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We Need A New Socioeconomic System...

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posted on Mar, 24 2010 @ 10:06 AM
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I want to first apologize for the length of this. I'm sure the pure size of it will turn most of you off, but I encourage you to at least read the scenario I have proposed in the last section of this post. Then, when you reply at least read some of the research that I have posted to avoid the mistakes made by former (or current) governments. That being said, onward!

Economics


I used to dread the word, because quite frankly I hated the subject. I’d float through “econ” classes in college, and try to ignore the nitty gritty that makes our world go round. I still hate the subject of economics today, but I have a different view now then I did when I was an ignorant student. When you combine economics with society, you get socioeconomics. The study of how our economy affects the social system we live in.

You are all aware of the various economic systems. The two ends of the spectrum being Communism vs. Capitalism. Marxism is more of a political world-view that was held by Karl Marx, and Communism is the economic system of Marxism. I, and I’m sure most of you will agree, that human history is based on the struggle of classes. Whether that be the French Revolution, the Bolshevik Revolution, or even the American Revolution, in which the colonists were tired of taxes imposed by the Great Britain elite. During the time of the American Revolution, there were talks of Democracy, and having a say in government. Colonists had little say in what happened, and did not wish to continue living under the Royal Family. After the Declaration of Independence was signed, and the war was won, America was finally free! Or so we thought…

Democracy has existed, in it’s primitive form, since around 508 BC in ancient Athens, though it is my suspicion that humans had used democratic systems prior to this, quite possibly extending into unknown human history. Note, I use “unknown” as meaning “unknown to the general public.” I would also like to point out, that Democracy does indeed have its flaws. If one person does not agree with the majority, that one person is the odd man out. That is unfair to the one person. What if that one person was you? Look at the Health Care Bill. There are arguments for both sides. That’s what the supposed “great thing” about Democracy is. Everyone has a voice, in a true democratic system.

So if that’s the case, why do the majority of Americans say we live in a democracy in the US? We don’t. Go ahead, take a poll. Ask anyone on the street what type of political system we live in. Most Americans you’ll find on the street are either a.) uneducated or unaware of socioeconomics, or b.) are too concerned with getting to McDonalds down the street. We live in a Republic, where we elect the leaders to represent us in government dealings, law, and executive decisions. Most of you already knew that, but I did want to make it clear for the purpose of this post. In a perfect world, we’d all have a voice in our government, and we’d all be able to reach a compromise on legislation we want passed. Well, I’m sorry to say that we don’t live in a perfect world. There is no Utopia. Yet.

There has been little progress in socioeconomics since the Renaissance. Our governments, while professing equality and fairness, follow the same backdoor deals, corrupt politics, and sell themselves to the highest bidders. A few alternatives to our system have been tried in areas around the country, and most have failed, or have fallen to Despotism, Dictatorships, etc. I want to examine some of these alternatives below, and then propose where I think the world can break the bonds of our system.

Let’s start by examining our mortal enemies, the Red Commies! These evil bastards want to destroy everything that’s good and balanced in this world! No competition, no wearing a suit and sitting in front of a computer for 8 hours a day, churning out work for “the boss!” How could they dare oppose such a wonderful lifestyle.

The Soviet Union was a result of the October Revolution of 1917. Prior to this event, there had been a lot of political unrest, and a provisional government installed after the February Revolution of 1917. The provisional government did not last for more than a year before Lenin’s Bolsheviks managed to take political control of the country. For decades, Lenin had envisioned the end of the imperial rule by the Russian Tsars. He was arrested on December 7th, 1895, exiled to Siberia, and returned to Russia in 1917 after much work to spark revolution, and incite rebellion within the monarchy. Not dissimilar to how the United States of America started. The people, fed up with imperial rule, had nowhere to turn. It took a man with the gift of the silver tongue to move the people. Much like Hitler.

Things are more complicated than that however. After Lenin’s health declined, there was sporadic fighting within the Communist party to gain control. There were several proposed Economic policies, including the New Economic Policy, and the Five Year Plan introduced by Josef Stalin. Stalin became a dictator, and killed more Russian citizens than ever. Most of you have heard of Stalin’s Great Purge.

After all of this political turmoil, and Stalin’s death, the Soviet Union became a true Communist state, commonly referred to as “the State.” The government had complete control of its people, through fear, and military strength. For the people, however, there was no competition between craftsmen. There was no motivation to outperform others, as profits went to the state. Everyone was considered equal. On paper, that sounds great, but as we see in the Soviet Union; it lead to the ultimate collapse of what was once a great superpower. Not too mention that most of the KGB and secret police attracted some brutal psychopaths.

The Result


We saw that over a period of time, Communism doesn’t work. For the sheer reasons listed above; there is no competition between workers. Quality of work suffers. All profits go to the state. The Soviet state failed for a variety of reasons, including the Afghanistan War, and growing public unrest. It should be noted that a “true” Communist system is rarely attained. Most governments that attempt this end up as Dictatorships. Some do not, however, and a good example of this is China.




posted on Mar, 24 2010 @ 10:08 AM
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The People’s Republic of China is currently one of the world’s fastest growing economies. This scares our military leaders, as the Chinese military already outnumbers our allies and us. We are lead to believe by our history classes that Chinese are evil Commies that were in bed with the Russians during the Cold War. The PRC, is indeed a Socialist nation, however, their economic practices are largely Capitalistic in nature. As China reformed their economic system, they found large profits were turned in from the private sector. Imagine that.

So we have a dilemma here. China, while considered a big red meanie by our Generals, is indeed not a big red meanie as we’re lead to believe. In fact, if China places a high emphasis on privatization and the entrepreneurial spirit. If you look closer, you’ll find government controls, such as the Censorship of Google. Is this the kind of life you would want to live? Controls on internet searches? The inability to get the information you desire immediately? Most of us could not live without that. Imagine, navigating your browser to ATS, only to find a BLOCKED page. Sadly, I think that’s starting to happen, even in America, under the guise of “child protection.”
But that’s another beast for another time. Let’s look at:

The Result


While China embraces a socialist society, it allows it’s citizens to partake in private markets, and it has succeeded into a world superpower. China is an interesting case, in that it combines the best of both worlds. Sadly, there are some controlling people over there who do not want to lose their power over the people. That is where problems arise. Control and power are two of the most dangerous words in language. Just take a look at Nazi Germany.

Nazi Germany sprung from the ashes of a defeated and embarrassed Austro-Hungarian empire. It was in the economic dumps (similar to us today), and needed guidance from a new leader. Enter, Adolf Hitler. A dark-haired, brown eyed Austrian, who proclaimed that blonde haired, blue eyed Germans were the future of the world. An insane and intelligent individual with the most evil of intentions for world control and world domination, Hitler used the power of his voice to speak to the senses of German nationalists. Nazi Germany rose to power in the 30’s, following “The War to End All Wars.” We all know the horror stories of the holocaust, and the persecution of Jews, Slavs, and other “inferior” races. And we all know what happened to Nazi Germany. But what type of economy did they have? This is rarely looked at by history classes, in your schools. And this may interest you.
Hjalmar Schacht was Hitler’s Minister of Economy. He introduced new policies and plans that helped Germany rise to the powerhouse that it was. The Nazi government began to invest their money into private industry and enterprises. This of course gave them control over these businesses. Similar to FDR’s “New Deal”, Schacht started various public works programs to cut unemployment. They also began to hit the international trade market heavily. This dictatorship economy would not last. Debt would steadily rise, and sharply increase in the years leading up to WW II. Unemployment was greatly reduced, but government spending was out of control.
Nazi Germany emphasized most of their spending on military might. As they stormed through Europe, they installed various puppet regimes in fallen countries. These governments, while extremely weak, provided small economic support for the Nazi war machine.

The Result


As the tides of the war turned, Nazi Germany’s resources went entirely into military production. Some believe that their spending went towards secret programs, such as the Nazi Bell. Be that as it may, Nazi Germany collapsed, giving the Soviets free reign over Europe. Nazi defeat at the hands of the US and the USSR gave rise to an interesting predicament. Two completely different socioeconomic ideals, poised to engage in Nuclear battle at a future date. Most nations chose sides with one or the other. Except for India.



posted on Mar, 24 2010 @ 10:10 AM
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India is a country with a well-documented history dating back to 500,000 years ago. In 1500 BC, culture in India flourished with the founding of Hinduism, a peaceful belief structure. As an aside, Hinduism is a fascinating religion and I’d suggest further research on it if you are not of the Christian faith. I myself am not a Hindu, or promoting Hinduism in any way, but it is indeed a great religion, and a great research project on it’s own.

The Indian economy is currently poised to become the largest in the world. When India gained their independence from Great Britain in 1947, reforms that were socialist in nature were implemented. In 1991, India shifted their focus towards a Capitalistic system, similar to China. India’s primary sector is agriculture. Work there is cheap, and India largely uses a Caste System. There have been major reforms in this system of social classes, leading it to look like modern day America. There is tolerance in most younger generations, even though some of the older generations still hold true to the ideals that they grew up with. adaniel.tripod.com...”" target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">Click for additional information on the different Caste Systems.

A Caste System means there is no opportunity for advancement. That is why many Indians come to the US to study.

The Result


Indians are an extremely intelligent, and highly skilled people. They like to specialize in computer software and the medical fields. I am not trying to generalize, but you can’t deny that you see a lot of Indian natives working in these fields. And that’s great. It’s good they have the opportunity to succeed over here. Everyone in the modern US came from different backgrounds. Whether you are native to this land, or your ancestors immigrated from Poland. We are all Americans. And now it is time to examine the US.

The United States of America founded in 1776, is considered the “modern capital of the world.” The American dream is a white picket fence, 2.5 kids, a 10 ton SUV, and a mortgage. You will go to a job that you ultimately end up hating, for 40 to 50 years of your life. You will make a career out of misery. Most of us will work for higher-ups, and reach middle management if we’re lucky, only to be given a retirement plan and told to “Get the hell out,” while we still have some of our mental faculties. In between hating your life and going to work, you will substitute material possessions for happiness. You will find great deals at Wal Mart, eat food at an Applebee’s, buy a Mercedes-Benz, and maybe get a hot tub. These will make you feel like you have accomplished the life dream. Unfortunately, not all of us feel this way.

Putting It Together


People come to the US because they are not happy with the situation in their country. People emigrate to better themselves, and get that swanky townhouse on the upper East-side. Some come here to see their name in lights, on a billboard, or be the star of sports, shows, whatever. They want the attention. Attention they’d never be given in their country. The US, is considered, the crown jewel of achievement to many of these people. I’m not asking you to believe that, and I don’t believe it either.

Capitalism is proclaimed to be the best system we know to date. Hey, if others flee their country to come here it must be true right? Right? I, personally, despise the Capitalistic market. In my experience, marketing, advertising, all of that junk is just a scam. It’s a way for somebody else to get rich, while ripping you off. Their once was a time, where we had small ma’ and pa’ shops that gave you value for what you paid for. Unfortunately, this isn’t the world we live in anymore. Giant conglomerate’s tower over strip mall’s, offering pharmaceuticals, genetically enhanced food, poisonous soft drinks, that will ensure the public stays docile and content with mediocrity. How did we let it get this bad?

Fixing It


As long as banks, bankers, and loan officers run our lives, nothing will change. The near collapse of 2008 was just the icing on the cake. Banks will continue to lend to people who can’t afford it. They will continue to bankrupt and screw the public out of their money. So what do we do? Start a Bolshevik Revolution? Overthrow the government?

This is unlikely, considering we’ve let the government get so big, and out of control with their own spending. The only thing that really could save us is absolutely financial collapse, and anarchy. I have a feeling this is close at hand, as the greed and corruption of Capitalism is a disorder that is cannot be cured.

After The Collapse


After the collapse of the economy, and the turmoil and the fighting, the dust will settle. All we will have left our are computers, our blogs, our message boards, and our friends. The importance of precious and scarce minerals needs to be re-examined. Why do I need an ounce of gold to obtain the services of an individual? Why can’t I trade something that I know for his services, or even services of my own?

The Knowledge/Information Economy
The Information Age is the post-modern age. There never was a flying car. There never was any free energy. We chose the route of information traveling at the speed of light. People specialize in graphic design, blogging, software development, computer networking, farming, irrigation, appliances, nearly anything. Even those of you who don’t have jobs. You certainly have some sort of skill. Some of you may be master chefs, waiting in the wings!



[edit on 24-3-2010 by DocEmrick]



posted on Mar, 24 2010 @ 10:14 AM
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I propose, that should some horrible catastrophe befall planet earth (fingers crossed) that we do not return to the old ways of our greed. We instead, move on to a new period of evolution. Where we trade knowledge for knowledge. Knowledge of the stars. Knowledge of the sea. Perhaps we trade information.


The essential difference is that in a knowledge economy, knowledge is a product, in knowledge-based economy, knowledge is a tool. This difference is not yet well distinguished in the subject matter literature. They both are strongly interdisciplinary, involving economists, computer scientists, software engineers, mathematicians, chemists, physicists, as well as cognitivists, psychologists and sociologists.
People would be educated, informed, and prepared. Competition would exist in the form of becoming knowledgeable, and increasing awareness about a topic sought out by the individual.

• The economics are not of scarcity, but rather of abundance. Unlike most resources that become depleted when used, information and knowledge can be shared, and actually grow through application.

• The effect of location is either diminished, in some economic activities: using appropriate technology and methods, virtual marketplaces and virtual organizations that offer benefits of speed, agility, round the clock operation and global reach can be created; or, on the contrary, reinforced in some other economic fields, by the creation of business clusters around centres of knowledge, such as universities and research centres. However, clusters already existed in pre-knowledge economy times.

• Laws, barriers, taxes and ways to measure are difficult to apply solely on a national basis. Knowledge and information "leak" to where demand is highest and the barriers are lowest.

• Knowledge enhanced products or services can command price premiums over comparable products with low embedded knowledge or knowledge intensity.
• Pricing and value depends heavily on context. Thus the same information or knowledge can have vastly different value to different people, or even to the same person at different times.

• Knowledge when locked into systems or processes has higher inherent value than when it can "walk out of the door" in people's heads.

• Human capital — competencies — are a key component of value in a knowledge-based company, yet few companies report competency levels in annual reports. In contrast, downsizing is often seen as a positive "cost cutting" measure.

• Communication is increasingly being seen as fundamental to knowledge flows. Social structures, cultural context and other factors influencing social relations are therefore of fundamental importance to knowledge economies.

Source

Additional Definition and Sources on Knowledge driven societies

No inflated prices on ridiculous pieces of paper. No loans for overpriced material goods. No more materialism. Just a desire to grow smarter, and more-knowing.

The Political System


The Political System is a tough one to describe for a true Knowledge Economy, and this is where I need your help. I want you to describe how a government would exist within the boundaries of a Knowledge Economy. Put yourself in the shoes of a citizen following a global catastrophe.

The Scenario


The governments of today are gone. A global meltdown caused humans to resort to anarchy and self-reliance. You and a group of individuals have gathered, and are trading knowledge and information. Using the internet and other technologies, you realize that knowledge and information is the future in the trade markets. How would you go about organizing those around you to come together and join into creating a civilized society? What plans would you implement? Taxes? Plan your own government.



posted on Mar, 24 2010 @ 11:10 AM
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The American dream is a white picket fence, 2.5 kids, a 10 ton SUV, and a mortgage. You will go to a job that you ultimately end up hating, for 40 to 50 years of your life. You will make a career out of misery. Most of us will work for higher-ups, and reach middle management if we’re lucky, only to be given a retirement plan and told to “Get the hell out,” while we still have some of our mental faculties. In between hating your life and going to work, you will substitute material possessions for happiness. You will find great deals at Wal Mart, eat food at an Applebee’s, buy a Mercedes-Benz, and maybe get a hot tub. These will make you feel like you have accomplished the life dream. Unfortunately, not all of us feel this way.


Good post. I am a firm believer in in a new way of life which recognizes that wealth is not the only indicator of success. There are people who have decided that the "American Dream" is actually a nightmare. It robs you of the most important asset you have, time. As the "American dream" has spread through the world, it's consequences have become more noticeable. We don't have the time to raise out children anymore and thenw odner what is wrong with todays youth. We don't have time to stop and smell the flowers ( 60 hour weeks to afford the minimansion) and wonder why stress related illnesses are at an all time high. We don't have time to meet our neighbours any more and wonder how someone could die next door and we not even notice.

There is a better way, I do hope it doesn't take some world wide catatrophe for us to get there.



posted on Mar, 24 2010 @ 11:20 AM
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The American Dream used to mean independence and self-sufficiency, and a place to call home free from intruders and rules. Picture a home on a prairie or overlooking a valley that you own most of.

Fast forward to today, most of us live in cramped cities or suburbs. Most of these are designed by corporations. To pay for it you have to work for a corporation, and align with expected behavior and social pecking orders beyond the corporate walls. Freedom of independence was replaced by freedom from behavior that bothers you. That means decades of rules to control lives like yours.

The American dream wasn't bad. It was hijacked and altered by the marketing department and TV ads.



posted on Mar, 24 2010 @ 11:27 AM
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reply to post by Dbriefed
 


Indeed it has, this is extremely true. But, I'm going to bet that no matter what we do, this is how we'll end up in any sort of American-based system of materialism. Advertising and Marketing ultimately ends up advancing and taking over at some point.

I think that an economy that isn't backed by precious metals is the future of mankind. I just wish I had some more information on how we could go about doing this, and making it work, while still maintaining a peaceful, democratic society. There are two sides to every coin I suppose.



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