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RE: An Introduction to Wage Slavery

in #philosophylast year

As always, this is a great and thought provoking post, thanks @clayboyn :-) I agree with almost all you say, only you're blaming the wrong entity, as so many do these days, in my opinion. Well, not exactly the wrong entity... It's complicated... The government is not the problem. The need for government is embedded in this "agreed value of exchange," which is a contract, which can only be "binding" when it's backed up by force. If you want to maintain a system of exchanging property, you'll need to protect that property. Property, or ownership, is a legal construct and the beginning of the loss of freedom. And what is "freedom" anyway? Freedom can be found on an uninhabited island (put extremely, but you know what I mean).

Or, put in another way, how can government, in itself, be the problem in a democracy (if we had a real democracy)? If we (the people) keep electing these rich representatives, because, hey they're rich so they must be very smart, they know how to become successful in life, aren't we the problem then? This is the real tragedy of Trump's election (and upcoming re-election); it's the ultimate vote of confidence in a failing socio-economic model, one that leads to further atomization and divisiveness. The businessman as savior of the common folks... it's so sad...

Government, in itself, has never been the problem; we need to organize if we're not to fall back into a tribal lifestyle. We're not owned by the government, but by the ruling class that owns them. That are them. Our real problem, for the last 12,000 years since the neolithic revolution, is that we've been unable to deal with the surpluses we produce when cooperating in large groups. Freedom in a material world starts at the material level, simple Maslow equation. It's not the government, but a 12,000 year old economic system that holds us back. And all major narratives have always served to maintain this layered system, be it the Bible or the The Wealth of Nations. Started with the largest farm, and now we have the Fortune 500.

Freedom is when the farmer, the accountant and the surgeon all realize they're not on an uninhabited island, that they're all depending on each other, as well as on all their other "customers" who follow different walks in life. Depending on each other for their mutual "freedom," there is no such thing as being independent in this age. Let's not call it "government" then, but we need to organize. And the bigger the organization, the more potential freedom we create for each other. Even world government, or world organization, in itself, doesn't have to be a problem, could even be the best thing ever; think Star Trek. Unfortunately we didn't go Roddenberry's way but Orwell's, so now we have to fear world government, even our own governments, as you so eloquently explain.

We've been continuously disappointed, shafted even by our governments for as long as we've been alive. This, for me, is just another indication of how the real owners, the capitalist plutocrats, have always managed to shift the blame away from themselves. Your social security number is just another bar-code indeed, which should be another indication that you're owned by a corporate, not a political class. This government is not to be trusted. No one should be forced to pay taxes to fund wars in countries far away. But everyone should see the need to contribute to all we share in the commons. Freedom starts with not having to worry about surviving tomorrow, and we've managed that potential a long time ago. We still have that potential, but it'll never come to fruition if we keep telling ourselves that we're independent. We're not. We never have been, and it's not the way forward, despite beautiful developments like CRISPR, 3D printing and the likes.

Sorry for the rant my friend, got carried away a bit...:-) All this to say that I essentially agree when talking about the government we have, but not when talking about what government should be ;-)


Let's not call it "government" then, but we need to organize. And the bigger the organization, the more potential freedom we create for each other.

I think this is the exact situation we currently find ourselves in. Government is bigger than ever, which in no way is leading to more potential freedom from my perspective. LOL, we'll have to have AI run the "organization" to finally get rid of the human condition, greed, and self interested pricks sucking the life out of us like mosquitoes.

Maybe I worded it wrong, I agree with your suggestion. And I didn't mean that government needs to be big, I meant to say "the more people are represented, have a stake in the organization and contribute to it"; the "organization" itself doesn't have to have any people at all perhaps, one AI could do it, maybe ;-) We could find a way to make democracy work for the first time in history, maybe aided by AI, maybe on a public decentralized blockchain even. Who knows. We're now not really facing a situation with big government; we're facing a big board of directors ;-) Still the organization needs to be there. There is no Invisible Hand, and the human condition is not set in stone. Greed is not our defining characteristic, a measure of self interest is but one of our many qualities. I know it's quite something to go against 12,000 years of evolution, cultural evolution mainly, but what is 12,000 against the hundreds of thousands of years our species exists? I'm optimistic like that, can't help it :-)

It never hurts to dream. I try not to be overly pessimistic, but I also think it's important to honestly assess the situation for what it is and most people don't even realize we're enslaved by corporations hiding behind benevolent rulers that we allegedly choose... we're a far cry from my ideal society, but I can appreciate it for at least helping me realize what I do want to see. I think I just need to go build a seastead...

That's a wonderful attitude to have; to appreciate this world for the contrast it provides to what we'd like society to be :-) And hey, it's not all bad; life's still a miracle ;-) Still, I think we need to keep talking about the dream, and be clear about who we really talk about when we say "government," because you're exactly right when you say that most people don't have a clue... Although I'd wager that the numbers are tilted the other way here on Steemit ;-) Thanks again for a great post my friend 🙏🏼

Let's not call it "government" then, but we need to organize. And the bigger the organization, the more potential freedom we create for each other.

That was a good quote to extract from @zyx066's comment, @clayboyn. Stuart Kauffman, the chaos theorist who used to work at the Santa Fe Institute, found exactly the opposite to be true in his computer models. The larger the organization, the more it tended to bureaucratically "freeze up." We know now that it was because of the centralized nature of larger organizations.

zyx066 goes on to say that there is no such thing as the "invisible hand," but of course there is. We just have a different name for it now: spontaneous order. In his experiments, Kauffman decentralized his landscapes (which is exactly how blockchains work) and this is how he described the result:

"When the system is broken into well-chosen patches, each adapts for its own selfish benefit... No central administrator coordinates behavior. Properly chosen patches, each acting selfishly, achieve the coordination... [C]ontrary to intuition, breaking an organization into 'patches' where each patch attempts to optimize for its own selfish benefit, even if that is harmful to the whole, can lead, as if by an INVISIBLE HAND, to the welfare of the whole organization."

Anyway, really good post. Wish more people would look at these issues and give up the knee-jerk cheerleading of government attempts to "help" us.

Agreed, we don't need bigger governments, if anything we just need more governments. My perfect world view involves autonomous self governance, but if we could even get down to a state/or local governance level and decentralize these massive countries into actually adapting to fit all kinds of people instead of trying to force all kinds of people to fit into few molds, I think that's where freedom can truly be found.