AFFEERCE is both a comprehensive vision of a future world political economy as well as a realistic business plan to achieve that vision. It is a vision of immense freedom, an end to poverty, dehumanization, and the destruction of our planet. The name is an acronym for Alternative Families + Free Enterprise + Universal Entitlement + Balance of the RCs + Enlightenment.
Much of AFFEERCE is built on the ideas of economists Henry George and David Ricardo. In fact, Ricardo’s Law of Rent is not only the basis of AFFEERCE collection theory, but also AFFEERCE viral community theory, and to some extent AFFEERCE monetary policy. The Law of Rent is merely a fancy way of saying, “The nicer the location, the higher the rent.” This self-obvious law turns out to be very powerful and has hidden within its simplicity the power to liberate all of humanity.
AFFEERCE is based on a set of axioms and everything logically follows from those axioms. A person might not agree with the axioms, but if they do, they should agree with all of AFFEERCE. If not, either they have made a mistake with their logic, or I have made a mistake with my logic. In either case, a resolution is achievable through discussion.
Whenever a complex system is built, contradictions creep in and compromises are made. The mathematician and Einstein friend Kurt Gödel demonstrated the inevitability of this prior to WWII. Contemporary Alan Turing was likewise fascinated with the concept that every complete system must contain statements like “This statement is false.” The same is true for AFFEERCE. While it might seem that any political economy that can achieve complete freedom and eradicate poverty would be flawless, that is not the case. One problem that cannot be solved within a system of absolute freedom and equal distribution of the Earth’s bounty is this: It is very, very, very profitable to have children. An excess population can further the destruction of the planet, further dehumanization, increase poverty and decrease freedom. So like all complex systems, AFFEERCE contains the seeds of its own destruction. While there are many potential solutions to this dilemma, all of them violate one axiom or another. We have many decades to find the optimal solution. The good news is that I believe this to be the only flaw. Everything else should be derivable from the axioms in a non-contradictory way. And this speaks volumes over other ideologies that are riddled with contradictions.
So what are these axioms? Let’s begin with the most basic. These are the right to life and the right to property. They are called the natural rights. It is essential we define them in such a way that they are not in contradiction.
- The right to property is the moral principle that what a person produces with their own labor cannot be taken from them against their will.
- The right to life is the moral principle that the land is the birthright of all of us equally. Because it can supply each of us with nutritious meals, warm and safe shelter, quality medical care, unlimited free education, police and fire protection, a government to protect our rights, streets and sanitation, and so forth, it must!
If you are like most people, you thought one of these axioms was great, and the other one horrible. Which one was great and which one horrible depended on whether you had a left-wing or right-wing perspective. In either case, most people would agree that these two are at loggerheads. They would agree that as defined above, one cannot have the right to life and right to property without compromise. But most people are wrong.
The Georgist Mason Gaffney described Georgism as the synthesis of individualism and collectivism. Synthesis does not mean compromised or watered down. It is both the essence of individualism and the essence of collectivism, combined as sodium and chlorine do into a new substance. In AFFEERCE, we talk more generally about the synthesis of objectivism and subjectivism, which includes the synthesis of individualism and collectivism as a subset. This more general synthesis plays a key role in AFFEERCE collection theory, distribution theory and legal theory. Even more, it goes beyond political economy. In this dehumanizing age when we are told that humans are nothing more than biological machines and robots will soon be conscious, the synthesis of objectivism and subjectivism tells us something altogether different and provides hope and a reason to go forward.
So how are the right to life and right to property (as defined above) kept out of contradiction? It all comes down to the law of rent. Businesses compete for the best locations near employees, distribution and supply channels. People compete for the best homesteads near places of employment, entertainment, good schools, safety, etc.
Land, a gift of God or Nature, and whose value is created not through the effort of any one individual, but rather by the very presence of a community, cannot be owned. It can only be rented from the commons to the highest bidder. Land ownership is the main impediment to free enterprise. For if one person or group owned all the land, or even all the good land, all would be slaves to these owners and would have no freedom whatsoever. Conversely, with all land available to the person or group who could make best use of the land and thus pay the highest rent, free enterprise is maximized. Distribution of those rents equally to the landlords (each and every one of us) further enhances freedom by providing a basic income that allows every worker to bargain as an equal, provides an impetus for economies of scale, division of labor and new enterprise, and insures full employment even when robots (that will never be conscious) have replaced a majority of today’s jobs.
No longer are the right to life and the right to property in conflict. Businesses are freed from the tyranny of taxation and voluntarily bid on the best land to rent, as today they would bid on the best land to either rent or purchase. What about improvements to the land, particularly buildings and other structures, but even irrigation channels on farmland, or utility access? How is a temporary landowner compensated for these? The answer is they are compensated quite well.
The process of capturing land is called “trebling”. Not only does it satisfy AFFEERCE collection theory, but it eliminates violent war in our future world. Trebling and collection theory will be the topic of the next installment.
This article is a part of an ongoing series explaining the AFFEERCE Georgism implementation. For more info on AFFEERCE natural rights, See AFFEERCE – Volume I – Chapter 8 – The Natural Rights of Mankind. For an introduction to AFFEERCE, See AFFEERCE Volume I – Introduction and AFFEERCE Volume I – Chapter 1 – What is AFFEERCE? See also the stand alone PDF “What is AFFEERCE” a 12 page introduction. All of these are available free on the AFFEERCE website http://AFFEERCE.org.
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