Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Limiting Small Groups

For my purpose of discussing the requirements and characteristics of an ideal world, the putative global dominance group is an example of a small group (in this case, about 200 members) that should not acquire significant power that can be used in the service of its own arbitrary objectives (especially the subjugation of other people).

A related example is the “military-industrial complex” famously warned about by President Eisenhower in his farewell address. The institutionalization of weapons manufacturing (as opposed to ad hoc efforts) has led to the promotion of war as an economic necessity. A similar situation has developed with regard to for-profit health care, where the existence of multinational corporations depends on a fraction of the population being sick (or at least believing it is).

While artificial life may be a few years away, the U.S. has already created a legally new form of life: the corporation. Corporations in this country, which enjoy tremendous economic power, are now treated as persons. Meanwhile, they remain committed to the express growth and concentration of power that benefits only their stockholders (and now their survival as a “person”), which is the exact opposite of maximizing the welfare of everyone.

In an ideal world, where the members of these groups signed on to the goals of maximizing the longevity and welfare of our species and all of its members, it is unlikely that such groups would maintain their current forms. As a bare minimum, their growth potential, in power and membership, would be severely limited.

No comments: