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Author Topic: Sacred Economics  (Read 2443 times)
flug
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July 17, 2011, 09:05:31 AM
 #1

A new economy based on generosity, not hoarding.

Here's a podcast about it:

http://nabcommunities.com/2011/05/11/nab-communities-podcast-charles-eisenstein/

Interesting.
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July 17, 2011, 11:09:21 AM
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Its a beautiful thought, but honestly there is no way that would ever work.
flug
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July 17, 2011, 03:47:08 PM
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Its a beautiful thought, but honestly there is no way that would ever work.

Perhaps it has worked for the most part of human existence, and it's been the last few thousand years of human history that's been the aberration.
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July 17, 2011, 04:17:28 PM
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Perhaps it has worked for the most part of human existence, and it's been the last few thousand years of human history that's been the aberration.

It's also the last few thousand years that we had an economy in which wealth was growing.

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July 17, 2011, 04:37:51 PM
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Perhaps it has worked for the most part of human existence, and it's been the last few thousand years of human history that's been the aberration.

It's also the last few thousand years that we had an economy in which wealth was growing.



It depends how you measure wealth. If the whole world was shared by the whole human race, everyone would have the whole world as a playground. As it is you can barely take a step off the road without infringing someone's 'property rights' (at what point was the land stolen from the common people, and under what just law?). Yes, I do believe the patriarchal systems of the last six thousand years have accelerated technology incredibly for the good, but I also believe that these systems have reduced the perception of wealth to the finite and measurable rather than the infinite and immeasurable, and our enjoyment of the world is the poorer for that. Now that we've mastered the planet from a technological viewpoint, we need to get to the next stage before we do too much more damage.
kiba
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July 17, 2011, 04:53:43 PM
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It depends how you measure wealth. If the whole world was shared by the whole human race, everyone would have the whole world as a playground. As it is you can barely take a step off the road without infringing someone's 'property rights' (at what point was the land stolen from the common people, and under what just law?). Yes, I do believe the patriarchal systems of the last six thousand years have accelerated technology incredibly for the good, but I also believe that these systems have reduced the perception of wealth to the finite and measurable rather than the infinite and immeasurable, and our enjoyment of the world is the poorer for that. Now that we've mastered the planet from a technological viewpoint, we need to get to the next stage before we do too much more damage.

What the hell do you know about the perception of wealth? You never been there 200 years ago.

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July 17, 2011, 05:06:04 PM
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What the hell do you know about the perception of wealth? You never been there 200 years ago.

I said I believed. I didn't say I knew. I do believe hunter-gathers viewed the world very differently to us. Isn't there evidence that Native Americans and Australian Aborigines had/have very different world views too?
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July 17, 2011, 05:16:24 PM
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I said I believed. I didn't say I knew. I do believe hunter-gathers viewed the world very differently to us. Isn't there evidence that Native Americans and Australian Aborigines had/have very different world views too?
So?

For anybody who live in cyberspace, we have more wealth than we can ever imagine. Trying to consume all the world's greatest book will never be done in any normal human lifetime.

What is the use of generosity and hording if we effectively have unlimited wealth?

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July 17, 2011, 05:40:15 PM
 #9

A new economy based on generosity, not hoarding.

Lets do an experiment, you give me all your bitcoins and I will give them to someone else, if he says he will also give them away and so on. Then lets look at block explorer and see how far it all went.
My best guess is that we will set off a chain reaction where every one just gives everything to everyone else who needs it.
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July 17, 2011, 08:05:28 PM
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It depends how you measure wealth. If the whole world was shared by the whole human race, everyone would have the whole world as a playground. As it is you can barely take a step off the road without infringing someone's 'property rights'

With due respect, I think you're impression of what the world was like before modern conveniences is grossly misguided. You call the world a "playground"?

You realize that you're still perfectly able to return to that state of living. Give away all your "useless material possessions" and go live in a national park or up in the vast open territory in Canada. You can live just like they did thousands of years ago. There's absolutely nothing stopping you from doing this.

The "playground" you speak of was anything but. Nine out of ten of us chatting about this would already be dead, and the other would be perpetually hungry and terrified of the impending winter.

There is a reason men have labored continuously over thousands of years to escape this "playground." Yet, you complain because the idea that some people own property bothers you? You'd rather just have everyone destitute, afraid, and starving... so long as everyone was equal in this misery?
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July 17, 2011, 09:18:07 PM
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For anybody who live in cyberspace, we have more wealth than we can ever imagine. Trying to consume all the world's greatest book will never be done in any normal human lifetime.

What is the use of generosity and hording if we effectively have unlimited wealth?

Yes, the internet's great.

I'm suggesting generosity. I'm not suggesting hoarding.
flug
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July 17, 2011, 09:21:22 PM
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A new economy based on generosity, not hoarding.

Lets do an experiment, you give me all your bitcoins and I will give them to someone else, if he says he will also give them away and so on. Then lets look at block explorer and see how far it all went.
My best guess is that we will set off a chain reaction where every one just gives everything to everyone else who needs it.

I have thought of this a few times, but it wouldn't take long before someone hoards them and doesn't pass them on. We have six thousand years of conditioning telling us to hoard, and that won't stop overnight outside of a real social context.
kiba
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July 17, 2011, 09:30:39 PM
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I'm suggesting generosity. I'm not suggesting hoarding.

Saving is how we become wealthy.

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July 17, 2011, 09:41:44 PM
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I'm suggesting generosity. I'm not suggesting hoarding.

Saving is how we become wealthy.

In this paradigm, yes. This isn't the only paradigm.
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July 17, 2011, 09:46:34 PM
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It depends how you measure wealth. If the whole world was shared by the whole human race, everyone would have the whole world as a playground. As it is you can barely take a step off the road without infringing someone's 'property rights'

With due respect, I think you're impression of what the world was like before modern conveniences is grossly misguided. You call the world a "playground"?
...
There is a reason men have labored continuously over thousands of years to escape this "playground." Yet, you complain because the idea that some people own property bothers you? You'd rather just have everyone destitute, afraid, and starving... so long as everyone was equal in this misery?

Looks like playground was the wrong word. Perhaps I should have used 'common land'.

Yes, I agree we've advanced over these years, and that's good.

But now that we've escaped the starvation etc, I'm suggesting it's time to change the paradigm again. Once we've crossed the river, we don't need the boat anymore.
kiba
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July 17, 2011, 09:55:13 PM
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But now that we've escaped the starvation etc, I'm suggesting it's time to change the paradigm again. Once we've crossed the river, we don't need the boat anymore.

When you become very wealthy, you don't need to worry about generosity or hording anymore.

If people are poor, it's probably because they have corrupt governments, go to war too much, vote for leaders that belong nominally to their tribe regardless if he's crooked or not.

evoorhees
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July 18, 2011, 03:16:39 PM
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But now that we've escaped the starvation etc, I'm suggesting it's time to change the paradigm again. Once we've crossed the river, we don't need the boat anymore.

1) A few billion people wouldn't agree with you suggestion that "we've escaped the starvation." They might not want the boat to be abandoned just yet.

2) Wealth is generated on a gradient, in perpetuity. It's not a "we have it" or "we don't have it" phenomenon. Thus the analogy to "crossing a river" is not appropriate. There is no finish line.
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July 18, 2011, 03:53:29 PM
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But now that we've escaped the starvation etc, I'm suggesting it's time to change the paradigm again. Once we've crossed the river, we don't need the boat anymore.

1) A few billion people wouldn't agree with you suggestion that "we've escaped the starvation." They might not want the boat to be abandoned just yet.

2) Wealth is generated on a gradient, in perpetuity. It's not a "we have it" or "we don't have it" phenomenon. Thus the analogy to "crossing a river" is not appropriate. There is no finish line.

Sure. Paradigm shifts don't happen overnight, and they are often painful, but they happen of their own accord and for their own enlightened reasons. Just like when we broke free of feudalism.

Are you saying we've arrived at the 'end of history' with our current world view of property and wealth? World views have changed in the past, and I see no reason to think they won't continue to evolve.

My own view is that development both cyclic and progressive. Like a spiral.
evoorhees
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July 18, 2011, 04:11:26 PM
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Sure. Paradigm shifts don't happen overnight, and they are often painful, but they happen of their own accord and for their own enlightened reasons. Just like when we broke free of feudalism.

Are you saying we've arrived at the 'end of history' with our current world view of property and wealth? World views have changed in the past, and I see no reason to think they won't continue to evolve.

My own view is that development both cyclic and progressive. Like a spiral.

Thanks for the discussion. No I am certainly not saying there is an end of history... quite the opposite. But the manner in which humans interact with each other - the incentives and typical outcomes as they relate to private property - were as true 10,000 years ago as they are today. We've just gotten better (or in some cases worse) at defining them.

Ownership of one's self and one's labor is not subject to "phases" of history. It's a constant, or at least it ought to be. Certainly some peripheral rules about how we determine property ownership can change, but the fundamental principle that one can and ought to own property which he creates or voluntarily trades for... I don't see that changing until human nature fundamentally changes.

To be honest, I think those who have a problem with private property are more accurately described as having a problem with "inequality" itself. Seeing two people with different abilities, talents, possessions, opportunities, and lifestyles fundamentally bothers many people. Perhaps it bothers you? Yet while humans should be treated equally under a legal system, they are inherently unequal from birth. Some are smarter, some are skilled in a certain area, some are strong and play football well, some make better decisions, some happen upon fortunate circumstances and some make fortune upon their own strength of will. Instead of despising these inequalities, I find them very valuable as they permit a vast division of labor and immense opportunity to cooperate.

We are not ants in a hive... equal in our ambitions, character, and build. Humans are individuals, inherently unequal. As such, I am highly skeptical of any system which attempts to "communalize" humans. Humans will always co-operate when it is in their selfish interest to do so (even donating to charity falls into this category typically). But trying to encourage humans to co-operate without strong regard to their own selfishness is a fool's errand, and indeed wholly unnecessary. As Adam Smith said, "it is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the baker, or the brewer that we get our dinner." This has been true since the dawn of man, has it not?
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July 18, 2011, 10:12:19 PM
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But the manner in which humans interact with each other - the incentives and typical outcomes as they relate to private property - were as true 10,000 years ago as they are today.

I would guess that when we were hunter gatherers, always on the move, it was easier to share what we hunted/gathered than to hoard it. It's difficult to hoard when you're on the move. And it's fun to give. Giving strengthens social bonds too, giving security in the shared generosity of the people you share your life with. Ownership (if it was viewed as ownership) would be restricted to clothes, tools, jewellery, etc. No significant accumulation.

Ownership of one's self and one's labor is not subject to "phases" of history. It's a constant, or at least it ought to be. Certainly some peripheral rules about how we determine property ownership can change, but the fundamental principle that one can and ought to own property which he creates or voluntarily trades for... I don't see that changing until human nature fundamentally changes.

Australian Aborigines, before the Europeans arrived? I'm no expert, but again I'm imagining they lived very close to the earth, trusting the earth and each other to provide food, security, etc, without the need for accumulation.

To be honest, I think those who have a problem with private property are more accurately described as having a problem with "inequality" itself. Seeing two people with different abilities, talents, possessions, opportunities, and lifestyles fundamentally bothers many people. Perhaps it bothers you?

It bothers me that some people have ridiculous amounts of wealth, whilst others are in poverty. This differential in wealth doesn't reflect differentials in ability, effort, etc. Is this acceptable? Is this just? How does it arise?

Yet while humans should be treated equally under a legal system, they are inherently unequal from birth. Some are smarter, some are skilled in a certain area, some are strong and play football well, some make better decisions, some happen upon fortunate circumstances and some make fortune upon their own strength of will. Instead of despising these inequalities, I find them very valuable as they permit a vast division of labor and immense opportunity to cooperate.

Inherently different, not inherently unequal. But sure, all valuable.


We are not ants in a hive... equal in our ambitions, character, and build. Humans are individuals, inherently unequal.

Inherently different, not inherently unequal.

As such, I am highly skeptical of any system which attempts to "communalize" humans.

I'm skeptical of any coercion, including any system which attempts to "individualize" or "selfish-ize" humans.

Humans will always co-operate when it is in their selfish interest to do so (even donating to charity falls into this category typically). But trying to encourage humans to co-operate without strong regard to their own selfishness is a fool's errand, and indeed wholly unnecessary.

I'm not interested in encouraging anything. I'm not interested in characterizing people as selfish or unselfish. I'm interested in imagining, so that it might resonate with like minded/hearted people.

As Adam Smith said, "it is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the baker, or the brewer that we get our dinner." This has been true since the dawn of man, has it not?

Lovely quote.
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