lördag 27 juli 2013

Strive Towards the (Second) Best Society

Now, that you have written down your most important political goals and the most important facts which your world view consists of, it should be possible to determine what your most preferred political order should look like. Maybe it is futarchy? Or a social-democratic order? Or a transhumanistic world confederation?

Whatever you have calculated to be your best solution it may not be what you should be aiming towards. If the society you most want to live in is very different from your second preferred society, and working towards establishing one will decrease the chances of establishing another, there is potentially a dilemma here. (Such as, if one would either want a capitalistic or communistic society.) On the other hand, if working toward any society is a step towards any other you prefer, there is no conflict. Here, I'll assume there is one.

Let us say you have five particular political orders which you would say are each adequate, but that you can rank them clearly from good to better. Now, try and determine how easy it should be to reach these goals, let's just say in how many hours of work you need to put into it. To illustrate:
Rank    Option Difficulty
1 Atlantis      1,000 years
2 Eden 1,500 years
3 Lemuria 50 years
4 Ultima Thule 500 years
5 Status Quo    Instant success
For the hypothetical person who have these societal preferences, the question is whether to pursue either the #1 or the #3 choice (#1 is, for these variables, superior to #2 and the same with #3 to #4). It could be solved easily enough, if all goals and costs were measured in the same nominator. Neoclassical economists do this by assuming everything can be nominated in monetary terms, even though it's not correct, but because it seems to be better than nothing. To illustrate, let's put some numbers to the societies above:
Option Value ($) Cost ($) New Rank
Atlantis 5,000,000        4,000,000      2
Eden 4,500,000 6,000,000 5
Lemuria 4,000,000 100,000 1
Ultima Thule   3,900,000 5,000,000 4
Status Quo 1,000 0 3
So, when everything has been calculated for, this person should strive towards establishing Lemuria. After having followed the same logic you should be able to discover what your efficient political goal is.

How to make this calculation, then? To do so it is necessary to think about the most efficient strategy that can be used to, together with others, reach a certain society, This will also be useful if the most adequate societies you know of are very similar to each other, such as walking towards on is walking towards all, more or less. I'll discuss the question of best strategy in the next post.   

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