• LuckyR
    394


    The global/galactic situation would fall apart as societies of that size would subdivide into minisocieties
  • frank
    14.7k
    The global/galactic situation would fall apart as societies of that size would subdivide into minisocietiesLuckyR

    The US is made up of subgroups. Couldn't that work on a larger scale?
  • Vera Mont
    3.6k
    The global situation is already falling apart, as complex societies fragment into hostile factions, tribes demand self-determination and populations are displaced by weather, war and famine. Debt/profit -driven economies collapse when the debt can no longer support the profit; international trade collapses when countries default on contractual obligations; commerce collapses when a large enough percent of unemployed due to automation can't buy the products and services. Killing off wide swatches of productive people and destroying infrastructure isn't particularly helpful, either; no more is spending mega-resources on weaponry and waste. And here comes another summer of wildfires, drying-up rivers and deaths by heat-stroke.

    I don't hear much from other parts of the about the galaxy; it could be different there.
  • frank
    14.7k
    The global situation is already falling apart, as complex societies fragment into hostile factions, tribes demand self-determination and populations are displaced by weather, war and famine. Debt/profit -driven economies collapse when the debt can no longer support the profit; international trade collapses when countries default on contractual obligations; commerce collapses when a large enough percent of unemployed due to automation can't buy the products and services. Killing off wide swatches of productive people and destroying infrastructure isn't particularly helpful, either; no more is spending mega-resources on weaponry and waste. And here comes another summer of wildfires, drying-up rivers and deaths by heat-stroke.Vera Mont

    I agree. People turn to religion when they don't feel good about the world. I think the old religions are worn out. Maybe a new one will appear shortly. Historically, religion doesn't get along well with money grubbing, so the idea of ownership might wane, but continue to reside in the collective psyche, waiting for it's next appearance as God.
  • Barkon
    147
    It's probably best not to. Save the feral collusion of people against objects.
  • Vera Mont
    3.6k
    Historically, religion doesn't get along well with money grubbing, so the idea of ownership might wane,frank
    I wouldn't be so sure about that. We've come a long way from "lilies of the field!" - though these guys "sow not, neither do they reap."
    When people say, “more money than God,” what might be a real number for that amount of money on Earth that God has? ....If you’re looking at the Catholic Church alone, “God” has at least — and we’re putting a huge emphasis on “at least” — $73 billion in assets.
    With assets of more than £22 billion the Church of England would seem richer than many of us would have believed.
    While most seminarians don’t pursue a career in preaching expecting to get rich—some spiritual leaders have built lucrative empires comparable to the dynasties previously only enjoyed by star athletes, A-list actors, and corporate elites.
    And if you look at the evolution of religious organizations, the tendency is to adapt to the prevailing economy and play it successfully.
    No, that's not our best hope. Tribalism is far more likely to become the norm. The collapse of this civilization will leave an awful lot of wreckage, and very slim pickings for the survivors. They will have lost pretty much everything they owned. They'll have no option but to co-operate and trust one another if they have any chance of making another go at human society. They might be cannibals, but they won't be capitalists.
  • frank
    14.7k
    When people say, “more money than God,” what might be a real number for that amount of money on Earth that God has? ....If you’re looking at the Catholic Church alone, “God” has at least — and we’re putting a huge emphasis on “at least” — $73 billion in assets.

    You're doing the Socialism fallacy: because Socialism didn't work in China, it won't work anywhere, except you're saying that because the Church ended up being greedy, it never stood for selflessness. It did, and I think in general, religions are about social well-being as when the people gather to repeat the phrasing of the voodoo priest. It's about us, ideally anyway.

    Tribalism is far more likely to become the norm.Vera Mont

    For a while, yes, but the world's biggest religions came out of tribal societies who lived in the devastation that followed the Bronze age collapse. History repeats itself.
  • Fire Ologist
    349
    We all realize that people have thought society would collapse into fighting factions and utter destruction for most of human history. And to combat those fears we’ve formed factions and launched wars for most of human history. With some factions turning to religion and others turning against it for most of human history.

    Tribalism has always been the norm.

    In order to unite the world, we have to admit that tribes are good, and respect each other despite differences we don’t understand.

    When it comes to the urge to herd into narrow tribes, we are still basically scared monkeys with iPhones and air fryers.
  • Vera Mont
    3.6k
    You're doing the Socialism fallacy: because Socialism didn't work in China,frank
    No, that's the communist fallacy, which I'm on extensive record of not having made. Communism could not have worked in China, because it was never attempted in China. A new emperor simply took over under a different flag. As also happened in Russia.
    A capitalist-socialism hybrid of some type has worked quite well in Europe.
    except you're saying that because the Church ended up being greedy, it never stood for selflessness.frank
    The Church, as an institution never did: it did stand, quite firmly and consistently, for the poor staying poor and accepting their lot, though it also encouraged the rich to drop a few crumbs here and there, if they wanted to keep their heads. The poor listened better.
    Christians have been unselfish, altruistic, communal, and some still are. But organized religions, especially state religions, have always historically supported and been supported by the ruling class. The churches aren't greedy; greedy and power-loving men dominate the churches.

    It did, and I think in general, religions are about social well-being as when the people gather to repeat the phrasing of the voodoo priest. It's about us, ideally anyway.frank
    Organic religions, ones that arise from a people and their experience, do unite the community through ritual, chanting, fire (there is always fire involved; burning a bush or some wax is as close to our gods as we ever seem to get) and often mind-bending substances or self-hypnosis. Something of the kind is almost certain to arise in the post-apocalyptic age. But I don't think institutional religions, which are a completely different thing, will make a comeback.
  • frank
    14.7k
    No, that's the communist fallacy, which I'm on extensive record of not having made. Communism could not have worked in China, because it was never attempted in ChinaVera Mont

    :grin: According to Trotsky, Communism wasn't the kind of thing anyone tries. It was supposed to be the inevitable unfolding of events according to the internal integrity of the universe. That didn't happen. Marx was wrong.

    Socialism, on the other hand, is the sort of thing we bring into being by our own wits. The Russians did socialism. They just did it while simultaneously placing the USA, recently morphed into Godzilla, on their shit lists.
  • Vera Mont
    3.6k
    According to Trotsky, Communism wasn't the kind of thing anyone tries. It was supposed to be the inevitable unfolding of events according to the internal integrity of the universe. That didn't happen. Marx was wrong.frank
    It hasn't happened. Nor could it have happened in those circumstances, in that environment, with that beginning. The ends do not justify the means; the ends result from the means. Marx wasn't Trotsky - he was considerably smarter and less hyperbolic (integrity of the universe, my sweet Fanny!) and he was right about a great many things. Try to put in historical perspective what he was writing about.

    The Russians did socialism.frank
    The Russians did a half-assed imitation of socialism, like the Vatican did a half-assed imitation of Christianity. Better that the Czars had done, but still fatally flawed.
    They just did it while simultaneously placing the USA, recently morphed into Godzilla, on their shit lists.frank
    And cordially vice versa. They were sort-of-allies in WWII, big shots in the UN.... and implacable rivals for world domination, each terrified of the other.
  • frank
    14.7k


    The AI answer:

    "Yes, Karl Marx believed that communism was inevitable. Marx's theories of history and economics, which he called economic determinism, argued that capitalism would be overthrown by revolution and replaced by communism. Marx believed that capitalism was inherently flawed and unsustainable, and that it created contradictions that would eventually lead to its downfall. One of these contradictions was the exploitation of the working class, or proletariat, by the capitalist class, or bourgeoisie. Marx believed that this exploitation would lead to a growing class conflict between the two classes, which would eventually result in a communist revolution."

    It's not likely that we'll have a global proletariat revolution before climate change destabilizes the present global order. Maybe after we reestablish stability? A few thousand years maybe? I doubt it though. All signs suggest Marx was just wrong.
  • Vera Mont
    3.6k
    Marx believed that capitalism was inherently flawed and unsustainable, and that it created contradictions that would eventually lead to its downfall.frank
    A-yup! Revolution or civil war, it falls down. If climate change and its human detritus gets there first, Marx was off on the time-line. I said he was right about a lot a lot of things, not everything. He underestimated the gullibility of the masses - no question about that!
    Maybe after we reestablish stability? A few thousand years maybe?frank
    re-establish? I don't see much stability now, nor any time in recorded history. It looks as if there was stability before, and there may be after. That's if environmental conditions favour social stability. Obviously, our descendants won't have all the resources we burned up.
  • frank
    14.7k
    I don't see much stability now, nor any time in recorded history.Vera Mont

    I think the kind of stability you're looking for only exists in the grave.
  • Vera Mont
    3.6k
    I think the kind of stability you're looking for only exists in the grave.frank

    What kind of stability do you think I'm 'looking for'? North American native nations were pretty stable for several thousand years before Europeans arrived. By stable, I don't mean they had no conflict among nations, but even those were brief and less destructive than the 'civilized' peoples' conflicts. Within their own societies, they managed things very much better.
  • LuckyR
    394


    I don't foresee US subgroups sharing between themselves at the scale required to abandon ownership.
  • Frog
    11


    I don't think such a society could develope on it's own.

    The selfish human desire is both nature and nurture. It is built into us (selfishness means more food means better chance to reproduce; therefore evolution makes us selfish), and built into our society, too (ex. capitalism). The urge to own private property is an example of selfishness. But selflessness is, too, built into us, though not to the extent that selfishness is (selflessness means community means protection; therefore evolution creates a selfless element within us. This is furthered within our cultures regarding respect, kindness, honour, and other traits that integrate one into a society, and make us protected). To be able to give up on property is to be selfless.

    I do believe that, with enough nurturing, the human selflessness can be made to overcome the human selfishness. This, however, takes dedication, effort from others, and ideally, a lack of preexisting selfish notions in the mind. And to instill such selflessness in an entire people, this would logically have to be pushed to the extreme. As such, the development of this collective society would take extreme dedication and effort from an outside, nurturing source, be that divine, or a pregenitor or "parent" civilisation; this is impossible in the scenario you describe, as there is no nurturing force (other than perhaps a divine one, though I don't believe in such a thing).

    Even if we are to assume there is a divine nurturing force, we would still be missing the other component in the development of a selfless society: the lack of preexisting selfish notions. In the societal breakdown you have described, the human selfish instinct overpowers the selfless one (after all, if one find himself in a wasteland, he would naturally prioritise himself and his family). Therefore, these selfish notions are ingrained in the people of this cataclysmic world, and it would be nigh impossible to nurture it out of them.

    As such, because of the lack of a nurturing force, and the preexisting selfish values of these post apocalyptic people, such a society is impossible to form.

    Alright. Then let us imagine a scenario where this selflessness is possible: this world must be bountiful and abundant with resources, with no dangers as to not provoke the natural selfishness in people. The people of this world, as such, are mellow and easygoing, not very hardworkers (as they have no reason to work very hard when all is abundant), and not desiring much (as there is nothing left to desire).

    In this world, there must also be a nurturing force to mentor these people, and bring out the selflessness within them. As humans are inclined to do as their mentors do, this force must necessarily be selfless, else the people would copy the mentor's selfishness. I see two possibilites for this mentor:

    The first is that the mentor is a group, perhaps a progenitor or parent civilisation as I have previously described. I will presume this civilisation is comprised of a species bound by evolution (I will cover the opposite later on), and as such, has an inherent selfish component. This raises the question of, who mentored them to be selfless? And who mentored the mentor of the mentors? And so on. The logical endpoint: there must be an inherently selfless mentor, with whom this cycle breaks.

    The other option is to simply skip this cycle, and assume the mentor is inherently selfless. As all species subject to evolution are inherently selfish, this mentor must necessarily come about outside of evolution, and is therefore what we may label "divine." (This is not to say that this divine being has those powers we so often associate with divinity, however.) I will refer to this being as Mentor. As Mentor is completely selfless, even if they were a collective, the goal would be the exact same: the best for everybody around them. Therefore, as the objective is the same, we may refer to Mentor as a singular entity. As for Mentor's role in this selfless society, I see two options:

    One: Mentor claims no power over the people, and takes on a soley guiding role. In a selfless collective, this leaves a gigantic vacuum of power. As there are no outside dangers, this vacuum can only be filled by one of the people. As these people are taught selflessness, and their human selfishness is simply dormant, it is logical that eventually, one (or multiple) would awaken their selfishness, and come to fill this power vacuum---and these mellow, non-hardworkers would not be able to fight back. These new, selfish rulers would undoubtedly shape this society to their needs, and ultimately, corrupt its selflessness (see: the Soviet Union).

    Two: Mentor fills the power vacuum. This is the only scenario in which, I believe, such a selflessness can be taught as to allow for the giving up of private property and the creation of a collective.

    To conclude: it is my belief that a collective as you describe, with a complete lack of ownership, is possible only under the best of conditions, with complete abundance and safety, and requires direct divine rule. That is to say, it will never happen.
  • frank
    14.7k
    :up:

    The selfish human desire is both nature and nurture. It is built into us (selfishness means more food means better chance to reproduce; therefore evolution makes us selfish), and built into our society, too (ex. capitalism). The urge to own private property is an example of selfishness. But selflessness is, too, built into us, though not to the extent that selfishness is (selflessness means community means protection; therefore evolution creates a selfless element within us. This is furthered within our cultures regarding respect, kindness, honour, and other traits that integrate one into a society, and make us protected). To be able to give up on property is to be selfless.Frog

    Yea, I also thought there might be a spectrum with extremes of selfishness and selflessness on the poles and a mixture in middle. Conceptually, at the extremes of selfishness, no society is possible. No one can compromise. No government is possible. At the extreme of selflessness, the society is like a pervading super identity eclipsing individuality completely. I would speculate that we never see either extreme in reality, but we can see cases where the pendulum has swung toward the extreme.

    What I was wondering was: what causes the pendulum to swing? What are the conditions that result in society where selfishness dominates? I hypothesize that the answer is that selfishness dominates in a world where a strong government exists. Nobody really ever worries that the society will fall apart. They're so sure of that that they let their selfishness free. It would be in a world where government is fragile that people reflexively become sheep-like, sensing their vulnerability. So I'm leaning toward saying that what's really innate is dynamic tension between the two.

    So yes, I agree with you that the extreme of selflessness isn't realizable. Thanks for hypothesizing with me! :grin:
  • Frog
    11


    Hmm... Why the pendulum swings? If I had to say something, I think I'd go with suffering. Suffering brings out the best and the worst in people, it allows for our human selfishness to take hold, but also for a selfless dreamers to dream.

    Take, for example, the formation of the USSR. The people under the Tzar we're suffering terribly, with famines, war, deaths, you name it. It was because of this suffering that Lenin dreamed the dream of a communist Russia, and Lenin meant it. He truly wanted an equal society for all, he wanted complete selflessness. Some people rallied behind the banner of communism with their hearts on their sleeves. They were the dreamers.

    The rest, however, used communism in a bid to take power. Take Stalin, for example. He road on the coat tails of Lenin's dream, and then he turned it on its head for his own benefit.

    I think a better metaphor might be a car. This suffering is the fuel, and the steering wheel decides which way we go: to selfishness, or to selflessness. Now it's all up to the driver.
  • frank
    14.7k
    I've long been fascinated by Russian history. I read a book by Hosking that didn't paint a rosy picture of Lenin. But I absolutely agree that suffering (of all kinds) is the fuel. Schopenhauer said essentially that: that cold, hunger, fear, anger, lust, etc. Those things drive the engine of the mind. Without them: oblivion. So yes, that's what propels the pendulum.
  • NOS4A2
    8.5k
    Imagine some world of the future where people are picking up the pieces from some cataclysm and they develop a collective. No one owns anything. Everything that's produced is pooled and shared. I'm wondering about whether this is something that dwells in the human potential or not.

    Our greater potential lies in taking a fanciful idea and producing a tyranny out of it.

    For instance your passive voice leaves to our imagination what group of people or institution is to redistribute the wealth. Those people or that institution are in effect the owners, and everyone else the serf, because the distributors get to decide what is to be done with everyone’s things and who gives and takes what. Once the distributors are revealed it appears the transaction is less and less sharing as it is a racket.

    I think ownership is innate rather than cultural. I believe it extends from self-ownership, the sense that one’s self is one’s own. Like one’s self, the things we create and apply our productive energies towards would not be the way they are without our being. We often treat objects like tools or vehicles as extensions of the body, and I believe something of this process inheres in our instincts towards things we own. This, in combination with a sense of justice and desert, is enough to fill out a theory of ownership.
  • Vera Mont
    3.6k
    For instance your passive voice leaves to our imagination what group of people or institution is to redistribute the wealth.NOS4A2

    In the quoted scenario, there is no wealth to redistribute or even distribute. These people narrowly escaped from a burning city, clutching their children. They're in a barren landscape, with scarce food and shelter. Alone, each of them would perish. Their options are very limited.

    We often treat objects like tools or vehicles as extensions of the body, and I believe something of this process inheres in our instincts towards things we own. This, in combination with a sense of justice and desert, is enough to fill out a theory of ownership.NOS4A2
    Yes, it's enough for the ownership of intimate objects - not of land, water and other people.
  • NOS4A2
    8.5k


    In the quoted scenario, there is no wealth to redistribute or even distribute. These people narrowly escaped from a burning city, clutching their children. They're in a barren landscape, with scarce food and shelter. Alone, each of them would perish. Their options are very limited.

    By “wealth” I meant goods and resources, like food. If there is nothing to distribute, then there is nothing to share.

    Yes, it's enough for the ownership of intimate objects - not of land, water and other people.

    I think it is enough for land. What is more intimate than the ground you’re standing on?
  • Vera Mont
    3.6k
    By “wealth” I meant goods and resources, like food. If there is nothing to distribute, then there is nothing to share.NOS4A2
    How do you distribute what you haven't found yet? In order to ensure co-operation, they have to agree on a plan for sharing the effort - food and fuel gathering, shelter building, child-care, guard duty, first aid, tool-making, scouting - and the rewards of those efforts, then trust one another to keep to that plan, or discuss any proposed changes and get consensus. Otherwise, none of them is safe.

    I think it is enough for land. What is more intimate than the ground you’re standing on?NOS4A2
    There is nothing intimate about the ground; it's just something you walk on, trying to avoid obstacles. They won't stand in one place: if they want to keep living, they'll have to keep moving. It's going to be a very long time, 50 or more generations, before they can settle down to permanent architecture and agriculture (as opposed to seasonal or short-term cultivation) If the weather stabilizes by then. That may be long enough to become accustomed to a communal culture and train the young accordingly.
  • frank
    14.7k
    Once the distributors are revealed it appears the transaction is less and less sharing as it is a racket.NOS4A2

    That's true. But if you rely on a government to enforce your property rights, that also becomes a racket. You'll have to protect your stuff with your little arsenal out there in northern Canada.
  • Frog
    11


    But if you rely on a [insert group or institution] to enforce your property rights, that also becomes a racket. — frank

    Try it out: insert any governing body you can think of. It will still be true. This is one of the main problems of a society without ownership.

    I also described something similar earlier:
    one ... would awaken their selfishness, and come to fill this power vacuum ... These new, selfish rulers would undoubtedly ... corrupt [the society's] selflessness."
    I am sure others have described this too.

    If there is a power vacuum, someone will fill it, and no matter who does, the nature of power is to corrupt, and so they will be corrupted and will take advantage.
  • Fire Ologist
    349


    Ownership isn’t the problem.

    Getting rid of owning things to make the world better is like getting rid of things to make the world better.

    We need food. Sometimes one person has it and another doesn’t. Ownership isn’t the problem. People’s fears, greed, desire for power over others and their own future, gluttony, etc - those are the same problems in any world, at any time, whether sifting through the rubble, or through search results on Amazon.
  • frank
    14.7k
    If there is a power vacuum, someone will fill it, and no matter who does, the nature of power is to corrupt, and so they will be corrupted and will take advantage.Frog

    I think cultural forms always express the same story arc. They start with a golden age where everyone is strong and true. Then they progress to greater maturity and what was black and white starts to become grey. In the final stages pessimism is rampant. Listen to some of the people on this forum and you can hear the sound of profound pessimism, where it just seems absurd to love yourself and your culture's ideals. It's all turned to shit and there's nothing can be done. In this world corruption is common because nobody believes in anything anymore. And then a reformer comes and starts the cycle over.

    What I'm saying is that every cultural form goes through these phases. The adage that power corrupts is mainly true in the final stages. How does that sound?
  • Vera Mont
    3.6k
    Try it out: insert any governing body you can think of.Frog
    Elders, who have earned the tribe's respect through honesty and wisdom, and who listen to every voice with considered attention.

    If there is a power vacuum,Frog
    If. Why should there be a power vacuum? Why should there be power to hoover up in the first place? What kind of power? How attained? How retained?

    Getting rid of owning things to make the world better is like getting rid of things to make the world better.Fire Ologist
    I haven't proposed any such action. I predict that, as has happened many times before, it will happen again, only on a much, much larger scale: people lose what they own, their homes, their land, their livelihood, their social structure, their whole way of life. Then they have to adapt to whatever they find, or die.
    You may be right: our genetic predisposition to insanity may prove stringer than our reasoning and need to belong, in which case we will destroy ourselves utterly. But I'm not convinced that it's inevitable.
  • Fire Ologist
    349
    You may be right: our genetic predisposition to insanity may prove stringer than our reasoning and need to belong, in which case we will destroy ourselves utterly. But I'm not convinced that it's inevitable.Vera Mont

    The greatest hope I see to conquer our insanity is the fact that there was a man like Jesus, and he didn’t own anything, so maybe you are right.
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