Re: capitalist religion

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sat Jul 21 2001 - 14:01:19 MDT

Lee Corbin wrote:
> John Grigg candidly admits
> > I love the idea of a minimal guaranteed annual income.
> > Largely because I tend to be a lazy person unless I
> > simply must take action for survival! lol
> Okay, it's time for me to confess to that also---I would be
> very pleased if I didn't have to work, and could write email
> and read books all day long (sigh).
> But the real question is, "do you in good conscience advocate
> it as public policy?". Although I've pretty much given up on
> the United States ever becoming a nation, or at least one that
> I could whole-heartedly identify with, I still must state what
> I think best for a society or a nation, when the relevant
> questions come up.

Yes. I in good consciience advocate it. I do so because I
believe it is essential to our long term wellbeing and
thriving. Now, the hard question is how to successfully get

> > I think even in a society of guaranteed income, we would see
> > most people working to better themselves.
> That depends on the people! Your statements apply to some
> sets of people in history, but very, very few. In the current
> United States, I don't think that the number of people who
> would continue working would be adequate, because too many have
> very dull, routine jobs, and too many (like me) have better
> things to do with their time. The memes of industriousness,
> hard work, prudence, and self-reliance would have to be a hell
> of a lot stronger than they are now to make a go of it at the
> present time.

We hamstring ourselves both when we ignore history and when we
think that tomorrow is a repeat of yesterday of necessity. The
conditions of a truly abundant society of free and open
information are very different than anything that has goine
before. In a society where all the physical necessities of life
are already present and where there are ample and open
opportunities to explore and grow there is nothhing left to do
but better yourself or simply hang out. The latter eventually
gets pretty boring.

Hard work? I work the hardest for things I truly love, not to
express some meme. Why should it be considered "hard"? Why not
deeply focused and joyfully engaged in? Prudence? There will
be some reasons for care but the danger of falling into economic
ruin will not be one of them. I bit that danger adieu as
joyously as I bid sickness and death adieu. Self-reliance? We
are all in this together. Self-responsibility is one thing but
the notion you can only rely on yourself or that your own caring
and responsibility extends only to you and the few you claim to
love is simply not an essential aspect of existence as it is nor
is it necessary for a healthy and vibrant people. Of course it
depends on what you mean by the term.

> > I think it will be an incredible world when because of A.I. and mature nanotech
> > we see homelessness, poverty and lack of good medical care wiped away. I would
> > like to see housing, power and food become very cheap so that people cannot
> > even fathom the way 20th and early 21st century have-nots lived.
> Yes, that'll be great.
> > And I do not see this destroying the traditions of personal responsibility!
> > People will just move up on Maslow's pyramid to achieve higher needs and wants.
> > As I have already written here, the desire for status will do us well in the
> > coming age of incredible prosperity.
> I think that you're still talking about people like you
> and the people you know. A majority of people will just
> non-stop party when their ship comes in.

I think a lot more people "like us" would be created in that
kind of world. Non-stop party gets boring eventually. Those
that want to do that can do it to their hearts content with
little consequence except the boredom and meaninglessness of
it. They will burn out on it eventually.

Now, there is a question in such speculations. And that is what
to do with the people who don't want to live in such relatively
paradisical situations. Should room be left virtually or
actually for those who simply insist on living a life where most
of their time and energy is spent anxiously maintaining a
"living" and chasing after many things of the "good life" that
are by design either not obtainable to all or that can
dissappear so easily as to keep up anxiety levels to make them
more productive and "industrious"? Should we keep room for
those who wish to "make a living" rather than living a life?

- samantha

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