Opinion

Edward Hadas

The knots of development

By Edward Hadas
February 6, 2013

Why are so many poor countries stuck with huge economic problems? Why, for example, are there so many unemployed young people in Egypt – 41 percent of 19-24 year-olds? The poor state of British housing can help answer these questions. 

By developing world standards, the British housing system works quite well. In Egypt, it takes 77 bureaucratic procedures in 31 offices, and between six and 14 years, to get legal approval for construction of a new house, according to the 2012 doctoral dissertation of Abdel Hamid El Kafrawy of the University of Glasgow. The result: housing is in chronically short supply and 65 percent of the population live in unregistered and untaxed buildings. 

For a rich country, though, the UK does remarkably badly. Construction has been inadequate, at half the modest target rate set by the government in 2007. The relatively few new houses and apartments which are built are mostly relatively small – new American houses have almost three times as much floor space and new French houses have 45 percent more, according to a 2009 study by the British Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment. And rental and mortgage payments for these under-sized living quarters take a higher share of income in the UK than almost other developed country. 

There is no simple explanation of what’s wrong. Rather, many strands are knotted up into one big mess. The list of problems include: a government-mandated decline in the supply of inexpensive “social” housing; the common belief of most politicians and current and would-be homeowners that house prices should always rise faster than national income; a property tax system which reflects that ultimately self-destructive desire; irresponsible lending practices; asphyxiating planning rules; high land prices which encourage builders to think small; and a shortage of skilled craftsmen. 

A strong dictatorship could try to resolve all these issues with a series of decrees: ordering more construction, allocating housing, importing craftsmen, setting rents and so forth. However, no government could manage to do all that well, even if it did not have to worry about dissatisfied citizens.  In a democracy, where such worries are paramount, substantial changes are all but impossible. While almost everyone in Britain agrees that more, larger and cheaper houses are desirable in principle, homeowners do not want the value of their own properties to fall and few people welcome new construction in their neighbourhoods. 

British housing is not the only example of a knotty problem in a highly developed economy. U.S. medical care is expensive and the results are not particularly impressive. Spanish unemployment rates are far too high. Tax codes everywhere are unnecessarily complex. In every case, the causes are complicated and cures seem to be beyond reach. A near universal desire to improve the system cannot overcome the resistance to each potential change – and many strands have to be untwisted for any substantial improvement. 

Developing countries are poorer than rich countries because they have many more of these knotty problems, and their problems are typically even harder to untie, thanks to a mixture of corruption, ignorance and incompetence. For example, Egyptian youth suffer from, among other things, a poorly designed educational system, job-stifling established companies, indifferent banks, a government which distorts the job market by paying inflated wages for unproductive workers and political uncertainty that holds back hiring. As in rich countries, no one likes the current situation as a whole, but the current arrangements are so entrenched that a year after a political revolution the employment knot looks as tight as ever. 

Such knots can be untied, as every industrial success story demonstrates. Unfortunately, there seems to be no single sure technique. Objective analysis can lead to helpful changes, but a series of sensible reports on the British housing market have been ignored. Popular pressure sometimes does the trick, but the desire to woo voters has only tightened the UK housing knot. Political revolutions and defeats in war can dissolve obstructive economic and social relationships, but such traumas do not always untie old knots, as in Egypt, and sometimes create new ones. 

The crucial factor, in my opinion, is ethical. Change only comes when enough people are persuaded that the common good served by new arrangements is more valuable than the individual interests protected by the current system. My favourite example is the reduction of pollution in rich countries. A new social consensus that pollution was a serious evil led to a vast number of large and small changes, including new laws, corporate responsibilities and regulatory attitudes. Almost everyone was willing to make sacrifices, from lost profit and dividends to less effective detergents. 

A similar common commitment to practical virtue is needed to improve British housing and reduce Egyptian unemployment. Until it arrives, I fear these knots will remain painfully tight.

Comments
23 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

You state “The crucial factor, in my opinion, is ethical. Change only comes when enough people are persuaded that the common good served by new arrangements is more valuable than the individual interests protected by the current system.”

But you are wrong — the crucial factor is power, which if anything is a manifestation of a lack of ethics.

Change comes through power, which is never for the common good, but for the few who attain power at their expense.

It is the “Will to Power” as described by Nietzsche that drives humans more than anything else, including sex. With power anything else can be easily obtained. The desire to dominate others, no matter the cost is our fatal flaw. All the rest is complete bullshit.

“The will to power is a prominent concept in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. The will to power describes what Nietzsche may have believed to be the main driving force in humans: achievement, ambition, the striving to reach the highest possible position in life; these are all manifestations of the will to power.”

The Will to Power is what creates successful human societies, but it cannot be contained by individuals alone. Thus, humans band together into ever larger groups to express the power they cannot obtain alone. That is why, for example, governments and religions are the natural order of human society, in order to achieve the power of the group over those who are weaker.

Once the Will to Power of a group reaches a certain critical mass, it strives to destroy all of its competition and tends to become mob rule — even though the “mob” is a nation or a religion.

When the Will to Power reaches this point, individual concepts of ethics and morality totally cease to exist. Typically, they are consumed by the “mob mentalitity” and channeled into the twisted desires of a charismatic national or religious leader, who uses the mob’s latent Will to Power to create his own version of Will to Power that could not be achieved otherwise.

It is then that society completely losses any sense of morality or ethics in its need to subjugate anyone or anything that refuses to believe the new “truth”.

In the US, the Will to Power is always present as the underlying principles of “democracy”. But in fact our global crusade to spread democracy and the American way of life is really merely a manifestation of a much darker Will to Power.

The US, both internally and externally, is driven by the twin monsters of Social Darwinism and Manifest Destiny — exactly the same driving forces, under a different guise, that drove the Crusades, with no understanding whatsoever that they were not doing “God’s Work”, but that of the Devil.

The statement that “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” is the most apt description of human society possible.

In truth, we are a vicious, unprincipled species that has no regard for anything but power, with power being manifested when it reaches its most perfect form of expression — totally corrupted and unprincipled — as a nation or religion.

The ugly truth is that the Will to Power lies beneath all the evil that Man has done to both other humans and even the earth itself — and it is about to destroy the world again.

Posted by PseudoTurtle | Report as abusive
 

Nature is natural. There is no such a thing as evil, devil, ethics, morality or will to power. For example, the Sun is millions times more powerful than the Earth, so the Sun has millions times more wills of power than the planet Earth. Humans are exactly part of the nature. Humans have no difference in will of power, in morality or in common good from any other organism or living form. So called will of power is simply a programme inside human genes to prolong its own genes to the next generation. That is no more different among all organisms. But balance is obliged not only in nature but also in humans or human societies. The morality and ethics were created to maintain a periodical balance to keep a social mechanism exist. Don’t get confused nature with human minds, although human minds are natural. Human minds are natural is in a topic other than this one.

Posted by gee.la | Report as abusive
 

Well said, Mr. Hadas

@PseudoTurtle,

I agree that humans are fundamentally flawed. But, in the end, you must do what you can, where you are, with what you have.

The challenge that we must meet in order to continue to exist as a species is self-discipline. The earth can’t support a human population of 7+ billion in other than a Soylent Green society.

We must choose between “quantity of [human] life” and “quality of [human] life”. In the meanest slums of Africa, the middle east and even developed “societies” the poor see how the “other half” lives and want that form themselves and their families. But our poor earth can not deliver that dream, nor sustain it.

And the bearer of bad news, particularly when it’s unavoidable truth, frequently gets handed his/her head.

Posted by OneOfTheSheep | Report as abusive
 

Morality and ethics are tools. I believe they were and are very helpful in history and in reality. They will keep help human societies in the future. They are exactly like axes, wheels or computers. I believe they will all help us as long as mankind survives. But the thing is they like any other useful tool cannot be abused. A tool always have its own special application. You have to use it within its application. Otherwise, it damages more than helps. Ethics absolutely has no application in economics, because when ethics is required and pushed into the economy, it damage the free environment which is needed to create activities, productivities and effectiveness so as to destroy the economy as a whole. Countless trials have proved this, stupid people still want to try, because they have no other solution and they subjectively think it works. No it didn’t and will never, because the naturally balanced mechanism is destroyed by this mindless push.

Posted by gee.la | Report as abusive
 

The real evil is about to persuade everyone the common good, instead of using a balanced system to do its job.

Posted by gee.la | Report as abusive
 

The world is separated gradually into a smart world and a stupid world. Don’t try to fight this trend. This trend is the common grounding.

Posted by gee.la | Report as abusive
 

Mr. Hadas,

You attempt to introduce “ethics” into every one of your articles, but you confuse human nature with an arbitrary value system, which may or may not represent reality.

I propose that the human species is simply another animal, which implies that humans are 100% ruled by their genetic heritage, just like any other species.

Human “intelligence” — a person’s ability to recognize themselves as distinct from another human and ponder the world in an abstract manner, made in the image of God (whatever that might mean, since it is all defined by humans, i.e. the human “soul” if you will) — is what supposedly sets us apart from all the other species in the world.

We have “free will”, whereas all other creatures have none.

To which I say “bullshit” — it is nothing but a self-serving delusion, which acts to justify whatever we like as a nation or a religion.

To illustrate my point, let’s take a look at our closest evolutionary relatives.

————————————–

(From Wikipedia solely for ease of access)

The chimpanzee-human last common ancestor is the last species that humans, bonobos and chimpanzees share as a common ancestor.

In human genetic studies, the CHLCA is useful as an anchor point for calculating single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rates in human populations where chimpanzees are used as an outgroup.

The CHLCA is frequently cited as an anchor for molecular time to most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) determination because the two species of the genus Pan, the bonobos and the chimpanzee, are the species most genetically similar to Homo sapiens.

Chimpanzee is the common name for the two extant hominid species of apes in the genus Pan. The Congo River forms the boundary between the native habitats of the two species:[2]

Chimpanzees are members of the Hominidae family, along with gorillas, humans, and orangutans.

Chimpanzees split from the human branch of the family about four to six million years ago. The two chimpanzee species are the closest living relatives to humans, all being members of the Hominini tribe.

Social structure

Chimpanzees live in large multiple-male and multiple-female social groups called communities. Within a community, a definite social hierarchy is dictated by the position of an individual and the influence the individual has on others.

Chimpanzees live in a leaner hierarchy in which more than one individual may be dominant enough to dominate other members of lower rank. Typically, a dominant male is referred to as the alpha male. The alpha male is the highest-ranking male which controls the group and maintains order during any disputes.

In chimpanzee society, the ‘dominant male’ does not always have to be the largest or strongest male, but rather the most manipulative and political male which can influence the goings on within a group.

Male chimpanzees typically attain dominance through cultivating allies who will provide support for that individual in case of future ambitions for power.

The alpha male regularly displays by making his normally slim coat puffed up to increase view size and charge to look as threatening and as powerful as possible.

This serves to intimidate other members in an attempt to hold on to power and maintain authority, and it may be fundamental to the alpha male’s holding on to his status.

Lower-ranking chimpanzees will show respect by making submissive gestures in body language or reaching out their hands while grunting. Female chimpanzees will show deference to the alpha male by presenting their hindquarters.

Female chimpanzees also have a hierarchy which is influenced by the position of a female individual within a group.

In some chimpanzee communities, the young females may inherit high status from a high-ranking mother. The females will also form allies to dominate lower-ranking females.

In contrast to males, which have a main purpose of acquiring dominant status for access to mating privileges and sometimes violent domination of subordinates, females acquire dominant status for access to resources such as food. High-ranking females will often get first access to resources.

In general, both genders acquire dominant status to improve social standing within a group.

It is often the females who choose the alpha male.

For a male chimpanzee to win the alpha status, he must gain acceptance from the females in the community. Females have to make sure their group is going to places that supply them with enough food. In some cases, a group of dominant females will oust an alpha male which is not to their preference and rather back up the other male who they see potential of leading the group as a successful alpha male.

Intelligence

Chimpanzees make tools and use them to acquire foods and for social displays;

they have sophisticated hunting strategies requiring cooperation, influence and rank;

they are status conscious, manipulative and capable of deception;

they can learn to use symbols and understand aspects of human language including some relational syntax, concepts of number and numerical sequence;[30]

and they are capable of spontaneous planning for a future state or event.[31]

—————————————————

Sound familiar?

It should because we are the same genetic species as Chimpanzees. DUH!

Human’s supposedly increased interlligence is and has been used throught history as the Will to Power, to dominate others within a society and other societies.

THAT IS A GENETIC FACT.

THAT IS WHY ALL YOUR ATTEMPTS TO “HUMANIZE” OUR SPECIES — ATTEMPTS TO GET HUMANS TO TREAT OTHERS WITH MORE “ETHICALLY” ARE DOOMED TO FAILURE, SIMPLY BECAUSE YOU ARE TRYING TO DENY OUR GENETIC HERITAGE.

IT IS WHY LAWS AND RELIGION DON’T WORK — THEY ARE SOON SUBVERTED BY THOSE WHO USE THEM TO OBTAIN POWER AGAINST THE GREATER GOOD.

———————————-

In case you are wondering about the bonobo, I think you may find the following is quite interesting:

The bonobo, previously called the pygmy chimpanzee is a great ape and one of the two species making up the genus Pan; the other is Pan troglodytes, or the common chimpanzee.

Although the name “chimpanzee” is sometimes used to refer to both species together, it is usually understood as referring to the common chimpanzee, while Pan paniscus is usually referred to as the bonobo.

It is distinguished by relatively long legs, pink lips, dark face and tail-tuft through adulthood, and parted long hair on its head.

The species is omnivorous and inhabits primary and secondary forests, including seasonally inundated swamp forests.

The bonobo is popularly known for its high levels of sexual behavior.

Sex functions in conflict appeasement, affection, social status, excitement, and stress reduction. It occurs in virtually all partner combinations and in a variety of positions.

This is a factor in the lower levels of aggression seen in the bonobo when compared to the common chimpanzee and other apes.

Bonobos are perceived to be matriarchal; females tend to collectively dominate males by forming alliances and use sexuality to control males. A male’s rank in the social hierarchy is often determined by his mother’s rank.

Along with the common chimpanzee, the bonobo is the closest extant relative to humans.

===========================

There you have it. The two closest human “relatives” on our evolutionary family tree, which argues their behavior is essentially the same as the genetically-driven nature of humans.

Personally, in terms of our society, I think we are the sum of both species taken together.

In other words, chimpanzee + bonobo = man.

Yes, it really is that simple if you can deal with the truth of who and what we really are.

Any supposed “ethical” behavior, outside of our genetic limitations, simply cannot exist, which is why with the extra “intelligence” humans have, this species will not survive.

Posted by PseudoTurtle | Report as abusive
 

This common grounding is used to help our humans and our human world naturally to evolve into a more advanced level. It is the most important change that occurs in the near future. Don’t try to fight or remove this gigantic force. You will fail.

Posted by gee.la | Report as abusive
 

@ OneOfTheSheep –

I agree, “the challenge that we must meet in order to continue to exist as a species is self-discipline”.

But clearly, “self-discipline” is not in our genetic heritage.

Thus, it is far more probable we will end up by destroying the world due to our “insanity” as a species.

Posted by PseudoTurtle | Report as abusive
 

In a few words, brainless people don’t know how the universe is running.

Posted by gee.la | Report as abusive
 

@ gee.la –

I totally disagree with most of what you said regarding humans. For example:

(1) “Humans have no difference in will of power, in morality or in common good from any other organism or living form. So called will of power is simply a programme inside human genes to prolong its own genes to the next generation. That is no more different among all organisms.”

Humans are totally different than any other species in history, simply because of the human brain — notice I did not say “mind” because that connotes intelligence, whereas humans have no true intelligence. It is precisely the will to power, coupled with the uncontrolled impulses of the human brain, that is the source of our insanity. No other species has ever had the power to destroy this planet. That undoubtedly makes our species unique, but not a uniqueness that will serve to our advantage to “prolong its own genes to the next generation”.

(2) “But balance is obliged not only in nature but also in humans or human societies. The morality and ethics were created to maintain a periodical balance to keep a social mechanism exist.”

Your argument that “morality and ethics were created to maintain a periodical balance to keep a social mechanism exist” is correct, but as I pointed out elsewhere, morality and ethics have failed miserably to curb the human need for power. Thus, the very institutions supposedly created to hold our baser impulses in check — religion, social and moral pressure — have served instead to create Frankenstein Monsters.

(3) “Don’t get confused nature with human minds, although human minds are natural. Human minds are natural is in a topic other than this one.”

You are wrong. The human mind pervades literally everything we say and do to one another. It serves as the basis of human society, and a discussion of it cannot be sidelined to some academic exercise.

Posted by PseudoTurtle | Report as abusive
 

Let me repeat that, no brainer has no idea of how the universe is running. To learn from the universe is millions times better than to learn from a few of doctrines taught by this master or the other one.

Posted by gee.la | Report as abusive
 

@ gee.la –

You prove my point that power will always be abused by others, mainly to advance themselves or their group at the expense of others.

For convenience, here are the combined responses you have made above (after the one I addressed specifically).

===================

(1) Morality and ethics are tools. I believe they were and are very helpful in history and in reality. They will keep help human societies in the future. They are exactly like axes, wheels or computers. I believe they will all help us as long as mankind survives. But the thing is they like any other useful tool cannot be abused. A tool always have its own special application. You have to use it within its application. Otherwise, it damages more than helps.

Ethics absolutely has no application in economics, because when ethics is required and pushed into the economy, it damage the free environment which is needed to create activities, productivities and effectiveness so as to destroy the economy as a whole.

Countless trials have proved this, stupid people still want to try, because they have no other solution and they subjectively think it works. No it didn’t and will never, because the naturally balanced mechanism is destroyed by this mindless push.”

———————————–

I agree morality and ethics are tools and neither has any use in economics, because economics should represent a mathematical mesurement of a particular society. Thus, their inclusion of ecomonics skews the very data you are attempting to measure. And you are correct in stating that all tools have limitations, which must not be exceeded or they create more damage than they prevent.

However, I disagree that it is “ethics is required and pushed into the economy, it damages the free environment which is needed to create activities, productivities and effectiveness so as to destroy the economy as a whole.”

What is damaging the economy as a while is neo-con free market capitalism, which has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with promoting ethics, but the complete denial of ethics as a potential good to society.

This is not the form of capitalism advocated by Adam Smith in his Wealth of Nations (1776) so often quoted like a bible by those who have a will to power as somehow justifying what they have done and are doing to destroy society.

Indeed, Adam Smith warned specifically against people like you. For example:

The Wealth of Nations

“As every individual, therefore, endeavours as much as he can both to employ his capital in the support of domestic industry, and so to direct that industry that its produce may be of the greatest value; every individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can.

He generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it.

By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security;

and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other eases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.

By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good. It is an affectation, indeed, not very common among merchants, and very few words need be employed in dissuading them from it.

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.

Smith’s statement about the benefits of “an invisible hand” is certainly meant to answer Mandeville’s contention that “Private Vices … may be turned into Public Benefits”.[79]

It shows Smith’s belief that when an individual pursues his self-interest, he indirectly promotes the good of society.

Self-interested competition in the free market, he argued, would tend to benefit society as a whole by keeping prices low, while still building in an incentive for a wide variety of goods and services.

**************************

Nevertheless, he was wary of businessmen and warned of their “conspiracy against the public or in some other contrivance to raise prices.”[80]

Again and again, Smith warned of the collusive nature of business interests, which may form cabals or monopolies, fixing the highest price “which can be squeezed out of the buyers”.[81]

Smith also warned that a business-dominated political system would allow a conspiracy of businesses and industry against consumers, with the former scheming to influence politics and legislation.

Smith states that the interest of manufacturers and merchants “…in any particular branch of trade or manufactures, is always in some respects different from, and even opposite to, that of the public…

The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order, ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention.”[82]

*************************

THIS IS NOT CAPITALISM, NOR FREE TRADE, BUT A TWISTED, PERVERTED VERSION OF IT BY THOSE WITH A WILL TO POWER AT THE EXPENSE OF SOCIETY.

THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT CONCERNED WITH MORALS NOR ETHICS, BUT WITH CIRCUMVENTING THE LAW TO THEIR OWN ADVANTAGE.

Thus, you prove my point because you argue that a will to power is always good, even when it serves to destroy society — and very likely the whole planet — with ethics being wrong.

THAT IS PURE SOCIAL DARWINISM (I.E. “SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST”), BUT THE FUNDAMENTAL ERROR OF THAT THEORY IS THAT IT CANNOT BE MAINTAINED — THOSE WHO PRACTICE SOCIAL DARWINISM DESTROY WHAT THEY ARE BUILDING — AND EVENTUALLY WILL ALWAYS BOOMERANG BACK ONTO THOSE WHO ABUSE POWER.

(2) “The real evil is about to persuade everyone the common good, instead of using a balanced system to do its job.”

As I pointed out, this is NOT a balanced system, but one which has created tremendous financial, economic and social imbalances larger than any in history. It CANNOT survive much longer.

(3) “The world is separated gradually into a smart world and a stupid world. Don’t try to fight this trend. This trend is the common grounding.

This common grounding is used to help our humans and our human world naturally to evolve into a more advanced level. It is the most important change that occurs in the near future. Don’t try to fight or remove this gigantic force. You will fail.

In a few words, brainless people don’t know how the universe is running.”

I agree, but not for the reasons you state.

Human nature is the force you are attempting to describe and it will have its day quite soon.

It is the greedy morons like you who will be shown to be the brainless people who don’t know how the universe is running.

Posted by PseudoTurtle | Report as abusive
 

@ gee.la –

As you say, “Let me repeat that, no brainer has no idea of how the universe is running. To learn from the universe is millions times better than to learn from a few of doctrines taught by this master or the other one.”

Clearly, you do not understand anything I have said.

I am not responsible for your total lack of education or experience that is evident in your replies.

Posted by PseudoTurtle | Report as abusive
 

Mr. Hadas –

A final thought. Instead of arguing for ethics, which is too variable of an idea, perhaps you should make the case for “stability” in a society.

Why does society exist?

To promote stability — a condition which satisfies most of the human needs and desires most of the time in a given society — should be the answer.

Unfortunately, it is rarely the condition of any society.

Thus, when conditions exist that promote instability, they must be eliminated as quickly and efficiently as possible, by whatever means necessary, to return society to stability.

Posted by PseudoTurtle | Report as abusive
 

@PseudoTurtle,

While “Self-discipline” is not “in our genetic heritage”, we are all born ignorant. Experience and knowledge are our antidotes.

As children we learn self-discipline rather early on; either directly from those who love us, or later from those who refuse to put up with our immature excess (and may not be at all gentle in the process). While many chafe at such limits and seek to escape them, the more intelligent learn how to work within the “system” and benefit from it.

One can get caught up in subjective and emotional words that mean many things to different people in discussing “common sense”, “morals”, ethics”, etc., so I will put it this way. Everyone eventually develops some sort of personal “code of conduct”, whether by adopting some prepackaged religious outlook or affiliation or picking or choosing from life’s buffet of choices both good and bad.

The is one overriding truth, and that is that no one can watch their own back 24/7 over the weeks, months and years of one’s life. So we tend to ally with others of similar thought or motivation.

The great majority of children by some magic know at a very early age that it is “wrong” to intentionally injure a defenseless puppy or kitten, or to pull the wings off of a butterfly. And so over time our individual perspective of “right” and “wrong” accrues.

I believe it is this “greater sense” that Mr. Hadas wishes us to collectively consider and employ in the course of “human events”. I thus applaud and endorse such desire and wish him every possible success.

So, while I agree it is far more probable “we” will end up by destroying the world due to our “insanity” as a species, I do not yet feel that outcome is unavoidable.

Posted by OneOfTheSheep | Report as abusive
 

All ethical economies will end up with hypocritical economy and corrupted economy, since without the help of a balanced system- another tool invented by humans, an ethical economy leaves too many loopholes, which become the target of those in athority. They will take advantage of it with all ethics on the surface and with all calculations in the depth. The balance is gradually but totally lost after a while. No ethical economy cannot survive for long. This the most evil thing that has happened and keeps happening. Don’t let it happen in the current western world. People’s goodwill will evolve into evil absolutely. So I said, people actually don’t know how the universe is running. They just simply think, if everyone has a goodwill, nothing bad can happen. They are totally wrong. Factually, not just can bad thing happen, it goes much much worse- it will always end up with evil,vwithout a single exception, as long as we are all humans. Face that.

Posted by gee.la | Report as abusive
 

Even aliens will absolutely do the same thing without a curious balanced system’s help. A society of bees will not be involved in such a thing, only because the bee society has evolved into its built-in balanced system, which helps them to organize as a group. If only counting on invidual bee’s ethic spirit, I don’t think the bee economy can be a successful economy.

Posted by gee.la | Report as abusive
 

There is another organization can be taken as a reference. That is multicellular organism, such as a human. In this type of organism, each cell works with others to function. Different cells have different functionalities, exactly like different members have different functionalities in a human economy. The involvement of multicellular organism is not the ethics, it is the system, the balanced system. When the system becomes unbalancing, the human needs to rebalance the system or die.

Posted by gee.la | Report as abusive
 

Man, I don’t know how some people live with themselves. If I had the dark concepts of some of the people I read here, I don’t know what I would do.

Mankind does share a large part of its DNA with other primates, but no other primate has ever achieved the heights of the arts, or the lows of depravity, as mankind. Ours species carries within us the capability to be very good or very bad. Animals in nature tend to have a lot of instinctual knowledge; we humans depend upon educating our young, which includes the basics of how to interact with each other and our environment. I personally believe that people will tend towards evil if they are not led otherwise.

We are different from the rest of nature. We have hope in a better future, if we work together and train our young realistically (neither pie-in-the sky socialism nor ultra-dark despair).

Posted by stevedebi | Report as abusive
 

@ stevedebi –

I live with myself just fine.

I’d prefer the truth to the mumbo-jumbo you are spouting about the human race being so great.

I stand by what I said, and history is my proof.

The “height of the arts”, which you point to as one of our greatest ashievements, has been due entirely to lavish spending solely by the wealthy class — much of it to honor themselves and their greatness — but ALL at the expense of everyone else who lived in varying degrees of poverty at the same time.

It also begs the question, is art more important than human life? But I choose not to go down that path.

You state “we humans depend upon educating our young, which includes the basics of how to interact with each other and our environment.” But I would counter that you have totally failed to teach them proper respect for either other humans or their environment.

What I am saying is that humans by their nature are basically evil, if you assume evil exists and is manifested in our treatment of others and the environment.

The other argument is that humans can’t be evil because they are doing what God intended them to do.

That path leads to Social Darwinism, which is rampant especially in the US, both in its present treatment of others, as well as a long and abysmal track record of destroying other cultures through Manifest Destiny.

From that standpoint, I would argue the US is a nation of quasi-religious zealots who care nothing about anyone but themselves, nor even the preservation of the earth upon which they need for survival (and that of their young, whose futures they themselves are destroying in their greedy stupidity).

I agree that “We are different from the rest of nature.”

But “We have (NO) hope in a better future,” because we CANNOT “work together and train our young realistically (neither pie-in-the sky socialism nor ultra-dark despair).”

Your comments are real-time proof of my thesis that we are unable to change, mainly because of people like you who refuse to accept reality.

It is the same basic problem Mr. Hadas has, and the other 99.9999% of the human race.

Thus, I stand by my argument that we will not survive much longer, and most likely destroy this planet in the process.

You may not like it, nor accept it, but it is the truth nevertheless.

Posted by PseudoTurtle | Report as abusive
 

Frankly, in my haste I think I may have overstated the probability of the number of humans who understand what is going on by several decimal points.

I have found VERY few who seem to share my opinion.

Some do in part, but I have found no other “aliens” presently on earth who understand what is happening.

If there are any of you out there, I would appreciate it if would express your opinions.

Crazies need not apply.

I am using the working definition of crazy, which is basically that you know you are crazy if you repeat the same thing over and over, but expect a different result each time.

I think there are at least 99.9999% of you out there who qualify under that definition.

Posted by PseudoTurtle | Report as abusive
 

Morality is the very basic universal pattern. Something derivative of this pattern is moral, because it is right; something not based on this pattern is not moral, because it is wrong. A normal society shall be built on this pattern, otherwise, it neither is moral nor can last long. By this way, the basic principle and codes of mankind tally with the universe.

Must agree mankind and humanity are part of nature and part of the universe, like everything else, is comprised of dark energy and energy. Otherwise, cannot exist. It surprises me still so many stupid people believe human mentality is above nature. Easy to see how bad and how deep an abnormal social environment or ecosystem casts its influence to these no brainers. Of course, no brainers transfer the most precious resources- the opportunity to those who have a clear mind.

With the aggrement that the basic principle and codes of mankind tally with the universe, an economy based on morality is connected with an economy based on system. In other words, they actually the same thing. Morality is not something that only exists in human mentality, with this agreement, morality exists as the universal pattern existing as the base above which the universe is running.

Posted by gee.la | Report as abusive
 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
  •