Gaia Brain, Hegel, Capitalism-Communism Synthesis, environment
John C. Champagne
jchampag at lonestar.jpl.utsa.edu
Wed Jun 3 11:59:38 EST 1998
Hegel said that our ideas create reality. He also said that a particular
time in history is defined by a particular idea or set of ideas. Over
time, the contradictions or shortcomings of the dominant idea eventually
show themselves. A competing idea is proposed, in opposition to the
dominant idea, to address these shortcomings. It, too, has shortcomings.
At some point, the two ideas are synthesized into a new way of thinking
that incorporates essential elements of the original thesis and its
antithesis, thus creating a new starting point, a new dominant idea of an
era. Hegel called this process of thesis generating antithesis followed
by synthesis the historical dialectic.
Marx said that Hegel was right about the historical dialectic, but that
he was wrong about ideas creating reality. Marx said that reality, or
material existence creates ideas. I think it is time for a synthesis
of these two. Is it not true that our ideas and our material world
affect one another, that there is a dynamic interaction between the two?
Is it not also time for a synthesis of capitalism and communism? Could
we combine free markets and free movement of capital with ownership of
natural resources, (a means of production), vested in the people?
We could realize such a system by charging fees for use of natural
resources, with the fees rising when most people believe that levels of
resource use are too high and ought to be reduced, and falling when people
believe that we can increase our use of resources without any harm to
ourselves and future generations and without excessive harm to other
living things on this planet. The resource user fees would act as a
sensory nervous system for the planet, transimitting information about
injury to the earth to society, and causing reduction of that injury.
When we share the proceeds of these resource-use fees among all people
equally, we will have created a system of ownership and management of
natural resources by the people, in the context of free political and
I think that this practice of asking and pondering what are acceptable
human impacts on earth would profoundly affect our mental and conceptual
development. The gaia brain paradigm would translate our expressed
wishes--what we think ought to be--into reality.
John Champagne's Gaia Brain Paradigm
If we resolve the problem of the Tragedy of the Commons by allowing
all people to say where we are over-exploiting the commons, then
attach fees to those activities which are implicated and distribute
the fee proceeds to all people equally, we will have achieved a
direct, democratic ownership and management of the commons, of natural
resources, an integration of ecology and economy, and a synthesis of
capitalism and communism. We will have created a method for all people
to be directly involved in the sculpting of society.
Earth's ecosystems and the natural resources that sustain our
civilization are threatened today because our modern economic system
does not take account of externalities. Almost every kind of economic
activity has side effects that may harm the human community or larger
environment in some way. The phenomenon of over-use of community
resources, (to the point of degradation and even total destruction),
is known as the Tragedy of the Commons. The Tragedy of the Commons
results from the fact that economic agents do not incur additional
costs in proportion to the additional demands they place on community
resources. Gaia Brain theory offers us a way to take account of
externalities, incorporate an economic measure of the demands placed
on the resource base into the economic calculus, and thereby prevent
the Tragedy of the Commons. It also constitutes a capitalism/communism
The best of both worlds: Free movement of capital, reward for
individual initiative and effort, with ownership and control of
natural resources, the Commons, (the ultimate 'means of production'),
vested in the people.
Choosing a President
Our political system would produce better results if we change our
role from that of passive reactor to that of active shaper of the
options before us. Rather than only consider candidates who seek or win
party nomination, we could look for responsible citizens who have a
well-developed sense of public duty, who are widely regarded as
persons of integrity, honesty and courage, who many people would want
to vote for, and who would do it if we ask.
John Champagne http://lonestar.utsa.edu/jchampag
Gaia Brain Theory http://lonestar.utsa.edu/jchampag/gaia.html
Gaia Brain abstract http://lonestar.utsa.edu/jchampag/abstract.html
Cronkite for President http://lonestar.utsa.edu/jchampag/cronkite.html
Cronkite on nuclear war http://lonestar.utsa.edu/jchampag/nuclear.html
vote on Gaia Brain at MIT http://learning.mit.edu/ide/BI/BI-031.html
If you like this idea, please vote. You can help to counter-act
an apparent attempt at 'ballot stuffing'. I noticed a burst of 40 votes
in one day, (feb 11-12), that brought the rating down from 63% to 39%.
The rating climbed back up to 60%. Then another burst, (92 votes),
brought it back down to 43%. (Maybe the designers of this site will
change the way the votes are displayed, so everyone will be able to see
which votes came in as part of a big burst of dozens of votes all from
the same source, all in the same hour.) If you do not like the idea,
please share your objections with me. Thanks!
vote on my proposed response to these 'ballot-stuffing' tactics:
© 1998 jchampag at lonestar.utsa.edu
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