's not that liberty minded people think people are basically bad. It's more like some are good and some are bad which is why putting a few men in charge of an entire population is risky. Better to have bad men working as individuals so they can be dealt with on a case by case basis and not have the umbrella of protection of being an elected official in the government with a license to destroy lives and launch wars.

Somehow arguing guns get in the way of working together on other

Switzerland has a real militia the kind US gun advocates crave. It also makes it illegal to upgrade a gun to make it more powerful and fire more rounds.

We argue cell phone use while driving without calling each other bad. Perhaps there is some way to avoid such terminology in the gun debates.

http://www.dailypaul.com/268070/outlawing-guns-in-cities-req...

dailypaul.com/268151/the-defense-budget-is-a-cancer-the-financial-cliff-is-chemotherapy

In Philly PA RichardKanePA

I pretty much agree

But can you clarify for me?

Believing that "no man should be trusted" is a conclusion based on a view. Why should no man be trusted? There is a premise behind that conclusion. I think the premise it's based on is the view that all men have a tendency to become corrupt, right? And that was my point :)

Do you agree with that, or do you have another thought for why "no man can be trusted"?

Also, you say that "some are good and some are bad which is why putting a few men in charge of an entire population is risky." I agree that it is risky. But if some are good, and some are bad, cant' we just see who is who and vote for only the good ones? Why can't we just do that? Why don't we just do that if that is true? For me, the answer is, all men are corrupt in their nature. They do not always do bad, some do lots of good. But, even the good ones could become corrupt and do bad, because it is our nature. Since that is our nature, we never want an entire population to be controlled by just a few.

What do you think about that? Does my reasoning make sense to you, or do you have another explanation? I truly would love to hear your thoughts :-)

"Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics." -Thomas Jefferson

I like the article

Thanks, Funny we have all depended on the government so long we now have to learn how to talk to understand each other again.

I think it is late in the day.

My belief is that Man is in a state of decay and corruption that ends in death. As we look at the physical world around us it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that death reigns supreme. It is this condition of mortality that is the mainspring of our moral lives. We each have a consciousness of our appointment with death and seek to accomplish as much as we can with the limited time we have available.

Whatever our intentions may be, whether one accounts them good or bad, this imperative will often lead us to adopt means to reach our goals that are less than good while simultaneously seeking to portray our goals as good since we are rationalising as opposed to rational creatures. We tend to take short cuts and spend little time to think through the consequences of our actions. This is amplified by our individual alienation from one another and our individual ambitions, passions and appetites. These lead to conflicting views on any course of action and even on the definition of what good action entails. We are quintessentially self serving and will rationalise everything we do to the greatest extent possible.

When we multiply all these individual tendencies into the actions of corporate mankind we can readily see the cause of the wars and revolutions that have plagued us from the beginning of human history. Anyone who has observed his fellow human beings and given thought to their tendencies will know that we will do in crowds things we would never countenance doing individually. Acting as a body we will authorise our leaders to engage in wars. in oppression of our neighbours and in theft on a grand scale under the guise of humanitarian objectives. What we have deliberately forbidden any one of us to do individually we shall nevertheless carry out collectively with a clear conscience having once more rationalised our actions as being in support of the group whether our nation or religion or ethnicity or sex.

Individually our immoral tendencies can be controlled by our fear of death or excommunication from our group. This results in moral codes with the purpose of controlling these adverse individual tendencies. Whether these moral codes originate with a supreme deity or have evolved due to historic exigencies they tend to be enforced by collective consent through agencies of the government whether religious bodies or security forces.

The control of intra social groups is generally accomplished most effectively by the control of the individuals who comprise such groups. Within any given society one or more groups will tend to achieve dominance and enforce their purposes on the other groups in the society through moral suasion and psychological messaging. The control of inter social groups is generally accomplished through war, subversion, revolution, international law backed by military action and economic sanctions. None of these actions would be countenanced if they were carried out by individuals with the exception of a mild form of economic sanctions.

Given this framework we can see I think that the direction in which humanity is trending is towards more collective action inter socially and control of individuals intra socially. This implies, if the original observation is correct, that we shall become increasingly lawless inter socially and totalitarian intra socially. It is difficult to see how this trend could be changed to any meaningful extent given that the underlying ontological principles are derived from our mortality, our alienation, our ambitions, our passions and our appetites. The interaction of good and evil within this framework is actually one of the dynamics enforcing its effectiveness.

Specifically addressing the question of gun control in the United States, the controlling group(s) will obviously fear the possession of arms by any large group that might threaten their control. Individual possession of guns is not a threat. However to neutralise any possible group threat it is necessary to disarm all individuals except those under the control of the ruling group(s). Therefore events in which shocking massacres take place must be portrayed as the work of an individual "lone" gunman.

"Jesus answered them: 'Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.'" (John 8:34-36)

people today are disconnected from reality.

I find that when many people make a "no heat" service call, they do not even know what type of heat they have. this is especially true of people with heat-pumps.
most people today do not know that over 85% of our power comes from "fossil" fuels. they do not even know why they are called that. they think that wind and solar power is the answer but are not aware that A/C power cannot be stored even for a moment.
many are of the opinion that we have figured out gravity and that we know what is at the center of the earth when the fact is we do not.

so, I ask you, is it because of our human nature or is it because people have been dumbed down so dramatically? Democracy was invented by the Greeks, it has a very long and very brutal history of failures. the Romans figured out what the problem was and it made them great. fast forward 2000 years and today most people cannot tell you the difference between the two and are of the opinion democracy is great.
I am of the opinion that it is not natural for people to be that stupid. when people become that disconnected from reality. all they really can operate on is base instinct.
peace.

I enjoyed this post, and my

I enjoyed this post, and my experiences mirror yours in large measure.

"is it because of our human nature or is it because people have been dumbed down so dramatically?"

It could certainly be both, in combination. But if there is such a thing as 'human nature' in a general sense (meaning universally applicable to all mankind), then surely that nature effects both the "dumbed downers" and the "dumbed downees" (for lack of better terms). Perhaps it is the nature of man to be both willing to believe lies, and to tell them. Willful ignorance would seem only a hairsbreadth away in such circumstances.

If indeed individuals are being "dumbed down" as you say...

and they may well be...then this must be the objective of the ruling group(s) as proposed in my original comment. This fits in very well with the trend that I perceive towards intra social collectivisation. It is I believe an inevitable result of individual alienation and powerlessness that each individual seeks to overcome through the exploitation of others. This may be presented as something more palatable but is indeed exploitation.

Incidentally the same tendencies were present in the Roman Empire which was every bit as exploitative as our own society. This is inevitable given the ontological conditions of humanity's existence. Fundamentally human nature viewed as a single organism, which in reality it is (we are all connected), has not improved one bit since the beginning, indeed one could make an argument that the process of physical death, decay and corruption that we have all inherited and which expresses itself in our radically imperfect behaviour has tended to accelerate to the point that we now believe the ruling group (s) intend to kill off 90% of the human race. Population control i.e. soft genocide is indeed the subject of polite conversation amongst the educated elites. How evil is that?

"Jesus answered them: 'Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.'" (John 8:34-36)

I suspect that you are correct.

in 1850 we were riding animals to get around and lighting our homes with whale oil. there were only 1 billion of us then.
it is indeed possible that the discovery of fossil fuels, in conjunction with the wholesale adoption of central banking ...
has resulted in a "human bubble"
if this is true. then it appears the bankers game has played out.

it is my belief that it is only restoring the political concept of Natural Law and Liberty that can save us. I think you are correct but I have been describing it differently. people are becoming polarized... and as a result they prefer to only play in their own little sandbox.
peace.

Please

Please speak only for yourself. I know there are many bad people but I am not one and I resent you categorizing me as such when you said:

"However, we are deep down bad."

Maybe you are bad, deep down, but I am not.

Thanks,

Mark

Bad

is a retaliative term. Anyway lets concentrate here and not go off on small arguments this is exactly how we are divided.

OK

Did not mean to offend you. But why do you say that. How do you know you're not bad in your nature? How do you measure something like that? And I am bad deep down, I know this to be true of myself. However, if most people looked at my life, they would say I am the 'cream of the crop'; a good person. External is not all that matters.

"Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics." -Thomas Jefferson

This topic is sort of silly

Seems arrogant and presumptuous to make broad statements like "people are basically bad" or "people are basically good." People just ARE. Doesn't matter what anyone thinks of it. Regarding gun ownership, people are people whether they work for the govt. or not. If the argument is that because people are basically bad, they shouldn't have guns...wouldn't it be best that everyone have guns so that they'd kill eachother off since they're all basically bad? If people are basically good, they can be trusted with guns. So either way, gun rights shouldn't be prohibited.

Idealists prefer the theory that people are basically good. Pessimists prefer the theory that people are basically bad. Some of us are a bit of both and see people as both good and bad. In the end, it's all just intellectual masturbation.

Come on now,

calling this intellectual masturbation is not very respectful. Why do people conclude you can have a gun? Why do some conclude you shouldn't? My point is these are conclusions. And conclusions are based on premises. It's good to look at the premises we hold and not just debate our conclusions. You are of course free to disagree with my premise, but please don't belittle me for having one or for putting it out there.

"Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics." -Thomas Jefferson

You're being overly defensive

I didn't belittle you or anyone else taking part in this discussion. I've been reading the comments and have posted a few of my own, because I think the discussion is interesting. The thing is, "good" and "bad" in people is hard to measure and as the comments here prove, everyone will never agree on one or another conclusion.

Even if a conclusion could be reached as regards gun ownership, it's true that the govt. is made up of people. If people really are basically bad, it doesn't strengthen an argument for banning gun rights because govt. will never give up its guns and it makes no sense to allow some "basically bad" people to have guns and not all the others. That would just give one group of basically bad people an advantage over the others. The reverse argument would be something like: if all people are basically good, no one, including govt. would need guns; or, all people can be trusted with guns since they're all basically good.

Of course, if some people are good and others are bad, or there's good and bad in everyone -- that means some people in govt. are good and some are bad or they are all part good and part bad...so they should never have an advantage over everyone else.

Therefore, whether people are basically good or bad or somewhere in between can never be a good logical argument for disarming the civilian population.

Because all this seems so very obvious, the rest just looks like intellectual masturbation.

not really,

I was not being overly defensive, you just had a dismissive tone to your last post.

It is admittedly hard to measure good and bad. You said that "If people really are basically bad, it doesn't strengthen an argument for banning gun rights because govt. will never give up its guns and it makes no sense to allow some "basically bad" people to have guns and not all the others."

I agree! That's my point for gun ownership. Then you say, "if all people are basically good, no one, including govt. would need guns; or, all people can be trusted with guns since they're all basically good." I also agree, IF people were good, then guns would not be needed. In fact, government would not be needed at all.

You say that some people are good and some people are bad. I disagree. I think that some people act good and some act bad. And most people's behavior is a mix of the two. My point was never to classify everyone's behavior, rather, my premise was one of our nature. In the same way that it is in our nature to walk on two legs. We could classify the different ways people walk on two legs, but it's true that it is in our nature to do that. I assert that it is our nature to have a propensity towards evil. Not all our behavior is evil, and not everyone is evil or bad to the same degree. But that is our nature. See the difference?

"Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics." -Thomas Jefferson

Deep thought on "good" and "bad"

Always leads to confusion, for me anyway. I'm glad we agree on this issue relating to guns anyway, sorry if I misunderstood.

I think your opinion that we all have a propensity to do evil is correct. But you can't refute the opinion that we have a propensity to "do the right thing" as well. We're all individuals with free will, and whether we do the right thing in any given situtation as opposed to doing evil can depend on a lot of things...whether you're wise or ignorant, how much value you place on personal honor and reputation, the strength of your capacity to empathize. Compare Josef Stalin to Ron Paul for instance...clearly, there's a very big difference in the nature of these two individuals. Most of us are not as "good" as Ron Paul and not as "evil" as Uncle Joe...we fall somewhere in between. I just don't think you can classify everyone as being either good or evil. They go together -- you can't have one without the other.

Again, we mostly agree

I think we often have a propensity to try to do the right things, but, this is not because of our nature. It is because of our upbringing, religion, our laws, social pressure (i.e. if I do the dishes, my wife is happy, and if I don't well....), our own convenience, and sometimes doing the right thing is just simply better for self. Joseph Stalin and Ron Paul is a great example. It shows us two different sets of behaviors, not necessarily natures. Stalin has let his evil nature reign, Paul has not. Due to upbringing, school, religion, or even God's grace, Ron Paul does a lot of good. Stalin, not so much. Our behavior falls somewhere in between, but our nature, the very root of us, does not. It's either corrupt, or it's good.

By the way, Ron Paul agrees with me on this subject. He believes the same as me. Not that it matters, because he would never try to force his view on you or anyone simply because of his position. I don't want to force anything either. But reasonable dialogue is fun :)

"Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics." -Thomas Jefferson

I don't think there's a pat answer

Some people have a propensity to do the right thing despite a bad upbringing, having no church, living in a society with unjust laws and social pressure to do evil. There are siblings who grow up with the same upbringing, church, laws and social pressure, yet one turns out to be a very good person, another one very bad...while a third sibling might be somewhere in between.

My own experience indicates that there's no such thing as 100% good and 100% bad people. Everyone I know, including myself, have their own sets of strengths and weaknesses...we all do both good and evil. Some more good than evil (Ron Paul) and others more evil than good (Stalin). Some very bad people change and become very good. Some very good people go bad at some point in their lives. I agree that people are affected by external influences, but external influences can't be the only factor involved due to some of the above examples.

And I shall wrap up this issue once and for all by saying that Ron Paul agrees with me on this subject. He believes the same as me. ;-)

OK

Thanks for your comments and thoughts. I really appreciated hearing what you think and also your respectful tone. :)

"Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics." -Thomas Jefferson

Thanks for engaging me

Polite discussion is always a pleasure to me.

Perhaps....

Much of the above conversation (which was very interesting, by the way) could be condensed once terms such as 'good' and 'evil' are defined. But alas, we are bound to find sharp disagreements here as well, meaning the conversation may have ultimately expanded. Still, I think defining our terms is important for coming to agreement on a standard by which to measure any presupposition concerning human nature.

Ultimately, the original poster is 100% correct in that it is in our base assumptions that we are divided. Get to a persons presuppositions in any disagreement (and reveal your own along the way) and most disagreements can be more clearly understood, if not overcome.

I'm sure you're right

about defining "good" and "evil." I can imagine that discussion already:

Good: acting against one's own self-interest in order to help someone else.

Bad: harming others toward the end of serving one's own self interest.

Someone is sure to argue that serving others through self-sacrifice is a selfish act because serving others makes one feel good about themselves (how dare they!), or because they see a long term benefit to themselves by improvement of society through good acts (again, how dare they!). This argument comes up every time I've been part of a discussion on good and evil. I think the human race suffers from a collective guilt complex...no matter what they do, they find a way to condemn themselves and eachother based on suspicion of conscious or subconscious motives.

Yes

Yes! I failed to define my terms. I avoided it so as not to distract from my original post, but eventually, an undefined term gets in the way. Accurate assessment.

"Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics." -Thomas Jefferson

Fundamental differences in a nutshell

Programmed: Are people who get their information primarily from TV, Radio and Newspapers. They are also people who frequently fall back to their years of college brainwashing via textbooks written by corporations with an agenda... such as the entire subject of "economics." These people sometimes get their information from the internet however will reject anything that conflicts with something they saw on TV... calling it "conspiracy theory" while not even being conscious of what the phrase "conspiracy theory" even means... just that they were programmed that they should be ignorant of anything deemed by their programmers as "bad." These are people with a desperate need to feel they have everything figured out and will completely ignore anything that conflicts with how they see the world.

Educated: People who ask questions when they see something that doesn't jive with the "official story" of anything. These are people who have managed to develop a good "bullshit meter" because most of their research is done online. They are able to wade through piles of BS and identify kernels of truth. These people have developed the ability to question their own belief systems and modify accordingly... on the fly... as new information comes to light. Most importantly, they have developed the ability to self-reflect and are okay with the realization that they don't really "know it all."

Avoiders:

People who have an idea that all is not well but choose to ignore it because it bothers them. You can tell these people apart because they will be the ones doing crazy things like charging 5k on a credit card because they really wanted granite countertops.

50 shades of bad

Many of the comments lean towards labeling people good or bad or some accepted compromise. I think we can learn from Dr. Paul on this one. He advocates not labeling people into groups because of the problems that creates.

The reason? IMHO, it stems from there actually being too many gradients between all good and all bad. Even 50 different labels could cause problems as one progresses from one level to the next.

As I see it, all people are inherently good but each person in each situation (billions in a lifetime) weighs the pros and cons of doing good against those of doing bad. There are many reasons we could discuss for going each way but let's just investigate one of them.

Today, we live in a social paradigm where many fall into the "now" world. Television, ads, inflation and pitfalls have all trained these people that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. (I think there's even an old adage that says something like that!) This means that stealing is worth the future possibility of detention because the future is not set in stone. We even teach this to our kids at an early age every time we let them off of a punishment for doing a bad act.

Out of the box thinking...
Instead of labeling them and tracking their activities and trying to teach right from wrong, how about we create an environment where the gains of doing wrong are gone? If we ended scarcity, I think most, if not all, crimes of greed and want would disappear. (Sans the obvious mental health related ones.) If a person lived in a world where things were either free or very cheap (in personal cost) most crimes would vanish.

Unfortunately, there's one more aspect that needs to be addressed. Money and material goods are not all that are to be gained by increasing ones 'assets'. We must also remove the power that comes with the hoarding of assets.

This may sound hard to do but think of what power your local millionaire would hold if suddenly everyone on the block became a millionaire? If we address the inequality issues, I'm convinced that the power inequality issues will proportionally disappear as well.

I leave the details to future discussion because they are intense but this is the overall goal I think we should head towards.

Denise B's picture

Your thinking sounds to me

like socialism on a heavy dose of steroids and the scenario you envision would be impossible to achieve in the real world. How do you possibly create a situation where all things are free, and how would that solve a scarcity issue? Greedy people will not stop being greedy just because they get stuff for nothing...and who is going to produce the items that are then given away for free, and what would be their incentive to do so? "If a person lived in a world where things were either free or very cheap (in personal cost) most crimes would vanish."...this statement has no basis in reality.

What about the rapists, the murderers, the pedophiles, the child abusers, the spousal abusers, the power hungry, the greedy, etc. etc.....how do you "remove the gains of doing wrong" for them, when the only gain they receive comes from their satisfaction in simply controling and doing harm to others?

What about the elite who currently are the the root of many of the economic problems we currently face? What about the owners of the Federal Reserve? Everything to them is currently free because they print the money at no cost to themselves, yet they can't seem to get enough anyway, and it is not just the desire for money that motivates people to do terrible things, but also the desire for power and control over other people. Most of the megalomaniacs at the top of the food chain do what they do because of their insatiable lust for power over other people, and for some of them, the enjoyment they get out of other people's suffering. If you remove money from the scenario, these people are not going to suddenly change who they are, they will just find new ways to control and harm people.

"This may sound hard to do but think of what power your local millionaire would hold if suddenly everyone on the block became a millionaire?" This type of scenario would not only be hard to do, but impossible. Do you just print the money out of thin air and give it to everybody in the country? Isn't that what the federal reserve does and hasn't it resulted in the collapse of the dollar?

Also, you are resisting the idea that people are generally bad, but at the same time you are making the assumption that all millionaires are bad...sort of a contradiction it seems. Is it just the fact that they were able to earn a lot of money that makes them suddenly bad in your eyes? Your "address the inequality issues" statement sounds like a line right out of one of Obama's speeches. Money doesn't automatically make a person do bad things..I've known well off people that are kind and generous and I've known poor people that are cruel and unkind and vice versa.

It is not money that is the problem in this world, it is the people.

You're jumping to conclusions

What I'm proposing is nothing like socialism. In fact, it is the epitome of the free market taken to its fullest. If you had read my comments down further (probably on the next page by now), you would see that. I even told you this in a reply a month ago but you failed to reply to that one. Therefore, it "sounds" to me like you want to dismiss my comments but because I'm basically a good person, I'll try to explain it once again. ;)

You say it would be impossible to achieve a situation where things are free (or very easy to acquire as I qualified it) but earlier, I did explain exactly that. Simplified, I said that since the banks currently take about 60% of all profit from all industries, we could initially wipe that cost off the price by avoiding them. This would make 'our' company more profitable than the big corporations that produce the given product today. On top of that, we could offer the quality it takes for said product to last forever (in marketing terms). After those two are done, the price would be lower and the wages higher. This allows the beginning of a new set of changes. With a new mindset of workers, we can add automation in a cooperative, non-competitive manner. (i.e. keep the wages it displaces while increasing the quality and resource efficiency) This now removes the need for the employees but keeps wages higher. The ramifications are long winded but the result is earlier retirement and more community support, which again supports earlier retirement. Picturing this scenario after a generation, you'll find unemployment going negative. This is the scenario that SHOULD'VE occurred from the industrial, information and connectivity revolutions. Instead, we gave all its proceeds to the banks which kept us poor. In fact, we lost ground on the 'prosperity per work-hour' scale. All I'm proposing is to reverse that trend.

Here's the comment where I explain why I believe making everyone more equal, financially, will reduce much of our crime.
http://www.dailypaul.com/267434#comment-2877477

"I'll show how you (as a parent) can easily corrupt any number of the 5 five-year-old girls having a birthday party at your home. You can start with any premise you want on how many are good or bad. It won't matter. Just find something they like (say really good cookies) and place a certain number on the table for them. Depending on how many cookies you place, it is easy to predict their actions. I use this example because it closely relates to how banks control literally everyone.

Cookies available . . . . . . . Outcome
1 Either no cookies get eaten or one alpha becomes a tyrant.
2-3 arguments, cookie stealing, underhandedness, hurt feelings.
4 someone will either graciously cave (but only a few times) or someone will go postal. If this continues throughout the day, cookie power (by an alpha) will become self propagating.
5 democratic sharing, leaving some in the beginnings of a greedy stage.
6 democratic sharing, leaving either one cookie or one gloating.
7-9 similar to 2-3 with lessening effects.
10 similar to 5 but maybe some barter.
11-14 similar to 7-9 but less again.
15 similar to 10 but with much more barter and maybe some uneaten cookies left on the table. The power of the cookie 'control' is gone.
16+ Cookies do not alter the group behavior and posses no power.

How many cookies do you think our banks put out for 'the masses' (in proportion)? I'd say they keep us at 4. In that way, corporations get 2 and wield power while 2 people miss out. Some get enough, others get more and many get less. Fortunately for them, those getting less aren't always the same people in each 'snacktime' which promotes competition to be chosen. This also serves to support an underground system of favors, division and ethics corruption."

Hopefully, that will give you an idea of the "how" it works. A shorter example is how people treat the 'penny cup' at the convenience store. There's rarely any stealing of those pennies and when there is, the criminal is only punished with peer pressure. This is because those pennies are of low value compared to labor hours.

Now for the "why" it hasn't so far. I'm convinced that our society has associated wealth to our social ladder. In every case I see (been watching for it for years now), people collect money through various means as a way to collect social status. Sure, those at the top collect it for power, but what is power basically other than the top rungs of the social ladder? At every level (rung), people try to climb to the next level so their job of maintaining is easier (i.e. they have more distance between them and the bottom. This applies to corporations as well. Today's companies are even ranked on their annual revenues and nothing else. This leads to compromising ethics for the sake of a little more money. People take jobs they don't agree with (think ad writers and actors). They do work they disagree with their boss on (for fear of losing the job). They even do things at home they don't think are a good choice (think buying a sub-compact car that won't last 5 years). Even many divorces are replaced with crime because of the financial incentives involved (from both sides). At the corporate level, they back-stab and connive to get a promotion. All in all, my estimate is that more than 95% of all crime (not speeding tickets but real crime) is committed for some type of financial gain. Of the remaining 5%, we can take out the mental health related ones (not part of this discussion) and we're probably left with a fraction of a %. How's that for crime prevention?

In case you missed it, I also just explained how I can jump on the millionaires without calling them inherently bad. They are just controlling a larger portion of society in their ethical compromises. The reach of their decisions touches many more people than that of the poor. This doesn't mean they're bad but it also doesn't negate the fact that the inequality is doing harm. Basically, I'm saying that we eliminate the problem and people's nature will shine as being more good. What most people propose these days to satisfy inequality is to take away from those millionaires. We all know that is not liberty but the socialism you fight.

To your question about how this would stop the elites from grabbing power, I would suggest that without the minions they can now buy off, their efforts would quickly fail. I personally enjoy a vision where alternative media castigated them so badly that they had a hard time even purchasing food! lol

It is not money or people that are the problem. It is the control of actions by rigging the money game (along with other control mechanisms like religion, unethical advertisements, biased media, etc.) ... THAT is the problem.

Denise B's picture

I appreciate you

taking the time to further clarify your hypothesis...I did not see your others comments, so I was commenting only on that particular post. Let me preface (for Josf's sake) that I am in no way trying to "drag your good name through the mud" or "discredit" your ideas or have any personal grudge against you, I just am having a difficult time envisioning a situation where your scenario could ever actually occur, and your whole premise is based on a worldview where people are basically good (except for the vast minority) and my belief is that people are not basically good...so it would be difficult to come to a consensus of thought about what the solution to our problems would be.

Just to further clarify in my mind what you are proposing, I have a couple of questions/comments:

Unless you have a lot of money to start with, how do you avoid banks while operating a business? Businesses cost a lot of money to run, especially start-up costs, where is the initial capital to run the business to come from?

You also state after wages increase, you have "a new mindset of workers" but then go on to state that with this new mindset you can then turn to automation and get rid of the need for employees all together....if increased wages improved their mindset, how is no job at all going to affect it? Who is in control of all the money the company makes? Are you suggesting that the industry now runs for the benefit of the community and they all share the profits equally, while no longer having to work? What would people now do with their lives? I think that if people were basically good, you may very well be able to successfully create the situation you envision. I; however, personally think that it would be impossible in the world we live in, especially on a worldwide scale, because there will always be the group of people who try to rig the game, or fix the books or steal, lie, kill or cheat to give themselves a competitive advantage, if not with money, than by some other means.

The one area I think we can agree on is that central banking is the source of many of the economic problems we currently face and the first order of business should be to find a way to destroy that system...through public awareness and competition. I don't think that we need to go so far as to get rid of money all together (nor do I think that you successfully could) but getting rid of the central banking fiat money system we have would definately be a good start.

I also need to add; however, that as a Christian I do not think that the world's problems will ever be solved outside of God being the solution. I know that you don't agree, and I respect your right to disagree, but ultimately it is a topic where we will have to agree to disagree. :)