Urgent message from Peter Corning, basis 4 for Synthecracy = shared values for Cooperation

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Dear readers,
Let me advise you again to read this Key Book at this confusing time of transitions and openings to a new era. The Corona Pandemic, the Economic Crash of 2020, and the Climate Crash. In each of them the central nation states ruling classes have FAILED very badly. Facts that they want to hide or confuse at present by distractions of violence, surveillance and brutal force on the media.
In this book Corning shows us the real keys underlaying shifts towards COOPERATION:
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From:        * Competition      —–> Cooperation and Diversity; driving evolution
       * Survival of the Fittest —–> Survival of the best connected in an ecology
       * Extraction of value.    ——> Synergy: Creation of value  by combining, connecting diverse skills
* NeoLib market mantras in exploitation hierarchies, breaking down ——-> Synthecracy work in P2P Commons with Democracy, appreciated contributions to the objectives  and fair sharing, ICT supported
         *Person2Person discussions ——-> continuous and massive use of Mobile Internet
* Central failure to cope with Complexity (Ashby) —–> distributed authority coordinated with Collective Intelligence
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      I have mentioned a number of these shifts on many levels, and  I have listed them in an earlier blog about this book in November 2018: https://theconnectivist.wordpress.com/2018/10/20/the-survival-of-the-weavelets/.
But today these mental and activity shifts are starting to come to the surface and to the centre of attention. Prof. Peter Corning gives formal basic arguments for these necessary shifts. After lots of scientific and political arguments in various circles of thinking.
It is in our nature to want to meet, instead of avoid other people, even accross physical or mental borders of race, religions and cultural background. The changes will deeply affect Post-Apocalyptic human life, firmly embedded in Nature. Not only as individuals, as described by scholars, but in NETWORKS OF couples, families, teams, groups of friends, weavelet ventures, tribes and cities. Not only will these clusters be affected but also their DUAL : the links and relations between them. Those links will be affected on multiple levels: signs, signals, data packets, information, patterns, words, meanings, memes, tools, knowledge, lessons, wisdom, ethics, beliefs, life rules, stories, science, art, and imagination of the unexpected (which is scarce indeed).
Society will change in very many ways and not everyone in power may appreciate that.
But they maight as well try to “urinat in ventum”, as is written on a huge building in Amsterdam.
It is becoming urgent that we make these shifts towards a new future in concensus all over the world. Below is an urgent message to the people in the USA by Peter Corning to get concensus on a set of shared values (in a DEMOCRACY).  IMHO this is extra urgent since otherwise the USA will slide further down into a chaotic banana republic, with a dictator who will be ignored. Racial fights and police brutality are only an distraction by press and oligarchs, from the real issues that must be addressed and shifts that have to be made all over society. We live in historical times. Let’s bend things into positive and constructive directions for the benefit of all !!!
jaap van till, The Connectivist

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BEYOND THE PANDEMIC: AN “INFLECTION POINT”?

Even before the election of Donald Trump and the Covid-19 pandemic, America was a deeply divided, deeply troubled country, though it didn’t have to be this way.  It was the predictable (and predicted) outcome of economic and political choices that have been made in this country over many decades – a very long, sad story.

At the beginning of this year, sky-high stock market values, rising executive compensation, and low unemployment levels masked a much darker reality for many Americans.   We have the highest level of income inequality in the industrialized world (the G-20 nations), along with the highest level of poverty (far more than the “official” 38 million in 2018) and a minimum wage that is a sick joke, as well as the poorest overall population health (as measured especially by obesity, diabetes, infant and maternal mortality, and life expectancy), by far the highest murder and incarceration rates, the lowest social mobility, the highest burden of college student debt, the highest rate of opioid addiction and deaths – oh, and a crumbling infrastructure with more than $2 trillion in urgently needed repairs.  And this was before the pandemic.  Do I need to go on?

The stark difference between this country and other advanced nations was highlighted recently by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoph, who compared a McDonald’s burger flipper in Denmark to one in the U.S.  He/she makes the equivalent of $22 per hour (more than twice as much as our workers), with six weeks of paid vacation, up to one-year of maternity/paternity leave, paid life insurance, a pension plan, and full access to Denmark’s free health insurance, paid sick leave, and subsidized child care.  American workers get none of these things.  Kristoph estimates that this adds only 27 cents to the price of Big Mac.  And higher taxes for everyone, of course, but look at the benefits.

No wonder Denmark is rated at the top of the international ranking of “happiest” nations.  Although it’s regularly smeared by conservative politicians in this country as an oppressive “socialist” prison, in fact it’s a dynamic capitalist democracy with a commitment to the common good and a strong social welfare system.  Its citizens enjoy a freedom from economic want and anxiety that is enviable.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration and the conservatives around him are still trying to scuttle the Affordable Care Act, reduce the Food Stamp (SNAP) program, curtail unemployment benefits, relax consumer and worker protections, reverse environmental regulations, cut Social Security,  and more.  And at the bottom of all this is a radically anti-democratic, anti-government, free market capitalist ideology – a kind of modern-day Social Darwinism that is encouraged (and rationalized) by the writings of the elitist right wing novelist Ayn Rand, which is required reading these days for the rich and powerful.  Rand divided the world into the deserving few “makers” and the great mass of undeserving “takers”, “moochers”, “spongers”, etc.

In other words, we are not all in this together, with a shared common good.  It’s all about “us” versus “them”.  (Them also has a racist bias, of course.)  This is why Donald Trump and some Republican governors have had no problem with sending sick workers back into meat packing plants, or suppressing CDC guidelines for how to cope with the coronavirus, or hiding data about the incidence of deaths in nursing homes and prisons, much less doing anything about these problems.

Abraham Lincoln memorably warned us that a house divided against itself cannot stand.  There must be a basic consensus about who “we” are and the duties and obligations that we have toward one another.  Such a consensus no longer exists in this country, and it is a very dangerous situation.  This must change.

Every complex society like ours is, in effect, a social contract for the purpose of securing our basic biological needs – a “collective survival enterprise.”   (There are some fourteen distinct categories, or domains, of basic needs in all.)  These needs are absolute requisites for the survival and reproduction of each individual, and of society as a whole over time.   Furthermore, we are all dependent upon an enormously complex division of labor (or, better said, a combination of labor) to satisfy these needs.  And when any society fails to provide for the basic needs of its citizens, then the social contract is imperiled.  Only coercion, and repression (and/or inertia) may be able to hold it together.  Or not.  Desperate people are likely to do desperate things.

Moreover, everyone who benefits from our society also has a reciprocal obligation to help support it, insofar as they can.   Reciprocity represents the ethical core of any organized society.  This includes both the “makers” and the “takers” – in Ayn Rand’s egregious terminology.  Our billionaires must also fully reciprocate for the benefits they receive from society.  Otherwise they are, in effect, free riders on the rest of us; they are “takers”.

As we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, therefore, we must reach beyond economic “recovery”.  We need to bend the curve of economic and political dysfunction in this country and make a major course change.  Call it an “inflection point.”

For starters, we must create a new political consensus around a set of shared values, with a social contract that aims to achieve fairness and a fair society.   There are, in fact, three distinct, biologically grounded social justice principles that play a vitally important role in all of our social relationships.  They represent the goal posts, so to speak, for achieving a legitimate and fair society.   These principles are (1) equality with respect to providing for our basic survival needs; (2) equity with respect to merit (or “giving every man his due”); and (3) reciprocity, or paying back for the benefits we receive from others, and society.   These three fairness principles – equality, equity and reciprocity – must be bundled together and balanced in order to achieve a stable and relatively harmonious social order.  It could be likened to a three-legged-stool.  All three legs are equally essential.  (This ethical framework is discussed in detail in my 2011 book, The Fair Society: The Science of Human Nature and the Pursuit of Social Justice.)

One implication of this ethical framework, among others, is that a basic needs guarantee must become a moral imperative for our society going forward.   It would formalize and make explicit our fundamental purpose as a collective survival enterprise and our mutual obligations to one another.  Equally important, it is an absolute prerequisite for achieving the level of social trust, harmony, and legitimacy that will be required to heal our deep social and political divisions and respond effectively to our growing environmental crisis.  I write about all this at length in my forthcoming new book, Superorganism: Pandemics, Climate Change, and the Case for Global Governance.

The practical, political implications of this new social contract are not so very different from the many progressive proposals that have been discussed during the Presidential primary season, or that we can already see in Scandinavian countries like Denmark, Norway, and Finland – including full employment at decent wages, a full array of supportive social welfare benefits and services, extensive investment in infrastructure, excellent free education and health care, a generous retirement system, high social trust, a strong commitment to democracy, and a government that is sensitive to the common good.  In addition, we must come to grips with the existential threat of climate change and make a huge investment in converting to renewable, non-polluting energy sources, among other challenges.

What are the odds of achieving such an inflection point in our trajectory as a society?  What are the chances of a new social contract that creates a unifying sense of a shared responsibility for one another?    This is obviously a very tall order.  The skeptics will respond that it’s much too tall.  Totally unrealistic.  Even utopian.  However, we confront an inescapable collective choice with far reaching consequences.  We have an unavoidable choice to make.

The prominent twentieth century political economist Karl Polanyi long ago warned us, in his classic study The Great Transition, that extremes of wealth and poverty combined with widespread economic insecurity is a powder keg for violent conflicts, both within and between nations.  The common denominator in all the great revolutions of modern times has been “bread” – or the lack of it.  And now we also face the existential threat of climate change.   If the current trends continue, the coming crisis will very likely unravel and shred our fragile democracy, and possibly much worse.  To borrow a famous line from the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, “this is not a drill.”

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Viva revol

BLM demonstrator in Amsterdam

The National Guard did put down their shields and stood by the protestors of BLM in Tennessee, June 2, 2020.

Schermafbeelding 2020-06-03 om 21.10.43

About broodjejaap

See ABOUT on TheConnectivist.wordpress.com
This entry was posted in BLM, cooperation, Post-Apocalyptic, synergy, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Urgent message from Peter Corning, basis 4 for Synthecracy = shared values for Cooperation

  1. Pingback: Remarkable: Tim Cook’s email to all Apple employees about #BLM | The Connectivist

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