by Steve Cook
This is Essay Five in the series Lighten the Load, a re-think of government. What should a government be and do? What should it definitely NOT be and do? Is it even necessary at all? If so, how much and why? How do we decide, against what criteria?
Co-action among humans beings self evidently, requires communication. The more co-action you want, the more communication will be needed.
Communication, of which money and exchange could be said to be forms, is a governing factor upon the sphere of co-action among persons and groups that is achievable and sustainable.
To the degree that we can protect, reward, nurture, promote and extend the ability of human beings to communicate smoothly with one another, to exchange information and ideas, survival will be assisted.
In effect, we survive as well as we can communicate.
Therefore, any action that inhibits or suppresses the ability, safety and freedom of human beings to communicate with one another – and that freedom includes the right not to receive communication that one does not desire – or which seeks to exclude any survival-oriented person or group from that right and duty, is a powerful inhibitor of survival.
Any action, moreover, which corrupts that communication flow with falsehood in any of its manifold guises, is itself an inhibition of survival.
An inhibition of the ability, willingness, freedom or safety of human beings to communicate is an attack upon the survival of the group, society, nation or Mankind.
Optimum survival would require complete agreement as to survival goals.
It would require complete alignment to those survival goals of the activities of all groups and individuals with a resultant elevation to high levels of survival of all groups and individuals so aligned.
The productive and creative endeavor of all persons and groups in their workaday lives and social interrelations would contribute to and assist the achievement of those survival goals.
This, of course, is a perfect scenario that may not be fully attainable in reality.
However, to the degree to which we move towards that absolute, our survival potential will increase; to the degree that we move away from it, our survival potential will diminish.
Individuals and groups are profoundly and inextricably inter-dependent.
Self-evidently, large groups tend to be composed of numbers of smaller groups, which contribute specialized tasks to the overall group goal, just as individuals contribute specialized tasks towards the overall goal of the group to which they belong.
A nation is composed of thousands of such sub-groups each performing a specialized role or series of roles that contribute to the survival thrust of the larger group. Those sub-groups in turn may be composed of smaller groups and so on.
A nation is composed of an immense variety of groups: families, schools, government departments, trades unions, research institutes, public and private companies, corporations, religious orders, sports associations, scout troops, special interest groups, clubs, media entities and so forth.
The many and varied aspects of human capability include awareness, knowledge, access to group experience, happiness, security, ability to communicate, ability to exchange, confidence, or even the sense that creative endeavour is worthwhile and will produce some reward of enhanced survival.
Any group has an objective or end product: something it is trying to provide, produce or achieve for its members and for the wider community around it.
For example, a shoe company produces shoes; a school produces children equipped for productive and social life; an army – ideally – defends the society from physical attack; a research team provides increased knowledge; reform groups amend activities in a more pro-survival direction and a rock band provides entertainment.
In an optimum situation, all groups and the members thereof would produce something that assists the survival of people in some way. They would do so either by providing the physical wherewithal of survival, by raising human capability or by fostering the high emotional tone in which Man operates at optimum.
People and groups exchange their product with the other persons and groups for their products.
A person or group flourishes and prospers to the degree that they (a) know what their product is (b) can get their product (c) the product is of value to other persons and groups and (d) people are willing and able to exchange their products.
A government also has a product but what is it or what should it be?
We’ll get to that later.
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