Saturday, 26 August 2017

The More Things Change . . .

Are You Ready For a Great Leap Forward?

It's election season in New Zealand.  As to be expected, it's the season when whacky ideas get airtime.

Here is a sample, a guest post, published by a local blogger.
Maybe instead of voting for the red or blue leader once every few years we should work back from what we value. From my experience, here in NZ we value things like preservation of the environment, more time for personal and creative pursuits, more time for family and friends, less time working, and generally improving the well-being of all citizens. In fact, those values may well be universal. . . . 
It seems as though this contributor wants more "leisure" time to do whatever might take his fancy.  He wants an escape from the drudgery of work.
 They’ve now developed technology that could produce a largely automated abundance of resources for everyone, reducing work time and increasing leisure time substantially, with countless other benefits as a by-product. Within an efficiently designed political, social, and economic framework, their technology could support a radical transformation to the way they make decisions, utilise discoveries, interact with one another, preserve their environment, accelerate progress, and live their lives.
The author bemoans the fact that not enough time and attention is being paid to creating this wunnerful world he envisions.
 But we are pretty confident that underneath it all there will be an ages-old idea--namely, that someone else (the state, the community, society, the People) owns our stuff.  Since this idea is ancient, we can find an extended description of it in an ancient text:
There is no private property on . . ., with goods being stored in warehouses and people requesting what they need. There are also no locks on the doors of the houses, and the houses are rotated between the citizens every ten years. Agriculture provides the most important occupation on the island. Every person is taught it and must live in the countryside, farming for two years at a time, with women doing the same work as men. Parallel to this, every citizen must learn at least one of the other essential trades: weaving (mainly done by the women), carpentry, metalsmithing and masonry.

There is deliberate simplicity about these trades; for instance, all people wear the same types of simple clothes and there are no dressmakers making fine apparel. All able-bodied citizens must work; thus unemployment is eradicated, and the length of the working day can be minimised: the people only have to work six hours a day (although many willingly work for longer). More does allow scholars in his society to become the ruling officials or priests, people picked during their primary education for their ability to learn. All other citizens, however, are encouraged to apply themselves to learning in their leisure time.  [A summary of Thomas More's Utopia.]
As the Preacher said, there is nothing new under the sun.  Our "visionary" concludes:
 History teaches us that major civic upheaval is never proactively instituted by existing governments. It happens when enough people become disillusioned and demand something changes. Every vote you place is a vote in support of a broken system. So long as participation rates remain high our faux democracy has legitimacy. Only if it drops suitably low will conditions become ripe for revolution. Not placing a vote may well be the strongest vote you can make this election.
"Major civic upheaval" eh.  Yup.  That's the only way the Regime will get to lay claim to all of our property--so that it can create its paradise-on-earth.  And once it has taken your property, redistributing and re-organizing it according to its most excellent Five Year Plan, it will then lay hold of your bodies both to command and control, so that you will serve the interests of the New Model Man.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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