Comments and criticisms are very welcome
This is about natural compulsion versus artificial compulsion which is coercion. Natural compulsion motivates harmony, while coercion motivates power struggles. Natural compulsion is the result of the natural need for people to cooperate with each other in order to avoid interfering with each others' pursuits, and to work together for mutual benefit. It motivates the pursuit of agreement, and it is the reason why governments exist.
Coercion results from the belief that natural compulsion is not sufficient to produce the cooperation that is needed. Disagreement on the cooperation that is needed, results in struggles to determine who controls the use of "legal" coercion. Power struggles are the reason why governments fail, either by revolution or by invasion.
What made America great was the effort to enthrone the pursuit of agreement as the Principle, instead of enthroning people. "Harmonizing Motives" is an idea on how to update our trust in our natural need to cooperate, thereby more securely enthroning Principle instead of people.
The Principle could be enthroned by trusting our natural motivation to cooperate. You can believe what you choose about what causes our natural circumstances. I believe in a Creator, because there must be a first Cause. But if you believe that all is a chain reaction of effects, without a first Cause, the end result is the same. In proportion to how much we trust this natural motivating force -- in that proportion we succeed in using coercion solely for the purpose of ending the use of coercion, thereby enabling natural compulsion to order our peaceful agreement and prosperity.
The American System
The American founders attributed the natural pursuit of agreement to the One who created all. And they believed that, to the extent that we trust the Creator, this natural need to pursue agreement would constitute all necessary compulsion for everyone to cooperate. And the compulsion for cooperation would motivate everyone to look for and agree to cooperate with, leaders who were able to plan as needed, the cooperation that would enable people to have a degree of freedom from each others' interference, and to work together for mutual prosperity. People who proved their ability to formulate mutually agreeable routines and settlements, would emerge, be recognized, and compensated, all as motivated by our natural need to cooperate.
By attempting to form a government based on trusting the natural compulsion of creation, a relatively free enterprise system, with Principle, somewhat enthroned as government, resulted in an explosion of mutual prosperity that the world had never before known. But slavery -- a worldwide custom based on the belief in the need for coercion -- came to America and was a major obstacle to the pursuit of universal agreement. From the beginning, the American founders and subsequent leaders looked for ways to end slavery, and even fought a civil war. Though they had some degree of success, the struggle still persists.
They tried to enthrone Principle by setting up a form of government that limited the power to coerce. They did this by means of a written Constitution which would ensure a system of checks and balances on the coercive power of any person or group. They hoped that this would motivate a pursuit of universal agreement with all who are likewise pursuing universal agreement.
The pursuit itself would define Principle. Ideally, every individual would have a voice. But in order to act according to the Principle -- the pursuit of universal agreement -- every individual would be naturally compelled to forsake all unfair prejudice which would interfere with that pursuit. The pursuit would motivate debate, and people would look for leaders who have proven their ability to formulate universally agreeable routines and settlements.
Leaders would emerge and become recognized. But there is a temptation that has plagued every human organization that has ever been formed. The temptation is to elevate the needs of the organization above the spirit that was the original purpose of the organization. Not trusting our natural compulsion to provide the means and motives for universal cooperation, leaders are tempted to resort to artificial compulsion -- coercion -- to compel their idea of cooperation.
The system that our founders established evolved into a two party system. The two party system tends to divide instead of unify. It replaces the pursuit of universal agreement with the pursuit of "legal"conquest by rival factions. And the pursuit of conquest motivates whoever is in the lead, to try to further centralize their authority, in effort to perpetuate their reign. Their temptation is to conclude that they must have totalitarian authority in order to subdue what they more and more see as their evil opposition.
As power becomes more centralized, the stakes get higher. The role that organized government plays in the life of every individual becomes greater, increasing the temptation for individuals to manipulate coercively enforced government regulations for personal gain, thereby threatening all who are thereby coerced.
As the stakes get higher, the struggle intensifies, and power strugglers are tempted to forsake more and more of their natural scruples, as they pursue the growing power that they fear will be abused unless they get the power, instead of their opponents.
Now that technology has shrunk the world into a single community, competing power strugglers intend to enthrone an elite among people, hoping that they will be trusted to organize the lives of everyone in the world, and use coercion as needed to compel everyone to cooperate and be fair. Each struggler really believes that it is up to him to prevent evil competitors from gaining the throne that they are all trying to build.
The common error of all factions is that they ignore the fact that the building of a position of totalitarian authority motivates maximum power struggles. Unless we figure out a way to pursue universal agreement by harmonizing all of our motives, power struggles will deny all attempts to unify and harmonize, and no elite will ever gain their totalitarian power without imposing a reign of terror in effort to subdue their underground opposition. When the means contradict the desired end, the desired end is never reached.
It will all end with Armageddon -- total destruction of civilization as we have known it, or total rethinking of our preconceived notions. Which will it be?
Lessons that might be learned
Our natural need to cooperate continues to motivate us to look for a way to avoid the increasing and accelerating violence that will be inevitable unless we find a way.
This web page suggests a more up to date way to enthrone Principle. It is proven by a series of simple logical deductions. The problem is that the deducted conclusions contradict the observations of almost anyone. Most people will immediately reject the whole idea unless they actually follow the simple logic that explains why the human race has had extremely little, if any, success in their pursuit of universal agreement, and why the simple reform that is suggested here, really would free our natural compulsion to motivate everyone to forsake all unfair prejudice.
Our natural need to cooperate, motivates a latent yearning in all human beings, for universal agreement on a fair way to tolerate each others' tastes and preferences. Every person would welcome such a universal agreement if it seemed possible. But practically no one gives it a serious thought because of the widespread discord that has been observed all through history. Yet some try to pursue the ideal, usually by trying to annihilate what they see as an opposition that will never cooperate.
Every attempt to annihilate fails, as the suppressed faction always rebuilds underground and emerges again, maybe in another form, stronger than before. This must be so because whatever was naturally created cannot be artificially annihilated.
Our American system was, in effect, an attempt to enthrone the principle. But at that time the means of communication were so slow that they had to pursue it by means of elected representatives who they hoped would remain true to the principle spirit, and resist the temptation to start enthroning people instead of principle, and resorting to artificial coercion instead of trusting natural compulsion.
Now we can communicate around the world in seconds. We have far more options, if we decide to use them, to enthrone more securely the Principle -- the universal pursuit of universal agreement on what is fair in any situation. Improved means of communication provide the opportunity for rival factions to discover that their adversaries are not the devils that they thought they were. The common ground for the pursuit of universal agreement already exists and always has. We need to become aware of it, so that we can act accordingly.
Introduction to a new idea
Here in the next few paragraphs, is a very general introduction to the logic of how we could trust our natural compulsion to pursue agreement on what is fair. The logic will then be further explained and spelled out more specifically. Once you get the idea, it is very simple.
First, in order to pursue universal agreement, we could provide a way for anyone to register a disagreement with anyone, for any reason. The chaos that you might expect from this, would be avoided, as you will see if you consider the rest of this idea.
Then, we could provide a conflict resolution procedure which would make it impossible for anyone to struggle their way into the position of arbiter. For each case of arbitration that is called for, the arbiters would be selected completely at random. The qualifications of the randomly selected arbiters would be assured, as you will see if you continue reading. Random selection would eliminate any kind of contest to see who could "legally" coerce their adversary. The arbiters would, by unanimous vote, agree on a settlement for the case that they were called to arbitrate.
When they have finished their case, the randomly selected arbiters would no longer be arbiters. Then, anyone could register a disagreement with any of the then former arbiters, thereby initiating a subsequent arbitration against them, to be settled by new randomly selected arbiters.
Being aware of the prospect off being accused and called to a subsequent arbitration, every randomly selected arbiter would thereby be motivated to seek expert advice in order to act and formulate a settlement that no one who was truly pursuing universal agreement would disagree with. Experts who have proved their ability to formulate universally agreeable settlements would emerge, as the arbiters looked for them.
The experts would be useful for the arbiters only to the extent that they were successful at formulating settlements that were agreeable to everyone who, in turn, is truly and honestly pursuing universal agreement. They could rule against the accuser or the accused, or both, depending on which was pursuing conquest instead of agreement. The experts, of course, could also be accused and called to an arbitration. They could accuse each other. The pursuit of universal agreement would be the principle, and the success or failure in that pursuit would be the judge.
The Principle -- the universal pursuit of universal agreement -- would be enthroned, and the actions of all people would be judged by whether or not they are truly and honestly acting according to the Principle.
The procedure would thereby rely completely on our natural compulsion to pursue universal agreement, as the arbiters would need to arbitrate in a universally agreeable way in order to avoid being penalized by a subsequent arbitration; potential accusers would need to avoid abusing their option to accuse, knowing that the arbiters would need to penalize such abuse in order to rule in a universally agreeable way; and everyone would need to find ways to make sure that whatever they do would be agreeable to anyone else as being fair, in order to avoid being penalized by arbitration..
The procedure would thereby reward all who honestly pursue true universal agreement on fairness, and penalize any who refused that pursuit. The conflict resolution procedure would rely completely on our natural compulsion to pursue universal agreement.
The logic of a statement by Jesus
"Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison." Matthew 5: 25
Your first reaction to the above statement which Jesus made, might be that it wouldn't work in this world because it seems hopeless to try to agree with people who are not trying to agree with you, and because it would be chaotic if anyone could deliver to the judge anyone who they disagree with, and because judges and officers are too often corrupt. But if you have followed the logic so far, then you already know the basic answer to those concerns.
If the statement was true -- that is, if the judge always ruled in favor of whoever is honestly and truly pursuing agreement, then the Principle -- the pursuit of universal agreement -- would be enthroned. By definition, we already agree with everyone who is not our adversary. And so, to agree with our adversary is the same as pursuing universal agreement.
-- "lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge"-- This implies that every person would have the free option to call for arbitration against anyone for any reason. But in order for the statement to be true, the judge must be the Principle -- the universal pursuit of universal agreement. Judged by the Principle, the accuser, as well as the accused, would be judged and may or may not be penalized, depending on whether that person is truly pursuing universal agreement, or whether that person is pursuing conquest. This would motivate all potential accusers, for their own self-preservation, to avoid abusing the option to call for arbitration.
In order to enthrone the Principle as the judge, the humans who play the role of judge must, like everyone else, be subject to being called to a subsequent arbitration by anyone who thinks that the they failed to pursue true universal agreement. The prospect of the arbiters being penalized by a subsequent arbitration would, for their own self-preservation, motivate them to seek expert advice from people who have proven their ability to formulate universally agreeable resolutions.
In order to prevent any arbiters from defeating the system by declaring themselves perpetual dictators, the arbiters must be selected completely at random from a list that they voluntarily signed up on, and serve only for the case that they are called to arbitrate. All potential arbiters would decide for themselves whether they are qualified. But knowing that any arbiter might be accused and penalized by a subsequent arbitration, they would be motivated to seek expert advice on whether they are qualified.
The experts would likewise be vulnerable to being accused of pursuing conquest instead of agreement, and then being called to another arbitration which might penalize them. And so, for their self-preservation, they would be motivated to to act and advise in universally agreeable ways. And in order to do that, all experts in all fields would be motivated to seek each other out, and find common ground agreement among them all. Experts might be able to fool us who are not experts, but they could not fool competing experts. They would be motivated to watch each other and keep each other honest in the true pursuit of universal agreement. Otherwise, they would contradict each other, making them useless for the arbiters who need their advice. The arbiters would be motivated to look for those experts who succeed in formulating truly universally settlements.
The accuser, the accused, the arbiter, and the expert adviser -- would be motivated, for their own self-preservation, to truly and honestly pursue true universal agreement. All motives would be harmonized. People, in order to succeed at anything, would need to work together willingly, without the need for coercion. Our compelling need to pursue agreement would be the natural and self-regulating persuasion for people to cooperate. It would be to everyone's advantage to always pursue agreement before calling for arbitration -- leaving arbitration as a last and most reluctant resort. The power-struggling use of coercion would be controlled by the enthroned principle -- the universal pursuit of universal agreement.
To pursue universal agreement is to yield to the will of the one Creator of all -- whoever or whatever that is. To allow anyone to call for arbitration against anyone for any reason, and to select arbiters completely at random, is to trust that our Creator made no mistakes in the design of His Creation.
Basically, this is how it could work: for each case that is called for, arbiters would be selected completely at random from a list that all people have the option to voluntarily sign up on. The randomly selected arbiters would then have a limited time to settle their case, and their decision would be recognized as official until and unless everyone concerned agreed on some other settlement. Then, after they have finished their case, anyone could, for any reason, accuse the then former arbiters, calling for a subsequent arbitration against them, to be arbitrated by new randomly selected arbiters.
The effect would be that the only way any arbiter could escape a penalty by a subsequent arbitration, would be for that arbiter to act and rule in ways that no one who was pursuing universal agreement, would consider to be unfair. This pressing need to act and rule in universally agreeable ways would motivate the arbiters to seek advice from experts who have proven their ability to formulate universally agreeable settlements. The experts, in order to be truly expert, would need to seek out and find common ground of agreement with all other experts in all fields, and they would all have to be true to the Principle, since disagreement by anyone who is truly seeking agreement, would nullify their expertise, making them useless for the randomly chosen arbiters who need a universally agreeable settlement.
The Principle would be enthroned. Everyone, including accusers, accused, arbiters, and experts, as well as everyone else, would need to abandon all unfair prejudice in order to truly pursue universal agreement. No one could get away with trying to overpower anyone who is pursuing agreement. And the most intelligent and trusted experts, who are the most in tune with the Principle, would emerge, pursuing the universally agreeable answers to the questions of who is truly seeking agreement, who is seeking to overpower, and what to do about it,
This would be new. The Principle would rule, not by manmade laws filled with loopholes for power strugglers to manipulate, but by guidelines governed by the spirit -- the pursuit of universal agreement. Experts would emerge as they prove their ability to resolve disagreements in universally agreeable ways.
The political contests that the world has endured do not measure the ability to pursue universal agreement. They measure the ability of groups to band together for the common purpose of overpowering competing groups. Politics is a game with rules. But whoever leads in the game, has the power to change the rules.
The struggle for power is forever at war with the pursuit of peace. Since would-be dictators can do nothing without power, it is power that is their first goal -- a goal that they never completely reach because of disagreement with competitors who constantly seek to subvert. Without total power, they can't even try to create their idea of utopia. Even if they temporarily gain their totalitarian authority, they can retain it only by maintaining a reign of terror in order to prevent the remnants of their opposition from rebuilding underground. And the terror would only further inspire and motivate the opposition. When the means contradict the desired end, the desired end is never reached.
While pursuing their totalitarian authority, would-be dictators must gain support from the majority who would like to seek agreement. They therefore must wear the sheep's clothing of humanitarian desires in order to camouflage their first priority, which is power.
Examples of sheep's clothing:
Government "charity", which is coercively forced welfare and regulations, gives the elite the power to steel from those who produce the most, who are the minority, in order to buy votes from those who produce less, who are the majority. This brings out the worst in human nature -- resentment, covetousness, laziness, revenge, hatred, and so on. True charity is voluntary, bringing out the best in human nature -- compassion, gratitude, respect, love, and so on. And our natural circumstances compel true charity, both to avoid being bothered by poor people who are tempted to beg, borrow, or steal in order to survive, and to exercise our natural desire for the spirit of love.
Gun control does not miraculously eliminate guns, nor does it promote their proper use. It leaves the guns in the hands of criminals who care nothing about the law, and piles guns into the hands of those few who are struggling for totalitarian power, leaving at their mercy the disarmed law abiding citizens who are no threat to anyone. Has any dictator ever gained power without first taking away guns and using them against all who stand in their way of totalitarian authority? In pursuit of universal agreement, guns world be useful only to deter the temptation to overpower rather than to seek agreement. Proper use of guns depends on how people are motivated, which depends on the prevailing procedures for the use of coercion. Power struggles motivate competing uses of guns. Harmonizing motives will do more good than any combination of laws made by power strugglers.
The new idea to enthrone the Principle, would eliminate power struggles and replace them with the universal pursuit of universal agreement. Universally agreed on cooperative action that the world has never known, would become possible.
Here is a more detailed suggestion for this harmonizing resolution procedure:
Every person would always have the option to call for arbitration against any other person for any reason. And this means that even the arbiters themselves, their expert advisers, and all officials could be called to a subsequent arbitration by anyone who disagrees with anything about their actions or rulings..
After having tried and failed to agree with his adversary, a person might call the police, requesting arbitration - his last resort. The police, knowing that they themselves could be called for arbitration by anyone who accused them of any kind of unfairness, would then be motivated to take fair and reasonable steps to make sure that the accuser and accused appeared for arbitration at a time set by the chief of police, who would also know that he could be called for arbitration by anyone.
A panel of 7 arbiters would then be selected completely at random from a list that they had voluntarily signed up on. They would have 20 days to make a ruling involving as many as 50 people of their designation. After the 20 days, they would no longer be arbiters, thereby being vulnerable to being accused and called to a subsequent arbitration.
The arbiters, knowing that they too are vulnerable to being accused of any kind of unfairness, and subsequently after the 20 days, being called for arbitration, would be motivated to seek advice from experts who have proven their ability to formulate universally agreeable settlements.
The experts, knowing that they too are vulnerable to subsequent arbitration, would investigate the case and recommend settlements. Then the arbiters would, by unanimous vote, approve the official settlement for the case.
The official settlement would be coercively enforced by the police for a period of 6 months or until all concerned happened to mutually agree on some other settlement. The only exception to this would be if the settlement sent a person to prison. In that case, the only way the person could get out of prison would be for someone to call for a new arbitration, and the new arbitration rules that the prisoner should then be released.
The numbers, 7 arbiters, 20 days to resolve, 50 people, and 6 months of enforcement, are just my own guess as to what would motivate everyone to try to avoid arbitration by pursuing true universal agreement. They could be whatever is agreed on when the system is set up.
Can you think of a way that this system could be corrupted? Consider the logic of it:
1. The randomly selected arbiters would have to act and rule in universally agreeable ways in order to avoid being accused and called to a subsequent arbitration after they have finished their own 20 days of arbitration. The subsequent arbitration would be settled by 7 new arbiters selected completely at random, who would have the same need to act and rule in a universally agreeable way.
2. In order to act and rule in universally agreeable ways, randomly selected arbiters would need to seek advice from experts who have proven their ability to formulate universally agreeable settlements.
3. In order for anyone to be an expert advisor, able to formulate universally agreeable settlements, the person would need to seek out and negotiate with expert representatives of every concerned interest group who, likewise, are seeking universal agreement. This need would motivate the most universally agreeable leaders to come forward and be recognized, respected, and compensated.
4. Under the above described circumstances, no minority could be oppressed or suppressed in any way, because one honest disagreement on the part of any single person would eliminate the usefulness of whatever arrangement is in dispute. The sincere experts would respond by finding some settlement that is agreeable to all concerned. In order to reach such agreement, all concerned would need to be honest and to forsake all unfair prejudice.
5. Since arbiters would have unlimited authority for the case that they are called to arbitrate, they would have authority to penalize anyone who stands in the way of the universal pursuit of universal agreement. Therefore, accusers as well as the accused, would need to forsake all prejudice in order to pursue universal agreement. The same would be true of anyone who might try to bribe or threaten anyone in any way. All could be immediately penalized by the randomly selected arbiters.
6. Arbiters could not abuse their authority in any way, because of their need to act and rule in universally agreeable ways in order to avoid being penalized by subsequent calls for arbitration. Instead of trying to work within artificially made laws, finding loopholes and manipulating procedures, they would have to find some way to avoid offending anyone who is in turn pursuing universal agreement. They would be watched by experts of all interests who could not be fooled. Any of them could call for a subsequent arbitration against any arbiter who acted or ruled contrary to the ruling Principle -- the universal pursuit of universal agreement.
7. Anyone contemplating making a call for arbitration, would need to honestly forsake all prejudice in order to avoid making a disagreeable call which would result in themselves being penalized.
8. Expert advisors would have reason to find ways to advise people on what would constitute an agreeable call for arbitration, but they could not conspire to suppress any interest group, since their usefulness to the randomly selected arbiters would depend on their ability to discover agreement with expert representatives of every interest group. Experts from the diverse interest groups would watch each other. Though they might fool some people, they could not fool competing experts who would not hesitate to call them to arbitration.
9. The only criteria that would qualify any person as "expert" would be his ability to find universally agreeable settlements. One single disagreement by any honest adversary, would reduce his usefulness.
Would there be a nuisance of frivolous calls for arbitration?
Suppose first, that any person would always have the option to call for arbitration against any other person, for any reason. We would then leave it up to the arbiters to determine which of the mutual adversaries is refusing to pursue true universal agreement on what is fair, and what to do about it. The possibility that the arbiters would make a ruling that would penalize any frivolous or unnecessary call for arbitration, would thereby deter people from abusing this option
Who would determine whether a randomly selected person is qualified to be an arbiter?
The spirit of the pursuit of universal agreement begins with the totally random selection of arbiters, so that everyone has a totally equal chance of becoming an arbiter for whatever case is in question, and so that no one can struggle his way into the position of arbiter. Then the only way to be sure of having an arbiter that rules as you desire, would be to mold your desires in such a way as to be agreeable to any and all people.
No arbiter could abuse his temporary authority without being arbitrated against after he has finished arbitrating his own case. This prospect deters anyone who doubts his own qualifications from accepting the role of arbiter. If a randomly selected arbiter disqualifies himself, then another random selection would take his place. No one but the randomly selected person himself, could disqualify himself. People could also disqualify themselves by crossing their names off of the list of prospective arbiters, or by not signing up in the first place. Or they could, at their own sole discretion, declare themselves to be qualified by signing up on the list. People who care about each other, would be free to advise each other. But the final decision as to whether any person is qualified, would remain solely up to that person.
You might doubt whether anyone would dare to take on the role as arbiter. But we know from experience that there are many people who are caring enough and idealistic enough and faithful enough to take risks for the sake of things that they care about.
You might be wondering about law. In order for this arbitration procedure to work, it would need the authority to overrule any application of law. Would this leave us without laws? No, but it would change laws into guidelines. Guidelines are needed so that we can know what we can and cannot do without offending each other.
The difference between a law and a guideline is that the law is coercively enforced according to its letter, whereas a guideline serves to point the way according to its spirit. No matter how many laws there might be, there will always be loopholes which enable manipulators to violate the spirit without violating the letter. But when power is dissipated by this harmonizing resolution procedure, the spirit of all guidelines would be the sincere seeking of universally agreeable fairness. There could be no loopholes because anyone could always challenge the application of a guideline whenever it violates the spirit, and the arbiters would always have to rule according to the spirit of universal agreement, in order to avoid themselves being penalized by subsequent arbitration.
Knowing this, you would never hear any official say, "I have no choice, because the law requires me to do this," knowing that what he is doing is contrary to what is expected by anyone who honestly pursues universal agreement. The spirit of universal agreement would over rule the letter every time, because anyone with the spirit could always call for arbitration against anyone who tried to violate the spirit.
Government as we have known it, does many things that might really need to be done in order for people to be able to live and let live peacefully and comfortably. Such things as zoning, regulation of traffic, regulation of commerce, environmental protection, help for needy people, and so on, are issues that many people feel very strongly about. You might fear that a random arbiter procedure does not specifically provide for these things. But think some more. This harmonizing arbitration procedure would provide for a universal motive to act in ways that are as universally agreeable as possible. The procedure would do absolutely nothing to inhibit any effort to organize for mutual benefit.
The universal motive would exist, for leaders to lead, and for followers to follow. If random arbitration was established, many government organizations that already exist, might turn out to be as universally agreeable as anyone has yet figured out. But given the motive for universal agreement, existing organizations might be adjusted according to more universally agreeable ideas as they become known.
These organizations might be viewed very different than in our current system. People would look for them and cooperate with them to the extent that they prove to be useful in avoiding arbitration, enabling people to know how to coexist harmoniously. To the extent that they disrupt that goal, they would be abandoned.
Many people might have good ideas on how we might cooperate for our mutual benefit. But in order for their ideas to work, they need to persuade people to listen and to cooperate. In our current political system of competition for legal coercion, they can get no where until and unless they become successful competitors in that contest. This necessity diverts a growing portion of time and effort away from the positive ideas that they have, towards the struggle for power.
But with the establishment of a harmonizing resolution procedure, it would be much different. Instead of the need to compete for legal coercion, the need would be to devise ideas that really work. Everyone would be looking for ideas that really work – that really do enable people to cooperatively go about their business without offending each other and being called for arbitration. All you would need is an idea that really works, and people would come to you, wanting you to lead while they follow.
You might be thinking that organizations for social planning require money to pay the planners. How would they be paid? If by taxes, who would have the authority to decide who pays how much tax?
Must people be taxed, forcing them to buy houses, cars, televisions, potatoes, and so on? Doesn't our demand for these things motivate us to willingly pay for them? Why should it be any different with our demand for planning and for guidelines? Everyone would need these things in order to know how to live without constantly offending each other and being called for arbitration. All we need is a procedure that enables each person to pay for the planning and guidelines of their choice. Why wouldn't there be a supply for that demand? There would be no power struggle to take its place, and the universal need to agree would replace the need to coercively force people to pay taxes. Compulsion to cooperate would be a result of the natural circumstances of our mutual existence, rather than from some power struggler's design.
You can use your imagination. Maybe we would hire "planning parties", instead of joining political parties. Each person would hire the party they trust the most to guide them in how to avoid arbitration. Or maybe we would arrange to have "proposal planning systems", enabling people with ideas to make their proposals, so that all of us could pledge our moral and maybe our monetary support for the plans of our choice. Maybe our monetary pledges for a plan might be valid on the condition that the plan receives the support that it asks for in order to work. The demand for efficient means for hiring planners whose ideas prove to be useful, would motivate the supply. You might have better ideas than these.
Ownership of property
This is the issue that is near the root of most disagreement. There are two basic sides which oppose each other on this issue. The harmonizing resolution procedure logically resolves the disagreement.
On one side are those who believe that the earth as a whole is the common property of all human beings. From this point of view, for any human to claim a portion of the earth, excluding anyone else's right to it, is not fair because people are not equal in their ability to stake their claims. Those with greater ability would prosper while those with lesser ability would comparatively suffer. A person should not have to suffer merely because he was born with fewer options than someone else.
Yet, it can't be denied that somehow the earth must be allocated so that each person can use his fair share of it. How can this allocation be accomplished? The only way that a communist knows is for the communist party to seize, by any means possible, totalitarian control of all legal means of coercion, so that they can coercively compel their idea of a fair allocation of the earth.
The problem is that there is disagreement on what is fair, and the resulting struggle for power consumes an ever increasing portion of time and effort, defeating the purpose and resulting in the opposite of the intention. Those who have gained the greatest influence on the use of legal coercion, are able to live in luxury while their defeated opponents are beaten into temporary submission – temporary until the oppressed are able to rebuild underground, sufficiently to revolt.
Free enterprise capitalism
On the other side are those who observe the power struggle and conclude that a dictator who has successfully defeated his opponents in the struggle for power, must perpetuate the oppression of his opponents in order to retain his power. This thereby corrupts whoever gains the power, resulting in a perpetually unfair and oppressive allocation of the earth.
From this point of view, the nearest we can come to a fair distribution of the earth is to let each person stake his claim according to first come, first serve.
Yet, it cannot be denied that first come first serve cannot be accepted literally in all cases. For example, the first to find water in a dry country cannot expect to have the sole authority to determine who gets water. There can be violent disagreement on issues like this. And so there has to be a way to resolve disputes over who owns what. This need seems to require a government with the power to resolve these disputes and to determine where and when the property rights of one person infringe on the property rights of another person.
A government with the power to make these decisions is thereby the focus of a power struggle -- the contest for legal coercion. And as the power struggle evolves, the losers in the competition are tempted to resort to illegal means in an effort to challenge what they see as an evil machine.
Communism and capitalism evolve towards each other, approaching a terrifying end, as the losers of the competition for legal coercion resort to extreme means. Only our natural desire for peace and harmony can temper, delay, and maybe avoid the terrifying end. Thank goodness for the good in human nature.
The harmonizing arbitration procedure resolves the issue.
Logically, the only way to fairly resolve disputes over the allocation of the earth is to remove all possibility of anyone controlling or manipulating the procedure that is used to resolve the disputes, thereby compelling all to seek a universally agreeable allocation. And logically, the only way to do that is to select at random those who have the final say, while holding all equally accountable for what they do. This is what a harmonizing resolution procedure would do.
With this procedure, the communists can have their idealistic desire – a distribution of the earth that is in accordance with fairness and equality, rather than in accordance with ability or the options provided by the circumstances of birth – and the free enterprise capitalists can have their idealistic desire – private ownership by each person of what he fairly should own, free to use it in any way that does not infringe on anyone else's right to do the same.
What it would boil down to is that you would own what any sincere expert who knew your particular circumstances, would agree that you should own. Living by this principle, which would be the only way to avoid being penalized by arbitration, all people would always be looking for common ground of agreement on all issues of ownership -- including such issues as help for needy people, ownership and control of public utilities, environmental protection, and so on.
Imagine an ideal congress -- a group of representatives that truly includes ideal representatives of every single solitary person in the whole society. Being ideal, each of these representatives would be people with unblemished reputations for being honest, intelligent, knowledgeable, and incorruptible. Now suppose that the only way for this congress to pass a law, or change a law, or interpret a law, was for it to arrive at a unanimous agreement. Absolutely nothing would be legally passed without the unanimous agreement of every member of this ideal congress.
Under these circumstances, what would be the chances of this congress passing any law that unjustly oppressed any minority? Logically, it could not happen, since the representative of that minority would not agree to any such thing, and without his agreement, there would be no unanimous agreement.
You might think that such an ideal congress is impossible among humans as we know them. But how do you know? Logically, the harmonizing arbitration procedure proposed here, would have this exact effect. The only way for an arbiter to avoid being penalized by a subsequent arbitration, would be to seek advice from experts who are capable of finding a universally agreeable settlement for the case. If an arbitration made a ruling that was not agreeable to one single person who himself truly seeks unanimous agreement, then that person or whoever chooses to represent that person, would not hesitate to call for a subsequent arbitration against the arbitration officials who made that ruling.
The experts that the arbiters would need to seek, would play the role of the ideal congressmen who would need to rule according to the Principle -- the pursuit of universal agreement. They would be the ones who are the most universally trusted. They would be the ones who had the knowledge, the intelligence, the determination, and the drive to seek out every other such trusted representative of every single other person and every single other interest in the whole society. These trusted people would seek each other out, communicate with each other, and because of the unanimous determination to establish unanimously agreeable common ground, they would formulate guidelines that are agreeable to everyone who likewise seeks unanimous agreement.
As they seek each other out, they would need to ignore their irrelevant differences, such as race, gender, and so on. The ones who would be sought would be the ones who prove themselves most able to resolve disagreements in a way that is unanimously agreed on as fair.
Notice that this whole idea appeals only to those who truly seek unanimous agreement. Anyone who seeks any kind of biased favor for any interest group, at the expense of some one else, would find no comfort anywhere in this procedure. They would have no representation among those who arbitrate decisions. Logically, they would be the only minority that really would be suppressed by this harmonizing resolution procedure. Every selfish and unjust effort to profit in any way at the expense of anyone else, would be suppressed -- not by some human design, but by the natural circumstances of people needing to live together harmoniously.
Is the ideal of any religion logically possible without ending up with universal agreement on what is right and fair? Could universal agreement be reached without being compatible with any religious ideal?
You might doubt whether there is any human being alive today who would qualify to be an ideal representative as described above. But if this is true, then logically, what would happen if the only way arbitration officials could escape being penalized by subsequent arbitration, was for them to find some such trusted person who actually could rule in a way that is agreeable to every other person who likewise seeks unanimous agreement? The only logical resort would be to pray -- to appeal to whoever or whatever it is that is responsible for our being here, in the effort to be guided by that One who is no respecter of persons. If prayer is the only resort for everyone, then the only hope for success for anyone would be to commit to the One, which would be the basis of universal agreement.
In this effort, people would need to abandon their quarreling over what to call the One. And they would need to abandon their quarreling over how to be saved or who can be saved. Their common need would be universal agreement. The effect would be that the only ones who can be "saved" would be those who truly commit to universal agreement -- the Will of the one Creator. And the logical conclusion must be that that is the substance of every sincere religion, no matter how they explain it.
Whatever problem you might imagine, would be a motive for someone to call for arbitration. Therefore, any problem that you can imagine, would be dealt with by intelligent arbitration officials who need, for their own sakes as well as all others, to make rulings that are as universally agreeable as anyone has yet figured out. What more could we as humans do to resolve disagreements?
Establishing the procedure.
Is there a part of you that would like to live in a world where everyone agreed with everyone on all issues of fairness -- enabling all people to freely pursue their own individual tastes and preferences? The only limit on anyone's freedom would be if he infringed on anyone else's freedom. Everyone would agree on a fair way to disagree on individual tastes and preferences. Freedom and peace would both be maximized.
There must be a part of every person that would like to live in such a world. In that respect, we already have a near universal agreement on this desire for universal agreement. But there might also be a part of every person that says that this world is just not like that. Whether we like it or not, there are and always have been disagreements on what is fair. Given that disagreement, many and maybe most of us, seek to overpower our adversaries rather than to seek agreement. Probably none of us sees any realistic possibility of agreeing with adversaries who are not willing to seek agreement with us. But, has there ever been a political arrangement that would place every mutual adversary into a predicament such that their only successful option would be to honestly pursue true universal agreement?
Lacking that kind of political arrangement, it has always been our negative motive -- the part that assumes that reality requires us to try to overpower uncooperative adversaries -- that has always been in control. That part has always been in control of most and maybe all people in their individual consciousness. And that part has also always been in control collectively among us, so that our political systems reflect this assumption.
Our positive motive -- that part that would like to pursue true universal agreement on fairness -- would take control if and only if we became aware of a logically realistic way to truly motivate the universal pursuit of universal agreement. That is what this idea offers.
If there is error in the logic, please inform me so that corrections can be made, leading to a truly realistic plan. Once such a plan is agreed on, what is there to prevent our positive motive from taking control, for the first time in history?
Who or what are we waiting for? Ever since this idea came to me in 1970, I have tried many many ways of explaining it, while my own understanding of it evolved. Most criticisms were that the human race is not ready for this, and it might be a few thousand years before we are. And so now I ask, who or what are we waiting for?
Are we waiting for uncooperative people to evolve to the point where they are willing to cooperate? If so, then what are we doing with those people now, with our current political systems? Aren't we trying to track them down, arrest them, confine them, and reform them? What would prevent us from doing the same thing if this harmonizing resolution procedure was established? Everyone would have a motive to pursue universal agreement, which would naturally compel us to overpower anyone who refuses this pursuit by resorting to coercion. The only difference would be that random selection of arbiters would eliminate the possibility of such uncooperative people manipulating or gaining control of the system.
So it is not the uncooperatives that we are waiting for. A harmonizing resolution procedure would deal with them in the same way that we attempt to deal with them with our current system.
Who then are we waiting for. We must be waiting for that first part of us to take control, both individually and collectively. We must be waiting for the good in us -- the part that really does wish for true universal agreement and cooperation. We are waiting for the good in us to become aware of a realistic way of pursuing this ideal. And we are waiting for the good in each of us to communicate with each other, telling each other of our agreement with this idea, and cooperatively building a popular demand for it. When the demand has grown sufficiently, politicians, in order to be elected, will need to formulate a way to actually establish the procedure.
Must we forever be governed by the evil in us -- the part that assumes that evil is our eternal adversary which we must forever seek to overpower, over and over again, only to see it to rise again and again in ever more complicated forms?
Evil cannot overcome evil. Good must take the initiative and claim its rightful place as our government.
What should you do? If you agree with the idea that adversity can be overcome only by motivating mutual adversaries to truly pursue true agreement with each other, then you could refer this web page to your friends and elected officials. You could do that by sending the link or by copying any or all of it into your email, or you could summarize it in better words -- whatever works. When our elected officials receive enough support for the idea, they will need to take action to find a way to establish it, in order to stay in office.
If you don't agree with it, please tell me why by criticizing the logic of it.
Comments and criticisms are very welcome