cooperative individualism - lesson 2 - challenging hierarchy - narrate

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Lesson 2 (Challenging Hierarchy) of the course "Cooperative Individualism: a Third Way to Just Societies

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Cooperative Individualism: The Third Way to the Just Society LESSON 2 Challenging Hierarchy

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“… Heaven rejected rulers because, among other crimes, they did not treat the people well. The result was to establish, in theory, the principle that the rulers existed for the sake of the people, rather than the reverse, and that they held their powers only in trust, a kind of stewardship, subject to revocation if they did not use them well. ...”

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“At the beginning this was little more than a theory, and a theory born of the necessities of propaganda, but no matter. The theory existed, and in time it would come to be very important.”

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Gerhard E. Lenski

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“Despite the ravages of war, famine, plague, and other disasters, and despite the influences of infanticide, abortion, monasticism, and prostitution, those segments of the population which were at, or above, the subsistence level continued to produce more offspring than could be employed except by a steady reduction of privilege. ....”

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“Thus, barring an effective method of controlling fertility, which no agrarian society ever discovered, there seems to have been no alternative to the existence of a class of expendables, as harsh as such a statement may sound to modern ears. The most that could have been achieved, had the elite permitted it, was the temporary elimination of this class for the short time it would take population growth to eliminate the economic surplus.”

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“One other point should be made in defense of the rulers and governing classes of agrarian societies. Though clearly these persons exploited the common people …, nevertheless they did perform one useful function: they maintained a fair degree of law and order. ...”

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“This was vitally important in an agrarian society, where the nature of the economy made anarchy intolerable. A single crop failure for any reason … could mean death for thousands, and two successive failures disaster.”

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“Creatures shall be seen upon the earth who will always be fighting one with another with very great losses and frequent deaths on either side. These shall set no bounds to their malice; …and when they have crammed themselves with food it shall gratify their desire to deal out death, affliction, labors, terrors, and banishment to every living thing. …There shall be nothing remaining on the earth or under the earth or in the waters that shall not be pursued and molested and destroyed, and that which is in one country taken away to another; …”

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“How we live is so different from how we ought to live that he who studies what ought to be done rather than what is done will learn the way to his downfall rather than to his preservation.”

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John Locke

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“Whatsoever, then, [man] removes out of the state that nature hath provided and left it in, he hath mixed his labor with, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property.”

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“God, who hath given the world to men in common, hath also given them reason to make use of it to the best advantage of life and convenience. The earth and all that is therein is given to men for the support and comfort of their being. And though all the fruits it naturally produces and beasts it feeds belong to mankind in common, as they are produced by the spontaneous hand of nature; ...”

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“and nobody has originally a private dominion exclusive of the rest of mankind in any of them, as they are thus in their natural state; yet, being given for the use of men, there must of necessity be a means to appropriate them some way or other before they can be of any use or at all beneficial to any particular man.”

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Anne Robert Jacques Turgot

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“ But the land begins to people, and to be cleared more and more. The best lands are in process of time fully occupied. There remains only for those who come last, nothing but barren land, rejected by the first occupants. …”

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“But at last, every spot has found a master, and those who cannot gain a property therein, have no other resource but to exchange the labour of their hands in some of the employments of the stipendiary class, for the excess of commodities possessed by the cultivating proprietor.”

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“Having decided that direct taxation of landed property is the only form of taxation conforming to our principles, it is necessary to establish: firstly, on what part of the product of landed property it should be levied, and then how it can be distributed and collected. I have already said that only the owner of real property is liable to contribute to taxation; a first ground for this is that he alone has a stake in the preservation of an abiding social order.”

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“There is such a freedom from local and national prejudices and partialities, so much benevolence to mankind in general, so much goodness mixed with the wisdom in the principles of your new philosophy that I am perfectly charmed with it, …”

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“It is from your philosophy only that the maxims of a contrary and more happy conduct are to be drawn, which I therefore sincerely wish may grow and increase till it becomes the governing philosophy of the human species, as it must be of superior beings in better worlds.”

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“[G]overnments, so far from being the cause or means of order, are often the destruction of it. ...Excess and inequality of taxation, however disguised in the means, never fail to appear in their effects. As a great mass of the community are thrown thereby into poverty and discontent, they are constantly on the brink of commotion.”

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“No question has arisen within the records of history that pressed with the importance of the present. It is not whether this or that party shall be in or out ..., but whether men shall inherit his rights, and universal civilization take place? Whether the fruits of his labor shall be enjoyed by himself, or consumed by the profligacy of governments? Whether robbery shall be banished from courts, and wretchedness from countries?”

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“Another reason why the present time is preferable to all others is, that the fewer our numbers are, the more land there is yet unoccupied, which, instead of being lavished by the king on his worthless dependents, may be hereafter applied, not only to the discharge of the present debt, but to the constant support of government. No nation under Heaven hath such an advantage as this.”

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“Cultivation is, at least, one of the greatest natural improvements ever made by human intervention. It has given to created earth a tenfold value. But the landed monopoly, that began with it, has produced the greatest evil. It has dispossessed more than half the inhabitants of every nation of their natural inheritance, without providing for them, as ought to have been done, an indemnification for that loss; and has thereby created a species of poverty and wretchedness that did not exist before.”

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“It is a position not to be controverted that the earth, in its natural, uncultivated state was, and ever would have continued to be, the common property of the human race. In that state every man would have been born to property. He would have been a joint life proprietor with the rest in the property of the soil, and in all its natural productions, vegetable and animal. …”

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“But the earth in its natural state, as before said, is capable of supporting but a small number of inhabitants compared with what it is capable of doing in a cultivated state. And as it is impossible to separate the improvement made by cultivation from the earth itself, upon which that improvement is made, the idea of landed property arose from that inseparable connection; but it is nevertheless true, that it is the value of the improvement, only, and not the earth itself, that is individual property.”

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“Every proprietor, therefore, of cultivated lands, owes to the community a ground-rent (for I know of no better term to express the idea) for the land which he holds; and it is from this ground-rent that the fund proposed in this plan is to issue.”

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Johann Wolfgang von Geothe

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“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”

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END of Lesson Two

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