Wednesday, December 28, 2016
A Just Civilizations Test
There are a handful of methods for getting human beings to work. Some of them are, in no particular order, the whip, the gulag, the opportunity for theft, the dollar, the elements of nature, and sex.
One might also add self-sufficiency. Which motivates some people.
All living things must work to live, but only man must pay to live on earth. Life works at labor because of entropy, a force that works to destroy all life. Entropy is the movement of energy from higher, ordered patterns to lower, disordered states. It is the second law of thermodynamics. Living things are energy patterns that hold their form and cheat entropy through cellular self-replication and whole-organism reproduction. They move energy from a disordered to ordered state using the action of entropy against itself. Since it takes a large amount of entropy to produce a small amount of contra-entropy (life), the process produces a large amount of waste. Though biological organisms are remarkably efficient at it.
But a pattern that is waste to one organism can be energy to another and so a circle of decomposers, producers, and consumers exists.
All civilizations use political methods to allocate entropy to their citizens. Tribes, which use the elements of nature themselves, are not classed as civilizations for the purposes of this article. Humans are up against the entropy of nature, against the elements, and the elements / bodily needs of the individual, (hot and cold, hunger, thirst, breath, need for medicine, need for care, defecation, companionship, and sex drive) form the basis of which kinds of entropy get delivered to the individual who must solve the problem through labor.
Bodily needs and pain are the evolutionary internalized genetic response to nature's entropy. Thus, pain and longing are a kind of information that tells you that you are doing something wrong.
Money is a much superior compulsion mechanism to whips or gulags. Theft is not sustainable for all. A civilization built on the direct allocation of sex as a reward to men would be hell for women. Only the elements may be a preferable master to money, though modern humans lack the survival skills to deal with them.
Money is simply one of six ways to ration and deliver entropy. Every dollar you have is a vote. More dollars = more votes. Obviously, since dollars can be accumulated, this is not an equitable system, and offends evolved genetic legacy sensibilities.
So this is not a test of equity, or so called "fairness." This article is only about a test of minimum justice, and the test is this; would a man prefer the elements as his master instead of money? If we give him a choice to go to a national park and live off the land — to banish himself from civilization with no possibility of return for medical care or provisions, or, to stay in the city (polis) and work for money under law and order, which will he voluntarily choose? If given free exit, will he choose our system? Remember, the natural world is a place where simple and easily treated medical problems can kill you. You can't go back for a lighter or a match. You don't get to keep your car. You have to live off the land completely. You must cut all connections to modern technology. There is no return if you forget something.
Only if he would choose us of his own free will can we claim our society is just. Any civilization where the majority of men would choose permanent exile to the forest over the polis is a slave society. This gives you a just civilization test. And who fails the test? Even better, who passes? Does anyone? Certainly civilizations have in the past.