“A society ruled primarily by the idolatry of enrichissez-vous, which celebrates millionaires as its culture heroes, can gain nothing from socialisation that could not also be gained without it…If the purpose of nationalisation is primarily to achieve faster economic growth, higher efficiency, better planning, and so forth, there is bound to be disappointment.”
A spiritual economic reform — one which provides for a more “democratic and dignified system of industrial administration”— this is the aim of our economic reform. We follow Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful, fifty years behind.
“Socialists should insist on using the nationalised industries not simply to out-capitalise the capitalists — an attempt in which they may or may not succeed but to evolve a more democratic and dignified system of industrial administration, a more humane employment of machinery, and a more intelligent utilisation of the fruits of human ingenuity and effort. If they can do that, they have the future in their hands. If they cannot, they have nothing to offer that is worthy of the sweat of free-born men.”
Infrastructure. While the projection of any civil works programs remains outside the scope of our prescriptions, what is required here is an infrastructure for enabling regional programs. We have already considered one possibility. Within the United States, the Corp of Engineers offers an infrastructure for flexing federal defense resource. What should be noted is that flexing resource is not tantamount to defunding defense programs. Yet, our platform does anticipate a deanimation of foreign interventionalist policy. And this is, after all, consistent with the establishment of the Corp of Engineers, which traces its history back to 1802, when Thomas Jefferson signed the Military Peace Establishment Act, thereby alleviating the need to employ expert engineers to foreign countries. Flexible resource allocation was central in the establishment of the division. And by sharing military and civil works infrastructure, we also expect to address the estrangement between these two spheres of economy and among people who share a neighborhood, a family, a household.
Financing. We keep present the spirit of liberalism, including liberal economic freedom, not to be shunt aside. While we expect both operations and material procurement to be financed through productivity returns on state capital investment, we also understand the total financing to be pluralistic. This is said explicitly in order to acknowledge concerns which follow from public-owned infrastructure — namely, concerns of inefficiency, waste, and affinity to corruption. We expect accounting to be measured in terms of capital. In other words, these programs must prove themselves financially. It should also be said that in reverting federal budget toward regional civic works programs we expect to sell-in programs at current tax rates. Of course, here it may sound as though we wish to “run the government like a business”. And we must admit, this is partially true. Though only partially. However, in order to understand this qualification, we must position these programs within the rubric of value measurement.
Value Measurement. Firstly, we identify two channels for value measurement: a) the electoral process and b) market economy. In the electoral process value is measured by vote, in market economy by sale. Up to this point, the development of this article series has not provided for an explicit phenomenological account of market economics. However, let us quickly do so. We have already prepared ourselves. Preliminarily, we admit that market economics provide conditions for authenticity — for example, in the previously mentioned “inspiration, lust, desire for engagement that we find in the entrepreneurship of mercantilism”. Yet, we understand that the horizons established by such value measurement has not come to wholly satisfy “long horizons”. Alternatively, democratic election preserves projection toward the good and the right. It preserves value. Therefore, by way of democratic election of both public officers and program projection we seek a hybrid of long and short horizons within market economy.
Electoral Process. Of primary import to the electoral process is infrastructure. Our platform for governance-as-projection must provide for election of unique projects. Bundling projects must be considered an exception — and only when one project is financially dependent on another. There can be no moral bundle. Therefore, our platform requires the establishment of an infrastructure for the creation of political parties with project-based affiliation. Such a transformation of party politics from value-based identity affiliation (progressives/conservatives, liberals/nationalists, democrats/republicans) to project-based affiliation secures a prefigurative approach to political activity.
Recruitment and Remuneration. Recruitment into positions below the electoral (that is, below the visionary and strategic functions) will follow existing open job market models. This includes both managerial and operational functions. Recruitment officers will offer attractive market competitive salary and benefits.
Lecturer on Philosophy at Spinderihallerne, Vejle Denmark. Philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, metaphysics, and political metamodernism