The State and the Nations

Historical insights & thoughts about the world we live in - and the social conditioning exerted upon us by past and current propaganda.

The State and the Nations

Postby Gopi on May 26th, 2016, 9:00 pm

Hoi has begun some really thought provoking discussions on the functioning of the State, here and here. In the first one, the intrinsic myth and justification for State-building (or Empire-building) is described in the essay, while in the second, an appeal sent to the State representatives is described. I just wanted to take that topic a bit further and take it forward, especially keeping the Hegelian dialectic in mind.

To quickly summarize, once the concepts of Hegel are understood, and one can actually keep the thoughts from coagulating into one extreme or the other, and the way things are perceived is changed... it becomes more functional. For example, consider a chair. According to the usual logic, one would define a chair as an object which is used to sit on, or something like that. Yet, if one sits down on the ground and keeps a book on the chair to read, the chair functions as a table. If one keeps a plate of food on it and eats, it becomes a dining table. And if it is stood on to reach something higher, it becomes a stool. In a temper tantrum, a chair can also become a stick to thwack. Hence, the definition of the chair falls away, and the problems of chair-or-not-a-chair are solved by taking the function of the chair as the fundamental. This is Hegelian dialectic overcome, in an ordinary example -- through the rise of the function.

The Function of the State

There is already a classic dichotomy waiting for resolution... "limited government", "minimal government" or "anarchy" on the one hand, and a totalitarian government on the other. Proponents of neither system clearly specify what the function of the government is supposed to be... in the one case, it is a sort of necessary evil (US), in the other a sort of savior (Russia, Communist era and even today to a certain extent.) One sees the government as trampling on individual rights, the other sees salvation in the giving up of the individual rights to the government. Wherever the individual rights get compromised, to compensate, there is over-emphasis on a government-individual... like the President. In other words, the very function of the government is to guarantee personal rights, and to administer that in a specific unit. Hence the administrative aspect of it gives rise to boundaries. Human rights cannot have boundaries, naturally.

If functionally it is to protect human rights, then the decisions necessarily have to be taken as a group, giving credence to the ideas of democracy. But then, the Government today mixes up other functions with it... those which have to do with individual affairs or development, such as religion, language and culture. Which brings us to the next function...

The Function of a Nation

This theme has been so maligned and messed up that it is hard to extract the threads. For one thing, (almost) everyone sees that religion is a private matter, sans boundaries, yet one is constantly connecting cultural identities, such as language and ethnicities with the State, instead of seeing it on par with religion as a private affair. If I am an Indian, culturally, that is my private affair. It does not change one whit which patch of dirt is occupied. Yet, thanks to the bungling that has been present ever since the British Empire withdrew its physical presence from around the world, Nation and State have been welded together into the Nation-State... with consequences as severe as the melding of Church-State for centuries. Since an individual matter, that of a national culture, has been welded almost since the beginning with American identity, the weld is extremely strong there. Israel is a fall-back to an Ethnic/Religious-State. And the single most effective weapon of divide-and-rule in the 20th century has been the carving up of a single state with two cultures into two nation-states, along with propaganda about how nation-state is a "modern and developed idea". Of course, when nation and State unite in this way, the only offspring is the bastard child : nationalism. In the state structure, this same union generates the political parties and party politics. In place of several different national identities, we have parties. This transfers the love one has towards one's national culture into a tiny box called the State, turning the love into hate for other nations/parties and a powder keg that can be exploded when convenient. This has been done with the Ottoman Empire, the Balkans, Africa, the Soviet republics, Korea, Vietnam... everywhere. The essential focus of a nation -- to develop the individual -- is lost, and people subconsciously draw a physical boundary whenever they even think of the word nation. That is how effective the programming has been.

Yet, whatever is the affair of an individual or dependent on individual capacities, can never be voted upon. This includes language, religion, scientific research and even education. The Era of Einstein can be clearly seen to be the time when Politics corrupted science (see the excellent article by Miles about how Democracy has corrupted science), and the era after the world wars has been mainly that of ever-diluting government education everywhere, along with State-funded scientific disasters like NASA and ESA. Of course, it is the funding that pulls organizations to beg from the State, which shows another function that the State should not have: economic control.

The Function of the Economy


When a drought in a corner of the world can send economic shock-waves across the world, where even making a pencil requires efforts across continents, what meaning remains in the concept of "national economy"? The idea that the economic decisions can be something voted upon, is another absurdity of modern life... since it is not possible for one to vote on the rain or the energy required for oil extraction. This connection of the democratic vote with the question of economy allowed another powerful functional meld to occur... the industry twisting the arm of the government by lobbying and campaign money while the government gets corrupted by money-power... a two-way street. It is quite easy to see how the decision of the US government to create affordable housing by law, with murky motivations and understanding, led to the creation of the 2008 bubble and a much cleaner sweep of the economy to bail out banks. The history of the Federal Reserve and World Bank, is another case in point - the World Bank, for instance, almost single-handedly reversed the direction of Indian economy. At the root of several monetary evils, as a systemic functions, lies the unholy merger of industry and government, creating the communism-capitalism dialectic and trapping the entire world in a pincer attack.

Not only that, when the corporations gain corporate personhood, as Hoi mentions, it brings about another cascade of disasters. Once more, the concept of human rights is applied to a corporation - an economic body. By bolstering the connection of industry to governments, it is possible to equip an army... and generating wars for profit.

Hence it is clear that subtle conceptual and functional differences easily get magnified into devastating effects in real life. What may turn out to be hair-splitting about definitions and functions shows its real nature when misunderstood, and it is that which helps the powers-that-be to retain control of the masses. Very few penetrate the dialectic (because all of education ignores it, and all the public figures ignore it even more, while making sure the dialectic remains) and even fewer penetrate it to a level where they see it in operation in the systems set up around us. Yet, it is essential to functionally separate the issues of nationality and education from the state and from the economy. And all this has to be done dynamically while keeping the essential functions clear in the mind. Every one-sided attempt is doomed to failure... pushing the government to act will simply rebound from the side of lobbying, and suing corporations will only land you in jail, meanwhile education and culture is turned to mush.

Even if, by some miracle, one is able to offset these things, there is still a concentration of power... where all the three -- economic power, government control, and psychological understanding -- are welded together. This is the core of the Intelligence Agencies (government), secret brotherhoods (mental), and corporate power (economical) that control all three aspects of society, by utilizing our ignorance of these principles. So it is not a matter of setting up this system or that, protesting here or there... it is crucial to understand how it works, how it decays or thrives. Just as a physical point requires three coordinates, it appears that social clarification requires a three-dimensional understanding.

I will also suggest reading this article: Solving Burning Conflicts. Also fubarfuthark already mentioned Gennadij Bondarev in a previous thread, I will link to that again here. Plus the image from a blog article of mine:


Image.

Anyway, these are my thoughts on the issue... please let me know your comments!
Gopi
Member
 
Posts: 24
Joined: April 14th, 2015, 3:00 pm

Re: The State and the Nations

Postby simonshack on May 27th, 2016, 1:15 am

Dear Gopi, just a quick word of appreciation for now - re: this quote of yours...

"Just as a physical point requires three coordinates, it appears that social clarification requires a three-dimensional understanding."

Wonderfully put.
simonshack
Administrator
 
Posts: 6433
Joined: October 18th, 2009, 9:09 pm
Location: italy

Re: The State and the Nations

Postby hoi.polloi on May 27th, 2016, 1:54 am

Thank you for using your brain, Gopi, and for synthesizing my work with your interesting theory. It's a pleasure to read.
hoi.polloi
Administrator
 
Posts: 4868
Joined: November 14th, 2010, 8:24 pm

Re: The State and the Nations

Postby aa5 on June 5th, 2016, 9:13 am

The state used to be a relatively small part of Western economies. Fluctuating between 5-10% of the economy until the 20th century. The state was involved with the military, courts, police, prisons, import check points & a few other considerations such as roads and the monetary system. Municipal governments sometimes were involved in a variety of areas, but this was up to the prerogative of the local residents.

For a law abiding citizen, such as a family of blacksmiths in a farming community - there was little contact with the state throughout ones life. Even taxes were hidden from the average citizen, collected from large concerns as import duties, water rights, mineral royalties and so forth. Social services were done through families, churches, fraternal organizations, charities and similar organizations.


I believe a serious crisis hit the West early in the 20th century. The crisis was that the pace of science and technology became so rapid that it was making jobs obsolete faster than new jobs were being created. If for anything else, with growing numbers of young men unemployed and increasingly hopeless, that was a political timebomb. Germany was on the verge of a communist revolution in 1930.

Whether you look at Britain and acting on the Beveridge report(to move the war time state over to the welfare state at the conclusion of the war), the New Deal by Roosevelt in the USA, or Hitler's National Socialist work programme - it is pretty much the same response by the 3 leading industrial nations of that period. To reduce the work week, take labor out of the workforce through extending school time, and bringing forward retirement, extending vacations. To drive money into the hands of the people to increase consumption through collective bargaining. And to create millions of new government jobs.

Today I see basically every western nation still at it. If 250,000 jobs are made obsolete in industry, governments add 250,000 'non-jobs'. Governments are driving money into the hands of people through increasing welfare, social assistance & tax credit programs. See the expansion of long term disabled.


The problem I see is this concentrates power in the government. With a majority of families relying on their sustenance from either government jobs or benefits, how does one restrain the government.

And of course science gets corrupted. The funding for the grants comes mainly from government ministries, who want to create evidence to justify their own expansion. I read once, that as many as a million people in Britain now work fighting climate change. What if you were a professor, and found its not as big a threat as you first thought.

People understand this with the military-complex, that they must create never ending enemies that are a dire threat, in order to justify the spending. But the same rationale applies across the whole spectrum of ministries. There must be a growing homeless crisis for the ministry of housing to fight, there must be deteriorating health, justifying increasing health spending, education must appear to be in decline to justify more spending on education. On the sort of bright side, its really the perception that matters.
aa5
Member
 
Posts: 180
Joined: April 15th, 2016, 4:03 am

Re: The State and the Nations

Postby aa5 on June 5th, 2016, 9:28 am

Gopi wrote:
The Function of the Economy


When a drought in a corner of the world can send economic shock-waves across the world, where even making a pencil requires efforts across continents, what meaning remains in the concept of "national economy"? The idea that the economic decisions can be something voted upon, is another absurdity of modern life... since it is not possible for one to vote on the rain or the energy required for oil extraction. This connection of the democratic vote with the question of economy allowed another powerful functional meld to occur... the industry twisting the arm of the government by lobbying and campaign money while the government gets corrupted by money-power... a two-way street. It is quite easy to see how the decision of the US government to create affordable housing by law, with murky motivations and understanding, led to the creation of the 2008 bubble and a much cleaner sweep of the economy to bail out banks. The history of the Federal Reserve and World Bank, is another case in point - the World Bank, for instance, almost single-handedly reversed the direction of Indian economy. At the root of several monetary evils, as a systemic functions, lies the unholy merger of industry and government, creating the communism-capitalism dialectic and trapping the entire world in a pincer attack.


I read an interesting comment about Venezuela and why its economy collapsed so quickly - even for going communist. The commenter argued that the economy is vastly more complex today than say the 1920's. Your example of a pencil requiring efforts from across whole continents. I was thinking of farming, where there is needed distributors of farm equipment manufacturers, spare parts(made from all over), small heavy machinery shops to do repairs.

Then the chemical refineries to make the fertilizers and other farm chemicals. Which presumably require ingredients produced all over the place. And then means of distribution for those chemicals to reach the farmers. And yet more machinery to apply the chemicals to the field.

Then the systems of irrigation, and one can only imagine the type of international produced equipment to keep those systems running. Then the logistics corporations like trucking, and storage, involved in the finished product.

When the government of Venezuela decided that a number of the enterprises involved at various stages were just greedy capitalists and nationalized or shut them down - the government was faced with trying to run all these moving parts. Which it was unable to do - for a time it lasted through purchasing supplies on the international marketplace to replace falling production at home, but ultimately it ran out of cash.

The idea that there could be democratic governance over these systems is sort of insane.
aa5
Member
 
Posts: 180
Joined: April 15th, 2016, 4:03 am

Re: The State and the Nations

Postby hoi.polloi on June 5th, 2016, 4:26 pm

aa5 wrote:People understand this with the military-complex, that they must create never ending enemies that are a dire threat, in order to justify the spending. But the same rationale applies across the whole spectrum of ministries. There must be a growing homeless crisis for the ministry of housing to fight, there must be deteriorating health, justifying increasing health spending, education must appear to be in decline to justify more spending on education. On the sort of bright side, its really the perception that matters.


Enlightening reading, aa5. Thanks for your posts.

First, you're drawing up the whole question in my mind: what are "jobs" even for exactly? Essentially, the idea is that you should trade some of time (the time you would otherwise spend surviving with your group) doing something else that makes your life not just worthwhile to your neighbor but valuable, so that they mother you in some way — providing a chicken or rabbit to eat, and an occasional sprocket for your "time use transformation" tool, which converted your need to have a group, or produce food for yourself, into a need to produce something you'd rather be making instead — Art? Pantaloons? Instruments of torture to sell to the local Mafia? In any case, the idea of a "job" is that you get some kind of freedom from boredom and monotony. It does not change in any way your need for food, sleep, shelter and basic tools and defenses.

The whole goofiness about this (very old) 'new' de-grouped and 'independent' arrangement is that before finding employment, one needn't have spent so much bloody time earning and justifying their own existence to their dependencies. The risk of trying to get a job that's even worth something to the neighbor is somewhat beyond our cultural milieu.

With Ronnie Ray-gun capping pay sans explaining the bizarre situation we are born into, and subsequently which millions never discover is rather an artificial but out-of-control system, the State imposed value of having a job is decreasing rather quickly. One can only assume we are (somewhat of necessity, regardless of how you want to credit evil cackling powers) reminding ourselves of the choice: go back to basics, grow your own food, etc. or continue playing around in the "macro-economic", "global" Bubble State, but particularly if you are good at callously exploiting and oppressing others, in which case you may wildly "succeed" — be it in government or private "enterprise". (Not that this is the only choice, since there is also certainly a kind of middle class that ekes by and other various cocktails of interdependency).

So speaking of a "homeless crisis", I've met plenty of voluntarily homeless people — many of them have no desire or want of a home. As Thoreau somewhat wrote about in Walden, there are as many reasons not to have one (for one that doesn't want one) as there are to have (for someone who does). Just like most things except absolute necessities! Whew!

Of course this doesn't solve the issue of those who haven't had this whole situation dawn upon them (because a television commercial hasn't told them how it works) and who wind up in awkward situations like having multiple cars and a big suburban house with no actual means of proving to the society that provided them that they "earned" it, outside of a Credit Card(TM) company that is selling people the bill of sale.

There are so many unspoken assumptions in the public spiral of silence on these matters, it's no wonder people get confused and emotionally dependent on the idea that the State will indeed provide absolutely everything — and if their family is ground up in the gears, the idea that something has somehow gone wrong rather than working just as (subconsciously) designed. It's also no wonder why people should still protest and march for the system to look inside itself and inherently change through some kind of emotional transformation. Good on such folks for trying such a, er, spiritual plan of attack.

But sometimes it takes a little more than that. It takes footwork and action and reminding folks that there is a vast amount of information available about how it really all fits together — and the official story is often just an entrancing tale, a kind of rosary prayer to repeat to one's self to explain how and why we bang our heads against the wall hoping to impart change.

I won't argue that these people are in the wrong, however. On the contrary, as Simon and others have repeatedly pointed out throughout all of known time that humans have been running amok on this planet, there are really only a few totally corrupted folks wily and weaselly enough to remain in positions of power and exploit millions.

The trouble I notice, (I guess I'll raise you a trouble for yours, aa5) is once we've identified them, it often turns out these are the friends of those entrusted to sing that mantra and rosary to the masses. So it's like standing up in church in the middle of service, squarely pointing an arm at the priest and decrying them. Seeing as how most people are in worship of the State the majority of their waking hours, it's both difficult for us to convince them something is wrong and difficult for them to carry that cognitive dissonance into their daily practices.
hoi.polloi
Administrator
 
Posts: 4868
Joined: November 14th, 2010, 8:24 pm

Re: The State and the Nations

Postby Apache on June 6th, 2016, 9:21 am

aa5 wrote:The problem I see is this concentrates power in the government. With a majority of families relying on their sustenance from either government jobs or benefits, how does one restrain the government.


The following horror story about their next plan in the UK should serve to illustrate just how expendable we all are:

In the UK the State introduced "tax credits" some years ago to top up the low wages of workers on minimum wage. This has been running for years to the point where workers have now become reliant on tax credits topping up their wages. These workers typically have jobs that are zero hours, low paid and insecure, that more often than not forces them to claim "benefits". There are also people who work part time (not out of choice) and who are also reliant on goverment benefits (they can claim a top up to their income and are classed as unemployed even though they are not unemployed) via main "unemployment" benefits and they can also claim housing benefit (rent that goes to rich landlords).

The unemployment benefits regime in the UK is brutal, has caused hundreds of deaths and is implemented in a savage fashion against both working and non-working people via financial sanctions that can last between 4 weeks and 3 years.

Next phase: the introduction of "Universal Credit". At this time it's being tested out on both single people who are unemployed and single people who work. Anyone who claims any sort of government "benefit", such as unemployment benefit, housing benefit and tax credits will all be shifted onto UC by 2017 (it's behind schedule).

Under UC there is what is known as "in work conditionality". That is, anyone who claims any benefits and is employed will have to attend their local jobcentre where they will be "encouraged" to look for better paid work or more hours in order to cease receiving benefits. Tax credits were not introduced as a "benefit" but as a way to "help" low paid workers, but they did the old switcheroony when it suited them, because that was the plan all along.

Under UC there is no carrot. There is only a stick - if you do not comply with their demand that you look for better paid work or more hours, then any State benefits you receive (working or not working) will be cut. There are thousands of stories of both the employed and the unemployed being sanctioned by the State in the UK since 2012, leaving claimants with either nothing to live on or left to live on poverty wages. The State (comprised of individual men and women) has refused to take responsiblity for the hundreds of deaths they have caused via their sanctions regime and have had to be pushed (via FOIs) to even admit that such deaths occurred under a government financial sanction that their sub-minions implemented against weak and defenceless people.

UC is a hideous plan to force everyone (working and not working) who claim any "benefit" from the State (even if they've worked for decades and paid full taxes) to take any work on a flexible basis, at the State's beck and call, in support of unscrupulous employers and Big Business. The State is even dragging disabled people into this scheme, recently cutting State benefits to a group who are the weakest and most in need in our society.

How does one restrain the government? We can't as long as psychopaths are allowed to run them and to run the banking system. The only fit people who should be running government aren't allowed to (and most probably would be very reluctant to do so). The greedy and fearful don't want empathic and caring individuals in power because the world would change overnight. Psychopaths are petrified that such a world would not want them in it, but that is merely psychopaths projecting their pathology onto empaths, thinking that empaths will eliminate them (rather than merely constraining them), in direct opposition to what empathy is all about. :lol:
Apache
Member
 
Posts: 168
Joined: October 22nd, 2015, 12:02 pm

Re: The State and the Nations

Postby aa5 on June 8th, 2016, 8:09 am

hoi.polloi wrote:Enlightening reading, aa5. Thanks for your posts.

First, you're drawing up the whole question in my mind: what are "jobs" even for exactly? Essentially, the idea is that you should trade some of time (the time you would otherwise spend surviving with your group) doing something else that makes your life not just worthwhile to your neighbor but valuable, so that they mother you in some way — providing a chicken or rabbit to eat, and an occasional sprocket for your "time use transformation" tool, which converted your need to have a group, or produce food for yourself, into a need to produce something you'd rather be making instead — Art? Pantaloons? Instruments of torture to sell to the local Mafia? In any case, the idea of a "job" is that you get some kind of freedom from boredom and monotony. It does not change in any way your need for food, sleep, shelter and basic tools and defenses.

The whole goofiness about this (very old) 'new' de-grouped and 'independent' arrangement is that before finding employment, one needn't have spent so much bloody time earning and justifying their own existence to their dependencies. The risk of trying to get a job that's even worth something to the neighbor is somewhat beyond our cultural milieu.

With Ronnie Ray-gun capping pay sans explaining the bizarre situation we are born into, and subsequently which millions never discover is rather an artificial but out-of-control system, the State imposed value of having a job is decreasing rather quickly. One can only assume we are (somewhat of necessity, regardless of how you want to credit evil cackling powers) reminding ourselves of the choice: go back to basics, grow your own food, etc. or continue playing around in the "macro-economic", "global" Bubble State, but particularly if you are good at callously exploiting and oppressing others, in which case you may wildly "succeed" — be it in government or private "enterprise". (Not that this is the only choice, since there is also certainly a kind of middle class that ekes by and other various cocktails of interdependency).


I used to believe that in a society, wages were directly tied to productivity. Because when I looked at nations the wage levels as an average matched the productivity. What I didn't see is there is the usual supply & demand dynamic at work.

If there has always been a shortage of labor, then firms must compete with each other for available labor. And the labor itself will always be tending to be moving towards more lucrative areas of the economy. With firms bidding against each other, they are limited by the productivity of their operations on what they can pay. This also helps guide capital & labor towards more productive firms.

As productivity rises, the bar of wages rises for firms in this shortage of labor. Hence as productivity rises, the buying power of the population is increasing. It won't be perfectly fair, but statistically it will balance out.

But what happens when we move from a shortage of labor, to a surplus of labor. Productivity could still be rising through technology & science & trade, and yet wages are determined by the old supply and demand. So with a surplus, labor wages would fall to 0. And we see in Europe, where there is less opportunity because of a greater regulatory restrictions(and hence a greater surplus of labor), the defacto new 'standard' wage is the legal minimum wage.

So firms costs would be falling, and the buying power of their customers/workers would also be falling. This has to mean price deflation. So when I was reading about transhumanism type topics around 2000-2005, I realized that we were heading into a big time deflation, and the only way to drive money into the economy was through the central state printing and spending it. (which should be a very positive thing)


What is the point of a job. In the Protestant ethic, the work you put in, through hardship and time like a prison sentence, should be the reward you get out. The typical human thinking of a zero sum game. This is also why the West is in the whole victim hood debate - the people who have suffered the most believe they deserve the most rewards.

The only problem is the economy and the world doesn't work that way. If a specialist doctor is able to treat someones health problem - there is a value in that, even if it took him 5 minutes of work to diagnose and prescribe. The value in dollars is determined by 1. the benefit to the client relative to everything else they could have spent their money on. And 2. of the specialist doctors with that knowledge, what is the lowest that any of them is willing to charge. It could be $100, it could be $10,000. You see how it is not related to the effort put in.

People believe they earned their pension, not based on the value to society of the work they did throughout their career. But through 'putting in their time'.

It is only through our own ignorance that we see machinery replacing workers, as a dystopian, bad thing. But it obviously will require reforms to work. Just as in the 1930's the industrial nations had to bring in the modern social-welfare state in order to make it work.


What you are talking about with changing peoples minds is 'change management'. I noticed that the average person is either 100% one side or 100% the other side. So in 2005, I guessed that by 2030 we would see driverless automobiles for sale. People laughed me off, as the task would be too difficult for computers. In 2015, I said, you know we might see a driverless car for sale even a few years before 2030.

But in the meantime the population had shifted 100% to the other side - people were telling me that we were going to have driverless cars for sale within the next 2 years.

I saw it in China too with the 1 child policy. When some renegade government newspaper writers, wrote editorials arguing that the restrictions should be relaxed or abandoned - the people of China were furious at those renegade writers. As the people had been indoctrinated since birth on why the policy was necessary and a good thing.
aa5
Member
 
Posts: 180
Joined: April 15th, 2016, 4:03 am

Re: The State and the Nations

Postby antipodean on June 8th, 2016, 8:31 am

The only problem is the economy and the world doesn't work that way. If a specialist doctor is able to treat someones health problem - there is a value in that, even if it took him 5 minutes of work to diagnose and prescribe. The value in dollars is determined by 1. the benefit to the client relative to everything else they could have spent their money on. And 2. of the specialist doctors with that knowledge, what is the lowest that any of them is willing to charge. It could be $100, it could be $10,000. You see how it is not related to the effort put in.


What about a society (Nation) that doesn't have much of a need for Accountants & Lawyers etc. Academic minded people therefore gravitate towards the sciences, and you actually have a surplus of Doctors.

When you think of Cuban exports, you might think of sugar, or perhaps its famously sought-after cigars. But one of the nation’s most profitable exports is actually its own healthcare professionals.

The Cuban government reportedly earns $8 billion a year in revenues from professional services carried out by its doctors and nurses, with some 37,000 Cuban nationals currently working in 77 countries. The socialist regime allows the government to collect a portion of the incomes earned by Cuban workers abroad.

For example, in 2013 Cuba inked a deal with the Brazilian Health Ministry to send 4,000 Cuban doctors to underserved regions of Brazil by the end of the year – worth as much as $270 million a year to the Castro government. By the end of 2014, Brazil’s Mais Medicos program, meaning “More Doctors,” had brought in 14,462 health professionals – 11,429 of which came from Cuba.


http://www.forbes.com/sites/billfrist/2 ... 6420e6325c
antipodean
Member
 
Posts: 578
Joined: October 20th, 2009, 2:53 am

Re: The State and the Nations

Postby kickstones on June 8th, 2016, 11:41 am

Apache wrote:
aa5 wrote:The problem I see is this concentrates power in the government. With a majority of families relying on their sustenance from either government jobs or benefits, how does one restrain the government.



Next phase: the introduction of "Universal Credit". At this time it's being tested out on both single people who are unemployed and single people who work. Anyone who claims any sort of government "benefit", such as unemployment benefit, housing benefit and tax credits will all be shifted onto UC by 2017 (it's behind schedule).


Under UC there is what is known as "in work conditionality". That is, anyone who claims any benefits and is employed will have to attend their local jobcentre where they will be "encouraged" to look for better paid work or more hours in order to cease receiving benefits. Tax credits were not introduced as a "benefit" but as a way to "help" low paid workers, but they did the old switcheroony when it suited them, because that was the plan all along.

:


Apache, Alaska employs a system that effectively removes people's reliance on these multiple government conditional handouts, its citizens or residents regularly receive an unconditional sum of money. It is a basic income system or kind of citizen's dividend....

"From national to global dividends

Sharing the value of co-owned resources is not just a theoretical premise; the practice has long existed in Alaska where 25 percent of all mineral lease rentals, royalties, bonuses and other payments received by the state are placed into a permanent fund that is currently worth over $53 billion.[21] The fund was initially set up by the government of Alaska in 1976 and is now managed on behalf of its citizens who receive an annual dividend from the income it generates, which amounted to $1,884 in 2014.

http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voi ... vidends-sh

Is it working?

Maybe.

"A lower poverty rate (by a few percent) for Alaska than the U.S. as a whole is pretty consistent, at least back to 2000," said Hunsinger. "The Alaska-to-U.S. difference has been a little bigger in the past couple years, and this may be because Alaska was not hit as hard as the rest of the nation by the 'Great Recession'."


http://www.adn.com/economy/article/desp ... 011/10/26/

However, when health / life style issues are examined a different picture is observed.....

Alcohol-induced mortality rate
. The 2014 Alaska rate is 310% higher than the 2013 U.S. rate (the most recent year for which data are available), and the Al aska data show no clear trend. The status is “needs improvement.” This is the same as last year’s Scorecard status.

Heavy drinking (adults)
. The 2014 Alaska rate is 54% higher than the U.S. rate, and the Alaska rate does not show a clear trend, so the status is “needs improvement.” This is the same as last year’s Scorecard status.

http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/HealthPlanni ... 0-2016.pdf

The above information is only a quick analysis and should in no way be put forward as a correlation. The idea is to stimulate debate. For example, does receiving a basic income induce laziness and boredom resulting in higher alcohol consumption levels?

Or does basic income increase social cohesion?

In Namibia, an experiment took place for years that involved a thousand people in a single village all being given basic incomes.

Not only did a greater sense of community grow, but the very first thing the village even did was to organize an 18-member committee to mobilize the community and advise residents. This was an immediate effect described in the report as “community mobilization and empowerment.” There were also other notable effects, like a 42 percent drop in crime, huge reductions in child malnutrition and school dropout rates, and a 301 percent increase in self-employment.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-san ... 54072.html

In India one pilot study, everybody in eight villages were provided with a basic income for 18 months, and their experience evaluated by comparing what took place in 12 otherwise similar villages, in a modified randomised control trial.

It had four effects, most accentuated by the presence of the collective body.

First, it had strong welfare, or “capability”, effects. There were improvements in child nutrition, child and adult health, schooling attendance and performance, sanitation, economic activity and earned incomes, and the socio-economic status of women, the elderly and the disabled.

Second, it had strong equity effects. It resulted in bigger improvements for scheduled caste and tribal households, and for all vulnerable groups, notably those with disabilities and frailties. This was partly because the basic income was paid to each individual, strengthening their bargaining position in the household and community.

Third, it had growth effects. Contrary to what sceptics predicted (including Sonia Gandhi), the basic incomes resulted in more economic activity and work.

Conventional labour statistics would have picked that up inadequately. There was a big increase in secondary economic activities, as well as a shift from casual wage labour to own-account farming and small-scale business. Growth in village economies is often ignored. It should not be.

Fourth, it had emancipatory effects. These are unappreciated by orthodox development thinkers. The poor’s liberty has no value. But the basic income resulted in some families buying themselves out of debt bondage, others paying down exorbitant debts incurring horrendous interest rates. For many, it provided liquidity with which to respond to shocks and hazards. In effect, the basic income responded to the fact that in such villages money is a scarce commodity, and as such that has driven up its price, locking most in a perpetual cycle of debt and deprivation.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/ec ... lives-poor

Obviously more studies are needed, and in In 2015, a citizen's initiative in Spain received 185,000 signatures, however, it fell short of the required amount of the proposal to be discussed in parliament.

More recently the world's first universal basic income referendum in Switzerland on 5 June 2016 was rejected with a large majority.

However, experiments have been planned in Holland Finland and USA.

The Washington Post reported on June 7th that the City Council of Washington D.C. has approved an amendment that “calls on the city’s Office of the Chief Financial Officer to study the possibility of providing a basic income in D.C.”

The amendment was included as part of a measure to increase the city’s minimum wage to $15 by 2020 — which passed unanimously on Tuesday.

Council member David Grosso, who introduced the amendment, announced its approval in a tweet — noting his concern that a minimum wage alone is not sufficiently “forward thinking.” As he says, “A minimum income is an alternative approach with the basic idea of providing a floor of income upon which residents can build other income.”


http://www.basicincome.org/news/2016/06 ... ic-income/

In Finland ...

The idea is to engage 10,000 randomly selected people over 18 in the experiment and in control groups. By testing out various levels of basic income – 550-750 euro – the researchers will learn more about the effect this has on employment levels. Will a certain level of economic security be an incentive for people to work more, or will it have the opposite effect? People who start working, studying or find other types of employment will still be allowed to claim the benefit.

Four places in the Netherlands will also introduce basic income experiments. European Union experts are following the experiments with great interest because they might provide new insight which could be relevant for the whole of the EU.

http://www.nordiclabourjournal.org/nyhe ... 8649123076

In my view different insights are needed, especially if predictions of a "fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0)" are borne out.

In manufacturing, the potential for cyber-physical systems to improve productivity in the production process and the supply chain is vast. Consider processes that govern themselves, where smart products can take corrective action to avoid damages and where individual parts are automatically replenished. Such technologies already exist and could drive what some German industry leaders call the fourth industrial revolution

http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functi ... ufacturing

In relation to the United States, writers estimate the number of jobs threatened by new technologies at around 47% of the total. ‘Threatened’ refers to the risk of becoming automated by computerised equipment in the next ten to twenty years.


In relation to Europe, estimates set possible job losses at between 40% and 60%. There are those who believe that these are exaggerated ‘horror scenarios’. Yet, even if the forecasts may well be somewhat off the mark, the threat remains real: not only are routine and repetitive tasks already being digitalised but, in addition, an increasing number of complex tasks are tomorrow likely to be taken over and performed by computerised devices.

https://www.socialeurope.eu/2016/02/her ... evolution/

What automation means for the future unclear, but what is clear the present state of things has to change to prevent social unrest which surely would result if high levels of unemployment prevailed without the introduction of adequate compensatory factors. And an introduction of an unconditional citizens dividend maybe one just factor, if used in an appropriate manner it could be benificial to the communtity as a whole and may even unleash the restraints of government.

http://www.basicincome.org/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_income
kickstones
Member
 
Posts: 163
Joined: January 16th, 2013, 2:15 pm

Re: The State and the Nations

Postby Farcevalue on June 8th, 2016, 3:59 pm

If there was a mention of the reliance on violence by any nation or state in order to achieve its ends in the above posts, I may have missed it, but violence should always be at the forefront of any analysis of the state. Asking someone they think about the state and its dependence on violence is probably akin to asking a fish what it thinks of water, as it is so woven into the fabric of our lives that it becomes invisible.

In the same way that Clues Forum is committed to lifting the veil on the use of media fakery by the nutwork, anyone committed to living in a peaceful world should take whatever opportunity they can to expose the only tool in the toolbox of any government: violence, the escalation of which results in murder should compliance not be demonstrated before then. The demand for compliance may start with a mere letter from some bureaucrat, but there should be no delusion that the bureaucracy be not ready and willing to resort to murder. Some may say that fines should be paid, or one should allow oneself to be incarcerated, but at the end of the day death is the potential consequence for resistance. There are a number of websites devoted to filming police brutality that demonstrate this in no uncertain terms.

Analyzing any society under the yoke of a government is like analyzing the videos of the 9/11 debacle to collapse physics, or looking to fictional works to resolve real problems.

There are other issues involving the inconsistency and irrationality involving any type of state, such as how a voter can vote to delegate powers to others that the voter does not possess in the first place, as well as the complete lack of any evidence that any constitutions or laws apply to any so called citizens. The plantation argument was dismissed sometime ago. i.e., that laws apply because people were born in particular geographical locations.

It can be stimulating to ruminate on how things could be organized to serve the population at large by tweaking the system as it stands, but the solution to better health is to eliminate toxicity, not to moderate or adjust it. Until everyone comes to an understanding that no government can be legitimate (a daunting challenge that essentially dissolves the material of one's reality, much as accepting media fakery) the system will continue to devour itself until it implodes. Historically, this means a reorganization built on the same self-contradictory principles as were accepted previously. Thankfully, technology has been able to forestall this reorganization by allowing more production with less input. Whether there is a limit to this delaying tactic is anybody's guess.
Farcevalue
Member
 
Posts: 380
Joined: August 27th, 2011, 12:21 pm

Re: The State and the Nations

Postby hoi.polloi on June 8th, 2016, 7:12 pm

Farcevalue, that definitely should be discussed. As we've mentioned before, the State is essentially a gang that asserts control first through psychological means coupled with the threat of violence, then violence immediately after any resistance emerges. If the State didn't form immediately out of the destruction of a previous one, it might also be planned to create the violence first, along with the measured psychological conditions to implement the next plan. This would be something even empathic types have to face whenever we consider and examine the idea of forming a "better" plan.

The violent physical world is kept at bay by plans implemented violently. Our task, it seems, as a species, is to continually innovate on how to keep the violence at bay without resorting to colonialism that by necessity requires a kind of cultural violence, appropriation and so on built in. And, unfortunately, just what that looks like is so fluid and so intensely based on what is actually going on — really — in the now — that it barely is worth writing about until all parties can all agree on this basic premise as a basis for meeting and working out differences. Apparently, the powers that be do not want us to plan our own futures despite their constant lie that they would love us to do so; instead, it seems, we are to fill our heads with nonsense, non-events and bogus science and therefore lose the privilege passed down from older generations and give it to them.

All the worship of technology changing things for the better, after we've already seen technology is being taken from us at nearly the rate it's developed, is an interesting game the Statist cabal imposes upon us. (This is why I personally believe open source and general use notions for technology and the products of the creative class may be so valuable — if imperfect and often poorly managed — though without thinking about that fully, I am left with the notion that this is only my uninformed opinion).

kickstones wrote:Apache, Alaska employs a system that effectively removes people's reliance on these multiple government conditional handouts, its citizens or residents regularly receive an unconditional sum of money. It is a basic income system or kind of citizen's dividend....

"From national to global dividends

Sharing the value of co-owned resources is not just a theoretical premise; the practice has long existed in Alaska where 25 percent of all mineral lease rentals, royalties, bonuses and other payments received by the state are placed into a permanent fund that is currently worth over $53 billion.[21] The fund was initially set up by the government of Alaska in 1976 and is now managed on behalf of its citizens who receive an annual dividend from the income it generates, which amounted to $1,884 in 2014.

http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voi ... vidends-sh

Is it working?

Maybe.

"A lower poverty rate (by a few percent) for Alaska than the U.S. as a whole is pretty consistent, at least back to 2000," said Hunsinger. "The Alaska-to-U.S. difference has been a little bigger in the past couple years, and this may be because Alaska was not hit as hard as the rest of the nation by the 'Great Recession'."


http://www.adn.com/economy/article/desp ... 011/10/26/

However, when health / life style issues are examined a different picture is observed.....

Alcohol-induced mortality rate
. The 2014 Alaska rate is 310% higher than the 2013 U.S. rate (the most recent year for which data are available), and the Al aska data show no clear trend. The status is “needs improvement.” This is the same as last year’s Scorecard status.

Heavy drinking (adults)
. The 2014 Alaska rate is 54% higher than the U.S. rate, and the Alaska rate does not show a clear trend, so the status is “needs improvement.” This is the same as last year’s Scorecard status.

http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/HealthPlanni ... 0-2016.pdf
[...] The idea is to stimulate debate. For example, does receiving a basic income induce laziness and boredom resulting in higher alcohol consumption levels?

Or does basic income increase social cohesion?


I agree that the Universal Credit "bait-and-switch" (or rather, as many political foibles occur, could it be the "genuine-hope-meets-genuine-exhaustion-after-consensus-fails-discussion-loses-steam-and-token-political-achievement-is-botched-and-ultimately-coopted"?) is very different from the idea of a base income. We should acknowledge that both of these systems increase reliance on the State and come with inherent presumptions about the ability of a State to regulate the worth of a universal currency.

However, the drunkenness of Alaskans may definitely be a statistical "lurking variable". It's also bloody cold and insular there, despite any good community.

Speaking of doctors, I have a rather unprofessional and untrained opinion myself. I have a prediction, based on what I think could occur in Alaska, about how a universal income would seem to solve all social issues, as covering up a fire at least temporarily seems to put it out before it rages ever stronger and consumes the cover. The universal income may solve, as it were, some very deep psychological problems with socially damaged persons. But not before they have to burn through the sickness as a healthy immune system can cause increase in fever as it fights off a germ.

The idea that there is a basic functional person is the perspective of the State, that would try to cure everyone of anything that would prevent their serfs from becoming perfectly ordinary, plug-and-play components of their machine. But there is a truth to this attitude, as farmers may coldly observe the health of their herd. This includes addictions, as I often bring up, and where any State and myself may find some common reflections (because I have seen the devastation that out-of-control addiction of a single individual wrought upon the cohesion of many social groups, something that we might also compare, perhaps, to the power-addictions of our misleaders.)

First of all, the "problems" the universal income would create, such as higher laziness and spoiled behavior as anti-social types would characterize the effect of all hand-outs, may merely be the fever increasing to deal with the brain fog that characterizes most people oppressed by unfair taxes, bureaucracy and/or bad vetting processes of the State. This only supposes that there is a kind of dullness of mind, body and spirit that comes from an existential issue we can blame on many things. Some people blame it on the State, some people blame it on an inherent fault in humanity or spiritual evil, and still others may blame it on something quite abstract indeed — if their heads can even escape their butts long enough to realize most everyone deals with it in some way, and most things they may characterize as "hand-outs" are just another form of humanity's and nature's generosity rather than her stupid greed.

However, without the problem of the State, this universal human issue — what to do with one's self with one's ample free time — can flourish and flower and evolve into whatever it may be — cancer, health or nonplussing abstract observation. We know what the State and many corporations modeled after it could have us do: work ourselves to death or suicide and/or donate our living corpses to pharmaceutical and psychological study.

The universal income in Alaska nourishes the Alaskan character, which reveals both its dysfunction and its incredible human propensity for coping. With the State out of the way, the Alaskan character must sink or swim on its own merits. So goes the same with any society that would risk the base income method of dealing with the problem of the State.

As the cessation of all flights would briefly reduce the cloud cover created by airplanes and cause a lowering in temperature (by the release of the greenhouse effect) before a rise in temperature may prevail, so too Alaska may demonstrate a brief dip into depression before it can flourish or fester in its own juices. Perhaps the ability of a community or macrocommunity to flourish after this band aid is applied gives us some indication of how strong that group really is without the problems that come from a State. But if there are no more issues that the technique compounds, perhaps we can apply a universal basic income (appropriate to each community as decided by such) as a means of transitioning to a lack of need for global State currency and ultimately a lack of the State itself.

Still, it's probably best to be cognizant of all this if attempted, and with the hope of shedding the colonialist polis state altogether, if it doesn't create a new addiction to the present technocracy.

When my father first started talking to me about the "base income" idea, my gut response was: wait, so we should get free tickets to live rather than working tirelessly to justify those tickets? Why stop there? We should all be issued licenses to exist, blinking certificates and demurrage promissory notes of sexual attraction.
:rolleyes:

It's at least some State acknowledgement of something inherent to life it would be nice to hear from them. Maybe the right to exist, freely operate, associate and trade with our neighbors will be printed on proper stationery at last!
hoi.polloi
Administrator
 
Posts: 4868
Joined: November 14th, 2010, 8:24 pm

Re: The State and the Nations

Postby Apache on June 9th, 2016, 9:50 am

Farcevalue wrote:If there was a mention of the reliance on violence by any nation or state in order to achieve its ends in the above posts, I may have missed it, but violence should always be at the forefront of any analysis of the state.


Indeed. Possibly I didn't state as much as I should have just how violent the UK State sanctions regime is.

If Universal Credit works as planned in the UK and there are no mass riots with jobcentres being burned to the ground by disgruntled people who are already working 2 jobs and being told they are lazy if they don't work 3, then the idea will spread to other countries. The UK is a testing ground for a return to a feudal system.

kickstones wrote:Alaska employs a system that effectively removes people's reliance on these multiple government conditional handouts, its citizens or residents regularly receive an unconditional sum of money. It is a basic income system or kind of citizen's dividend....


:lol: I know about the basic income system. I see it as simply another con-job, moving reliance on the State to reliance on the State's masters - the minters, the money changers, the frauds who have hijacked the monetary system and attached usury to it. Same chains, same masters. Will they also pat us on the head while "giving" us our own money? :rolleyes:

kickstones wrote:For example, does receiving a basic income induce laziness and boredom resulting in higher alcohol consumption levels?


Some of the laziest people I have ever met were "employed" and it made no difference where their money came from. A taker takes no matter where their income comes from (which I think is what you possibly mean by "lazy"). Some of the best thinkers on the planet did nothing all day long and were labelled "lazy". Before anyone can truly answer such a question as the one you have laid out, the definition of what is and isn't "laziness" has to be addressed. As for boredom leading to higher alcohol consumption levels (and I presume to violence) every alcoholic I've ever met worked for a living (and drank to get through that daily shit) or were an alcoholic because one drink was never enough, not because they were bored and were filling in time. :blink:

kickstones wrote:but what is clear the present state of things has to change to prevent social unrest which surely would result if high levels of unemployment prevailed without the introduction of adequate compensatory factors. And an introduction of an unconditional citizens dividend maybe one just factor, if used in an appropriate manner it could be benificial to the communtity as a whole and may even unleash the restraints of government.


The whole idea of what work is needs to change, from "employment" (business and profit based) to what is good for humanity as a whole. Real work (such as the work done on this forum), not the thousands of non-jobs that are created every day (leading to "high unemployment), simply to keep people busy. To stop them from truly thinking and away from figuring out for themselves that 9/11 was faked, NASA are taking the piss and Big Business doesn't care if you live or die as long as you buy their material goods before you expire.

hoi.polloi wrote:Maybe the right to exist, freely operate, associate and trade with our neighbors will be printed on proper stationery at last!


Will that be when hell freezes over :lol:
Apache
Member
 
Posts: 168
Joined: October 22nd, 2015, 12:02 pm

Re: The State and the Nations

Postby kickstones on June 9th, 2016, 12:52 pm

@Apache, imo as long as we adhere to a monetary system, then we are going to get exploitation of some kind. It's all about surplus value and who holds the greatest amount of surplus value is always going to call the tune. However, if the currency of value is linked to time, then this introduces a whole new ball game.

Instead of a monetary economy, we engage and revert back to some kind of subsistence economy.

Definition
An economic system wholly reliant on the self provisioning of the community. Wealth in a subsistence economy is measured in terms of natural resources. A subsistence economy relies on hunting and cultivation for food and surrounding trees for building shelter depending on the natural environment's renewal and reproduction for survival.

http://www.businessdictionary.com/defin ... z4B50eVi6M

This also maybe relevant to alchohol / violence and health related issues, because as discussed earlier, there is a high rate of alcohol related problems in Alaska and further analysis reveals....

Although heavy alcohol use in Alaska is not restricted to Alaska Natives, alcohol abuse and its consequences are disproportionately high
among this group.


Bernard Segal, Ph.D. suggests ...

Over the past 25 to 30 years, the development of the oil industry has spurred Alaska Natives ’ transition from a subsistence to a cash economy. The resulting alterations in family roles, community functions, and other aspects of culture may play a role in Alaska Natives’ use of alcohol

http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh22-4/276.pdf

Like you say.....

" The whole idea of what work is needs to change, from "employment" (business and profit based) to what is good for humanity as a whole."

However TPTB that controls the monetary economy ain't going to let the transformation to a subsistence economy happen in one step. There has to be stepping stones to achieve this aim, one such stone in my view is an introduction of a basic income system, implement that universally, rid yourself of the shackles of the state, one of the tools TPTB use to control us, then see where the next stone lies. If that makes sense.
kickstones
Member
 
Posts: 163
Joined: January 16th, 2013, 2:15 pm

Re: The State and the Nations

Postby Apache on June 9th, 2016, 1:18 pm

kickstones wrote:However TPTB that controls the monetary economy ain't going to let the transformation to a subsistence economy happen in one step. There has to be stepping stones to achieve this aim, one such stone in my view is an introduction of a basic income system, implement that universally, rid yourself of the shackles of the state, one of the tools TPTB use to control us, then see where the next stone lies. If that makes sense.


Yes, what you say makes perfect sense. I'd personally like to see how a basic income system, with no conditions attached, would work out, but I can't see the bankers ultimately allowing it.
Apache
Member
 
Posts: 168
Joined: October 22nd, 2015, 12:02 pm

Next

Return to General World Affairs

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests