Post Capitalist Free Market Society (Part VI) – Government Under Technological Democracy

By admin ~ March 14th, 2010 @ 4:34 am

In a capitalistic society, like that of the United States, the capitalist elite controls the economy through which it controls or highly influences government activities concerned in any way with its interests. The matter of power struggle, against this elite, by the people or the government has become more complex and difficult where no single country has either the authority or the power to regulate or investigate the total operation of a multinational or global corporation.

While a state is responsible to its citizens and rules with their apparent consent, a global corporation is a strict autocratic system ruled, not by its shareholders as it should have been according to its charter, but by a self-appointed and self-perpetuating members of the board of directors holding, collectively, only a small fraction of the corporate assets.

Under a socialistic system, like China, the state is controlled by a single political party which is controlled in turn by a few leaders selected and elevated to their position by the initial or senior members of the party. The socialist constitution usually prescribes a government by a democratic political process. But the execution of this electoral process is tightly controlled and supervised by the party through its instrumentalities. Consequently, the government and the society end up to be governed by a few holding leadership positions.

Thus, under both capitalist and socialist systems, individual freedoms, economic as well as political, has remained at the mercy and consent of a very small group which controls the means of production and distribution. All this suppression has occurred because the individual, under both systems, has been deprived of equality of opportunity as his basic human and democratic right. The government has played a substantial role in installing and maintaining the subjugation process making the individual life under either system exploitive.

The main objective in a technological democratic society is to grant, protect and foster the principle of equality of opportunity, to allow and provide opportunities for individual freedom and dignity in a way that no one is exploited economically, socially or politically. To accomplish this goal, the control over the means of production and distribution need to be taken away from the capitalist class and transferred to the working class by the application of the principles of equality of opportunity and prohibition of unjust enrichment.

Consequently, under technological democratic system, the role of the state becomes quite distinguished from those under capitalism or socialism. The government like any individual in society is obliged to abide by the principle of equality of opportunity. Thus, government cannot keep anything secret or classified. If secrecy is allowed, it would increase the government’s opportunity to the detriment of the public. This openness extend everywhere in government and all other institutions in society. In the area of national security, as long as other nations have not complied with the principle of equality of opportunity, secrecy may be kept. But the term of national security must be applied in its narrow and strict interpretation. In technological democracy, a major part of present national functions are transferred down to the private production firms; other parts such as maintenance of law and order, supervision and enforcement of the principles and standards governing the production of goods and services, are all trusted on local and regional (states in U.S.) governments. There are no line functions left for the national government except for defense and foreign affairs. Defense and intelligence establishments are also highly curtailed since the U.S. will not interfere in internal affairs or economic resources of other sovereign nations. Because, in technological democracy, the essence of strength is not in military or intelligence power, but in the strength of its citizens’ minds and commitment to peace and the extension of democracy and prosperity to other lands. No conquering force can rule in a technological democratic society without being assimilated into its way of life and culture in a short time. Any conquering force is soon conquered by the conquered society. Essentially, therefore, there is no need for military forces. The elimination of military establishment, a vestige from barbarian past, marks the disappearance of the greatest evil haunting humanity and its well being for centuries.

Many may consider this allegation idealistic even utopian. These are people who have failed to study and understand the essence of technological democracy governed by the principle of equality of opportunity. One cannot judge or evaluate the characteristic of this system by employing presently available bases for evaluation. A proper judgment requires a thorough knowledge and understanding of the system. Faulty judgments are often the result of haste or shallowness of information about the subject matter.

The National Government

In Technological democracy, all line functions of the national government are eliminated except for defense and foreign affairs. The size of the latter two is also substantially reduced. All current vast bureaucracies of the regulatory agencies and those concerned with education, health care, welfare programs, social security, commerce, justice, federal courts, transportation, agriculture and other similar departments are discarded. The whole Congress and its vast staff institutions are also eliminated.[1](For detailed description of this concept see the references at the end of this essay.)

The Structure and Functions of the National Government. The traditional representative system of government and its corresponding institutions employed at the present are far outdated for the fast-moving and self-contained technological society. The system presented here is quite new and fundamentally different. It is difficult to visualize the exact structure and function of a future system. Here only its basic features are considered. In real practice, some modifications may be required.

Considering the early stages of the system, besides defense and foreign affairs, the main functions of the national government are concerned with studying and establishing economic, social and political standards, all based on the principle of equality of opportunity. Therefore, there are national legislative and executive branches but substantially different from the present forms.It cannot be established by reforming the old system; it requires a full transformation.

The National Legislative Branch. This is the main policy making body of the national government and consists of a National Legislative and Coordinating Assembly, Economic and Production Council, Health and Education Council, International Affairs Council, and Judicial Council.

1. National Legislative and Coordinating Assembly. This body has three main functions. First, it gives final approval to regional laws. It has amending authority, as it is the guardian of the principle of equality of opportunity. This task is actually minimal. When a regional legislation is made, it is fed into the Technodem. If any part from it is contrary or in conflict with the national standards or laws, it is pointed out by the Technodem and is corrected by the regional authority accordingly. Assembly also functions to provide uniformity in regional laws when they relate to the application of the principle of equality of opportunity.

The second function of this body is to approve and coordinate the framework for actions proposed by all national councils. The main purpose is to streamline conflicts that may arise from the application of frameworks designed by different councils.

Third, this body receives, amends, and approves the national budget submitted to it by the National Executive Council; and approves the framework of functions proposed by the International Affairs Council for the operation of the executive branch including defense and foreign relations.

2. The National Economic and Production Council. This is the most important national institution. Its job is mainly to establish economic standards based on the principle of equality of opportunity and enact a framework of regulations for their implementation. The main functions of the council are:

a. To establish a framework for the rate of return for the use of capital. This is done through a commission and corresponding staff. It is similar to establishing of the interest rate.

b. To devise a framework for position classification and wage system through a corresponding commission and staff.

c. To develop a framework for the use of the natural resources and return of revenues from such use to the public treasury or the Social Consumption Fund. It must be noted that under technological democracy, the principle of equality of opportunity prohibits the ownership of any part from the natural resources by any individual or institution. All these resources belong to the people as a whole. The Natural Resources Committee establishes a framework for the use of natural resources and lease of land and resources. Any direct revenue from such use goes to the public treasury. For example, oil resources may be leased to an oil company for a determined period of time to explore, extract and market the product. However, the proceeds left after paying for all expenses of operation go to the public treasury. This constitutes the market value of oil itself as a resource.

3. The National Health and Education Council. In a technological democracy health care and education are two of the most important services in society. They are the basic requirements for social democracy and socio-economic development. It is obvious that without a healthy and educated society no progress can be expected. In an advanced technological society also, more than any other, the increase in the level of opportunity heavily depends on the level of knowledge one possesses. This increase in the level of opportunity not only relates to the area of work and production but also to the area of enjoyment of life. For example, one cannot properly enjoy and appreciate an opera, classical music, or modern art unless one has knowledge and understanding of it. It can materialize only through education. Thus, it is imperative that health care and education be fully available to every individual and the work schedule in society be established accommodating education into work hours making education continuous in both areas of technical-professional as well as social-cultural knowledge. Cultural and humanistic education must be made mandatory because it is absolutely necessary to maintain and advance a civilized democratic society. This class of education includes the areas of humanities such as art, music, philosophy, literature, history, foreign languages, and the normative aspects of social sciences. Equality of opportunity in health care and education can be materialize if they are available to the public free of charge. The money to provide these services comes from the Public Consumption Fund.

The first stage of education is the most crucial in preparing children for a democratic way of life, for its comprehension as well as enjoyment. Four years of semiformal yet full time education is required from age three to seven. It constitutes of grades one to four. It is quite similar to preschool education in the ex-Soviet Union, which was considered by many experts to be the best in the world, but more systematic and more comprehensive. Then comes eight years of full time general education from age eight to fourteen, consisting of grades five through twelve. It embodies three major areas of knowledge: social sciences, humanities, and general sciences, including mathematics, each area receiving equal attention in the curriculum. Six years of at least one foreign language is required.

After graduation from this stage, every person works part-time while studying part-time, from age 15 up to 22. He then receives his higher education degree (equivalent to over an M.A. in our present higher education standards) and starts full time work- 34 hours per week.. From there on until retirement at the age 52, each individual is required to continue a part-time education- 6 hours per week, making education a part from 40 hours work per week. The content of this education is equally divided between cultural and professional-technical depending on the nature of employment and job skills requirement. The main purpose of this education is to keep one up-to-date in his area of specialty and expand his knowledge into other desired specialty areas, as well as to improve worker’s cultural and intellectual knowledge for a better understanding of human society, better enjoyment of life, and maintaining of democracy.

However, one is not restricted to this requirement in his education. This is only the minimum requirement, and one remains free to pursue his education further and to advance his knowledge as he desires. Under the required education, a worker generally reaches the level of knowledge equivalent to a Ph.D. within ten years, and his education beyond that for the next 20 years, would place the worker at the level of post-doctorate compared to the present knowledge levels. The basis for this concept is simple. Democracy can be established and sustained only in a society where people are fully informed and intellectually advanced. It must be noted that one’s education does not stop with retirement. Free education is available to everyone for life.

Health Care. This essential service is rendered through the Technodem, local and regional health care agencies. The framework of their functions and required minimum standards are established by the National Health and Welfare Commission. All health care costs are paid through the Public Consumption Fund. The primary concern will be preventive medical services. The Technodem will be of great help in making such services available, providing preventive and general healthcare, medical information, and general medical consultation at home to every member of society. Particular attention are given to individuals with special and enduring health problems and those retarded or disabled.

4. International Affairs Council. This body has the important function of establishing the framework for international relations covering all its aspects: political, economic and social. These basic policy directions are based on the principle of equality of opportunity. With non-democratic nations the policy directions are based on reciprocal opportunity, gradually moving toward equality of opportunity as those nations incorporate technological democracy in their system.

However, there are certain areas that equality of opportunity will govern from the beginning, regardless of the nature of the other nation’s system of operation. For example, in the economic area, equality of opportunity does not allow the exploitation of natural and economic resources of another nation. Because, under this principle, all natural resources of a nation belong to the people of that nation and ultimately to the people of the world. Thus, these resources cannot be owned or exploited by any private or public sector. Any firm, private or public, extracting material resources under a lease contract, is entitled to the full cost of operation and marketing. I takes from the revenues all such costs and pays the balance, which is the actual price of the extracted resources, to the public treasury at home or to the country where the resources were located. This policy, would actually encourage the firm not to exploit the workers but pay wages comparable to the duties of the work. It will cause a substantial increase in real per capita income of the working class in developing countries.

Labor is another important national resource and, based on the principle of equality of opportunity, it cannot be exploited within or outside the country. Thus, the production institutions in a technological democratic society, cannot exploit labor in another country if they move a part from their production of goods and services to that country. The wage system should be comparable to the level established by the domestic system stored in the Technodem. One important effect of this policy would be the elimination or substantial reduction of outsourcing of production and labor and healthy operation of the domestic economy. The equality of opportunity also mandates that no importation of goods or services would be allowed if they are produced by exploited labor compared to the importing country’s domestic standards. One strongly beneficial effect of this policy would be substantial increase in wage system in countries which want to do business with a technological democratic nation while exploiting their labor force.

Pursuing equality of opportunity also foster international peace which is a dominant characteristic of democratic life where every claim is resolved by reason and logic than by force. Simply, any military or non-military action causing death, injury or destruction of property deprives the victim of equal opportunity for enjoyment of life or property. Therefore, no country can give or sell arms to another country where such action is to increase the military opportunity of one country over another or become a tool for suppression of its own people. Under the present systems, that of the U.S. in particular, arms sale appears to be the biggest global business. No democracy can be achieved by force and armament since it is inherently undemocratic. The military is presently used to sustain undemocratic conditions benefiting well armed nations such as the United States. Militarism, regretfully, is a remaining vestige from our savage and barbarian past. No nation can be considered civilized while ascribing to militarism.

As a result of international application of the principle of equality of opportunity, ultimately, the national boundaries will disappear, not by force or intimidation but by the consent of the people involved. As each nation develops toward a technological democratic system, it will become a sister state with those already enjoying such a system. The world will gradually move toward a universal technological democracy where national contradictions, in a highly culturally diverse world, will disappear. A permanent world peace will be achieved for the first time in history.

Dr. Reza Rezazadeh

1080 Eastman Street, Platteville, WI 53818

Phone: (608)348-7064

Reference:

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