Zeno Izen for President 2012… my agenda: “The Plan”

Hi, my name is Zeno Izen and I am running for President of the United States of America.  I have developed a simple plan to restore freedom, peace and prosperity to America.  Here is that plan:

Step 1:  Every U.S. citizen with a Social Security number will receive, by U.S. Postal mail, an unactivated plastic debit card.  The details of the accounts that these cards will access are a technical matter that will be worked out before this plan is implemented.

Step 2:  Citizens will have a short period of time to activate these debit cards, and the accounts that they access.

Step 3:  At an appointed moment, which may or may not be revealed in advance, each citizen’s account will be credited with a sum of money.  The amount of money is a technical detail that will be worked out before this plan is implemented.  Hypothetically, the amount is mostly irrelevant, though it will need to be significant enough to qualify as a windfall for the average citizen.  Numbers between $10,000 and $100,000 are probable.

Step 4:  The U.S. federal government will cede power to the States, and declare itself dissolved.

Step 5:  A period of adjustment will ensue.

See, I'm practically a centrist.

The benefits of this plan will be many.  The velocity of money, and the vitality of the economy will increase dramatically as citizens will be motivated to spend what money they have as soon as possible before its value drops to zero.  All sides of political debate will be satisfied by this plan as well, as redistributionists on the left will be directly compensated and minarchists on the right will see their domestic agenda implemented in full.

At the same time, the results of this plan will be unpredictable to the degree that manipulators of the economy, along with entrenched totalitarian interests, will not be able to fully retain their power.  Prices and currencies will swing to extremes as the results of this plan ripple across the globe.  Innovators and small time players will find themselves knee deep in opportunities, which will disrupt society and make resources newly available in the fairest way possible:  according to wit and competitivity.

My plan will initiate a new global golden era based on merit and voluntary association.  This is what everyone wants, perhaps excluding those deeply invested in the status quo.

So vote for me for President of the U.S. or whatever other office you want.  I ain’t on the ballot and my budget is zero, but I’ve got a slogan and it is thus:

“Vote for Zeno Izen motherfuckers!  He’s got the Plan!”

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The market is already free.

The market is an arena of peace.

There’s a premise that I’ve accepted as true since I was in high school.  The premise’s survival in the face on many years of new information tends to suggest that the premise has some validity.

The premise is this:  The human system, as a whole, is anarchic.

Yes, we have nation-states.  Yes, we have corporations.  Yes, we have elites.  Yes, there are people in charge.  But, try as they might, there is no single entity that has absolute control over humanity.

At the very top of the global social ladder, there are opposing interests, offsetting forces and competing entities.  And, as this is the top of the pyramid, with nothing governing it, the churn here is subject to the laws of emergence and market dynamics.

And as above, so below.  From the yacht clubs of Massachusettes to the black hole of Calcutta, governance exists in pockets.  Control exists in finite zones that emerge within an overall system of anarchy.  And if these zones are seen as discreet bodies within the anarchic system, we can see that they emerge and behave according to the laws of the system that they inhabit.

In other words, a government is the product of a free market.

Empires rise and fall.  Kings are as subject to economics as a business owner.  Certainly, a king may control the money supply in his realm, but he can’t violate natural law.  A king can’t print money indiscriminately and avoid the consequences any more than he can hover in midair.

Between kingdoms there are natural laws, too.  As von Clausewitz said, war begins when diplomacy fails.  Between individuals a fist fight might result from failed negotiations at a tavern.  Of course, there are laws pertaining to that.  But what law stops one nation from invading another?  Only alliances, quasi-influential international bodies and other artifices have any effect on international relations.  These artifices are the product of an anarchic system.

So, seen from the moon, we realize that we already live in a free market system.  When anyone talks about, or lobbies, for market freedom they are doing it on a local basis.  To work for free markets is a dismantling process, an uncovering of human layers to reveal what lies below.

But let’s remember that these zones of control are temporary.  They may last for a long time. Just as an overfunded business can operate at a loss for years on end, a government with faulty financial policies can run for a long long time.  But in the end they will fail.  No entity, coporeal or corporate, can evade the laws of its environment.

“Nature Bats Last” says the bumper sticker.  It’s really true.  And if we believe that market forces are natural laws, then the agorist has already won.  His only struggle is with his local situation.

Biblical God as Central Planner

Here’s something I don’t get.  Maybe someone can explain it to me.

As a generalization, both scientific atheists and Abrahamic monotheists tend to be inconsistent when it comes to their preferences of socioeconomic organization.  Most of your central planners in history seem to have been atheists–Marxism and communism are definitely atheistic systems.  And most of those who still stick with these concepts in the modern era also seem to be atheists.  Your Christian left-anarchist is an anomaly.  Liberal Democrats I suspect–I haven’t looked up the stats–have more atheists, or at least agnostics among them.  And it’s my perception that Liberal Democrats tend to be more liberal in their religious belief and believe that evolutionary theory is true.  I base this perception on the fact that Liberal Democrats take the non-religious side of the abortion discussion.  That alone indicates a liberality in religious belief.  But yet, Liberal Democrats tend to be less friendly with free market ideas, more open to state programs, and generally more on the central-planning side of the economic discussions.

Or maybe none of us are really thinking for ourselves.

Meanwhile, more conservatives (whether Conservative Republicans, or otherwise) are religious, and conservatively so.  I’d point to the abortion discussion again to support this assertion.  And, again, conservatives have a greater tendency to be free market oriented, rhetorically if not in actual fact.  This can be seen in a rough sort of way by comparing various elected persons’ party affiliation with their position on the funding of various governmental (and non-military) projects, such as universal health care, welfare programs, student loans and so on.

I’ll skip over the rest of the logical development and give you my central point: in America, a substantial number of non-religious people have faith in centrally planned civilization while a substantial number of religious people are opposed to central planning, and presumably believe in the power of emergent market processes to create an organized society.

This seems inconsistent to me.  To be religious, by which I mean to believe in a single scriptural god, tends to deny the emergent processes of nature.  If God is the decision maker for all reality, and evolutionary theory is not true, then emergent market processes are anomalous.  Why would markets be able to find equilibrium, and develop into non-planned organization when the rest of nature does not do the same thing?

And to be non-religious tends to accept evolutionary theory–a concept which describes a natural world full of life that has come about without intent or central planning.  Why in a world where life emerges in the absence of a supernatural director would we insist upon fallible human beings to design and execute our economy?

To my point of view, and regardless of your religious beliefs, I would expect that you either believe in orderly emergence or you don’t.  I can understand believing in a perfect God that micromanages reality and how that is consistent with free market beliefs, but I don’t see how you can then throw out evolutionary theory.  And I can see how you can see the natural world as a beautiful orderly accident without a god, but I don’t see how you can then allow imperfect and corruptible human beings take charge of an economy, which is often as complex as any ecosystem.