Talk:Evolve to freedom
mm... I'm thinking, you're actually talking about losing the benefits from economies of scale and calling it freedom. Be it open source or institutional-oligarchist capitalist or state-controlled socialist, production is more effective when it's centralized; for bulk production that can be highly automated, up to a point, etc.
Effective production is more ecological and brings more wealth; it's a political-moral issue how the wealth is spent/wasted and how it is distributed. By reverting to small scale production and losing effectivity we have less to share as a whole; distribution is perhaps forced to be more equal and less is consumed, but that's really nothing we couldn't achieve already today by more social choices in our societies.
Automated farming is interesting - it is even necessary - but (no offense) I still am rather pessimistic about whether you will get there before the big car companies, for example. Good luck anyways! --Sigmundur (220.127.116.11 10:59, 1 May 2010 (UTC))
Some "benefits" of centralization come with unintended consequences. Through "human nature" and/or conditioning the top of a hierarchy will always control centralized means of production no matter what the system is, whether "open source or institutional-oligarchist capitalist or state-controlled socialist" and the top of that hierarchy will always work for their personal benefit to the detriment of everyone and everything else. Eventually they become short sighted and/or things start falling apart/running out/changing, and the hierarchy doesn't want to lose their status so they resist changing or make fake "simulacrum" changes (usually designed to empower themselves, and also typically makes things worse), and the system breaks down and "collapses" while inflicting a lot of pain onto people, then things eventually ends up as... local, decentralized production. And eventually the process of making production more "effective" by centralizing repeats itself, over and over again, only to "collapse", over and over again. Whatever "efficiencies" are created go to the top of the hierarchy along with everything else. For the few that benefit from centralization there are many that suffer, and everyone suffers while going through the "collapse". It has happened countless times in human history, on large and small scales.
Ultimately, centralization is only "efficient" in the short run, the hierarchy always continues to grow, is unadaptably self serving, and the centralization stops being "efficient" when faced with challenges in the long run. The only societies that have been able to minimize such catastrophic events are those that are able to limit/restrain the human nature of hierarchical organization and decentralize production. See some of Carroll Quigley's works and Jared Diamond's "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed" for some examples.
The primitive desire to consume more and more, greed, is as old as life itself. And dreams of control and centralization will always be powered by it, no matter what the justification.
A lack of understanding of human nature will always pervert the implementation of any theory of economics, society, politics, etc. An implementation of theory ignorant of history will be doomed to repeat it, and centralization has a very, very long, and very, very bloody history. Of course the few who benefit wouldn't want to know about it. Certainly things will be different if we try just one more time. Reminds me of a part in "Money as Debt" where a scientist is pressing the controls on a huge machine, and the machine keeps dumping putting people onto a conveyor belt and then crushing them into a red pulp, and the scientist remarks: "No matter what I change it keeps doing the same thing!"
Most people are not aware of where their ideas come from because most of their ideas are actually from their subconscious mind which is influenced by suggestion and metaphor without the conscious "self" being aware of it. Because they don't know where their ideas come from they view their ideas as inseparable from their "self". Thus any "attack" on their ideas is taken as an "attack" on their "self", and they are unaware of any other choices but to defend their "self" by holding tightly to their ideas.
A small comparison
The centralization/decentralization concept can be applied to many things, economic, social, mechanical, biological, etc. It's basically static/rigidity/momentum/reluctance vs. versatility/adaptability/agility. The terms change but the concept remains the same.
Centralization ("open source or institutional-oligarchist capitalist or state-controlled socialist")
Efficiency: More "efficient" in the short term, but always becomes stagnant and less "efficient" in the long term.
Advancement: Can be more, but can also be slowed/stopped by a fearful hierarchy.
Comfort/ease: Toil for many to support the comfort for few. Unlikely to change, especially under a centralized system that doesn't want to change.
Security: Can be more secure, until the "security" is turned on those it was protecting.
Survivability: Only one chance to make one right solution. Theoretically can overcome challenges more "efficiently", but hierarchical resistance to change can also destroy everyone in the system if going down the wrong path. All eggs in one basket.
Ecological: Central leadership can lead the whole system to destroy on a scale as massive as the centralization. Central leadership, being led by humans who self select by lust for power, is inherently short sighted and greedy. Or if controlled by a computer, being programmed by a select few who are smart enough to interpret/write the code may also lust for power, and also limited by their own human traits to make mistakes. "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong." And one wrong idea can send the system into destroying everything on a large scale.
Other things: Central leadership always eventually ends up minimizing benefits for others to maximize benefits for themselves.
Efficiency: Less "efficient" in the short term, but can be more stable, adaptable, and pleasant. "Efficiency" can increase with technology the same as with centralization.
Advancement: Can be slow, but can also be fast, depends on the culture and ideas of exploration. (US 1700-1900's)
Comfort/ease: Moderate for most. Could be better.
Security: Can be less secure, depends on the people's technology/techniques/strategies and their abilities to come together and help each other.
Survivability: Many chances to find many solutions, some will work, some won't. Some might make the wrong decisions and fall, but others might make the right ones and survive. People have the benefit of seeing who is doing something that's not working vs. someone who is doing something that is working and adopt it.
Ecological: Destruction is limited by scale of decentralization. Things can, and will go wrong. But the scope will be limited.
Other things: People benefit themselves more by benefiting others more, if they don't then they should suffer the consequences of others not benefiting them. Requires culture of justice and accountability.
Thank you for your comment.
"Agriculture is a destructive system. Well, we need a lot more gardeners. Gardeners are the most productive, most hands-on sort of agriculturists. They always have been. There never has been any debate about it. When you make a farm big, you just accept a suddenly lower productivity and yield, but less people get it. That is why it is economically "efficient." When you talk about efficient farming of this order, you are talking about dollars. When you reduce the size of the owned landscape, providing you don’t reduce the lots to less than a quarter of an acre, the agricultural productivity goes up. You get a lot of arguments to the effect that breaking up large farms into five acre blocks is uneconomic. Five acre blocks are. One to onequarter acre blocks are not. They are highly productive. Now gardenersÉHow many gardeners are there in the United States? Fifty-three percent of households now garden. They garden only 600 square feet on the average. They make something like $1.50 a square foot. These household gardens are producing 18% of the food in the United States, at a value almost equivalent to total agriculture. Now let’s look at Russia. The peasant farmer, on a half-acre to an acre, is producing some 84% of the food. The state farms, which occupy most of the agricultural land, produce the remainder. But the state farms are not doing their job. They have a 6% deficit, which is shipped in from Canada or the United States. The glamorous agriculture, the large scale, broad scale agriculture, is not the agriculture that is producing the food." - http://www.barkingfrogspermaculture.org/PDC_ALL.pdf
I have not found Mollison's sources for his assertions but this may be a useful anecdote for research.18.104.22.168 09:05, 4 June 2010 (UTC)