Friday, March 30, 2012

This is what I think about while canoeing though a cypress forest in Mississippi.

I believe: An exposition on, “Do whatever you want, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else."

1) Actions that negatively impact others are not the right of any individual to exercise.

2) It is not your right to cause another individual or group to feel pain, fear, or lack of safety, either physical or emotional.

3) If you are physically and/or mentally able, it is not your right to require any other individual or group to support your basic needs for food, water, and shelter.

It is your right to choose to help others. If you are not the cause of their pain or need, no other can force you to give of yourself or the things you have earned. While it may be logically to your benefit to help your neighbors, an investment on your own future needs or safety, to require this of you would be an infringement on your right by someone else.

It is your right to kill yourself, if you have no obligations to others. If you have children who still require your care, or have engaged in a social contract that you have benefitted from and have not fulfilled your obligation to, it is an infringement of the first principle to prematurely end your life. Situations where this is possible without breaking the second principle are not common.

It is your right to leave love unrequited. This right is contingent on there having been no direct action that can be understood as a social contract with unfulfilled obligations.

You have the right to refuse charity from, or for, others.

If you violate the first principle, your right to the same principle in relation to all other individuals and groups is forfeit. While no action to restrict you is required from any group or individual, it is within the rights of any person or group to act against you as a cancerous presence that has rejected the basic principles of humanity.

Note the above principles apply to individuals and groups of individuals. A corporation, or other business or government body, does not escape the requirements of following these principles.

What would this mean for war? Never warranted.

For taxation? Opt-in only. However, if you choose not to pay a road tax, prepare to never, ever use the roads.

For inheritance? The restriction on exploiting others, and receiving profits that are commensurate with the investment made, will go a long way to restricting excessive wealth consolidation.

For national borders? Valuable civic organizational tools, with adherence to the above rights, monetary policy, fair trade, border disputes, etc. will be largely mitigated.

For healthcare? See investment-based profits versus monopoly/value based margins, explored in more detail below.

For standing armies? Optional, for the sole purpose of removing individuals or groups that actively infringe on others’ rights.

For standing police forces? Effectively this and the standing army would serve the same purpose.

Abortion? Restricting another’s ability to make this choice is an infringement on their rights. No individual has the right to dictate this option, in the positive or the negative, to another individual. However, at what age does a child have the same rights, where an abortion would be an infringement on their rights?

Religion? No crusades, no holy wars. If spread through peace and example, if engaged in by consenting adults, great. If there are individuals with hate-filled signs outside of a funeral, that is an infringement on others’ rights.

Garbage removal, city/town plumbing and waste disposal infrastructure, water infrastructure, roads, street lights, etc. would be mutually beneficial and largely unchanged.

Profits: from all businesses, money lending, capital investing, farming, energy sources, retail of all needs and luxuries, would be severely changed. The above principles do not support the gouging of consumers or citizens for the disproportional benefit of a minority.

Wars of conquest are unacceptable. Wars of dominance are unacceptable. Purging of individuals or groups of individuals who are not adhering to the principles of humanity… this is a right of any individual or group to enforce.

But it is not a duty. Individuals or groups may be designated, as long as their rights are not infringed, to act out this purging.

Who determines when an individual or group is infringing on someone’s rights?

If each individual exercises their rights, those that band together for mutual risk mitigation will thrive. While charity is not required of any individual, it is an intelligent investment towards future needs The recipients of charity enter into a social contract to repay, if not to the individual, then to the pool of humanity at a later date, if and when thy are able. Likewise enforcement of these principles is not a requirement of any individual, but is an intelligent investment for the future.

Is this communism? No. If an individual wishes to work harder, longer, more productively than others, they will reap the benefits of those efforts. No individual is required to share/give of their work product to others against their will.

Lives of different economic standing are natural, based on the varying desires and efforts of each individual. The principles require those with less money have the same rights as those with more. Abuse, theft, exploitation, all of these are violations of the basic principles.

Is this socialism? No. There is no requirement that any individual care for their neighbor, give to charity, or provide of their own earnings to those who have chosen not to, or are unable to, provide for themselves. The basic rights of the individual, combined with basic risk mitigation for the future, or compassion, may result in social programs, charity, etc., but it is not a structure or requirement that should be imposed on anyone.

Could this result in walled cities of the wealthy? Possibly. There is no restriction on an individual or a group’s right to remove themselves from the larger collection of humanity, as long as doing so does not actively harm others.

What does this mean for patent law, or the hoarding of ideas/technology? Refer to the derivative principle that return on effort and investment should be commensurate with the effort invested. If an individual or community invests significant time/resources to develop a new energy source, they should collect profits in line with the amount of effort invested. This is certainly a difficult balance, as the rights of the owner/inventor/investor must be preserved, without infringing on the rights of all others. For example medicine should not be withheld, as this would actively harm others, but a fair social contract from the recipient to the supplier must be maintained, before or following the delivery of the medicine.

If an individual or group has a brilliant idea, regardless of the scope of it’s impact, the return should be commensurate with the effort/investment, not the value of the idea. If an individual is gifted with a brilliant idea, with no time or study invested, the profit on that idea should reflect the investment. If an individual or community invests time and resources to support contemplation, study, experimentation, etc., then the resulting idea will have a larger investment to compensate for.

Yes, honesty is obviously a foundational requirement.

Could this result in walled cities of the wealthy, situated around a valuable commodity, such as a spring? Again, possibly, as long as access to the spring or other commodity is not restricted to the infringement of other’s rights. For example, if the spring requires maintenance, efforts to reach and pipe to a convenient location, etc., it is within the rights of the community to require fair compensation.

What is the fair result if a small community with a water resource finds itself host to a traveling group that is far larger, and whose needs will deplete the water resource below sustainable levels? Charity is not required of the community, but withholding available surplus would be an infringement on the rights of the travelers, who shall come to no harm by another’s direct action, ie. withholding water.

Taken to the limit, at some point the price of the remaining water will reach the life of the individual or the community, at which time the travelers may have no ability to pay something of commensurate value. This situation may be impacted by compassion, or other emotional contributors, but at no time does either party have the right to force action on the other. The travelers do not have the right to make their needs, based on poor luck, poor planning, etc., the needs of the community.

Slavery would not be acceptable, however the exchange of labor and service for room/board/security, if satisfying to both parties, would be fine. Likewise bedroom behavior of any sort between consenting adults, drug use, excess or deprivation of any sort, are perfectly acceptable. As long as the actions of the individuals engaged in the above practices do not harm non-consenting parties, any effort to restrict these actions becomes a restriction on those individuals’ rights.

From this cursory look, this basic set of rights could correct a lot of the social and species issues we face.

How do we make this happen, ie. overcome the basic greedy/aggressive/oppressive nature of human beings?

On Gambling:

Gamble because you love risk. Gamble because you hope, against hope that you ill get something much greater than you deserve for the amount of effort/money invested. Gamble because you are compulsive, because you are addicted, because you are bored.

Gamble because you have money that you earn through hard work, and risking it makes you feel in control. Gamble because you have money that you did not earn, and this is an easy opportunity to gain ownership over the winnings, or revenge against the lost money that you did not earn. Gamble because you need money, more than you have, and a risk of success is better than guaranteed falling short.

Gamble because it’s fun.

For any of these reasons, with gambling as entertainment being the best point on the spectrum of societal ills that it can claim, gambling is a symptom. Making the practice illegal, regulating it to mitigate the operator’s earnings and limit the risk to pure-odds with minimal operational costs, or removing the true risk and replacing the wagered items with things of low to no value, the unhealthy reasons for participating in gambling have not been corrected, or safely satiated.

Why do people believe in and pursue unwarranted/unearned reward?

Why do people need to risk?

What must be lacking, or in abundance, to drive people towards this form of damaging entertainment?

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