dzogchungpa wrote:Personally, I'm more into Anarchist Buddhism.
Zhen Li wrote:Not only does an enlightened despotist regime have absolute sovereignty - there's no black and white with regards to who owns what - but the individual in charge will run it like a business, working for profit maximization meaning that everyone will tend to have improvements in their standard of living. The closest we can see to this in the modern world are societies like HK, Singapore, or Dubai, run in subsidiarity or by a family, and they tend to be the most successful of all. If the world consisted of absolute monarchies, and you were given the freedom of exit from each polity, choosing to contribute and pay taxes to the enlightened despot of your choice, you more or less have the right/duty to vote with your feet. It all seems like a very congenial idea to my mind.
I'm not going to labour on the point of existing governments, because none are actual enlightened despotisms, but to say that they are most successful by ONLY measures such as GDP, is incorrect, and I think you know it. They've also managed to rank up to having some of the best healthcare standards, and education standards in the world, while also having almost no crime. Economic prosperity is directly related to other measures of success. I am not, of course, suggesting that every kingdom would be identical. There are three directions they'd likely run: economic liberalism (as discussed), nationalism of some sort, and theocracy of some sort. There are lines of success which can only be defined within the logic of a certain religious system.Kim O'Hara wrote:"They tend to be the most successful of all" only by an extraordinarily narrow and un-compassionate - therefore anti-Buddhist - set of measurements, i.e., GDP and the wealth of the richest individuals.
If a well run state is like a business, and the citizens are it's customers, then, like a good business, it will aim to serve its customers efficiently and effectively. If they don't they'll lose citizens and thus revenue. For example, the poorest people in HK are still people who migrated from poorer countries, e.g. Philippines, mainland-China, etc. They are voting with their feet, they prefer HK to other places in the world. All this with minimal crime, yet no democracy to speak of. But, the idea of having high corruption in a country run like a business is not likely. Corrupt businesses don't run well, and the shareholders (citizens) will take their investments elsewhere, and vote out the current board of directors. Just look at a corruption perception index, and see the obvious correlation between economic success and low-corruption - so your objection is more or less bunk. http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2013/results/Sherab wrote:Running a country "like a business" means that the top guys grab as much for themselves as possible due to greed. That is why the countries you mentioned have one of the world's highest income gap where the top guys can live it up and a significant majority has to struggle just to keep flesh and bones together. Trickle down economics has failed to live up to its promise because of the selfishness of humans. Even a good education cannot guarantee that you will get out of the class of working poor unless you have the "right" connections or suck up to the "right" people.
The foreign workers that you speak about are not going to settle in those countries as that would not be allowed by the governments of those countries. Just because these foreign workers allowed themselves to be exploited in the game of business does not justify the business itself. Besides the poor in countries like HK and Singapore have no where to go. They are stuck. So the exploitation can continue. The idea that a state that runs like a business will be good for its citizen is just that, an idea. In reality, the outcome is rather different and not the rosy picture that you have in your mind. You mentioned corruption as if it is a necessary factor to accumulate wealth. That is a wrong presumption. You can accumulate wealth illegally through exploiting the working poor and not be caught because enforcement is weak. You can also accumulate wealth legally while exploiting the working poor at the same time through various legal loopholes. It is there in Singapore and Hong Kong if you only care to look.Zhen Li wrote:If a well run state is like a business, and the citizens are it's customers, then, like a good business, it will aim to serve its customers efficiently and effectively. If they don't they'll lose citizens and thus revenue. For example, the poorest people in HK are still people who migrated from poorer countries, e.g. Philippines, mainland-China, etc. They are voting with their feet, they prefer HK to other places in the world. All this with minimal crime, yet no democracy to speak of. But, the idea of having high corruption in a country run like a business is not likely. Corrupt businesses don't run well, and the shareholders (citizens) will take their investments elsewhere, and vote out the current board of directors. Just look at a corruption perception index, and see the obvious correlation between economic success and low-corruption - so your objection is more or less bunk. http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2013/results/
Sherab wrote:The foreign workers that you speak about are not going to settle in those countries as that would not be allowed by the governments of those countries.
Sherab wrote:Besides the poor in countries like HK and Singapore have no where to go. They are stuck. So the exploitation can continue.
That's a hilarious statement, I ask that you please read and represent my post accurately. My argument was the complete opposite of this.Sherab wrote:You mentioned corruption as if it is a necessary factor to accumulate wealth.
Sherab wrote:You can accumulate wealth illegally through exploiting the working poor and not be caught because enforcement is weak. You can also accumulate wealth legally while exploiting the working poor at the same time through various legal loopholes. It is there in Singapore and Hong Kong if you only care to look.
Zhen Li wrote:Like I said, my argument is not about the real world, it's a thought experiment, just like anarchy or communism. Using Singapore and HK as analogies is merely to approximate something near what I am talking about, once again, please read and represent my argument accurately, you seem to have an assumption that I am claiming something that I am not in fact claiming.
Zhen Li wrote:You and I are desiring different outcomes from this discussion, I don't want to have a debate where we keep talking past each other so I will stop here.
After all this is supposed to be about anarchism.
Kim O'Hara wrote:Your statement that, "All my thesis is, is that the US, and other "states" are just corporations with assets, who are managing them improperly because they forgot what they are," is like saying that, "My dog is just a cat who was badly taught and can't purr or catch mice."
Historically, the states were never corporations (i.e. businesses). (Nor was the sangha.) Some states evolved from feudal holdings in which weaker people swore allegiance to a local chief and agreed to pay him for protection, etc. In most of them, the absolute power of the chief/baron/king has been whittled away and the weaker people have gained more power.
Kim O'Hara wrote:Other states (the US comes to mind) began more like local football clubs, with a group of free people agreeing to share resources for the common good and appoint some of themselves to manage those resources. ... And on the local level, people generally behave in ways which are constrained by both common agreement (which you call anarchy, but it isn't quite that) and the laws - which are mostly drawn up with some level of common agreement anyway.
Kim O'Hara wrote:Finally, it still seems to me that you are judging the "success" of societies by very narrow and un-Buddhist measurements.
OED, 'corporation n.' wrote:Pronunciation: /kɔːpəˈreɪʃən/
Forms: Also 15 -acyon, 15–16 -cion.
Etymology: < Latin corporātiōn-em (Tertullian), noun of action < corporāre to embody; in medieval (Anglo) Latin used in sense 2 below. Also in modern French: see Littré.
†1. The action of incorporating; the condition of being incorporated. Obs.
2. A number of persons united, or regarded as united, in one body; a body of persons.
a. Law. A body corporate legally authorized to act as a single individual; an artificial person created by royal charter, prescription, or act of the legislature, and having authority to preserve certain rights in perpetual succession.
A corporation may be either aggregate, comprising many individuals, as the mayor and burgesses of a town, etc., or sole, consisting of only one person and his successors, as a king, bishop, or parson of a parish. According to their nature, corporations are termed civil, ecclesiastical (U.S. religious), eleemosynary, municipal, etc.
b. Frequently used in the titles of incorporated companies, e.g. the London Assurance Corporation, Irish Land C., Oriental Bank C., Peruvian C., etc.
4. An incorporated company of traders having (originally) the monopoly and control of their particular trade in a borough or other place; a trade-guild, a city ‘company’. (Now so called only in legal or formal language.)
5. spec. The municipal corporation; the civic authorities of a borough or incorporated town or city; the mayor, aldermen, and councillors. (A leading current use.)
6. The body; the abdomen; esp. when large and prominent. colloq. and vulgar.
Nick Szabo wrote:When looking at the legal and political history that led up to the formation of the United States of America, judges and historians typically look to English royal and Parliamentary edicts as explanations and precedents for the American government. This is too limited a view. Usually neglected are the unheralded, deep, and indeed often dominant influences on the United States government from medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque-era era corporations.
During these eras corporations took a wide variety of forms. Abbeys, monasteries and dioceses were ecclesiastical corporations; boroughs and cities were municipal corporations, and a wide variety of other corporations existed including merchant and trade guilds, universities, and hospitals. Royal law did not make a strong distinction between these different kinds of corporations as our law makes today between, for example, commercial corporations and municipal corporations. They were all "corporations and bodies politick" whose charters used the same basic form and language and which often were granted various degrees of judicial and police powers as property rights appurtenant to or held by the corporation.
For example, the Physician's College in London, a medical guild, was a corporation that had the power (up until the famous case of Dr. Bonham) to imprison anybody practicing medicine without a license within seven miles of the City of London (itself a large political corporation). Nine of the original American colonies were colonial corporations whose charters granted them broad governmental powers subject to retention of "English liberties" by the residents therein and the king's right to collect customs on merchant shipping. "...one Body corporate and politique in Fact and Name, by the Name of the Governor and Company of the Mattachusetts Bay..." was typical language in these charters. These corporations were even sometimes (as in this case) sold from one set of investors to another: the modern legal distinction between commercial and political (e.g. municipal) corporations was not yet common.
One indicator of the importance of the corporate form are its influences on the titles and symbols adopted by the United States.
"Citizen" is shorthand for the denizen of a city: a member of a municipal corporation. Members of a king's realm in contrast are called "subjects." "Governors" were groups in charge of corporations (usually corresponding to what in modern U.S. commercial corporations are called "directors," but sometimes, as in many American colonies, singular), while "presidents" were chief corporate executives who presided over meetings of the governors. The head of the London College of Physicians for example was its President, and each of the three centers of the East India Company was headed by a President. "Secretaries" (as in Secretary of State, Treasury, Defense, etc.) were corporate managers.
The corporate influence went far beyond style to the very structure of our government. Medieval republics usually operated under corporate charters, and English boroughs invariably did so. These charters were at the same time grants by the king (or treaties with neighboring lord(s)) and agreements among at least a majority of at least one of the "classes" or "houses" of the city. Thus, majority voting (among members of some class, not necessarily all residents), "houses" (often two) which must both agree by majority, and related aspects of our republican government, while often cloaked in classical republican terms, more directly derived from medieval municipal corporations. The idea that a majority can "consent" for other members their class also comes from medieval corporate law (it certainly does not come from contract or tort law). "Constitution" was often used as a synonym for "charter." The United States Constitution can be profitably viewed as a corporate charter, ratified by a majority of delegates to conventions in each State but shorn of royal imprimatur. "The Queen...grants..." became "We the people of the United States...do ordain and establish." "We the People" granted rights to ourselves, in some vague collective way. This makes no sense in legal terms outside the context of corporate charters.
Of course, many titles and symbols did not necessarily have a corporate origin. "Senators" were an oligarchic body from ancient Rome that also existed in some medieval republics. "Congress" is simply derived from the word meaning a gathering, and "legislature" is derived from the Latin "leges" or statutory law. Nevertheless, the United States almost completely eschewed titles from the royal bureaucracy apart from the judicial branch, with its "judges," "justices," and many other titles and symbols, as well as procedural and substantive common law largely derived from the royal common law of England. Other important substantive areas of our constitutional law (e.g. the Bill of Rights) have diverse sources that include Parliamentary statutes and English common law.
Even some of our judicial law is however derived from non-royal sources: equity comes from the law exercised by ecclesiastical corporations (canon law), and much of our commercial law derives from the law merchant which developed in franchise merchant courts separately from the royal common law.
U.S. judges, justices, and historians thus make a grave mistake when they, to take a currently quite important example, identify the vague "executive power" of Article II with the old prerogatives of the King. The abuse of these prerogatives were one of the major reasons we fought a revolution and gained our independence from the United Kingdom. Given the corporate language and substance of the United States Constitution, it is more accurate to identify the powers of the President, where the Constitution itself is vague on the subject, with those (a) of the President and the Commander-in-Chief under the Articles of Confederation, and (b) if that is still vague, to those powers granted and reserved by charter to the heads of colonial corporations, in particular the corporate charters of the nine American colonies, (c) if the issue is still uncertain, to corporate law from the Norman Conquest to the Stuarts, and only if all those fail to give an answer to (d) the King whom we rebelled against, and only then if said powers were not one of the stated causes of the rebellion.
Kim O'Hara wrote:Incidentally, you said that I was, "drawing conclusions (i.e. that something is or is not a Buddhist measurement), without even creating premises," but that's not completely true. In my first post since you entered the discussion I defined it negatively: "un-compassionate - therefore anti-Buddhist - set of measurements." Later, I suggested measurements that I thought were more appropriate than GDP and the wealth of the richest individuals, "measurements of liveability, happiness, standard of living ... "
I am not quite sure where people come up with this stuff. The idea that "a number of persons united, or regarded as united, in one body" is somehow imbued with an ethical quality, as if a fetishised idol of a cult is imbued with the actual magical or paranormal qualities of the divine, is devoid of scientific or logical understanding about qualitative and ethical judgements. Moreover, the entire argument of reddust is more or less a straw man, what he does is set up a model without ever quoting a single part of my own argument, and then pretend it is my model. If I thus say a government should follow a corporate model "Y," reddust says X = Y, and X = bad, without ever demonstrating that X = Y in all cases and under all circumstances. It's almost as if you're not listening to what I was saying.reddust wrote:I do not want my government small or large to follow the corporate model, it's a sick model, psychopathic in a way…
reddust wrote:I do not want my government small or large to follow the corporate model, it's a sick model, psychopathic in a way…
Corporations were not supposed to have the same rights as a human being but the powers at the time of the 14 amendment snuck corporate personhood on top of slaves gaining personhood. Sneaky bastards! I don't know if corporate law makes a good person to live with, they always are seeking more profit, it does not seem like a sustainable model. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_corporation)
You know our founders wanted corporations limited for a reason…(http://reclaimdemocracy.org/corporate-a ... ations-us/). The businessmen of early America had suffered greatly under the yoke of European corporate greed and control.
Corporate charters (licenses to exist) were granted for a limited time and could be revoked promptly for violating laws.
Corporations could engage only in activities necessary to fulfill their chartered purpose.
Corporations could not own stock in other corporations nor own any property that was not essential to fulfilling their chartered purpose.
Corporations were often terminated if they exceeded their authority or caused public harm.
Owners and managers were responsible for criminal acts committed on the job.
Corporations could not make any political or charitable contributions nor spend money to influence law-making.
EDIT: I wish we could do the same regarding our government and elected officials who break constitutional, bill of rights laws and get caught lying. Electing different folks doesn't seem to change anything.
Sherab wrote:Zhen Li, it would be more convincing to me if you incorporate the impact of the human conditions of greed, ego and ill will, into your thought experiment. Unless the impact of these human conditions are addressed in whatever system of governance, they will inevitably subvert that system. So when I pointed out that running a country "like a business" means that the top guys grab as much for themselves as possible due to greed, I am pointing to what I considered to be a flaw in your thesis.
Kim O'Hara wrote:I haven't got as much time for this discussion as you seem to have so I won't try to respond point by point to your last couple of posts. I will say, though, that you have completely failed to convince me of anything you are saying. I still think your choice of terms is leading you seriously astray and (even without that problem) your whole frame of reference is neither Buddhist nor anarchist.
Zhen Li wrote:In short, the reason why no intelligent manager would loot his own customers (beside the fact that he'd have no one to sell to), is that it doesn't make for a very efficient or productive workforce. The workers will all just unionise and refuse to work for that manager. On a polity-wide level, they'll exodus: East German brain drain anyone?