[MG] Striking at the root

Michael Allan mike at zelea.com
Wed Feb 22 06:47:09 EST 2012


Dear Ned,

> > > I am a really big fan of tongue power -- I think that that's the
> > > way we should go.

> Michael Allan wrote:
> > I take it that if an electoral vote enabled one to communicate in
> > ways that were potentially effective then we could no longer claim
> > that the vote is absolutely without effect in the world.  Its
> > effect would instead be incalculable.  Nor could we claim (as I
> > do) that the lack of that vote is the root cause of political
> > bondage, economic injustice and other widespread human rights
> > violations.  Would it really make a difference?  I say yes, you
> > say no, but really nobody knows because nobody ever tried it
> > before.  So we'll try it: we'll put a working ballot in the
> > elector's hands and see what comes of it.

Ned Conner wrote:
> I confess that I don't quite understand what you are saying here, or
> why you are saying it, or what it has to do with my remark that you
> quoted. (Sometimes I'm slow -- sorry.)

I can explain if you like.  Basically we'll give each elector a ballot
(strike at the root) and see if it enables communicative action, which
is a kind of tongue power.  Voting in itself might be worthless by
some estimations, but not communicative action.  All we need to
understand is the connection between the two.
 
> > What is the root cause in your own theory?  Is it open to
> > experimental validation?
> 
> I see our primary root problem as being that some of the social
> arrangements we have now set up positive feedback loops that (over
> generations) steadily concentrate more and more wealth and power
> into fewer and fewer hands. These days, the three main social
> arrangement concentrators happen to be hierarchies, capitalism, and
> parasitic banking. In other times, other social arrangements have
> served to increasingly concentrate power.

You see three root causes.  Should we understand the combination of
all three *together* to be the cause, or is each alone sufficient
cause in itself?

Might there be a fourth cause?  What is the rationale of inclusion?
People might want to add their favourite scapegoats to the list.

-- 
Michael Allan

Toronto, +1 416-699-9528
http://zelea.com/


Ned Conner wrote:
> /On Sun, Feb 12 14:51 EST 2012/, Ned Conner wrote:
> Ned> I am a really big fan of tongue power -- I think that that's the 
> way we should go.
> 
> /On Tue, Feb 14 21:35 EST 2012/, Michael Allan wrote:
> Mike> I take it that if an electoral vote enabled one to communicate in 
> ways that were potentially effective then we could no longer claim that 
> the vote is absolutely without effect in the world. Its effect would 
> instead be incalculable.
> 
> Ned> I confess that I don't quite understand what you are saying here, 
> or why you are saying it, or what it has to do with my remark that you 
> quoted. (Sometimes I'm slow -- sorry.)
> 
> 
>     Analysis Topic 1: Vote Power OR Proposal Power
> 
> Ned> The "tongue power" I was referring to (I thought I was following 
> your usage ...) is that of **giving reasons** for preferring one 
> alternative over another. From the "tongue power" perspective, a vote is 
> just a grunt -- a gesture. Beyond merely expressing preference, it is 
> not usefully communicative -- it expresses no **reasons** for the choice 
> made.
> 
> Ned> In order to have collaborative governance, the **reasons** for 
> preferences must be given. When I present a thesis that you don't find 
> acceptable for various reasons, the most efficient and effective way to 
> proceed is for you to articulate an **analysis** (analytically break out 
> the parts you find problematic, and articulate the perspectives from 
> which you see problems) and then propose **antitheses** (for each part, 
> from each perspective, give the **reasons** that you find the part 
> problematic). That then gives the two of us (and others who wish to be 
> involved) the necessary information to be able to seek a synthesis that 
> satisfies everyone. A sketch of the full recursive synthesis process 
> might be [thesis > analysis > antitheses > ... (recursive drilling down) 
> ... > syntheses > synthesis].
> 
> Ned> As is done in Votorola, you could present an alternative thesis (or 
> thesis fragment -- recombinant text) without articulating any analyses 
> or antitheses, but that would leave me (and others) having to guess 
> about **why** you prefer your thesis to mine. This would greatly hamper 
> attempts by myself and others to come up with a synthesis that might 
> satisfy us all. To get from thesis to synthesis most effectively and 
> efficiently, it is highly helpful to go through analysis and antithesis.
> 
> Ned> Using voting as a decision mechanism short-circuits this recursive 
> synthesis process of communicating **reasons**. My suggestion is that we 
> abandon voting entirely, and instead create a decision system that uses 
> **proposing** (proposal = preference + reasons) as the decision 
> mechanism. That is what I meant when I said "I am a really big fan of 
> tongue power -- I think that that's the way we should go."
> 
> 
>     Analysis Topic 2: The Political Power of a Vote
> 
> Ned> If all votes are weighted equally, then the **maximum** relative 
> political power that each vote can have (in terms of its formal effect 
> in making the legislative decision) is 1/N. When the voting population 
> numbers (N) in the millions or billions, this is a vanishingly small 
> serving of political power. I see an attempt to increase the political 
> power of the vote of each citizen from zero to 1/N as an attempt to give 
> each citizen a bigger thimble with which to try to bail out this global 
> Titanic that we are on.
> 
> 
>     Analysis Topic 3: The Other Structural Fault
> 
> Mike> Nor could we claim (as I do) that the lack of that vote [carrying 
> the full 1/N political power] is the root cause of political bondage, 
> economic injustice and other widespread human rights violations [and 
> war, poverty, biosphere degradation, fleecing future generations, etc.].
> 
> Ned> After a legislative decision is made (even through full-power 1/N 
> voting), the legislation is then handed over to hierarchs and 
> capitalists and banksters for execution and adjudication. The governance 
> systems of the hierarchs and the capitalists and banksters are not 
> democratic: about the best that the general citizenry can do to try to 
> affect those decisions is to stand out in the streets (in the freezing 
> cold) waving signs.
> 
> Ned> In my view, trying to create a voting system that increases the 
> political power of the vote of each citizen from zero to 1/N is like 
> trying to fix a crack in the legislative sidewalk (structural fault #1) 
> of Jiminy Cricket Land. At the end of that sidewalk (at the point that 
> the legislation is passed) lies the Grand Canyon (structural fault #2). 
> On the other side of that Grand Canyon lies the Land of the Hierarchs 
> and Capitalists and Banksters to which the legislation is passed, where 
> democracy and collaboration are not to be found, and where political 
> bondage, economic injustice, widespread human rights violations, etc. 
> flourish -- it is the land where we all actually live, when we are not 
> in Jiminy Cricket Land voting to generate better quality legislation for 
> the hierarchs and capitalists and banksters to ignore.
> 
> Ned> In order for collaborative governance to be able to actually 
> produce good governance outcomes in the real world, the collaborative 
> governance system must be capable of rendering hierarchies and 
> capitalism and parasitic banking obsolete, which means that the system 
> must be capable of making all of the governance decisions that hierarchs 
> and capitalists and banksters now make, more effectively and efficiently 
> than hierarchs and capitalists and banksters now make those decisions.
> 
> Ned> To me it seems that resolving structural fault #1 without resolving 
> structural fault #2 would be an empty gesture. And, any collaborative 
> governance system that was capable of resolving structural fault #2 
> would almost certainly also be capable of resolving structural fault #1 
> as well. For both those reasons, I would suggest that we should be 
> focusing on conceiving and creating a collaborative governance system 
> capable of resolving structural fault #2.
> 
> 
>     Analysis Topic 4: The "Just Do It!" Approach
> 
> Mike> Would it [the full-power 1/N vote] really make a difference? I say 
> yes, you say no, but really nobody knows because nobody ever tried it 
> before. So we'll try it: we'll put a working ballot in the elector's 
> hands and see what comes of it.
> 
> Ned> There is indeed much to commend the "Just Do It!" approach. I wish 
> you well with your experiment. (And also, we would all potentially be 
> more effective in our quest to "make things better" if we could 
> collaboratively work through to conceiving an experiment that we would 
> all be willing to collaborate on running together. Our efforts and 
> resources could then be synergistically rather than dysergistically 
> employed.)
> 
> 
>     Analysis Topic 5: Diagnosing The Primary Root Problem
> 
> Mike> What is the root cause in your own theory?
> 
> Ned> I see our primary root problem as being that some of the social 
> arrangements we have now set up positive feedback loops that (over 
> generations) steadily concentrate more and more wealth and power into 
> fewer and fewer hands. These days, the three main social arrangement 
> concentrators happen to be hierarchies, capitalism, and parasitic 
> banking. In other times, other social arrangements have served to 
> increasingly concentrate power.
> 
> 
>     Analysis Topic 6: Solving The Primary Root Problem
> 
> Ned> So long as we continue to be dependent on the decision making of 
> hierarchs, capitalists, and banksters, we cannot remove them from power, 
> nor render their roles and their systems obsolete. Therefore, we first 
> need a fully operational collaborative governance *decision system* 
> capable of making all of the decisions that hierarchs, capitalists, and 
> banksters now make, more effectively and efficiently than they now make 
> those decisions.
> 
> Ned> As with the "working ballot experiment", the "full collaborative 
> governance experiment" has never been run before, and has not until now 
> even been possible -- the new governance systems will need to use 
> technologies that are only now available.
> 
> 
>     Analysis Topic 7: Experimental Validation
> 
> Mike: Is it [your proposed root problem, your proposed governance 
> solution] open to experimental validation?
> 
> Ned> I would say yes. *Any* proposed root problem diagnosis, and any 
> proposed governance system solution can be experimentally validated (at 
> least indirectly). Governance systems produce governance outcomes (war, 
> poverty, biosphere degradation, etc. on the "bad" side, citizens 
> thriving and such on the "good" side) that are objectively observable 
> and measurable phenomena. To determine whether a proposed problem 
> diagnosis is valid, and whether a proposed solution does effectively 
> resolve the problem, one would measure and track the governance 
> *outcomes* produced by the decisions of the governance system. For 
> example, if the diagnosis were that concentrated power is the root cause 
> of wars, and the proposed governance system then leads to no more wars, 
> that would constitute evidence (however fuzzy and disputable) that the 
> diagnosis and solution were valid.




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