RE: extropians-digest V5 #291

From: James J. Hughes (
Date: Sun Oct 22 2000 - 12:56:31 MDT

Counselor Burch:
> I don't
> know how anyone could maintain that, say, Sweden in the 1970s
> or 80s had achieved some insurmountable zenith of perfection in the
> arrangement of human affairs.

No, absolutely not. I don't think you can have a better set of civil rights
protections than the Benelux and Scandanavian countries, although sometimes
one man's civil rights protection is another man's civil rights restriction,
as with bans on handguns or on beating kids. No War on Drugs, although
Sweden taxes tobacco and alcohol mercilessly. Gay marriage. And the majority
of citizens are atheists, or at least secular.

Also in the economic sphere, social democracies have generally not pursued
the level of worker ownership and control that I favor. Left social
democrats in Sweden have been pressing unsuccessfully for decades a set of
reforms that would basically give all workers stock options as a part of
their compensation. The stock options would be non-fungible, and be
controlled through local councils with elected or appointed representatives
from the community and the unions in the industry. The goal would be to
slowly transfer stock to the councils so that they would hold the majority
of shares after about fifty years. (BTW we would have that here if pension
fund managers and the managers of Social Security ever decided to invest our
pension funds and Social Security funds in the stock market - "pension fund

Somebody else wrote:
> Of course, liberals like Hughes have always maintained that
> Sweden is the most
> advanced nation on earth...

Again with the inaccurate name-calling? I'm not a "liberal" in either the
classical European usage or the fuzzy, but nonetheless delimitable, American
usage. I'm a radical democrat, an internationalist, a democratic socialist
with libertarian leanings, a Viridian techno-optimist Green, a queer
feminist Buddho-revolutionary who wants to live forever and go to the stars.
But not a liberal.

J. Hughes "On Saturday, my teachers, me, and all
Changesurfer Radio my friends went to Never Never Land. It was a short trip." Tristan Bock-Hughes, 3

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