Some interesting ideas here.
Our Ten-Point Plan
1. Personal Liberty. Self-ownership, full and exclusive right and responsibility over oneself for adults of adult-reasoning, and by extension, consensus in participation. As John Locke famously wrote, “every man has a Property in his own Person.” We are advocates of free speech, within the limits of defamation etc, following Rosa Luxemburg’s “Freiheit ist immer Freiheit der Andersdenkenden”, (“Freedom is always the freedom for dissenters”), and even includes “destructive” rights (e.g., voluntary euthanasia), as long as third party expert assessment declares the individual as being compos mentis.
2. Public Emancipation, Equality, and Education. Liberty in the private sphere of life is matched by equality in the public sphere; political emancipation means that all are treated equally. Further, the highest possible levels of education is requisite for members of a society to make rational choices. This is recognised by Robert Charles Winthrop when he wrote; “Slavery is but half abolished, emancipation is but half completed, while millions of freemen with votes in their hands are left without education.”
3. A Social Commonwealth. The public is the rightful owners of natural resources, and that value of which should be used as the sole source for public income. It is also the means to ensure that a parasitic class of rent-seekers is abolished with their expropriations redirected to productive investment. As Rousseau warned: “You are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to no one.”
4. Freedom From Sufferance. We support the promotion of a true, good, and pleasant life for all life and the removal of all which causes suffering to the same. In particular this extends to animal welfare; as Jeremy Bentham wrote: “The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholden from them but by the hand of tyranny… What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason, or perhaps the faculty of discourse? … The question is not Can they reason?, nor Can they talk?, but Can they suffer?”
5. External Responsibilities and Benefits. We support levies and charges on activities that generate negative externalities, where the producer’s costs are borne by society in general. Likewise those activities which generates benefits carried by society in general they can be susidised to that level. The combination encourages socially beneficial activity and reduces socially negative activity. Al Gore, correctly said: “Global warming pollution, indeed all pollution, is now described by economists as an ‘externality.’ This absurd label means, in essence: we don’t need to keep track of this stuff so let’s pretend it doesn’t exist… But what we’re pretending doesn’t exist is the stuff that is destroying the habitability of the planet.”
6. Free and Open Source Public Information. Open government and a free exchange of information. Knowledge goods have an increasingly high initial cost and an increasingly low marginal cost of reproduction. This requires public funding for social knowledge generation, and open source public information when produced. Apart from the political benefits of transparency, it will also provide significant positive externalities and reduce the enormous waste of replicated research. As Lawrence Lessing remarks, “Creation always involves building upon something else…. Monopoly controls have been the exception in free societies; they have been the rule in closed societies.”
7. A Free Economy. We support a “free economy”, following the ideas of Silvio Gessell. This includes Freigeld (free money), which removes the economic death spiral arising from treating the means of exchange as a commodity, Freiland (free land), which removes land and resource speculation in favour of productive investment, and Freihandel (Free Trade), which allows all world citizens to engage in the work they have comparative advantage. John Maynard Keynes, who was influenced by Gessell wrote, “I believe that the future will learn more from the spirit of Gesell than from that of Marx.”
8. Mutualism and Worker’s Cooperatives. We strongly support the establishment of worker’s cooperatives with industrial democracy as a standard business form, as an alternative to imposed, top-down state socialism or the plutocratic rule of a capitalist elite. We support the primary aspects of mutualism; free association, mutual credit, and contractual agreements, and gradualism. As Peter Kropotkin said, harmony in society is obtained: “… not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being.”
9. Abolition of Standing Armies. The existence of full-time professional soldiers and police employed by the state is a fairly new phenomenon. Their role as a distorting influence on the economy (“the military-industrial complex”) has been well-researched. Their ineffectiveness as an defensive force compared to democratic, voluntary and well-regulated militia is also noted. Ultimately armies are only effective at invading other countries, and police as a tool for tyrants to “invade” the unarmed local civilians. As James Madison accurately wrote: “War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.” We support contributions to international security, whilst opposing all nationalist wars.
10. Involvement in Politics. People who are not involved in politics, will suffer governance from those worse than themselves. Our approach to existing political systems is carried out on a pragmatic basis, that distinguishes between a free democracy and State oppression – a continuum which exists often exists the same institution, and has “tipping points” where practical involvement and revolutionary opposition become points of rational choice. Further, as Hannah Arendt understood “… it was the polis, the space of men’s free deeds and living words, which could endow life with splendour – ton bion lampron poleisthai” (the enlightened free life).
The Isocracy Network is an incorporated association, and we invite interested parties to join us. Write to email@example.com or P.O. Box 20, Parkville, Vic, 3052.
– See more at: http://www.isocracy.org/plan#sthash.pUelg82r.dpuf