Monday, February 28, 2011

Why is Separation of Political and Economic Influence Important?

As a contribution to the Transpartisan Alliance meetup on "Changing the Game/System" I am presenting these thoughts on an important issue and a possible line of action. Almost in a form of a manifesto.

The main value is our lives. We realize and protect that value by means of organizing into a nation and pursuing economic activity. The first is to assure our freedom of action and of thought - through a nation with the institution of government - the other is to assure our survival and well-being now and in the future - the economy with its markets. This is civilization - an environment where individuals feel materially supported and treated with justice.

As the world has it these two areas of activity are expressed by institutions, creations of the mind, lifeless on their but created to protect life. Businesses and large corporations provide goods and services that enhance our life materially - in a free market we decide which goods to buy with money we earned. The government is to enforce the laws with its authority to use means of coercion - the laws are expected to increase the degree of justice in our lives and protect our freedom.

These two powerful institutional forces arising of our individual beings are needed for our own protection but we must limit the ways in which they can do harm to the very thing they are to protect.

We must make sure that these two powerful forces are under our control. Primarily as they were designed to be in the current system - the economic forces are to be controlled by the markets, the political by the voting booth. The first in proportion to the amount of money interested in its products, the second in proportion to the number of lives (votes) lived under its authority.

More than anything else we must keep these two forces from combining and becoming one because then we will have lost the ability to control them. This is the dangerous trend right now. The political authority will pass laws that will make us modern serfs: obedient consumers/patients of insurance and pharmaceutical companies, of media companies by threatening us with prison if we copy a piece of media product. The political authority bends to the will of information technology giants and will compromise the freedom and neutrality of the internet to suit their business designs while abridging our ability to freely communicate. The economic forces will ask the political one to limit our ability to be enterprising agents - because it will threaten the business of the big companies. We will lose the ability to take care of each other - as the giants of economy will have us declared unfit for the task in the eyes of the law.

If the political and economic realms combine we will all just become consumers and workers. We will be part of the matter processed by the economic system for its own sake and kept obedient by the whip of the government without regard to the value of our lives or to justice. The lifeless taking control of the live! We shall not permit it!

We want to be free people and not zombies absorbed into a system. We want to shape our institutions by being free to form economic entities and political influence groups. Only then will these forces express the value of our life back to us - with goods and justice.