Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Discretionary authority vs. Freedom

Discretionary power is the greatest systemic evil we face, and understanding this will allow us to create fairer societies that minimize discretionary power.  Minimizing discretionary power is as simple as considering its effects in policies.

Discretionary authority is the power to interpret rules with whatever thoughtless indifference, bias, prejudice, or preference that might maximize your or your friends' benefit.  Judges, Prosecutors and Police/Regulators have the most pronounced discretionary authority and can affect peoples lives by their choices.  The 2 primary abuses are persecuting the innocent, and choosing to interpret rules and facts to favour the powerful.

Kings and other rulers have the ultimate discretionary authority.  They don't have a pretense of rules that apply to them, and their discretion includes budgetary authority.  The primary abusive power though is the discretion to persecute, murder and destroy, and perpetuate policies of systemic misery.

Freedom is freedom from the discretionary authority that others have over you.  Money can buy both freedom and discretionary influence over others.

God, if he exists, is first and foremost a humanist.  I prefer to wish that he believes more in the prosperity, growth, and happiness of humanity, than in whether groups choose to eat bacon wrapped shelfish after sunset on Fridays.  God exists independently of any mythology or church.  I prefer to insist that God believes in truth over worship.

There is no statistical relationship between prayer and earthly rewards.  If God believes in truth then prayer would be ineffective as your rewards or lack thereof are what you deserve regardless of what you ask for.

The relationship to discretionary authority is that nearly all of us understand God to be an all powerful king, and prayer as a telepathic audience before your benevolent ruler to grant you wishes.  If you understand God that way, then it validates the similar power of your king and the hierarchy below him as well.

Having slaves is awesome.  Machines are the ultimate slave in that there is no risk of disobedience.  Being a slave is less awesome.  While the ultimate protection against you becoming a slave is to protect everyone else from the same fate, most of us support slavery:  We support systemic oppression because:

  1. After they come for the others, they will hopefully stop there.
  2. Somebody has to pick the cotton and enlist in the army.  Helping systemic desperation to be deflected onto others, might hold off your oppression
  3. The contentment of having classes below you.
  4. The understanding that you are worthless maggots that deserve to be controlled by rulers and their hierarchy since that is as it has always been.
The article I linked (most of us support slavery) is worth reading.  While we fully support abolition, we continue to support the closest possible equivalent to slavery.

God part 2
There are 2 mutually exclusive understanding of God:

  1. He is first and foremost a dictator with a will to be enforced.  Secondarily that will may support truth, justice and humanity.
  2. There is first and foremost truth, justice and humanism, and loyalty to God is first and foremost loyalty to truth justice and humanity.

The significant implication of the first model is that your loyalty to God and his earthly hierarchies is a loyalty to "us" vs "them", which is incompatible with truth, justice and humanism, and so promotes systemic oppression and conflict.

Basic income and social dividends as the core solution

Basic income is an equal social dividend paid to citizens unconditionally that is sufficiently large to eliminate poverty and eliminate most discretionary authority social services.

The funding formula is a simple combination of income tax increases, program cuts, and (optionally) money printing.  No one who has ever faced an income tax bill is oppressed.  They've earned money higher than the tax bill, and so have any freedom they wish to buy.  The philosophical objection to taxation is entirely rooted in the concentration of discretionary authority accumulated to the king.  Basic income channels taxation to the entire population, and so eliminates this discretionary power accumulation.

Because basic income guarantees everyone's survival needs, survivalist desperation is no longer a motive for employment or crime or any other behaviour.  By definition, this eliminates systemic oppression within a society.  The survivalist desperation motive for work is equivalent to slavery in that it forces you/them to choose a master without the equal bargaining power of fair transactions.

The rich and powerful can be richer even if they give up discretionary power
Denmark has higher wealth innequality than the US.  If we accept the simplification that it is a high taxed utopian redistributive society, then the only explanation is that the rich get richer because the poor and middle classes have little reason to save, and thus trade all of their money for goods and services to those who have more money than they know what to do with.  Jobs still get done in Denmark, and the rich are still able to buy discretionary influence over minions, they just have to pay a little more than under a slavery system, and still the money they pay helpers flows back to them anyway.

Wealth innequality is not a problem.  Poverty and misery is.  Higher taxes does not prevent the rich becoming richers, but through basic income/social dividends gives everyone else the freedom to enjoy and pursue a happy life.

The idea that we need to control everyone else to have a productive economy is as stupid as the proposition that everyone else should control you.  Your security is enhanced by non-oppression as there is less reason to make threats against you.

Prison is the ultimate discretionary authority power that can negatively impact your freedom.  Maximizing systemic oppression to funel as many people into prison as possible maximizes the discretionary authority benefits to police, courts, institutions, and kings, and promotes fear of the king, and in turn the king creates fear of the future prisoners into his loyalists.

Basic income both reduces the desperation motive for crime, and so lower the core basis for fear,  It can both disarm the king's power to use that fear to accumulate more discretionary power, and lower the budgets of the institutions that exist to institutionalize the scary, and provide savings to social dividend recipients and tax payers, while reducing the abuse of power through a reduced institutionalization sector.

Terrorism and war
Promoting the legitimacy of "our" violence while making "their" violence illegitimate is an eagerly acceptable proposition.  In addition to this extensive list of confirmed false flag terrorist actions (which includes the believable statement that more terrorist attacks are false flag than not), there is the nearly as important issues of discretionary authority to shape the narrative of violence as acts of terrorism, and the active infiltration of groups by agents in order to create terrorism plot arrests if the targets and hapless, slow and reluctant, or, at discretion, terrorism.

All of these acts promote the fear necessary to enhance discretionary authority to protect you from such fears.  Terrorism is a political recourse to violence caused by a lack of democratic political recourse.  Choosing suicide bombing is an act of protest that your government will easily manipulate you into acting as its human shield, rather than consider discretionary policy revisions.  Basic income and the elimination of as much discretionary disappointment that can be felt, will influence more constructive choices than suicide and self-destructive vengence, and if not, perhaps a clearer framework to assess "our" evil, or who is most responsible for your expendibility.

The military recruitment base fundamentally depends on systemic desperation.  Reducing war can be accomplished by increasing the cost of soldiers, and the freedom to refuse committing atrocities.

The 2nd amendment of the US constitution is one that explicitly allows and promotes insurgency as a remedy for abuse of discretionary authority.  It was foresight, that did not presume the approval of insurgency by future kings.

Shaping Democracy
The discretionary authority to shape allowable opinions shapes the continued discretionary authority of the ruling class by limiting democratic options.  Beyond the false blaming of groups not allowed an opinion with terrorism, widespread discretionary spying allows discrediting those opinions that are not allowed.

Retaliations against whistleblowers of discretionary abuse is the most glaring corruption of democracy.

Reducing the number of laws
The main source of discretionary authority among lower hierarchy levels are laws.  Selectively applying or selectively ignoring the proper interpretation of rules.

Basic income can eliminate minimum wage regulations, and much labour regulations.  The freedom to refuse work should ensure fair conditions.

Drug and prostitution laws are very expensive, create violent conflicts over their markets, prey on the systemically oppressed to participate in such dangerous markets, and enable discretionary power to enable these markets and participate in their profits.  If the worst possible outcome of basic income is that more people choose chronic drug use, then they will at least do so with no negative effect to the rest of society.  The reduction of violence and institutionalization of society is both a significant expense reduction, and a tremendous source of hope and opportunity for those that would be affected.

Regulatory overhaul
Regulatory capture is a valid right wing criticism of the ease of coopting the regulatory agencies charged with overseeing the powerful, to instead serve those they are supposed to oversee.  Today, in every western state, the environmental, securities, and judicial overseers exist more to tell us that everything is always ok instead of actively searching for abuses.  Their jobs depend on serving the hierarchy.  Selective actions against outsider non-sponsors of the ruling class are enacted  to maintain an appearance of activity and to strengthen the hierarchy's will.

Assuming that we want a clean environment, and fair securities and judicial systems, then we need regulators directly accountable to the electorate, and thus not hierarchically subservient.  Independent, narrowly focused directly electorate accountable overseers necessarily provides the best oversight as there is no one else to deflect blame to.

This model also generally applies to creating laws and oversight that limit the discretionary abuse of the powerful, where those limits are needed.

Other opportunities for freedom from discretionary authority
Another definition of freedom is the freedom to do something without asking permission.

Creating your own energy (solar/wind) allows you to escape from the discretionary pricing power of centralized utilities.

Publishing your own video and other content is possible through the internet compared to models that require you to seek permission and support from publishers.  The sharing economy for transportation and lodging similarly enables trade without permission access to employment.

There are forces that want you to keep begging for permission.   Doing so only for the protection of their hierarchies is a fundamental assault on your freedom.