Philosophical Musings

Philosophical Musings

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Producers, Moochers, & Looters

Produce, mooch, or loot.

These are the basic ways humans survive. We either produce our own necessities of life, by working for them, or we leech off of someone else's labors, or we take them from others by force. When we are young, we are dependent on our parents to provide for us. We are moochers off of their labors. But they do this willingly, & usually make it clear we have some accountability to them.
'While you are living in my house, you will do as i say!'
This is a commonly heard sentiment in most family units. So while the progeny of humans are technically 'moochers', they tend to be a dependent of choice. You made the decision to reproduce & you take on the responsibility to raise the child.
But this is not about voluntary dependents. It is about society. A healthy society must have a large number of industrious, hard working producers to provide the network of necessities: sustenance & protection. When a society breaks down, & too many moochers or looters run rampant, the producers cannot work hard enough to provide for them, or they become tired of being exploited & rebel against the system (or lack thereof) that has arisen.

1. If you are a responsible producer, you will have a constant battle to fend off moochers & looters. Hopefully, you will live in a time & place where you can protect yourself & your labors with sound collective agencies, provided for that purpose by all the producers. But, if moochers & looters gain control of the protection agencies, they will use them against you, & you will be exploited until you & the other producers revolt & cast out the moochers & looters. This is a constant pattern throughout human history, & will no doubt continue in the future.
2. If you are a moocher, you run the risk of wearing out those you mooch from. It is not a dependable method of survival, as you rely on the generosity of the producers you mooch from, or the benevolence of the looters to share with you from their plunder.
3. If you are a looter, you rely on having superior power or deception to intimidate & fleece the working producers. But if they pool their resources & defeat you, you might be killed in the struggle. It is also an unreliable way to survive.

Producing, with the force of law to protect your labors, has traditionally been the best & most reliable method of human survival. When a culture has a strong base of producers, they tend to be stronger, wealthier, & better suited to survive. Moochers & looters tend to be short lived, as the working producers tire of the excess, useless baggage, & reorganize the system to better serve them.

The challenge is for the producers to craft a system of protection, but not let it be controlled by moochers & looters, as they will use the system to plunder the producers. Typically, the producers just stage a revolution from time to time, and the leaders of the revolutions promise to provide peace & justice for the working producers to live & raise their families.  They promise to make minimal demands on the property of the producers.  But they always degenerate back into a mooching, looting system where law becomes an instrument of plunder, not justice.

The only solution is for the producers to keep a tight rein on the system, provide checks & balances, & a rotating workforce of public servants, so none of them become entrenched & entitled in an elite power structure. This was the attempt of the american experiment, & it worked for a while, until those who became entrenched in power used said power to plunder the producers, as they have been doing increasingly for the last few decades.

So an ideal system for a productive, healthy society is this:
1. Minimal demands for an agency of justice.  Minimal taxes so the producers keep more of their labors.
2. Swift, efficient justice to deter looters, foreign or domestic.
3. Maximum freedom for the producers to enjoy the fruits of their labors, which provide the most opportunity, prosperity, & abundance for all.
4. Checks & balances in the justice system, so that moochers or looters do not gain control.
5. Rotating citizen representatives, managing the system so moochers or looters do not gain control.
6. Strict laws to punish corruption in the collective agencies.

These things will cost the producers the least, while maximizing what they have earned & worked for. This is a recipe for a healthy, prosperous culture. But whenever moochers & looters gain control of the collective institutions, they use govt power to plunder the producers, & build a system of dependency & injustice, until it collapses under its own corruption.

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