Economics and Society discussion

The topic of discussion is society and what economic system is best for it.

Please act like adults and don’t be easily offended.*

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Which economic system do you feel are the most morally superior as well as prosperous?

Well, I would start with and suggest studies of ecological economics as among those most on the mark. I would say key aspects here would be systems science, energy/material limits of economic flow (including growth, sustainability, etc), and it critically explores social and ethical considerations. I’m not quite sure which details we’d want me to share.

An introduction video: https://youtu.be/SZ1ppkIUfq4?si=ZJyKyIua1Gi_UQkj

A good resource on the topic: https://www.ecologicaleconomicsforall.org/

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I would start really with the fundamentals of collectively owned means of production. Yes it’s the forbidden “S” word, and the more condemned it has been by the ruling class, the more of it becomes a one-way street really. It has worked (on an economic basis) in its first implementation, in very difficult times for the soviets.
The next “leap to the sky” will be much better and effective.
However from a result-oriented point of view, the 20th century experience was wondrous, within context always.
So : “Das Kapital” and “Grundisse” would be my first suggestions.
A mouthful, a handful, and lots of mineral water to make it through!

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Market socialism

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I’ve heard a couple points now for socialism. I should probably address my understanding of how that relates to my point about ecological economics. This will be a greatly simplifying comment, which I hope will spur further discussion.

Historically, nature was recognized as the source of economic value, as the farmer exploited the free gift of nature to produce agricultural surplus. The surplus value enabled later philosophies to lose a clear focus on the source of the value (nature/energy), as they would instead focus on the how society exploits and distributes value, like between workers and capital(ists). And so philosophies in their pursuit of truth and justice would defend their misfocus by arguing how such social groups and/or operations produce value.

However, in fact, the ultimate source of economic surplus and value is thermodynamic; energy from the sun, harnessed by natural ecology. Ecology mostly used the free energy through plants, and some such energy had been stored in fossil carbons. Our rebuildable technology, such as fracking and solar panels, are now another medium of our ecology harnessing this energy.

All this is not to say we don’t need a just and sustainable operation and distribution of surplus value, such as would be sought under socialism. But, I think the philosophy and history of ecological economics enables the most accurate understanding of economics, and thus enables the most just social context for economics.

Some more points why what I’m saying matters to our people, especially socialists. Firstly, climate change is a symptom of how we have evolved to exploit all available energy. We have a problem of how to coordinate globally to escape this trap, and understanding the fundamental nature of the trap will be needed to resolve it. Even socialism without sufficient ecological understanding would lead us into the trap. Secondly, the carbon pulse is draining, and energy will be priced increasingly accurately over time (ie, much more expensive). The limits of what is ecologically sustainable, especially in terms of energy (which limits economic production 1:1), will shape the social side of our economy, and ultimately define what economic justice is, especially for socialists.

Let me know if I can clarify anything. And here is a better explanation of energy in the economy, with Steve Keen: https://youtu.be/lrMWSkzrMYg?si=N-jVZilNHdlH33nz

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I like the premise of what you propose. I will study it further. Wouldn’t this require a world government rather than having several separate nations with different laws, different monetary policies, and competing interests?

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You pose a great question! There is quite a bit I’d say to this.

Firstly, I would say we don’t necessarily require a world government, but I could be wrong. For instance, there are various ways to define and structure global governance; by some measures our current international arrangements could be such a form, though by some measures it would not be. So to more directly answer the explicit question, we’d need to clarify some such detail, and then we would begin reaching a boundary of my expertise / confidence…

(I don’t do too much in such narrower specifics things, I’m more broadly focused, kind of hoping to help guide such expertise of others). (As such) …

I would then hope we could explore such detail with others with more expertise (and influence) in governance. And before I move on, I should also point at the BRICS in the context of our US dollar having been the global unipolar economic policy (sans explicit world government) using international debt and food control to empire; now with the US empire in decline and multipolar economic structures such as BRICS emerging (to undermine the dollar), a paradigm shift in global economy is trivially predictable (at the least, the US will react to our power being undermined by attempting even more explicitly forceful empire, but I would rather we not since it would surely backfire).

And lastly here, I think the specifics and the definitions and the details and the nuance of the potential answers to your question are not necessarily fully knowable nor needed; these are large areas of work yet to be sufficiently developed, and the processes to develop those works will enable the natural emergence of solutions (and solution attempts, such as increasing imperial force); so to me the important part of the question is in how we can organize and prepare for such development and emergence, such that we can improve our potential solutions to better approach the inevitable consequences of what our evolving global ecology demands/selects.

I think this last paragraph is what has led to your question, (I think you also want to shape the best future, given the present and predictable limits). And obviously I, as a US citizen, want to help shape the US processes which will interface with such environmental demands, such that we react more sustainably, and justly, (rather than unwisely, at the expense of our wider self / global neighbors).

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That out of the way, to more fully explore the implicit of the question, I think I’ll start with my understanding of some game theoretic dynamics. For instance, I mentioned how socialism is not necessarily safe from the ecological trap. Lets say US was functioning socialist, and the workers’ industries could collaborate, and they recognized and somehow agreed and planned and did indeed adapt to be a more agricultural focused economy as required to be sustainable with our ecology (which is already much to presume); then other nations become the natural source of the capital imperative which incentivizes them to take advantage of the US self-imposed reduction in [ living standards / consumption / GDP / military / power / etc. ], (as is required to meet sustainable energy and material flows; as I said, it is a big presumption that we’d resolve how to make the internal change). This (the international competitive game theoretically optimal response) is threatening under such adaptation, and in a way prevents it beforehand.

Such economic growth imperatives, psychosocial underpinnings, and game theory dynamics certainly are tricky and do (as you asked) imply some required global coordination, and depending on how much force and how much coordination we end up requiring, then this coordination could be described as a world government. And backing up, it is not obvious we internally would simply get to the point of external coordination failure, since I expect we will find internal coordination traps first. That said, again, if we don’t prepare sufficiently to enable good international coordination through good intranational coordination, then inevitable ecological demands will force a more chaotic and catastrophic future, (potentially much worse authoritarian-imperial-world-order level consequences, than we currently have).

To be more optimistic and constructive, regarding how we might plot the global path to adaptation of ecological demands with respect to the international dichotomous internal/external game theory things, I expect we would need intranational partial (ie: unsustainable) economic adaptations (like a GND) but tied with a demand for an international coordination foreign policy economic treaty agenda as a prerequisite for completing our full (actually sustainable) intranational adaptation; which would then lead (or force) the international adaptation, with the foreign policy half acting to safeguard against the potential external threats which an intranational ecological adaptation would enable. By coordinating globally to prevent the dangers caused by otherwise incentivized rogue nations, then we might enable development of sustainable economies within and between nations.

Some types of coordination would be like: how nations inspect each other to try to denuke; and like how Cuba’s health services service the globe; but we’re talking in our case about industry such as permaculture, ecoforestry, agroforestry, aquaculture, etc.

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That is how I would respond to your initial question on world government.

For an example of a more cooperative and maybe anarchist worldpreview, an interview on Steve Keen’s podcast regarding moneyless society. And also the moneyless society website.

For some broader and deeper insights from a couple of my favorite thinkers (because of how clearly they illuminate the complexities) on these issues, here is a series of discussions, an excerpt from the Great Simplification podcast.

And another excerpt from the same podcast, another set of conversations featuring many subject experts, with each episode focusing on specific sets of the complexities.

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And one more resource I should really add for that point, this interview the with author of “Super Imperialism”, but on the topic of a (secular) history of debt and civilization failure (which also overlaps significantly with biblical history).

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I found a recent podcast episode which speaks to some of these issues. It is focused on the international dynamics of transitioning to ecological economics, with the lens of decolonization.

Testing…

I had my card replaced and have not received a new payment method. Looks like my poverty has caught up to me.

I will be back when I can re-subscribe.

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Here is a recent podcast episode exploring some of these current geopolitical dynamics:

I think everyone brings up great points! Regarding economic systems, I think a mixed economy is both preferable and realistic. I personally like the welfare capitalist model. We could all benefit from some “Scandinavian Socialism!” Maybe it’s just that I’m half-Swedish (my Dad’s side is just a bunch of silly, lovable Swedes! :blush:), but it seems to work well for all citizens regardless of class, race, sex, orientation, creed, etc.

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So you put a bunch of material out here. I haven’t enough time to go through it all but from what I have heard I feel I have a good idea of ethos.

The problem here in most cases is the ill defined framework. Often time people will assign a voodoo / magical aspect to things that aren’t easy to understand.

For this purpose of my framework socialism and capitalism are overused and politicalized to the point of indefinability. If I mention the concept I am only meaning the most basic form of the concept.

You must understand 2 things.

1: Capitalism was spawned with the understanding it isn’t to replace social good entities aiming to improve the commons. In fact it relies on these institutions to maintain suitability. Socialistic policies and capitalistic policies aren’t mutually exclusive. They do often find them selves at logger heads. This expression should be thought of as a balance.

2: Currency is decentralized ledger system of exchange. It is an emergent organization that seems to happen naturally with a critical mass of population catalyzed by collaborating over time. This system was almost always captured and influenced by elders, and religious entities.

Temples origins were in the banking system. Some of the oldest economic systems were inextricably intertwined with religion and worship.

Temples would often distribute resources across the community to help start small businesses. Some of these organizations provided the first regional bank deposit systems meant to out flank bandits, and highway robbers.

The most important thing to understand in a discussion like this is to understand that our system now is a transitory organism.

It is constantly evolving and all those that engage with the system are expressing their authorship over the understanding they have of this relationship. To the extent you want to move the ship you will have to have a heading to aim for. This is where your material comes in. I would say this material is a bit idealistic and verbose. I don’t discount the effort. I think the ethos is mostly correct and is a great starting point in many ways.

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Thanks for your time and input :slight_smile: As you say, we explored a bunch of material here, which I struggled to balance with simplification. I appreciate your contributions, including the succinct historical framework, but especially your final points regarding directing our superorganism; that is, indeed, basically what my input has been addressing.

Outside of that discussion on direction, I’m still exploring the systemic spaces which evolutionarily propel this superorganism. For instance, in your historical case, what reproduced those hyperagents (eg: elders) and hyperstructures (eg: religions), which adaptively captured ever greater systemic power (in both absolute and relative terms); how were such superorganism organelles (ie: sociocultural members) so emergent / compelled? And, as you’ve clarified, since our superorganism is indeed evolutionary, historical selective pressures have and will continue to change. For instance, what now reproduces hyperagents (eg: elites) and hyperstructures (eg: religions, academia, government, etc), and, again, how so? Then, what of such superorganism evolutionary patterns should we be mindful of, in order to better steer our heading towards our intended directions, (or at least, how to steer our heading away from the meta-crisis minefields our superorganism is otherwise drawn towards)?

In summary, in this thread we’ve explored the potential directions we should head towards, and now we’ve also just touched on the meta of how. Such conceptualizing aside, would we want to begin more concrete discussions and exploration on how?; if so, I would start another thread (since this thread is asking a different question than how, and we have more to ask here other than how).

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