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If you have not yet read my bio (see site navigation form above) I urge you to do so, not because I have some ego trip, but because I think it important to know something of the writer to better understand the writer's ideas.
I do not present my thoughts on EGoR as the blueprint for a utopia, a panacea for all the world's ills. I am well aware that, A) none of what I propose here will happen in my lifetime, if ever, and B) that even if it all happened, humanity would still not live in a utopia. Further, a utopia, as defined in the dictionary, is not something I or most people would want.
Utopia 1. an ideal place or state with perfect laws. 2. a visionary, impractical system of political or social perfection(The World Book Dictionary).
To an anarchist, the phrase "perfect laws" is almost an oxymoron. So that definition does not fit here. Note that the second definition seems to link "visionary" with "impractical" which is itself absurd. If someone happens to be a "visionary," i.e., have ideas on how things could be better, it does not follow that those ideas are "impractical." It should be obvious to any reasonable person that "perfection" is not a state acheivable by humans, at least in its broad sense, and as I said, neither I nor most others would want it if it were. Because it implies stagnation, an utter lack of any change. Such a state is abhorent to most people because it is a large part of human nature to learn new things, to overcome obstacles, to solve problems. If this were no longer possible, life would hold little attraction for most of us. But I don't think we have to worry about ever acheiving such a state - it is flatly impossible for several reasons. The term "utopia" is sort of a slur, a comment made usually with a derisive sneer, toward those who are to some extent "visionary." So, dear reader, I wish it clearly understood that it is NOT a utopia that I seek. Rather, I seek a society in which there is a vastly greater degree of equality, of kindness, compassion, intelligence, fun, respect, dignity, honor, fairness, freedom. Some may ask, "If you don't think these things will come about anytime soon, what's the point?" I will paraphrase Martin Luther King: Though I may not get there with you, mine eyes have seen the possibilities. The human species has a ways to go before it can achieve such a world. But it will certainly NEVER be acheived unless and until people begin to work to make it happen. The first step in making anything better, as far as human society is concerned, is to understand what is currently wrong with it. EGoR is THE major, but not necessarily the only, problem.
So, what the hell is EGoR? EGoR is the name I have given to a metaphorical three-headed beast of human creation. Metaphorical, but nonetheless real and dangerous. I am conviced that, eventually, humans must either destroy EGoR or be destroyed by it. I well realize that most people surfing the web tend to be rather impatient and don't wish to spend a lot of time reading stuff from web pages. However, this topic is quite large, and if you would rationally decide whether you agree or disagree with my ideas and conclusions, you must actually read them. This is a very brief introduction. I hope to soon expand greatly on the ideas touched upon here.
The "E" in EGoR stands for Economics. The "Go" stands for Government. The "R" stands for Religion.
Most of us have been taught that there are at least three things that nice people simply do NOT talk about, at least not in depth, in polite society. Those things are money, politics and religion. Yet every one of these things affects the lives of almost every human on the planet, to one degree or another, almost every day. And that is precisely WHY we should buck the trend and discuss them. Let's begin with "economics."
You can relax, you won't find a long, boring thesis on the various theories of economics here. In fact, when I say "economics" I am actually referring to to something a bit more narrow in focus, namely, money (but "money" would screw up a perfectly good acronym for my "monster).
My basic assertion on this point is this: There should not exist an arbitrary, unnecessary and harmful "middle man" - what people call a "medium of exchange" - between one's work and one's rewards for that work.
Arguably, the single most misquoted statement in the Bible is found at 1 Timothy 6:10). Most people read it as "Money is the root of all evil" but it actually says, "For the love of money is the root of all evil." No, neither money nor the love of it is truly the root of ALL evil, but it does come damn close. Most humans seem to have an innate greed about them to one degree or another. While there will almosy certainly always be some degree of greed among humans, any system based upon the concept of money can only perpetuate this negative property to the nth degree.
I think (I hope) that humans in general also have a capacity for egalitarianism, i.e., a basic understanding of whether or not a thing is fair and just. Surely most of us, during our childhood years, were taught by our parents to "play fair." Board games such as monopoly, which use money, come with certain rules. The rules of such games typically state that each player must start the game with exactly equal amounts of money and/or property. Why is that? Because the game would otherwise not be fair. One might think that if people, in designing their board games (which are very trivial things in the real world) would make rules for fair play, that they would then surely be even more concerned about having rules of fair play in real life. But in fact, they don't.
Most of society engages in perpetuating a sham, a pretense of fairness. But the ideal of fairness very quickly losses its appeal when money (and its accompanying greed, lust for power, etc.,) becomes involved. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that when playing monopoly, if one player is allowed to take whatever money and property he wants, while all other players must abide by the rules, the player who breaks the rules will win every time. There is absolutely no hope of the others having any chance whatever to win the game. The same principle applies in life.
So while many, maybe most of us, make honest efforts to "play fair" in life as we were taught, there are always those who will not play fair. And guess who most often wins. The old adage that "nice guys finish last" is more true than most people will admit. Now, this is not to say that everyone who is "successful" is necessarily "crooked" or breaks the rules of the game. I certainly assert that the majority are to one extent or another. But sometimes chance has a large role in whether one attains monetary wealth. Other factors, such as one's size and appearence can also affect whether one becomes wealthy or not.
In games like monopoly, even if all players are very meticulous about abiding by the rules, eventually someone will "win" which means that others "lose." In a board game this is really no big deal. But in life it is a VERY big deal. Here, the concept of "competition" comes into play. In SOME aspects of life, people seem to understand that cooperation is much more efficient and effective in reaching the common goals. In an emergency room filled with dedicated and caring medical people, many people are working together to save the life of a person. They are cooperating. You do not have two nurses "competing" to see who can clean the wounds better or perform the trachiotomy better. But when it comes to money and the "business world" competition is master. And it is generally assumed by most of the population that whoever "wins" in this game is "better" or of more "worth" than those who don't. This is not really true at all of course, but it is the common assumption.
The basic ideology of capitalism seems to be, "I've got mine, screw you!" There seems to exist no concept at all of cooperation in business, except to the extent that some businessmen may cooperate with each other to defeat some other person or group. The "bottom line" in business is always to make money, with no regard whatever to whether or not any more money is needed by the "players." In this climate it seems that to most people, it is not enough for me to be very wealthy, but you must be much LESS wealthy. Otherwise my wealth doesn't mean as much, it doesn't allow me the degree of control over you that I want. So there are things built into the system which gaurantee that most people attempting to play this game will lose. In fcat the entire monetary system is set up so that it always rewards those who have the most and work the least, much more than those who have little and work hard.
Here's one small example of why I loathe capitalism. A littl over a year ago, I signed up with GTE, my phone company, for UNLIMITED Internet access. Everything was cool for about a month. Then GTE decides it will no longer offer UNLIMITED net access at all, but wants to limit it to 100 hours a month. Now, I realize that many people don't spend that much time on the net, but for some people such as myself, 100 hours is an absurdly small amount amount of time in a month to be on the net.
So I went in search of an ISP (Internet Service Provider) that still offered UNLIMITED access. I found Earthlink. For only $19.95 a month Earthlink offered UNLIMITED access. Things were cool for about a year. Earthlink is still doing well, still has unlimted access for the $19.95. I even found out about alladvatange.com, through which I can get paid $12.50 every month just for having their viewbar at the top of my screen while surfing. So I was doing pretty well, at least for someone as poor as I am.
Then, I'll be damned if GTE didn't find a way to screw me over anyway, even if they were not my ISP. They are still my phone company. Now they say that they will limit PHONE connection time to 60 hours a month! That's even worse than the 100 hour net access time they have! Living in the tiny town of Ariton, for a while there literally EVERYWHERE that was not Ariton, was a long distance call! That meant, of course, that I couldn't have net access at all, because I sure as hell couldn't afford long distance charges to connect to the net.
Then they came up with a "calling plan" in which customers could pay a set rate (in our case $35 a month) and some towns in the area could be called without incurring long distance charges. Dothan, the biggest town within a 100 mile circumference, was included and that's where Earthlink has a local access number. So for a while I could spend all the time I wanted exploring the net and researching subjects and not have any more charges than the $35 flat phone rate and Earthlink's $19.95.
Now GTE has changed things. We still pay the $35 and they greatly increased the "calling area" that we can reach without long distance charges. But they also threw in a limit of 60 hours a month. Anything over that is charged at 4 cents a minute! Barely 2 freakin' hours a day! This sucks! Oh sure, I can stay online all I want IF I have big bucks to pay several HUNDRED DOLLARS A MONTH for it.
This is what "free market" and "free enterprise" gets you. As usual, the rich may grumble a bit but it's really no big deal to them - they can still get everything they want. The poor, though, are screwed!
Yes, there is a huge amount of pure bullshit on the net, but as with other technology, it can also be used for good. Those who wish to become informed and very well educated can do so on the net. But if you're too poor to afford it, you're left behind.
As an anarchist, naturally I loathe government. But in such cases as this, government did at least do a good job in holding down the dollarlust somewhat by regulating how much utilities could charge. "Deregulation" unleashes the full force of the damnable capitalistic lust for money and power at the expense of people like me.