Revolution -5minutefreewrite (really much longer)

in freewrite •  last year  (edited)

For https://steemit.com/hive-161155/@mariannewest/day-844-5-minute-freewrite-tuesday-prompt-revolution

You want a revolution? I want a revelation, now listen to my declaration. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. Sure, but when I meet Thomas Jefferson, I’ll convince him to include women in the sequel. Work!

I know. Hamilton, right?

Let’s talk, for some time, about what it means to believe that all humans are created equal. I think this is one of the most important statements we can believe, and if we can bring ourselves to truly believe it, we will, indeed, have a healthy, happy, productive society within our reach.

There are a couple ways it’s truly relevant. One is borders.

Now, I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and I’ll concede one point. If a group of people decide, “we want to be able to walk around nude in our community” and another group of people want to say “we don’t want to let people walk around nude in our community”, it seems reasonable that they’d agree on some sort of border to divide their communities, so that you know what the people around you have agreed is acceptable behavior.

But if someone agrees to abide by the rules of your community, that border should be open to them.

And so we come to this thought: if we truly believe that all human beings are born equal, why in the world do we make decisions about where they’re allowed to go based on where they were born? If someone is born 50 miles south of the US/Mexico border to Mexican parents, there’s an incredibly difficult process with no guarantee of success for them to be legally allowed to live a short car ride away from where they were born.

Why? Why is that ok?

So often, the argument comes that “they’re taking out jobs” or “they’re using our resources”, and

First and foremost, that’s statistically inaccurate, but

More importantly, so?

If they were, why don’t they have the same right to access the resources of the world as you do? Just because they were born elsewhere?

It baffles me.

Imagine you grew up in the United States, and your parents owned their home and you went to the doctor and ate healthy foods, and you never had to worry about where the money was coming from, because you were a kid, and there was always enough.

Now, as an adult, imagine that you learned that the money came from some stocks your folks owned that paid nice dividends. Utility stocks, lets imagine. Your parents were not particularly wealthy, but over the past 50 years, they’d been investing in safe-ish places, and could give you a modest stipend as you pursued whatever.

Now, this is a nice little dream… and it’s true for some people. But, in this story, you didn’t do anything to “earn” this. And, to some extent, your parents didn’t either. They earned some of their money, but this stipend comes from investments that went up, and not down… but those investments are not “making money” the people who work for the utility companies are producing something of value, and their wages are diminished because they company is paying a dividend.

But I’m certainly not mad at your parents for making the best of a broken system. The real question is,

Why doesn’t everyone get that? It’s nice. You’re not going to say no to it. Is it because everyone CAN’T? Ok, but if you didn’t get it, would that mean things would be better for some other folks?

I’d say yes. And we all deserve some basics.

Folks are dying in the streets, and you are getting a couple thousand dollars a month because someone working at a power plant is doing a very good job for a modest amount of pay.

I’m not really mad at your parents. I’m mad at the folks making billions and billions. But the folks who are in the middle are content with the system that allows the billions and billions because it’s not too terrible for them.

A system that’s terrible for anyone

Is

Terrible.

.

.

.

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  ·  last year (edited)

Love the #freewrite initiative... I was fortunate to have the opportunity to interview @mariannewest some time back. What a wonderful example of positive energy on the Blockchain!

"A system that’s terrible for anyone
Is
Terrible."

So true my friend...

Thanks, yeah! I've been very proud to be a part of the freewrite community!

Posted using Partiko Android

Good freewrite. I would add that preserving what people have is the motivation to not wanting free immigration from everywhere. With 8 billion people on the Earth, the threat of having more people competing for food, money, housing, happiness, and safety causes people to want to create a system that ensures people have rules that need to be followed to freely go to a new country. I think people are generally good, but when they are confronted with threats, they behave defensively. I am not a billionaire, but rich people don't know what to do with the massive wealth that they have. They don't want to give so much away that their ancestors will not be advantaged and they want to find the best way to invest what they have. We all differ in how we spend our own finances in the same way to some degree. Hopefully the billionaires of the world will see that the best way to spend their wealth is to give most of it away. Whether it be in funding science, scholarships, buying someone a Bitcoin, or feeding the poor, it will be better used doing something rather than sitting dormant.

Yes, I agree absolutely that fear of scarcity drives the thinking of some of these things. My point to that is, but people are people. If you're afraid of scarcity, so you condemn others to scarcity, how does that fit in with a world view where you acknowledge your neighbor has the same rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as you?
Why are we okay taking, if it means others go hungry? Have we no empathy?

And, I dunno about billionaires. I think at some point some of them decide that they deserve the power that billions gives them, and that they trust themselves as individuals more than society as a whole, so they keep it and try to do things with it, not acknowledging that some of the want of the world is exactly because of the choices they've made.

Posted using Partiko Android

Why are you mad at billionaires exactly? You realize that they don't "make" billions of dollars, right? They're worth billions because of their assets (most of which is held by corporations), but it's not like it's all liquid money just sitting in a bank somewhere. Jeff Bezos, as an example, is worth billions, but he only earns something like $90K a year. The rest of his "worth" is tied up in property, stocks, etc.

Also, borders are important for many reasons, but one of them is collective security and self governance, not just shared values (nudity to use your example), and in the US we typically value freedom of speech, property rights, self defense rights, et al, and groups of people can, do and probably should know who is entering their community and how voluminous their numbers are, for the more people that enter your community, the more it changes... and not always for the better. If a bunch of non-nudists moved into that community and then agitated for it to change in a way where nudity was punished with the death penalty, I would think that it was probably worth keeping those people out so they are capable of governing themselves. These kinds of values, for myself, are more valuable than basic necessities or money.

Finally, people aren't equal and Thomas Jefferson and the other Founders didn't mean equal outcomes for each person or equal stuff because "they deserve basics". They meant equal before or in the image of an almighty creator, universe, or whatever. I think this manifests in our society as the desire to apply the law equally to each individual because no person is fundamentally more valuable than the other, legally speaking, and to tip the law in favor of one group or another creates a tyranny because you're using the violence of government to impose punishment or benefits collectively, necessarily punishing or benefitting individuals who did not deserve it.

If you have the time, you might want to look at the absolute poverty rate throughout the world since free markets and capitalism have been introduced. Yes, people are made less equal, but they are overall made to be richer. Much richer. Markets have done more to alleviate human poverty and suffering than any force or human institution ever invented.

https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2018/09/19/decline-of-global-extreme-poverty-continues-but-has-slowed-world-bank

Most of all, I'm surprised that a political disagreement resulted in a downvote from you. I'm well aware that we don't see eye-to-eye, but that sure surprises me.

Let's talk about borders and excluding people because you're worried that they will exercise democratic rights, and change the system and culture. That's the power of democracy, isn't it? If you have a good idea, other people will agree, and society will change to reflect that if most people want the change. You're suggesting that we should prohibit people from entering the country, lest they have different ideas. But if their ideas are bad, surely the democratic process would reject them? You seem to be suggesting that so many people who have different ideas would move in that it would swing a votes... But if that many people think these are good things, are you sure they aren't?
I don't really think these vague suppositions will convince you, but I do want to ask, do believe that democracy is a good idea? Because if so, we can work from there.

also also, why don't you think infants and children should have access to the same resources as each other?

Posted using Partiko Android

I downvoted you because I thought that your ideas were extremely jumbled, leaping from one assumption to another. I get that it's a free-write, but sometimes your ideas are very hard to follow from one point to the next because they rest on assumptions that don't follow from the other. I do upvote many of your posts (EDIT: When I see them), but that one I just couldn't abide.

I think democracy is a mediocre system for governing and should be held in check when it comes to the levers of governmental power, especially on a national scale. The federal government is far too removed and powerful an institution to be left in the hands of the mob. Likewise it's far too powerful and dangerous to be left in the hands of a dictator or elites. Bad ideas are routinely implemented via democracy, see Proposition 8 in California for one example, Jim Crowe laws as another, etc, etc. Democracy should be respected within certain bounds to protect and preserve and expand - where possible - individual liberty. The crowd can be and is often wrong, and yes, I can be sure ideas that the vast majority of people want implemented are terrible ideas. I'm certain that a theocratic, puritanical state would be a TERRIBLE idea because I can see how bad similar systems have turned out in history and in the modern day, just like I can see that central economic planning - socialism - is an absolutely batshit crazy stupid idea by reading economic history and the current disintegration of Venezuela.

When it comes to infants, I think you meant to ask "why should they NOT have access..." I don't believe in equal distribution of goods and services as provided via government. I can simultaneously believe that an infant not receiving it's needs resulting from impersonal forces of human actions via the market is tragic and sad and also believe that if I have the resources for my children they should not be taken from me and given to someone else by force, because that's how it necessarily has to happen when you follow that train of thought. Also, you have to demonstrate why all babies SHOULD get equal access. I recently had a daughter and she had to be in NICU for a week because of a lunch infection after birth. My child received far more resources at the time of birth than many other children, so right there you can see why one child would receive more resources than the others.

That last point is absolutely relevant. The guiding principle of communism is "give according to your ability, and take according to your need." I'm glad your daughter got the help she needed.

Posted using Partiko Android

And it's precisely why Communism is an utter failure. Thanks! She's doing well now.

You think the idea of giving what you can and using what you need is...bad? I really don't understand. Walk me through that?

Posted using Partiko Android

I never said that. What you're describing right now is charity. If I have enough and can give to someone who needs it voluntarily I have no problem with that. That's a good force between people, but it requires consent. Marxist and socialist doctrines are not based on consent and when you implement "each according to his ability, each according to his need" in a centrally planned economy, you lose the ability to consent to anything.

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Yes I agree that all men are created equal but I don’t think it follows that each can be guaranteed equality of outcome. We might all deserve some basics but who is going to provide these and how? It seems to me that human nature precludes ever having an equitable system, and there’s no changing that.

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On the contrary, I think human nature is inclined toward helping each other. It is the distorted incentive structure of capitalism that forces us into antagonistic relationships.

Posted using Partiko Android

Capitalism is simultaneously competitive AND cooperative. I need to cooperate with others to produce something of value for someone else while simultaneously competing with others that might have similar services, products or ideas. Yes, capitalism can and does produce odd outputs and unequal distribution, but it does in a mostly voluntary way.

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