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Party and Policy in a Time of Monsters

by ChrisCook Sun Jul 24th, 2016 at 12:36:47 PM EST

The old world is dying and the new world struggles to be born. Now is the time of monsters. Gramsci

This Diary grew out of a response to AR Geezer's LQD: Labour's Civil War Is Due To A Paradigm Shift.

As I have been saying on European Tribune since I first turned up here (which is longer ago than I care to remember) I think we are seeing the emergence of Society (Paradigm) 3.0.

Society 1.0 (which still exists everywhere but most evidently in the developing world) is decentralised/local but disconnected with physical market presence and interaction based on personal trust/credit.

Society 2.0 is centralised but connected, but with presence in the market and in decision making via trusted intermediaries/middlemen, being corporates and nation states respectively.

I see the emerging Society 3.0 as being decentralised but connected, with network presence replacing both physical presence and presence through intermediaries.

The institutions and instruments necessary for such a Society 3.0 have intrigued me and been the subject of my work for well over fifteen years.

Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger

The emergence of direct instantaneous connections, and above all the fact that intellectual value is 'non-rivalrous' - so if I give you an idea or knowledge I cannot then exclude you from it or take it back - has now reached such a tipping point. The tectonic plates have shifted sufficiently for Society 3.0 to erupt. Current shocks and tremors include the Scottish and Brexit independence votes; the final collapse of representative Democracy in the UK and in the US, and so on.

In my view, where this leads is a new polity based upon the sovereignty of the individual, since as HG Wells said the only thing more powerful than the Will to Power (over others) is the Will to Freedom.

Sovereignty of the individual is all well and good, but these individual freedoms clearly come with responsibilities, and it is here - in the institutions and instruments which link consenting adults to a common purpose - that I believe we will see - indeed we are seeing - new bottom up movements, typically issue-based.

I think we will also see a new reality-based political economy, which in my analysis - my own perspective of Reality, if you like - will be based upon the sources of value or factors of production of Location (3D Space); Energy (material and immaterial) and Intellect (subjective qualified Labour and objective IP).

My work in relation to Resilience is at both macro/international level and also - on the principle that networking resilient micro leads to resilient macro - at micro/community level.

While I believe in Independence I do not believe in Nation States as we know them, still less a Supra Nation State such as that which the EU now approaches. I identify as a European and a Briton by birth; but as a Scot and Linlithgovian by choice. I advocate functional European Unions (such as a European Energy Clearing Union) but definitely not the baroque - and on the odd subject, occasionally monstrous - organisational Rat's Nest into which the European Union has evolved.

I believe (in my Utopian way) that in an emergent Reality-based future individuals will act collaboratively to a common purpose to mobilise resources using simple consensual risk and production sharing agreements and instruments which have been long forgotten, but which pre-date modern finance capital.

Why would people do this? For the rational economic reason that a smaller percentage of something is preferable to 100% of nothing. No doubt ET cynics will be quick to point out the number of sociopaths for whom power, not economic gain, is the sole aim. To the extent that is true, my view is that the reins of power held by such people are ever more tenuously attached.

We are seeing, in my analysis, a transition from the failed intermediated 'for profit' (Private) or 'for power' (Public) Market 2.0 commodity transaction  paradigm to a disintermediated Market 3.0 service provider relationship paradigm. The reason why this may be observed emerging in practice is simply that finance capital is being replaced by intellectual capital.

So those businesses who do not adopt the service provider model will be unable to compete with the Smart businesses who do. A new era of cost-cutting which is now opening up is that of the cost of economic rent (aka the true something for nothing), extracted hitherto by rentier investors or by managerialism.

Returning to Politics, Independence is not per se a Policy but is rather the way in which Policy is made and implemented. I think we will see, rather than Political Independence by Nation States, a new approach to functional policy independence as Nation States become obsolescent. This could lead to Energy Independence policy initiatives (such as my Linlithgow Natural Grid); Housing Independence (agreements & instruments to mobilise land use, resources and people); Food Independence, etc etc.

As I like to say, West Lothian Questions have West Lothian Answers.

So finally, back to Labour: I think the Labour Party is as obsolete as every other Party in representative Democracies. In the future, the Party will no longer make the Policy, according to ideology: the Policy will make the Party/Movement.

I was just thinking about you while reading Graeber's Debt.

I am reading a chapter (10 perhaps) where he deals with Islamic medieval times and finds a lot of what Adam Smith later copied, and some that he didn't, like a Laffer curve in Khaldun's Prolegomena. But the interesting thing is that medieval Islamic free trade discussion is taking place in a different context where collaboration is seen as the natural state of mankind, and credit is very much a social convention.

And more on the contents of your diary, there was a group in China around two thousand years ago that argued against war on the basis of war being unprofitable even for the winners if one includes all costs. They were not terribly effective, but one of Graeber's points appears to be that one needs to take the long term effects into account.

by fjallstrom on Sun Jul 24th, 2016 at 02:36:18 PM EST
A new era of cost-cutting which is now opening up is that of the cost of economic rent (aka the true something for nothing), extracted hitherto by rentier investors or by managerialism.

Let that sun rise quickly. Extracted rent is strangling economic activity and, in the 'Western World' the strangulation is worst where it has been happening the longest - in the UK and the USA. Prices are not the only thing that can cause people to become poorer. Having more of every economic activity being sapped by finance will do it even quicker, though it also does make prices go up. Financialization is like a VAT in that respect.

Individuals and firms are afraid to take loans for fear that their debt, though it now looks attractive, will soon be turned against them. They have just seen it happen too many times. Any business run for the owners wants to self finance if possible, as that insures their continued independence. It may be possible to reform finance, but it will be hard to keep it reformed. On the other hand, the arrangements which you discuss avoid traditional finance. That, IMO, is the surest way to protect the future - make finance irrelevant.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Jul 25th, 2016 at 01:22:08 AM EST

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