As a System of Social Rules

Thanks to Sirrus for providing an interesting comment for me to respond to. I’m making a new blog entry because the original one wasn’t as seriously intellectual and I want a space to talk about this more:

Any machine-based redistribution is bound to fail just like the human-based one, because it does not take the human nature into account. Real world economics work because of human greed; communism failed because of it as well.

I think the best way of going about it is having market economics with constraints, which is more or less what many capitalist economics of today are using.

Coming back to your pretzel economic theory on capitalism vs communism. Human greed is a very interesting psychological mechanism which isn’t as absolute or as pervasive as the capitalism culture tends to teach. In fact this this is an inside, outside box problem. Greed is generally split between gluttony and selfishness and from what I’ve been able to gather we are wired to be in a constant state of contention between consuming as much as possible and doing whatever suites our own self interest (in the way _we_ think it’s best served) and taking care of our social obligations, collaborating and dare I say it: caring about other people.

So what do I mean by an inside, outside box problem? If greed is counter weighted internally by social obligation then a culture that teaches both the virtues and naturality of personal greed removes all those pesky social obligations. The culture becomes self fulfilling through a quirk in human social mechanics.

Mechanisation isn’t actually a big scary thing to me. Capitalism is mechanisation and it basically, mostly, sort-of works because it does fit the majority of resource exchange interaction psychology. It’s not a _machine_ in the same way a printing press is a machine, it’s a systematic rule based software which runs upon an existing machine; that of course being society in general.

Having software that works on this machine requires that it take account of the way the social machine is organised, how it self assembles and how new mechanics can be run on it without error. Capitalism mostly works, but at the same time it doesn’t. It’s at a loss for 2/3rds of the economy, and that’s a lot of work to be done that isn’t recorded anywhere and doesn’t involve money. It’s probably a good thing that doing your chores isn’t run like a business to be honest; I’d rather prioritise teaching children the importance of looking after each other then the art of business making.

At the same time as not coving a lot of interaction; capitalism as a system of rules is failing to keep itself internally consistent, in check, in balance and not attempting suicide every 8 years. If as a social system it was so good at matching the nature of human interaction then these things would not happen, or would not happen nearly so much.

Thoughts?

One Response to “As a System of Social Rules”

  1. valentin says:

    Communism like the one here in Romania was bad because it didn`t give greed and “acceptable violence” a chance. they didn`t allow private businesses they didn`t allow freedom of speech. But it failed because the government redirected almost every product to export to pay the dept for the mechanization of Romania. That made it very vulnerable to “external factors” and viola revolution and murder of the dictator.
    But then capitalism failed miserably … all the factories lie in ruins almost no land worked – 70% of the food is imported , and 80% of the capital is foreign because Romanians didn`t have money.
    Now all this wouldn`t be possible if private businesses were allowed because they would of taken the spot where the government fell short. and if freedom of speech was allowed people would understand better what`s happening and who is doing what. But living the hole burden of “growth” to private is absolutely stupid because as a private you should care about currency and as a government you should care about resources (human resources also). at least this is my view. a government that thinks in money is a sick government and it leads to evil laws like paying taxes for water in your well , or privacy invading laws .
    What i want to say is that in the end we are all owners over all the resources of our countries and a government should find ways for them to be used as best possible by it`s owners and not to make as much money ass possible from them.
    No if open source wants to make a change in the world i think it as a hole should think as a government … how to make the resources needed to develop software accessible for those people that don`t care about money but care about what they do.
    I think it should find out how to make development sustainable and not profitable.