Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Agriculture: A 'Strategic' Asset

Agriculture is probably the most valuable, non-military strategic asset in the world. No-one is going to let their agricultural sector fail or sub it out while the world is viewed through the eyes of nations that prefer not to trust each other for essential products, despite the economic sense in it.

This puts New Zealand in a difficult place in regard to its most prolific natural resource – our natural environment and its eminent suitability for producing agricultural produce. By rights, if agriculture were not protected and subsidised in most developed countries, New Zealand would be one of the wealthiest countries in the world, but instead our incomes continue to contract.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Managers aren’t responsible for what staff do. Staff are responsible for what staff do. If people aren’t responsible for what they do, then they don’t do what they do responsibly.

The idea that managers are responsible for staff actions is an attribute of organisations where staff are controlled, where there is a system of control.

When staff know their job and do it their way they are also responsible for their job. It is when managers that are controllers intervene to control the way staff do their job that the responsibility of staff for their job, and the ability of staff to do their job, is compromised. Manager-controllers have full responsibility for that mistake.



Liberate Learning

A shared base income liberates us to learn in the ways that we choose, not necessarily through institutions, universities, polytechnics and accredited providers.

We now have the greatest repository of information the world has ever seen. We have websites that link texts in smart ways using the ‘wisdom of crowds’ enabling us to create the best reading lists we could ever imagine, because these reading lists are created by ourselves according to our own interests.

Our interest in whatever subjects interest us is the greatest motivator for learning. Limitations on where we learn and how we learn are simply obstacles to our learning. We can drive our own learning, seek our own findings and take our own direction according to our own interests. The internet makes this possible. We need to liberate funding from its ties to institutions and tie it to people. A shared base income enables us, frees us, to learn and grow and contribute how we wish.

Institutions should be provided as facilities, but not as prerequisites to funding and thus learning. The existing funding system is just an obstacle to our freedom to learn. Take it away and share the income from trade in a base income so that we can all have the freedom to learn and contribute in the ways we are best able. These forms of funding control are no longer needed. We can direct our own learning and co-ordinate and organise in the ways we wish to if we have the security to do so.



Fair Income Distribution Enables Choice

When income is poorly distributed most people cannot afford to make the choices they would wish to buy environmentally friendly products. While income distribution is unfair demand for environmental products will be constrained, and the cost reducing factors of mass production will not come into effect to drive prices down.

We need to enable people to make their choices directly. That is our greatest democracy. Government imposed legislation is not democracy, it does not allow freedom of choice. A shared base income does.



Business Organisations Should Serve People

It is not people who should serve businesses, but businesses that serve people. Business, companies and organisations are our means of organising ourselves to contribute and increase the ability of our system to enable fulfilment without harm for everyone.

Businesses are not more important than people. There is no reason why businesses should pay less tax on their profits than people do on their incomes.



Why We Need To Change Our System

Our system sustains inequity and does not enable us to realise our full potential. Too many people are harmed. One factor is that a few people’s products will always attract substantially more money than most others. But we can change that by sharing half our income from trade in a base income we all receive so we can all contribute in the ways that best match our abilities and realise our potential. Let’s do that.

By doing that and other things we can construct a system that helps to lower crime, reduce disadvantage, equalise opportunity, and eliminate exploitation, poverty and the enormous cost of lost human potential.

The internet has seen a massive explosion in creative contribution, but our system doesn’t work for this. Our system curtails our ability to contribute as we wish in ways that best suit ourselves and where we see a need. We need our system to take a lesson from the internet and enable sharing. By sharing half our income from trade in a shared base income we can freely share our ideas and more fully realise ourselves.



We Expect Too Little & Accept Too Much

What vision do our politicians give us? What direction do they head for? How do they know where to turn when they don’t even know where they are going?

We need a system that allows us to live our lives without harm. Without an aim, without a vision, an ideal or a purpose we cannot reach where we want to go. If we do not know where we want to go we cannot get there.

Let's make this something to do. Then, when we examine and understand our system, we can uncover the means to get there. But to say, before we’ve even tried, before we’ve even aimed for our goal, that it is too hard, that it could never happen, means it never can. We haven’t even started to try. Let’s start now. Let’s aim for this. Let’s discover how to reach it. And then make it so.



Fulfilment Without Harm

What do we all want? We all want to live fulfilling lives, to realise our potential, to contribute in ways that best reflect who we are.

What is the fundamental wisdom? No harm. With wisdom we realise that the only way we can live fulfilling lives without harm is by not harming other's fulfilment.

Not harming other's fulfilment means means not controlling what other's do. Thus control is a form of harm and we must reject it.



The Right Way

The right way is to realise our potential and find fulfilment without harming other's fulfilment.

Fulfilment and the realisation of potential comes from making our best contribution, from being ourselves and realising ourselves in our ideas and our product. This realisation is growth, is life.

We who pursue the right way of fulfilment without harm are characteristically persuasive, tolerant, responsible, free and fair, because these attributes facilitate fulfilment without harm.

Pursuit of the right way breeds flexibility and the strength to see other's points of view and attain win-win scenarios. Understanding the unlimited nature of our potential leads us who pursue fulfilment to see the world as an open game in which we act independently but without harm so we all grow.

The pursuit of fulfilment without harm leads to free and fair markets, a shared income, and democratic organisations operating in accordance with the purpose of fulfilment and the principle of no harm.

[Excerpt from The Common Purpose Manifesto]