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[ox-en] More thoughts on Bananas/technology etc.

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I think the fundamental problem is that *societal needs may differ from volunteer needs*.
Healthy people modify their aspirations within the realms of the
possible. So I would emphasise removal of the artificial constraints
(e.g. as imposed by zero-sum centralised kleptocrat money), and their
replacement with the constraints of the real world.
If I analyze it that way then the fundamental answer is simple: If you want to satisfy societal needs then you need coercion.
I think coercion will be needed for the few people who can't take a hint
(psychopaths). People with consciences can adapt to be considerate of
others around them. Is it useful to have a 'system' for this?
The next question then is: How can a coercion system look like which does not damage Selbstentfaltung.
How about 'self-actualization' (Maslow?) as a translation of
But what about the second function of markets: regulating the quantity 
of goods that each human can take? As far as there is still not a 
sufficient ampleness of goods and capacities of production in order to 
allow free and unlimited distribution, how to restrict the consumption 
to the prevailing possibilities of production?
What if no one could take, but people could chose to give? A system
which recorded who had been given what could flag up people who
consistently took but did not give.
I think we are on the same track here: we need to overcome the "to
each according to his work" principle. In fact the question is how to
operate without this principle. I'd like to emphasize that each
society has to deal with this problem. To cope with it by "to each
according to his work" is only one solution.
I only see one possibility: to each according to the social possibilities.
It is a sort of "to each according to his needs/desires" limited, 
restricted by what is really possible, as in the household/domestic 
economy, or as in a fishers village where after drawing collectively the 
net, fishes are shared between the  population... But, this time, on a world scale.
I agree that this must be the spirit of the whole endeavor.
See for my ideas of how a global gift economy could
work. Money is replaced by a system of recording who did what and how
everyone (no externalization) feels about it. It doesn't define who
should get what per se, but it is intended as a basis for allocations,
which are carried out in a distributed fashion.
The basic question seems to be how such a system of coercion can be constructed in a way it is acceptable to people.
Them as does the coercing will probably have no trouble to accept it :-)
How would it be acceptable to those who are coerced?
They may be able to accept it, however clear and widely accepted it is
by their community, if they are too self-centered.
Yes. I think that no automatic system is able to produce justice in a human sense. You need human control (aka politics).
The trend is to automation, but note that almost none of our current
systems are actually as automatic as they want you to think that they
are; almost all have humans making decisions somewhere.
The `drawing board`_ poses this as the question: "Where do the bananas
come from?". To have bananas in Europe - which is obviously a
pre-condition for a peer production based society ;-) - people in
other parts of the planet need to do useful things - like planting
bananas. Until this can be automated to a degree where it can be
easily perceived as Selbstentfaltung there is a societal need in one
place of the planet which needs to be satisfied in a completely
different place. To have a mediation between these two places is
probably one of the biggest challenges...

.. _drawing board:
I think that as peak oil starts to bite Westerners will have to say
"goodbye" to a great many cherished habits, one way or the other. I for
one would settle for enough food to survive healthily. To those who say
that "most people won't buy that", I would say that most people are
deluded, and
"/trouble with self-delusion, either in a person or a society, is that
reality doesn't care what anybody believes, or what story they put out. 
Reality doesn't "spin." Reality does not have a self-image problem. 
Reality does not yield its workings to self-esteem management. These
days, Americans don't like reality very much because it won't let them
push it around./"
Please don't think I mean to imply that Westerners shouldn't have
bananas. My point is that since we know that the current economic gravy
train is heading for a painful crash into the ecological buffers of
reality, we shouldn't aim to emulate it as much as recreate a healthy
way of living.
I think this will necessarily involve much more local production.
[people selling stuff = abuse] This is another aspect in the drawing board:

How do you think such abuse can come about at all?

I think if the needs of people are the driving force then there is little room for abuse actually. Contrary to money / exchange value you *can* have enough bananas.
Something like a billion people are underfed, isn't it? I would like to
see a gift economy grow before the command economy collapses, and as
long as the two ideologies coexist, there will be a queue of people
willing to leech whatever they can from the former to provide them
security in the latter. The scarcity/lack which capitalism has created
could suck the life out of a fledgling gift economy if left unchecked. I
suggest a decentralised solution for this -- rights/entitlements (the
language of the old system, which uses force to guarantee them) are not
given first place, but people give to whomever they like. It they're
cool about giving to people who will sell their produce to survive, OK.
One of the most important contributions of Free Software and 
peer-production has been to prove with facts that humans can cooperate, 
share and produce the most complex things without money profit incentive 
and without State coercion. Some people thought that Wikipedia would 
never develop because it would be permanently destroyed by "vandals". 
The intelligence of Wikipedia has been to have confidence in the 
collective spirit of contributors,  to base its rules on the needs of 
that confidence and not on the danger represented by vandals. Vandals 
exist since the beginning of Wikipedia, but they remain a small minority 
and the care of the majority has allowed to neutralize their negative 
Collective consciousness will be a key element in managing the 
transition into a post-capitalist society.
Well, may be we need to sort out what consciousness really means here.
I think a key element here is some sort of governance. This governance
cares about the project - that is it's only legitimation and the
reason why it is accepted. And this governance contains also duty-like
tasks for some members.
I would emphasise the technology here. It is easier to destroy a page
than to write one, so without a quick system of reverting, Wikipedia
wouldn't work. Our current money technology makes it easy for central
banks to rob people en masse, through inflating the currency, something
would be unimaginable to a pre-money society. A more robust
(decentralised) system of currency might be immune from this. It might
even reward altruism.

I agree with Raoul that altruism has an element of
'hairshirt/self-denial' feel about it which is not ideal.

This is kind of a ramble, so feel free to pick up on some points and
ignore others.


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