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The Forum > General Discussion > Our global island and its wannabe dictators

Our global island and its wannabe dictators

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Imagine an island with seven people on it producing a total of seven goods, with no contact with the outside world.

The economy consists of all the things these people produce and exchange with each other. So Fred catches a fish. Pete cuts down a coconut. And so on.

Remember factorials in maths? 4 factorial equals 4 x 3 x 2 x 1. To find the total possible number of permutations of exchanges on our island, you have to multiply numbers of combinations of persons, and numbers of combinations of goods *factorial*.

If you do the maths, the total possible permutations of one person exchanging one good, is 2,365. If you include all possible permutations of combinations of people and combinations of goods, the total is 700,776,097.

Now think of an economy the size of Australia: imagine the total number of possible permutations of exchanges for 22 million people and thousands of goods.

Of course, the Australian population is not isolated from the world. For the world economy in which we live the total number of possible permutations is truly astronomical - more than the total number of atoms in the observable universe.

And remember, that is for a static model. In reality, the market data are changing ever second.

Now imagine that we are intending to replace that system, with one in which a central planning authority is to decide who is to produce what, using what materials, how.

You can see, canít you, that no matter how clever the central planning authority, no matter how smart his functionaries and committees, no matter how many fancy diplomas they have, the knowledge set that they would need, to equal the status quo in its ability to economise scarce resources, is astronomically bigger than the knowledge set they have or can ever have?

This means the more central planners are empowered, the more will be the social chaos and waste of natural resources they produce.

This problem is inherent in all attempts to replace social co-ordination based on individual liberty and private property, with bureaucratic command-and-control.

Pink batts, anyone?
Posted by Peter Hume, Sunday, 8 August 2010 9:45:13 PM
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Gee Peter guess that only leaves someone who put it all together, to be smart enough to know how to run the place successfully. Like reading the makers instruction manual. Deeeeeeeeeer we are much smarter, man knows better. Just arsk Lefty.
Posted by Richie 10, Monday, 9 August 2010 12:27:26 AM
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Capitalism....

Knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.

Only values a person as representing a certain amount of the commodity called labour power, in other words, as a THING. Instead of being valued as an individual -- a unique human being with intrinsic moral and spiritual worth -- only one's price tag counts.

Thinks if people have enough things they will be content to live in prison.

Values profit over all else. If there is more profit to be made in satisfying a rich mans passing whim than there is in feeding hungry children, then competition brings us in feverish haste to supply the former, whilst cold charity or the poor law can supply the latter, or leave it unsupplied, just as it feels disposed.

Means a good produced under a authoritarian state which represses its workforce would have a lower price than one produced in a country which allowed unions to organise and had basic human rights. The repression would force down the cost of labour, so making the good in question appear as a more "efficient" use of resources. In other words, the market can mask inhumanity as "efficiency" and actually reward that behavior by market share.

Under capitalism the worker regards themself as free; but they are grossly mistaken; they are free only when they sign their contract with their boss. As soon as it is signed, slavery overtakes them and they are nothing but an order taker.

Central planning... NO
Planning by(and for) the wealthy elite...NO

Decentralised, non hierarchical, democratic, bottom up planning and organising society...YES

http://www.infoshop.org/page/AnAnarchistFAQ

Peter read this section and find out why you are wrong.
http://www.infoshop.org/page/AnarchistFAQSectionI
Posted by mikk, Monday, 9 August 2010 6:03:00 AM
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I truly ask do you Peter want to be taken as some one who we should look up to?
Richie ten, come out from behind your God shield you in my view are no Christian.
And it is such as you that are ensuring other Gods are gaining followers as fast as yours is finding followers leaving.
If you continue to slander those you oppose with your lefty tag I must continue to ask why pretend to be Christian?
Wanna be dictators?
Posted by Belly, Monday, 9 August 2010 6:30:57 AM
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Central planning... NO
Planning by(and for) the wealthy elite...NO
mikk,
caution ! that flies in the face of the academic ALP hierarchy.
Posted by individual, Monday, 9 August 2010 6:31:59 AM
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caution ! that flies in the face of the academic ALP hierarchy.

GOOD!
Posted by mikk, Monday, 9 August 2010 6:34:46 AM
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