ucim wrote:No, such concentrations of power are not an abuse in and of themselves. They are problematic in that they invite abuse, and that is worth discussing. However, power is not abuse unless it is abused. To see it any other way is to put an emotional charge on your argument that ultimately weakens it.
I admit the emotional charge as well as the possibility it can weaken the argument in the eyes of a listener; but I do not think my reasoning is biased by that in this case.
I understand having a huge power does not necessarily mean abusing it.
In a regime such as a Democracy though, trusting powerful people not to abuse their powers is not the way things are regulated: powers are legislated in order to prevent concentrations that can lead to an abuse. That is the whole point of a Constitution.
Laws are made not to fight crime (ie defend the rich against the poor). The rich&powerful would already have, by definition, the money&power to defend their wealth.
Laws, strange as it sounds, are meant for the opposite reason: to create a system that is balanced and prevents the rich (read powerful) abusing the not so powerful.
I do not think money is the root of evil: it just comes with it. People are not powerful and dominating and so on becuase they have money: power, money, influence... just things that go together, one being the concause of the other. So I would not tackle this trying to reduce the amount of money people have (how would you do that in any case?). I would approach the issue trying to find a way to adjust the balance of these powers altogether.
In some cases a concentration of money is necessary: as you say, if you need to manufacture electronic chips you need lots of it. But that doesn't mean that that money needs to be owned by a single person/society and correspond to a single person's decisional power.
Personally, I like to think we could apply a "distributed approach" : very big systems made up of parts, cooperating, with decentralized powers.
I think the problem comes down to being in a game and facing a situation that was not foreseen by people who wrote the rules: I don't think it is in any Founding Father spirit the fact that a person can have a power as big as the one we are discussing; at that time, things were different and it was impossible to reach such a situation.
The problem is, that we need rules to prevent a couple of people writing their own. We must get there first! Otherwise we'll find the rules, one day: but who will be the author?
When you find out that many people are not angels and try to sniff other people's conversations, you just do not start trusting most of them not doing so: you introduce encryption.
ucim wrote:Money buys more than material goods. It buys better health. It buys opportunities. It buys education. It buys marketing. It buys image. It buys influence (directly and indirectly). It buys all these things because all these things are for sale. I'd say that if you want to address the issue, that's the side to address it on
This is a very interesting issue but I think that despite having a lot to do with what we are discussing, I am afraid it belongs to a different area of thought and should be taken for granted in this discussion.