| Declaration of Interdependence|
|20 Jun 2002 @ 13:19, by Jim Whitescarver|
When in the course of human events, the transformation of civilization demands rapid change, and threatens the way of life we have become accustomed to, it is necessary that we reengineer our society to insure that the values we hold dear are not destroyed by our inability to face change. We have gone from dependence to independence and now face the challenge of attaining interdependence in the information age. We have transcended the call to arms and now face the call to empowering the individual to fruitfully participate in the collaboration we call government to create a sustainable future. The principles of Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness gave us independence and our human rights. The principles of interdependence now defines our responsibilities.
We the Life Organism, divided from an original cell hold these principles to be self evident:
Our success collectively results from the thriving of our individuals.
Each individual represents a unique culmination of of the entire social and ecological evolution of Life.
We may defend our freedoms against all threats but must also recognize that our survival ultimately rests on the survival of social and ecological diversity.
Therefore, every organism has a right to its share of our planets resources, and the right to live the good life in its own way and the responsibility, when acting individually or collectively, to respect the rights of others and allow diversity to thrive.
To secure these rights and responsibility, governments are instituted securing their powers from the consent of the governed so long as they uphold these principles. Unbridled freedom degenerates to anarchy, and there is no freedom in anarchy[?], yet Law restrains freedom, thus limiting diversity. Law cannot be entered into lightly, it is all to easy for government to become the problem rather than the solution unless law is based on sound principles with proven impacts on the quality of life in the current economic and social environment. Law must be free of cultural or moral prejudice and restrict individual freedom only to the extent which is absolutely necessary to protect the rights of others.
Prudence dictates that governments long established are not changed for light and transient causes; indeed, experience has shown that humankind is more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to correct the situation by abolishing the forms they are accustomed to. But when the warning signs are clear, and the political machinery of the industrial age is doomed to failure in the information age, we have no option but to redesign government to meet the challenges of the future. To prove this, let facts be presented to a candid world.
When our fore fathers created democratic society the common man represented a majority. Today we are all minorities. We are minorities in cultural heritage, in industry or service, in religion, in political philosophy, in our capabilities and handicaps. The challenge of todays government goes beyond a simple majority rule and balance of power to protect our personal views of the good life.
Today's citizen lacks firm geographical ties. Geographical decentralization alone no longer protect the right of the individual as it once did. And there is no longer a frontier for the oppressed to escape to. Although nationalism is on the rise, a growing percentage live outside their homelands and are becoming multinationals in a world wide melting pot.
Collaboration has been difficult. Group decisions, in general, are notoriously poor. They tend to generate the lowest common denominator rather than the collective intelligence. Pure democracy degenerates to mob rule. Without a clear majority viewpoint democracy, alone, does not produce coordinated collective direction or vision. Our branches of government, political parties, and interest groups, have served to facilitate compromise, but we can't afford compromise or the lengthly political process where timely, practical, creative, solutions are essential to our future. Advanced group decision support based on our shared principles with objective criteria must replace our outmoded political power struggles. Non-partisan win-win collaboration must replace destructive win-lose politics if we hope to sustain growth and survive.
The digital anarchists would have us believe that government is doomed in the information age. Indeed, the information elite are prospering in an international arena where no government can decipher, control, or tax their activities. The internet is free, and out of control. Any controlled network, by definition, is not the internet-- the interconnection of all networks. The Tieniman Square incident in 1990 proved to the world that not even the repressive Chinese government had a chance to control the flow of information (email, usenet, phone, fax, radio) in this age. Students everywhere have become the digerati. The information anarchists would have us believe that this is all positive, that the new freedom will somehow solve all our problems. Their optimism is not, however, well founded. They refer to the tumbling down of the iron curtain and the explosion of free information on the internet as evidence of the positive changes in progress. Since the dawning of the information age, in the 1950's, there have indeed been positive changes, unfortunately, these are overshadowed by massive erosion of economic, social, political, and family values. In the 50's, a family lived well on the income of one worker. Today, two family members must work to achieve the equivalent standard of living. Although the information elite may be thriving, the typical family has seen, in effect, a 50% loss of value. Although the stock market has been performing well, it is driven artificially high by profit taking as our industrial age facilities are being dismantled-- forever losing the ability to produce value. Internal and external terrorism is becoming more and more ominous. There are more people in our jails than ever before-- the US now has a higher percentage of its population behind bars than any other nation; yet, crime is increasing. If government breaks down, as the digital anarchists predict, we can expect much greater hardship and strife before the new civilization they predict is likely to emerge. It would be irresponsible for us not to take proactive collective action to perturb the chaotic social and economic ecologies toward the creation of value and sustainable growth. Many conservatives would have us return to industrial and agricultural age living. But we cannot turn back the clock or stop the information explosion. We must move forward and combine the value potential of the ages. Despite the collapse of communism, many social democrats do not yet see that it is the digital anarchist, not them, beating our path into the information age. It is time we must collaborate neither to the left or right independently, but both right to our individuals and left to our collaboration concurrently by supporting specialization in the microcosm, and diversification in the macrocosm.
Streamlining government, and disassembling the huge bureaucracy in favor of competitive specialized private management and service organizations just as the large corporations are being compelled to do by market factors, will certainly help. But much more is needed. Many conglomerates are finding it easy and profitable to break up into smaller, more profitable, business units, in particular global markets. Government must also face both demassification and internationalism of the information age. We must completely rethink how we conduct the business of government.
Our philosophy of funding government, taxation, dates back to the agricultural age with minor modifications to accommodate the industrial age. By their very nature taxes stifle the economy. What we tax is directly discouraged in the economy. Given the chaotic nature of economic systems it is folly to tax the positive indicators of our economy, income and sales. Perturbing the positive indicators in that way can only lead to downturns and wild fluctuation. It is wrong and must be stopped. If we must tax, we are responsible to tax those things we collectively must discourage. When possible, tax rather than criminal law should be applied where we find it necessary to limit the freedom of individuals. Taxing the depletion of our shared resources can not only fund government, it can also fund resource reclamation and cleanup. We cannot depend on volunteerism to sustain our planet. Taxing scarce or dirty resources will encourage the development of plentiful clean alternative resources. The current incentives are to produce as much garbage as possible. We can make producing lasting value a priority, and improve the quality of life.
Government spending is out of control. Most nations face a massive deficits. Government after all, is simply the collaboration of individuals based on common principles to manage and protect their common resources. Surely we should manage our shared resources profitably. Government certainly should not be constrained to maximize short term profits as business often is. Government can afford a payoff in 10, 20, 50, or 100 years. And yet, government must be responsible for returning every penny of value as an investment in our future. Government earns billions in the international money market while stabilizing our currency on the world market. We must eliminate the taboo against government operating profitably. Government has largely been ineffectual at business because we, the stockholders, have not insisted that government enterprise be subject to open competition and profitability requirements. All government enterprise should be benchmarked against the performance of private industry and other nations. At the same time government has no place in any business where the free market is working with at least three competitors. Private service and management companies should be utilized whenever competative free market alternatives exist. This does not mean government cannot remain a minority shareholder in businesses it helped spawn or salvage. It does not mean that the profits of public investment should be turned over to political campaign contributors. We should receive the full return on our investments whether they are collective or individual. Government should strive to be self funded. It need not be a fact of life that we all must subsidize the business of government. Every program should be audited regularly on its ability to return the value invested and provide for its own funding where possible. If government continues to increasingly suck the gravy from the economy we will soon find the plate empty.
Spending and taxing must be tied to the best economic models available. Legislative cycles are too long to react to rapidly changing economic conditions. Whims of public opinion cannot excuse fiscal irressponsibility-- there is too much at stake. As long as government is a major economic player its spending and taxing policies will have major economic impact. Wealth is not finite. One dollar, if passed a million times, represents $1,000,000 in income. Distributing wealth equally will only make everyone poor. Sustainable growth will make us all wealthy. Our economic policies must be based on objective criteria to foster enterprise and create value.
The federal reserve system is a step in the right direction. Objective criteria, rather than political whims control our money supply. The effect of federal reserve decisions are monitored over the short and long run, and the models are continuously improved in order to provided limited but essential control of inflation and recession. The federal reserve model can serve as a starting point for incorporating fiscal accountability in all government enterprise. Given objective controls, we can begin proactively capitalizing on the value of our shared resources. We currently sell bonds to raise capital and largely ignore the capital available in our public land, government facilities, and other shared resources. Government in effect prints money to meet the capital needs of business. Only taboo prevents us from borrowing against our shared resources interest free to invest in our future. With responsible economics we can invest in our future without increasing debt or taxes. The crash of 1929 proved government must take responsibility. Government has the power to be both bank and borrower. It is time we begin taking advantage of its powers to act profitably in our common interest.
The overcrowding of our roadways exemplifies how every problem is an opportunity to create value. The wasted gasoline of vehicles idling in traffic and the economic cost of the time wasted by otherwise productive individuals, should be recovered. Fortunately, the information age is bringing work at home and highly distributed organizations to reduce the need to travel and get more value from individuals. But the problems on the highway are real, and burning our valuable oil resources is a waste when they could be used to create things of lasting value. Public transportation is too expensive, the capital investment needed cannot be paid by so few riders. The economies of scale are needed here. Government is part of the problem. It taxes at 30 percent the personal income that pays for public transportation. We should not tax that which needs to be encouraged. The entire tax system cannot change overnight, but there are clear steps we can take, so that, at least, we are not part of the problem. We must reinvest at least the tax we are collecting in public transportation, and most people would not mind paying a few cents a gallon gas tax to support public transportation as long as it really means fewer cars on the road. We can at least match private investment in public transportation, not as a giveaway supported by taxes, but as an investment, that funds itself by creating value. We can have convenient, fast, comfortable, affordable public transportation alternatives. In the free enterprise environment all that is required is that the cost of using public transportation is less than the cost of gasoline to drive. So long as this is a realistic target price given economies of scale in an open transportation market, not only will massive transportation infastructure be developed, but we can also reap tremendous productivity and environmental benefits from a relatively small investment. And when this is done, before we have a wasteful excess of transportation infastructure and a collapse of the transportation market, we must move on to capitalizing on solving the new problems the 21th century will bring. It is this final step, eliminating collective policies before they become a problem, that government so often fails to take, that results in all government policies ultimately becoming the problem. If our policies really solve the problems they address, as they should, they become obsolete. If our policies persist, it's time to engineer more profitable solutions. We must thrive on change.
Citizens are subject to many thousands of laws. Ignorance of the law is no excuse, yet, only lawers know the law. Every day there are more laws. Let's stop this insanity. We are subject to laws decades or centuries old many of with are extraneous today. Worse yet, many old laws, due to changing conditions, have effects today contrary to their original purpose. Tomorrows civilization cannot profit from laws applying to yesterday's needs. Laws should be framed to expire automatically when the conditions they address change. The God of Moses only gave us ten commandments. Jesus cut it down to two (love God and one another). No law outside the constitution should survive longer than, say 10 years without reenactment. Extreme measures are needed to uncomplicate and minimize the restrictions laws place on enterprise and living simply. Tax , and other incentives and disincentives should replace regulation whenever possible. All taxes or regulations should be designed to minimize impact on individuals and free enterprise,and to expire automatically when the conditions they address change. How free are we when the rules of living are larger than Encyclopedia Britianica. Planned obsolescence on all legislation can bring us closer to being a government that governs best by governing least.
An educated electorate is a requirement of fruitful democracy, but education requires academic freedom, not government standardized indoctrination. Education is the process of learning truth though exposure to alternatives and outcomes. If we the majority support government support of education we should respect and support home and private schooling comparibly to public institutionalize education. At the same time, the system of university tenure which has promoted academic freedom is is danger of collapsing in an atmosphere where education has become a commodity rather than a quest for Truth. Scientific truth is becommming a matter of popular belief rather than objective criteria.
Politically correct America has gone soft on human rights. A small minority upholds our constitutional freedoms as sacred. The one in a million violent criminal who escapes justice because his rights were violated justifies the abandonment of the principles that have made this nation great. Little remorse is felt for those executed who are later proved innocent. Our slaughtered innocent may be 10 percent or more of those executed. Indeed, protection of potential victims is as important as the rights of potential criminals, and is independent of whether the criminals rights were violated. At the same time, we cannot punish or seek retribution in cases where both the state and the citizen involved are guilty of human rights violations. We must redesign our criminal justice system or risk losing the freedom that has made us what we are.
No reasonable being would choose death over life, darkness over light, destruction over creation, or evil over good. The intent of our justice system has been to illicit revenge against criminals. Although this may appease the certain individuals, it does not address the problems of antisocial behavior. Any animal trainer or behavioral scientist can testify that punishment generates unsocialbility and that sociability comes only though positive reenforcement. Law is to protect our rights, and the first priority of justice must be to protect us from criminals. Those that interfere with our rights lose their rights to the extent necessary to protect our right. Additionally, repayment of damages should be a major priority. Compatible to this end, justice should strive to allow society to reap the maximum value the individual can produce while providing protection to the public. The freedom of enterprise of criminals if preserved, managed and encouraged, can defray the cost of justice, while providing the criminal a reasonable alternative to crime. Education and treatment may be effective in preventing or curing antisocial behavior. We can also attack the economic and social conditions associated with crime. Crime is an indicator of our social heath as a civilization. If we can only deal with the problem with anger, and not with love and understanding or objective solutions to the problems of crime, perhaps we are part of the problem. We need to admit that our judgments are all too often wrong, and punishing the innocent is a crime. Let's stop punishing and start protecting and correcting. And it's time for criminals to start footing the bill, instead of the victims.
Everybody makes mistakes. We need to start judging people on the bases of their successes rather than their failures. We must judge only what a person does, not what they haven't done. We cannot control what other people do and expect to be free. We can colaboratively provide incentives for right action, we can make participation simple and fruitful. But we cannot demand participation by any human or beast. At the same time we are responsible for the choices we make and the chances we take. Our life situation is largely the result of the choices we have made. We alone are ultimately responsible for ourselves. If our way of life does not produce value commensurate with the resources it utilizes, it has become insolvent and must be allowed to fail, so that we might try again, and productive synergetic alternatives might be found. It is prudent that we maintain high standards with respect to ourselves and high toleration with respect to others. We must transcend this suit happy society to maximize our options as individuals. Too often a single law suit puts a business and the families dependent on it in bankruptcy. Outrageous liability insurance costs greatly limit our possibilities for enterprise. Law suit amounts must be restricted to direct costs except where malice is apparent. We must unleash the enterprise potential of our individuals. Most of us are only aware of the outrageous auto insurance cost. We don't realize how many products are not on the shelves and how many services are simply not available because of liability risks. We cannot afford to limit our choices in this way. We need not accept misrepresented products or services, but we must look first at what we should have done to avoid the problem before suing others for what they have not done, and accept the consequences of our own choices rather than limiting the choices of others.
The emergence of the information age demands that individuals are granted absolute ownership, control and privacy of their personal information. The information elite use technology to protect their privacy. The rest of the people need protection or their privacy will certainly be invaded. A prerequisite for collaboration is a safe and open environment where individuals can share intellectual property without risk. Compromising privacy and ownership will not protect us from those who have something to hide. It will only impede the collaboration of the rest of us.
Solving the problems facing humanity is a tremendous challenge and opportunity. The emergence of the information age is a catalyst for rapid change in a new international economy where the capabilities of individuals and teams replaces the capital investment of the industrial age as the fuel to produce value. Transportation made the industrial age world small. Communication in the information age has made it miniscule. Information age tools will allow us to capitalize on individual human resources rather than cookie cutter industrial age workers. Free enterprise is changing, it's ties to traditional capital and mass production are on the decline. Quality, customer service and empowering employees are the hallmarks of the successful information age company. Smaller specialized companies are thriving while the old big corporations are struggling-- dumping second wave divisions and buying up the rising stars, to adjust to the new economy. Government, too, must adjust, or at least get out of the way, to allow the economy to sustain growth, and thrive on change rather than be defeated by it. We can apply the principles of continuous improvement and concurrent engineering based on our shared principles to create a less oppressive, kinder, gentler, and more effective government in the new information age civilization.
It is time that we being eliminating our double standards with respect to domestic vrs. international policy. Our two faced views will no longer be profitable in the information age. The principle of self determination must be granted to all peoples or we support slavery. Tarriff walls might seem to have short term benifits, but the destabilization of the world economies that results back fires sooner or later. We have a responsibility to regulate commerce and perhaps "cushion" the effect of market displacement, but deneying free trade to anyone anywhere is a direct violation of their basic human rights. We grant each other these rights, not on the bases of accident of birth nation, but universally.
Any unemployed person in a free enterprise society is a wasted resource. The value they might create is lost, along with the potential profit, as is the market they would represent if they were gainfully employed. Generally, we are not spending too much money on the welfare of our people, we are just misspending it. We do not have too many people, we are simply misusing our resources. We deplete our scarce resources until economic crises results and allow our abundant resources to go fallow. The information age can help us make profitable appropriate use of all our resources if we accept change and allow our individuals to thrive. Society is not responsible to support dead beats, but at the same time it world be folly to fail to capitalize on the synergetic potential of our individuals.
If we cherish the individuals we are composed of, we can capitalize on the unique value they might provide. Though it might be beyond the comprehension of our small brains to imagine how providence might reveal value in what seems worthless, history suggests we are largely incapable of predicting future value. In nature everything is used, everything has value, all waste becomes food, all poison becomes medicine. Though the human and resource potential will never be fully realized, as there are limits to our imagination, the opportunity for the emergence of value can be preserved so long as we allow diversity to thrive and collaboratively capitalize on the opportunities it presents.
Alvin and Heidi Toffler's, 1994, Creating a new Civilization, received bipartisan support at the highest levels, (Al, Newt), as a visionary statement of the challenges facing humanity. The Tofflers call for a reinvention of government from the ground up to meet the challenges of the information age. Reinvention has become a popular buzword yet we've lacked the heart to rebuild from the ground up.
The framers of the U.S. Constitution had a seemingly uncanny knowledge of the needs of the information age. Their dream of government of the people, by the people, for the people, based on the principles of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, is a dream that was never quite realized. It is only now that we are faced with the responsibility to implement their dream, and extend it's principles to include interdependence and diversification, or see our way of life jeopardized. We do not need a new constitution. The constitution and its bill of rights represent precisely the prescription we need now more than ever. We are becoming citizens of the world, collaborating with respect to our shared values. As soldiers of the information revolution we have the power to act collectively to realize the dream, and become government.
We all have a direct stake in the social and economic consequences of the transformation to the information age. If we sustain industrial age thinking and government, we will indeed face a painful transformation of economic hardship, loss of liberty, destruction of our environment, and international strife.
We, therefore, representatives of the life organism, declare our interdependence, and solemnly vow to support one anothers view of the good life with our lives our fortune, and our sacred honor, and will strive to do our part in creating value from effective use of our shared resources in our own way.
20 Jun 2002 @ 13:22 by : this article
The text here is a bit dated, my initial draft was almost a decade ago. There was not much interest in it at that time but I till think it is relavant. Please tell me what you think.
21 Jun 2002 @ 01:58 by : Relevant For Sure
I congratulate you on your essay...which really could serve as an introduction to a book. I think you will find considerable acceptance for these ideas at NCN. I do not share your views of government, law, taxes, and the "free" market however. I do not think government is too big, but it certainly can use some downsizing of its management class---just as corporations have done. I do not think law restricts freedom; it restricts licentiousness and invigorates, even fulfills freedom, but I may just be quibbling with terms here. I view taxation as a good thing, though always in need of review and revision of course; it is the best way to provide social programs whose value may not fulfill the appetite of an immediate profit motive. And I consider the unleashing of the pirate market by Reagan 40 years ago the worst development on this planet since the Ice Age. (I don't mean the Ice Age was "bad;" I just want a temporal reference.) But these are issues we can discuss, as time allows---and I agree that possibly time is short---and as good humor enables. The trouble with the article, I think, is that it is so huge that I have trouble commenting, without writing a great treatise myself. Perhaps to get people to make clear remarks you might offer these thoughts in your journal a little bit at a time.
27 Jun 2002 @ 14:59 by Jim Whitescarver @220.127.116.11 : Disagreements....
Government too big: size does matter when government is a burdon on the populous. I agree govt should expand in times of need and that it should be proactive in creating a better future.
Not too much Law? You must be an attourney. My goal is law that fits in one book rather than entire library buildings. You probably broke 50 old laws today without knowing it.
taxes are good? Jefferson was proud that at the end of his presendency the common man was not burdoned with taxes. In the last century we have been duped into thinging that income and sales taxes are okay. They are NOT. I agree fully that government should not be concerned with short term profits, that's what business is for, and that govt. IS responsible for investing in our long term future. And I agree that we must tax the utilization of our precious resources if we pretend to be responsible for sustaining our planet. But NOT to get money. The bank of america needs not tax or borrow to create value. It is not okay that most businesses are put out of business by the government, and it is not okay that those living at sustainance levels are paying taxes.
..., and the "free" market. What free market? A market with taxes on income and sales is not free. The privatization od public research launched by reagan is indeed a crime. But generally govt. is very innefective in providing services and it should outsource more, just as companies are doing.
Thanks for your comments, I should have got it in email I think, oh well, I'm glad I stopped back and found it. I am slowly generating material in smaller bites at http://WikiWorld.com Stop by and participate!
26 Jan 2003 @ 04:11 by : How do we advance towards social equity?
After many years of studying utopian efforts, I have come to believe that most humans share a similar vision of what a perfect world would like. The problem has always been desire. Desire drives us all. The less time distracted with making a living, the more time to be drivin by whatever enchantment can gain a visceral hold on us. Human nature has both positive and negative qualities. The negative qualities surface predominantly in insidious ways and from the cleverest among us because the idealist in each of us does our best to keep them in check. Unfortunately having all social good and no downside is reminecent of man's endless quest fro a perpetual motion machine.
9 Feb 2003 @ 14:38 by : I believe
There is a way to unite the global populous, and achieve our goals. The question is, can I find enough unity to activate it? Currently, it seems not. Perhaps I'll have to wait until I am gone, and my tests stand without me. On the other hand, if anyone's seriously interested in what a Christmas Baby who spent his entire life looking for the keys to heal our world -found-, join me. If I can find but 5 committed heroes, I can and will save our planet. Not for me, or my way. For life, and the living way. This article is written by precisely the sort of person who I need standing beside me. And its relation with its topics and focus are excellent. I suggest we as an american people raft a referendum, and rebuild our government now. This moment, is the moment for the change we've waited our whole lives for. Half of what we were waiting for, was each other. Let's take that half back, for ourselves, our future, and our children.
31 May 2003 @ 12:14 by Freedom One @18.104.22.168 : Freedoms
I fail to understand why any of you gentlemen failed to say the HOLY BIBLE is the founadation of our constitution, and should be the only book of laws one sholud need. I agree with sevenlanb, except the building now being utilized to house all tese reles and regulations should be utilized as housing for the homeless. Anybody that made war on others should be dealt with sereverly. Any other madders should be left alone, just mind ones on business. Finding a committed heroe should not be a problem, finding someone that was not committed should be the problem. Place and X by my name as committed SEVENLAMB, I know you have two now.
28 Jul 2003 @ 19:12 by swanny : Simplicity
Just of the cuff I would say that when systems become to burdensome
they go through a natural or imposed process of pruning or streamlining.
If systems become to complex for the enviornment they rely on......and even threaten that enviornment then they are logically and naturally
unsustainable. The key to the adaptaption process is to make a new layer
of development upon a more complex but still simple structure. In human
terms what would that be?
I think the answers or part of the answer are found in Maslows hiearchy of
needs. That when a system meets fundenmental needs in a new, better and/or sustainable way it can progress on to more elevated needs.
So it goes from the meer physical to the material, emotional, intellectual and spiritual although the order or quality is perhaps more ......
well etc. etc. etc.
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