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Can we come up with a better socioeconomic system?

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Sep 20, 2020
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Can we come up with a better socioeconomic system that is friendly to the environment, people, animals, and is sustainable?

If not sooner, humanity will have a chance to try this out when the Mars colony is established.
Creative contributions

On Mars - history will repeat itself?

Povilas S
Povilas S Sep 21, 2020
I really hope that Mars colonization will be used as an opportunity for creating and testing out alternative socioeconomic system(s), but I'm afraid this might be a bit naive to expect. Important figures/governments behind Mars colonization will almost certainly have a plan and vision well before it happens. This is another space race after all and a power game on political level. Even Elon Musk already envisions capitalist scenario on Mars - he spoke that it would be a great opportunity for new businesses to grow, like first cafe on Mars, first pizza on Mars, this is charming in some way, but isn't it boring on the other hand? We have way too much of consumerism on Earth and to envision the same scenario continuing on Mars? I like Elon Musk, but I think we can do better than that. What about direct democracy and everyone influencing the system with a bit of his/her own vision without any elected decision-makers, for example? In a digital age this is entirely possible.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic4 years ago
In a direct democracy, people who find themselves in the minority could have a pretty tough time. Leaders would still emerge (it's in human nature, powered by serotonin) by influencing and driving group-think. A Gandhi or Mother Theresa type of absolute ruler might represent everyone's interests more fairly than a democracy.
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Povilas S
Povilas S4 years ago
Yes but there's a difference between proclaimed leader having a power of decision making and an influencer who leads by example and inspiration. Like the same E. Musk, he doesn't influence politics directly, but influence by example and actions. About minorities - I think it would depend on a level of global consciousness (which is influenced, among other things, by important figures). A lot of people support minorities in a contemporary western societies, therefore they would think about them before voting for something. Direct democracy would give a truly decentralized power and then it would only depend on global intelligence and conscience what we would end up with. Each individual becomes responsible for himself as well as others in decision making. To make things simpler there could be subsegments of alike minded people living in different systems that reflect their priorities, but there would be no centralized government - this sounds nice for me, but it's subjective what's nice:)
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Transcendentalism as a base for future society

Povilas S
Povilas S Nov 28, 2020

Transcendentalism has a fancy-sounding name, but it's a rather simple philosophy. The basic concept is similar to individualism. "A core belief is in the inherent goodness of people and nature, and while society and its institutions have corrupted the purity of the individual, people are at their best when truly "self-reliant" and independent." [1] Two best-known figures associated with this philosophy are Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Emerson could be considered the father of transcendentalism, even though the roots of this ideology precedes him. And Thoreau is the author of the world-famous literature classic "Walden" which is based on and represents the ideas of transcendentalism.

But why such a rather old ideology would be a fit for future society? It seems that global society is already moving in the direction of individual rights being if not the highest, then one of the highest values. Throughout history, societal constructs were given great importance and humanity's social conditioning was oriented towards preserving and strengthening those - "work for your nation, respect its institutions, listen to authority figures, look up to them, try to fit into your local community, work for its benefits", etc. Now, this traditional model of values is increasingly melting - we see accelerating globalization and individual rights being promoted more and more on various levels - gender, race, sexual orientation, nationality, physical and mental abilities, age, etc. This means that society is beginning to accept individuals more and more as they are, create a welcoming environment, and give support for them so that they could flourish. The individual is seen more as being valuable on its own and not just as a unit of (and beneficial for) a larger construct. More and more distinctive and unique features of the individual are being accepted and supported, therefore there is less and less need to hide things and isolate yourself from society to feel free to be yourself.

Society needs unique, creative, and innovative ideas to move forward towards a better future. And those ideas always come from certain individuals. And those ideas are the main thing that significantly influences and shapes society, but ironically individual as a unit has been and still is undermined as merging with the rest of society while he is actually a very crucial building block of it. One might argue that just a small percentage of all individuals are truly prodigious, but another perspective, which transcendentalism is in line with is that every individual is great and that this greatness is unleashed when a person is in the position to be truly free and truly himself.

A society in which personal uniqueness and independence are highly valued and promoted is a society that takes care of its building blocks. A society in which individuality is thriving is a healthy and wholesome society. On a practical level, this means providing conditions for each individual to be free, independent, and self-reliant and as a consequence of that being able to flourish, unleashing their true potential, and being able to contribute his/her unique input into the collective.
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Yes we can: by imminence if not by choice

Subash Chapagain
Subash Chapagain Sep 21, 2020
So far, the world has come a long way in time and history through ancient feudalism to modern slavery to authoritarian communism to capitalism in the guise of neo-liberalism. None of the socioeconomic models seem to be perfect in retropspect. This means that the constant change in the human conditions, behaviours and psychology will eventually give rise to new forms of socio-economic models with time. As of now, most of the world is connected -both by the trade and by the internet- albeit the connectivity is creating a massive problem of environmental degradtion and economic inequality. While the top 1% wealthy enjoy all the privilege in this solar system, a lot are still under acute poverty and destitute. Not just this, the looming climate crisis has raised an existential alarm for the human species as well as all the flora and fauna of the planet earth. Hence, it indeed is a perfect timing for some kind of corrective systems to emerge. If not, humanity is doomed. So, what could the new systems be like? Actually, there are few signs (though they should be viewed from a skeptical lense). For example, the Green New Deal in both the Americas and Europe has emerged as a new model for shifting our economic and financial activities. Based on the environmentalist notions, the green new deal advocates for incorporation o policies such that by 2050, the net emission (carbon) should be brought close to zero if the human species wishes to venture fearlessly into the future in this planet. Post-Brexit Europe seems to be gradually moving in this collective process as the Economist Yanis Varoufakis leads the movement, and similar signs of engagement are seen in the Democrats in the states. What is still unclear is whether the movement would substantiate and win over the apparent counters from the proponents of existing oil-based economies . As the University of Massachusetts' professor of Economics Richard Wolff has proposed in his several lectures and articles, there needs to be new kind of workplace-democratization if we are to ensure that the world is more equitable and the environment healthier. In what he calls worker self-directed enterprises (WSDEs), Professor Wolff advocates for modifying the present top-down modelled capitalists enterprises into workers-owned enterprises where the workers are equally equitable for the profits and gains of the enterprise . Another tweaking that can come in our economic systems is in the form of data ownership and regulation. As consumers, we must have control over the data that we provide for free to the tech giants like Amazon and Google. Only when the corporations are liable to give some sort of equity to individuals as consumers, there can be a check and balance where the profits earned by the corporations would make everyone wealthy in the long run.




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Radical Idea : Elimination of all non-essential beliefs

Contrived _voice
Contrived _voice Jan 25, 2022
The endpoint of all broken systems is war, but what if you could reverse engineer the problem to get to the solution.
A society where the laws aren't predicated by an existing belief system. In such a world no one is held by any standards of a group or accepted morality. Everyone does everything for their own self-interest.
In comes ethical egoism. James Rachel in an essay on the topic highlights the benefits of such a system. "Each of us is intimately familiar with our own individual wants and needs. Moreover, each of us is uniquely placed to pursue those wants and needs effectively. At the same time, we know the desires and needs of others only imperfectly, and we are not well situated to pursue them. Therefore, it is reasonable to believe that if we set out to be 'our brother's keeper,' we would often bungle the job and end up doing more mischief than good."
Thus If everyone set out for personal satisfaction with full awareness of consequence the resulting society would be everyone living their truest self but not causing harm to another because doing so would result in harm to their own selves which they would naturaly have reason to not want
Case point
Say there was a water shortage, In a normal society some people would rush to hoard water because they believe they deserve to have the water due to internalized values of self importance. On the other hand the selfless will not hoard water and they end up suffering which instigates riots demanding justice.
In an egoist society,everyone knows that everyone else is going to hoard if they start hoarding. The thought means everyone holds everyone else hostage. The first to commit the deed knows he will suffer all the more for it. Therefore it is in his best interests to hold rationing regulations for that assures him a stable water supply for a longer period.
Societies that surport a belief that some of it's members are more "morally correct" or "Inherently superior" also cultivate the idea that some of it's members are "less deserving" which licences the superior to do harm on the inferior under the guise of the betterment of the world.
Case 1:
Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990)
The Lebanese Civil War was primarily sparked by conflicts between the Shiite, Muslim, Sunni Muslim and Christian Lebanese populations
Thirty Years' War (1618-1648)
This was a long war that started when the roman emperor Ferdinand II tried to force Catholicism on his subjects. And a war started that ended up becoming political.
Yugoslav Wars (1991-1995)
The summation of the bosnian and croatian wars fought by the the orthodox Catholic and Muslim populations of former Yugoslavia.
The Crusades (1095-1291)
Eight crusades were launched 1096 and 1291. They were some of the boodiest conflicts in history as both christians and muslims fought over lands they considered holy.
I feel like i've made my point on this one. Religion just divides people into non-existent groups and makes killing the other groups a personal affair. No one sensibly goes around killing other people with such drive and commitment without external motivation.
Race, Caste and Ethnic divisions
This one is obvious, If you could stop all bigotries it could be possible to end meaningless confict. No single person can affirm the belief that they are better than everyone else, however, get everyone to think they are better than everyone else and you have yourself a reason to comit unspeakable evil.

[1] Rachels 2008, p. 534.

[2]War and Religion: The Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.013.679

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jnikola2 years ago
I agree with you, but I also agree people will always have to believe in something. Therefore, the elimination of all non-essential beliefs would probably result in self-centered religion. Following that context, I think that religions that focus on teaching individuals about the various disciplines for achieving "perfection" through "self-cultivation" (like Taoism), rather than religions with an outstanding individual (person or a God) in the center, will have a brighter future to become the religions of the future.
I also found a fun example of how the above-mentioned Taoism accepted technology and became very "modern".
Ming Shan Digital Experience
EPFL+ECAL Lab partnered with the Ming Shan Taoist Centre, opened in 2019 in Switzerland, and developed a new generation of design-driven mediation devices . These devices, installed at the Ming Shan Temple, support guided meditation in three phases: entering relaxation, meditation, and wake-up. This invention presents an encounter between age-old knowledge and contemporary digital creation.
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Contrived _voice
Contrived _voice2 years ago
J. Nikola I see what you're saying and that's an angle too. I was always curious as to why there is always war in the middle east where islam, judaism and christianity interact, That gets even stranger when you realize they all technically believe in the same being. So why are you fighting if you essentially have the same law framework, the torrah? I think thats the problem , the fact that the reward for being a good person is not associated heavily with your life on earth. If you're a good person you go to heaven or something similar and avoid hell, the reward is not the betterment of your life here. The small differences , simple changes in small parts of the same law now become sources for conflict. One of them has to be the right law and therefore deserving of the reward. Since you can't prove which one has the right laws logically you have to use force to make the other parties agree your laws are the ones leading to the reward. The conflict I think results from everyone trying to proove to themselves that they are right.
On the other hand take the intersect between budhism and hinduism. One has no supreme being while the other is littered with them. You'd think that would raise more tension but it doesn't and I have a theory why. Hinduists dont take it as a religion they percieve it as way of life, a guide to living well, there is no reward you're chasing. You live well and that right there is the reward. Budhism has a similar thought, you get enlightenment through acceptance of life as imperfect not fighting the things you can't change. The reward is inner peace , no race to get something ,no exact laws and everyone sort of mellows out. You stop fighting what others believe because they both cultivate the thought that right living is a personal venture rather than an exact science and I think that's a very mature thought process.
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jnikola2 years ago
Contrived _voice Yes. Thank you for your perspective. I see we both agree on this.
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Absolute rule shared by 3 people for a lifetime

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Sep 21, 2020
First, we should fix the leadership model. Then we can experiment and iterate on the socioeconomic models. I thought of this a long time ago. I hope I remember it right: Autocracy shared by 3 rulers, representing different age groups Psychological profiles and the lifelong actions/history of all candidates would be examined by a huge panel of the world's top experts. Only people who are highly emphatic and otherwise determined fit to rule would be eligible to run for a lifelong position. The world would basically be looking for Mother Theresa/Gandhi type of people. Three people would be democratically voted in. The youngest would be 24-28 years old, the 2nd would be 35-45, and the oldest 60-65 years old. Only when the oldest is too frail to rule or any of the 3 wants to retire, do people vote in a new 24/28-year-old. The 3 different age groups would serve to represent each of the demographics. People under the age of 24 would not be eligible because their prefrontal cortex has not yet matured and their decisions might not be optimal because of it. The entry point via public vote would always be on the youngest spectrum regardless of which of the 3 happens to retire or is removed from the post via various safety mechanisms. Those 3 rulers would have to talk amongst each other until a unanimous decision is reached for each issue. They would be aided by various experts of their choice. All the decisions and their entire track record (who said what, when, and why) would be public so that they can be held accountable for their actions. They should be given anything they could possibly want so that their decisions cannot be influenced by material goods. Their extended families and friends should be protected so that they cannot be influenced by threats. The only thing they should worry about is the good of humanity/planet. They would love doing it too, because of their suitable personality traits.
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Michelle Christine3 years ago
How do you address the (likely?) possibility that the best would-be ruler may not be someone who actually wants to rule?

Maybe the last paragraph helps with that, and I agree some similar type of those conditions would be necessary but then still how do you prevent those protected rulers from losing touch with the rest of the people?

What is considered the most empathetic- for example what if the person who best appears to display empathy or calm and friendly demeanor, while extremely valuable, isn't necessarily the most capable person for solving more complex large scale problems for a larger number of people?
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic3 years ago
Regardless of their motivation to apply for the position, they would be the right kind of people for the job. The psychological vetting process would be rigorous and long enough that it cannot be tricked. The process could even take years, be public (big brother style) so that the world gets to know all the candidates well. Even those who are not selected can then use their VIP status to do good for humanity and lead various groups and causes.

The 3 rulers would have all the world’s talent, brainpower, and AI available to aid their decision-making process. They would continuously train for the job. Unlearning their biases and detecting logical fallacies would be on their daily menu.

I don’t know what the ideal traits for suitable rulers would be. I was guessing that empathy would be up there. Prioritizing fairness even more so. The necessary traits would be determined by consensus from a large number of world experts. The vetting process would be designed to look for those traits. It can even be different for each of the 3 candidates so that they would be different and complement each other.

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Objective realities of humans do not change

Husnain Yousaf
Husnain Yousaf Sep 30, 2020
Socioeconomic status of humans are objective truths, which are assessed by income, education, or occupation, which is directly linked to a wide range of human sufferings and problems, including low birth weight, lack of love, unfair distribution of wealth, inherited diseases, hypertension, arthritis, diabetes, and cancer. A new world is not going to be imaginary Marxist that lower socioeconomic status would vanish. Socioeconomic problems are associated with higher mortality, either the mars or earth they are not going to change the disparities occur in the human mind living under sociology.
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A "political (citizen) jury" - the birth of true democracy?

jnikola Jan 21, 2022
If the British juridical system recognized the random citizens' power to objectively bring conclusions based on the facts and formed a jury, how come other systems still consider a judge to be the powerful individual that brings critical decisions?
What also concerns me is how come the state policies are being dictated by the group of "highly educated" groups of people (governments, local governance parties, majors, etc), while not even considering to take into account the opinions of the regular people?
The idea
So, what I propose is a new political tool - the "policymaking jury", the right of every citizen to be included in policymaking. The policy-making could be turned into a debate, which is observed and deliberated by the selected political jury.

  • Although people have a right to vote, sign petitions to start referendums and protest, all of these are still weak tools which can be used to confront politicians and governments.
  • Parties and candidates for local governments present themselves in the brightest possible light before and during the election, but change their orientation when become elected. That way, the people's choice gets fooled.
  • Policies are brought by closed, highly-educated group of people that tend to objectively brainstorm problems and find solutions, but often lack the ability to objectively deliberate the facts presented by the groups specialized in the field of the problem (environmental protection organizations, trade unions, associations, ...).
How would it work
  • The same as described in the contribution, the "political jury" would be selected randomly from the population that is affected by the ongoing decisions, policies, policy changes or laws.
  • It would be a legal obligation of every elected citizen to fully take part in the fact deliberation and decision making.
  • The process of decision making would be separated in smaller problems/decisions that need to be considered separately. That would ensure that the brainstorming doesn't last long. It would also allow more poeple to be included in a single problem fact deliberation, increasing the objectiveness of the deliberation process.
  • The final judgement of the political jury would be stated and counted as a certain number of votes in the total vote count.
  • Every juror would get paid the fixed rate per day and would be legally ensured that its current working place is kept.
Additional benefits
This system could be implemented on multiple levels of decision-making (local, regional and state governments, critical questions of the World, policy making associations and alliances).

What are my questions to you?
Is this a sustainable way how to ensure the fairness and more objective policy and decision-making?
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