Archives for posts with tag: divided society doesn’t work

SARS-CoV 2 lock-downs have intensified the already heated discussion about ‘rights’. About “our rights”. Which have to be defended “at all costs”.

The way I see it, rights can be evaluated from two directions.
As ‘gifts’. Either gifted to us by ‘higher authorities’ or conquered for us by our ancestors.
Or as ‘procedures’. Elaborated in time by society and coined into law by our wise predecessors. Who had duly noticed that societies which respect certain rights work way better than those who don’t.

After all, societies are nothing but meta-organisms. Which, like all other organisms, function for only as long as the components interact according to certain, and very specific, rules. The ‘better’ the rules, the better the organism works.

In this sense, ‘rights’ are the code we use when interacting among ourselves. The rules we use when cooperating towards the well being of the society.

You don’t care about the society? Only about ‘your rights’?

OK, but if the society, as a whole, doesn’t work properly, who’s going to respect ‘your rights’?
Who’s going to help you when a bully will try to snatch ‘your rights’ away from you?
And bullies trying to separate you from ‘your rights’ are the most certain occurrence whenever societies cease to function properly.
Whenever the individual members of a society no longer respect each-other enough to collectively uphold their rights. Their rights.

Our rights.

A very interesting piece of journalism indeed.
Taken at face value it corrects the actual mistakes made by the author of a video circulating on the internet (I haven’t provided a link here because there is one in the Forbes article).
At a second glance it becomes apparent that the way we understand money/wealth somehow influences our entire Weltanschauung (the way we see the world)
Yes, one can legitimately see public schooling as a ‘wealth transfer’ but only if you look at it from an accountant’s point of view. As an engineer/sociologist I see society as a mechanism/organism: if you feed/grease/power all its limbs/wheels it works a lot better, to the benefit of all parts/people concerned. Same with the fire department, DOD, etc. and including health care. Strange how nobody protests against money spent on the police though…
Ceausescu, Romania’s ‘beloved’ dictator, had a somewhat equivalent policy. He divided the whole workforce in two: the ‘directly productive’ – the workers themselves – and the ‘helpers’ – all the rest. And he said that the workers are the most important because they were the ones who performed the ‘really important’ actions – so they were payed better – while the helpers were considered mere accessories. And this is why the engineers, the scientists, the teachers, the doctors, everybody that didn’t produce something with their own hands were paid less than the all-mighty ‘worker’.
By concentrating too much on ‘money’ we get to make the same kind of mistake. Consecrating ‘classes’ of people – ‘directly productive’ vs ‘helpers’, ‘haves’ vs ‘have-nots’ – is detrimental to the entire society and eventually to all its members.
A perfunctory glance at the entire history is enough to convince us that a uniform society is a dystopia and that a highly divided one is too unstable for it’s own good.
And no, the solution is not more government sanctioned wealth transfer but more opportunities. A really free market coupled with a decent – decent not lavish – safety net works wonders. Look at what happened in Germany and Sweden after they freed the labour market. Bzw, do you know that Germany still doesn’t have a minimum wage? They have just started considering it because the wages have become so low as to depress the internal economic demand – the ‘down side’ of importing many foreign workers who accept very low payments.
Rich/successful people should not pay more/bigger taxes, they should just not use tax havens/loopholes and pay decent wages to their employees.
Poor people should stop whining, make good use of whatever opportunities they can find and stop believing/voting for the ‘wind-bags’.
It’s that simple. There is no magic solution that could be implemented by one side only or by partisan politicking but with a minimum of cooperation things could be brought back on track in almost no time.

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