Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Holding on to the Cookie

All around we see governments in turmoil and nobody wants to compromise. In Wisconsin we see the establishment refusing to compromise and deal with the unions directly. For their part, the unions are also unwilling to give anything up. One Wisconsin official was caught on Twitter saying that the police should use live ammo against the demonstrators, he was let go. He is probably trying to get a job in Libya working for Gaddafi.

Iraq is a good example, imagine believing that you are entitled to own a country and do whatever you want without being questioned for 40 years, what arrogance. In Rhode Island one city has decided to fire EVERY teacher. It is a good trick, they can then hire back without considering seniority, watch this happen in Los Angeles also.

One Governor (I beleive it is also Wisconsin) talked about beating protestors with a baseball bat to someone he believed was a billionaire friend and wasn't. There is no longer enough to go around as it once did. Mother Jones (a left wing magazine) just posted a very good article on how the rich got richer and the rest of us got poorer over the past few decades. It is true except it ignores how much the average person stole. It ignores the underground economy of theft and drugs and prostitution and gambling. That is a pretty big industry.

Behind everything we are seeing in the news are a few themes. One theme is the idea of decision making, who gets to determine the laws. Jean Jaque Rousseau was a great philosopher and he developed the concept of "The Social Contract" along with Locke and Hobbs. The idea is that "legitimate" government has the approval of the majority of the people. That government and the citizens have a tacit agreement. When the people do not support the government you have social collapse as is occurring in the middle east.

Another theme is the distribution of wealth, how countries determine who gets what. We have seen the average person take a pay cut while we have seen bankers and executives of companies that failed take enormous bonuses. Another example is the corrupt politicians in small towns that took outrageous salaries while cutting civil servants.

One thing we have seen occur in more than one state was people refusing to be evicted from their homes once they have been foreclosed on. This is the same as Gaddhafi refusing to leave, it is the idea that you are entitled and don't have to keep your promises, your social contract.

I guess what I am talking about is letting go, letting go of anything, how quickly and when do we let go? It is like the idea of bankruptcy, when should we be allowed to not meet our obligations. It could be a marriage, a company, a government, any kind of mutual agreement. After ending the old agreement, how do you decide what the future of the relationship will be?

My wife decided to divorce me, she broke her vows. I sought to reconcile and she did not wish to, we divorced. Many people have been in this situation. After the old agreement is ended, what relationship do you have with your ex? I choose to have none at present, we will only see each other at funerals, weddings and births, if at all. Others like Bruce Willis and Demi Moore choose to continue seeing each other, thier divorce appears to have been mutually agreed upon. The same thing can happen with governments.

In Egypt, Mubarak decided to leave of his own accord. In Libya Gaddafi will not step down. Gaddafi will probably be killed, at a minimum once deposed he will not be allowed to return. In Rhode Island the government found a neat little trick to avoid dealing with seniority issues with the teachers; but, now what. Once they fire them all and only hire back the ones they want, what trust will there be between them and the teachers? How do you make the system work when you cheated the end of the last one?

I want to go back to the beginning. How you reorganize society depends in a large part to how the old one ended, it is best when it ends by mutual consent, when there is still some trust left. Problem is nobody is willing to agree.

No comments: