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RE:



Sanjeev Sabhlok[SMTP:sabhlok@almaak.usc.edu] wrote:

>What are you saying here. Let us be clear: In an ideal world,
"Government
>is us and we are the government."
>
>Right?

right! [in an ideal world, my view]

>Roussueau called the relationship between us and the Government as a
>Social Contract. I would generally agree with that view. You seem to
think
>of it as a Hobbesian Leviathan, existing for some innate, natural
purpose,
>on its own. No, to me government is something we choose to have, at
each
>point in time. 
>
Here I disagree. Usually it is a mix of both (contract & leviathan).
As an individual your power on government is limited by the system and
the circumstances in an absolute monarchy your power is very small
compared to a representative democracy. Even democracies create
institutions that take on a life of their own with unchecked power. The
point of a good system is to prevent this and keep them in check if they
[Leviathans] pop up.

>I am not born as "government." I may choose to compete in
>an exam and enter government, or I may choose to compete in elections
and
>become government. 

Yes, you are not born as government any more than you are born as
market. But the notion of a government you "choose to join or not"
sounds to me a lot more Hobbesian than a social contract.
I see "government" as you and your neighbors getting together
periodically to decide how you want your street policed, going to town
meetings to influence the spending of the local taxes, and in the
present [primitive] system periodically visiting or demanding visits
from your state and federal representative to add your voice to the
decision making of how taxes are levied and spent [of course with
advancing technology much of the decision making can be formulated as
referenda that is electronically voted]

> . . . The only
>question why we are debating things on this list is to determine
precisely
>the exact role we want our government in India to play.
>
>On the other hand, I do claim that markets are us and we are
>markets. 

It is possible to withdraw from markets just as it is possible to
withdraw from government. You could after all go off into the forest
and live off the land [as Ram, Sita, & Laxman did].

>In
>the case of government only about 50% can make a rule (law), and a very
>few people are given the task of imposing those rules. 
>
That, I believe is a shortcoming of government that we ought to
address- getting 100% making the rules. An your estimate of 50% sounds
waay optimistic to me.

>In the case of markets, each of us, 100%, and at all times, through
EACH
>of our decisions, make the markets, and determines the prices. 
>Markets are the most complete form of democracy ever created

I'm still blinking at the last statement:
"Markets are the most complete form of democracy ever created".
In a market a person's power is determined by the amount of money they
hold, in a democracy it is one person one vote. Is it then your
objective to create a government of "one Rupee one vote"?

> As a basic theorem
>states, "given nice conditions" (and we'll skip that for a moment), the
>price of any commodity is a Social Valuation Vector that captures ALL
>information in the entire society and in the entire world, at each
point
>in time. Hayek's paper on this transmission of information is something
>that every human being should read and understand. 
>

If true this valuation vector must include components for greed,
collusion, and corruption. I don't know if it is meaningful to us but
send me the reference again I'll try to read it.

>Therefore, We am not the government, but We are the market, and
government
>is not Us, be markets are Us.
>Quad erat demonstrandum. 

In [my notion of] an ideal world we would be the government (ie
government would be representative of ALL citizens), and in an ideal
world you concieve we would be the market- everyone excercising equal
influence on it [of course the only
way that could happen is if wealth were be equally distributed]
so I might conclude you are advocating a redistribution of wealth,
(gasp!)

Thus Sanjeev is a neo-Marxist. Q.E.D.  ;-) :^> .

-Charu