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What is your vision for a (nearly) perfect society.

If you could make your own vision of humanity, what would it look like?
What type of economic system, social structure, and government, as well as their roles would you propose?
What will humanity be like?
What will our neighborhoods look like?
Education, infrastructure, anything really.
Heres the hard part, how do you (we) achieve this vision?

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    Oct 26 2011: "To maintain the integrity, stability and the beauty of the biotic communities"---Aldo Leopold

    The truth of the matter is, this is not going to happen if we continue to embrace an ideology like capitalism.

    So my vision of a (nearly) perfect society will be one that is based on cooperation/mutual aid of individuals. A society that embraces egalitarian values. A society in which the domination of nature does not serve as a pre-condition to the domination of human over human. A society in which the ecological systems are managed and conserved. A society in which we understand the biological complexities and ways to maximize their well-being. Pretty much an ecologically based anarchist society in which technology is not disruptive but helpful.

    In other words a world without capitalism and the repudiation of the symbolic nature of money.
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      Oct 26 2011: QUOTE: "In other words a world without capitalism and the repudiation of the symbolic nature of money."

      How would we do this?
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        Oct 26 2011: resource based economy
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          Oct 26 2011: if you can define that term in any meaningful way, i eat my tie with chopsticks.
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          Oct 26 2011: I understand the phrase, resource based economy, but have no idea how we would implement it on a global scale. Give me an abridged version, if you don't mind.
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        Oct 26 2011: i can explain a resourced economy to and how it would work and how it could be a far better social structure then anything we have already seen but how we get there no idea especially with all the people with power and money that would fight not to have this system in place. as well as the fact that No nation today is about to give up its sovereignty for a social arrangement that has never been tried.
        Therefore and sadly it will take a social breakdown to stimulate the search for alternative social designs. This has been the case throughout human history. Our current system is not working. Unless people are aware of, or knowledgeable about what is needed, they will continue to repeat the same mistakes--war, recession, boom and bust, hunger, poverty, and much unnecessary human suffering Therefor when it does collapse if people are aware of such a system then maybe we can see such a system that the only way i can see a transition i hope there is a easier way thou, i m open to idea's i know i don't have all the answers.
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        Oct 26 2011: Hello Thomas,
        With all honesty I do not have a precise way of coming about this. I mean anything I say will be just pure speculation but if you are interested I will nonetheless give it a shot.

        I strongly believe that thoughts, perceptions, values, etc have its origins in the human mind/brain. I think questions pertaining to any sort of social and political philosophy is really a matter that extends to psychology, biology and neuroscience. This perhaps may be an odd way of looking at it and this by no means state that looking at things politically, economically and socially are not useful. Perhaps the true nature of what I'm trying to say is lies beyond the relationship between social and political economies in correspondence with human behavior and may actually be on a more conscious, psychological and neuroscientific level.

        The best way I can describe what I am saying is this:From this perspective one should pay attention to the role ideologies play on the human mind and how accepting and believing certain beliefs to have a certain significance impacts human awareness and thought and how these contribute to human actions. For example, with capitalism (in the U.S.) we are taught that conspicuous consumption, materialism and global competition are things that are to be valued. Believing/accepting this to be true and significant has profound effects and from personal experience this is what I see: imperialism, poverty, inability to climb the social ladder etc.

        Money is nothing more than a symbol and it is by giving credence to this symbol that we allowed a dollar bill, something that can instantly lose its value when ripped up, to ruin our lives and yet be a symbol for hope.

        And as Steven pointed out, unless people are aware of the power given to money and how ideologies and language influence the mind, we will continue to make the same mistakes and I think the mistake that we are making is by basing our lives off a dangerous symbol.
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          Oct 27 2011: Hi Orlando,

          It seems you have fairly deep foundational principles that will need to be addressed if we are going to operate without capitalism and without a symbolic means of representing wealth - money.

          I do think money is "symbolic" (obviously) but it is more than that. It is also a "medium of exchange" - a function that is facilitated precisely because of money's symbolic nature. So beyond its symbolism, it is also fundamental to a process that is very real: exchange.

          It is not something I have given much thought to but I have always felt money arose as a result of underlying human attributes - much as the ones you mention - and that, in many ways, it is a symbol of our own desire for security. This "symbol" represents, amongst other things, the ability to acquire something I may need or want at a later date; and having this ability provides a sense of security.

          If we felt secure, without knowing we could exchange this symbol for, say, a chicken or a bag of rice, in a week's time, we would not need it.

          Once we invented money, it provided such a sense of security (false security many would say) that it has become ubiquitous.

          Of course, aside from any underlying human motives (for security, status, etc,) it is still a highly functional medium.

          A "major" problem with a symbol is it can be manipulated, at will. As we learn to manipulate this symbol (that is also a medium of exchange) we see people who do so, for their own personal gain (the Madoffs, etc.) but we also see it being done by institutions, including entire nations. We engage in a manipulation of "the symbol" with, it seems, little understanding of the outcomes such manipulation will have on the functional reason we have money which is to facilitate the exchange of goods and services.

          If we knew what we were doing, we would not have meltdowns like '08

          But I cannot imagine how we would operate without money. Unless we revert to local, small-scale, agrarian communities of, say, 250 people or so.
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          Oct 28 2011: The ZeitGiest Movement has considerable info describing resource based economies. Just go to TZM. I have also described a similar scenario in my book. I can upload the text if you want.
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        Oct 28 2011: Consider this: when there is a recession and people have little money to
        buy things, isn’t the Earth still the same place? Aren’t there still goods on
        the store shelves and land to grow crops? It is just the rules of the game
        that we play by that are obsolete and cause so much suffering.
        The existence of money is hardly ever questioned or examined, but let’s
        consider our use of money. Money itself does not have any value. It is just
        a picture on a cheap piece of paper with an agreement among people
        as to what it can buy. If it rained hundred dollar bills tomorrow, everyone
        would be happy except the banker
        It is claimed that the so-called free-enterprise system creates incentive. This may be true, but it also perpetuates greed, embezzlement, corruption, crime, stress, economic hardship, and insecurity. In addition, the argument that the monetary system and competition generate incentive does not always hold true. Most of our major developments in science and technology have been the result of the efforts of very few individuals working independently and often against great opposition. Such contributors as Goddard, Galileo, Darwin, Tesla, Edison, and Einstein were individuals who were genuinely concerned with solving problems and improving processes rather than with mere financial gain. Actually, very often there is much mistrust in those whose incentive is entirely motivated by monetary gain, this can be said for lawyers, businessmen, salesman and those in just about any field.
        resource-based economy, a holistic social and economic system in which the planetary resources are held as the common heritage of all the earth's inhabitants. The current practice of rationing resources through monetary methods is irrelevant, counter-productive, and falls far short of meeting humanity's needs.
        Simply stated, within a Resource Based Economy we will utilize existing resources - rather than money - to provide an equitable method of distribution
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          Oct 28 2011: You are pointing to the obvious dichotomy. We love money but hate what it does. What would we say to a highly evolved alien if it asked how come we can fly to the planets but cannot even feed our population?
          We just have not got our priorities right. The age old Capitalist expression about acting in one own best interests by making maximum profits, should really read. Acting in your own best interests means living in peace and harmony with your community.

          Let's get practical. I have an idea that I shall post shortly describing a possible course of action to resolve the impending crisis. It is not perfect and all suggestions and constructive criticism will be welcome.
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      Oct 26 2011: this is the "truth of the matter"? it is not even debated now? we can consider capitalism being the culprit as a fact?

      egalitarianism. i see you have a nice pair of sunglasses. not everyone can afford sunglasses. so i urge you to sell it for, say, 5 dollars, and send the money over to madagascar right now. hm, and about that suit ...
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        Oct 26 2011: Krisztián,

        Are you even capable of engaging in a mature conversation with someone who does not share your misguided idealism without being petty and condescending?

        Do you think this is somehow witty? Intelligent, perhaps?

        It is nether: It is banal, and adolescent at best.

        I see you are quite bright. Not everyone is bright. So I urge you to, say, use your intelligence and drop this whole "if-you're-not-a-buddhist-capitalist-you-must-be-an-idiot" thing you've got going on.

        If you have something constructive to say, say it.
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          Oct 26 2011: eeer. what? you accuse me of something my opponent did? how did that happen? was it me to say that "the truth is"? was it me that hinted that capitalists need psychologist? (i refer to another conversation.) was it me to advertise internet censorship as an acceptable policy?

          i don't want to oppress other people. i want to stop other people oppressing me.

          you can think equality is good. i don't. you can think capitalism is bad. i don't. i don't want any of you telling me what to do, instead of convincing me what to do.

          message to everyone: please stop commanding other people what to do. you are not worthy. nobody is.
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          Oct 26 2011: Thank you Thomas,

          I would also like to add that I may be critical of capitalism but I too am a capitalist and I am in a way responsible for everything that I criticize it for (the clothes I by, the food and candy I eat, the environmental hazards that I contribute to, etc) but I am aware of this and I try to be mindful of my actions. When I talk about how ideas and values have an influence on the human action I am not depriving the individual of personal responsibility, I'm just saying that sometimes their actions are not of their own volition but is created and motivated by other factors.

          I've discussed this issue with Krisztian before and he had interesting points but I never once stated that capitalist needed psychologist. As a matter of fact that does not sound like me. I just stated that capitalism is the enabler of excessive self-interest(w/ excessive self-interest being a human quality or a product of human nature) and by doing so it allows this excessive self-interest to come about in destructive way, such as theft, greed, murder over frivolous things, divorce over money, budget cuts, etc.

          As an individual who knows what its like to be homeless and all the way at the bottom of the social ladder my perspective is purely empirical being that I can relate to the everyday individual. At the same time I'm not saying capitalism is entirely bad. If practiced right it can be a good system but I'm not surprised that it turned out the way it is now and this is because it is not based on principles that we can say are good ones. At its core, capitalism is individualistic and allows individuals to act in their self-interest.Anarchism at its core is not based off individualism but instead its all about community.

          I do know this: all that we are talking about goes back to human mind and perception. This is the main reason why the public relations industry was created: to control the human mind/interest. This of course is not what I'm advocating.
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        Oct 26 2011: Hi Krisztián,

        I appreciate your candour.

        QUOTE: "i don't want to oppress other people. i want to stop other people oppressing me."

        That is a fair statement but, a far as I can tell, no one is oppressing you. However, in your zeal to "not be oppressed" you have a tendency to act as if the world should use your value system to govern itself.

        For all I know, your system (whatever it is) might be the most effective system (or non-system) ever imagined but, the fact is, there are almost seven billion of us on the planet and we each get to choose the system we want to use. We choose individually and collectively. You might not like some of the choices we have made but then, by your own admission, you do not want to "oppress" by imposing your particular worldview on others.

        So what's the "logical" extension of all of this? We accept that others are free to make choices (individually or collectively) that we might not endorse but we respect their decision and, if we are inclined, offer what we believe to be superior options for people to choose from.

        This works best if we refrain from calling people who have not chosen "our path" idiots, murderers, inherently violent, and so on. Not that you have used all those phrases but you get my point.

        QUOTE: "you can think equality is good. i don't."

        I'm not following you: You don't think equality is good? What do you mean?

        QUOTE: "you can think capitalism is bad. i don't."

        I don't think any reasonably functioning system is "good" or "bad." I think they are systems that are as effective, or ineffective, as the people who operate within them.

        QUOTE: "i don't want any of you telling me what to do, instead of convincing me what to do."

        I think the idea is to share openly and let each other make our own choices. I'm all for a challenge; I quite enjoy it. But I have no desire to really change anyone's mind.

        I would appreciate it if you stopped being so dismissive of people you do not agree with. But, again, it's your choice.
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          Oct 26 2011: let me tell you the "logical extension". for example nobody can force his values on others. that is, no governments should be able to censor the internet. because there can be two people, one providing a service and one subscribing to that service. nobody else have a say in that matter. it is their business. so interfering with that is immoral. supporting such behavior is also immoral, as supporting immoral things are immoral. so if you say that internet censorship is acceptable policy, it is immoral. it is that simple.

          you don't find any recommendations on my part that would involve forcing other people in any way. however, you can often find me arguing people who do support such ideas.

          also please note that i have the right to call immoral things immoral. even if i hurt the feelings of that person. and i also can call ideas "inherently violent" if i so desire, as long as i can demonstrate my reasons for it. i can not, however, make other people follow my path using force. nor calling for using force. nor hinting the use of force.
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        Oct 26 2011: Krisztián,

        I undersand your position, you are a free-enterprise kind of guy.

        My point is your assertion that others "should" do anything contains an implicit declaration that what you are telling them they should do is superior to what they choose to do by themselves. And from someone who says no one "should" tell others what to do, this is a contradiction.

        You might believe a free market economy is a panacea, fine. Say that. But to continue and say Bignoseistan "SHOULD" practice free market capitalism is a violation of your own stated ethos ... that no one "should" tell anyone else how to live.

        In fact, for YOU to say anyone SHOULD or SHOULD NOT do ANYTHING is a contradiction of what appears to be your own highest ideal.

        QUOTE: "you don't find any recommendations on my part that would involve forcing other people in any way."

        Again, when you say a group of people SHOULD do something, the force is tacit. It may not be physical force - in fact, it is quite clear you are not advocating physical force of any kind. But there is an implied force whenever we tell someone they SHOULD do something. Perhaps a moral force, or even an emotional force but it is still a force.

        QUOTE: "... however, you can often find me arguing people who do support such ideas."

        Frankly, your arguments often come across as you simply telling people they SHOULD do what you think they SHOULD do; and, if they don't agree, they are in some way mentally deficient. (For example, "Wow, you have managed to be wrong and meaningless at the same time," or whatever it was you said to that fellow whom you obviously did not agree with. Not a particularly Buddhist approach, I might add!)

        If (IF!!!) you think no one should tell anyone else what they should do or should not do, then (THEN!!! "If/Then") then you should stop telling other people what they should or should not do -- Even if they are doing something you think they should not do ... like censoring the internet.
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          Oct 26 2011: no, it is not. telling someone what to do is very different from telling someone not tell someone what to do. committing aggression is different from forcibly preventing someone committing aggression.

          i'm perfectly OK if you seek a leader for yourself. i'm also perfectly OK if you seek for servants to lead.

          i'm also perfectly OK with any opinions, but this does not mean i don't find many opinions perverted, wrong, evil or demented. i do find many opinions such. and i will call these opinions as such. for example i will continue to call anyone who seeks control over other people immoral and/or intellectually lazy.
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        Oct 26 2011: That reminds me Krisztian

        As far as my sunglasses a friend of mines actually gave it to me since they had an extra pair. The suit, shirt and tie I wore actually was a birthday gift. I am also aware that the clothes that I am wearing were perhaps created from a 12 year old whose labor was exploited but then again I can't go to a job interview naked can I? Also I do not own the sunglasses anymore. Any guesses where I sent them?

        Before you judge a book by its cover please get your facts straight. I have nothing to prove to to you but what I will say is before you blame me, blame the leaders of the world who think that exploiting the labor of individuals in third world countries to serve their own agenda is a virtuous act and then make it nearly impossible for others to not engage to these affairs to a certain degree.
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          Oct 26 2011: equality can be put on hold, if you have a good excuse? it does not seem to be a very consistent world view. i thought equality is as simple as those who have more simply transfer some stuff to those who have less. so if you are a fan of that, i suspect you are working on it, aren't you?

          i don't blame you anything else but being wrong and being inconsistent. and being not honest, most likely with yourself, not with us. this idea of equality and blaming government and blaming wall street is just a big setup in order to ease the mind. there is not a single egalitarian on this planet who thinks wealth should be transferred from him to the poor. or else he could just do it on his own. everyone believes we need to take from the "rich" (which means richer than us). what a strange coincidence!
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        Oct 26 2011: QUOTE: "no, it is not. telling someone what to do is very different from telling someone not tell someone what to do."

        Really?

        And therein lies your inability to see that which you decry in others first in yourself.

        As our old friend Matthew would put (perhaps too strongly:)

        You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you will see clearly enough to remove the speck from your brother's eye. – Matthew 7:5
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          Oct 26 2011: very well for me. but let me just underline it, so it is crystal clear to anyone.

          thomas jones asserts that stopping aggression using force is aggression.

          for the record.
      • Oct 28 2011: I hope you forgive me for not seeing your "vision" I apologize. I do follow my conversations, its just this one got bigger really fast. I am also dealing with an upper respiratory virus thingy. I love it when people challenge ideas, it just seems, and judging by the replies to your comments I am not alone in this view, that rather than challenging ideas you are attacking peoples characters, when none of us know really anything about each other than what we have stated on these message threads. You seem to make outlandish claims about things you could not possibly have any knowledge of, as when you stated no egalitarian would give to the poor. Sorry for no direct quote everything gets kinda jumbled after awhile. For one this is not the comments section on youtube, so you must understand there is a certain degree of respected civility in these forums.

        I will not respond to any message from you as should anyone else on this forum, unless it is one that characterizes this level of civility that is expected on this forum.

        And for the record it takes a lot more than an internet troll to hurt my feelings.

        Have a good life.
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          Oct 28 2011: can you show me where did i attack people's character? i also demand an example for my lack of civility.

          because as of now, you are the one attacking me, and not vice versa. and you called me troll, which is, i suppose, a civilized thing to do.
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      Oct 27 2011: QUOTE: "very well for me. but let me just underline it, so it is crystal clear to anyone.

      thomas jones asserts that stopping aggression using force is aggression.

      for the record."

      -------

      For the record, let me point out that Krisztián Pintér has a tendency to read into what others have said and make assertions he believes to be true, and, based on my personal observation, he is always wrong.

      He also has a tendency to get petty, personal, and resorts to ad hominem attacks whenever he reaches the limits of his intellect. (Which is quite often.)

      For the record.

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