Topic: market.socialism.nl | Without a free market, land for all and a democratic State, a tyranny of the wealthiest will take over eventually.and
You should be able to chat with someone else who visits this website, or otherwise is accessing this channel on freenode.net. You may have to wait many hours, even days or more (depending). If you see someone logged in, that doesn’t mean they are available at their computer screen.
Freedom of speech as interpreted by undersigned (Jos Boersema) has few if any content limits, however you are asked to respect a decent form for your writing. No crude personal attacks, no swearing. The topic will chiefly be about the content of book “Distribute Power”. It is allowed to argue against what this website proposes, including to post competing links. Don’t flood but try to have a good debate. There will be warnings before there are administrative actions.
To get more chat lines in view, click the left/upper wheel symbol, and choose “inline” for “Message Layout”. You can get full page web chat here: https://webchat.freenode.net/##distribute_power or use a dedicated IRC (Internet Relay Chat) client.
The best place for free debate in the form of longer articles/replies is on Usenet, where nobody is in control, least of all the owner of this website. One suitable place on Usenet can be in the alt.politics hierarchy, specifically alt.politics.socialism. To access Usenet you will need a newsreader, or find a Web to Usenet gateway. There is some chance that I would see your posting in a few days/weeks, unless you e-mail me about you wanting to discuss something there. I can also debate this in some group of your preference, if you let me know about it.
The group “nl.politiek” is more or less ruined by trolls, to such an extend there are virtually no normal people there. If anyone wishes to debate there however (in Dutch), please let me know about it. Know how to operate your “kill file”.
Articles / replies
On https://debate.socialism.nl/ gets (typically) posted what seems to be the better replies or articles, below which you could write something and/or reply to others who have done so. Please strike a polite tone, or risk moderation.
Up and down vote page: https://market.socialism.nl/reactions/ (This is easy to manipulate, both by me and by people of ill will, so I would not think much of the result. Look for the content of an argument, and verify that they represent these proposals accurately. Without those two vectors, a reply by someone is meaningless. If you cannot keep to correct information and logical arguments but can be swayed by troll armies, you do not belong in a democratic society.)
Reddit has a number of groups dedicated to Capitalism / Socialism debates. https://www.reddit.com/r/CapitalismVSocialism, https://www.reddit.com/r/Market_Socialism, https://www.reddit.com/r/SocialismVCapitalism. You might notice that these forums are on the line between the Divide & Conquer camps: “Capitalism” / “Socialism” or “free market” / “democratic economic control” (etc). This seems to typically be the best place to discuss the ideas promoted on this website. (This author link.)
If you have other useful places, please let this website know about it, so they can be listed here. The goal is to facilitate debate, not to centrally control it. More channels might be created, existing ones owned by others might be listed here, regardless of their pro-/con- overall attitude.
The type of counter arguments encountered
Summary of the below: It seems that most if not all counter arguments so far encountered against this proposal by undersigned, fall into various types of shallowness, usually caused by a lack of understanding of what is proposed here. Typically even the most basic principles are not understood, let alone details or how various components end up impacting each other.
Unlike for some political movements, who seem to view the contra-argument to their positions with hysteria and panic, contra-arguments are not a problem here, but rather helpful, because it shows their weakness and the correctness of the arguments supplied here (hopefully). The shallow, uninformed and simply wrong arguments coming in a never ending stream against this proposal, only serve to underline it, to deepen understanding.
There are several types of arguments most often seen (by undersigned). One type is people reacting with how they don’t need a certain aspect of this proposal in their lives (right now). For example they think they don’t need land, or they don’t want to engage in a Council Government group. What seems to be forgotten by such arguments is the overall effect on society and the long term (the unpredictability of their own life, future generations, centuries). It doesn’t seem to fully sink in what it would all mean, how life would be different, on a personal level, or how it could not change if you don’t want it to, despite the laws changing. Few people want to become serfs to the super rich, yet seemingly not understanding that natural resource centralization is at the root of the power of the super rich to control everyone as their toys.
In this example: persons who “don’t want land” can ignore their land, it isn’t a problem. They can also rent it out and ignore it from then on, snapping up some money on the go. It is difficult to understand why this would be a serious problem, while the long term benefits of having an open and free economy should have their effects on the whole of society (less unfair wealth inequality, more job opportunities, end to unemployment, a standing invitation to become a creative and independent person, etc).
The same is true for the Council Government. Who does not feel like participating, then don’t participate. However when there suddenly is a pressing situation, you can jump into the fray and have your voice count in ways not possible in Parliament. You still need majorities, however there are options on a local scale also, which are strengthened by the power of land ownership and the ability to move land and housing close together for people who want to live a certain way, to then form their local Government majority there for themselves. Beyond that there is the right to Sovereign Secession, for large amounts of people.
From this you can see other types of contra-arguments, which are usually intertwined with the first type given above: shallowness of understanding, and outright misrepresentation. Why is a person arguing against land ownership for all, simply because they don’t think they need it right now, when they can ignore it ? What is the difference ? Have they thought about what it all means ?
Most people do not seem to take the time and effort to understand this proposal, while wasting little time to start their counter argumentation. This leads to either partial understanding, and its worse form: misrepresentation. Many people start arguing that this proposal is wrong, by arguing something that this proposal already agrees with or even has as part of its major principles / consequences. Many people argue that society needs a free market, apparently blissfully unaware that this proposal has a free market at its core, one that is more free for all than you can ever hope to live in under currently existing Capitalist Parliament. They are usually shooting from the hip without a second thought, reacting to the word “Socialism”, which has been re-defined for them by their ruling class. The word “market” in the name here, seems to be ignored.
The reversed morality argument category of arguments is perhaps the hardest to break through (see evolution theory appendix in the book). These are people who think that good is bad, and bad is good. They basically oppose doing something good for another person; they just don’t care. Sometimes the argument comes in a third party form: most other people are bad and don’t care, and therefore that person himself shouldn’t care either, or can’t be bothered to try to do something good.
It could be argued that this, again, is a shallowness argument, which does not take into account the long term of society, or even a personal life. On the other hand, it is a practical argument with a degree of truth in it. It remains to be seen if it is even possible to find one person with the ability to listen to another person, and together do something good, or at least on the level proposed here. Personally: I refuse to give up hope, despite some disappointing behavior by humanity in general.
There are also some less frequent arguments, such as that the name of this proposal is wrong (maybe it is), or that the font of a certain title is wrong, that the website isn’t looking smart enough, a certain symbol isn’t what it should be, etc. These are form arguments. My answer is: this material (except “sede – secure democracy”) is put in the public domain. Take it and make it better, if that (or whatever else) is the problem. I will happily link to your version, if it meets a minimum content quality check (perhaps even if it doesn’t). In all cases thus far (2020), the person in question just disappeared.
It seems to me that all counter arguments over time that I have encountered, have boiled down in one way or the other to shallowness, be it logical or moral fortitude shallowness. The most vicious form this shallowness takes is the misrepresentation or straw man argument, because it gives third party readers the impression that something is proposed here, which is not proposed here. The Orwellian American New Speak language seems to take its toll on the debate, in particular their re-definition of the word “Socialism” into the meaning of Marxism and Communism. Marxism itself also has become warped, since it is still debated whether or not Marx wanted a planned economy. People arguing in this vein seem to be the most closed minded, they listen the least, are the most prejudiced, and are typically under the tight control of American ruling class propaganda (the political right wing pincer of the great political Divide and Conquer system). They think they have an enemy in their sights, and now must proof their mettle to their comrades. Stomp out the enemy at all cost, put your fingers in your ears and start the attack !
Another often heard argument is the need to summarize this proposal. Although this system is as summarized and systematized as it needs to be, this call for simplification seems to proof in a way how the arguments given against this proposal seem to usually be forms of shallowness. Although it makes perfect sense to ask for the essence or a summary, often it just stays there even if a summary is given. A small effort allotted to understanding this proposal, will have to lead to shallowness in understanding, which in turn leads to a category of counter-arguments which are based in a failure to understand either the details, or even the central principle(s). How does one summarize a proposal which embraces both the economy, special provisions for land, the political system, military self defense and other issues, both as an architecture and as an implementation plan, within some 20 words ?
Is your car manual summarized like that, or a cook book, and if so could you make use of it ? Is 20 words enough to explain to someone new to it, what goes on in your field of work ? “Hello, I am a former truck driver, just arrived on this new job. Just give me the 20 word summary, and I will run this oil rig for the next year.“ ? Perhaps the best answer would be “I’ll show you the lifeboats, and then get off myself as fast as I can.” Doesn’t it follow that in a democratic society, the population in general needs to have an understanding of how their society is supposed to work, since they are supposed to ultimately control it ? Rather than more difficult, this is going to be easier to do when a proposal is detailed and argued out. All you have to do is page to the issue at hand, and deal with that. Vague proposals are harder to deal with. You will have to compute everything out into useful detail first.
This proposal is large. Society in its current size and extend of specialization, is not a simple thing. We are not living in subsistence farming hamlets anymore. If only we had gotten things right back then, we would have grown into this more complicated period on a better footing. We now have to make up for thousands of years of mistakes (typically in the direction of centralization of power, failure to organize on scale, and military peace). Society has become twisted over time (if it wasn’t already). It is true that this proposal tackles a whole bunch of issues. It isn’t your run off the mill paperback with easy to absorb platitudes which the author’s voters like to hear, mixed with sympathetic personal experiences by some politician seeking to underpin his career in the current order.
People seem to demand solutions, though. Solutions worth something, require a minimum of effort by the population ? It seems to be so in this case. You have to want to live it, or how can it take its effect ? If the ordinary man doesn’t change some things in their lives, the power to change things for the better just doesn’t mount. Politics is a numbers game, for all sides. Who demands change from the top to then be the spectator with a beer in hand: perhaps you came to the wrong website.
Lack of effort in general (exemplified by not being willing to understand this proposal), incidentally, makes a democratic society less possible. How can there be voting and content debates and decisions by a people without interest in almost anything beyond their immediate senses ? One could say that the picture that such people present, as a character, becomes the moral fortitude deficiency argument, thus making a more democratic society impossible for that particular person. In this way, the shallow arguments become pointers to something else which is deeper in that particular person himself: a lack of will to do the effort, a lack of will (or sometimes time/energy) to be good (but why bother showing up for a debate, shoot off a bunch of shallow negativity to than run away, whereas the time could have been used to deepen the understanding about something that is being proposed first ?).
This deeper issue seems to hook into the above listed counter argument: other people are bad and don’t care, and therefore that person himself shouldn’t care either. The argument becomes a failure of character quality in that particular person to live in a (more) democratic society. As such, that is a valid argument. To accept it, though, is to accept people as stunted beings for which there is little hope. I would have to ask: at least try, perhaps at least a few can try, give the others some hope, example and direction.
One time a professor agreed with me that everyone needs their right to free land honored, but he said students where not ready to hear that. I would have to ask: if not now, then when ? What is this science / scholarship worth, with that kind of games going on ?
However I look at it, and the more I think about it, everything in the contra category seems to boil down to the same thing one way or the other: shallowness. This is not personally for me a practical problem, I am happy to argue at length with anyone, and engage their arguments, whether or not they seem to be the result of a lack of effort or not. Perhaps it makes sense that most people seem to have shallow arguments, when you yourself have spend a decade or two thinking and working out a certain topic to the level of detail this proposal has gotten in to.
The last category of arguments, which are the rarest, are the (implicit) arguments made by people who have worked out a different proposal for society, and have or had this as a standing proposal on a website, much like this proposal here. This type of argument is an expectation or more or less subjective computation of how one thinks society to behave under certain rules. Such people have not yet afforded a direct debate with undersigned (likely due to lack of time or overwhelmed by volume of many others), however I could read their arguments as anyone else could. The difference this proposal has with those proposals, seems to be a different expectation of how people will behave under their rules (possibly vice versa as well, but I haven’t had the luxury of hearing a reaction, although I did send them mine).
In both cases I thought that there emerged a certain imbalance of power which could spiral out of control. In one instance the danger was from a political class, in another it came from a network of businesses (IIRC). To negotiate this out in detail, seems to be tricky and might lack the best standards of objectivity. This type of argument is the most interesting. Navigating such expectations, trying to foresee how very large amounts of people will behave over generations of time, even forever — how they will gnaw their way through the principles and rules of a society as they decay into decadence, stupidity and evil, this is the method used to come to the conclusions of this proposal here. It seems likely that such thinking also occupied the minds of my colleagues in the “art” of sorts, of making proposals in terms of principles (laws) for society.
Unlike for some other fields, it is not easy to run an experiment. It seems that all of us who are making some effort in this ideological direction have that same problem. It would be nice if people who believed in something, had more freedom to express their ideal in their lives. With that we are again back at the proposal on this website, which makes that possible, or at least easier (by way of land ownership as a right, the form of Government,, and ultimately Sovereign secession as a right). Hence you could argue that this proposal is not only good for people who want precisely this type of society, it is also good for others who want to use it as a stepping stone to get themselves to the way they want to live.
I guess this analyses of the counter argument is (again) an example of going (over the top?) in analyzing a certain aspect of this proposal, which is (again?) too long and bothersome for most/all people to read. You don’t have to read it, though. ;-). Changing society in serious ways however, is serious business. Millions of people are affected, for generations. Changing society in the wrong way, can have and often has had deadly consequences. The same can be said about not changing society, when it requires improvements. By definition it seems that much unnecessary deaths and misery are the result of either not changing something or changing it in the wrong way about the way society operates in general. Apathy is not a solution. Our societies are not stable, they are not peaceful and not just (enough).
The quality of a work, reflects the effort that has gone into it (plus ability of the worker). small effort tends to be a small work, big effort tends to be a larger work. It takes more work to build a city than it takes to build one bridge. The same is true for understanding something: effort equals quality. Stay critical every step of the way, so that you comprehend the why (the why not!), not just copy over from whatever source, be it this or another. I will happily engage you in a debate, enjoying your counter arguments, summarize something for you, etc. See you here, there or wherever.
P.S. Hopefully the seeming lack of the quality of counter arguments thus far, is caused by the bad luck by debating with some of the most inaccessible types of people, somehow failing to get through to reasonable people. On the other hand this should not be surprising, because western society (where English is spoken the most) is currently becoming more and more decadent, having a distracted and hedonistic people.
The harsh reality of a failed society going through a deep crisis is likely to improve the level of the debate. I suspect that at some point we will have a generation of people, who will laugh at the the state of political and economic ideology in the current world in 2020, and think of much of the proposals on this web site as perfectly reasonable and as obviously simply true as 1 + 1 = 2. Hope springs eternal ;-). lol
In absolute terms, what is proposed here may be detailed, it may be elegant and well put together (or not if you prefer), in the end it is hardly that complicated or far fetched. I don’t think it will be regarded as something extraordinarily brilliant, because it is such a bare bones simple and obvious thing in the end. A child could have made it up. Much if not everything in this proposal already exists or existed in the world, at best being tweaked a little and cobbled together, based on one simple guiding principle: to Distribute Power. There are much more complex (technical) things in the world. This proposal has a similar complexity as has modern society in its basic structures.
This proposal is for the most part sheer common sense. Rather than this proposal being thought of as extraordinarily great, I think the generations now alive will become regarded as extraordinarily … distracted, derelict in their political responsibilities. This proposal would be something like base line normalcy, a reasonable effort given the time to do it, no more than that. Indeed that is precisely what it is ! It is infuriating how this society failed to solve its basic problems, or how the evil super rich seem to manage to suppress what other good people likely have already done a thousand times, given how simple it is to do it.
Is it truly complex and great to “discover”, that 1 + 1 = 2 ? One apple plus another, has since forever yielded two, it is nothing new. To organize in groups with a representative, to give all their land, is that truly something new and great ? Hardly, it is straight forward and obvious — if not as the best way than at least as one of the major options we have for our society — to all but the confused. The current order of the world, political and economic, seems to be more complicated, convoluted, chaotic, ad-hoc and difficult to explain let alone operate, than this proposal.
All it might take to see the common sense in this proposal, is the taking away of the usual prejudices and indoctrination, which rage through the population as an all consuming fire, destroying their minds, destroying the ideological debate, destroying politics, destroying society, destroying our world. So this world will turn another leaf, on the ever turning wheel of time. What happens to a civilization when only a Miracle can still save it, yet the people themselves seem intent on wrecking the world ? With open eyes this society stares in the abyss, knowing full well it is going down. Then it opens a can of beer, flips on the tube for some soccer. Millions of dead cry out for Justice, lost in the cheer for a match won by strangers. Forests die, whole species die out, yet most eyes stay fixated on the next BBQ meat eating festival.
Hopefully the next turn of the great wheel of societies will bring more happiness than the one that is now ending. It should be possible, but it requires work to get it done … The technicalities aren’t that difficult. The difficulty seems to be in the will. Too many people love war and injustice, the raping and plundering of the world for short term luxury gains. There is a severe lack of caution in this society. There is a severe lack of caring about details and the long term. There is a great excess in the will to take, to exploit, to experience immediate gratification, to risk all for that last moment of triumph. With the technical ability humanity has today, carelessness is a deadly and unforgivable combination.
Sadly it is not as simple as a technical organizational problem, which a child can solve with a piece of paper. The root cause of humanity its failure lies in personal vices such as gossiping, clique forming, greed, social strife, carelessness, crudeness, etc. Such behavior ruins everything. Personal vices are the hardest to resolve, and have the greatest negative effect on society if shared by the overwhelming majority of people. Without personal vices, any system of economics and the State would work. With total absorption in vices of violence and egotistical behavior, nothing will work to resolve the resulting pitiless tyranny.
The goal of a system of economics and Government is to have a system which is achievable given the level of vices in some target group, while providing the highest level of happiness for all by reducing the abuse of power, and allowing for a population to further grow up and do even better. How this will work out for this system for any particular group at any point in their development, would have to be attempted to be certain. On the other hand, it does not cost much to give it a try, since it does not require a complete Sovereign Revolution to already see it in partial operation. In the end, it is up to the people themselves to make a system, or to ruin it. On the other hand, systems also have their own differences and effects.
I think this proposed system is better than we are using now, potentially much better in the long term. This proposal makes it easier to be good, and more difficult to be evil, it makes it harder to take slaves and become a slave, it liberates people without allowing them to as easily abuse others with their freedom.
⚠ This local forum seems to be out of order at the moment. ⚠
A locally hosted forum is here: https://debate.socialism.nl/forum/ . The danger with this sort of forum is that the owner has full control over it, which often means that there is censorship and slanted moderation taking place.
Censorship is rising
Censorship in the western world seems to make it increasingly difficult to have a political debate. Especially social media is censored: videos disappear, comments disappear or are ghosted, pages and channels disappear without explanation, search results are doctored. Even groups who supposedly are in opposition to the ruling class, often seem to have a heavy handed censorship policy in place, perhaps designed to keep those who follow them glued to them for not hearing a better ideological alternative. Hopefully some of these options above can prevent “them” from cutting short any debate we where having and should be having.