General Suggestions by dfsiopmhy6

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									                                 General Suggestions
Introduction
There are lots of people trying to tell you they know how the world should be run and how you should run your life -
usually requiring that you accept whatever they say as an unquestionable truth. I refer to them here as Dominators. If
you are tempted to believe any of them you might get some value from reading these pages.
Many well intentioned Dominators consciously or unconsciously apply techniques which are at the root of many
problems people face. A particular Dominator may have found some problem treatments, but history demonstrates
their effectiveness is limited in scope and duration. Here I provide advice on how to examine what Dominators tell you.
First you should question the oft-repeated claim that current societies are the natural byproduct of natural evolutionary
processes. That I discuss under the heading: The Evolution Myth
Supplementing the evolution myth is the idea arising from the phrase Better the Devil You Know than the Devil You
Don’t Know. Is it really safer to carry on allowing control of society in the way we have seen for the last several
millennia? I disagree with that option, outlining my reasons under the heading: Better the Devil You Know?
I look at other ways of doing things under the heading: What Else?
Under the heading: Some Ground Rules I look at key factors you should take into account when evaluating advice
you receive and the types of social system you will support.
Finally, since I am sure you will be told that my advice is stupid, ill advised or even evil, I suggest how you can make
an objective examination of what I say and what others say. I do that under the heading:Evaluation and Decision
Making

The Evolution Myth
Most people find leave major social decisions to others. It has been argued that this is a natural evolutionary
extension of the pack or tribal or spiritual leaders who controlled early society. We are encouraged to believe that the
Dominators who have ruled for the last several millennia just represent a natural extension of such influences scaled
up as social groups expanded - to the point where huge numbers of people submit to their control.
Scaling up mechanisms which work in a small domain to use in a very large domain has repeatedly been shown to be
unreliable. Operational properties which matter little in small scale application can matter a great deal in larger scale.
That danger is quite evident in many national, racial, religious and cultural communities.
Dominators claim that technical or social progress stems from people with their dynamic decision making ability.
However, many technological or social advances are achieved in spite of Dominators and the advisability of some
trumpeted “advances” is questionable.
Most innovators are driven by solving technical problems and receiving peer approval. Wealth and power are
secondary. They would stop thinking and inventing if there were no Dominators. Tools, philosophy and medical
science are arguably throttled by the dictates of Dominators, whose special contribution is to direct invention to the
ends of warfare and psychological manipulation which are of course necessary for preservation and expansion of their
control.
Modern social organisation is an artificial distortion of natural evolutionary processes, driven for their own ends by
those exerting control. Their stated intentions may be quite noble, but their primary motivation is to gain and retain
control.

Better the Devil You Know?
We are invited to believe that social control by Dominators should not be disturbed because there is a worldwide trend
towards improvement of the lot of humanity. That is questionable.
Dominators have forced people to break community bonds (for example, to find work or accommodation). Family and
community cultural values are under constant threat. The values passed on now are persecution of religious, racial or
cultural minorities, protectionism and deceit and exploitation for personal or commercial gain.
Media advances are used to indoctrinate, and to influence political, religious and commercial choices. The media are
run by despots or hugely rich individuals. The media are primarily a battleground between controlling elites -
governments and their opposition. Where media manipulation threatens to fail, eavesdropping and subversion are
used - often against innocent people who simply fall foul of a petty official’s desire to exercise authority (a petty
Dominator).
Dominators have turned health provision into a battleground over dogma. Much medical research is tax-aided and
supported by public participation in trials, but most advances end up the property of major companies and are
available only to a privileged minority. Advances in agricultural science are going in much the same direction.




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Dominator treatment of transport technology has moved us ever closer to an environmental catastrophe. Control of
energy resources has been the covert reason for numerous armed conflicts around the world. Major powers routinely
destabilise non-cooperative governments in regions possessing resources which they want for their own consumption.
Energy provision, though faced with the looming crises of pollution, global warming and depletion of oil and gas
reserves operates as an oligopoly (domination by a small group). Before the energy crisis became obvious to the
masses research into alternative energy sources was negligible.
Genocide, oppression, ethnic cleansing and exploitation isn’t diminishing and is exacerbated by major powers taking
sides in local conflicts rather than helping reduce the causes. The UN is little more than an arena for arm waving by
politicians. In a crisis, most of its time is devoted to pandering to the interests of major powers. Before serious action
is taken, thousands or even millions are killed or displaced or lose the ability to fend for themselves.
Local despots, covertly aided by manipulative major powers, force mass starvation and migration. Refugees become
an immigration problem and carry their culture with them, a fact guaranteed to cause trouble. Nationalist politicians
exploit this “threat” to the local culture and try to introduce oppressive counter measures.
Things aren’t getting better in the world. What is getting better is the ability of those holding or seeking power (the
Dominators) to manipulate people into accepting the status quo or using violence to change it.

What Else?
Dominators judge change proposals on the impact of the change on the possibility of gaining or losing power. Change
which hold the possibility of exclusion from power would be seen as wrong and to be resisted. Change which
promises access to power will is supported.
If a change opens a previously denied path to power Dominators will go to extreme lengths to implement it. Sabotage
and terrorism are entirely acceptable to some of them, while use more refined tactics, like deception and bribery
(electoral or fiscal). The guiding principle for Dominators to support change it must support their access to power soon
- and “soon” is normally measured in years rather than decades.
The problem for someone trying to introduce change without opposition from Dominators is to find a method with a
significant chance of working, but without threatening the short term exercise of power by the controlling Dominators.
Social change should be gradual. It is equivalent to changing the course of a large vehicle. Rapid changes often fails
and sometimes lead to disaster. Modern politicians and modern “democratic” electoral systems, lead to repeated short
term step changes.
Dominators claim that not implementing their chosen drastic changes now would betray many people suffering now.
These claims have been made for centuries and still there are many people suffering! Many step changes “justified”
using this policy have led to damage and death for as many ordinary people as the change was supposed to save.
If drastic change is needed then its implementation requires a long term plan. Very rarely short term drastic change
may prove necessary - e.g. to halt a medical pandemic - but be guided by the realisation that such changes are
almost invariably disruptive, frequently destructive and sometimes disastrous.
Those who see their access to power or a threat to their culture or way of life in a change often resist it. Successful
change is unlikely if a significant subset of society is threatened by the method of its introduction. The introduction of
changes which might threaten a significant social group should be done in a way which offers members of that group
relief from its impact.

Some Ground Rules
There are a number of things everyone must recognise before we get a social system which operates for the benefit
of anything other than a small minority. They are:
     Ÿ We have intelligence - we are capable of objectivity and of rising above evolutionary features like pack
       behaviour. Natural Dominators don’t necessarily have to be allowed to rule.
     Ÿ Occasionally we all fall short of our ideals in what we say and do. If you want others to tolerate your
       occasional lapses, you should tolerate those of others. Lapses may require redress and correction, but
       violence and hatred, often only provoke retaliation and cover-up -they are a last resort, not the first.
     Ÿ The assertion that “progress” necessarily depends on the decision making prowess of Dominators is a serious
       distortion of historical fact.
     Ÿ The assertion that only the current mechanisms of social control have any capacity for success relies on the
       belief that mechanisms unacceptable to the current Dominators can’t work because they will sabotage them.
     Ÿ Sudden drastic change is frequently damaging. It is usually best to introduce changes slowly, even if there are
       numerous people being damaged by the current state of affairs.
     Ÿ Changes requiring a drastic change of life for some people should offer a feasible route to an alternative way
       of life for those people. Cooperative change is more likely to succeed than coercive change.
     Ÿ Mind is now an established social tool. Everyone needs some understanding of how to spot its use - only then
       can we have a reasonable chance of avoiding undue influence.


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In the later sections of this document I outline suggestions about the way you might spot and react to undue influence
from the advisers you meet, under the following topic headings:
                       Religion      Politics      Culture     Organisations        People      Tools
Most Dominators will assert that what I say here is nonsense or idealistic impracticality. Some may say it is an evil
message. I simply point out that, much of what I suggest has been said previously. So I may be wrong, or others may
have presented similar arguments better that me, but since they seem to have failed I have presented my best effort
and urge you to evaluate for yourself what I suggest, rather that surrendering the decision to Dominators. Use the
evaluation and decision making principles I suggest next.

Evaluation and Decision Making
Listen to advice, but beware of demands for unquestioning obedience. Delegation of responsibility for deciding
between right and wrong is a denial of your responsibilities. For most religions and political creeds the phrase “I was
only obeying orders” is not a valid excuse for doing wrong. You are responsible for your actions and words and
therefore you must make the decisions for yourself.
People are strongly and sincerely committed to a cause try hard to convince you of its virtue - some using dubious
methods. You should attempt to look beyond the method and examine the cause objectively.
Beware of over-interpreting a debating “victory”. Sometimes, when an argument appears to be “won” by an advocate,
the victory is really the result of clever debating tactics. After seeing a debate apparently decided by superior
argument, try later re-examining the arguments for the use of a debating trick. I will give one small example of such a
trick.
If an advocate feels that the argument is not going well , s/he will try to steer the dispute into a side issue which, while
related to the main point doesn’t actually prove or disprove it. S/he will seek a side issue where the rival’s expertise is
inferior. Then, when the rival makes a mistake, the error is cited as proof that the rival has “lost” the argument. In
reality the rival has lost a peripheral argument.
Possession of such “clever” debating skills is why many charismatic politicians seek public face-to-face debates with
their rivals and why non-charismatic politicians try to avoid them. It has nothing to do with rightness and everything to
do with debating tricks.
Never make a permanent decision about a key issue based on a single face to face discussion. Re-examine the
arguments later - particularly any telling point which appeared to show the correctness of the “winning” advocate.
Consider whether that point was really the same issue as what the rival advocates started to debate. If it wasn’t, then
the real issue was not decided. What was decided was a side issue.


Religion
Plenty of people will tell you what to believe. Many problems in the world start with people who are convinced they
know what everyone should believe and are determined to make them believe it.
I can’t escape the constraints of my own beliefs, but I do recognise that my beliefs may be wrong. Also I don’t know
enough about enough religions to be confident that anything I raise here is universally applicable. I simply suggest
ways you might avoid being misled by the misplaced enthusiasm/sincerity of religious advocates.
Signs of enthusiasm and sincerity are displayed by advocates of different religions and, since each religion differs at
least in some ways from its rival, at most one can be wholly right and possibly none is wholly right.
Bigotry is the assumption that those whose beliefs differ from yours are motivated only by personal gain or support for
some evil cause. There may be people whose words and actions are influenced by such selfishness or evil, but most
religious advocates are convinced that their cause is right, or good.
Some sincere religious advocates act in a way they would declare wrong for others. Many of us can convince
ourselves that the ends justify the means or that a little wrong is justified if it prevents a greater wrong. In a very few
cases, what a religious advocate considers a “little wrong” is what many would regard as an atrocity.
I try here to suggest here some ways you may need to take care in assessing a religious advocate’s words and
actions, using the following headings:
                           Written Rules        Rule Interpretation   Organisation       Support
My discussion of these individual features is, of course, coloured by my own beliefs and I make explicit some of my
beliefs under the heading: My Choices.

Written Rules
Many religions have fundamental texts (e.g. the Christian Bible and the Islamic Koran) which lay out their fundamental
features - usually guiding spiritual behaviour and often guiding secular behaviour. They often indicate punishments for
infringements, covering what will happen to miscreants after death (and sometimes while still alive). There are
arguments within and between religions over the status of fundamental texts.



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One debate concerns whether the text is an absolute, unchanging and infallible divine truth or a sincere human (and
therefore fallible) attempt to interpret a revealed truth. The conclusion determines whether questioning the text is
blasphemy or a recognition that the original form may need updating for a later social environment.
Many religions assert that, while their deity is all-powerful and all-seeing, people are granted free will to choose
between good and evil - the choices (and, possibly, genuine repentance for errors) are used by the deity after death of
the individual, to determine his/her eternal fate.
If you accept the idea of free will then you need to consider whether a human claiming to have received a divine
revelation has his/her free will suspended as s/he writes an account of that revelation. If not, then the written account
is necessarily fallible and possibly limited in its meaning for later generations.
You need to consider also that an individual may sincerely interpret a dream or a mental aberration as a divine
revelation and you must ask yourself how you will distinguish such cases from genuine revelations. The fact that the
individual claims, with the appearance of great confidence and sincerity, that s/he has received a divine revelation
doesn’t make the claim correct.
Different religions each have their own claimants to divine revelation or superior intellect. What exactly makes
advocates of the fundamental texts of one religion right and those of another wrong? Each will claim that their choice
is one which is good and the others have chosen evil or are intellectually inferior. If each has free will, then each can
be wrong.
Use something better than a confident advocate as your criterion for making your own choice. Ultimately the choice is
yours. In religions which recognise free will It is you who will be judged on the choice you make. Anyone seeking to
force you to make a particular choice is denying you the right to exercise your free will. You must decide whether you
have free will or not.

Rule Interpretation
Most religions have experts, or scholars, who debate and advise on interpretation of the their fundamental texts.
Usually there are factions which argue about their interpretation. If free will exists, no matter how good or correct the
fundamental text, some people can misinterpret and others can be persuaded to accept a wrong or distorted
interpretation.
Some people convince themselves so strongly of an interpretation of their fundamental texts that they believe it is their
duty to act as their deity’s enforcers - coercing dissenters. You should ask yourself why an all powerful, all seeing
deity needs human assistance in dealing with transgressors - especially if the deity has already promised punishment
after the end of the transgressor’s physical life. Doesn’t a demand for secular punishment during life, by human
agents sound a little like a human Dominator justifying imposition of his/her will?
It is sensible to listen to the advice of others, but recognise their own potential fallibility. If the fundamental texts of a
religion are not susceptible to influence by personal and cultural prejudices, then their subsequent interpretation by
advocates certainly is.
Some religious advocates demand not only the right to practice their own beliefs, but also the right to impose them by
force on others. They seek to make their religious practices an essential part of the local culture and to get contrary
practices treated as illegal or taboo, punishable by law or social oppression.
Why does a deity which grants free will then demand secular intervention to remove it? Are the advocates saying that
free will only exists for a controlling social elite? If they are, do you share that belief and what would be your attitude if
you were to become the target of the controlling social elite of another religion? If you support the right to persecute
or oppress dissent, then you implicitly justify other religions doing the same. You fire the starting gun for holy wars.
When an advocate claims divine inspiration in interpreting the rules of your religion, ask yourself for a convincing
answer to the question: “Is there any reason, other than the advocate’s apparent confidence and sincerity, to believe
that s/he is infallible due to divine inspiration?”. Even apparent miracles can be the result of coincidence or deceit.

Organisation
Most religions find a need for organisation of followers and resources. Then rival political factions appear. To me this
behaviour is suggestive of the following old joke/fable: The devil and a friend were walking when, in the distance they
saw a man find a piece of goodness in the road. He picked it up and ran joyfully to show his friends. The devil’s friend
said “Were you upset to see that?”. The devil replied “Not at all. Tomorrow I will go to them and help them organise
it!”.
Often organisational officials are more absorbed by a struggle for personal control and influence than pursuit of
spiritual truth and justice. They believe that they represent divine inspiration and their rivals must be defeated at all
costs - often by use of deceit, oppression and violence. To them, the ends (establishment of their dominion) justify the
means - and they instruct/incite their followers accordingly. The idea that they might themselves be wrong is
inconceivable to them.
When religious officials make assertions or take actions which extend their personal power or influence or damage
that of rival factions or a rival religion ask yourself whether that is truly a religious action or the action of a Dominator
fighting for power and influence. You should be wary of a claim by a human official to infallibility or supporting the


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infallibility of another human. S/he may be (or have been) sincere, but there is a very good chance that the claim
results from a deep desire to win a battle for secular power or influence.
If you look areas of major military unrest and atrocities against civilian populations you will often find the presence of
underlying organised religious rivalries. These are the product of long term social organisation based on intrigue and
military might. The resulting organisational hierarchies have lead to organised factional rivalries.

Support
After conversion to a religion, pressure is put on some people to donate money, assets or labour to the controlling
organisation or one of its factions. Some religious organisations stockpile assets of huge monetary value, passing no
benefit to followers or the society in which they operate. In the worst cases donated assets are treated as the personal
assets of some individuals in positions of power.
Sometimes there is pressure for extreme sacrifice,. often involving only self sacrifice, but sometimes demanding
martyrdom which simultaneously kills or maims others. Where is the objective check on whether the demand is truly
divinely based rather than based on a very mortal personal hatred or mental aberration.
If you are urged to donate money or assets to a religion’s controlling organisation, check how prior donations have
used. If they have been used primarily to build up a material asset stockpile, what is the real benefit accruing from
them? Is a materialistic stockpile really the signal of an organisation supporting the spiritual well-being of the society in
which it exists? Or does it reflect some mix of covetousness and pursuit of earthly power and influence?
If you face a demand to donate effort, particularly in a form destructive for others, ask yourself about the response to
dissent of those making the demand. If they attack, silence or expel dissenters, what is the practical difference
between them and the people they are asking you to destroy? If you want to destroy a regime which practices
oppression, domination and deprivation, what is the virtue of replacing it with another which does exactly the same?
Be aware that people demanding your money, assets or effort in support of your religion, can be motivated by
personal greed, hatred and lust for power. Even an altruistically or divinely inspired motivation can lead a fallible
human to assume that, because their aims are good, they are justified in choosing any actions or words to achieve
their ends.
Does the deity or creed you believe in really support the idea that the ends justify the means. If you conclude that they
do, remember that you have given an excuse for followers of other religions to come to the same conclusion about
their own actions and words.
I have a strong suspicion that propagation of hatred and collection and retention of material wealth are entirely human
activities, motivated by human fallibility - and chief among these human failings is the desire by the individuals
concerned for secular, rather than divine control.

My Choices
Some religions share a common subset of rules (like the need to avoid murder, theft and deception) but each
separately imposes different additional rules (like on the food you can eat or its preparation). To me this suggests that
when fundamental truths are revealed (divinely or through intellectual analysis) they are interpreted and supplemented
in the context of the cultural and personal preferences of people.
It seems likely that there is a fundamental difference between a rule demanding that we shouldn’t kill and one
specifying what we eat or how we prepare food. For me the latter are “secondary” rules constituting a sincere, but
mistaken imposition of a personal or cultural fetish.
In a universe allowing free will, I question the interpretations of human messengers for any religion. There are
decisions each individual must personally make, rather than having them imposed by self-selecting Dominators.
Many religious texts have been repeatedly changed. This acknowledges that the original text was not perfect for all
people and all time. Since changes were needed it is surely clear that both the original and changed versions are
fallible interpretations of a divinely or intellectually inspired message. Messengers and their products require careful
analysis and choice by each individual.
Religious advocates are fallible and should not be obeyed without question. It is important to question any order
requiring hate or oppression or destruction of people simply because they disagree. Secular constraint and
punishment is a matter for secular (cultural and/or political) officials and should not be confused with religious duty.
An omnipotent deity doesn’t need human intervention to punish transgression. Denying others the use of free will is
denying the right of the deity to grant free will. The role of religious advocates in a religion which acknowledges the
existence of free will is in helping people make the right choices, not denying them the right to choose.
Religious organisation is often compromised by political and organisational influences. Some advocates are more
inspired by political rivalry than divine or intellectual inspiration. Often their primary activities involve accumulation of
wealth, maintaining obedience in followers and coercion of or discrimination against non-believers.
Some advocates appear to believe that control is a necessary precursor to conversion. Religious texts are sometimes
manipulated and distorted by advocates for furtherance of their personal influence and control. In other words they are
Dominators rather than messengers.


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I don’t advocate confrontation of Dominators. Confrontation - particularly revolutionary confrontation - has a history of
simply replacing one set of Dominators with another and, in the process, seriously damaging many innocent citizens
and useful social systems in the process.
I advocate that each individual should recognise his/her responsibility for making decisions and use non-violent, non-
oppressive actions and argument to persuade those around him/her to do the same.
Those in controlling positions will not relinquish control willingly. They are Dominators and need tot control everyone
around them. The best way to diminish their influence is to persuade others to stop acceding to demands for violent or
oppressive action. It is important to educate those who might become future Dominators that violence and oppression
are consequences of human desire for control and have little to do with divine will.
Achieving such change is likely to take decades and acceleration by means of retaliatory violence and oppression
would simply implant a new set of Dominators. Violence is a last resort, necessary only against those who are
themselves in process of taking violent action against others and whose actions can’t be stopped in any other way.


Politics
Most social problems result from personal activities and rivalries - in short, from politics. Here I deal only with a limited
form of politics - interaction among supporters of rival views on on how large groups of people should interact. That
can be examined on two levels: ideology and implementation.
Ideology deals with a definition of what is right of wrong in the secular behaviour of people, individually or in groups.
Implementation deals with the institutions and processes via which a choice is made between governments led by the
supporters of rival ideologies and between ways of supporting or enforcing the currently favoured ideology.
A political ideology is a theory defined as a model of how society should be organised. For many their favoured
ideology assumes a status little short of a religion - they treat the defined model as infallible. I discuss this below
under the heading: Ideology.
Advocates of rival ideologies compete for real-world influence and power. Between them they establish rules for
access to and exercise of power, enabling them to implement their theories. I discuss implementation below under two
headings: System and Debate.
I deal with the supporting social institutions as a separate issue later, under the heading: Tools.
Under each heading I identify features which people are encouraged to accept as unavoidable, but which I believe
should be questioned and I describe below my answers to the relevant questions under the heading: My Choices.

Ideology
Most ideologies allow practical access to control by only a small “trustworthy” minority. This is because many
ideological activists think of themselves as possessing a superior insight or analytic capability compared with “normal”
people. They see themselves as shepherds overseeing a flock, each member of which they cast in one of two roles:
sheep or predator.
Activists treat their ideological model like a religion’s fundamental text and grant themselves the status of enlightened
despots, to be interpreted, but never contradicted. In practice they are often what I refer to here as Dominators.
Most questions I have outlined for religious Written Rules and Rule Interpretation are applicable to the rules,
interpretations and advocates of political ideologies - with one critical difference. The defining and controlling elite for
an ideology are certainly operating as fallible humans. Their ideological models are open to error or misuse.
When an ideological advocate proposes actions which disadvantage, suppress or oppress supporters of a rival
ideology, it is important to consider his/her true motivation. Is it promotion of his/her personal power at the expense of
rivals? Is it unthinking application of dogma? Have the targets of the actions really done anything to merit
punishment? Is the action designed to improve society or to frighten it into submission?
Is the claim “I was only obeying the rules” any more valid in general society than “I was only obeying orders” is to a
society in military conflict. Consider whether a demand for punitive action is based on a rule which is wrong or being
wrongly interpreted - and if it is, do you not have a responsibility to resist its enforcement?
Often distinct ideologies are, for dogmatic reasons, presented as mutually exclusive and one ideological group, on
gaining control, outlaw use of viable methods from rival ideologies. A good example is the 20th century battle between
Communism and Capitalism.
The Soviet Union fought all methods related to Capitalism - and fell. Chinese Communists, pragmatically incorporated
selected Capitalist ideas and survived. Capitalist countries invariably incorporate some social elements of communism
because they are necessary for social stability. Have you ever really seen a controlling ideological elite enforce only
their own ideology and survive?
In determining whether to hand unfettered or barely fettered power to the advocates of a single ideology - even if it is
only for a few years - ask yourself whether they can be trusted to consider all viable methods of operating the mix of
social, racial, religious, cultural groups in your society. Do you really believe that the differences between such groups
can be suppressed by a single dogmatically applied ideology?


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Any ideology which has gained a significant amount of support probably has at least some merits. Ask yourself what
those merits might be. Don’t support disregarding everything an ideology stands for just because a rival ideology
demands it. When an advocate of an ideology tells you that it is incompatible with an entire rival ideology, ask yourself
whether you are listening to a Dominator rather than a political sage.

System
Anarchy implies absence of control, but anarchists have a history of attempting to enforce their preference by violent
means. Isn’t that just imposition of control? And who gains when violence rules? A minority with no regard for anyone
other than themselves or others even more violent. Unless you are one of the strongest, does that really benefit you?
Oligarchy suggests that a minority merit positions of control by virtue of having special insight and leadership.
Historically, oligarchic leaders regularly nominate their successors - usually family members or friends. Which does
this choice resemble: an altruistic wish for good leadership of society or a lust for dynastic power?
Democracy suggests that everyone should have freedom of choice, an equal say in how society is controlled and that
the majority will should prevail. Ask yourself whether either of these principles is ever practically achieved in the
societies you see around the world. I will cite some examples and the questions of democratic legitimacy which arise
from them.
Consider your freedom of choice. How many people really take into account competence ahead of party affiliation in
choosing who to vote for? Why is that? Isn’t it because the electoral system provides a serious chance of exercise of
power only to a few parties favoured by the electoral system?
Consider “democratic” choice. What are the chances of anyone being elected to a government office without joining
one of a few electorally favoured political parties? What are the chances of a new political force arising without the
backing of a significant fraction of the broadcast and press? Without that, what are the chances of a new political force
getting its ideas before the electorate without the backing of hugely rich organisations or individuals? Does all that
really indicate we all have a democratic choice?
Consider the primacy of the majority support. Don’t party leaders talk about the will of the majority only when the the
majority clearly agrees with them? When the majority disagrees with them don’t they start talking about leadership and
do what they want anyway? What regularly happens when a ruling majority group acts against the interests of a
minority group? Isn’t there frequently a violent reaction and tit-for-tat oppression and intimidation?
Consider the use of borders in the claim of majority support. Take Northern Ireland as an example. Isn’t there a
Protestant majority built in? Isn’t there a Catholic majority in Ireland as a whole? Who chose the borders which gave
the Protestant majority in Northern Ireland? (hint: Isn’t there a Protestant majority in England and Scotland?). Is the
“will of the majority” meaningful when politicians just choose borders favourable to getting their preferences majority
support?
Consider the stability with which advocates claim is associated with democracy. How often have you observed a
change of governing party followed by a period of institutional upheaval, while policies of the preceding administration
are reversed and policies of the new administration are promoted? How often have you observed that this is done on
the basis of political dogma, rather than proven operational achievement?
How often have you seen the last year of a party’s electoral term used to throw out electoral bribes and promises
based simply on courting those members of the electorate who don’t vote on the basis of party dogma (floating
voters)? How sure are you that these lurches in administrative policy and cynical electoral bribes are of long term
benefit to the society in which they are used?
How often do you hear political parties argue strongly against coalition government, citing compromise as a barrier to
progress? And by that, don’t they mean a barrier preventing them imposing minority policies? Yet look at the regular
fragmentation of political parties when they lose power or when they gain power with a substantial parliamentary
majority (usually, still a minority of the total public vote).
Have you not observed that the fragmentation is into political “wings” whose only prior reason for collaborating was to
gain access to power? Doesn’t this imply they are always engaged in coalition government? Isn’t the only difference
the fact that their coalitions are hidden from the electorate? Isn’t that an attempt to gain “the will of the majority” by
deceit?

Debate
Politicians encourage their constituents to place great reliance on public debate and public speaking. The media also
thrive on exactly these things, because they provide more dramatic news reports - which sells papers, gains viewers
and listeners and hence gains advertising, which boosts profits.
The question you should address is not whether these types of political exposition are interesting or profitable, but to
what extent do they represent the claimed qualities of competence, sincerity, dynamism and benevolence. I suggest
you consider the way politicians manipulate public speaking and face-to-face debates before you trust such events.
Why do politicians place so much importance on putting charismatic people in leadership roles? Why do they go on
courses aimed at improving their public image? Why do they make use of staged events which either boost their own
image or damage the image of rivals? Why do they set up “think tanks” which feed the media and thence the public
with discussion papers on policy options of whose popularity they are unsure?

                                                            7
Do you really think these measures all help them to analyse the issues better? Does wearing a cosmetic to avoid
sweating help them to think more logically? Does use of trite sound bites really help you or them understand the
detailed practicality of their policies? Does relentlessly attacking the integrity or competence of their rivals with
numerous repetitions of the same, usually unproven, allegations really demonstrate a lack of validity in the policies of
the rivals?
To see these techniques used to their ultimate effect, look more carefully at the media advertisements you see every
day. Isn’t it true that the advertisements minimise mention of features of products which allow you to make an
informed comparison with rival products? Aren’t they aimed primarily at conveying to you a product and corporate
image?
Look at newspaper advertisements - aren’t the primary details necessary for comparison crammed at the bottom of
the advertisement in print you can barely read? Don’t they try to make you think buying the product makes you seem
more sexy or sophisticated or successful? Don’t most large companies trumpet how much they care about their
customers? How often do you hear about customers having huge problems with the help line if things go wrong? How
often is correcting mistakes in billing or in taking credit or debit card charges made hugely difficult?
Look at what you have seen in political debate and public presentation. Isn’t it just like in commercial product selling?
They rarely really lie - they just make very sure to minimise the possibility you will pay attention to the details via which
they can be compared with rivals and maximise the probability that you will feel that their image is the one which they
calculate you are most likely to support. If telling the whole truth helps, then that is a bonus for them, but the bottom
line is getting the image across.
Look at the public promises of politicians. How often did you see or hear an apparent commitment during an election
only to find after the election that the wording was carefully chosen to convey one interpretation, but allow the
politician later to apply another, more convenient to him/her? How often have you seen political manifesto promises
quietly shelved and, when challenged the politicians claim that they didn’t mean the policy would be applied in their
current term of office, or that pressure of legislative business meant that something had to be dropped and this was it?
Political speeches and debates are a very dangerous criteria to use in deciding how to vote in an election, but they are
the things politicians want you to use, because they are the easiest way of getting your support without running the
risk that you might really understand what they intend to do.

My Choices
Ideological models miss aspects of reality. In technical models omissions can have a cumulative effect leading to
instability. There is no evidence that we sufficiently understand our environment to justify unquestioned adherence
any model defined by humans.
The democratic model is currently nearest to a “just” political model, but it was created in a slave state, revived in a
state which supported slavery and refined to people to choose between small elite groups of Dominators.
Modern democratic politicians claim that the will of the majority must prevail, but experience shows neither majority
nor minority groups can be trusted always to treat other groups justly.
In modern democracies the electoral process is limited to granting a minority elite group near dictatorial power for a
period of several years before giving the opportunity for another minority group to take over. This doesn’t stop regular
lurches measures based on conflicting rival ideological models.
The modern democratic process is compromised by the way media control is split - usually between supporters of a
few political elite groups who are strongly influenced by those who control manufacture and distribution of resources -
largely commercial organisations who are in practice barely accountable to the electorate. Electoral selection is more
and more influenced by techniques of mind manipulation in the media and in public speaking driven primarily by
debating tricks.
Apologists for the current malformed system claim that there no practical, morally viable alternative. In fact the current
ruling political elites see no advantage to themselves in searching for an alternative. An alternative requires an
electoral system which allows and encourages use diverse models in setting up and operating social systems. The
overall system should not be set up to lurch periodically between the policies of rival groups of ideological
fundamentalists.
An electoral system must not blindly support “the will of the majority” for three reasons. First, the concept can be
manipulated by selection of where and when to count to get the majority a politician wants. Second, the majority is not
always right. Third, minorities have rights which can’t be over-ridden just because it is a minority.
An electoral system should protect all groups against oppression by other groups. The only criterion for interference
with any group is to prevent its oppression of its own members or the members of another group (and here,
“oppression” includes theft, discrimination, mental coercion and violence).
Substantially more flexible social structures and institutions are needed than are provided by any extant political
system. That will not happen quickly because those currently exercising power will not willingly change in the direction
I suggest. Nevertheless change must be via persuasion - revolutionary change would only replace one political elite
with another.



                                                             8
In the UK abolition of slavery and universal suffrage show that political incumbents can be persuaded to relinquish
unjust controls without a revolution. What is needed is to start influencing the mass of constituents of the politicians of
the need for a more just political system. Future politicians will eventually emerge from that mass of people with an
understanding of the needs and, when there are enough of them in all political parties at that time, the change process
can begin.
As has always been the case, the process will be slow because people don’t relinquish power gladly. Think in
decades, or centuries if necessary. Think of better improvements than I have suggested. But think, and don’t believe
that what currently exists can’t be improved on.


Culture
Religious, political and commercial advocates frequently interfere with cultures. These intrusive alien Dominators
ruthlessly manipulate and exploit cultural rules, their evolution and the possibility of different cultures coexisting. They
try to get acceptance of their dogma as part of any local culture in which they operate. I discuss examples under the
headings:
                                  Taboos and Customs          Changes       Coexistence
I explain my responses to their activities under the heading: My Choices.

Taboos and Customs
Cultural groups evolve customs and taboos. Religious, political and commercial organisations exploit this to promote
their own preferences. A clear example of such exploitation occurs in the area of manipulation of fashion by
commercial organisations.
Fashion cycles between different preferences according to the whims of a few petty Dominators I call the Style Police.
Style Police control change in social “taste”, but are themselves increasingly influenced and exploited by commercial
interests which have their own priorities - typically to match demand to a production strategy or to increase revenue.
Style Police assert control over areas such as clothing, decoration, architecture and literature. Implicitly or explicitly
they make some choices the subject of derision and others the subject of desire or envy. They use social role models,
like sports stars or film stars, who become walking advocates of their preferences.
Style Police team up with or are employed by fashion-oriented commercial organisations whose financial ends they
serve. They align their preferences with the production and distribution plans of those organisations. If you think they
don’t affect you or the society around you, consider this: How often can you easily buy clothes you like, but which
aren’t compliant with the latest fashion dictates of the large fashion houses? And when you can, how often do you
have to pay premium prices for things which are no more expensive to produce than the latest fashions?
Religious and political Dominators also exploit culture to promote their own interests. One of the more obvious
examples is the use of uniforms. Uniforms are used to distinguish “us” from “them” and to instil a mindless acceptance
of almost any behaviour as long as it is associated with “our” uniform. Have you not heard the argument “My country,
right or wrong” to condone malpractice by people on “our” side?
Politicians actively seek to align nationhood and culture. Have you observed how citizens of some nation states are
encouraged to stand to attention with their hands on their hearts when their national anthem is played? Have you
noticed that some states require for new citizens to swear an oath of loyalty to the state or head of state? (my new
country, right or wrong). Isn’t all this coercion of the populace to accept without question the preferences of the
existing ruling Dominators?
When a society dominated by one religion exports religious missionaries to operate in a society dominated by another
religion, if the other society reacts with hostility, have you not noticed that some Dominators in the source society whip
up its people into a campaign of hate against the intolerant treatment of “our culture”? Have you noticed the same
Dominators don’t complain about maltreatment of visitors to their own society who unknowingly infringe their own
religious rules?

Changes
Implicit in the discussion of customs and taboos is the fact that there are two types of cultural change: fashion
variation and longer term heritage drift.
Commerce and the Style Police are the custodians of fashion variation. Both favour cyclic swapping between a few
distinct stylistic preferences. It isn’t in their interest for you to keep wearing the same clothes or reading the same
books or viewing the same programmes until they wear out. They want you to change frequently and without regard to
such trivia as wear and tear.
How often have you or those you know discarded perfectly serviceable clothes simply because of a change in
fashion? How often have you found yourself pressurised to buy the latest team shirt for a club you support. Did you
notice an increase in the rate of change after your team got itself a commercial sponsor? What a coincidence!
Heritage drift is a more complicated thing. There is genuine heritage drift resulting from a gradual change in the
information or technology available to people or to changes in the population statistics (birth rate, immigration and


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emigration rates, sporting preferences, resource consumption, etc.). In many cases this type of change happens so
slowly that there is little resistance to it unless it threatens established customs such as the right to work or to
accommodation or self determination.
However, heritage drift becomes mixed up with the activities of religious and political Dominators. When you hear of
mass movements for or against cultural change you have a significant probability of finding that there is a
corresponding religious or political motivation and that there are political or religious extremists or commercial
interests at the heart of the organisation of the movement.
For example in a dictatorial society facing demands for democratisation, do you really think that the local democratic
movement arose spontaneously? Or was it encouraged by the political regime of an external democracy? And when
such a democratic movement succeeds, is it really a coincidence that commercial organisations from the external
supporting democracies gain the reconstruction contracts to repair the damage that the struggle caused?
Historically, where cultures are dominated by a religion or a political group, major cultural upheaval is aligned with
encouraged and exploited by competing religions (including atheism) or ideologies. Isn’t it true that the French,
Russian and Chinese Revolutions represented regime changes in which ideological or religious groups took
advantage of cultural upheaval? Didn’t heritage drift occur in the years after the revolution, when the new political/ or
religious masters gradually moulded social attitudes by use of terror and exile?

Coexistence
Although there are numerous examples of intolerance and oppression between large cultural groups, there have also
been historical examples of tolerance and coexistence. What leads to intolerance is the onset of competition for
control of resources or followers.
Before soccer became an instrument of financial and international competition rival supporters intermingled, with
anything more than playful banter being a rare occurrence. Then came national and regional competition and the
influence of large financial interests - and what do you see now? Aren’t rival supporters necessarily segregated and
even separately caged? Do you really think that resulted from a spontaneous change of attitude?
 Isn’t there regular evidence of involvement of extremist political activists in organisation of violence at or around
soccer matches? Some religious or political or commercial Dominators thrive on inter-cultural oppression, aggression
and intolerance. They don’t want rival fans to indulge in playful banter. Violent disorder leads to electoral
dissatisfaction and that is their route to electoral power.
How often have you seen a minor misunderstanding exaggerated into the status of a major plot against some culture?
How often have you seen small perceived inequities of treatment exaggerated into the status of nationalistic or
sectarian prejudice by a supposed ruling or intruding “alien” culture?
How often do you see huge commercial organisations forcing through legislation or policies favourable to them by
feeding inter-communal fears across national boundaries over future location of factories or distribution of
manufacturing capacity? Have you ever noticed such activities improving inter-communal and inter-cultural
coexistence?
Isn’t it true that there area mix of ideological and/or religious and/or commercial extremists at the heart of cultural
conflicts like the Balkans or Northern Ireland or the Middle East? Playing the cultural card can stir up mass hysteria
which almost everyone finds hard to resist. Isn’t genocide and sectarian atrocity most often initiated by political or
religious Dominators exaggerating the potential danger from the victims’ culture to the culture of the assailant?
In short, how often have you seen major acts of inter-cultural intolerance and conflict which were not coordinated by
religious or politically motivated Dominators and funded or armed by commercial interests which ultimately profit from
the destruction which violent conflicts cause?
And if you are inclined to think these controlling interests are anything other than cynical in their exploitation of the
cultures they use, how often do you see their leaders actually in the thick of danger as the conflict unfolds? Aren’t they
always much too important for the cause to allow themselves to become anything other than armchair martyrs?

My Choices
There is a great deal of hypocritical indignation applied for infringements of local cultural customs and taboos. In
reality all that is usually required is to distinguish between the concepts of giving and taking offence.
Frequently infringement results from ignorance or insensitivity. Infringement because of ignorance is no justification for
a hostile reaction. A quiet indication of the mistake should be sufficient. Only if the mistake is repeated in spite of
several such warnings is it reasonable to conclude that there is an intent to offend.
When there is an intent to offend, it is still worth considering the social context of the offence. For example, use of
taboo words like “bloody” and “bastard” is often divorced from their literal meaning, being used merely for emphasis.
Calling me a “bloody idiot” is certainly trying to offend me, but not the surrounding society!
On the other hand it is inviting trouble to attempt to change to or ban observance of a taboo or custom supported by a
significant fraction of a culture. Blood-sports like foxhunting or bull-fighting are one example of the conflict such a ban
can cause, but a less emotive example for my purposes would be one one not yet attempted - such as an attempt to
ban the consumption of meat.


                                                            10
Humans are partially carnivorous and meat consumption is deeply embedded into the culture of most human
societies. Many people, as a matter of conscience, oppose the slaughter of animals for human consumption and most
people avoid thinking about animal slaughter. Clearly people find the processes involved unpleasant .
But a ban would have massive social effects - on owners and employees of the slaughter industry, on their customers
(butchers, supermarkets), on consumers who don’t know how to maintain a nutritious, balanced vegetarian diet and
for whom there is no current adequate supply chain for vegetarian products. Even the livestock would not be immune.
There would no longer be any reason for its support in a sheltered farm environment and they would become a
competitor for food. Their survival would be threatened.
Banning widespread cultural activities may sometimes seem morally desirable, but before getting to the stage where a
ban can be applied, its consequences need to be understood and addressed. Providing viable alternatives to all
potential sufferers from a ban may gradually make the change occur without the need for a ban - gradual, constructive
change is usually better than draconian, forced change.
Many other major problems with cultural groups come from religious, political or commercial interference. Often
government of a nation state falls into the hands of religious or ideological or commercial interests which impose rules
favouring their interests.
Some states claim to operate as a culture of a particular religious or political sect when, in reality they contain
members of other political and religious sects. Religions or political creeds have often established dominance by
military conquest and maintain dominance by official or officially whipped up “public” oppression and deprivation
against supporters of an rivals.
This isn’t just a matter of separating secular and religious government. The practices of political sects are often
indistinguishable from those of religious sects. Try telling people in the US that Capitalism hasn’t worked and that
more state regulation should be used to control it. Remember the treatment of Communists in the US, right up to the
time the Soviet empire dismantled itself.
You can certainly think of a religious or political sect as constituting a culture, but all societies are really multi-cultural
and it is irrational to demand that one cultural groups should gain ascendancy over all the others.
I t is quite possible for a number of cultures to share rules - such as prevention of physical or mental coercion. - Such
traditions can become the basis of common laws,, but primarily members of a culture should concern themselves
observance by its members of their rules, rather than imposition of their rules on members of other cultures.
Important long term social goals should be widespread acceptance that dominance by a single cultural group is
socially unhealthy and general rules (laws) banning any given group from inciting followers to enforce the will of that
group. To achieve that without conflict requires persuasion over many years. Achieving it by short term revolution will
merely lead to a later counter revolution - and the cycle of persecution and damage will continue.


Organisations
The popular organisational myths of Capitalism and Communism mostly have a rational basis which is incorrectly
extrapolated from small cases to application to large organisational hierarchies and markets. Here, I identify questions
you should ask yourself about these myths before accepting their validity. For that purpose I use the following
headings: Ownership and Control Commercial Rules The Market
Of course, the choice of the questions I pose under each of these heading implies my own preferences, which I make
explicit under the heading: My Choices.

Ownership and Control
State owned organisations are theoretically owned by their electorate, but what practical influence do you think you
have over the control of such industries where you live? Aren’t the nominal controllers actually people either imposed
(in a dictatorship) or elected via a voting system? Aren’t democratic voting systems based on a supposed mandate
for general range of policies rather than the capability of candidates? Even when there is a primary system as in the
USA, who really chooses the candidates in the primaries?
Once an election is decided, who chooses the inner caucus who take supervisory responsibility over state owned
industries? How often have the supervising politicians proved unable to control their departments? Isn’t assessment of
requirements, issuing of tenders and assessment of bids for government contracts done by civil servants? Isn’t
progress, conformance monitoring and reporting left to these same civil servants? Aren’t most civil service systems
often stifling, unresponsive, barely accountable bureaucracies?
Privately owned companies are nominally owned by their shareholders, but in practice, large companies are controlled
by a combination of a board of directors and institutional shareholders. Institutional shareholders theoretically operate
as the agents of numerous individual shareholders. A key question is, how often can an individual shareholder really
influence company policies or performance?
Aren’t individual shareholder preferences swamped by the influence of institutional investors? Don’t they just use their
customers’ shares as a block vote in favour of their own preferences? Isn’t the majority of decision making done by
the company board, occasionally negotiating with institutional shareholders?


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Large companies often “own” subsidiary companies which operate autonomously as long as they contribute profits to
the parent company. Subsidiaries are nominally under supervision by the board of the parent company, but, for many
purposes they are are out of control, with individuals and groups fighting for their own selfish ends.
How often have you heard of large organisations been brought down or at least severely damaged by the
(theoretically) unauthorised activities of rogue employees? Do you really think the situation could have arisen without
becoming evident to at least some internal supervisor or auditor? Isn’t it much more likely that there was complicity as
long as the rogue activities could be massaged to look profitable? So who do you think is in control? Certainly not the
shareholders.
Capitalist ideologues like to argue that there is a continuum from very small companies through to large multinational
companies all operating in a competitive, but fair environment. They point out the very occasional rise of a start-up
company to the status of a major multinational player as proof of the fact, but that neglects the reality of the vast
majority of Capitalist competition.
How often have you seen small, efficient companies bought up by their major competitors to eliminate competition? If
they can’t buy the efficient competitors, how often have you seen large companies use temporary predatory pricing to
push their small rivals into insolvency? How often have you seen them buying or applying commercial pressure to the
suppliers of smaller rivals to ensure that the efficient companies are starved of essential resources?
Isn’t there a gradual drift in Capitalist societies to control of each major business sector by a very small number of
multinational companies which regularly indulge in anti competitive practices like price fixing? Don’t the multinationals
manipulate the remaining small companies to make them take most of the entrepreneurial risk and gain minuscule
rewards except when the multinationals make a major misjudgement of the market? And isn’t it just those occasional
miscalculations which account for the occasional small-to-large company success story?

Commercial Rules
A balance between supply and demand is supposed to set the price level for goods and services in a free market.
Where competition is genuine and customers are not subjected to monopolistic practices and mind manipulation this
might happen, but the real situation includes those extra features.
Why does the retail price of fuel go up as soon as the wholesale price rises, but come down much more slowly when
the wholesale price falls? Why is supply curtailed and the price inflated for new technology products, until the very rich
have bought all they want, after which supply and price change so that less wealthy people can obtain them? For
things like water, energy and housing, with technology available to enable satisfaction of demand, why are shortages
maintained?
Why has the rate of change of fashions increased since the growth of large companies controlling retail outlets? Why
does it quickly become nearly impossible or very expensive to buy old styles in retail outlets? Do you really believe
that the entire community spontaneously changes its preferences to align with the latest fashions? Isn’t it in the
interests of both commerce and the media to pressurise people to conform - and thence throw out the old and buy the
new?
In a free market price drops are supposed to occur for larger orders due to economies of scale. In many small scale
production environments that supposition is valid. But when production or transport or processing volume becomes
high enough, doesn’t the marginal cost reduction due to additional volume become negligible?
Isn’t the real situation that large intermediary organisations carve up access to producers so that the producers make
minimal profits, the end-customers pay inflated prices and the intermediaries make a fortune? Don’t the few large
intermediary organisations frequently act as a cartel, keeping their prices different enough to avoid regulatory action?
Many senior figures in commerce talk about the need for a “Christian Work Ethic”, which suggests that people should
regard it as their duty to labour as long and as efficiently as necessary to promote progress and profit. Had it been a
duty, don’t you think someone would have spotted it in the centuries preceding the industrial revolution? When
someone asks you to work as much as possible for as little reward as possible and to do so in timescale that it is
highly likely to damage your physical and/or mental health, don’t you think that represents exploitation rather than a
work ethic?
A regular claim by senior figures in commerce is that state regulation of commerce is damaging, inefficient and
throttles progress. Since bureaucracies introduce steadily increased amounts of form-filling and procedures simply to
demonstrate their power, minimisation of bureaucracy is clearly sensible.
But how often in the past have people been damaged or killed by being coerced into working in a dangerous
environment? How often have individuals been maltreated or discriminated against simply by a vindictive or
prejudiced manager or owner? How often have customers, workers, taxation authorities and even the shareholders of
a business lost money or goods due to carefully hidden internal fraud?
How often has avoidance of regulation been used to cover up malpractice and fraud? How often have companies
chosen their own “tame” external auditors to sign off activities as valid, when in reality malpractice or poor
performance are hidden from both shareholders and the law?
Doesn’t the conclusion have be drawn that self-regulation or self-chosen external regulation is a danger to the safety
and financial security of people internal and external to any organisation? Isn’t the point about regulation that the state
should have a duty to impose efficient and independent (of the state and of the regulated company) auditors of

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company behaviour and practices? And shouldn’t the regulator organisations themselves be independently regulated
to ensure they perform efficiently and lawfully?

The Market
There are a number of market places in a social system which incorporates Capitalist principles - like markets in
stocks and shares, commodities, inventions/innovation and labour. I suggest here that each of these is seriously
distorted from the Capitalist idea of a free market - and that it is not just state intervention which causes the distortion.
For the market in stocks and shares, who actually controls most Stock Exchange trading? Rather than individual
shareholders, isn’t it really boards of directors and institutional investors? Isn’t it their decisions which primarily
influence the day-to-day movements in share prices?
Is Stock Market “short selling” based wholly on clever prediction of future share prices? Or do private interests (like
hedge funds) manipulate share prices (e.g. via rumours of company difficulties) for their own short selling gains?
Manipulation of individual investors’ profits can be made from share trading based on use of “insider information” not
available to the general market. There are checks, but from the regularity of offences reported, can you feel confident
that most, or the most serious are caught?
Major organisations are regularly subject to take-over or break-up activities which affect share prices, but who
instigates these activities? Boards of directors, institutional investors and finance houses lending for that specific
purpose. Doesn’t that really mean that the market in stocks and shares is free? Aren’t share prices manipulated by
these alliances to persuade investors to accept their plans for personal enrichment or accumulation of power?
For the market in commodities - like food, water, fuel and raw materials - have you noticed how a very small number
of companies and countries have control of the supply and distribution? Do retail costs go down as quickly after a drop
wholesale prices as they go up after a rise in wholesale prices?
When you are faced with declining infrastructure in water and energy supply, failure to deal promptly with leakages,
breakdowns and corruption and regular above-inflation price increases by suppliers who are answerable at most to an
ineffective regulator, can you really believe that this combination is simply the result of free market trading conditions?
Have you observed that in many cases the companies prospecting, extracting and supplying and those distributing for
retail or manufacturing end-users are subsidiaries of the same parent organisation? When end-customers demand
price reduction after a drop in the wholesale price, have you noticed the distributor arm declaring that they make a
loss or very low profit on distribution? Isn’t it convenient that the other side of the parent organisation is where the
profits are declared?
Given these observations, is there really a free market in commodities? Or are we observing a combination of insider
trading, cartels, artificial organisational divisions and regulatory weakness leading to a rigged market?
The generation and exploitation of inventions and ideas is another form of market. Laws on patents, copyright and
intellectual property rights aim at ensuring that an inventor or designer gains a suitable reward for innovation before
facing predatory copying and pricing practices by rivals who didn’t perform the research.
But, for the most commercially valuable innovations, where do these legal protections actually end up? Isn’t it in the
hands of large multinational organisations? Don’t the “owning” multinationals use these rights to stifle innovation by
rivals? Doesn’t that lead to a distinct possibility of monopoly and curtailment of further innovation? How often has the
true originator of an innovation got financial backing which shortly led to legal protections and exploitation rights
passing to the financiers within a few years?
There is also a market in labour, but that labour is compromised in almost every country by legal restrictions. How
often are laws passed to enable government or commercial organisations to limit the pay of the general labour force
(as opposed to the senior managers)? How often have attempts at withdrawal of labour been hampered by
introduction of new laws or convoluted interpretation of old laws?
How often have you seen collaboration allowed among commercial organisations to limit the bargaining power of their
shared workforce, but collaboration by the workforce across organisational boundaries prohibited by law? How often
are threats by the workforce treated as illegal, while threats by the employers are ignored by the law?
How often have you seen trades unions forcing their members to act in unison, with dissenters being excluded from
the union, socially ostracised and exclude from the workplace? How often have you seen both trades unions and large
commercial alliances trying to force governments to enact laws which limit the freedom of the other side to use their
bargaining strengths?
In state owned institutions, how often have you seen a total lack of constructive initiative because staff are not
effectively rewarded for suggesting efficiency or cost saving measures? In commercial enterprises, how often are
inventive staff denied a share in the products of their inventiveness, and rewarded instead with a more important job
title and a small rise in pay?
Does all that add up to a free market in labour? Do any of the above markets really exist in the context of a free
market? Isn’t the much vaunted Free Market Capitalism a non existent entity? And are unresponsive, initiative-free
state owned institutions really the improvement that Socialists and Communists claim?



                                                             13
My Choices
Control of large organisation never resides with the nominal owners. It is exercised by small groups who share a belief
that it is their duty/destiny to control. Their rivals are fiercely denounced as wrong (or evil). The nominal owners can
theoretically replace those exercising control, but the exercise of that power is actually controlled by a privileged few.
Large organisations tend towards bureaucracy, allowing anonymous individuals to obstruct and inflict organisational
and personal damage, hidden from all but the people they directly damage.
There is an Organisational Drift, in which distinct organisations combine and later split apart. Major organisational
changes usually result from the activities of rival groups fighting for control. Since these groups are led by Dominators
who view others as fodder in their battle for control, it is common for major change to result in social damage.
There are few free markets. Actual markets are subject to protectionism, insider trading, supply and demand
manipulation and periodic instability. Economies of scale reach a saturation level after which the concept is used as
an excuse for bullying small suppliers and damaging competitors.
The market is subject to mind manipulation and organisational sleight of hand. People are manipulated by
psychological tricks into following manufacturer preferences and notionally distinct supply and distribution companies
are combined under an umbrella organisation which makes them look separate, but makes them operate a
coordinated pricing policy which fleeces the customer.
The labour market is manipulated by large organisations which can blackmail even the largest nation states into
legislating and interpreting laws in a way favourable to them. Real wealth is distributed in a manner favourable to the
people who control the largest corporations, at the expense of the interests of poorer nation states and poorer people.
Supply and demand doesn’t deliver needed products in a timely manner. It is manipulated to maximise consumption,
promote early disposal of still-serviceable products so that more supplier boxes can be shifted. Rampant consumption
is encouraged in the name of progress and depletes non-renewable resources sooner than necessary, increasing
environmentally damaging waste disposal and encouraging terrorism based on envy or protection of the environment.
The need for change is clear. Some Dominators strive for revolutionary change but they just want to gain control.
Supporting them just replaces one unaccountable group with another. Revolutionary change historically leads to a
hugely destructive short term and, occasionally, a very slow improvement in the long term.
Change requires considered, gradual reconstruction. There is a need to re-think the nature and legal status of
ownership - both for political and commercial systems - so that the managers of organisations are truly accountable to
their owners rather than to no one or to a small number of self-interested institutional investors.
There is a need to look at how regulation can be legally and independently enforced without the need for hugely
expanded bureaucracy. There is a need to make the regulatory bureaucracy accountable, curbing their tendency to
exercise power just because they have it.
There is a need to look at new ways of distributing rights between organisations and their workforce, so that
negotiation is not primarily based on threats and exploitation. There is a need to look for new ways of rewarding
inventive individuals in a manner which can’t be taken over by their employers or by financial institutions and used to
manipulate the market place and stifle competition.
There is a need to look at new ways of finding a balance between the environment and resource location, extraction,
distribution and consumption - and in this context the environment includes people and other life forms as well as the
climate.


People
Here I illustrate how you might spot recurrent damaging personal behaviours and perhaps deal with them before they
reach socially dangerous proportions. These behaviours don’t just arise in other people - they arise in you and me. I
am not asking you to look just at how others behave and I am not suggesting you will always succeed in coping with
the behaviours I discuss. I am trying to suggest a framework for approaching some common damaging situations in a
socially constructive way. The behaviours I address are:
             Over-Impatience       Over-Commitment         Vindictiveness     Herding      Dual Standards
The suggested questions are, of course, indicative of my own preferences, which I try to make explicit under the
heading: My Choices.

Over-Impatience
You see injustice or deprivation and you believe you can see a way of removing it but you are blocked. You become a
campaigner and gain a following, but you are still blocked. How do you feel about that? Impatient, of course. What do
you do about it? That is a question faced by religious, political and commercial campaigners as well as campaigners
for things like animal rights and the environment.
Some campaigners are Dominators - people who are are habitually impatient. They convince themselves that they are
right, contrary views are wrong and that it is imperative that they should get their way. If they gain a share of



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leadership (which is quite likely), they will demand immediate action in support of their cause - first peaceful, but if that
fails, then forceful. It easily escalates to where little things like law, justice, compassion and reason are secondary.
The primary question is: Do the ends justify the means? I can tell you the Dominator’s answer: “The issue is far too
important to be constrained by academic matters like law. Justice and compassion are due to those currently
suffering because our measures aren’t implemented”.
Can you be sure that going along with their demands won’t lead to as much damage as would occur if there were a
slower rate of change? If you obey them, are you sure the only difference in outcome is to what or to whom the
damage is done?

Over-Commitment
A characteristic of Dominators is a total belief in their superior competence compared with their rivals. This often
means they become totally convinced of their correctness - and that in turn leads to a huge commitment towards
getting their will implemented. Very often Dominators are also charismatic and they can persuade followers to believe
unquestioningly in them, in their cause and in the methods they advocate in achieving their goals.
When you get such a situation a frequent result is a near-manic leader with a correspondingly manic following, who
will go to extremes in order to gain the control which allows them to implement the Dominator’s goals. When you
support such a campaign, how can you be sure that your actions don’t represent an over-commitment compared with
what is really needed?
For example, is it really right to detonate a bomb which indiscriminately kills members rivals and innocents
indiscriminately? Do children count as targets just by virtue of their parents? How much influence do you think they
exerted on the parents’ actions? If it is in the name of a deity, why was that deity unable to act except through you?
Isn’t it just the choice of an over-committed human Dominator usurping the power of deity?
If you support one campaign which commits to extreme action, but not others, what is the logical or moral difference
between yours and the others? Aren’t you supporting the principle that any committed group has the moral authority to
terrorise or kill opponents? Do you really believe that only the morally right terrorists will triumph, leaving only good of
survivors? If you do, hard luck if you are targeted by another group - they think they are the morally right ones!

Vindictiveness
People who feel a strong sense of their own rightness and a corresponding strong sense that those around them
should follow their advice (orders) are often highly frustrated when they can’t achieve that goal. For Dominators, that
frustration is often turned into vindictiveness. They convince themselves that anyone who opposes, or even just fails
to comply with their instructions, is acting with a malicious or evil motive. Then the “clear” course of action is to inflict
punishment.
If your movement’s leader can’t get others to understand and support his/her preferred course of action, isn’t it quite
possible that s/he simply doesn’t have a sufficient grasp of the problems to see them all? And if that is so, isn’t it just
possible that s/he has simply come to wrong conclusions?
Isn’t it possible that there are multiple possible valid courses of action, of which the advocate’s is just one? Isn’t it
possible that opponents are genuine in their advocacy of an alternative policy? Isn’t it possible that people who don’t
support any of the rivals are simply unconvinced by the arguments rather than culpably obtuse?
If it isn’t absolutely clearly see that a Dominator is not making one of these errors, is it really morally justifiable for you
to comply with a demand for punishment of rivals and neutrals alike?
To put this possibility into perspective how often have you seen power struggles among people in the organisational
hierarchy? How often did at least one of the contenders heap contempt and vilification on their rivals? How often did
they try to damage people who seemed to favour one of their rivals? How often were people who attempted to appeal
to objective judgement treated as idiots or subversives?

Herding
Have you ever looked at a nature documentary which shows large herds of animals (buffalo, wildebeest, antelopes)?
Did you notice how they indulge in mass behaviours? They migrate together, they cross rivers together, they graze
together, they turn and run together. In the middle of all that there are individual animals, doing things individually, but
they periodically act as a group.
Do you think that just applies to them? Have you ever watched a crowd at a major sporting event? Seen a Mexican
wave? Seen them all jump up at the end of a race? Seen one group cheer, while another groans collectively when
one side scores? Seen fans converge on places serving alcohol and raucously confronting anyone who isn’t one of
their co-supporters? Seen opposing groups hurling obscenities and offensive gestures at one another? Seen two
groups triggered into conflict in spite of police and stewards? Seen the conflict move from the stadium into the streets
around?
Do you think you don’t get involved in such groups? do you remember the last military confrontation or trade dispute
between your country and another? Whose side did you take? Which side was so obviously wrong? Did you cheer
when your country appeared to win? Or did you resent when the opposed country appeared to win? What a
coincidence if you generally supported your country. Is your country always right then? Fancy that!

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Do you think such herd behaviours can’t lead to “real” social damage? Look at the history of the First World War.
Weren’t the citizens of many of the countries involved herded into a conflict they neither wanted nor understood?
Wasn’t the press on each side used to create hatred for atrocities attributed to the opposing countries? Weren’t
people persuaded, against all natural survival instincts to persist in suicidal assaults on nearly impregnable enemy
positions? Weren’t women (in Britain at least) used to shame those who wanted none of the war to join up or face
social humiliation by things like the presentation of white feathers?
Dominators love to incite herd behaviour. It gets their will imposed without having to go through the tedious process of
argument and possibly being shown up. Is acceding to incited herd behaviour always justified? Is it ever justified to
join in a witch hunt just because all around you are doing the same thing? Isn’t rational judgement more likely to lead
to justice than joining in with incited herd behaviour?

Dual Standards
Have you ever seen parents rebuke their children for something (e.g. swearing, telling lies) which they do
themselves? Have you ever seen someone rant at a motorist for doing something they often do themselves? You of
course don’t do such things, do you? And you won’t in future, will you? Welcome to the world of dual standards.
Its one of the things which makes humanity the gracious and laudable species that it is. If a dog doesn’t like you, it lets
you know. It doesn’t pretend to be friendly and then, when you aren’t looking try persuade your acquaintances that
you have mistreated it or stolen from it or deprived it of some essential just for the fun of it. Your human
acquaintances however will certainly have included people who are quite capable of such behaviour.
How often have you heard of politicians who roundly condemn some miscreant or one of their rivals for immoral or
corrupt behaviour,- or perhaps just loudly called support for one of their colleagues who makes such a condemnation -
and then is found later to have behaved immorally or corruptly? How often have “undisclosed sources” or “someone
close to the candidate” been cited in an election to smear a rival, so that the candidate can reap the benefits without
having to accept the blame for unethical behaviour?
How often have you read of religious officials from a religion which preaches peace and love of neighbour inciting
violence or at least hatred against opponents? How often have you heard of religious officials being found guilty of
something like child abuse and found that, not only were their superiors aware of the fact, but they covered it up and
moved the guilty party to another location where they could repeat the offence?
When the next political or religious scandal breaks and someone attempts to tell you it is a sign of the corruption of
this party or that religion, and that some other party or religion is free of such behaviour, look back at history. You
won’t have to look far. How many political parties or religions are not clearly guilty of repeated application of dual
standards?
To borrow an idea from Christianity, ask yourself are you really justified in throwing the first stone (or the one hundred
and first for that matter) at a miscreant? Isn’t it really better just to contain the damage done by a miscreant and try to
find a way of limiting anyone’s chances of repeating the offence?

My Choices
An unfortunate truth about many quick witted people is that they become become over-confident in their ability to
deduce the correct course to take on every problem. The consequence of that is that they become committed
advocates and are impatient with people who don’t accept their advice. When a quick witted person also has the
Dominator trait - and the two frequently go together - then the result is over-impatience, over-commitment and
vindictiveness towards anyone who doesn’t support them.
Dominators inspire their followers to those same faults. The consequence is oppressive, destructive action against
opponents. At the root is the Dominator’s certainty that s/he is right. The Dominator assumes, and persuades
followers, that their ends justify the means.
Both sides in most modern wars have used this justification - but very often the emergent ends of these wars have
been political and/or commercial domination and/or control of critical resources by the leading political and commercial
figures on the winning side. What a coincidence!
Quick witted people need to recognise that being right 99% of the time is not the same as always being right. If they
truly understand the problem, they should be able to explain the need for their solution to any other intelligent person -
and being slow witted is not the same as being unintelligent.
Any significant change to a social system will damage some people, even if it helps more people in the long run.
Acting destructively or oppressively against their opposition is likely to trigger destructive and oppressive responses.
Change, even urgently needed change, is usually best implemented in a measured way so as to minimise the
damage to those adversely affected by it. This is a lesson best taught to everyone prior to their getting a chance to
exercise control over major social systems.
Much of educational research appears to be aimed primarily at issues like reading and writing, arts and science, home
and social economics. Psychology, political and personal interactions are taught late, to a minority of people entering
higher education. That is too late and reaches too few people. By then the majority have learned to accept as
inevitable the undue influence of political or religious factions controlled primarily by quick witted Dominators.



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Domination and submission are inherited tendencies but they aren’t tendencies which naturally lead to oppression and
atrocity. It is human society which has added these features to social organisation. It seems to me unlikely that a
Dominator can be taught not to seek to dominate, but it should be possible to use early learning to everyone how they
might be manipulated by obsessive Dominators and how they might try passively to avoid joining a herd in reacting to
such manipulation.
The critical question is whether the Dominators in current nation states would stand passively watching passive
resistance techniques taught as part of a formal education system. Experience in the UK suggests that they will not.
Things like the abolition of slavery and universal suffrage were resisted by those holding power.
What won the cause in these cases was a spread of the ideas by individuals to their peers and their children, together
with gradually more overt action. The presumption that “natural evolution” requires that human society is always led by
Dominators may be true, but the idea that change only occurs at the hands of Dominators is manifestly untrue.
The best thing an individual can do is persuade peers and descendants to realise that, while Dominators have a role
in encouraging efficient progress, the actual nature of the progress made is not a matter to be left to them. Learn as
much as you can about domination techniques and methods for limiting their influence on individuals and groups - and
then work to make them as widely known as possible.
The route to success is well established. If you convince just two people, and each of them convinces two people, and
so on, then if the arguments are valid and humanity is, as most of us like to think, a sapient species, the change will
gradually take hold. Recent models of slowly evolving, ultimately successful campaigns to change social behaviour
are the change in public attitudes to drinking and driving and to environmental protection.
Notice that the law and legislators jump onto the bandwagon after a ground-swell of opinion change occurs in the
general public and in the officers of the social bureaucracy each nation state sets up to facilitate social organisation.


Tools
Here I deal with social tools, since it is those which are rarely fit for their purpose. Much of what I discuss here is
based on observation of my country of birth. I have observed examples in other countries, which suggest that what I
discuss is not unique to the UK. I discuss social tools under the following headings:
                                 Bureaucracies       Enforcers     Professions      Utilities
I suggest here questions you should ask about these areas in relation to the provision of a peaceful, just social
system. The questions reflect my preferences, but I I make my preferences explicit under the heading: My Choices.

Bureaucracies
Large organisations develop a bureaucracy to organise and coordinate their activities. The bureaucracy must satisfy a
duty both internally to the owning organisation and externally to the wider society in which they operate. The basic
question to ask of a bureaucracy is thus: Does it fulfil both its organisational and public duties?
How often have you heard “a spokesperson” for a large organisation, when asked about some accusation of
malpractice say “We don’t discuss individual cases”? When the malpractice accusation has become the subject of
litigation, doesn’t s/he say something like “We can’t comment because it is the subject of an on-going legal process”?
Aren’t these excuses regularly used to dodge accountability for malpractice?
Organisations like the UN, the EEC and NATO have bureaucracies which are practically immune to independent
scrutiny. Don’t you regularly hear of rumours and leaks suggesting malpractice and deceit? Who investigates each
case? Isn’t it almost invariably the organisation itself? And when it isn’t the organisation, isn’t it politicians tasked with
controlling the organisation?
Can you really trust a politician whose income and political future rests on keeping ordinary people convinced that
things are generally under control? How often are politicians who are openly opposed to an organisation allowed to
investigate its operations? And if they are allowed, can they be believed if they claim to have found organisational
failure?
The problem revolves around the extent to which we can trust politicians. I believe that the large majority of politicians
enter politics with honourable intentions, but what they refer to as “the game of politics” is a corrupting environment.
If you don’t believe me, answer these questions: Do you trust the pronouncements of the leaders of political parties
you oppose? Do their supporters trust the pronouncements of the party you support? How often do the politicians of
one party accuse members of rival parties of deceit and distortion?
If you think the answer is independent auditing, ask: How do the independent auditors get chosen? How is the
objectivity of their investigations and recommendations checked? Who will be responsible for choice of the
recommendations to implement? Who will be responsible for implementation? Who will check the implementation is
correct?
Another problem is that of getting at evidence of malpractice. I have participated in audits of large projects and I am
sure that many project failures can be quite effectively hidden by managers and cooperative workers who wish to hide
their culpability, individually or as an organisation.


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Some suggest the most effective counter to such practices is “whistle-blowing”. Enabling- people within the
organisation to notify someone beyond the clique who try to hide it. But there are twin excuses for limiting whistle-
blowers’ rights: state security and commercial confidentiality.
How often have you heard of whistle-blowers being prosecuted (for example, under the UK Official Secrets Act)? How
often have you heard of whistle-blowers being punished after the event (for example for breach of contract of
employment or failure to follow company procedures)?
Determined insiders, covering their trails and threatening whistle-blowers, frequently make proof of culpability for
malpractice nearly impossible.

Enforcers
The two principal types of enforcement tool in social systems are police (including tax investigation and border
controls as well as the more widely encountered internal controllers) and armed forces. In social systems which value
freedom they each pose very complex problems in determining the scope of the powers needed compared with the
scope it is safe to grant.
The question individuals really need to consider is: What is the level of power to grant which best balances
preservation of the welfare of the individual against preservation of the welfare of the society I live in? A related
question is: If self interest is the determining criterion in determining the balance, what if the people who gain control
have self interests which discriminate against me? Should the balance really be established by whichever minority
group managed to grab power?
Around the world, isn’t the imposition on whole societies of the will of a single self-interested group a source of social
division and, in many cases, violent unrest? Ask yourself: What is wrong with recognising the interests of all non-
violent, non-oppressive groups when framing laws and assembling enforcement authorities like the police and armed
forces?
There is some special questions in relation to armed forces. Should a state’s armed forces ever attack against another
state before it has committed act of aggression? A supplementary issue is, what if the other state can be shown to be
planning future aggression?
Then, who judges there is valid proof of a plan to commit a future act of aggression? That begs the question, what is it
valid to consider as a planned act of aggression? For example is a study into the possible result of overt or direct
distribution of deadly biological or chemical agents such a plan?
What about infiltration by agents as part of a forces migration? Is cultural migration and use of differential birth rates
between new and incumbent groups an act of aggression? What about forced economic migration? Is a state which
oppresses and/or deprives a large minority of its population, forcing them to adopt the status of refugee committing an
act of aggression against a state to which the refugees flee.
Have not the major military power of the world used their power for centuries to exploit less powerful states, removing
their cultural artefacts and natural resources under the thinly veiled threat of military action if resisted? In the modern
world, aren’t most of the politically and economically unstable states the product of such previous exploitation? When
their citizens seek to move to more stable, wealthy states, is that really wrong or an act of aggression?
Is you think such exploited people have no right of redress, at least by migration, and that their current situation is a
product of their own, or their ancestors’ failure to implement a workable political and economic system, ask yourself:
How much did your individual ancestors really affect the political and economic systems under which you now live?
Weren’t most of them just bystanders, suffering under the yolk of manic Dominators and their minority supporters?

Professions
The term “professional” is used casually to describe anyone taking money for performing a task, but there is a more
specialised use of the word, to describe a few types of occupation which demand qualifications, self-regulation, a code
of practice and a defined complaints procedure. The best known of these are medicine, law and accountancy.
Practitioners of formal professions largely aim at providing an honest and just service, but for a profession the
effectiveness of the system needs to be monitored. Does its self regulation work? Or, more realistically: How
frequently does self-regulation fail?
If self regulation fails more often than society feels is acceptable, then the next question is: Are there systemic
weaknesses which could be dealt with by revised procedures and codes of practice? Or is some new factor needed to
achieve the consistency of quality required?
When considering whether there are too many failures in the professions, look for regular reports of failure which have
been found to have been long-running and with detectable clues to their existence. Look also for failures which have
been detected and dealt with, only for the culprit to be found performing the same type of malpractice fairly soon
afterwards, but in another place.
How often have you heard about medical practitioners who have been incompetent, negligent or even murderous
being allowed to continue in practice for years despite the availability to fellow professionals of evidence which
showed the existence of at least a suspicion? How often do you hear of financial or legal professionals being allowed



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to defraud clients or handle their affairs negligently and either carry on practicing or being debarred for only a short
time?
How often do you hear about medical, financial or legal professionals being debarred permanently, only to pop up
somewhere else and resume practice because the new employers didn’t check properly or, when they checked, the
old employers didn’t reveal the full facts?
When cases like these repeatedly occur they are suggestive of some kind of systemic failure in the process of self
regulation. The questions you need to ask are: How independent is the process by which operations are audited?
How independent are those appointed to investigate specific instances of malpractice? What powers are granted to
auditors and investigators to gain access to information? Are there any significant penalties for obstruction or
misdirection of audits or enquiries? How widely will the results of audits and enquiries be published? How will
implementation of the recommendations of audits and enquiries be monitored?
The formal professions are, in principle, a model of responsible, ethical behaviour and where they fail in practice it is a
matter of regret. Most professionals try hard to achieve the standards of their profession, but the final questions I
would ask are: Is it becoming easier to get professionals to cooperate with investigations of complaint against their
colleagues? Are professionals any more conscious now of the need to monitor their colleagues and to accept
monitoring of themselves by their colleagues? Is there a need for greater use of independent (of the profession)
assessors in the examining complaints?

Utilities
The Earth has a capacity to supply the basic essentials for life - namely food and water. It has an additional capacity
to support an industrial society - namely fuel and other raw materials. Humanity has invented another “essential” for
commercial industrial life - namely money. We spend a great deal of social activity on ensuring that each of these is in
short supply for many people.
Ownership of fuel and raw materials is largely allocated on the basis of a chance geographic association with nation
states. The discovery (or creation), distribution and rate of consumption of raw materials is largely in the hands of
large commercial organisations.
One basic question you should consider are: Is the random juxtaposition of nation state boundaries and sources of
resources a socially sustainable criterion for ownership? In answering, remember that many resources are non-
renewable and will probably eventually become scarce - you can see that happening already with fossil fuels.
A consequent question is: When raw material shortages become acute, do you think the countries with no supplies
will stand by peacefully watching those with supplies consume what is left rather than sharing them? Isn’t the
interference by major powers in countries rich in the remaining fossil fuel reserves a clear answer to that?
A second basic question you should consider is: Is it justified to make the distribution of essential resources the
subject of free market forces? In answering that, remember that there is no place in the world where a truly free
market operates (see the General Suggestions for Organisations) and ask yourself the supplementary question: If I
become short of money (the free market bargaining commodity) will I stand peacefully by and die of starvation or
thirst, while watching people with money eat and drink well?
A supplementary question is: Who controls the supply of and access to money? Finance control is a special version of
a utility company. Do all individuals have a serious voice in setting interest rates or allocation of loans? If you think
they have, via democratic elections, ask yourself: How cooperatively the finance utilities (banks, insurance companies,
etc.) have responded to governments around the world trying to fund the process of getting money moving again after
the Credit Crunch?
In many places in the world, where there are artificially maintained pools of people with very low incomes the
distribution of essential resources like water and power actually implements a market policy which charge
disproportionately high costs to the poorest, compared with better-off people, for access to resources.
Do you think poor people will indefinitely stand by peacefully while they are exploited for the benefit of private
shareholders and rich consumers? Ask it another way: Why do you think so many modern economic migrants and so
many terrorist movements are based in places where there are many deprived people?
Of course, many - probably most - deprived people remain peaceful, but are you sure that deprivation, while
surrounded by ostentatious consumption by privileged neighbours won’t increase the probability of revolt against
injustice?

My Choices
Bureaucracies grow and resist regulation or accountability. Large organisations a need for a central bureaucracy
which handles operational information critical to their survival. There should be conscious effort to keep central
bureaucracies small and a central bureaucracy can’t be self-regulating.
Most critical operational information for organisations relates to matters of law and finance - areas where practitioners
are already subject to defined codes of conduct. The traditional professions have weaknesses in their monitoring
procedures and handling of complaints. There should be greater of lay-person involvement in both areas.



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At present there is too great a temptation for professionals to close ranks to protect one another. This leads to public
distrust, which weakens the effectiveness of the professions as a social tool.
In government organisations there are additional areas of critical information, such as defence and policing, which
have weak equivalents to professional codes of conduct. The right to practice in these areas should be restricted as
with the traditional professions - preferably without relying on self regulation for redress of malpractice.
There are other bureaucratic operational requirements but it is a mistake to tie those to the same organisation which
controls the critical information. In the UK the Civil Service is massive, consisting of central “mandarins” normally
associated with the district name, Whitehall, and other areas which oversee the operational implementation of policies
for policing, defence, transport, health, employment, tax collection, etc.
In many places, beliefs in the way these peripheral bureaucracies should be implemented approach the level of
religious dogma. There are two schools of thought, one favouring centrally-owned organisations (nationalisation in
government instances) and the other favouring out-sourcing to organisations which simply provide a service -
potentially to many similar organisations.
Doctrinaire demands for implementation of only one of these two approaches are, for me, suggestive of a hidden
agenda for control by the Dominators who lead a particular ideological group. For social cohesion and justice what is
needed is what works best in practice - and that requires trying and mixing the alternatives which have a reasonable
claim to be viable and objectively measuring their achievements.
Measurement is the key, which should, along regulation, be applied independently of the organisation which performs
the work - and independently of any pressure groups which seek to influence how the work is performed.
In national and international government the agencies set up to perform police and military operations are regularly
misused and subjected to political and religious interference. International organisations are set up with a public aim
(like creation of peace and social welfare) and a private aim (like the preservation of the interests of the major military
and economic member states).
I can’t tell you a method of making the EEC or the UN or NATO satisfy their public aims, because I think they are
controlled by forces which are intent on satisfying their private aims. The only way that will ever change is by a
gradual process in individual nation states around the world, of people reducing the internal influence of obsessive
Dominators on the reigns of power (government) in their state.
In the mean time the most constructive policy for individuals is to support independent organisations like charities and
pressure groups. For those I would restrict my support to those providing a realistic voice to individual members and
subscribers.
Many charities have a subsidiary agenda, like the spread of a religious faith, and many pressure groups become
vehicles for personal advancement by failed obsessive Dominators, like Green or Global Warming or Animal Rights
campaigners. In some cases sub-groups eschew persuasion and presentation of objectively derived measurements,
in favour of bullying and violence.
If you are going to support a charity or pressure group I suggest you should choose one whose finances and
operations are transparent and independently regulated and whose policies are subject to member approval
processes. Good luck in your efforts to find one! If you can’t, then think about trying to find sufficient like-minded
people to set one up. It is much easier to do that than to overturn entrenched political and/or religious control
structures.
Finally, n my view, control and operation of what I refer to as Utilities is not safe in the hands of either national
governments or commercial organisations. Also, allocation of ownership of resources based on chance drawing of
national boundaries, often established by military might, is a mistake which is at the root of many international
confrontations in the world.
As an example, if it were not for the influence of oil ownership, extraction and distribution there would be much less
oppression by local rulers and remote nation states in the Middle East. There would still be the potential for religious
conflict, but that would occur on a much lower level than is currently the case.
Much current international terrorism is inspired primarily by injustices inflicted on various parts of the world by major
military states in pursuit of control over natural resources. Terrorists successfully use religion as a recruiting agent
simply because the major military powers apply their influence in areas which have strong affiliations to a religion
which has only minority support in the major powers.




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