It is a common fallacy that fundamental changes to the moral or political basis of society can precede economic change. Both the left and right preach that a change in values will lead to greater economic justice; that and the election of politicians who affirm these values. History says otherwise. Moral advances and new political freedoms follow fundamental economic change, while in the years leading up to major economic change, there is both moral decay and a movement towards tyranny.
I’m not a complete Scrooge. I’m glad there are organizations like Progress.org that affirm progressive values. However, it is equally important that we all realize that affirmation of these values will not change the world. Only fundamental economic change can do that.
AFFEERCE Georgism (or Geoism as some advocate) purchases all land into the commons. Using techniques from the law of rent, we insure that those who refuse to sell will find themselves with worthless land. Call it speculator karma. The land is rented to the highest bidder and the rents are divided between everyone in the Federation (ultimately the entire world – and beyond). It is clear this would be the most fundamental economic change since the bourgeois revolution ended feudalism and led to the Enlightenment, democracy and new freedoms.
While it is difficult to predict exactly the moral and political changes an economic leap will bring about, the integrated nature of the AFFEERCE Georgist solution (as discussed in the previous 8 segments) gives us powerful clues.
A cellular democracy is essential for an equal per capita distribution of the rents. It is the assertion from graph theory that every branch from root to leaf, receives an identical distribution. That is, if every person receives $35/month for police protection at level 3 of the cellular democracy, then a person moving from one level 3 dominion to another will bring their $35/month distribution with them. Imagine the dramatic difference in the attitude of law enforcement toward citizens; if instead of being paid from business sales taxes, they are paid based on the exact number of people in their district. And if a person lives in such a remote wilderness their nearest ancestor is level 4 of the cellular democracy, that $35/month for police protection goes directly to that person (they can use it to buy a shotgun).
The distributions for food, housing and medical insurance go directly to the leaves of the tree. A sovereign individual brings these personal distributions with them wherever they roam. Mobility is optimized. Significantly, all are welcome, everywhere, because rather than perceiving strangers as potential slackers or worse, they are viewed as sources of wealth, due to economies of scale. Note how this is true at every level of the cellular democracy; the wealth brought by the stranger not only improves the menu and living space of the family or collective that takes them in, but the amount of money the community has for streets and sanitation, police and fire protection, education and so on. This increased efficiency is due to economies of scale and it is clear that voluntary collectivism will be a direct result of equal rent distribution.
It is also a well-known economic principle that voluntary collectivism due to economies of scale lead to new divisions of labor. These divisions of labor not only create additional leisure time within the household or collective, but tend to spawn new enterprise. The entire corporate nature of business will change radically over the first fifty or one hundred years of AFFEERCE Georgism. The distributions give a competitive advantage to collectives over corporations. There will be a tendency toward equal partnerships. Just as everyone becomes a landlord, most everyone will help manage a business. The workers will be machines, young people getting started and those who have too much of a life to be bothered with management issues.
The nature of distribution in a cellular democracy give land holders of borderlands between dominions, a right that land owners today do not enjoy; the right to switch allegiance. Using today’s dominions as an example: If I held the land on the border between Minneapolis and St. Paul, I could choose which city encompasses me and my land. The same would be true for Illinois and Wisconsin, or the U.S. and Canada, each representing a different level of the cellular democracy. This causes the rapid rise and fall of towns, cities, states and nations all within the federation. Primarily it is accomplished with two operations on the cellular democratic tree: mitosis and fusion. Effective government wins and defective government is wiped out. Corrupt stale old cities cannot long exist.
Mathematically, we say of the cellular democracy that every leaf node is a sovereign and every sovereign is a leaf node. Thus a city, which might be the union of thee level 3 sibling nodes is clearly not sovereign if it contains beneath it level 2 nodes which contain level 1 nodes which contain individuals, families and collectives. Only the individuals, families and some of the collectives (not all collectives will choose to be sovereign) are sovereign. So what is sovereignty?
Sovereignty is a derivative of the natural rights, so called because nature gives them to every species. These are classically the right to defend your property and the right to defend the life of yourself and your loved ones. There are additional natural rights currently afforded every species but our own. These are the right to use any land and to live off what that land has to offer. These are the rights of sovereignty. In the human terms of AFFEERCE Georgism, it is the right of every sovereign to capture land through the treble, and every sovereign to receive an equal per capita share of the distribution of rent. Ironically, the rights of sovereignty give every sovereign individual the right of eminent domain (through the treble) but not the city, state, or nation. The most important sovereign right is the right to surrender and reclaim sovereignty at will. Surrender of sovereignty could include the surrender of all natural rights such as free speech and association. The only natural right that cannot be surrendered (by an adult) is the right to reclaim sovereignty at will.
All families are sovereign. You cannot treble your sister’s bedroom. The per-capita housing distribution goes to the family member in charge of paying the rent, utilities, mortgage and repairs. The per-capita food distribution goes to the family shopper. Certain topics can be taboo for dinner conversation and kids can be forbidden from associating with so-and-so. Individual sovereignty can begin at the age of majority (14 is suggested), although many will choose to surrender their sovereignty to families, communes, collectives, kibbutzim, for their entire lives. Because of the economies of scale from the distributions, they will always be welcome to do so.
It is the responsibility of the cellular government to protect natural rights. In addition to protecting life and property of sovereigns, government must protect the exit rights of those adults who choose to reclaim their sovereignty, and protect the right to life of children who are not able to be sovereign. The latter is a slippery slope that must remain within the purview of the independent judiciary and be a reflection of current culture.
The legal domain of the cellular government, the protection of natural rights, is called Class I. There are, however, a whole group of rights that are not natural, that a community might see fit to enact. These are called the subjective rights or Class II, (with the natural rights also called the objective rights); for instance the right to live in a gun-free neighborhood (a subjective right) versus the natural right to carry a gun. Nor are all subjective rights this contentious; for instance, the subjective right to prohibit the building of nuclear bombs in the city, versus the natural right to build anything you want in your own basement with parts purchased with your own money. For a subjective right to become law in a dominion, it must be ratified by a 2/3 plurality of the direct democracy within the dominion. The cellular government has absolutely no say in these laws beyond being one agency of proposing these laws to the electorate. Class II legislation requires a genuine conflict in rights between reasonable people. Subjective fears that have no basis in reality are relegated to Class III status, which requires a 5/6 plurality of the direct democracy to become law in a dominion. Furthermore, Class III allows for a no vote with an anonymous treble option, giving those who want to flee the dominion should the law pass, a guaranteed 50% premium on their landed improvements.
In general, all taxes are violations of natural rights and Class III, however, it is proposed that the constitution classify certain taxes as Class II, requiring only a 2/3 plurality to pass. These include a fair or progressive, sunsetted and budgeted consumption tax, a discretionary consumption tax with payments directed by the taxpayer, a teacher merit consumption tax, Pigovian taxes, and a baby tax should fertility exceed 3.1.
A declaration of sovereignty is Class III. Once passed, control reverts to the sovereign constitution, monarch, dictator or religious authority. The Federation enforces exit rights and the right to life of children through an independent judiciary (even if mullahs, for instance, actually hear the cases within the sovereignty). Sovereignties, like all land, are subject to trebling from the outside and many obnoxious ones will quickly fall prey to modern day Huns, Vandals and Visigoths.
Sovereignties larger than the family or collective are not the exclusive domain of nuts and religious fanatics. An anarchist collective might experiment with rule of principle and demurrage. A communist collective might experiment with to each according to his need, from each according to their ability. An LVT collective might experiment with land-value-taxed titled property within the collective, as the collectives themselves pay rent to the people. Outside of the cities, it is expected that the housing distribution will far exceed the rent paid, so these collectives will all operate at an advantage not possible today. This is the idea of permanent embryo where new forms of society and government and economics are born and tested and can be adapted or even become the new status quo. It is much the same as the initial formation of AFFEERCE from the viral community.
AFFEERCE Georgism will bring about the end of involuntary loneliness, the end of poverty, hunger, and homelessness. War will be replaced by trebler war. It will end the alienation and sense of purposelessness that pervades our society. It will slay the dragon of postmodernism and build new narratives based on nature. Philosophically, politically, economically and scientifically, it is the synthesis of objectivism and subjectivism. It will be the dawn of a new age for humanity.
You can read in depth on any of these topics on the AFFEERCE.org website or in AFFEERCE Volume I – The Vision or AFFEERCE Volume II – The Plan. Both are available in PDF form on the website. You can contribute to the evolution of AFFEERCE in the AFFEERCE Facebook group.
This article is a part of an ongoing series explaining the AFFEERCE Georgism implementation based on the ideas of economist Henry George. The fruits of our labor belong to us alone while the land belongs to each of us and to all of us. AFFEERCE is an acronym for Alternative Families + Free Enterprise + Universal Entitlement + Balance of the RCs + Enlightenment. To further understand, check out AFFEERCE Volume I – The Vision at AFFEERCE.org. 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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Jeff Graubart is a software engineer and one of the earliest fighters (1970s) for marriage equality. He organized the first conference in 1973 for an LGBT March on Washington. He has spent a lifetime applying principles of logic to ideologies on the left and right. AFFEERCE Georgism is the outcome of that lifetime endeavor. Currently he is working on what he hopes to be the next viral app called NowSeeHere.tv. He plans on using the revenue from NowSeeHere to fund the land trust that will give birth to AFFEERCE Georgism. More information is available at http://AFFEERCE.org.