Happy Anti-Colonial Independence Day!
Saturday, July 04, 2020
New ‘‘‘Equitism’’’ Series -- SERIES OVERVIEW.
New ‘‘‘Equitism’’’ Series -- SERIES OVERVIEW.
The forthcoming series introduced here presents a detailed proposal for the constitutional and legislative infrastructure needed for a higher successor system to the present [state-]capitalist system. The system we propose is neither a “state-less”, anarchist-localist model, nor a variant of the presently-prevalent “Big Government” state-capitalism.
What we will propose, in this series, is a system based upon grass-roots ‘political-ECONOMIC DEMOCRACY’, extending the rule of law tradition. Its implementation is to be sought, in a scaling-up fashion, starting on the municipal scale, and extending, ultimately, to the county, state, regional, national, and international scales, all to be achieved by entirely lawful, legislative and constitutional means, not by the hyper-costly and failure-prone path of bloody, law-less, violent revolution, and the new dictatorships to which that path tends to lead: “Meet the new boss; same as the old boss”.
Nor do we claim, in any way, that what we propose, once implemented, would produce a “perfection”, or a “heaven on Earth”. Reality is imperfection. The demand for -- unattainable -- “perfection” is naive, immature, an “infantile disorder”. But we do hold that the successor system we propose would produce a majority life far better than what the majority suffers today. It represents, we hold, the next step in the evolution of democracy, in the evolution of human wealth, and in the evolution of collective human happiness.
We are consciously seeking, in designing the infrastructure for this successor system, to resuscitate, to restore, to continue, to update, and to extend the work of the U.S. “founding fathers”, and ‘founding mothers’, especially regarding constitutional “checks and balances” and “countervailing powers”, when they crafted the Constitution of the United States. This design is, in particular, targeted to resuscitate the subverted political checks-and-balances of the U.S. Constitution, by means of adding new, ‘economic checks and balances’.
We are also, thereby, consciously aiming to achieve a synthesis of the “divided and conquered” left versus right conflict that has lately engulfed, and incapacitated, the polities of the United States, of Western Europe, and beyond.
Our aim is to present a constitutional and social design for a successor system that will appeal to the majorities of these polities, right-leaning and left-leaning alike, and that will ultimately prove far more satisfying to their instincts, and to their social desires, than the traditional models that presently paralyze both leanings.
This successor system is designed to be more democratic, more respectful of individual liberty, more in accord with the rule of law, more observant of property rights, and of human rights, than capitalism today is, than it ever was, and than it ever even could be.
We call this successor system design by the names ‘Equitism’, ‘Generalized Equity’, and ‘Political-Economic Democracy’. We call the social, political, economic, and legal process that implements ‘Equitism’ by the name ‘The Equitarian Reform/Revolution’.
The social impetus that has led us to this design is our part of the widespread recognition of the increasing failures of “actually-existing [state-]capitalism”. We will, in the course of this series, delve deeply into the many dimensions of the growing problems of this “actually existing capitalism”.
We will also introduce you, perhaps for your first time, to the dynamical “law of motion” of this capitalism, that unifies these many problematic dimensions as their singular, core, if difficult to discern, root cause. We name this law ‘the law of the tendency of the rate of reproduction of capital’.
This series will also introduce you to the notion of the ‘ascendence phase’ of capitalism, followed by its ‘descendence phase’, the latter being the phase that both surrounds and permeates and dominates our contemporary lives.
During the ‘ascendence phase’, now passed, the tendency of that rate of reproduction is to rise. From the beginning of the ‘descendence phase’, which now engulfs us, the tendency of that rate of reproduction is to fall.
A key aspect of this ‘descendence phase’, and of its specific “law of motion”, is the growing tendency of ‘descendence phase’ capitalism to drive toward state-capitalist, police-state, totalitarian, omni-genocidal dictatorship. George Orwell perceived this tendency with unsurpassed clarity, and warned us about it in his famous novel, 1984.
In the transition from feudalism and monarchy to capitalism, in the fight against the feudal “ancien régime”, and in the early history of capitalism -- during capitalism’s ‘ascendence phase’ -- many capitalists fought heroically for greater individual liberty: for the expansion of suffrage, toward universal adult suffrage, for freedom of speech, freedom of the press, for the right of the people to bear arms as a potential check against the abuse of power by the government, for freedom of religion and the prohibition of the establishment of any religion by the state, for the rule of law, for human rights such as that of assembly to petition the state for redress of grievances, for trial by juries of peers, for the right to privacy, and for the right to the protection of property by due process of law.
But with the turn into the ‘descendence phase’, a powerful faction of the ultra-wealthy capitalist ruling class has turned against all of this, and is driving toward dictatorship. We will, in this series, trace back to the root cause of this turn, finding it in the “law of motion” already mentioned.
This tendency to totalitarianism is rooted partly in a corollary of that “law of motion” -- in its subsumed law of capitalist competition. Competition leads, not primarily to the reproduction of competition, but to oligopoly and monopoly. Extreme capital wealth ownership concentrates increasingly, and into ever fewer hands. And those ever fewer hands act to undermine the checks and balances, that, alone, when they function as intended, help to protect democracy from degenerating into tyranny.
With sufficient concentration of gargantuan capital monetary wealth, the ever fewer owners of that wealth can “buy out” all three political branches of government, obviating their intended ‘inter-mutually’ restraining and “countervailing” powers.
The houses of legislature become houses of prostitution -- prostituted to the owners of that hyper-concentrated wealth.
The prostituted executive branch becomes an agency promoting the interests of those ever fewer, and ever more dominant, owners, against the interests of the majority.
The judiciary branch becomes an enforcer of the interests of that capital-controlling hyper-minority.
This hyper-concentration of wealth ownership, and this growth of oligopoly and monopoly, contains the potential for the subversion of the political checks and balances that preserve liberty, but they do not fully explain, in our view, why the strongest faction of the ultra-wealthy opts to use that potential to actualize dictatorship.
While it is true, in our view, that “power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”, we think that this concentrated power of the uppermost capitalists is not sufficient to explain what has happened, and what is happening now. We detect something more desperate in the über-ruling-class reaction to their potential for near-absolute power. We will address, in this series, the root cause of that anti-democratic agenda as well. To do so, we will have to unearth much of the hidden history of the late 19th and 20th centuries.
The three “Pillars” of the successor system that this series will present -- each of which is to be both a newly recognized, constitutional, human right, and a new kind of, constitutionally-protected, property right, are named by us (1) ‘Citizen Externality Equity’, (2) ‘Citizen Birthright Equity’, and (3) ‘Citizen Stewardship Equity’.
These new constitutional rights, and their enabling institutions, are designed to advance both the liberty and the prosperity of the vast majority of the population, and to provide risk management to the individuals and families making up that majority, against the “market failures” and the other mortal hazards to which contemporary capitalism exposes us, but against which it offers us no effective remedies.
In brief, ‘Citizen Externality Equity’ provides a constitutional rights-based defense against what capitalist economists call pollution, etc., “externalities”, in the locale of residence of each citizen, by a kind of grassroots-democratic, ‘economic suffrage’. It is designed to expand the self-protection of each citizen, and of their families, against pollution, e.g., by factories and plants that impact their families with health-destroying, even potentially-lethal, pollution, but in a very direct way, and a way that would be exhorbitant -- unaffordable -- to ruling-class bribery; a way which skirts the failed capitalist methods of relying upon regulatory bureaucracies, that are regularly “captured” -- prostituted -- by the firms that they were created to regulate.
It also skirts the increasingly failed approach of suing the polluting firms in federal court, and fighting a usually losing battle against deep-pocketed mega-corporations, and against an increasingly prostituted judiciary, appointed by an executive branch increasingly “owned”, under the present system of “legalized bribery”, by the lobbyists of those same corporations, with the “advice and consent” of a Senate increasingly prostituted to same.
‘Citizen Birthright Equity’, financed, primarily, from the proceeds of the other two “Pillars of Equitism”, would make every child born, every new citizen, a “Trust Fund Baby”, equipped with an absolutely portable personal “safety net”, regardless of which “side of the tracks” that baby was born on.
Society would self-invest in every new citizen, enough to give each child the wherewithal for a socially supported decent start in life.
Likewise, each citizen would have “skin in the game” -- would not be abandoned by their society, to fend for themselves if they lack parental support, treated, in a desperation-breeding and crime-breeding manner, as if the police, and society at large, would rather that they die young -- very young -- or that they were already dead!
And, they would have something to lose should they turn to an anti-social life of crime. If convicted of a crime, by a jury of their peers, their ‘Birthright Equity’ trust fund would be liable for the cost of jury-determined reparations to their victims.
‘Citizen Stewardship Equity’ is a kind of ‘Public Venture Capital’, that would enable capital-less workers to self-organize as Citizen Stewardship Collectives, and receive the funds required to procure the means of production, etc., in accord with their Business Plan, via a ‘Social Bank’, itself also a kind of, democratically self-managed, Citizen Stewardship Equity cooperative, if their Business Plan and By -Laws meet statutory requirements, e.g., of internal democracy, including the ‘recallability’ of elected managers, and if they convince a ‘Social Bank’ to risk its own solvency by underwriting their Business Plan and By-Laws.
Thus underwritten, the Stewardship Collective would become a Stewardship Cooperative. Each Steward member of that Cooperative would enjoy two streams of monthly income -- an equal share in net operating surplus of their Cooperative, and compensation for their time worked therein, in proportion to the value of their skills, as determined by competitive Skills Markets.
That Cooperative would compete with remaining capitalist firms, and with other Stewardship Cooperatives, in their chosen product/service market(s). Those remaining capitalist firms, however, would have to compete for workers with Cooperatives in which the workers decide how they are treated. If the Stewards in a given Cooperative were too easy on themselves, and/or not good enough to their customers, their Cooperative would likely fail, and be dissolved.
Each Citizen Stewardship Equity Producers’ Cooperative would hold its means of production, not in local ownership, but in Stewardship, as an in-kind loan to them by society. Each Stewardship Cooperative would therefore pay a monthly ‘Social Rent’ on those means of production, also encouraging economy in the use of means of production, and helping to finance the ‘Citizen Birthright Equity’ trust funds.
The detailed exposition of the constitutional human rights, property rights, and enabling social institutions designed to support these “Three Pillars” is the purpose of this series, and future installments will be devoted to each of these “Pillars of Equitism”, as well as to their interactions and to their unity as a new socio-political-economic system.
Happy Anti-Colonial Independence Day!
Voting Member, Foundation Encyclopedia Dialectica [F.E.D.],
Participant, F.E.D. Special Council for Public Liaison,
Officer, F.E.D. Office of Public Liaison.
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For more information regarding these Seldonian insights, please see --
For partially pictographical, ‘poster-ized’ visualizations of many of these Seldonian insights -- specimens of ‘dialectical art’ -- see: