Sunday, August 26, 2007

To build a sustainable and just civilization...

The Golden Rule applies

It is not possible, I believe, to create a sustainable civilization wherein the citizens neglect basic philosophical principles. The most fundamental moral principle, the Golden Rule, common to all religious traditions, requires that we limit our actions so that we do not produce effects on others that we would not want for ourselves.

We violate this principle when we vote for and give allegiance to governments and politicians that undertake to regulate private behavior.

The proper function of government is to regulate public behavior. Any action that is private, that is not open to public view and that does not impose effects on any individual against their will is not a legitimate target for government regulation.

Attempts to regulate private behavior not only infringe on basic civil and human rights, they also inevitably draw resources and attention away from the legitimate function of government. We are less able to regulate public behavior effectively and appropriately when we are so distracted.

We need to consider the Golden Rule when we go into the voting booth and when we communicate our interests and concerns with our elected representatives.

A political path that respects this most fundamental moral principle might seek a marriage of libertarian and green political traditions. Not "Republican or Democrat", but "Libertarian AND Green", if we wish to embody in our political life and institutions the central tenant of our oldest philosophical traditions.

A Capitalism-Communism Synthesis: democratic ownership and free market management of natural resources

Cronkite for President - Can we find someone, (someone over 35 years old), who we could most all agree on for our next President?

John Champagne
The Gaia Brain paradigm

Walter Cronkite for President

Gaia Brain and the History of Life

David Bohm said that everything in the universe is connected. He described an implicate order and an explicate order. An experiment illustrates the distinction: Place a clear plastic cylinder inside a slightly larger clear plastic cylinder, then fill the space between them with glycerin. Inject a line of ink into that glycerin, then slowly turn the inner cylinder so that the ink is smeared. Three turns will cause the ink to completely disappear. But the ink is not mixed up randomly in the glycerin. There is still an implicate order. There is still order in the relationship of the molecules to one another in space, but the order is not visible. Turn the cylinder back three turns, the line of ink re-appears. The order is made explicate again.

When we buy a product that has resource user-fees incorporated in the price, implicite in the price of the product is the expressed wishes of all the world's people about what limits should be placed on the use of natural resources. Explicit in the price is the economic value of all the natural resources and the human effort that went into the production of that product.

When we survey people to see what their views are on appropriate levels of resource use, implicate in their responses will be relative prices for various goods and services in the market. If most people are saying explicitly that carbon dioxide emissions ought to decrease, implicit in these expressions will be higher prices for fuel, and a decreased prevalance of high-powered cars, single-occupant cars, and long commutes, to name a few.

The information explicate in the price of a particular product or service is the economic value of the resources that went into its production. Implicate in the price of that same product or service is the expressed wishes of all the world's people about acceptable levels of resource use for all the raw materials that went into its production.

more on David Bohm

Post to the 'Global Brain' list:

I think this group could discuss how we might actually bring about a world that has most people expressing their opinion about what are appropriate levels of use of pubilc resources, based on what they see in their envvironment and what they hear from other neurons like themselves, (or sort-of like themselves, but with different experiences and character types). These expressions of opinion about what are appropriate limits on human transformation of the earth would directly affect the actions that humans perform that impact the earth and affect the human community, just as signals from neurons in biological brains affect the behavior of other neurons and conditions in the larger organism.

If we believe in democratic principles and equal ownership of natural resources, then we will agree that the people ought to be making or endorsing decisions about what are appropriate limits on the use of the Commons, i.e., putting of pollution, and taking or deminishing resources. And the people ought to each receive a monetary payment equal to their share of the value of natural resources taken by corporate interests for the purpose of economic gain.

In an economic system, information is carried by money. To convey information and proper incentives to economic actors regarding human demands on the environment, you must assess an economic measure to a quantity, (ie, the amount of resource that goes into making an economic good), and include that in the price paid in the market. A free market auction of natural resource user-permits would cause those resouurces that the people wish to conserve to cost more, to cost what society represents as the actual cost, the opportunity cost of using a limited resource for one particular use as opposed to another.

Who else on this list shares the view that we ought to be about discussing potential political-economic-social systems that reflect the interconnectedness of environment--information flow--neuron--action--freedom--constraint? How might a fully functioning healthy global brain manifest itself in political and economic terms? Would such a system allow levels of pollution and rates of resource extraction to exceed what most neurons consider acceptable? I think not. Do we currently have such a system, one not in accord with what the people would choose? I think so. We have elements of, hints of a global brain, but we have yet to acheive full functionality of all its essential parts. We seem to be acting more like cancer cells of earth than brain cells, at least in some respects.

Posted by John Champagne