Drawing Straws, Democracy, and Other Stupid Games of Chance


Democracy is a method of choosing, a game of chance. Play long enough and you lose.  No matter the magnitude of the issue, when you draw the short straw someone else wins. You lose. Some people scramble to be part of the majority, an advantageous position for those who want change. Similarly, other people try become part of the majority so they can prevent change. To which ever group you belong the deck is stacked by nature. When we play this game, we become less, and humankind becomes less.

Those who toil for safety, for justice, for peace, or for plenty are ineffective because the natural physical force of economics exists. It is ignored while it is hidden in plain sight. To ignore its existence is to embrace failure. Competence is eroded in its absence. We all belong to the same group, humankind. Our group can be served and protected by its individually helpless members, each of whom has the choice to support and protect the rest, or not. When the group has no direction its members travel in their own direction, intentionally or ignorantly ignoring and inflicting harm on others traveling in different directions. They distrust others, and lack empathy and compassion. Economic success increases with knowledge, effort, and cooperation. It decreases with superstition, sloth, and conflict.

Minorities don’t play dead. Right or wrong, they have conflicts with majorities, and often crush the fruits of the majority’s efforts. This antagonism is economic poison for all. Democracy is not an ethic. It is just a method of choosing that can positively affect economics, only when it is applied with diligence, kindness, and competence.

Economics is a natural force, i.e. gravity. Before gravity was academically studied. The concept of modern day communications was impossible. Economics needs the same academic attention. We needed to study gravity to launch satellites. We need to study economics to eliminate poverty, war, and injustice on earth, our celestial lifeboat. The economic choice is binary. Serve and protect humanity, or not.

If I am free of individual transgressions and I belong to a group that impoverishes, enslaves, or wars against anonymous others, my appearance of goodness is accepted only by those who share my sins. Ignorance of inhumane acts is economically catastrophic, and inhumane. Economics is the natural force that can deliver us from the inhumanity that has filled our history.

We have the ability to serve and protect each other, even those we have never met. We do it economically. What is studied as economics in universities around the globe is politics, the gossip column of economics, or economic witchcraft. The pseudo economic game of chance is not played to eradicate poverty, war, and injustice. Capital spent on eradicating those three things, poverty, war, and injustice, are the positive forces that increase our competence and our well-being. Conversely, what is spent on allowing them, or ignoring them is negative.

The political enslavement of what passes for economics has caused economics to ideologically omit the minus signs. Of course mathematically that makes no sense. Ten-thousand people work to build a plane. Twenty people work to destroy it. No economic progress is the result. Future progress will be more expensive, and the human misery inflicted can not be calculated. There was no economic value added. The labor and materials used to build, destroy, and repair collateral damage are all part of the gross domestic product. The GDP mathematically, must explode to account for leaving out the minus signs, and it measures nothing, not human misery, and certainly not progress toward justice, peace, or prosperity.

We have played the game for centuries. It is a product of our collective ignorance. As we join majorities to win or keep from losing, we become their slaves. We anonymously treat people in ways that we wouldn’t want to be treated if the situation were reversed. The religious, and social morays that we follow need to be communal.

We have a privilege as citizens of Earth. It is our ability to serve and protect each other. In doing this we add value to our lives, purpose to the lives of our predecessors, and we add justice, peace and plenty to the lives of coming generations. The dreams of human dignity, justice, and freedom are all just wisps of magical fantasy if they lack an economic foundation. An economic foundation is where those dreams become plans for a better future, a future where avoiding war, poverty, and injustice does not require seeking the protection of a majority bully, or a minority bully.

Thomas Jefferson said, “Democracy demands an educated and informed electorate.” That education must include the dimensions of our interdependence, the delicacy of our environment, and the fragility of any economic system. The appropriate question is not whether or not we are an educated electorate. The appropriate question is, do we understand how to avoid the behaviors that diminish us, as a people?  There is a direct correlation between kindness and competence. Effort in this direction is fuel for the economic engine. We are advocates for others. They are advocates for us. Jefferson’s “informed electorate” needs to learn how to eradicate injustice, war, and poverty.

How people care for, and protect each other is what people need to know. Just as plants grow toward light so humanity grows toward truth. When truth is hidden, all people suffer. The study of economics will reveal the light of truth. We have more power over the fate of others than over our own destiny. They determine our future. We determine theirs. Economics is not a game of chance. There are always negative outcomes for negative choices. They appear as injustice, poverty and war.

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