Tuesday, April 05, 2005

General Update

Working on an essay/thesis/manifesto/blueprint thingy for formation of communities and organizations of correspondance deeply rooted in pursuit and practice of civic plurality and freedom.

Its in the very rough abstract phase at the moment, but its based on the principal that more rights alone does not a free people make. Rather, it takes a community and culture fostered heavily in the exercise and promotion of liberty and freedom to properly foster respect for freedom in individuals. Or to put it another way, one can give a person millions of rights, and provide them with little regulation or impediment to actions, but without the proper socialization in the exercise and respect of freedom you could no more expect an individual to respect another persons rights or freedom in general as that individual could expect others to respect his.

The above italicised portion refers to explicity why a wholly atomized and privatized state would never work. It makes no distinction between liberty and liscense, and denigrates the concepts of freedom and liberty to merely the abscense of impediment to action. If one defines liberty this way, it becomes naturally conclusive that there are only two ways to logically be free of anothers impediments to your actions:

1.) Isolate oneself.

or

2.) Conquer and subjigate them.

To properly ensure freedom requires a public life, public goods, and public civics to foster both private and public virtues. Such a public however must be composed of shared values of non-litigous or liscensious mutual aid and freedom. People are freest when they act in concert to exercise, deliberate, and protect their freedom. That is, a specific call for a revitalized public sphere where there is direct community self-management, plurality, and participatory democracy. Such a sphere should also not be too intrusive into individual rights or wholly private and non-injurous conduct. However, it should be built upon, and foster a philosophy of moral and ethical equality, the pursuit and exercise of freedom, and the growth of individual and communal freedom. The need for both is quite clear: If you were dropped alone on a deserted island you would be absolutely free, yet you would likely still be unhappy, as you are not free to participate in community. Likewise, communities must be free, and built upon just a free principals: One would also be unhappy in a community that was free to do whatever it wanted to you.

It is necissary to explain my concept of freedom a little bit. It is wherever power is not highly concentrated, hierarchies or castes of illigitimate sorts (that being most of them) unwelcome, where general livelihood is in improvement, existence of great opportunity unimpeded by public nor private tyrannies (hard or soft), and where people exercise responsibility toward proper conduct, concern and compassion for the wellbeing of their fellow man, and pursue justice in light of undue hardship.

That is, it makes no sense to live in a community that has infinite liscense, but no care (You can do whatever you want, just don't expect anyone to help you, this is in effect the society of a prison colony, or of say Somalia), nor a community where there was no crime, yet enforced by an omnipresent panopticon of policing power. Likewise it makes no sense to live a society composed of akward delinations to both extremes, resulting in a great latitude of liscense, and a great many police, which quickly fosters social disentigration and produces a mockery of liberty. That is to say, a society like we have today.

The mores of freedom are precisely that, social mores that when not in exercise quickly dissipate. While the rapidly collapsing fabric of a free society can be temporarily propped up by the force of law, it will not hold. Law is there to act in the favor of justice, when men are incapable of that compacity themselves. A proper measure of how far a society has lost its common decency is easily correlated to how much the courts have had to right its injustice. That is not to say that the courts are incorrect in their judgements (Civil rights comes to mind, they were most certainly correct), only that they are having to act because of insufficient justice, forebearance, respect for freedom, and goodwill within society at large.

Such a society becomes composed in opposition to freedom, at first to some of its members (blacks in antibellum society for instance), and then to all members who disagree or somehow deviate from the stated prejudice. It is necissary then, to create a social-evolutionary stance in stated favor of greater freedom. Not simply rights enshrined, but the pursuit of greater livelihood, and for greater control over the conditions of ones personal and social life. This includes free labor, free government, free society, and free individuals.

For this, the proper social contract could be in fact stated: Each problem delegate only the powers according to its need, and according only to its ability. That is to say, what problem may exist that a local community or organization may solve, a state government is unnecissary, to what a state government can solve, a national government is unnecissary, and what a family or friends can solve, all of the above are unnecissary. That is of course, assuming that such courses of action are taken under in the values of a moral equality, justice, and freedom. (I.e., if the attempt at solution is to violate some measure of another's worth, then it obviously falls for review by another authority.) Such a society is deliberative, and arbitrative, not liscentious nor litigous. It is a society of interests which compete toward the goal of better co-operation, not to stamp out difference. In otherwords, it is composed much like the model scientific community: Individuals compete with their ideas, but it is the sharing and co-operation amongst those individuals which advances those ideas to progress.

In short conclusion to this introduction about what I'm working on; It is wrong to conclude that men are angels, but to conclude that they are devils is to inevitably make them so. Thus, a society composed on liscense and free vice is as likely to become hobbesian as a society composed on complete autocratic protection from vice. They are not opposites, they are mirror images.

Tchuss.

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