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The King Paradox

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by Satya, May 26, 2009.

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  1. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    Within just about any society with a market economy there always seems to exist a king paradox.


    The kings (wealthy and elite of society) rule over the peasants (everyone else).

    The peasants could overthrow the kings of society by simply refusing to accept their wealth.

    However, a good share of the peasants believes that they themselves can become kings.

    Therefore, the kings of society can keep their position simply by paying only enough of their wealth to keep the peasants from organizing to overthrow them.


    The contradiction lies in that kings must answer to the peasants by distributing just enough of their wealth to keep the peasants in line and also to foster the illusions that any peasant could become a king. Thus the peasants are ruled by their own desires.

    The interesting aspect of this paradox is it falls apart once the peasants adopt a gift economy. By doing so, the kings have no control because the resources of the economy usually become distributed based on need as opposed to desire. Competitiveness and incentive still exist within a gift economy as opposed to socialistic economies which simply give property to the state. The ultimate advantage to a gift economy is that it utilizes reciprocal altruism instead of egotistic competition, and as a result, much of the instability and social conflict that result from unequal distribution of resources is negated.


    So the question is why society has not become a gift economy? What force is inspiring people towards desire and endless production over altruism and responsibility?

    It is my opinion that the existence of a market economy is simply evidence of human greed and a lack of awareness.
     
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  2. Shai Gar

    Shai Gar Guest

    Why am I giving you reputation for that post? It cost me time and effort to make the reputation. If I just give it to you, what proof do I have I'll get anything back?

    I think I'll just keep my reputation.
     
  3. OP
    Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    Ah, quid pro quo.

    Excellent example. The force in question is largely distrust. Human beings who don't believe they will get something for their something will prefer to keep it to themselves. Only fools would expend their effort for nothing. That means that peasants could only unite against kings if they trusted in one another to look out for one another. The path to freedom is paved in finding a way to get human beings to trust one another.
     
  4. AaronNight

    AaronNight Newbie

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    Hmm.

    While I can identify with the reasoning inside some of your imagery, I think your premise is hinged on an inaccurate assumption concerning interlinked motivational aspects of the human psyche as it corresponds specifically to what it means to secure and defend resources within present/historical human community.

    Your 'king paradox' offers a sense of dualism between pauper and priest - a dynamic symbiosis cultivated by a shared (if not differently aligned) mandate of personal survival. In short, aristocracy would be unable to enjoy 'aristocratic' amenity, were it not for the tacit cooperation of the less fortunate.

    Conversely, were it not for the 'generosity' of the elite in their redistribution of wealth as a means to inspire fluid social bureaucracy (taken a bit further than your offered point), the working poor would have insufficient motivation to perpetually grease the financial opportunities of their social betters.

    Your continuum overlooks critical elements in an ecosystem that features finite resource for consumption - we only have so much fuel; nutrients to go around, which invariably catalyzes interpersonal conflict between those dependent on said resources. The final expression of which is cultural dialog tiered to protect/serve those with the greatest 'resource wealth'.

    Terms like 'greed' and 'compassion' are simply mechanical descriptions of cultural pattern, unrelated to our valuable instinctive inheritance that has enabled us to become the premier organism on our planet.

    Calling someone/a government 'selfish' is akin to summarily classifying, say.. a flea as a 'parasite'. A flea isn't a parasite. 'Parasitic' behavior is simply what we've come to anticipate with the flea's behavioral template as a means for it to survive.

    This is a critical distinction.

    --

    As an aside...

    If we wish to refine our existing sociocultural terminology into a more humane model of human cooperation, we must eliminate that which is most important to us...

    'Scarcity' in resource is our shared rationale for conflict. Human conflict is an expression of survival.

    Eliminate scarcity, and we change what it means to survive.

    Eliminate scarcity and we change what it means to be 'human'.

    --
     
    #4 AaronNight, May 26, 2009
    Last edited: May 26, 2009
  5. OP
    Satya

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    But scarcity only exists because humans procreate at a rate faster than technology can lift the carrying capacity of the planet. As such, there is no scarcity of resources, only an overabundance of people. There is far more resources than necessary to supply a sustainable human population on this planet but humans in their desire to conquer this illusion of scarcity of resources choose to partake in a capitalistic system which needs infinite production, which in turn leads to exponential growth of population in order to maintain the increased level of production. Humans are in fact creating scarcity through the very capitalistic system they have chosen to eliminate it.

    The evidence for this case is the Black Death. In the aftermath of the plague, much of the population of Europe was decimated. However, with the new abundance of land that became available as a result, the people who survived were able to thrive, and the nobles who once ruled because of the limitation of land were forced to sow their own fields due to being unable to obtain the necessary labor.
     
    #5 Satya, May 26, 2009
    Last edited: May 26, 2009
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  6. Shai Gar

    Shai Gar Guest

    Zombies would be the next best thing to the black plague.
     
  7. OP
    Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    More like nuclear and biological weapons. By choosing not to trust in one another and embracing a capitalistic system which increases population faster than resources, humans are sowing the seeds of their future suffering and destruction.
     
  8. Shai Gar

    Shai Gar Guest

    No. Zombies I stand a good chance of surviving.
     
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