In a world where there is a great disparity between individual access to resources, and the ability to acquire resources is determined by one's existing pool, the liberty of those born with and those born without is in no way equal.
Since the few have what the many need they are able to dictate to the many what they must do to get what they need. At least this is the case given the current economic system in the United States and imposed on the rest of the world.
Beyond the resources or wealth itself are the advantages that accompany beginning better born: opportunities for education, an environment more conducive to learning absent of economic stress, the benefits of an elevated social status, and overall their development is unhampered by economic constraints.
Anthropologists discovered by studying ancient human tribes that conflict between groups intensified when resources became scarce. By comparing the causes of death, evidence of conflict is found. These periods of heightened conflict tend to correspond with the contraction of resources fundamental for human survival, whether through drought, disappearance of game species, or other causes precipitating the aforementioned effect. The frequency with which this correlation can be observed establishes the correlation as a general rule, or an element of human nature.
Social scientists have studied world data on crime, poverty, and inequality. While they have found poverty causes an increase in the rate in which crimes occur (excluding homicide), the greatest driver of crime (including homicide) is inequality, which accounts for the high rate in which crimes including homicide exist in the developed countries like the United States.(1)
(1):Bryant Economic Research Paper Vol.4 Spring 2011, "The Relationship Between Povery and Crime: A Cross Section Analysis of the World." Luke Fleming: pg 12 "once again crime and income inequality are highly correlated". (Referring to comparative data between nations using the gini coefficient and the rate in which crimes occur.) Pg 13 "this shows a positive relationship between homicide and income inequality, no relationship between levels of poverty and homicide rates". Pg 14 "Income inequality is positively related to all three types of crime. As money is distributed more evenly, all three types of crime should decrease".
Liberty is self evident, as in the results that exist on this planet are the collective results human activity uninhibited by any higher authority; but in the world that exists an individual's liberty in many ways is measured by that individual's purchasing power.
Since poverty and inequality are conditions that breed violence and crime, if we do not want to live in a world of violence and crime we need to address the cause not the effect. Evidence concludes that people do not want to live in this type of world, as in people do not want to be the victims of violence; and the laws people accept to deter the effects (violence and crime) that their system causes (poverty and inequality) validate this point.
In a world that was unable to sustain the population, poverty, death through impoverished conditions, war, and crime would have to exist. However, we do not live in such a world, and therefore poverty and the level of inequality that does exist, should not exist, and consequently the effects of criminality would cease to exist, whether it is criminality of the state directed by wealth, or an individual in desperation.
The question is whether poverty and excessive inequality exist by accident or if it is coordinated? Is it a flaw in a well intended structure or is it an intended aspect of the system itself? Is the design intended to create opportunities for balance, or was the design intended to ensure the advantaged would stay advantaged by controlling the opportunities of, and taking from the disadvantaged? Each question is essentially the same and the evidence rests with the latter, or it is intended!
Balance is an essential component to any human civilization that aspires to live in peace, liberty, and to perpetuate it's existence. There are three ways balance is achieved: The good, the forced, and the unimposing.
In describing the good method we must first define what good is, and explain the spectrum. Good is that which helps, bad is that which harms, and indifference is harm by way of withholding help. Although means and ability must be considered in the appearance of indifference.
Picture the scale. If one side (the advantaged) is fuller and thus heavier than the other side (the disadvantaged) then giving from the advantaged to the disadvantaged is progress towards balance. In other words, those advantaged in good give to the disadvantaged or the advantaged exercise the opportunity to fulfill a good purpose.
The second method I describe as force, since the word describes the cause and effect relationship of the methods existence, and the method itself. If the advantaged should refuse to act on the opportunity to do good in the interest of balance, or to be indifferent to the principle, (indifference harm by way of withholding help), then they have deferred opportunity and forced the hand of the disadvantaged. In such conditions as this, the disadvantaged in the pursuit of balance and in an effort to achieve liberty and peace (which is the effect of drawing nearer to balance), the disadvantaged, by any means take from the advantaged. The issue with exercising force rests in defining advantaged and disadvantaged, as well as the lasting effects the act of force will produce in terms of drawing nearer to balance. The advantaged and disadvantaged should be defined in collective groupings, although there are exceptions, depending on the degree of individual desperation, but such exceptions should consider individual harm, and balance by way of force should not be used as a cloak for evil.
The third method I describe as the unimposing. It is the process whereby the disadvantaged side grows without good being physically exercised by the advantaged, and without the disadvantaged exercising force. It is as if we set our scale on a table where coins fell from the ceiling. Above and centered left (advantaged) there was a rudder and we simply adjusted the rudder to the right (disadvantaged).
The coins that fall from the ceiling is symbolically profits and the rudder represents ownership. Those who own which consist of a minority of the population reap the most benefits of normal economic activity, while those who produce tend to benefit minimally, as the owners who are the deciders of production or those with capital hold a monopoly over the opportunities of those without.
The fundamental difference between economic systems is how production will be decided, or who decides what will be produced. In capitalism those with capital decide, or it is decided individually, and the merit of an enterprise, product, or service is determined by the market, or the demand for it (in theory). Unfortunately, it requires capital to decide production so those who are without cannot create their own opportunities. The second aspect of opportunity beyond individual choice in how one can assert himself productively, is what is available to be purchased. Lastly, the market is only as efficient as peoples ability to decide what they are going to purchase; meaning people purchase what they can afford not what they want.
In capitalism, since wealth creates wealth and most are without but require, Economic Despotism will occur. I say will, because I am without an example where it has not. As discussed previously, Economic Despotism is a condition where economic power (wealth) becomes concentrated in the hands of a minority and eventually a micro-minority of the population and is used to control all other categories of power: Legislative, Propaganda, and Coercive. Such a situation has existed in the United States since it's inception; a system of government established by the wealthy intended to serve as the facilitator of wealth to power.
In socialism the decision of production is collective, meaning it is democratic, otherwise it ceases to be collective and ceases to be socialism. The greatest deficiency is the potential for totalitarianism to occur through the corruption of those who execute the collective will. Which is basically Legislative Despotism or legislative power controlling economic, informational, and coercive power absent the expression of the collective will. In socialism the potential exists for a non-representative government to become the tyrant, while in capitalism the government stands as a front for an economic tyranny, facilitating the interests of wealth and industry to power while those without wealth are subject to the will of those with.
The difficulty in transitioning from capitalism to a well constructed socialism is in the transfer of the means of production. Typically it has to occur by way of force, or through the coercive category of power. A transfer of private assets to public hands through legislative power is impossible when legislative power is controlled by those who possess such assets. However, the unimposing is a legislative solution but it requires no sacrifice from the advantaged and very little from the disadvantaged. I call it the Centers for Economic Planning and Bottom Up Prosperity Act. While there are some moving parts or details that need to be set the concept is rather simple.
A Center for Economic Planning is chartered through legislation and funded through a tax. Initially I drew up an outline to use a flat 1 cent per item sales tax on a state wide plan for the state of California. I estimate it will generate about 2 billion dollars to be distributed between 58 centers based in each of the state's counties, but I am considering other options as well.
The CEPs are chartered with a direct democratic and representative democratic mechanism. It is established at the county level although it is not a government entity. While it may express itself in any capacity that the public chooses it's primary functions are
1. To allow people to decide what they will produce, and in doing so those without capital will be able to create their own opportunities, as well as assist in the necessary acceleration in transitioning towards sustainability and renewable energy to ensure the planet remains habitable for future generations.
2. It creates ownership for those without capital, giving all people a stake in the prosperity of their local economies (and perhaps beyond as assets could be acquired beyond the borders of the county, state, and even nation).
3. It creates a collective pool of wealth that can be used to influence politics the same way concentrated wealth currently directs politics, effectively creating true democratic representation in government.
While some may argue that the certainty of success of the businesses that a CEP would acquire or create is not guaranteed, the public preference weighs heavily in favor for the success of these assets. For example, if you have the option to purchase an item or service from a corporation, where the workers are poorly compensated and most of the profits flow to executives and shareholders usually removed from the community where the business exists; or you can purchase that same product or service from a business owned by your CEP, where the workers make a living wage and the profits remain in your community, and you have both representative and direct influence concerning how those profits will be spent and invested: are you going to buy from yourself, or are you going to buy from someone else?
For full outline see link below