In the year 1499, the greatest empire on the planet built cities in the clouds. Spanning more than 4,000km over some of the steepest and most unforgiving terrain imaginable, the Inca were prosperous and wealthy in a way that most other empires could only dream of.
When I was in officer training school, we were taught about "National Power". This included a nation's economic/industrial output and military power as two pillars.. guess which one was the third? The People! Both in terms of total population and the basic metrics of said population. In other words, a nation that truly takes care of it's people, ends up with more National Power over all. This makes total sense when you consider that it is the people who make up the economy, industry, military and society. If you educate them and keep them healthy, then they can work and innovate etc. If you don't, they don't.
Very interesting about the Inca's. It certainly shows what can happen if you let the powers that be, become all powerful!
I'm happy to hear about Iceland. The way things are going here in the US I'm starting to look for a new place to be!
Wonderful Article as always!
A big part of the solution, to me, is recognizing that power can only be given. The more educated we all are, the more we can take conscious actions that promote people and systems that proactively create the world we want. I love Sorelle's YT channel because she's doing a fantastic job educating the masses in ways that equalize the playing field and drawing attention to those seeking to centralize power. I'm watching many of her videos with my three teenage boys so that they also understand these concepts and the reality of how our current system works, as well as how our own minds can work for or against us depending on what kinds of presuppositions we seed them with. When I had kids I did so with the very conscious goal of raising them to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. So far they're making me exceedingly proud! We're investing together, talking about the kind of future we're likely to have and how to "adjust our sails" for what's coming, as well as talking about what kind of world we want and how to best influence that in our own little ways.
It seems to me there's a "perfect" amount of socioeconomic disparity that also balances personal autonomy with collective stability. You want just the right amount of disperity to encourage people to work harder, because they'll see an improvement in their quality of life if they do, plus working harder will benefit the society as a whole, but not so much disperity that you get rediculously rich people and people that can't get by. And you don't want too little disperity because then there's no incentive to work hard and excel - you'll just get a society of people all trying to get away with doing as little as possible and the only way to get them to pull their weight is with drastic punishments like the Inca did.
UBI and property ownership can exist in harmony!
If anyone wants to know what totalitarianism looks like, just read Thomas Moore's "Utopia" and Alexander Solzhenitsyn's "Gulag Archipelago."
I like your article. It's true that the communities represented as ideal living environments mostly hide some very dark habits and power structures as well. It's something that is way too little talked about. So thank you for your article and research!
However I do not agree about the idea that current systems (be it capitalistic or communistic, ...) are capable of creating true harmonious societies. I think even though on paper everything seems to be taken care of by the social services etc. of those system, in reality those social systems care more about numbers than about people. And a lot of the news and statistics just give a comforting but wrong idea about the whole situation.
I think we need a totally new system and totally new structures, which are good for all the people.
Partially decentralized, to give people back their power and prevent corruption, partly centralized to guaranty the protection of everybody’s rights & also to prevent power abuse … (A lot of those ideas are explained on the Avalon project forum, amongst others, under the thread "A new justice system for our new world".)
The more people think about solutions, for current world issues, the better.
I would love to hear your opinion on the previous ideas I already posted there as well.
Wishing you the best. Keep up the good work.
All is one
It also seems to me you'd want as much natural consequences as possible governing the range of income, eg making more money let's you live a better life, being more competent and having better work ethic will naturally lead to better job offers, etc. - you don't need society or the government adding extra, artificial incentives. However the top and bottom end the income spectrum is where it would be appropriate to add artificial limitations on how rich or poor you can get - increasing tax on the wealthiest and social support for those one the bottom. These artificial limitations on how rich or poor you can get should also be focused more on advantages and disadvantages that are outside a person's control, eg more tax on generational wealth and no private schools so being born to rich parents doesn't give you an artificial advantage, but if you are smart and work hard there's less artifical barriers to success - you can grow your wealth and assets with minimal interference. Similarly, if you're just lazy there should be less help from society since that's on you, but if you have legitimate mental or physical health issues or are born into poverty that's not your fault and you'd get more help from society. I live in Canada where there are too many lazy people who take advantage of social programs and scam the system, while people with true mental health issues don't get near enough help. Also, people born poor, or immigrants (especially those coming with skills not recognized here - the classic example being the surgeon who comes here to drive a taxi) have a hard time rising in our country and that's a huge loss to our society.
Very thought-provoking as usual.
“Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Winston Churchill.
So how does it work in Iceland? What do they provide exactly? And to whom? Lastly, which other countries run similarly?
We are leaving in Noah days
The future is DAO :)
Personally I believe that the various tax schemes need a radical overhaul. Taxes are the simplest way to fund the state to provide infrastructure but regardless of what fantasy stories are told the very rich do not effectively pay any, this is why good accountants make so much. The general taxpayer also effectively funds large multinational companies.
Far more efficient to pick an arbitrary figure, say 75% of median income and make it tax free with a 1% across the board no rebates transaction tax.
Tax rebates would be on a percentage of costs to produce wealth i.e. buy tools of trade, upgrade/new equipment to expand a business etc. This would put everyone on a level playing field.
The banking cartels need to be routed as well. Usury is one of the biggest impediments to advancement.
One of the things that I find very depressing is our inability to identify and stop despots before they cause maelstrom and mystery. Even since WW2 the human experience has been besmirched by profoundly wicked individuals and their sycophants. Pol Pot, Mao, Ceaușescu, Sadam and now Putin.
For these reasons alone we need rigorous institutions that prevent people like these grabbing power and, with that far away look in their eyes, stop them from implementing ‘new Jerusalem, year one’ ideas that inevitably take peoples liberties away from them reducing them to enslaved, desensate automata.