social freedom and individual wealth

April 1st, 2009 by admin

Humans will always cherish freedom, one basic reason for that is, for example, that I don’t want anybody else to tell me what to do when I think that my personal experience is enough.

But if my personal experience happens to be cheating, manipulating and, thus, exploiting other people, then that kind of freedom is antisocial and any real democracy will condemn it in principle.

But what about the practice? Can we practically contain such tendencies?

To answer this, let’s choose a gauge of personal wealth. That gauge has to include the social context of a generic human (because humans only live in societies): let’s pick a modern society with a high quality of life and calculate the social average of the costs necessary to live that life for the full lifetime of a person, call this amount X.

X will mean here the unit of wealth, the cost of an average lifetime. Assume the usual guy (G), who loves freedom and wants as many X as possible. He wants as many X as possible because he wants to cover the costs of resources he consumes while living or to produce those resources when needed, or, better, more, G=XXXXX…. If G gets lots of X’s he’s left with a lot of disposable X’s, G=X(XXX…). And, because he loves (mostly his own) freedom, he wants to be free to exchange some X’s for some other average guys (g), to have them work in his stead for his resources. The picture is: G=Xggg…

But if you have some G’s in your society, then nothing can stop them to use politicians as g’s in their pocket. So, whichever g you elected to represent you, is no longer representing you, is representing G. There goes your freedom. The problem comes from G=Xggg…that is, G can exhange X’s for g’s (buy a guy). So how can we fix this? Write a law that nobody can buy guys? There is, already, such a law or principle, it’s the one that goes against slavery. But that is only the obvious slavery, with meat, chains and whips.

How can we fix the other kind of slavery, the one that comes from smiles, papers, suits and ties? Limit the X’s in the G’s pocket. In other words G=X. From now on, G cannot afford to buy a g, he doesn’t have enough disposable X, or, if he can happen to buy a g with a part of X, it’s his own resource at stake, he’s risking his cover for his own lifetime, he will think twice, and then again.

Finally, limiting individual wealth to the resources needed for a high quality lifetime would preserve everybody’s freedom and the democracy along with it. A good estimate would be a lifetime of average wages of a technical engineer or researcher today, in, for example, Germany.

This kind of wealth limiting would be a first in history, and might have an impact in every corner of it, from ecology to morality.

I see no rational justification for those who still think that G=Xggg is OK. Why would anybody with a healthy mind want to own resources for more than a lifetime? I see only one type of reasons for G to want more than one X: a.sickness, or b.ignorance, or c.the willing to cheat, manipulate, speculate, briefly to exploit the others, or a combination (the real world).

Note that, limiting the total wealth of an individual to the necessary of a lifetime at any time has nothing to do with an ideology or another, but, rather, it has a lot to do with the democracy in use, with ecology, with society, ultimately with the quality of life.

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