What would an operational level governance look like?
Applying principles of operational control
As with the last blog this one is longish.
So here is the outline.
- Assume that our objective is to have a steady-state economic system that is providing as high a quality of living to every individual consistent with the constraints on population size in order to live in balance with the Ecos. This follows from the last blog.
I start by recognizing that human beings are special kinds of animals, but contend we are not thereby privileged. Quite the contrary. Upon our shoulders fall great responsibilities. The key differences that make humans special are:
- Human consciousness is unique. It transcends biology but is still based on our biology. Once awakened to the scientific basis of our unique condition we must also realize our responsibility to not harm nature or one another. Our current economic system and social mores are harming both. We need to recognize our moral obligations.
- Humans, through their cleverness, have amplified their brain's ability to affect the world by shrouding themselves in layers of technology. Basically every human is an augmented energy-to-work agent. We keep finding new sources of external energy (or at least that has been our history) and machines to use that energy to do work we never could have done with muscles alone. This capacity is taken as a privilege but it shouldn't be.
- Humans have a limited capacity to envision the possible futures. Individually and collectively, informally and formally we use our models of the world to project into the future to anticipate possible outcomes. This is a consequence of emerging sapience in our species. We are given the power to change things in the present to affect a future state of the world. Again, great responsibility.
- I look at economic entities at all scales and consider how the application of principles like homeostasis would translate to their operations. For example, one consequence of this would be that the institutionalization of greed in excess profits would be eliminated. So would the motive for growth, be it family or company.
- I review some elements of economic concepts like money, savings, borrowing, etc. that I have brought up in previous blogs and try to fit them together in a more integrated fashion.
- Other concepts such as profit motive, getting rich, getting the best deal to gain advantage (indeed competition in the marketplace) and growth are further explored as being anathema to sapient governance. I do point out that some of these ideas have been explored by philosophers like Marx but eschew any notion of advocating some kind of derived 'ism'. It is no surprise that many other philosophers have sensed that the way we were heading was not in our best interest. Marx saw things through the prism of class conflict. He did not have the benefit of much anthropological explication of prior human conditions, nor the theory of systems to guide his proscriptions.
- I then provide a few logically derived proscriptions of my own! The most important one has to do with how money should be based on an energy standard. I argue that one move, coupled with a monetary policy of printing only as much currency as there is energy available to do useful work, would create a much better information-rich market in which values would be explicit. The real costs of things would be visible for all to see. Judgments about priorities in spending would be much easier to make. In the next few blogs I will show how this interfaces with the coordination level to help assure that government agencies are spending wisely as well.
I hope this format is working out for readers. Traditional blogs are generally short and sweet and to single point. But as you may have already surmised, systems thinking is not quite so neat or simple. Things connect and sometimes you simply have to follow those connections to get a better sense of the dynamics. And, too, life isn't simple. To do it justice sometimes takes a lot of digging and time spent contemplating. I hope you find the effort worth it.